My hands are itching to knit myself a big wooly fringed shawl, but I thought that I should first use up some of the yarn in my stash. I have a bunch of small balls of yarn, leftovers from previous projects. For myself, I intended to make a cowl out of naturally colored dark wool and the natural Quince & Co Audouin that I used for my Annabel cardigan and the little babe's Puddle Duck. I purchased the dark wool about 8 years ago, from a farmer at a local market where we used to sell bees wax candles. She had her spinning wheel at the market and I loved the chunky natural feel of the yarn - it still had flecks of hay in it. That might be viewed as sub par by some, but I thought it just made it more authentic from the farm! I made a hat for my husband and it is still his go-to hat today, though it is somewhat felted and a bit smaller. I thought the two thick yarns would make a good close fitting cowl, but I didn't want it to be too bulky, so I did a little eyelet pattern. As I was running out of the cream colored yarn, I tried it on and realized that it would make a nice hat and I was right at the place to start decreasing - perfect timing! So a hat it became. (It is a hat for myself, but the little babe is a better model.)
For the next stash busting project, I dug out a skein of super bulky Bartlett wool yarn that I purchased in Maine. We were in the middle of nowhere (really Skowhegan) and I was stuck on part of a knitting pattern. I happily discovered a yarn shop in an old mill building where we stopped at a farmer's market. I really didn't need any more yarn, but I felt bad just asking them a question and walking out, so I bought one skein of this yarn. Mistake. I like bulky yarn, but this is just a bit over the top. So it has sat in the bottom of my stash bin for two years. On Saturday evening I cast on at 5:30pm and by bedtime, the little babe was modeling her new "rustic" vest. No pattern, lots of guessing, totally rough looking, but she was happy with her new little short vest/shrug. Kind of impractical, but hey, it used up (only half!) a skein of yarn and it makes both of us smile.
Plus it doesn't get in the way when doing crazy dance moves.