The knitwear thread

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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I recently was able to purchase the sweater of my dreams, a Heavy Knit 8-12 ply McGeorge vintage cardigan in a nice camel/tan color. The best part is that it is pretty much a perfect fit and that it weighs nearly 3 pounds (2 pounds 14 ounces). I definitely plan to keep this forever, and I'll just need to make sure I stay fit so I can always fit into it. I also recently acquired a Heavyweight Malo as well but the quality isn't quite as good as the McGeorge. But it still has a great cable knit design to it and is worth owning for sure.

View attachment 33531
3 pounds, wow! So lucky. I have a 3 pound knit and it is so warm, but it is really hard wool and not near as comfortable as my cashmere cables, however it is the most dense knitted jumper I own. I can hold it up to the light and barely any light shines through it. It is basically windproof and bullet proof....i've never seen anything like it. It is about 80 years old and tough as old boots....puts the heaviest top market aran jumpers to shame, it is twice as heavy and far superior in quality.

Tell me about your Malo.

My 8 - 10 ply Malo is quite heavy and is one of my warmest jumpers, however the knit density is not as high as my old Scottish knitwear, but it is still a great jumper.

My old made-in-England N Peal cashmere 6 ply cardigan is a show stopper, and it has not pilled one bit despite being roughed around. This cardigan sadly has low armholes and the shawl collar is not double thickness like my Ballantyne, but it is a great piece to wear none-the-less.

N Peal cashmere shawl 6 ply 1.jpg

My Ballantyne 6 ply is my most luxurious purchase. The cashmere is decadent and the collar is over an inch thick when worn. It has high armholes and is utter perfection. It was originally too big, but l sent it to one of the world's foremost knitting experts and she took half of it apart and reknitted it on a loom in exactly the original knit pattern. I waited for many months and paid BIG $$$ to have it done, but it was worth it for a Ballantyne masterpiece that is no longer available and would be the finest cardigan ever made. It is a landmark piece as rare as hens teeth and the results of the alteration were perfection. She actually reknit parts of the cardigan.
Ballantyne 6 ply burgundy cashemere  shawl collar 1.jpg

My other rare masterpiece is my 4 ply Ballantyne cashmere intarsia. It bought it unworn and have never seen anything as luxurious as that. I feel very lucky to own it. This would have taken so many days to make and was BIG $$$$ in the 80's. You won't see such decadent masterpieces like this anymore. It is so beautiful to wear and reminds me of an old woolen jumper I used to wear in the 80's.

I like that I am wearing one of the most luxurious pieces of clothing ever made, yet 99.9999% of people would have no idea and think it is probably just a $20 jumper. I like the fact that only a few would really know what it is. It is the same when wearing Lattanzi shoes, most would think they are just ordinary shoes where-as the reality is vastly different. I like extremely high quality clothing without looking expensive.
Ballantyne 4 ply intarsia 1.jpg Ballantyne 4 ply intarsia 2.jpg
 
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Swiss

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46
Hi
Thanks a lot for the warm welcome.
There are indeed quite a few cases of Covid in Switzerland be we are not under a strict confinement. Schools and non essential shops are shut and gathering of more than 5 people are forbidden. Other than that we are free to go about life as normal so we're lucky to be able to enjoy the nature and mountain. We just need to be sensible.

I will post a few photos of sweaters and cardigans. I must say, I am very jealous of many of those you guys have posted here. The McGeorge above is gorgeous. I love thick ply cardigans.

To Shooman's comment above, my staple attire at home is: Zimmerli sea island long sleeve Tshirt, cashmere V-neck and a thick cardigan. That implies keeping a cool temperature in the house and my wife is not always happy with it :). I am always a little sad at this time of the year when it gets a little warm for layering.

Thanks a lot Shooman for the comments and suggestion on possible positioning of a knitwear business.
I am very much of the same opinion as you regarding the general low level of education regarding quality clothing in general and knits in particular.
It is a hard sell to convince people of buying scottish type of knitwear when it is more costly and less fluffy (at least before a few washes) than most others...
However, I believe there is a trend back towards quality and buying things for the long run... How much of the population does that concern is the question.
I wonder how much of an interest there could be for made-to-measure knits... I know a few houses (N.Peal for instance) do it... And also for intarsia
I have also developed an interest in darning, especially the visible type which I am planning to experiement on an old N.Peal sweater
Thanks a lot again and I look forward to further discussion
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Maybe it would be good to make a film that educates and brings back the old romance of made-in-Scotland knitwear. You could also do well produced videos of you interviewing others...why?...so you could become famous and have people want to come to YOU!

