Notes on Noro Yarn

An Introduction From Manufacturing of NORO Yarn -From Farm to Product

“We make our yarns with emphasis on hand made quality. We believe that handmade items should be made with a sincere heart and are more beautiful when handmade quality materials are used. For that purpose the first important step is the selection of materials. We take the specially selected materials from all over the world in our hands, and check the texture with our eyes closed in order to know them as much as possible. The second important step is to blend the materials. We have to know the special characteristics of each material and its ultimate use to then understand how to blend them. For example we make yarn soft, lustrous or light using technology to blend the materials in good balance. After blending the materials the next step is coloring (dyeing). It is hard to reproduce what we think of in creating the wonderful colors in our collection. We try to remember the ideas that come to us in our daily life and express them soon, while still fresh on our minds. Although it is difficult to reproduce our thoughts into color we are happy with the results. Next we spin the blended and colored materials being careful that they not loose their natural textures. Nowadays, almost all spinning process is done by machine, but at NORO Yarn, machines are used only when the process cannot be done by hand. First of all, we spin wool by hand and then knit them by hand and check its knitted texture. Our firm is supported by technology and an abundant work force in the fiber producing center of Aichi. For more than thirty years we have been only using natural fibers seeking ‘color’ with the feeling of the vitality of nature. We try to produce our yarns by hand as much as possible. We have been proudly making ‘one-of-a kind, unique, enjoyable and beautiful yarns’ for our customers. We hope that the yarns we produce with our sincere hearts will amaze and impress people who love hand knitting and crochet not only in Japan, but all over the world. We will continue to produce our yarns with our attitude of love and great care.
Eisaku Noro
はじめに”

 

Noro yarns are specialized and unique! Once you’ve worked with them you may well find yourself wanting more and more. They have a unique texture and vibrancy of colour. As a result of the special dyeing process slow colour changes are created which allow spectacular effects to occur when an item is created.
Noro pay special attention to the characteristics of the fibres, the environmental impact of the yarns production and do as much by hand as possible. This results in wonderful yarns with beautiful colours and a unique texture. For more details on their amazing processes and philosophies you can read their document.
Manufacturing of NORO Yarn -From Farm to Product - PDF document 13M


Tips on Noro yarn
The yarn often contains joins – this is related to the way it’s spun, as big long continuous runs are not possible. It can be a bit frustrating but it’s a small price to pay for the creation of such a beautiful yarn. Working around these can also lead to some creative solutions!

Skeins of Noro yarn are notoriously inconsistent and often don't weigh exactly 50 or 100g. I suspect this is because they're wound according to length so give the great variation in thickness you can have with many Noro yarns this may result in a heavier or lighter skein.

Noro mixes well with other yarns. I particularly like mixing it with plain colours for trims etc. The Wool Company's Merino Possum yarn is a good mix with Silk Garden and Kureyon and I often use Shepherd's baby merino 4 ply yarn with the sock weight yarns.

The fibres in Noro yarns are sorted by hand and often little bits of grass etc can be found. Keep a pair of tweezers handy to pull these out!

I find the best way to join the yarn is to ‘spit splice’. This involves splitting the yarn a little at each end to be joined, overlapping them then moistening the join (with spit or water!) and rubbing it vigourously between the palms of you hands. This ‘felts’ the join together and you can continue knitting (delicately) across the join.

If you need to run two skeins together you can often figure out what colour will come at the end of the current skein by having a dig around in the middle. There is often a ‘tail’ of the end of the yarn sticking out (or just tucked in). It will show you what colour the skein ends with so you can match it up with the beginning of the next skein. It's a great idea to rewind each skein before you use it to check for knots and to help you plan continuous changes of colour, especially if you're making a larger garment.

Depending on the effect you want you can work from two skeins a the same time to get longer colour runs.

Some of the cotton containing yarns can be 'sticky' to work with and plastic or smooth wooden hooks and needles can be easier to work with than metal ones.

Many Noro yarns can be a bit fragile if you pull on them hard (except those containing nylon for example). So if you get a tangle or are sewing up with it be careful not to tug on it too hard!

 

The Yarns

Silk Garden 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool. Soft with a ‘rustic’ texture and vibrant lustre.
Aran/10 ply
50g/100m ball  
4.5 - 5.5 mm needles 
18 sts/10cm
Silk Garden Solo 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool. Soft with a ‘rustic’ texture and vibrant lustre. 
Aran/10 ply
50g/100m ball 
4.5 - 5.5 mm needles 
18 sts/10cm 
Silk Garden Lite 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool.
Double knit/8 ply
50g/125m ball 
3.75 - 4.5 mm needles 
22 sts/10cm
Silk Garden Sock 25% silk, 10% mohair, 40% lambswool, 25% nylon for strength.
Sport weight/5ply
100g/300m ball  
3.6 - 4.2 mm needles (stated on the band, others recommend 2.25-3.25mm needles)  
24-28 sts/10cm
Silk Garden Sock Solo 25% silk, 10% mohair, 40% lambswool, 25% nylon for strength.
Sport weight/5ply 
100g/300m ball 
3.6 - 4.2 mm needles (stated on the band, others recommend 2.25-3.25mm needles)  
24-28 sts/10cm
Kureyon 100% wool
Aran/10 ply 
50g/100m ball 
4.5 - 5.5 mm needles  
18 sts/10cm
Kureopatora 100% wool
DK/8 ply 
100g/270m ball 
3.75 - 4.5 mm needles 
20-22sts/10cm
Taiyo (Aran) 40% Cotton, 30% Silk, 15% Wool, 15% nylon
8-10 ply 
100g/200m ball 
4.5 - 5.0 mm needles 
18 sts/10cm
Kibou 54% cotton, 34% wool, 12% silk
DK/8 ply 
1100g/270m ball 
4 - 4.5 mm needles/hook 
19-21 sts x 26-28 rows/10 cm
Obi 55% Wool, 35% Silk, 10% Mohair
Bulky / 12 ply (7 wraps per inch) 
100g/161 m ball 
5 - 6 mm needles 
14 sts/10cm
Odori (discontinued) 40% Silk, 25% Wool, 25% Angora, 10% Mohair
Bulky/12 ply 
100g/100 m ball 
6.5 - 8mm needles 
12sts/10cm
Nadeshiko (discontinued) 40% Angora, 39% Wool, 21% Silk
Bulky / 12 ply 
100g/130m 
6 - 6.5mm needles 
14 sts/10cm


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