A few days ago, I finished knitting the sweater out of my handspun 3-ply yarn! And I finished it an entire month ahead of my self-imposed deadline of June 1 (I won't go into what didn't get accomplished in the last two months).
Even after blocking, the sweater has a wonderful boingy feel that can't be all attributed to the moss stitch pattern. The yarn really does have more life than a standard commercial merino yarn. But most importantly, this sweater is my color (mud), my size (big and baggy) and my style (plain). Too bad I didn't plan to have this finished back in January when the temperatures were in the single digits.
With the help of my spinning teacher (Maggie Casey), I learned five ways to make the yarn in a handspun sweater look most even and consistent.
1. Spin about 25% more yarn than you think you'll need.
2. After spinning, set aside the skeins that look dramatically heavier (or lighter) than the others. Don't use these skeins.
3. Wind the yarn into many relatively small balls and choose the balls randomly. This helps distribute the slightly thicker and thiner yarns throughout the entire sweater.
4. Use an allover stitch pattern that will also help camouflage differences in yarn thickness.
5. Knit the sweater in the round. This eliminates seams and having to match up pieces that may be slightly different lengths.