I was never much of a fan of one-skein projects before I discovered handpainted luxury yarns. Ever practical, for years I preferred to buy yarns in bulk and make sweaters. Anything left over could become a scarf. I really didn't make hats, and I never made a shawl. I do remember buying massive amounts of rainbows of acrylics to make huge afghans and throws when I was in high school and college, but that ardor cooled...cos really, how many of those do you really need?
My current yarn stash began in the mid-to-late 90s, when I took up knitting again with a vengeance. At the start I once again thought in terms of sweater projects instead of mini projects. Now and then another scarf or hat experiment. The only yarn I regularly bought in small amounts was to make stuff for my friends' babies and kids.
The combination of Ravelry and Rhinebeck blew my attitudes out of the water. Hats! I wanted LOTS of hats! Well, I needed some anyway, my old ones were a bit old after all. And new scarves! I'd only made a couple in the past 10 years and one of those was so massive (imagine a fuzzy fluffy overly warm gray Tom Baker Dr Who scarf...) I hardly ever wore it. Rhinebeck got my mind percolating. "I'll make hats and scarves and shawls and who knows what else!" I fingered skein after skein of yummy colorful expensive stuff, and bought things I really had no idea what to do with...but I had to have them. Like the stuff picture above.
Maple Creek Yarn bamboo silk blend. OMG. Soft, silky, drapey, shimmery, sweet beautiful colors, but the price! I couldn't make a garment from it. Maybe 2 skeins? No, just one. I came home with just one. And what to do with it? Well, a skinny little scarf, I figured. Something light and springtimey. Lace. It took 2 years for me to actually get around to it, but I did it. Happily, it even turned out to be useful! This little Moebius loop scarf I made drapes perfectly to cover...um, the deeply plunged necklines of several sweaters I made while I was not working 9-5 in an office. Not too warm to wear indoors all day, and it feels nice against my skin. What more could I possibly want?