Mmmm, and Arrrgh: Knitting with Noro (posted by Lani)
I've got a few days off before I go back to work on Friday, and yesterday I started working on the Askew top from Knitty (and on a totally unrelated note, every time I look at that cover picture I wonder: whatever happened to wearing tops that match, or at least coordinate with, your skirt?). Anyway, I completely blame Wendy, specifically this post of hers, for infecting me with the Askew bug and causing me to promptly drop all of my other WIPs and cast on. As a result, I am now experiencing the sometimes fabulous, sometimes frustrating experience of knitting with Noro for the first time.
I love the feel of the Silk Garden yarn; it felt rough and scratchy in the skein and I was a little worried at first, but as you work with it and it flows through your hands and over the needles it softens beautifully. I love the colors; I love watching the long flows of color blending into new colors as I knit (and the colors are far prettier than my picture shows). I love the fabric this yarn creates; just enough texture and interest, and it's soft and wonderful and I can't wait to feel it against my skin. I hope this top is flattering when it's done, but if it isn't I'll wear it around the house anyway just because.
I do NOT love the knots in the skeins that interrupt color flows and knot them to totally unrelated colors, forcing me to splice at last count three separate times on the second half of the front of my top to get the stripes to match up (yes, I'm just anal like that). I do NOT love the vegetable matter; this is an expensive, mass produced yarn (call it 'semi hand-spun' if you like, the fact remains it's a mass produced yarn), and there's no excuse for the numerous twigs and bits of leaf and other pricklies I've had to pick out of it. I do NOT love the fact that in some spots it's so overspun it's like wire, and in some spots it's so underspun that I worry about it pulling apart. I can and did understand all of these problems in the sari silk I purchased from a fair trade site; it was hand-spun in Nepalese villages by poor women, and ok, I can see how bits and pieces of stuff could get into that yarn, and I can see why the spinning could be irregular. But I don't understand that in Noro. Have they never heard of quality control?
Still, even with the frustrations of stopping and splicing yarn and growling and muttering about it, I'm having fun.This is such a fast knit, such a mindless knit (well, it would be if not for the damn knots and the assorted crap in the yarn). I totally plan, if it looks even halfway decent on me, to make another one out of some stash yarn in a solid color; I think it'll be just as pretty, and I have some modifications in mind.
Other stuff going on around here? Well, the past couple of days have been nice, but before that it was hot. Hot with a capital HOT. Onyx pretty much sums up what we did (aside from work) last week. Yeah. It was hot.
PS: Did you ever get out of Greensboro?