Actually there isn’t a problem with pilling, the problem is with your expectations about pilling.
‘Will this yarn pill?’ I don’t even have to ask which yarn you are talking about (I’m using the generic ‘you’ here - I don’t actually mean you). The answer is ‘yes’, because all yarn pills. It’s just what it does.
Pilling is created by friction, so a garment is more likely to pill than a shawl because there is more stress and friction on a garment because of the way you wear it. It’s constantly being rubbed against itself, or other surfaces as you move.
A loosely spun yarn will pill more than a tightly spun yarn because there is more room between the fibres. A loosely knitted project (yes gauge!) will pill more than a tightly knitted project because there is more room between the stitches. But just because your garment pills, it doesn’t mean it is ruined! It just needs a little maintenance.
I have been conducting a little experiment. About 4 months ago my kind friend knitted me a Bohemia Worsted cardie, since all mine keep ending up as store samples! I have worn it day in and day out since then. It’s been my only cardie all winter. It hasn’t even been blocked, because I haven’t taken it off for long enough!
So this is what it looks like at the moment. The pills are so big they are almost dreadlocks! Now please keep in mind I have done this on purpose. Normally I would have depilled it before now, but I wanted to show you - THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL.
Also by now I would have had an email, (or the ever popular social media complaint), to tell me how shocked and horrified you are because your garment has PILLED! Unfortunately that’s not the worst of it, you will be even more shocked and horrified when you receive a reply from me that ISN’T shocked and horrified that my yarn would dare to do such a thing. IT’S NORMAL FOR YARN TO PILL. I’m not sure I can say this often enough.
The actual question is what to do about it? What is the best way to take care of your lovingly knitted sweater? The answer is very simple - depill it. There are many different kinds of depillers on the market. I prefer to use a Sweater Stone for Bohemia. Since there’s no blade involved it doesn’t cut the fibres and your project will still retain that lovely possum haze which is part of what makes Bohemia special. Now the other great thing about Bohemia is that the more you wear it and the more you wash it, the more the fibres will settle so it will shed and pill less and less. A Sweater Stone and 20 minutes later and my cardie looks like new again.
No big deal.