A long long time ago, I went to R&M yarns and bought a cone of a 2 ply cotton. I really didn't have a specific use for it but the quantity would easily have made a sweater of shawl.
Just recently I found a dishcloth pattern group on Ravelry and joined and that cone of cotton was easy to grab when I wanted to start my first pattern. I have none of the traditional cotton yarn in my stash, and I had not ever come up with a use for this cone, so it is now labelled as my dishcloth cone of yarn that will probably outlive me.
Here's my first dishcloth. The pattern for this cloth can be found here. It is called Eyelet and Bead dishcloth. It's so pretty, I haven't given it a dunk yet in soapsuds. I have to get over that and remember, I can always make another one, in a matter of three episodes of my favorite TV show.
I admit I still get the giggles when I look at the cone of yarn and try to imagine just how many washcloths can be made from it. Care to guess? I could hold a contest, but I doubt we all will be around 10 years from now when I hit the end of the cone. Here's a picture of the cone.
It's so tall, I had to lay it on its side in order to get the photo to work. It weighs four pounds! But don't forget, there is a cardboard cone in there. Oh and yes, that is a second dishcloth started, it is just pattern number one in a stitch dictionary. It's too scrunched together to see, but there's an easy knit and purl pattern going on.
The small ball is because I needed to knit the cloths with a double strand (making it a 4 ply) in order to get a nice thick hand to the knitting. So I just took some off on my ball winder, and knit from a strand from it and a strand from the cone.
Oh and don't grieve too much over the lost sweater or shawl I could have made from this cotton yarn, I have another one, only in maroon and white, that I like better!