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 What is your favorite Superwash wool?
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mlsnrt
New Pal

48 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  09:44:10 AM  Show Profile Send mlsnrt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just made a sweater for my 2 1/2 year old son in KnitPicks Bare worsted superwash 100% merino. Its wonderfully soft, but started to pill the first time he wore it. Maybe if I want soft I need to put up with pills, but I was wondering if any of you have a favorite superwash wool that's a bit more durable for children's items. He's been thoroughly abusing it, testing the stretch of the pocket and hood (its a wonderful wallaby), but I had hoped it would hold up without pilling a little longer than it did.

Thanks,

Lauren

MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  11:05:45 AM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used Lion wool Ease for my daughters hat and mitts and that seems to have held up to her wear. It is a blend, but it's soft, cheap, pretty... I try to avoid 100% wools unless they are so soft you can barely feel them. I hate itchies!
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Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  11:43:31 AM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've used Cascade Superwash for some kids things and it's a sturdy yarn but also not stiff or scratchy. It's also reasonably priced.
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onemorerow
Gabber Extraordinaire

424 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  4:38:16 PM  Show Profile Send onemorerow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recently made two hats with superwash wool from Elanns. I got their housebrand superwash chunky, it seemed more heavy worsted. Real soft and pretty. I also got their housebrand luxury merino superwash which seemed real similiar to the Cascade wool. Liked them both, I don't know how they will wash though. But I would buy them again.
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8kids4me
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
398 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  5:18:06 PM  Show Profile Send 8kids4me a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cascade 220 Superwash. I made a baby sweater with it and my daughter says it just gets nicer and nicer.

Cindy B
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Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  5:54:09 PM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made some fingerless gloves from the Elann superwash merino DK weight and although it is lovely yarn it began to fuzz almost immediately. Probably fine for many things but I'm not so sure about kids clothing.
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watcher
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
449 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2008 :  6:38:21 PM  Show Profile Send watcher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No alternative suggestions, just a couple of comments.

I used Knitpicks Swish (superwash worsted) for a fair isle hat and mittens for my just turned four year old, and recently finished a sweater for him. The hat and mittens are getting almost daily use at school and are holding up fine with little pilling, the sweater pills like crazy and has only been worn a few times and washed a couple of times.

The difference is that the hat and mittens were knit on much smaller needles (US size 4's I think, I knit these over a year ago) than the sweater (US size 6 or 7, finished a couple of months ago).

I've thought that much of the yarn I've gotten from Knitpicks is lighter than the weight and gauge listed on the label (swish, essential sock, shine sport, dancin' (elastic cotton wool sock), and shadow) - I've preferred the fabric that I get from much smaller needles than recommended on the labels. I will still use the Swish, but swatching first!

Jean Marie
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Heritagelady
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  06:03:43 AM  Show Profile Send Heritagelady a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I own a yarn shop and have access to lots of yarn and see what customers use most. My all time favorite recommendation that wears like IRON, is a yarn from Australia called Heirloom Easy Care. It comes in 5, 8 and 12 ply versions. It is a superwash merino according to their color card. One of my staff members knit the Debbie Bliss child's dress with sheep dancing around the skirt. Avery wore it for a year - a LOT - and it came back to the shop and was put on disply until the next season. You'd NEVER have believed it had even been worn.
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  06:09:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dream in Color is a great superwash 100% merino wool. It comes in several weights and lots of colors. It is dyed in such a way that the colors do not pool.
http://www.yarnandfiber.com/catalog/dreamincolor.php?cPath=22_932_987&sort=2a&page=1


It is best to buy it in the local yarn shop (in my opinion) because the pictures of this yarn online vary quite a bit it seems. The yarn I bought said Nightwatch on the label, but looks much more like Dusky Aurora to me in the pictures. Maybe it was accidentally mislabeled. It’s pretty to me, whatever the name.

Here’s a picture of the vest I knit with the worsted weight called “Classy”:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71099383@N00/2180978894/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71099383@N00/2180979038/

A super enjoyable yarn to knit and wear. The vest looks good with many different colored tops.

This would be a different look for a baby blanket, but they do have some pink/peach, various blues, and a soft green tone that would work well I think.

I've used Knit Picks Swish worsted and was pleased with it also.

Barbara

www.southernfriedknittin.blogspot.com
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grammyknits
Chatty Knitter

108 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  06:11:49 AM  Show Profile Send grammyknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I second the recommendation for Heirloom yarn! Its a wonderfully soft and durable yarn; suitable for any project but especially for the ones that will be used for the kiddies.
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caroline@corbettstaff.com
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  06:25:13 AM  Show Profile Send caroline@corbettstaff.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crystal Palace Merino 5 - super soft, doog stitch definition, limited colors - but new yarn so hopefully more to come.
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Knitski
New Pal

27 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  06:29:36 AM  Show Profile Send Knitski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Technically not a superwash wool, as it IS an 80/20 wool acrylic blend....but I do like Wool-Ease for kids stuff.

