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Wallaby Revisited

October 15, 2007

My sister-in-law, Kathleen, is a knitter. She recently finished a frock for her littlest babe (WARNING: cute, chubalicious, baby-in-handknit pic!) and is planning to make a jacket for her oldest girl. When Kathleen told me that she had decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool as an affordable substitute for the Debbie Bliss yarn the pattern called for, I had to speak up. The lure of affordable wool is strong, but my experience tells me that the Paton’s wool is not a good choice for sweaters.

Back in February I made my first Wallaby.

Maggie's Wallaby

Feb, 2007

The yarn was Paton’s Classic Wool and having used less than two balls, the sweater was knit for about $10. A fun knit, as I recall, and also a useful sweater. But look at it now:





The pillage! I remember that even just the act of blocking this little sweater made the yarn begin to pill. As cheap as I am, I would much rather spend twenty or thirty dollars for the same amount of yarn so long as it holds up. It’s not even like Maggie has worn the thing a whole bunch. The sweater has only been worn occasionally; ten times maybe?

I can’t wait for Maggie to grow out of this so I can throw it in the trash. It’s useful in the meantime, and I must say it looks much better with the distraction of a cute body inside of it.

what?  you don't like my hairdo?

“You don’t like my hairdo?”

Kathleen is a busy woman with very little knitting time. I would hate for her to lovingly work on a big project only to be disappointed in the final product.

Have you had the same troubles with Paton’s or was this a fluke?

Just a few other things for today.

  • Kaffe Fassett is going to be doing a workshop in a nearby town on Saturday. I’m going to call to see if there are any more openings left. It’s my birthday present!
  • My birthday is Thursday. I will be 28. Some days I feel so young, some days I feel so old.
  • Yes, that is a new sweater hiding under the Wallaby above. It’s still wet from blocking. Deets forthcoming.
  • Nothing like knitting a quickie sweater for a small person to renew the mojo.
  • Also good for the mojo? Admitting that the sweater for my sister is a pile of crap, then moving on. Apologies to Holly, but I think you’ll still get a sweater:

Fairisle yoke swatch
You likey?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2007 11:39 am

    I have had the same problem with Patons Wool, even though it tends to be my yarn of choice because of the price. I just keep knitting with it and picking off the pills. Have you had better luck with Cascade 220? I’ve never tried it, but always considred it, especially when Webs has a sale.

  2. October 15, 2007 11:51 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love the colours. From which EZ book is this pattern?

    Also, the wonderful wallaby is on my list of things to do this winter. Any hints on where I can buy the pattern?

  3. October 15, 2007 12:04 pm

    Can’t wait to see the dress.

    Happy early b-day. What a great birthday present. There are going to be some jealous knit-night girls. šŸ™‚

    The swatch looks great. HOW do you keep all those strings separate and not getting all tangly?

  4. October 15, 2007 12:04 pm

    The swatch is from the Opinionated Knitter, p. 11, “Fairisle Yoke Sweater”.

  5. October 15, 2007 5:07 pm

    Very pretty! And I’m looking forward to the deets.

  6. October 15, 2007 5:50 pm

    Ooh the colors in the new sweater look beautiful together. Pity about the wallaby sweater too. Maybe you can buy one of those little shaver things that collects the fluff off the jumpers. I have used them before and they work really well. At least it will look a lot nicer without the fluff on it.

  7. October 15, 2007 6:40 pm

    this is good info on the pattons wool. Chris is getting a wallaby for christmas and i was about to buy the wool. I hate having to crack out the sweater shaver!

  8. Sharon permalink
    October 15, 2007 8:38 pm

    Too bad about the pills but I saw this sweater this morning on Flickr and fell in love with the pattern. I’m expecting my first grandchild next year and s/he will definitely be getting this one. If I start soon it might be finished by the time s/he is old enough to wear it. Probably will be knit with homespun, though. Oh, and I love that fair isle swatch.

  9. October 15, 2007 8:45 pm

    You are young! Happy birthday on Thursday if I don’t get a chance to tell you then. Cute cute cute baby. I’ve never used Patons so I don’t have any imput for you. What a bummer about the pilling.

  10. October 15, 2007 8:57 pm

    I have about 7 skeins of PCW sitting in the stash, I was going to use it for a sweater, but not now! I am planning to knit up 2 more wallabies for a neice and a nephew…tlc cotton and cotton ease…i was told to make them uber easy-care… Happy early birthday!

  11. October 15, 2007 9:10 pm

    I think PCW is a pill- factory. I used it once and it pilled worse than anything I’ve ever knit. My Cascade 220 sweater is fine.

