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PsychoCat
New Pal

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2008 :  2:08:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit PsychoCat's Homepage Send PsychoCat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A lot of knits look great brand new, but which yarns give you the best results after many washings and wearings? Do tell!

Here are my favorites and hates:
1) caron simply soft - hate - knits great in the beginning but gets crunchy and brittle feeling after many washings. soft at first but gets itchy!

2) microspun - like - i hated knitting with it because it splits, but it's still soft after many washings!

3) Blue Sky Alpaca's organic cotton - like/hate - knits wonderfully, lasts after *very careful washing*. Pills a lot. If you don't follow the instructions, it can feel crunchy. A high maintenance yarn. This yarn takes work to keep it looking good and feeling nice after many washings. Machine washing degrades the look of the yarn.

4) Cascade Fixation - love - still looks great after many many machine washing and drying. Initially shrinks about 20% Still stretchy after a year. Colors fade but the knitting holds up strong. No pills, no crunchiness.

6) Bernat Bamboo - love - contrary to instructions, I DO wash and dry this yarn in the washing machine. It'll shrink like crazy, I'd say 30-40%. I made a cardigan too big, threw it in the washer/dryer and it shrank to the perfect size. Washing didn't affect softness, only the size. it's still soft after many trips to the washing machine.

7) Bernat Cotton Tots - love - this yarn is good quality for the price! It feels like Blue Sky Alpaca's cotton but not as fluffy. Holds up in washer better than Blue Sky Alpaca's cotton. Doesn't pill as much. Made a top with it that survived many many washings and still looks good.

8) TLC Cotton Plus - hate - this yarn feels crappy against your skin and continues to feel crappier after machine washing and drying

9) Paton's Grace - very color fast, yarn is nice and strong. I made a top with this 2 years ago and it's still as beautiful as the first day. I machine wash/dry all the time, doesn't affect it.

10) Elann Sonata - durable as heck cotton yarn, looks like Paton's Grace but not as soft. It's more crisp. Seems more durable though.

Now what about you? :D

baxterknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
261 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2008 :  4:13:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit baxterknits's Homepage Send baxterknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Love Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Have a sweater that had held up well for 15+ years. A little pilling, but not much. Of course it had to be hand washed.

Cindy G
http://baxterknits.blogspot.com
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lizbirdie
Warming Up

82 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2008 :  6:21:08 PM  Show Profile Send lizbirdie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Love Mission Falls 1824 cotton... felt good knitting up, and when I used it for busy toddlers/preschoolers with machine washing up to weekly at times, oxyclean, and all sorts of nonsense you might not ordinarily consider for handknits, it's still going strong... (I knit sweaters for my kids bigger than thier sizes to maximize their wear life.) I imagine the original slight knubbiness of the yarn camouflages the wear better. I did have one end up in the dryer & noticed that the yarn didn't feel as soft as before that point, but my son still will pull it out of the drawer as one of his favorites. :)
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PBELKNAP
Permanent Resident

USA
1133 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2008 :  05:51:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by baxterknits

Love Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Have a sweater that had held up well for 15+ years. A little pilling, but not much. Of course it had to be hand washed.

Cindy G
http://baxterknits.blogspot.com



I'm glad to hear that. I used Lamb's Pride because it was the suggested yarn for a charity knitting project. I loved working with it so much that I knitted myself a scarf using the scraps. I'm glad to know it will hold up well.




*************************
PAM

WIP = Afghan (crochet), Scrap Scarf (knit)

If I could only do this for a living...
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marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2008 :  09:16:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me the yarns that really improve with wearing and washing are Rowan denim (but yes it is a matter of taste, but i do like it a lot) and Peace Fleece that just gets softer and softer with each washing. there are yarns that withstand the process of washing and wearing pretty well (Like blue sky alpaca/silk, Rowan cotton glace and a number of other ones) but those two just get better & better....

