From your own experience do these yarns PILL?

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dreamweave wrote
on Oct 21, 2012 6:51 PM

Dear friends,

From your experience, could you please recommend me some yarns (wools/cold weather yarns) that don't pill (or at least pill very little).

Have you worked with these yarns, and if you did, did they pill or not.

        - Plymouth Galway

        - Valley yarns valley superwash

        - The plucky knitter primo

        - Mostly merino 2 ply worsted (and by the way where can one buy this from?)

        - Rowan magpie

        - Cestari fine merino

        - Debbie Bliss rialto aran and DK

Or if you/ve worked with other yarns that didn't pill please share with me.

The project I am thinking about is a cardigan (swing, or a circle cardi), something with nice drape to it.

Thank you very much in advance,

 

AL

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marywoods wrote
on Oct 22, 2012 2:00 AM

Dear AL, 

I've worked with wool and wool blends for many years.  Most wool will pill to some extent.  That is normal wear with natural fibers, especially if the piece you make is a favorite and you wear it a lot.  The way to avoid that is in the handling of the finished garment.  If you are going to work with wools and wool blends, treat them as you would any of your delicate clothing.  First thing, always wash wools and wool blends or any natural animal fiber for that matter by hand.  I can't stress that enough.  It helps keep the garment in shape and reduces stress on the fibers which adds to the life of the garment.  Second, use a wool wash that is designed especially for hand knits such as Eukelan Wool Wash or Kookaburra Wool Wash.  Both of these are formulated to help replenish the natural lanolin in wool and to preserve the fiber.  Look for one that has tea tree oil as one of the ingredients.  Tea tree oil is a natural insect repellent.  If you are working with fibers that do not have lanolin in them, I recommend Kookaburra Delicate Wash.  It has the same ingredients as their regular wool wash except for the lanolin.  I use it for washing my gloves and such that are made of alpaca.  Third, wash your garment in lukewarm or cool water.  Don't wring the garment out, gently squeeze the excess water out and roll it up in a towel to get the moisture out.  Fourth, lay the garment flat to dry and if necessary, block or shape as needed.  The first time you block your garment or garment pieces, you will want to do a wet block on it.  By that I mean, gently squeeze most of the water out, wrap it loosely in a towel and lay the pieces out on your blocking surface.  At this point you will need pins and a tape measure.  Pin the pieces to your blocking mats, measuring them as you go to make sure they are blocked out to the dimensions listed with the pattern.  It may take up to 48 hours for the pieces to completely dry if it is a heavy sweater done with worsted wt. yarns.

I've worked with a few of the yarns you have listed and by hand washing and caring for them using the care instructions on the labels, pilling has been minimal.  With the superwash wool, machine washing in cold water and a little liquid fabric softener in the rinse works well.  Just hang the finished articles up to dry.  In my case, I use the superwash wool sock yarns for socks, hats and gloves and pilling is minimal with them.  

If you want some good natural fiber yarns at reasonable prices, check out Knit Picks online.  They have wonderful wools and wool blends that are comparable to more expensive brand names and hold up just as well for a much more reasonable price.  If you want a nice natural fiber in a DK weight with a nice drape, they have one called Gloss, it is 70% Merino and 30% silk.  It come in some very luscious colors and has a really nice drape to it.  I've used the lace wt. for wraps and they turned out spectacular.  

Regardless, what ever brand you choose to use for your project, remember, how you care for your garment makes the biggest difference when it comes to the whole pill issue.  

One other note, never store natural fibers in plastic.  Store them in cloth bags or in a cedar chest if you have one available to you.  

I hope this helps.

Mary Woods

Ravenwood Designs

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dreamweave wrote
on Oct 22, 2012 9:02 PM

Thank you so very much for your reply!

AL 

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 166
marywoods wrote
on Oct 25, 2012 3:48 PM

Dear AL,

You're very welcome.  I'm glad I could be of help to you. 

Mary

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