Anything I knit in Malabrigo, always pills....why? I don't understand, it makes me so mad! I paid good money for the yarn & somehow I end up looking like I grabbed some item at the Salvation Army & threw it on. Does anyone have advice? What do you block it with? How do you block it? Does it pill? Erin & A.D.D. Knitter both use Malabrigo & their things never seem to pill.....am I cursed?
So, to answer your question, I shave my Malabrigo and my Manos.
merino is a short fiber, and when spun for optimum softness (i.e. loosely), there's not enough twist to hold all the fiber in. the short little fibers are easily pulled out and thus the pilling.
The pilling is happening to the vest I wear alot. It's made out of Patons Classic Merino.
Single plies have a tendency to pill. The tighter the twist a yarn has, the longer the pills take to develop and they will. Its not just single ply wools that pill 3-ply or any ply pill too! Soft wools, like merino have a short staple (the length of the fiber) which also helps the pills develop. Corriedale is not as soft as merino and has a long staple.
If you where to knit at a tighter gauge it might slow down the pilling, but knitting a thick yarn at a tight gauge can kill the hands and who wants a handknit that's stiff? Many of my FO's that are merino or a blend are pilly. All the yarns are different, superwash and non. Its just the nature of the beast.
Using a sweater shaver or a razor can make more pills. I know it sounds odd, but when the shaver's are pulling off the pill they are pulling out more tiny strands of fiber the will be start of a new pill. Use a pair of sharp scissors and carefully cut off the pills, taking extra care not to cut your knitting.
I've been thinking the same thing you have for the past month about pilling. Mostly because I've been thinking of knitting a sweater out of malabrigo, but am trying to talk myself out of it and just use it for accessories!