I was starting to feel smug about the consistency and twist of my handspun merino until I knitted a swatch. Despite producing a beautify skein, the first swatch knitted with this yarn came out less then satisfying (click the photo for a closer view). Although it's a perfectly balanced yarn, the twist angle produces oddly formed stitches and a stiffly knitted fabric.
Not long after knitting this swatch, I came across an article in the winter 1997 issue of Spin-Off called "Mastering Twist" by Rita Buchanan. She confirmed what I had just learned. "Don't judge yarn by looks alone. Spinners often like the looks of a high-twist yarn but prefer to hold or squeeze yarn with less twist. However, the final test is in the fabric, not the eyes or the hand."
Practice makes perfect, right? It's back to the spinning wheel to make some more sample yarn and swatches.