I was able to purge a great deal of yarn from my stash and donate it to a local charity in Bergen County. I was pleased to be able to put it to good use because I wasn't going to get to it any time soon and there were some projects I had lost interest in after a few inches of knitting. I hope there's a lot of warm and cozy people in Northern NJ as a result.
During this process, I decided that I don't like working with cotton. A significant portion of what was donated was 100% cotton. However, I've been working on two projects lately (among the many, I haven't gotten THAT disciplined) that contain silk. I've worked with 100% silk before and although I loved the feel of it, wasn't crazy about the fit/drape. Silk blends appear to be the way to go for me.
One is Setanova from Lana Grossa--it is 60% silk and 40% cotton. I love everything about it. The way it feels in my hands, the drape, the stitch definition. I'm using this for a half Pi shawl for my sister's birthday.
The other yarn I recently discovered I love is Cascade Yarns' Venezia. I started a sweater for myself in it and then had read in Big Girl Knits that plus size women shouldn't use bulky yarn, so I set it aside for a while. I love the color and rediscovered my stash during the purge and felt like I needed to do something with it, especially since I found some great buttons at Creative Knitworks in Westwood, NJ.
I found Sally Melville's With-A-Twist Turtleneck in Book 2: The Purl Stitch and with heavy modifications, began a cardigan in Venezia. This has the same wonderful properties as the Setanova: great hand feel, great stitch definition and the bonus is that because it is a bulky yarn, it's moving along quickly!
A word about Sally--I love her patterns and the fact that she includes notes like "Shorten or lengthen here" to encourage customizing the patterns. How great is that?