  12. October 15, 2007 10:15 pm

    Eek I think it isn’t a fluke and patons does pill like that. I do love cascade 220 and it’s reasonably priced and does come with some good yardage.

  13. October 15, 2007 10:32 pm

    You will be 28? Oh my. I know you don’t want to hear how young you are. I had N at 30, though, so that’s what I get…35 years and counting. Sigh.

    HEY that’s great to know about Paton’s Classic Wool. I have some that I was going to use for their “Must Have Cardigan” but maybe I’ll put it up for trade instead. I don’t like pillage like that–that reminds me of the Plymouth Encore I used for my niece’s Wallaby. It looked like that the last time I saw it. I’d rather use Brown Sheep Naturespun or .. well..anything else. And yes, pay more for it, too.

    ok, long enough comment already.

  14. terri permalink
    October 15, 2007 11:35 pm

    I made a vest from Patons wool. I love the vest but yes, it’s starting to pill. Hasn’t been worn too many times, but looks older than it should.

    I think it may be the same color as the sweater on the chubalicious baby, such a nice rose color!

    I am going to try Cascase 220 next time, hope it is less pilly!

  15. h-spo permalink
    October 16, 2007 12:07 am

    me likey the sweater. this is totally inappropriate, but jose and i call hairdo’s like the mag’s in that pic “sex hair”. HA.

  16. October 16, 2007 12:44 pm

    I echo the sentiment about Patons- I have no experience, but a friend has (oddly, for a hoodie for her kiddos). Doesn’t Maggie like it so that she can eat the pills?

    Happy early birthday! I hear you about the young/old.

  17. katie permalink
    October 16, 2007 2:16 pm

    ACKackackack! I just finished a Wallaby in Paton’s Classic Wool! Let me just sit here and stop stressing for a minute.

    OK. So far DJ’s hasn’t pilled, and it has been washed, blocked, and worn once and tried on about 3 times. Lots of rubbing and stretching and stuff. Hopefully that was a fluke for yours. Because good cheap wool in decent colors shouldn’t have to be a fantasy!

    I love the fair isle. So pretty! And, happy birthday!

  18. aimeedewar permalink
    October 16, 2007 9:02 pm

    That’s a total bummer about the pillage. I have a lot of that stashed away. I’d say try shaving them off. And maybe I’m being too literal, but don’t really throw it in the trash. Somebody would be happy to have a warm sweater for their babe no matter what it looks like!

  19. October 17, 2007 10:01 am

    I haven’t used Patons but I actually had a similar experience with some Debbie Bliss wool! Didn’t see that one coming. I have the Wallaby pattern but haven’t given it a go yet. It’s really adorable!

  20. October 17, 2007 12:47 pm

    no we like the hair do. i think the pilage is awful and there are so many nice and cheap yarns around. life is too short for this. try they have cheap and lovely discontinued yarn. but so does and you don’t have to pay customs.
    oh you are young. but as i recall it i felt just so much older when i was younger…. a paradox.. happy 28th. what a lot of lovely things you have achieved so far.

  21. October 17, 2007 4:17 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    Very cute pictures, and the new October Sweater is lovely. I like how you sewed the fronts together. Very sneaky and clever.

    I’m so impressed by your swatching. I couldn’t do it! My dad is always commenting that I’m sure not afraid to rip things apart… maybe if I swatched like you do it wouldn’t happen as often!

  22. October 18, 2007 10:00 am

    ok here is the link to the exact sweater shaver i have. it is probably not good for the yarn im sure some would say, but i love it and use it when verry necessary!

  23. October 18, 2007 10:01 am

    ok here is the link to the exact sweater shaver i have. it is probably not good for the yarn im sure some would say, but i love it and use it when verry necessary!

  24. October 18, 2007 1:29 pm

    I, too, know the pain of knitting a Wallaby only to have it pill right away. My daughter still loved it, though, and wore it until I couldn’t stand the sight of it! I’m planning to knit 3 more for my other kids and I am trying to be very careful with my yarn selection this time.

  25. October 18, 2007 11:50 pm

    As always, Mags is a doll, but oy! – that pilling. I’ve only used Patons once, for felted clogs, and it was perfect for that.

    Happy birthday!

  26. Bren permalink
    December 30, 2008 10:43 am

    I am trying to finish my Wallaby sweater as my daughter is almost 2 and I have another on the way in a few weeks. Could anyone offer me a little help on-line with the pattern. I have just attached the sleeves and I am having some problems with the directions. My yarn shop helped a little, but they are sometimes a little snooty. Please help!

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