The knitwear thread

The Shooman

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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!

such an enjoyable post to read, makes this thread worthwhile.

For you Swiss Swiss . Boiled compressed dense 3 pound knitwear. Rare.
 
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Swiss

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I had seen that name somewhere but wasnt really familiar with it...
It seems to be an Austrian company and and some of the jackets are typical of the traditional Austrian/ Bavarian outfit
 

Thruth

thicker but more pliant than horsehide
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I had seen that name somewhere but wasnt really familiar with it...
It seems to be an Austrian company and and some of the jackets are typical of the traditional Austrian/ Bavarian outfit
Sweater Chalet are a US-based company and one of the few sources of Dachstein wool products in North America. They import from Austria. Nice people to deal with. I buy gloves and mitts from them. I sourced my military sweaters from another source though. You and The Shooman The Shooman are all about being SuperPlyCashmereGuys™ for warmth but the 4-ply Dachstein mil sweater has been part of my cold weather kit for years. Very flexible in a layering system all the way down to -40 C and beyond. 200 gsm merino base layer top, 400 gsm merino or 200 weight thermal pro over than, Dachstein jumper then a regular cotton, Ventile or soft-shell anorak. That is good down to -30 C easy and for hours at that temp. Throw on one more layer (light down or synthetic) and you are good for -50+ C with the windchill. On its own it is very windproof due to the denseness of the wool and the weave. The standup collar is soft as I have it up in the cold and I rarely use a hood.

Other colours of wool + crewneck makes for a nice casual sweater. Surface texture of the weave is different.

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.47.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.48.02 PM.png



You also mentioned qiviuk. I think it is over-rated. In a previous life my boss ran the development corp for the Inuvialuit people in the Northwest Territories and they had the market cornered on Canadian qiviuk. As a perk, I got deals on qiviuk knitwear. It is soft and it is warm on a weight-for-warmth basis but it is fragile. Would not have a jumper in it. It is a lot like bison down which is similarly soft, similarly warm and similarly fragile. It needs to be in a blend. A MTM bison sweater will cost you $450 and it is a 33% bison, 33% alpaca and 34% merino. That makes a bulletproof, practical sweater.

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 2.03.53 PM.png


Here is what qiviuk and bison look like on their own.
Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 2.04.44 PM.png


I've always found qiviuk good for women's gifts and musk oxen are not exotic to me. I also worked in Bolivia so llama, alpaca and even vicuna gear could be bought in the Canchas or directly from the factory in Cochabamba. But no one had the ability to make a fine vicuna overcoat for me either.
 
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I meant to respond sooner I have been a bit busy lately. I am glad this thread seems to be picking back up again, it's exciting to come back and find so many posts. I hope we can continue to post about our love for high-quality knitwear. As far as the nearly 3 pound knit I have, it certainly is decadent and will be perfect to wear on cold winter nights. I don't mind a heavy wool sweater as well but I notice that most of the very heavy ones are made of a harder wool as you mentioned and aren't as comfortable. Of course, they are perfect to wear on top of a cashmere turtleneck or crewneck.

The Malo I own is just under 2 pounds like yours and it is a gorgeous piece as far as the design and the colors used. It is not as tight-knit as the Scottish sweaters I own but I definitely am very happy to have it in my collection. It is stupendously warm. Here is a stock photo of it.
malo_cashmere_heavy.jpg



I also wanted to mention that you are extremely lucky to own both of those gorgeous Cashmere 6 ply cardigans! I especially think your Ballantyne 6 ply is one of a kind. I actually recently missed out on a 6 ply Berk Cashmere cardigan in red, similar to both of yours. I was a bit upset about missing out since the fit was pretty close to what I wear if not a tad bit large. Anyways I am sure I will find one at some point, I still want one in a nice red or blue color. I definitely think it was worth paying to get your Ballantyne 6 ply reknit, especially since it is now your favorite piece and you can use it forever since it will last that long. I also think your intarsia by Ballantyne is stunning, I'll need to be on the lookout for something similar. I will also post two other recent finds of vintage cashmere I recently acquired in a separate post.

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.

