Most of the time I avoid my yarn stash, I typically know where most types of yarn are located since I keep them separated in buns according to type. They are labeled as sock weight, lace weight, dK weight, worsted weight, planned sweaters, swatch box, Knitpicks, baby yarn, and random acrylic. I try to stick to these labels when putting yarn away mostly for my own sanity, because when I can't find something and I have to look through everything I get really overwhelmed.
Not with guilt, this is my job after all and I am more than comfortable supporting my business and my hobby, but I get overwhelmed with ideas! plans! project ideas! I can get lost in a bin for hours trying to find the very best project to choose for the yarn I am currently holding... then the yarn beside it... and under it.. and, and, and... For this reason entering the stash without a road map or time limit is actually pretty dangerous.
And starting a new pattern? kind of gives me anxiety, designing a pattern is easier because I KNOW it is going to be the right yarn for the project... because the project is designed around the yarn. I really enjoy grabbing a skein or two of unused yarn from the stash and designing something specific for them, especially if the yarn is very limited, like for example 2 small 50 gram skeins total.
The Clary Sage cowl started in this exact fashion, I was stash diving without a specific destination basically just oogling my yarns and pretty sure I had been lost for a while since there were kids complaining of hunger. I came across these 2 skeins of hand dyed merino that I had purchased at the Madrona Fiber Festival a few years ago from Chameleon Colorworks. I had worked with her yarns previously on the Porifera Cowl which were her hand spun yarns and had grabbed these two little skeins to work up with some silk hankies for mittens.
Well I totally overbought silk hankies and had more than enough for mittens without these skeins, so now... what to do with the skeins. I had been thinking of a nice simple cowl for a while, I wanted to use the 'acorn' stitch, which kind of looks like little stacks of acorns if you squint a bit. So I worked several repeats of this stitch, got bored, altered the stitch for a few repeats, got bored, went back to the first stitch, finished it off. This was such a fast knit, and so straightforward, my testers really loved it and knit on it during meetings and airplane rides. It ended up being an addictive little knit!
And the best news is... it's free! All I ask is you sign up for my mailing list so I can visit your inbox from time to time. I only send mail when I have a new pattern or test knit available and you can choose what you receive. Hope you love this pattern and enjoy knitting it!