Kirby Alison has become famous and people buy heaps of stuff off him because of what he promotes, how he promotes it and who he is. You could become famous too.

I will tell you a secret....there is a big hole in the knitwear market, no-one is promoting it and making videos about it and giving people reasons to buy from them. They sell knitwear, but they don't sell the romance and knitwear lifestyle because they are manufacturers and don't understand real marketing despite hiring college kids to do it (all of the knitwear marketing done by college kids is dull). None of them market very well...they don't bring it to life and make people want that brand. You could be `Mr Knitwear', the guy in the 6 ply skivvy everyone goes to for knitwear and the guy everyone wants to meet. Take the time to network at the stores and online and be a big time knitwear man.
 

Lobbster

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172
The market for expensive knitwear is oversaturated with basically every need being served already. Regarding fit the Italians cut longer and slimmer, the Scots shorter and wider. If you want a expensive brand name and good quality there's Cucinelli or Loro Piana, in the mid-range you have Luca Faloni, John Smedley and in the low-quality range there's plenty of brands at department stores. Fibres range from alpaca to cotton to even vicuna, so there's something for everyone. Quite a few shops offer MTM nowadays, Saman Amel from Sweden, Maximillian Mogg from Germany and I've seen it in Italy aswell.

The average customer doesn't differentiate by quality but price so these 50€ cashmere jumpers at ALDI will be your main competitior.
Overheated buildings and warm winters have put an end to the demand for thick and heavy knits which have been replaced by lighter Italians products and anything resembling sweatshirt fabric. During cold days most people seem to go for warmer overcoats on top of their year round clothing.

Still, all of this doesn't mean that there isn't enough room for another company, granted the products fit the bill. What I personally miss are decently price knits for summer days and nice models in Alpaca. Another thing are intarsia jumpers with motifs or diamond patterns like the old Ballantyne ones, though this might bee too niche.
 

Kingstonian

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‘Overheated buildings and warm winters have put an end to the demand for thick and heavy knits which have been replaced by lighter Italians products and anything resembling sweatshirt fabric. During cold days most people seem to go for warmer overcoats on top of their year round clothing.’

Fleece is a lot easier maintenance. People go to that for warmth.

‘I will tell you a secret....there is a big hole in the knitwear market, no-one is promoting it and making videos about it and giving people reasons to buy from them.’

I am not sure about the ‘hole in the market’. People are used to heated buildings. Outdoors they go for technical fabrics or fleece.

There could be a promotional opportunity but it is a big ask. Nostalgia could work; otherwise you would have to latch on to a trend, or a particular demographic that is open to wearing wooden jumpers once more.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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5,684
I am not sure about the ‘hole in the market’. People are used to heated buildings. Outdoors they go for technical fabrics or fleece.

There could be a promotional opportunity but it is a big ask. Nostalgia could work; otherwise you would have to latch on to a trend, or a particular demographic that is open to wearing wooden jumpers once more.
This is the problem: central heating, not at only at home, but the equivalent everywhere else.

I'm a big fan of the cut and look of woolen jumpers, especially with certain shirts and ties. Also a good Dirty Harry look. But at best here in the Netherlands it's a 3 month gig - in a bad winter. So I just go with cotton jumpers now. You don't get the same level of boldness or cut, but at least you don't feel like you've wasted money on moth fodder when you put them away after the winter.
 

ballmouse

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168
Not to sidetrack the conversation, but I had started a thread in the other forum about a groupbuy for the rollnecks I was making in NYC. Very little momentum. But maybe COVID-19 has screwed up everyone's financial situation.

Regardless, I think regarding the higher end sweaters that go for $250+ they are pretty underwhelming unless at the very high end. And certainly marketing sweaters correctly and having a nice year-round one with a flexible yarn you'd realize they aren't so much blankets that keep you feeling hot as they are temperature-normalizing where you feel quite temperate for a range of temperatures.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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5,684
Not to sidetrack the conversation, but I had started a thread in the other forum about a groupbuy for the rollnecks I was making in NYC. Very little momentum. But maybe COVID-19 has screwed up everyone's financial situation.