Marjolein

my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
www.ravelry.com/projects/marjotse
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aprilshowers
Chatty Knitter

295 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2008 :  10:34:16 AM  Show Profile Send aprilshowers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Peace Fleece - LOVE it! It comes off the skein a little rough but softens with use and is extremely durable. I use it for my daughter's longies which get tons of wear every single day (I have 3 pair I switch between at each diaper change). If that yarn can stand up to an active toddler, it can stand up to anything (except maybe an active crawler ;)!
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PsychoCat
New Pal

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2008 :  10:46:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit PsychoCat's Homepage Send PsychoCat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
wowee i've been wanting to try rowan denim too, now i'll definitely have to try it.

has anyone used pakucho organic cotton yarn before? how does it wash and wear and is it better than blue sky alpaca's organic cotton?

i live in the heat of austin texas so if anyone's had good longetivity experiences with cool cotton yarns, lemme know please :)

THANK YOU!
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Dottie Mae
Chatty Knitter

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2008 :  08:21:05 AM  Show Profile Send Dottie Mae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here are a few reflections:
Encore- The stuff is cast iron for sweaters, not for socks. For sweaters it holds up very well, for YEARS. For socks, it wears out on toes and heels.
Cascade 220- It pills, but otherwise holds up well. I use a sweater shaving device to de-pill it before each wearing. It also can be itchy, but I always wear it over a turtleneck. The 220 superwash holds up well, too, but it seems a bit thin for the gauge recommended on the ball band.
I really like Tahki's New Tweed. It holds up well, and it knits up like a dream.
Never use any angora for baby booties. It is so fuzzy that little hands can't resist grabbing it, and it gives them a mouthfull of fuzz chewies.
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Monkachia
Permanent Resident

USA
1224 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2008 :  09:59:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Monkachia's Homepage Send Monkachia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fuzz chewies! I love it. That's what it feels like when my cats rub against my face before I can stop them. Blech.

Thanks for starting this post PsychoCat. I'm getting some good info from it.

Chia

http://munkiknits.blogspot.com/
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peggymchoe
Warming Up

63 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2008 :  10:01:49 AM  Show Profile Send peggymchoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is just the thread I needed. I'm looking for a woolly 4.5 spi yarn that will wear well. MY DH is in the 1st season of a st st pullover made with Jo Sharp's Aran Silkroad Tweed and it's pilling like crazy. Every time I look at it (with DH inside) I grimace. I haven't been knitting for that long, and I probably considered how the yarn felt on the skein more than how well it would hold up in the long run.
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marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2008 :  02:48:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Peace Fleece comes to mind. It has a spi of about 4 to 4.5 (varies a bit) feels a bit rough when just knitting with it but it becomes so much softer after washing and it stays just so nice. See here
http://www.knittersreview.com/article_yarn.asp?article=/review/product/040422_a.asp

for a review.

Marjolein

my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
www.ravelry.com/projects/marjotse
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of troy
Permanent Resident

USA
2474 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2008 :  07:30:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Linen is a very durable fiber. (there is more linen in more museums around the world than any other fiber!)it not unusually for linen to be used, and reused, and to last hundreds of years. (miles of woven linen has been found in egyptian tombs) Linen is actually stronger (not weaker) when when, (most fiber are weaker when wet)

silk is durable too, but silk doesn't like salt (as in perspiration) and silk is incredible strong for 'stretching' (tensile strenght) but very weak for abrations. (the fiber break where they are rubbed)--its stronger than steel actually (and in ancient (and not too ancient times!) it was layered and quilted to make not bullet proof, but arrow proof (even steel tipped, cross bow arrows!) proof 'vests' (but only the very rich could afford these.. kings!)

for hand knit--(vs fibers in general)

Hard spun wools (tightly spun worsted) last longer/pill less than softly spun yarns.

many plastic (synthetic) yarns are very durable, (some pill, some don't, most of the fiber will last 1000 + years (just like many/most plastics)

wool last a good 50 to 150 years with care, with excellent care, it can last 300+ years, but in normal every day usage, it rarely last that long.

a few years ago, in an excavation at Culloden, some scraps of wool were found from the battle of culloden, (1766) and this was considered 'ancient wool'--and it was considered remarkable that it has survived. (200 year old wool, rare!)

but there are woolen garments that have been found in places (tombs mostly) that are older.

i own 40 + year old sweaters.. (still in good condition)



Blog: http://golden-apples.blogspot.com/
Photogallery: http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/oftroy/
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HopkinGreen
Chatty Knitter

182 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2008 :  1:14:29 PM  Show Profile Send HopkinGreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote

1) caron simply soft - hate - knits great in the beginning but gets crunchy and brittle feeling after many washings. soft at first but gets itchy!

