Tuesday, June 15, 2010

{On Noro}

This morning I decided to take a break from my shawl knitting because I'm getting towards the end of the first skein and there's a swift in the mail for me right now (Thanks Hope!!) so I can wind the next skein properly. 

I just wanted a mindless project, something that would be finished quick.  I've missed knitting hats so I thought I'd do a quickie winter hat.   After a few hours of deliberation I decided I would do just a plain stockinette hat with an inch of 2x3 rib in my Noro Kureyon.

color 211

I got this yarn incredibly inexpensive from a destash sale on one of the Ravelry forums... $20 for ten skeins!!  I haven't knit with it since then though because (and I think you all know what's coming) this yarn does not feel good.

It pretty much feels like the nightmare wools of my childhood, and I'm not even wearing it yet - just knitting with it.  It's scratchy, thick and thin in places, it's over spun sometimes to where it curls back on itself and in other places it's not really spun at all.  I'm even having to stop and pick out little sticks and pieces of dirt fairly often.

But the colours... Oh the colours!!   I love the subtle transition from cream to tan to grey....

So my dear readers and dear friends, I ask you: How the heck to I get this yarn to where it's wearable?  Do I have to line it with something ( and if so, how the heck do I do THAT?  Do I wash it in something that will soften it?  Do I have to felt it to make it soft? Should I try blocking this hat? 

Why does Noro have to be so scratchy?  Have you knit with this yarn before, and if so, what did you knit with it?


  1. I can't help you at all but the colors are lovely and your garden is spectacular!

  2. Beautiful colors! I haven't knit with it, but I've have felt it and it is a little rough. I read on Ravelry that it will soften a little when you wash it.

    If it bothers you, you could line the hat. Pick up stitches along the cast on edge (with a soft yarn), purl one row, knit a few rows, cast off and sew it on the inside of the hat. I think that if you just do that for the rib, it should be OK, that's the part that would touch your face. [If you do that, the bottom won't be as stretchy though, don't know if you should knit the lining in rib too.]

  3. This is what you do.

    Wash with a shampoo, then rinse it really really well. Fill the sink with the same temp water and then add a good amount of vinegar to it. I generally add about a cup. Let it sit for at least an hour or two. I always let it sit over night. In the morning, let the water out and then refill the sink and add a good couple of squirts of hair conditioner. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, gently work in the hair conditioner by squeezing the water through the hat. Then rinse.

    The vinegar is a softener. I always wash my wools then soak it in a little vinegar. I used to knit peacefleece for longies for babies and do this. The PF was amazingly soft. Actually you can use vinegar in your washing machine instead of softner.

    gorgeous hat!

  4. Hope you get some answers/ I almost bought some last week but I just couldnt make myself do it. It is soooo yummy til I touched it the yuck!!!

  5. I hear that it softens up a lot when you block it...but I've never actually witnessed it. It's hearsay, so I guess not admissible in a court of knitting law.

  6. By all accounts Noro softens with washing (hand washing I guess!). Not having used Noro myself yet, I did a quick google to make sure I remembered right.
    How about knitting up a square and washing that so you can check the difference in softness for yourself? That should answer the issue for definite.
    Good luck!

  7. I haven't knitted with Noro so I can't be much help here, but I LOVE the color!

  8. The only thing I ever knit with Noro was a GIANT purse for the spring formal so I could smuggle in my giant camera. I also felted it so I can't really speak to the softness of a properly cared-for piece but it did get much more snuggly after a date with the washer. For some reason, it's not on my Ravelry so I can't link you to it.

    Good luck with your hat being less rough/scratchy. It's super cute. :)

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  10. I can't really help you there, I started a pair of socks with some pretty green noro and they sit unfinished in a basket of unfinished things I am afraid to face.