noro kureyon sock yarn

16 04 2008

just because i haven’ been online doesn’t mean i haven’t heard about the relatively new noro sock yarn.

as an aside, i must say that i am SO elated that the sock craze is still going strong. my lys’s all have decent, even spectacular selections of sock yarn. my heart goes a-pitter-patter just thinking about the possibilities. remember when it was so hard to get your hands on some good sock yarn?!? not so much anymore!

where was i? oh yes, noro sock yarn. i caved immediately when i saw it on the shelf. what’s that?…oh, yes, i know it’s not superwash. i broke one of my cardinal rules of knitting socks. but it’s noro! who can resist the color? here is the colorway i got from my lys in columbus:


noro kureyon sock yarn, color S164
70% wool : 30% nylon | 100 g : 420 m | 1 skein
purchased at heavenly creations

um….i also caved and bought another skein of it when i spied it at a lys in greensboro, nc.



noro kureyon sock yarn, color xxx
70% wool : 30% nylon | 100 g : 420 m | 1 skein
purchase on vaca in greensboro, nc

aren’t the colors just gorgeous? so saturated. so noro. since i’m not so much a sweater person i’ve never even considered buying any type of noro. their yarn didn’t fit my scope of projects (um, socks) and while the colorways are almost all beautiful, they were too bold for my conservative tastes….in a sweater or accessory….but not for a sock!

from what i’ve read over at ravelry, people have a sort of love/hate relationship with this yarn. it is a thinnish, single-ply yarn that is overspun, often twisting back on itself and has a sticky feel when it moves through your fingers. the yarn also has spots of underspun areas; when these are knit up you can see a definite change in the texture of the fabric. still the colors are so beautiful it’s hard to resist! Despite the ‘cons’, many people still find their finished projects to be worth the (figurative and literal) pain of knitting with kureyon sock.

for my first round with kureyon sock i attempted a figure 8 cast on for a pair of basic toe-up socks. i started with knitpicks harmony dpns but the yarn would not cooperate. i would normally cast on very loosely then tighten up the stitches later; but the yarn was so sticky it turned this process into sheer torture. i immediately put it down and walked away. i didn’t want to be disappointed.

the same evening i decided to try a slicker needle and a more stable cast-on. but which one? a light bulb went off in my head when i was browsing my bookshelf for sock patterns suitable for the long color repeats of the yarn. cat bordhi herself endorses judy’s magic cast on as her favorite for toe-up socks. how perfect! and if you get it right, you end up with a perfectly tensioned cast-on with no fiddley-ness.


noro cables & corrugation socks
pattern: cables and corrugations by cat bordhi from new pathways…
in noro kureyon sock yarn color #S164
started: april 4, 2008
needles: 1 – 32″, 2.0mm knitpicks circular needle

the fabric is somewhat stiff and scratchy; but i suppose i could go up a needle size…my worry is that the thin areas will wear disproportional to the thicker parts. we’ll see if the yarn holds my attention long enough to finish a pair of socks off. i’ll let you know how it goes!!

edit: after catching up on some of my favorite podcasts, i’ve learned that i’m not original in thinking that this pattern will go well with the colorway…and…i’m far from the first to feel ‘meh’ about the yarn. maybe my second skein will turn into a scarf? what do you think?


essentially….i like it so far…

27 09 2007

the new knit picks essential has been around for at least a year so this little review is definitely not timely. however, i had a chance to buy and try some of the newer, softer fingering weight sock yarn when knit picks was having their summer book sale. (incidentally, i got another lace book! huzzah!).

where was i? oh….yarn, like i need more sock yarn.

still, at the prices that knit picks sells their crack yarn, how could i not get a couple of balls to qualify for free shipping? and at the time they were also introducing a new cotton-blend sock yarn and adding colorways to their essential line…i wasn’t being irresponsible by buying all the different new yarns…so why shouldn’t i try to see if their economical yarn could become a real favorite??

i’ll stop rationalizing. but bottom line, i was just curious. so here’s my two cents:

the old essential, i believe, was manufactured in italy. i have a couple pairs worth of this thinnish and somewhat scratchy yarn. i do not enjoy knitting with it (and their simple stripes). others have said that the fabric softens with washing. but honestly, my knitting time is precious and i don’t want to waste it on yarn i could live without. i have almost one cabled sock completed with the old essential. i’ll probably keep it in my ufo pile because i’m enjoying the pattern.

the new essential, on the other hand, is manufactured in peru. it’s definitely softer with a looser twist, but has a decidedly plastic-y feel that reminds me of sometimes squeaky acrylic. i knit the yarn up with size 0 needles producing a spongy fabric that feels light. i really can’t complain; i like the feel of the yarn when i knit and the resulting fabric looks good. but will it hold up? i’m not so sure. i have a feeling it will pill in the wash. of course, i can try to avoid that by hand washing. but, who has time for that?

i picked up the ‘special’ colorway of essential that they put on sale due to a sub-par dye run. i figured i’d try out the sale colors because they were described as more muted. now the colors were not glowing neon but i would say that the colors are still saturated. i will say that i don’t care for the color combo…but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to knit pick’s color style…they have a bare line that you can color yourself. yeah!

in conclusion, as i approach the heel of my sock on my first trial run of kp essential….essentially, i like it. the yarn has the potential to be a good staple yarn, but i’ll be waiting to buy more essential until after i see how it survives the wash. (but damn the prices are tempting!!)

as always, pictures later…still no photoshop on my ‘puter.