I hate showing people stuff that isn't working - but if I don't take pictures of it, it's difficult to discuss why it wasn't working post facto. So. That being the case, i.e. no I didn't take any pictures at the time...
Over the course of several months, and with the aid of two spindles, the bump became quite a number of skeins, comprising approximately 1500 yards with an average of 3000 ypp. This has been destined to form a shawl, but I haven't been able to agree with myself on a pattern. Multicolored yarn does best in a simple pattern; complicated lace patterns get lost in the changes of color and vice versa.
The Stonington shawl seemed to offer a possibility. I began knitting. And knitted and knitted all the time assuring myself that this was going to work. Stonington is a garter stitch Shetland style with a simple block in the center and a relatively plain border. Sadly, this is where a picture at the time would make more sense of the narrative. This is the remains of ripping the Stonington try - it had gotten to the point of having it's cross section of 145 stitches and had moved on to a reduced number (approximately 70) before I threw in the towel and ripped.
Changing colors in the shawl would have worked had the repeats been shorter, but having wildly varying depth of stripes as the triangle grew and then shrank again was not a pleasing sight. J hates watching me rip stuff - I didn't let me see me do that one.
I spent some time poring over shawl books and finally decided that for the length color repeat I had, I wanted something with unchanging row length and a very long row length at that. The Knitted Ruana in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls is an excellent example of handling the color changes in long thin stripes, and The Rebozo from the same book gave me a pattern to launch off from.
The last problem was simply the fact that for such a long length, (at 5 stitches to the inch, 320 stitches is over 5 feet long, not that it looks like it, unblocked) I really needed to use a provisional cast on. I'll add a narrow border all the way around and remove the waste yarn later.
The stripes are still there, but much narrower and more pleasing to the eye. My eye at any rate.