Spinning a sweater - plans, successes and failures

Sweater picture sources: Lila by Carrie Bostick HogeEmily's Noro Lila.

So... as you all know I got the spinning bug pretty bad in the days leading up to Micah's birth. I have no idea where it came from since I hadn't spun in over a year and then all of a sudden I was spinning every day. During that time I got the notion that I should spin myself a sweater's worth of yarn. Not the craziest or most original idea ever, tons have done it before me, but I've tended towards spinning individual skeins of yarn with no plan or project in mind so for me this was a real departure. 

The idea came to me after seeing Emily's gorgeous Noro Lila (pictured above). I have seen the Lila pattern pop up here and there for a while now and to be honest, it never really jumped out at me. It's very simple. I love the wide garter stitch cuffs and the curved hemline, but the wide neckline and casual overall shape didn't really speak to me. Not until I saw it worked up in a super fun yarn like Emily used! Emily opted for an even more casual shape than I would probably go for, but still I couldn't get the colours out of my head. And for some reason it looked like something that maybe I could spin? 

So, for the first time in years I marched out to the studio and I dyed up a bunch of roving in a multicoloured but very white heavy colourway:

Having no clue what I was doing I just crossed my fingers and was prepared to chalk the whole thing up to experimentation if it did't work out. Spoiler alert... it didn't really work out.

In my experience, spinning from multicoloured rovings the way that I do almost always results in less saturated finished yarn than you think you're going to get based on the intensity of the roving. I dyed the roving with hits of pretty bright colour aiming for a finished 2 ply yarn that would be pale and pastel. And, well, I certainly got it. As I was spinning the singles things were looking very pastel indeed, and surprisingly blue too! That kinda shocked me because I didn't think I had added that much blue to the roving, which was interesting. I reserved judgement until the yarn was plied but I think that I can safely say that this is not the yarn that I had in mind for my handspun Lila project:

Don't get me wrong, I think it's beautiful and as a yarn I really love it! But it's more saturated than I wanted, I should have left even more negative space in my dyed roving, and used softer colours. I've also ended up with a yarn that I'd call borderline bulky rather than light worsted weight. So it's back to the drawing board for this project. This skein is certainly not a loss, I think I'll spin another big 200g braid the same so I'll have enough yardage to knit a really funky baby blanket. The colours, while not what I want for my sweater, are perfect for a baby blanket!