Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's cozy here!

We got snow yesterday, and quite a bit of it. Not an enormous snow storm by upstate New York standards, but for southern Massachusetts, it wasn't bad. I'm so happy to be inside with my sweetie, a cup of hot chocolate for breakfast, and two scampering kittens. Not that the cozy atmosphere is going to last. We almost ran out of cat food, and I have to schlep to the store to get more so the kitties can have dinner.


If the snow doesn't look Christmasy enough, here's a picture of some ornaments my friend Linda sent me from Germany. They arrived a couple of days ago, and I'm so happy, goth Christmas tree ornaments! One of them has a bat on it! How great is that?


In knitting news (because this is, after all, a knitting blog), I've been working on socks using the new Noro sock yarn. I know lots of people reviewed this yarn, but I'll tell you about my own experience with it.


The Good: Look at these colors! They're bright, they're happy, and they are the best thing about this yarn. It's hard to see in this picture, but the thick and thin quality makes for a very attractive texture when it's knit up. If it weren't for that, I'd recommend this yarn for Fair Isle with steeks. It's grippy, and I never lost a stitch even when I accidentally pulled out a needle.

The Bad: This yarn is stiff and coarse. It feels like unwashed linen and has about as much give, which is why I'm wearing a hand brace right now. I can knit with it for a couple of rounds, but if I do more than half an hour, my wrists hurt. The thick and thin texture is extreme, going from laceweight to almost light worsted. It comes out looking great, but definitely takes some getting used to. Finally, there was an incident with the colors that really disappointed me. See the sudden break between green and purple? That wasn't me cutting the yarn. It very much looked like the yarn had broken and been spit spliced together, with some underspun fluff surrounding that place. This is Noro, so I didn't expect amazing texture, lack of little chaff-like bits, or even spinning. I'm just a bit disappointed, given my initial high expectations.

Now I'm going back to knitting. The color changes are addictive, they keep me going. I have to force myself to stop because of the wrist pain. I hope this little review is useful to other knitters.

25 comments:

Bonnie said...

What cool ornaments!

Thanks for the Noro review. Those are great colors. But I'm sorry it's hurting your wrists--be careful!

turtlegirl76 said...

Awesome ornaments! So, for the Noro, would you think maybe a Kauni Cardigan type of approach would work for fair aisle?

Beverly said...

Very cute ornaments! Our LYS is getting the Noro sock yarn in and I've been anxious to try it. The colors are amazing - as that is what Noro does best, but I am worried about the no give/harsh quality to it. I wonder how it'll wash?

Beverly said...

I'll be interested to know what you think of the Noro after you've washed and worn it a few times. I wouldn't mind all the roughness if I was sure it would soften up after a little wash and wear. They're turning out lovely, though.

Stay warm!

Bezzie said...

That sounds like what I've heard a lot of others saying about Noro sock. But yes, colors like crack..so hey!

Darn it all. It's always cat food and diapers (when that was applicable) I used to run out of in bad weather! Can't go without either!

Rebel said...

Dude... the timely aquisition & distribution of cat food is what my life revolves around!

yeah, the colors of noro are gorgeous, but I've never been impressed with the texture of the yarn. You'll have to let us know how they wash up.

Stilaholic Nartian knits said...

Very cool ornaments!

I haven't succumbed to the lure of Noro sock yarn yet, but I have such the love/hate relationship w/their yarns. Love their colorways, sometimes hate knitting with them.

But I think that you will love knitting with Malabrigo's sock yarn, whenever they finally release it to the general knitting public.

SiressYorkie said...

I've wanted to try that Noro sock yarn, but I'm a bit yeller. Did you find bits of straw wound in with yours? I occasionally do with the Kuyreon.

Zonda said...

Cool ornaments! Good info to know on the Noro, but love the colors..they usually win out!

Yes, I remember being out of milk, etc...and couldn't get out of the driveway!

Zonda said...
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fleegle said...

I am not a Noro fan. You can rarely find it in Japan, because the Japanese wouldn't put up with it.

And yes, "tablecloth" is such a boring name for that pattern. Tischdecke at least sounds interesting!

sharon said...

I discoverd that split thing with the Silk Garden - all the sudden a knot in the skein and not even in colour sequence. Good work though!

Linnea said...

Oh! That's the first in-depth review I've read. Thank you. It's so pretty. I wonder how it will feel when you wear them.

sgeddes said...

The socks look great! Thank you for writting up that nice complete review. I love Noro, but have had my doubts about it as sock yarn.

Cool batty ornaments!

Eryn said...

Hmmm, the Noro sounds disappointing. I'm glad I've got some Merlin the Cat yarn instead ;)

Amanda said...

I just saw the Noro sock yarn at my LYS and was quite taken with the colors. The store has a washed sample that's actually quite soft, but your experience knitting it up sounds trying. Take care of your wrists!

Janelle said...

I've touched the yarn in the store, but haven't gotten any yet. I'm with the others in being interested to know if it ends up being soft after washing. I didn't get it when I saw it because it seemed so rough, like you describe. It looks great, though! I like the green and purple together.

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Beautiful snow!! Stay nice and cozy!

Thanks for the Noro review. I have two skeins Snowboarder bought me for Christmas, and your cons I've heard echoed elsewhere are holding me back a bit. But the colors...yummy! Keep us posted on if they soften up a bit later.

Take care of your wrist too!!

Shauna said...

Hard work always comes with pain!! Just kidding, I hope your wrist has survived. The colors ARE beautiful. Are they itchy to wear too?

Amanda said...

I've heard the same things about the Noro - didn't stop me from getting two balls of it, but I haven't started knitting it yet.

Take care of your wrist - and enjoy those color changes! I hope the finished product is worth it....*crosses fingers*

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

cool ornaments!

ZantiMissKnit said...

Those ornaments suit you to a T!
I felt the Noro sock yarn in Webs, said "ick", and put it back. I don't think I'll be going there. Their display sock with it was lovely, though. Typical Noro gorgeousness.

Chauntel said...

I have to say, I totally thought the same thing while knitting my noro socks. Then I finished them, threw them in the washer & (gasp) dryer and bam! The softest, most wonderful socks! Shocking! If you can put up with knitting Noro yarns then you will be happy with the outcome. There is a thread on it over on ravelry in the SOck Knitters Anonymous group. It's helpful to read everyone's experiences.
I would say that with Noro for the most part you just have to muscle through the knitting of it and then enjoy the end (washed) result.
I love those colors!

Maureen said...

It is still snowing here believe it or not! We must be close to a foot of snow! Love the colors of the NOro .. I hear that is does soften up after a washing. Love the bat ornament! You know I love that!

weezalana said...

Those ornaments are so. freakin. cool!

I like how I've seen the Noro knits up, the color changes are so lovely. But I gotta have the soft! Thanks for the review!