However, I also had a niggling thought that I wanted four stray balls of DK out of my stash. I don't like throwing away entire balls of yarn. If it's something I know I really won't use I might give it to charity, or I'll use it up making charity squares, but these were balls of yarn that I wanted to use myself. I just couldn't think what to do with them. There's a limit to what you can make with a single 50g ball of DK, even if it is soft squishy merino in a pretty colour!
I think the fates must have been on my side, though, because browsing online I saw three unrelated threads on Ravelry that, put together, became the perfect idea for those stray stash yarns.
The first one was a Stashdown Challenge to try to use your entire stash over the next 18 months. If I needed one last push to use up those four DK orphans, this was it.
The second one was a call for pattern submissions for homeware items. I have never designed a homeware item. It's not something that's even crossed my mind, probably because they aren't something I tend to knit for myself.
The third one was a Design Challenge to design a pillow incorporating a cabled texture.
Finally all the pieces fell into place. I had been browsing through a stitch dictionary looking for a background for (yet another) sock pattern, and kept coming back to a braided cable stitch pattern. Too complicated for socks, so not what I was looking for, but the stitch itself really appeals to me. And then into my mind popped a picture of the pillow I would design using the DK yarn, including the cabled stitch pattern, which I might submit to the pattern call. (Or I might just decide to release the pattern myself. Or not!)
Three more inches of work and then there's just the sewing up to do. And then comes the hardest part for me - trying to decide whether or not to submit it to the yarn company pattern call.