Friday, December 28, 2007
End of the Year Sale, and more on Noro Sock Yarn
Just a reminder to those of you who don't already know (and you should) about the annual end-of-the-year sale at Kiwi. It continues until the 31st, and sale prices are 25% off of everything in the store, with yarns on the sales table now 50% off. This is a great time to stock up on those necessities that you keep thinking about, the yarn you have been wanting to treat yourself to and just haven't yet, or to get great bang for your buck with the Holiday gift certificates. Stop in before the end of the year to take advantage of the sale.
Well, As you can see by the photo above, I have finished the first sock of my pair with the new Noro Kureyon sock yarn, and finished the ribbing for the second sock. I've had great fun working with this yarn, I always say that Noro yarns are like reading a great book: you think to yourself, I really need to stop and go - do laundry, wash dishes, go to bed, go to work - your choice. But you can't put it down, you just have to see what is coming up next. The pattern I have used is called Annetrelac Socks, and it comes from the Interweave Knits Holiday 2007. In this pattern, the entrelac is worked only on the upper part of the sock, with the lower sock worked in stockinette. The color variations have worked perfectly together for the entrelac effect, though next time I plan to try the entrelac sock pattern from the book Socks, Socks Socks by XRX Publishers. That pattern is a toe-up with entrelac patterning all the way up the sock. I'm curious to see which effect I like better.
A few bits of info that I can give you now that I have been working with this yarn for a few days - like all Noro yarns, because they are hand-spun, there are variations in the thickness of the yarn from time to time. In general it is on the finer side of sock yarns that I have used, and I find that the occasional thicker blips just give this yarn texture and interest. Use a smaller needle and knit firmly for a durable fabric with this yarn. Also, there is a lot of spin in the Noro sock yarn, so any time that you get any slack in your yarn it will twist back on itself. Because I always wind yarn into a ball before starting to knit with it, I was able to mitigate the effect by winding the ball counter to the twist, but I think that if you were to knit straight from the skein it could be fussy on occasion. I mention these characteristics of the yarn not because I feel they are faults - they are not. But to give you some info on how to work with this unique yarn. I've seen three other pairs of socks in progress with this yarn, and they are all beautiful, the colors just lend themselves to all manner of stitch patterns.
A note about winding skeins into balls before knitting. I do realize that not all of you are the fanatics that I am, with a ball winder and swift set up permanently in your dining room. Take a few minutes before you leave Kiwi, and if the ball-winder table isn't busy, wind up a few of your skeins to get yourself started. Why do I do this? Because I want to learn about the yarn before I start knitting with it. How tight is the twist? How rough or soft is the yarn? Are there any knots in the yarn that I have to be aware of beforehand? What is the 'hand' of the yarn? Is there vegetable matter in it? A little? Lots? An entire field? Is it going to shed? These are great things to know and take into account before you begin working with the yarn, and many times the information can make your process easier as you work.