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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You either love it or hate it!

Noro is a bit like Marmite (if you're not British or haven't lived in Britain you may not know what Marmite is, it's a yeast extract (I think) which people either love or hate, I hate it!). Knitters seem to either love or hate Noro. I've done a bit of knitting with Noro over the years. But i don't use it very often. Because I use a lot of stitch patterns in my designs Noro can be difficult to design with because of the selfstriping nature of the yarn. One thing knitters don't like about Noro is the nature of how it's spun. Many of their yarns are single ply and some are very unbalanced. I'm not an expert spinner but an unbalanced yarn will make stocking stitch bias. Noro Sekku, which is their laceweight yarn, is a very fine yarn but with some thick, slubby bits. It has a lost of active twist in it and if you pull out a long length it'll twist back on itself. If I'd handspun a yarn like Sekku I probably wouldn't be very happy as it feels like a badly spun yarn. But the thing knitters love about Noro is the COLOURS and they are amazing. I saw this ball at Spin A Yarn, it had purples, pinks, pale greens and some other colours and I just loved it. I tried to resist it but I had to have it. Once I'd bought it I was keen to knit something with it and I must admit, last week I nearly admitted defeat and gave up but I persevered and I think I'm finally winning. Between last Thursday and Saturday I ripped out this shawl 3 times and at 300+ stitches cast on for attempt 2 and 3, it was a big deal to rip it out. The yarn just had 2 many colours for the lace pattern I'd chosen. So on Saturday I decided to go with a version of the classic feather and fan lace pattern.
 I've now done a narrow lace border with beads and i'm working on the stocking stitch body which will also have beads scattered throughout it. I've started the decrease section. I'd planned to do a crescent shaped shawl with short row shaping but I decided to go for a different shaping and I think it's working. I'm decreasing several stitches on each row so the rows are getting shorter which i a relief.
 I'm using 3 different colours of beads in this shawl and they all look gorgeous. I'm getting slightly addicted to knitting with it and alhtough, I love the colours, I'm not in love with the yarn. It's twist and kinky, some of the slubby bits are really thick and it's a nightmare when I come across a slubby bit when I want to add a bead because it's too thick for the small beads i'm using. From now on this shawl will be mainly stocking stitch which means it'll become my 'take along' knitting as i can easily work on it out and about, even when I add the beads.

Have you ever tried Noro? And if yes, what do you think of it? Love it? Or hate it?

I'm really into lace and beads at the moment. Another design I worked on a lot over the weekend is the Silky Camel shawl. On Saturday I had to admit I would run out of beads very quickly. I bought the beads in Totnes which is about an hour away and I'm not going to be able to get there this week. So on Monday afternoon I rang the shop and asked if they could post some to me and my new beads arrived this morning. I got the last 2 tubes. I may have too much now but I'd rather have too many than worrying about not having enough.
The crochet hook in the picture below shows approximately where I started knitting on saturday. It may not look like much but the rows are getting very long so I did manage to get quite a lot done on this over the wekeend.
 I've also been putting in some time on a secret project. This is all I'm going to show you. That's mohair fluffiness. This is an American yarn, a bit similar to Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Now, I'm not a bit fluffy mohair fan and I especially don't like knitting with it when it's hot. I just find my hands get so hot knitting fluffy mohair in the sun and it was HOT here last week so this design didn't see much action. I need to crack on this week though as it has to be finished and in the post by Wednesday next week. The 2 extra bank holidays are giving me a few extra days to get this done..
 Another design for the same deadline is hanging on my dressform right now. I can't show you the complete design as it's top secret but here's a sneak peek. That's a beautiful Nicholas and Felice copper Dragonfly shawl pin which is for sale in the shop (more shawl pins including lots of aluminium ones and a few sterling silver pins are on the way).
 Simon decided last week after a lot of consideration that he was going to get a loom. He's been interested in having a go at weaving for a while.  I think going to fibre shows with me has finally got to him. He decided on a 20 inch Ashford Knitters Loom. Last night he started trying to set it up for the first time. He was there for a long time,
 and this is how far he got. By the time he got to this stage he was struggling to work out the next bit of the instructions (which are very good and have lots of pics) and it was getting dark and the light in our dining room is not good so he gave up. Tonight we're out so he probably won't have time to finish warping it (or is it setting up the warp? I know nothing about weaving) till tomorrow night.
 He's making me a scarf using the grey in the pic below for the warp and the blue for the weft. Both yarns are my old Organic Merino which have been out of stock for a couple of years now but they're gorgeous, squishy, soft yarns.
I'm looking forward to having a go too. But i'd better let Simon play first, it is his toy after all.


Sarah Knits said...

I have not tried knitting with anything Noro so I am not sure if I love it or not. I almost bought some of the lace weight on holiday last year but I wasn't sold on the colours so I chickened out. Maybe if I see some more I will give it a go - especially if you have a pattern that goes with it!

WildflowerWool said...

I love Noro! The colours are amazing! I knit an entrelac scarf and was really happy how it turned out.

Bryl said...

What a good way to describe Noro. It's the sort of yarn that looks good on somebody else's needles but is a real pain to knit with!