View attachment 33533

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.
View attachment 33534

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.
View attachment 33535View attachment 33536
 
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Since Swiss and Shooman have been showing a number of incredible pieces, I figured I will post two newer vintage cashmere pieces I acquired. I want to say, Swiss thanks for posting different items from your collection. I especially loved the Hermes ones and the Isaia cardigan as well. I don't own anything by Hermes yet but one of these days I will. I will be on the lookout for the Scottish pieces. Anyways back to what I was going to share. First off I want to show a gorgeous Ballantyne argyle cashmere cardigan I recently acquired. It is so soft and I absolutely love the ways it feels. It is perfect for Spring and even wearing indoors over a t-shirt.

ballantyne_argyle_cardigan_cashmere.jpg
ballantyne_argyle_cardigan_cashmere_2.jpg

ballantyne_argyle_cardigan_cashmere_3.jpg


Next, I wanted to share this Vintage Pringle of Cashmere Crewneck sweater in a beautiful aqua color It is extremely soft and has no pilling. It is very plush and lofty, most likely a 3 ply. I am not sure what year either are from but both fit perfectly and are of superb quality.

pringleofscotland_aqua_cashmere.jpg
pringleofscotland_aqua_cashmere_2.jpg
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,406
knitwearaddict said:
As far as the nearly 3 pound knit I have, it certainly is decadent and will be perfect to wear on cold winter nights. I don't mind a heavy wool sweater as well but I notice that most of the very heavy ones are made of a harder wool as you mentioned and aren't as comfortable.
I was outside tonight and it is freezing cold, absolutely icy, however l had my heaviest 3 pound Scotland turtleneck and was warm as toast. It did the job with flying colours. It makes me feel so happy when l know l have the best knitwear ready for the coldest of weather. It makes me even happier knowing I have knitwear which no-one can match these days...I have knitwear from the golden age of knitwear.

knitwearaddict said:
The Malo I own is just under 2 pounds like yours and it is a gorgeous piece as far as the design and the colors used. It is not as tight-knit as the Scottish sweaters I own but I definitely am very happy to have it in my collection. It is stupendously warm. Here is a stock photo of it.
View attachment 33737
That would be a 8 - 10 ply, just like my Malo. Btw, l am wearing my Malo quite a lot recently, and will continue wearing it for the next 4 - 5 months.


knitwearaddict said:
I also wanted to mention that you are extremely lucky to own both of those gorgeous Cashmere 6 ply cardigans!
I feel extremely lucky too.


knitwearaddict said:
I especially think your Ballantyne 6 ply is one of a kind.
It is, nothing else would compare. It is a cardigan's cardigan. Those 12 ply from made-in-Scotland O'connells are $1,200 these days, yet those 6 ply Ballantyne were much more pricey back in the old days, so it tells me that the Ballantynes were completely decadent. They don't even have the big name of the Italians, yet they still charged the high prices due to being pure luxury for the few. Probably one of the most luxurious cardigans ever made, and it shows.

knitwearaddict said:
I actually recently missed out on a 6 ply Berk Cashmere cardigan in red, similar to both of yours. I was a bit upset about missing out since the fit was pretty close to what I wear if not a tad bit large.
Wow, that sounds like a dream. Lucky I didn't know about it, I think my sizing is slightly bigger than you and it may have fit me. Then again, at the moment l am not buying much because the exchange rate makes it too prohibitive.

knitwearaddict said:
Anyways I am sure I will find one at some point, I still want one in a nice red or blue color.
Your time will come, and it is a waiting game. 6 plys are not that common, so get ready to snag it when that rare opportunity comes. You'll have it for years and won't be worry. It can be painful to pay the money at first, but you'll be glad that you did.


knitwearaddict said:
I definitely think it was worth paying to get your Ballantyne 6 ply reknit, especially since it is now your favorite piece and you can use it forever since it will last that long.
I actually searched out that fellow and bought two. I knew they were too big and knew l could get this lady to fix them.

My other Ballantyne must have been a second because it had some buttonhole issues, so l am taking the buttons off and having it converted to a piece of luxury thermal knitwear to wear underneath clothing. Here is a glance. It is a shawl cardigan so a conversion to a jumper/thermal will be perfect.
Ballantyne 6 ply cashmere crewneck v3.jpg
knitwearaddict said:
I also think your intarsia by Ballantyne is stunning, I'll need to be on the lookout for something similar. I will also post two other recent finds of vintage cashmere I recently acquired in a separate post.
I have never seen or heard of anything else like it. Would be extremely rare.
 
