Friday, February 10, 2006

Queen Bee Yarn?

I'm trying some Noro Kureyon right now. I don't understand why so many knitters love Noro yarn. Ok, I see the beautiful colors, but why do all of the colorways have some icky color (or colors) that ruins the entire colorway? For example, look at #40. Intense blues and purples--pretty pretty--then BANG! ugly orangish brown. I want to cut that section out of the ball.

The quality of the yarn leaves much to be desired, too. It's not particularly soft. It has gigantic pieces of grass "spun" into it. I put spun in quotation marks because some sections of the yarn are not spun at all. The yarn splits. It's hard to frog. It can't make up it's mind if it wants to be fingering-weight yarn or bulky-weight yarn.

Schizophrenic Yarn

Here you see a very short section of yarn straight from the ball. That's a US size 8 needle for comparison. What the heck? How am I supposed to knit this? Some parts of the fabric are too loose, some parts are too tight, and some are just right. Phooey. If I really want a self-striping yarn, I'm reaching for Karaoke instead.

Obviously, I'm finding very little to like about this yarn. Yet, so many knitters love the stuff! They sigh over it. They drool over it. So, I started thinking. Is Noro like that super-popular girl in high school that everyone secretly hates but no one is brave enough to bad-mouth? Is Noro the Queen Bee of the Local Yarn Store? Come on fellow knitters! Take a stand against Noro! Noro only gains her power and popularity from us because we let her have it. If we don't give into the Noro-hype, her desirability will diminish and we will no longer be tempted to fork out $8+ ($10 at my LYS*) for a ball of icky yarn.

Rogue is finished. Rainy weather and a lack of a photographer are preventing me from posting a complete finished object photo and report. Stay tuned.

See the Knitting Olympics button on the sidebar? Keeping up with my not-a-joiner attitude, I didn't get suckered in to participating in the events that seem to be designed to make knitting stressful. However, perhaps these Olympics will be a good thing for the knitting world. The participating knitters appear to be challenging themselves, which is important for one to become a better knitter. But because I'm always on the lookout for knitting challenges, the Knitting Olympics didn't appeal to me. And I'm not a joiner.

*Thankfully, I didn't purchase this yarn and I'm not keeping the thing I'm knitting either.

17 comments:

S.B. Naas said...

its interesting to me that you say that about Noro, cus I have wondered what it was I was missing about the stuff. I agree whole heartedly with all of the comments you have made regarding it. I spent money on some, made a warm scarf, but I made a warmer, bigger softer one with alpaca, and it was prettier. I don't even know where my Noro scarf has gone; and frankly I'm not sure I care. *sigh* too bad about the cost.

Rachel said...

I often find that when I see others' finished garments with Noro, I think they look sort of interesting, and I don't mind the spun/unspun texture. But I COMPLETELY AGREE about stupid colors screwing up an otherwise nice colorway. And I would never be confident enough to buy a lot of the stuff, because I feel like I can't really tell what all the colors are when it's just in the skein. Given the overwhelming number of extremely appealing other yarn options, I don't really spend much time feeling bad that I don't care for Noro. There's no accounting for taste.

Not a joiner, yet you have a popular knitting blog, eh? Knitting blogs are awfully trendy. Sounds kind of join-y to me.... :)

Just kidding. You've demonstrated many a time your refusal to be swayed by the whims of the knitting world.

amylovie said...

I totally agree with you about Noro. Some of the new stuff they have coming out this spring is nicer, at least I hope it is.

I would love it if you could cajole Monkee into coming. Maybe I can sweet talk her into knitting some of her fantastic lace creations.

Amy

Kim said...

I agree with a lot of what you say about Noro. I think it's nice (some colorways, that is) but not *that* nice. I typically keep it for smaller projects that look ok more "rustic," than, say, professional.

That thick/thin shit is annoying though. That's my main beef with Manos yarn too.

grumperina said...

Yep, I've got a similar button on my blog - I'll just watch everyone else as I lazily knit a sock, thank you very much :).

Agnes said...

Can't agree more with you about most of the Noro yarns ... especially when I read most knitters used them said they are itchy! What the hell? Paying that much to get something itchy? That being said, I do have a bag of Cash Iroha ... they are soft but I suspect not really hard wearing. Oh yeah, lots of unknown materials too. ;)

Elizabeth said...

You tell 'em! I do not understand the whole Noro fetish either. And to add to all your excellent points, I seldom see a Noro finished garment that I like. I think it's extremely difficult to use well. And I'm not even thinking about the tendency of sleeves to turn out mismatched. I just mean that even the most perfectly executed Noro garment still looks kind of homemade and hackneyed to me, most of the time.

Karen said...

I'm a fan of Noro for felting. Anything other than that, ick.

Can't wait to see pics of the finished Rogue!

Cordelia said...

Heh. I'm a big big big fan -- but of the colorways. I've never actually used it. That wonky thickness definitely convinces me to try something with one skein before jumping into a big project.

Thanks for the review! And congratulations on finishing Rogue!

Ingrid said...

My sister removes the colours she doesn't like from the balls. She also is fanatical about mixing and matching the colours. Kureyon is scratchy and I don't think sweater worthy. Silk garden softens with blocking but beware of how it grows in length. noro is not a fiber for a beginner knitter or a someone knitting in the dark I think (unless you're into felting).

I have enough challenges in my life without the olympics...but I do wonder why knit-alongs don't appeal to me

Jennifer said...

Kureyon also has a bad tendency to break. Had that happen to me a couple of times. I really like it for felting though.

minniedent said...

I don't think colorway #80 is so bad. I'm knitting an entrelac scarf for my hubby with it.

Laura said...

I liked Silk Garden for Edgar, but it is growing, so I'm not sure I'd use it for anything else. Lots o' vegetable matter. The colors were nice, at least in the colorway that I used (#87, I think).

I went into the LYS I call the Casa del Eyelash one day looking for sock yarn. I asked if they had any, and one of the owners said...

No, but a lot of people make socks out of Noro.

... and directed me to the Kureyon. I tried not to let my jaw hit the floor. I can't imagine much that would be worse for socks.

Patricia said...

I've used Noro in a cardigan once and the little "twigs" in it just killed me. I am just lucky I bought it cheaper on eBay because I highly doubt I'm going to use it again. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't exactly love it.

Susann said...

I was so excited to finally have found a LYS which sells Noro here. Then I touched it...
I think it is just a hype. The price for it is much too high, I'm not willing to spend so much on crappy yarn.
I got a ball of Blossom from Peri in the SP4 round and this is nice for mitten cuffs and the like. I don't like that there is nylon it is though.

rincaro said...

Kureyon was the first "high-end" (read: not craft store) yarn that I bought. It killed me to pay $27 for three balls of yarn. I made a booga bag out of it. All three balls had knots. And the thing is so pilly I can't even carry it.

Jes said...

I hear you on the Noro. I refuse to use it. I don't like the colorways all that much...too many changes. I hear there's lots of knots, I don't like the hand, and I don't need "vegetable matter" to be part of my knitting. I stand with you against Noro. =)