Regardless, I think regarding the higher end sweaters that go for $250+ they are pretty underwhelming unless at the very high end. And certainly marketing sweaters correctly and having a nice year-round one with a flexible yarn you'd realize they aren't so much blankets that keep you feeling hot as they are temperature-normalizing where you feel quite temperate for a range of temperatures.
It does depend on where you live. Here, it can be similar to where I am originally from on the Wirral peninsular, in that it can be low summer temperatures 18-22-25C and you can still sweat like you're in sub-tropical location. Not always, but some of the time. Depending on the tidal Cheshire gap micro-climate. And here in the Netherlands the North Sea gives a similar effect at times, even more sub-tropical. Especially late summer last year after the shitty wet conditions until late July.
 

ballmouse

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168
Certainly you don't want to wear a sweater when it's consensus hot or warm. Though I think there are a few which are nice to wear even when the temperature is cool or not much of a concern. The issue is that most folks are used to wearing t-shirts or shirts only without jackets even in the fall so they can't fathom wearing sweaters outside winter.
 

Lobbster

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172
Is fleece popular in the UK? In Central Europe I only seem to see them on more outdoor-sy types, sweaters are where it's at.

Another thing is that the transitional periods between the cold/warm seasons are basically gone in Central Europe. It usually jumps from up to 10°c degrees to over 20°c in April while it's even warmer in direct sunlight. I wear heavy knitwear up until 10°c and this year it was quite decent from late November to mid-March, the year before I wore my jumpers for exactly two weeks in early December.

Over 15°c double layers with an overcoat make me sweat so I usually go for a shirt plus a Harrington or a Barbour depending on the conditions.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
If this is real, it is perhaps the rarest and most exclusive knitwear ever offered on ebay. First time seller. The issue is, does 6 ply vicuna exist??? Who could afford such a luxury, would there be a market for it??? This would be well into 5 figures if this were real.

Loro piana - 6 ply vicuna RARE RARE RARE.jpg


 
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Swiss

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46
Interesting listing...
In my view there are a few alarm bells here (new seller, only two photos of mediocre quality...)
Also, Loro Piana vicuna sweaters have the 'Vicuna Peru' label which is absent here (could it be an earlier generation from a time where this label was not present...?)
Here is a photo of the labels on a sweater of mine (btw there is also always a size tag underneath the brand tag. I cannot see it here)
 

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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Interesting listing...
In my view there are a few alarm bells here (new seller, only two photos of mediocre quality...)
Also, Loro Piana vicuna sweaters have the 'Vicuna Peru' label which is absent here (could it be an earlier generation from a time where this label was not present...?)
Here is a photo of the labels on a sweater of mine (btw there is also always a size tag underneath the brand tag. I cannot see it here)

Please tell me about your vicuna jumper.

1). how soft is it compared to cashmere?
2). how warm is it compared to cashmere?

Do you prefer vicuna or cashmere, and why?
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Really treated myself to my ultimate knitwear treat on this cold day. Pulled out my fabulous thick made-in-Scotland cashmere light grey Laminar turtleneck (build to last) today with my 6 ply Ballantyne shawl collar cardigan over it. Such wonderful plush warmth. Also wore it with shell cordovan shoos, 4 ply alpaca sox and tweed trousers. Such a treat.

It's really tough trying to wear wool when compared to cashmere. The drape, the feel and the warmth of cashmere is incomparable. Top cashmere woolens are one of life's great indulgences. I really love my winters.
 

Swiss

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Messages
46
Really treated myself to my ultimate knitwear treat on this cold day. Pulled out my fabulous thick made-in-Scotland cashmere light grey Laminar turtleneck (build to last) today with my 6 ply Ballantyne shawl collar cardigan over it. Such wonderful plush warmth. Also wore it with shell cordovan shoos, 4 ply alpaca sox and tweed trousers. Such a treat.

It's really tough trying to wear wool when compared to cashmere. The drape, the feel and the warmth of cashmere is incomparable. Top cashmere woolens are one of life's great indulgences. I really love my winters.
I know the feeling
I am happy these days that foul weather has come back to switzerland
I am enjoying an old seamless hermes cashmere sweater. But I know this is one of the last few times until October ...
 

