A few days ago, I cast on for a little cowl out of some handspun I bought during my unexpected yarn excursion this last spring. It was about 200 yards of fingering weight, slightly self-striping 2-ply merino handspun, which I was pretty sure I wanted to make into a cowl of some sort when I bought it.
Then, I did my cowl post a while back, and the idea of knitting an Old Shale Smoke Ring by cosymakes got stuck in my head in a major way. And then I cast on, and blinked a few times, and suddenly it was done! I had a brief moment of doubt that I would have enough yarn to get a solid cowl - the ball I wound it into was teeny - but in the end, I finished up with ten or so yards to spare and a good-sized cowl that covers my neck and some of my chin, too.
In the last year or so, I've developed a particular soft spot for handspun yarns, especially 2-plies. There's always something surprising about them, whether it's the combination of hues in the actual yarn, or the softness, or the way they knit up into gentle but complex colors. This yarn had all of these things.
I don't usually go for blues or browns, much less blues and browns together, but this colorway, called Cowgirl and spun in Olympia by Sunset Fibers, captured something really beautiful to me. And as it knit up, I delighted in the way the yarn slowly changed from an icy blue, to the color of a lake in summer, to sand, and back to ice. All the while, it was soft and light and smooth in my fingers. Even more than most, this skein told a story, and at the end I wished there was more.