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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,406
Since Swiss and Shooman have been showing a number of incredible pieces, I figured I will post two newer vintage cashmere pieces I acquired. I want to say, Swiss thanks for posting different items from your collection. I especially loved the Hermes ones and the Isaia cardigan as well. I don't own anything by Hermes yet but one of these days I will. I will be on the lookout for the Scottish pieces. Anyways back to what I was going to share. First off I want to show a gorgeous Ballantyne argyle cashmere cardigan I recently acquired. It is so soft and I absolutely love the ways it feels. It is perfect for Spring and even wearing indoors over a t-shirt.

View attachment 33738View attachment 33739
View attachment 33740

Next, I wanted to share this Vintage Pringle of Cashmere Crewneck sweater in a beautiful aqua color It is extremely soft and has no pilling. It is very plush and lofty, most likely a 3 ply. I am not sure what year either are from but both fit perfectly and are of superb quality.

View attachment 33741View attachment 33742
That Pringle will be amazing, and it will give you so much comfort and luxury for years to come. This is what knitwear is all about. Same goes with my 4 ply Ballantyne, it is so plush and comfy. It makes life so much better when a man has these things. It's a special Scottish cashmere club that few men know about or understand these days.

Your Ballantyne is a goodie too. It will become an old friend before too long. Lucky.

You scored two items from the golden era of cashmere. Your Pringle would be 1980's and your Ballantyne looks to be no latter than the 80's either. Back then the cashmere didn't pill much, but these days it is a roll of the dice...sometimes it can pill a lot while other times it won't. Funny enough, none of my Loro Piana had pilled much, nor has most of my Brunello Cucinelli, however one thick Cucinelli cableknit has pilled quite a lot.

The Biggest surprise of all
I saw a 1980's Ballantyne cashmere polo that was for sale. It was for sale for over a year and no-one bought it because it looked so ugly in the photos. It was exactly my size but l resisted for over a year. I ended up buying it thinking it would be good to wear around the house in the morning when l first wake up. When l received it l got the biggest shock of my life, it was actually a beautiful masterpiece, and not just a masterpiece, but a thick plush 4 ply intarsia of beautiful design and colour. It is one of the best pieces l own, and no photo can do justice to how beautiful it really is. Here is the pattern, but it is not a boring grey, instead it is a beautiful warm chocolate and tan with red thrown in (camera can't pick it up).
Ballantyne  intarsia.jpg

and a different stunning pattern when turned inside-out.
Ballantyne 4 ply polo intarsia cashmere.jpg

Scottish cashmere lifestyle
Here is a video which sums up the Scottish cashmere lifestyle. These people knew about it and understood it.


Cashmere in this film supplied by all the top names:
- Ballantyne
- Pringle
- Braemar
- Barry (now own by Chanel)
- Glenmac
- J & D Mc George (made great garments once)

Back in a time when people dressed better and acted better and wore great knitwear. Life was more simple then. They didn't have a lot of stuff, but they had decent stuff.

Unmistakable cashmere drape. These folks know what it is all about.
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 1.jpg

Pringle 1 ply turtleneck?
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 2.jpg

Unmistakable classic cashmere drape. So soft that no wool can imitate that.
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 3.jpg

Those Turtlenecks look very high quality, and nice high necks, so Ballantyne?
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 4.jpg

Ballantyne turtleneck? Look at that lovely soft cashmere neck area, and so Scottish looking.
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 5.jpg

Unmistakable cashmere drape
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 6.jpg

A very classic intarsia back when life was more simple and people were better.
Scottish cashmere lifestyle 7.jpg
 
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Swiss

Member
Messages
23
This is a quick iPhone pic of a sweater I bought on eBay a few days ago
One of those I will not wear but will have pleasure to own...
I just appreciate the amount of work in the intarsia and the quality of the knit. It is from defunct Retailer Brainin of Bond street but maker is not specified
2BCB7D83-FFF9-4AB5-A0BF-9BFDBB66B153.jpeg
 
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Kingstonian

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,659
That Pringle will be amazing, and it will give you so much comfort and luxury for years to come. This is what knitwear is all about. Same goes with my 4 ply Ballantyne, it is so plush and comfy. It makes life so much better when a man has these things. It's a special Scottish cashmere club that few men know about or understand these days.