Swiss

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46
Please tell me about your vicuna jumper.

1). how soft is it compared to cashmere?
2). how warm is it compared to cashmere?

Do you prefer vicuna or cashmere, and why?
I have 3 vicuna sweaters
The loro piana above and a couple from Fedeli (one very thin for mid season and one standard)
Interestingly the heavier fedeli is more soft and fluffy than the loro piana. I think it got softer after a few washes...
To be quite frank vicuna is slightly nicer than cashmere but the difference in quality is much less than the difference in price.
I have also a vicuna top coat and that is quite amazing ... here I can see more difference between vicuna and top cashmere coats
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
I have 3 vicuna sweaters
The loro piana above and a couple from Fedeli (one very thin for mid season and one standard)
Interestingly the heavier fedeli is more soft and fluffy than the loro piana. I think it got softer after a few washes...
To be quite frank vicuna is slightly nicer than cashmere but the difference in quality is much less than the difference in price.
I have also a vicuna top coat and that is quite amazing ... here I can see more difference between vicuna and top cashmere coats

Interesting. Must be pretty nice to own it. I once had a chance to own vicuna pieces, one by Ballantyne and another by some other maker, but l didn't want to pay the prices wanted at the time. Naturally l regret it now.
I know the feeling
I am happy these days that foul weather has come back to switzerland
I am enjoying an old seamless hermes cashmere sweater. But I know this is one of the last few times until October ...
The hermes' made-in-Scotland cashmere is fabulous no matter who makes it, it hits all the right notes. It is soft and solid. I wore my classic plush orange hermes' turtleneck last week and it was a complete delight to wear, the best turtleneck l own, so luxurious. The next day l wore my grey hermes' v neck, and once again it was a delight because it was so plush and luxurious.

This morning l have my hermes' dark brown polo on, and that is a solid piece also, but even better is that l am wearing my 4 ply Ballantyne intarsia over it. That intarsia is an incredible piece and one of my most luxurious cashmere pieces and very plush also. All are great pieces of clothing.

I will say that out of all my cashmere pieces, hermes' is the most plush thick and luxurious feeling. Even the modern made Hermes' is really good. They seem to have it made to a certain high standard, and no matter who the manufacture is, it is always very good. I suspect Barry (bought by Chanel) might manufacture the Hermes' cashmere these days.
 
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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
I have 3 vicuna sweaters
The loro piana above and a couple from Fedeli (one very thin for mid season and one standard)
Interestingly the heavier fedeli is more soft and fluffy than the loro piana. I think it got softer after a few washes...
To be quite frank vicuna is slightly nicer than cashmere but the difference in quality is much less than the difference in price.
I have also a vicuna top coat and that is quite amazing ... here I can see more difference between vicuna and top cashmere coats
how does your vicuna pill much compared with cashmere?
 

Swiss

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46
Very little piling actually
I have had both excellent and disappointing experiences with hermes made in italy
For instance a cardigan that lost shape after handwshing
The tension is not always there

I have a few yak and wool hermes sweaters that are really nice to wear also
What I would love to find is a nice kiviut sweater or cardigan but everything I’ve seen was loosely knit and not attractive...
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Very little piling actually
I have had both excellent and disappointing experiences with hermes made in italy
For instance a cardigan that lost shape after handwshing
The tension is not always there

I have a few yak and wool hermes sweaters that are really nice to wear also
What I would love to find is a nice kiviut sweater or cardigan but everything I’ve seen was loosely knit and not attractive...

I've only worn the Hermes made-in-Scotland. It is twice the price of the made-in- Italy offerings but the quality is outstanding. I personally haven't been tempted by their Italian offerings.

I've been looking at kiviut also. Anderson & Sheppard has some stunning stuff in the past and might get some again.
Anderson & Sheppard knitwear 1.jpg
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
If this is real, it is perhaps the rarest and most exclusive knitwear ever offered on ebay. First time seller. The issue is, does 6 ply vicuna exist??? Who could afford such a luxury, would there be a market for it??? This would be well into 5 figures if this were real.

View attachment 33633

This sold for $861.00 U.S.
Loro piana - 6 ply vicuna RARE RARE RARE 1.jpg


I wrote to Loro Piana and sent them a link to the auction and asked if they have ever made 6 ply Vicuna. Will be interesting to see what they have to say.

