I've been in the market for a nice cashmere sweater that is a good compromise between the "value-priced" department-store dreck and uber-expensive Italian stuff that you see; so despite the quality of the model (
-- sorry, Jonathan), I decided to give these a try.
I asked Jonathan about the qualitative difference between the cashmere used in the three different models that he carries, and he told me that the zip-neck was made from single-ply Italian yarn, that the turtleneck was made two-ply Italian yarn, and that the V-neck was made from two-ply Scottish yarn. Regardless of the origin of the yarn, all are knitted in Scotland. I ordered the V-neck and the turtleneck, intending to keep the one that I liked better.
They arrived today, and it's clear that they're much, much closer to the uber-expensive Italian stuff than the department-store dreck. One of the problems with so many lower-priced cashmere sweaters is that they're made "fluffy" to give them store appeal. After you wear them for a while, though, they either pill or fall apart or both. I don't think that that will happen with these MA sweaters. The finish of the knit on these sweaters is hard; and while it may have a less hedonistic hand than some, ultimately it promises to be more luxurious. The feel of the Scottish yarn sweater is much the same as the feel of the Italian yarn one, only it's a bit thicker and heavier. I wouldn't call the fit trim, but it's not tent-like, either. The shoulders are fully-fashioned, as they should be on sweaters of this price (although I have seen many that were much more expensive that did not have this construction). The colors available are staid, but some of us would consider that a good thing. Ultimately, I decided that the slightly lighter weight of the turtleneck was a better choice for me, so that's the one I'm keeping. It's an excellent sweater, and the price is good for the quality delivered.
As always, Jonathan's service is second to none.