Ugh, this blog post smells of paint. Sorry about that. I’ve been painting the sitting room walls
and my hair. To be honest, I’ve been painting the sitting room for the past nine months, budging toys, furniture, guests, and small children out of the way as I went. One of the many, many downsides to this DIY technique is that now that I’m close(ish) to completion, I’ve noticed that the wall I painted first is getting decidedly scruffy again and could do with, well, a lick of paint. Sigh. Two words spring to mind at this point: ‘Sisyphean’ and ‘wine’. Mostly wine.
But I’m not here to talk about DIY. I’m here to apply my paint-fume-addled brain to the not-small matter of Noro sock yarn. Yes, yes, I know I was late to the sock-knitting party, but now I’m here, well and truly ensconced in the kitchen, helping myself to the pretzels and waxing lyrical about assorted types of heel construction to anyone unfortunate enough to wander in here and listen.
Have you knitted with Noro?
I know Noro comes with a love-it-or-loathe-it reputation. Tales of having to pick bits of straw from amongst its strands. Tales of its general stroppiness and propensity for knots at crucial moments in its colour shifts. But I found some Noro Kureyon Sock in a clearance bin and I couldn’t resist. It’s made of 70% wool, with a massive 30% nylon to keep the woolly craziness in check and prevent super-fast wear. 30%? That’s a bit much, I thought. Until I realized what I was up against…
Just in case you haven’t come across the stuff, Noro is a Japanese producer of the most wonderfully colourful variegated wool/silk/alpaca/angora/mohair. So far so beautiful, but in their attempt to give it a homespun feel, they perhaps go a little far. I’ve never encountered homespun that feels as homespun as this. This stuff is crazy. One minute you’re knitting with something the weight and twist of sewing thread, then eight inches later you’re grappling an untwisted bundle of bulky fluff that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in that very first bulky garter stitch scarf you knitted in your teens. Except that the bulky bits are so untwisted that they pull apart at the slightest tug, which isn’t great for someone like me who tends towards brutality with my yarn when transitioning from one DPN to the next in order to avoid ladders.
Back to the socks. My knitting is decidedly untidy due to the massive variation in thickness, but the colour shifts are divine and really, you go to Noro for the colours, don’t you? (Think of the Noro scarf.)
I don’t doubt these will be beautiful socks, but the thin bits of threadlike yarn are going to wear horribly fast. I think these will be both my first and last Noro socks.
Any thoughts? Have you knitted with Noro? Did you grumpily pick out bits of straw from its fluff or did you admire its divine silkiness?
Lots of posts are queuing in the wings, by the way: a review of Sarah White’s Colourwork Knitting, a post on the Stylecraft mill, the pattern for the house-bag. Tonnes of stuff.