The likelihood that you’ll reach your hand into the stash and come up with a sweater-weight of wool is highly unlikely. It’s more likely to find you have enough for a shawl or a cowl, and that would be a pretty clear solution. However, how many shawls can you wear? I’ve already rounded up some accessory patterns as well as using handspun as an accent yarn.
Another idea is smaller garments. (No, I don’t mean kid clothes.) It’s easy to find sleeveless vests, tanks, shrugs and boleros through Ravelry. There are also some examples using unique construction ideas and shapes. These smaller garments could be worn layered with other clothes.
This is my super favorite, L’Enveloppe by Sally Melville. She has made this work in a variety of gauges. Here’s a quote from the project page.
“Because I want everyone to knit this in whatever yarn they like, I offer this in 5 sizes, 4 gauges (13, 14, 15, and 16 stitches to 4” /10cm) and 2 stitch patterns (seed or the easier garter). AND, it is worth noting that I’ve seen swatches that combined yarns–from a shop or a stash: for eg, a light worsted + a lace yarn will give you gauge, a dk + a sock yarn will give you gauge. (You will need the full yardage for EACH of the yarns you combine.) Because of all these choices, the yarn amount (as shown above) is very inaccurate: the amount of yarn you use will depend upon a) your size, b) your gauge, c) your stitch pattern. All of this is clear in the pattern.”
It’s a funky layering garment, something different than a cowl or shawl. I love looking at the projects, people have taken different approaches to the length and size.
Here are some more interesting projects from my Ravelry faves. I tend to pick ones which use heavier weights because I’m not able to spin that thin yet myself. Handspun is more textural so it doesn’t need complicated knitting stitches, plain stockinette or a garter will do.
- VuxenVinkel by Yarn-Madness – freebie. Uses 350 – 580 yards (320 – 530 m) in Aran.
- Simplicity Cardigan by Mary Annarella
- Villeneuve by Espace Tricot – freebie
- Casablanca Side to Side Shrug by Cheryl Beckerich
- Verdant by Gina Bonomo. This is similar to the boleros, but without something that closes across the front.
- Alpinia by Claire Slade – There are many cap sleeve cardigans, I like this simple yoke pattern.
- All About The Yarn Jacket by Iris Schreier – This is only available in a pattern book purchase with yarn.
- Diagonal Shell by Laura Bryant – freebie
There’s some interesting ideas there!