The other thing l notice are the number people being conned by the word Vicuna. It is often used as a word to describe the colour and not the wool type. A number of people at S.F claim to be getting vicuna coats and scarves etc for $10 or $40, but that is highly unlikely. Lots of trickery going around that word.
 

Kingstonian

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2,022
This sold for $861.00 U.S.
View attachment 33658

I wrote to Loro Piana and sent them a link to the auction and asked if they have ever made 6 ply Vicuna. Will be interesting to see what they have to say.

The other thing l notice are the number people being conned by the word Vicuna. It is often used as a word to describe the colour and not the wool type. A number of people at S.F claim to be getting vicuna coats and scarves etc for $10 or $40, but that is highly unlikely. Lots of trickery going around that word.
That sounds like the use of the word cordovan. It can be an expensive leather made from a horse or it can be a fancy word for a colour.
 

Kingstonian

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2,022
On a more mundane level, with time on my hands, I have successfully managed to shrink a jumper I have had for a good many years.

I washed it in very hot water. Then shoved it in the tumble dryer.

Don’t worry it’s not vicuña or cashmere. It’s just plain British wool.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
On a more mundane level, with time on my hands, I have successfully managed to shrink a jumper I have had for a good many years.

I washed it in very hot water. Then shoved it in the tumble dryer.

Don’t worry it’s not vicuña or cashmere. It’s just plain British wool.
I tried to shrink a virgin wool aran jumper once by boiling it and putting it out in the hot sun and it didn't do a single thing to it.
 

Swiss

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46
Upon joining the forum I promised to share a few photos of my sweaters and have been quite busy in the meantime...
For starters, here are a few very thick Hermes items
First two are made in Italy but of beautiful quality (I have had a few disappointing Hermes cardigans from Italy)
The first one is super dense and thick, with leather details. Tight fit,so very nice under a waxed jacket
The second is cashmere and sable (20%) with suede details
The third is 'made in great britain'. I have washed it several time and it gets better with time. I think it must have been made by Corgi in Wales...
 

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Kingstonian

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2,022
Upon joining the forum I promised to share a few photos of my sweaters and have been quite busy in the meantime...
For starters, here are a few very thick Hermes items
First two are made in Italy but of beautiful quality (I have had a few disappointing Hermes cardigans from Italy)
The first one is super dense and thick, with leather details. Tight fit,so very nice under a waxed jacket
The second is cashmere and sable (20%) with suede details
The third is 'made in great britain'. I have washed it several time and it gets better with time. I think it must have been made by Corgi in Wales...
I had expected traditional v necks, crew necks, polo necks.

The surprise is a lot of your knitwear features zip closures.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s just more Pep Guardiola than conservative aristocrat.
 

Swiss

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46
Inretesting comparison 😁
For some reason (perhaps my sadness at seeing cold weather probably gone for a few month...). I will post other items that are more traditional and also more for everyday as opposed to winter or mountain heavy knits such as the ones I posted today
I used to be a big fan of polo necks... not so much any longer

Unrelated point: second hand / vintage clothing is pretty much inexistent in Switzerland... so to buy vintage stuff I need to bear significant shipping cost.... in a way I suppose it might make me more selective although I often struggle to resist 😊
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Upon joining the forum I promised to share a few photos of my sweaters and have been quite busy in the meantime...
For starters, here are a few very thick Hermes items
First two are made in Italy but of beautiful quality (I have had a few disappointing Hermes cardigans from Italy)
The first one is super dense and thick, with leather details. Tight fit,so very nice under a waxed jacket
The second is cashmere and sable (20%) with suede details
The third is 'made in great britain'. I have washed it several time and it gets better with time. I think it must have been made by Corgi in Wales...
I really like the first one and the 3rd one.

I am interested in finding out why you bought Hermes knitwear; is it mainly for the quality, or is it for quality and styling, what is the most important factor for you when buying Hermes'?
 

