Friday, February 03, 2006

Knitwear Review No.2

The 13th ball of Kool Wool arrived yesterday, so work on Lace Leaf Pullover would resume during the weekend. Before the arrival of new sweater, perhaps I should take a look at the old ones. I've done this with my summer tank tops, now it's the turn for the winter wear.

Urban Aran
Though this is the newest sweater I made, it has received quite heavy wear already. Husband once commented that I seemed to like wearing it very much. He was right actually. The style is cool and casual ... very good for matching with jeans. The whole sweater is very light in weight but reasonably warm. I made the right decision of not making the turtleneck. I can wear it almost any time of the winter season ... just add a turtleneck cotton Tee and it becomes super warm.

However, nothing is perfect. With Urban Aran, it is the pilling! Are you the type who are extremely bothered by pilling? Honestly, I am not. I find that even acrylic yarns would pill, so what can you say? Yet, this Jaeger Como does really pill like there is no tomorrow!

In addition to the pilling, there is the problem of those very tiny fibres ... which I believe to be the Polymaide (not really sure, though). To illustrate, focus on the area inside the circle:

If you have long sharp nails, you'll get into trouble easily. But even without long nails, my carryall's zipper teeth and the pull, keychain, engagement ring, etc, have all contributed to pulling them out!

So, if you still have this yarn in your stash (positive in my case, hahaha ...), this is a warning.

Barnyard Guernsey Sweater
This was originally knitted for Husband, therefore it is a very roomy sweater for me. That means it is a very comfortable wear. I like guernsey sweater and am always wanting to make one of those from Fisherman's Sweaters. Though the sweater is big, it doesn't feel heavy. The yarn is warm too. I love this yarn but I'd also like to try the Wool of Andes from Knit Picks just to compare. Yet, same problem ... pilling:

You see that little ball of loveliness? Before taking this picture, I did the first shaving for the sweater. It did help to make the sweater look better again ... though I am not sure how long that would last. Maybe I should buy a sweater shaver.
Oh yes, maybe I should share a little secret with you. Last time when I washed the sweater before putting it away, I had the idea of letting it shrink a bit so that it would fit me better. How? I put it into the drying machine and taking it out every 30 seconds to check the result! It didn't shrink at all ... but felted (or fulled? I can never tell which is which!) a little bit ... though it doesn't really show.

My First Sweater
::SIGH:: This is what I always do when I look at my first sweater. The pattern is fun to knit and the sweater is cute to look at ... but tacky to wear. Honestly, I think I've worn it less than 10 times. I think there are several things contributing to my lack of love for it:

1) First and foremost, the edgings of the sweater;
2) the boxy cropped style;
3) the yarn is very itchy.

Because of (3), wearing something underneath is a must. However, (1) and (2) together make it almost impossible for me to look good when I have to wear something underneath.

Therefore, I am considering recycling this sweater into something else. Since I won't get too much yarns from it (considering I can't get anything usable from the edgings) plus the itchy yarn, I think Boogie Vest from Knitty may be a good possibility.

Conclusion: What is fun to knit or cute to look at doesn't necessarily become a sweater I'd love. And yes, wool pills ... whether cheap or expensive ones. So, better get a shaver. :)


Anonymous said...

I love the Guernsey. What a good idea going back over the sweaters you made.

Sharon J said...

I love that last sweater - the boxy one with the knotty edges. What a shame the yarn's so scratchy that you can't wear it comfortably, though. ~Sharon

chris said...

Your Gansey is gorgeous! For some reason, I don't think I've seen that one before. Wow, it's hard to imagine that the shaver picked up that much pilling to make that ball! I've been having a similar problem with my socks pilling and almost looking felted, but I'd just assumed it was because I used cheap wool. After reading your post, I guess it's just one of those properties of wool, cheap or expensive! ;-) Take care and have a great Sunday, Agnes! :-)

claudia said...

You have learned so many important things about knitting in such a short time.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your knitwear reviews very much, and get tips on yarn and wear and everything else. Your guernsey is gorgeous and I hope shaving keeps it fresh every now and then.

Shelley said...

Wow, I love the guernsey...It's such a prety design and comfy!

Mimi said...

I actually like so much your first sweater. The border is just so cute, are you sure you want to recycle it? Well, itching yarn is a problem...

Anonymous said...

Wow, your first sweater looks kind of complicated. I'm definitely getting one of those shavers! :)