One of the things I plan to do this year is to knit some of my favorite yarns that I've held onto for far too long. I'm sure you have those skeins in your stash too. You fell in love with the color. You wanted to remember the place and time you were in when you bought it. You really wanted to treat yourself. And yet, that skein is still stilling in stash waiting. Waiting for what?
The first skein that comes to mind for me is a skein of my handspun. It is a sport to DK weight and is a blend of baby alpaca, silk, and camel. It is so soft and squishy that I have had it on the desk just to admire and provide comfort on hard days. Need a little pick-me-up? Grab that yarn and cuddle it. We are all friends here, no one will judge you (except maybe that co-worker that marks down how many times her peers get up from their desk during the day, but she doesn't really count).
Here's why I haven't knit it before. It is 390 yards of a sport/DK weight. This amount of yardage is more than one regular skein of sport but less than two so patterns using all of my yarn are hard to find. I don't want a pattern that is too small because I want to use up all the yarn. I also don't want to pick a pattern that might result in me using up my yarn before I'm finished with the pattern. This yarn is soft and fluffy, but I don't think it will do particularly well being ripped out a couple of times. Also, there are few things more depressing than a shawl that isn't long enough.
I have looked at shawl and cowl patterns but nothing has made me jump up and yell, "THAT's THE ONE!" I feel like this yarn deserves a moment like that. But at some point if I don't pick something, don't I just lose out on the joy of wearing it? Maybe that perfect pattern is a myth. Maybe there isn't a perfect pattern for every yarn. What if I am focused on the pattern when in the end I would be happy just to have a function for the yarn than the quintessential perfect pattern that rests on intersections of fiber, weight, drape, yardage, function, and style. Perhaps that's too much to ask of one pattern.
So here is the plan to move ahead.
1. I'm going to search Ravelry for patterns (for a set amount of time) but keep an open mind. Maybe a scarf would be a good idea even though I find scarf knitting an absolute slog. You never know what you will find.
2. I'm going to open three tabs of patterns in Ravelry. Any other patterns I want to consider as contenders will have to replace one of those tabs. Choosing between three options is much easier than twenty six.
3. I need to sleep on the idea and/or consult with my friend Susie before any final decision can be made. After a trip down the rabbit hole of Ravelry, you have to let your brain slowly settle back to reality before you make a big decision.
In the end, I just need to jump in and do it. As my hand spinning gets better, I will start to fall out of love with this yarn. My skills will improve and I will be ashamed of the plying. As much as I love admiring it on the desk, I should really maximize the joy by knitting with it and wearing it.