Swiss

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46
Thats not an easy question... Most often, I just purchase a sweater on impulse...
But here is some kind of logic:
- For the most heavy knits I buy most often Hermes and sometimes vintage scottish but I do not often find them unfortunately.
- For medium weight (standard V or crew collar): I used to buy Loro Piana and Colombo and in the last year or so, I'd rather buy vintage scottish with my favourite being vintage Hermes made in scotland
- for the really thin ones, I almost invariable go with Colombo and Malo, I am tall and quite skinny and their fit tends to be slimmer than Loro Piana

Then I have developed this taste for Argyle (which I used to wear as a teen.. and intarsia) and when I find a nice one, I buy it even if I dont necessairly end up wearing it much at all.
I've even bought a few ladies Intarsia for collection when the work is really out of the ordinary...

Oh, and escaping the logic above, during my last trip to Italy (pre Covid), I bought a super thick and fluffy Isaia cardigan. It is the opposite of old scottish knits in a way and will definitely not be as durable but I found it gorgeous and the fit was perfect.
 

Swiss

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46
Here are some photos to illustrate
Heavy knits: Isaia cardigan and a yak and wool quarter zip with leather detail from Hermes (this one is a very dark grey and I have the same in eggplant and another in mid brown).
 

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Swiss

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And lastly for now, bunch of thin crew necks and quarter zips from Malo and Colombo
Not much colour here...:)
 

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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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Swiss said:
- For the most heavy knits I buy most often Hermes and sometimes vintage scottish but I do not often find them unfortunately.
Yes Hermes scotland knits are hard to find. Thick Italian Hermes knits are also quite rare.


Swiss said:
I'd rather buy vintage scottish with my favourite being vintage Hermes made in scotland
Why do you like Hermes' made-in-Scotland?

btw, l feel exactly the same. The hermes scotland knits are the best imo.

Swiss said:
Then I have developed this taste for Argyle (which I used to wear as a teen.. and intarsia) and when I find a nice one, I buy it even if I dont necessairly end up wearing it much at all.
The nicest quality argyles l have ever seen are these four. I own 2 of the four and could have owned 3, but the lady refused to sell me the top one (was brand new 1970's)

John Laing
John Laing amazing 1970's 1.jpg

Alan Paine (had it on for a couple of hours today)
Alan Paine argyle.jpg

Pringle
Pringle argyle - beautiful.jpg

Pringle
Pringle intarsia - stunning.jpg



Swiss said:
Oh, and escaping the logic above, during my last trip to Italy (pre Covid), I bought a super thick and fluffy Isaia cardigan. It is the opposite of old scottish knits in a way and will definitely not be as durable but I found it gorgeous and the fit was perfect.
I know the feeling. I have a beautiful thick Tom Ford made-in-U.K turtleneck, but not as good as the old Scottish stuff. Thick but light and fluffy.
Tom Ford cashmere turtleneck 1.jpg
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,622
Mid weights
A couple of Hermes made in scotland (lilac and grey)

And a couple of argyle (Lyle & Scott and Ballantyne)

And a plain black ballantyne
Haha, I definitely know that Hermes scotland piece. l looked at that many times.

Thanks for showing your knitwear, l appreciate it very much. It's nice knowing what others have.

As for today...it is the coldest day of the year, so l went to the heavy duty knitwear with a 1940's made-in-Scotland lambswool Abercrombie and Fitch. It weighs 3 pounds and is bulletproof. Hardly any light shines through it when it is held up. The densest knit l have ever seen. It's amazing how good the quality is, far better than any of the best arans you see these days, and the thickness and density puts any of them to shame. It was a one in a million purchase and it is a collector's item of the highest order. I wore it up the street while wear tweed trousers and shell cordovan shoes with 4 ply alpaca English socks (also rare) and was warm as toast while everyone else was in thin made-in-china windcheaters etc. See...people don't know about good clothes these days, no-one knows how to keep warm anymore. I cherish the days when l can dress like this...l went all out with my favourite warm clothes and had the time of my life. I look forward to the cold nights when l can wear a thick cashmere overcoat or 34oz peacoat on top of it all. I love good clothes.
ABERCROMBIE and finch heavy 2.jpg ABERCROMBIE and finch heavy 3.jpg

btw, l wore a lambswool polo yesterday morning and it was a shock to the system. I am so used to cashmere that the lambswool felt rough. For me it is cashmere all the way, and any time l wear wool it is a compromise.

95% of my knitwear is cashmere, with most of it being from Scotland, a handful being from Italy and some being from England, some from Ireland, and a bunch being from Australia. The Scottish make the best of the lot, they really know how to make great knitwear.
 