Your Ballantyne is a goodie too. It will become an old friend before too long. Lucky.

You scored two items from the golden era of cashmere. Your Pringle would be 1980's and your Ballantyne looks to be no latter than the 80's either. Back then the cashmere didn't pill much, but these days it is a roll of the dice...sometimes it can pill a lot while other times it won't. Funny enough, none of my Loro Piana had pilled much, nor has most of my Brunello Cucinelli, however one thick Cucinelli cableknit has pilled quite a lot.

The Biggest surprise of all
I saw a 1980's Ballantyne cashmere polo that was for sale. It was for sale for over a year and no-one bought it because it looked so ugly in the photos. It was exactly my size but l resisted for over a year. I ended up buying it thinking it would be good to wear around the house in the morning when l first wake up. When l received it l got the biggest shock of my life, it was actually a beautiful masterpiece, and not just a masterpiece, but a thick plush 4 ply intarsia of beautiful design and colour. It is one of the best pieces l own, and no photo can do justice to how beautiful it really is. Here is the pattern, but it is not a boring grey, instead it is a beautiful warm chocolate and tan with red thrown in (camera can't pick it up).
View attachment 33746

and a different stunning pattern when turned inside-out.
View attachment 33754

Scottish cashmere lifestyle
Here is a video which sums up the Scottish cashmere lifestyle. These people knew about it and understood it.


Cashmere in this film supplied by all the top names:
- Ballantyne
- Pringle
- Braemar
- Barry (now own by Chanel)
- Glenmac
- J & D Mc George (made great garments once)

Back in a time when people dressed better and acted better and wore great knitwear. Life was more simple then. They didn't have a lot of stuff, but they had decent stuff.

Unmistakable cashmere drape. These folks know what it is all about.
View attachment 33747

Pringle 1 ply turtleneck?
View attachment 33748

Unmistakable classic cashmere drape. So soft that no wool can imitate that.
View attachment 33749

Those Turtlenecks look very high quality, and nice high necks, so Ballantyne?
View attachment 33750

Ballantyne turtleneck? Look at that lovely soft cashmere neck area, and so Scottish looking.
View attachment 33751

Unmistakable cashmere drape
View attachment 33752

A very classic intarsia back when life was more simple and people were better.
View attachment 33753
‘..and so Scottish looking.’

It’s the red hair. Though the bird might actually be Joanna Lumley.

A good promotion though it’s dated now. The cashmere skirt must have cost a fortune. You wince when you see her leaning against a tree. I am not sure there many places left where you could wear all of that kit, though a jumper would be no problem.

Reminds me a bit of old tobacco ads. St. Bruno and that sort of thing. Probably because of the polo necks.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
2,406
This is a quick iPhone pic of a sweater I bought on eBay a few days ago
One of those I will not wear but will have pleasure to own...
I just appreciate the amount of work in the intarsia and the quality of the knit. It is from defunct Retailer Brainin of Bond street but maker is not specified
View attachment 33775
I had opportunities to get those golf intarsia from both Pringle and Ballantyne in cashmere a few years ago. I passed, but I regret it now.
 

Swiss

Member
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23
I have another one on the way with intarsia on both from and back which is quite unusual I think.
Again, not for wearing but I just cannot resist!
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
2,406
There are websites that post Ballantyne intarsia such as this one:


and this site from Ballanyne Crazy Yank

There is a Hermes/Ballantyne intarsia on there of a horse (navy white) in the above link. I almost bought that once.
 

Swiss

Member
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I have seen these, there are some really interesting pieces...
I wish I had access to more sources for vintage knits...
 

Swiss

Member
Messages
23
Here are photos of a couple of sweaters I didn’t share previously
The first is a fairly standard argyle. I like the small parts with cable knit...
I also really like when there’s multiple labels

the second is a woman’s sweater from Johnston. I think the quality of the work is amazing, with lots of different knit patterns in the design
 

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