Thanks for the heads up on the simply soft. I was given a ton of it by a relative. I was considering making an afghan out of it. Any chance it would wear better if I'm careful not to dry it in the dryer or if I handle it with care? Does anyone know?
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  04:46:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Opal sock yarn. A little rough to knit with but 5 year old socks, worn a lot, machine washed, still look almost brand new.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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loribird
New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  05:09:03 AM  Show Profile Send loribird a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit a lot of socks, and they're the item that get the most wear around my house. So far, the Opal and the Patons Kroy are holding up the best - machine washed always, sometimes machine dried, worn weekly, and still looking new. It's been about two years. My Trekking XXL socks have really done well too.

My Socks That Rock Medium-weight, however, has not fared so well - lots of pilling and holes formed under the toes in less than six months.

My two oldest sweaters (3 years) are made with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Classic Elite Renaissance (both are 100% wool, not merino but not too scratchy.) There's been some pilling, more with the Renaissance, but nothing a little sweater-shaving wouldn't keep under control. The colors have stayed true and they haven't stretched out of shape, so I'm happy.
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momslake
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
559 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  06:32:26 AM  Show Profile Send momslake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with what has been said about Peace Fleece. Cestari - the old kind - is pretty good, too; almost no pilling, and it softens up quite nicely. Wool of the Andes also seems to hold up nicely. I've knit a sweater and a pair of felted slippers with it. Neither one is pilling much, and the slippers are worn every day. I've only washed these twice, so we'll see if I'm still singing the same tune in two years. I also like Plymouth Encore for durability. I don't often knit with acrylic, but I'll use Encore for boot socks and sweaters/hoodies that I need to be able to machine wash and dry. It does stretch a little bit after awhile, but it usually pops right back into shape after washing and drying.

"In the northern wilderness, where wool is a way of life."
My Photos (not all knitting) http://www.flickr.com/photos/9944308@N08/
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PBELKNAP
Permanent Resident

USA
1133 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  06:44:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where can one get Peace Fleece?

*************************
PAM

WIP = Afghan (crochet), Knit Your Bit Scarf for the WWII Museum (knit - charity)

Done this year = Scrap Scarf (knit)

If I could only do this for a living...
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lnadeau@comcast.net
New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  07:32:52 AM  Show Profile Send lnadeau@comcast.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Peace Fleece has its own web site: www.peacefleece.com. You can see excellent close-ups of the colors, which are lovely, and shipping is prompt and efficient. This really is wonderful, and somewhat underappreciated, yarn!

Lynne N.
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aprilshowers
Chatty Knitter

295 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  07:42:11 AM  Show Profile Send aprilshowers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://www.peacefleece.com/

ETA: Whoops, I see someone else has already responded!
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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  08:21:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The yarns that have held up in sweaters for me the best are:

Rowan Polar - My six year old sweater still looks as good as it did after I made it. I wear it at least once or twice a month in the winter and have had very little pilling problems. It makes me sad that Rowan stopped making this yarn. It's a bit fuzzy on its own but that's was the appeal of it.

Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb - I used this before I knew about Lamb's Pride. My first sweater is knit out of this and after 12 years has very little pilling. It's so tightly knit and warm that it's almost too warm to wear.

So many things I give as gifts so I honestly don't know how they are holding up.

erica :)
leetle knits blog
Join the Midwest Knitters' Blog Ring
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happystasher
Chatty Knitter

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  08:23:14 AM  Show Profile Send happystasher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I personaly love Plymouth Galway for a good, sturdy, work horse wool. It comes in a vast array of colors, it's very nice to knit with, and it has great stitch definition so it's perfect for arans or fisherman knits. I have a few sweaters made of Galway, one of which I've had for over 15 years and it still looks great, with minimal pilling -- a sweater shaver can take care of that. It is not machine washable, but washing it with Eucalan or one of the other no rinse type fiber washes works well. It's a great wool for felting too! I just love it. Oh, and it's not expensive -- good yardage for the $$.

--Lou
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