Heck - I even have to admit that a sweater I knit for myself - only my second attempt at a sweater so I didn't want to go overboard ($$$), was knit in Wool-ease about 3 years ago and it has held up VERY well. I wear it a LOT, and have lost track of how many times its been thru the wash.

In contrast - I later made a sweater out of Rowan Big Wool....not that you would ever look to knit an easy care kids garment with that - but it pilled with the first wearing and looked like crap shortly after. Made me sick, considering how much the yarn cost me. If you held the 2 sweaters side by side you would swear the WoolEase sweater is one made with the "good" yarn.
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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  07:23:48 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's interesting about the durability of Heirloom and Dream in Color since I think both wools are Australian in origin. I wonder if the Aussie merino has longer, sturdier fibers...
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eimay@aol.com
New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  08:22:26 AM  Show Profile Send eimay@aol.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, I cross the line here. For grandkids, I use Canadiana by Patons. It's an acrylic, it's soft, reasonably prices, and takes a lot of abuse.
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Mommy2chipmunk
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  10:01:00 AM  Show Profile Send Mommy2chipmunk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also made a Wonderful Wallaby for my active 3 year old using Knit Picks Swish, and had the same problem. However, I bought a 5.99 sweater shaver from Target, and it made the bad little pills go away, and it looks like new. Seems to pill less now, as well. Try it out!
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MelissK
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  10:36:11 AM  Show Profile Send MelissK a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My understanding of wool is that pilling is more likely in very fine grades (smaller diameter of the individual hair), less in larger (coarser) grades. Wool has scales on it, more scale on the finer grades than coarser grades (I think - one or the other! :). The treatments applied to wool to make it 'superwash' does something to suppress the scales' tendency to stick out, so the finished item won't felt when you wash it.

Eventually, pills stop forming as the more exposed scales do their pilling bit. As Mommy2chipmunk said, a de-piller will remove the pills. As will a pair of scissors, if you're really careful!

There is an early KnitPicks podcast wherein Kelly Petkun talks about wool, scales, & crimp, as does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool.


--
Melissa Kaplan
www.anapsid.org
www.lizards-in-scarves.blogspot.com
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hulllj@telus.net
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  1:03:58 PM  Show Profile Send hulllj@telus.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This one is easy to answer! Mission Falls 100% merino superwash.
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DulcimerKnitter
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  1:22:11 PM  Show Profile Send DulcimerKnitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have an opinion about Red Heart "McIntosh"? It is 70% acrylic and 30% wool, so it seems like it would be similar to Lion Wool Ease. I like the colors and it is very affordable, but I don't want to buy it if it doesn't work up well and/or doesn't hold up to washing. I want to make an adult sweater that has a few cables. Thank you.
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mlsnrt
New Pal

48 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  1:51:42 PM  Show Profile Send mlsnrt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, this has been super informative! Thanks everyone! I've learned about some new yarns that I didn't know existed and have a list now of ones I want to try. For my next project - some brightly colored hats for my girls out of "Kristin Knits" - I think I'm going to try the Cascade 220 superwash. I found it on a great sale for $7.49 (http://www.alpacadirect.com/) and I LOVE the color selection. I'll be trying a lot of the other ones you have all suggested, too. And mommy2chipmunk - great reminder about the sweater shaver, I'll have to pick one up.

Thanks again and I'll keep checking back for any new suggestions or those that want to second ones that have already been mentioned!

Lauren
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justclaire
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  2:26:28 PM  Show Profile Send justclaire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting the question - I have been pondering the best options for kid garments too. I have been thinking about Jo Sharp Classic Wool or Cascade 220. Both seem to hold up well.
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gothy
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  5:55:08 PM  Show Profile Send gothy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dale of Norway's Falk yarn is washable, comes in a wide array of colors, and has a ton of pattern support, since it's a direct substitute for their classic Heilo yarn. I believe they've discontinued Hauk, which was Falk with a Teflon coating, but it makes terrific water-resistant outerwear and is still available in many shops.

In general, yarn will pill less when it is knit more tightly. In my experience, most well-made yarns will pill a bit at the beginning and then stop. I've been happy with KnitPicks' Swish and Cascade 220 Superwash, as well as Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino blended line (though others have had problems with it, so proceed with caution). Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash is a good choice as well.

I've seen lovely items made from Heirloom yarns, which are available in the US in some shops. If your LYS doesn't carry them, ask them to contact their wholesale distributor, Russi Sales (www.russisales.com).

I have to say that Lion's Wool-Ease is the only yarn I've knit with which has literally fallen apart in the wash. Brown socks made from it developed strange white halos which eventually separated completely from the rest of the fibers, making hole repair impossible. If you're going to invest your time in knitting or crocheting something, invest an extra dollar or two and buy a good quality yarn.

Speaking of socks, the vast majority of sock yarns are a blend of roughly 75% wool and 25% nylon, and hold up beautifully, without ever pilling. If you can't find one thick enough for your project, try holding two strands together. KnitPicks' Felici is very soft, but looks great after many washings and wearings, and won't break the bank.
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