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Kingstonian

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As for today...it is the coldest day of the year, so l went to the heavy duty knitwear with a 1940's made-in-Scotland lambswool Abercrombie and Fitch.
I am reading 13c or 14c for Melbourne weather reports. Not a day when most would need heavy knitwear or big Winter coats. Hence they are just wearing standard High Street clothing. I know you have said you feel the cold before, but that does not apply to everybody.
 

Swiss

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Coldest day of the year... lucky you! :)
Here is quite warm and I am thinking of trying my first swim in the lake of the year (water is at 15 celsius though... so, not sure)
Lovely piece, this abercrombie. I like those heavy rib knits, although I dont own any unfortunately.
My densest piece is a black cardigan from Arny's. It is incredibly thick and dense. I would post a photo but it is in my country house in France... not sure when I will be able to go there again with the Covid situation
I really like the argyle sweaters you posted also. Which are the ones you own?

You seem to have really good sources for great knits! I wish I did also... but like I mentioned above, the is really no culture of second hand and vintage clothing here, sadly

Agree with you on wool feeling rough of course. Merino can be really nice also, and cooler than cashmere, for mid season days.

I realise I did not answer your question about my preference for Scottish Hermes... Well, they feel to me to be the best quality, typically a little thicker and more plush than the usual Ballantyne (which is already amazing of course). Some details are also unique to Hermes as far as I have seen, such as the reinforced armpit seams (althoug it is not on all pieces). I have a black Hermes cardigan that has them (I think it must have been made by Ballantyne)... a really nice touch.

The Italian Hermes I buy only for thicker and more 'fashion oriented' items, lique quarter zips or the ones with leather details.

Malo used to have an amzing outlet near Florence with really good stuff at amazing prices but it doesnt exit any longer. They only have the usual outlet store now which is quite uninteresting. I usually drop by when I go there but it is most often disappointing.

Colombo has a factory store in Northern Italy which is quite interesting. Amongst other things they sell cashmere cuttings that are very nice...
 

Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
46
Whilst mentioning Ballantyne, the following resurfaced in my mind: On the first week end of confinement, I was in Crans Montana (a well know Ski and golf village here in Switzerland) and I saw on one of the good sports and clothing stores a sign with 'The Scotch House' so I went in and found they has quite a large stock of Made in Scotland Ballantyne sweaters and cardigans. They were from different years, according to the labels.
I had a chat with the lady that was fairly knowledgeable and she knew Ballantyne is no longer what it used to be and mentioned she had sourced some of the newer stuff at the beginning and then stopped as the quality was not there any longer...
It was a refreshing experience!
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
2,622
I am reading 13c or 14c for Melbourne weather reports. Not a day when most would need heavy knitwear or big Winter coats.
more like 12c that day and cooler in the afternoon. Ideal weather for thick knitwear.

Swiss said:
Coldest day of the year... lucky you! :)
It's funny how most people like warm sunny days, but knitwear lovers prefer the really cold days. :)


Swiss said:
I really like the argyle sweaters you posted also. Which are the ones you own?
I own the 2nd and 3rd ones (green and the red).

Here is a better angle of how beautiful that John Laing is:
John Laing amazing 1970's 3.jpg

I also own other argyles such as these:

This is a John Laing that is white and dark green. Looks much better than in the photo.
John Laing vintage.jpg


This is a really striking argyle from 1970's Lyle & Scott. One of my favourites. So thick and plush. You should see it in person, it is eye popping.
Lyle & Scott - mine2.jpg

1970's single ply Ballantyne bought locally. A bit small for me now. Very classic colour and design. Ballantyne - mine 3.jpg

This is a goodie. An unknown brand from Scotland called `Highlander'. It is from the 1980's. Highlander argyle.jpg


I also have a number of Ballantyne intarsias.



Swiss said:
I realise I did not answer your question about my preference for Scottish Hermes... Well, they feel to me to be the best quality, typically a little thicker and more plush than the usual Ballantyne (which is already amazing of course). Some details are also unique to Hermes as far as I have seen, such as the reinforced armpit seams (althoug it is not on all pieces).
You are saying exactly the same thing as l say about this. This is why l prefer the Hermes made-in-Scotland cashmere knits.
 
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