A tale of two yarns

With some yarns it is love at first sight, while others take longer to appreciate.

As you might imagine, loving colour, I find it hard to resist Noro Yarns yarns, although, I’m trying, since when I buy one, I usually just look at it for weeks (even months) because I cannot decide what to do with it. I’ve only ever bought Kureyon Sock yarn because I know only one ball is needed for a pair of socks, so there are no worries about not having enough yarn. This yarn is interesting because, apart from the wonderful colours, it is uneven and rough and does not feel like wool, however when knitted and blocked it feels lovely. I’m not sure, but I think it may be waxed like machine knit yarn; it certainly has that feel. Also, it is not a hand-dyed yarn but made from dyed fleece which is carded together. You can find out more here, as well as the steps that are taken by Noro during manufacture to protect the environment.

Noro Kureyon Sock yarn

Now the nights are drawing in, well actually the afternoons are as well, I feel in need of some yarn indulgence – knitting something cosy. So, I started to knit some socks using Kureyon Sock yarn. Did you know that they make a grey one and that it is beautiful because there are so many shades and tones?

Noro Kureyon Sock in greys

Well I actually bought this yarn because of the lovely combination of purples and greens! Which is what I could see on the outside of the skein.

What I saw when I chose the yarn - Noro Kureyon Sock

Knowing that a single repeat of Noro sock yarn is enough for one sock, I wound it into balls of one repeat each, discovering other colours on the way.

The colours in one repeat of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn

I looked at images of the same shade (S188) (see here and here), and did not like the sudden contrast between the dark navy and very pale colours. So what to do? I could remove the navy, but it does look good with other colours in the ball.  I could reorder the colours, but surely the point of these yarns save you from choosing colours. So, I choose a knitterly solution:  working alternatively from each end of the ball in narrow stripes. I don’t know exactly how these socks will turn out so this will be an adventure in colour.

Rowan British Sheep Breeds yarn

The yarns that I am slowly coming to love is the Rowan British Sheep Breeds range. This range comprises undyed yarns spun from wool from different sheep to create a range of colours. I love this idea, and although it is not an original one, it is great that a large yarn company such as Rowan is producing some yarn with sustainable credentials. I was given a selection of yarns from this range and didn’t know what to do with it (it seems a common theme). But the reason is different; whilst I love neutral colours on other people, when I wear them, I look ill – I just have the wrong complexion, particularly for beige!

Some time ago, I was wanted to sample woven stitch; I’d seen it in a couple of published designs and was curious as to how it worked. I tested it, added a rib and ended up with a hat design, but what yarn to use? When I swatched my stitches in the light Masham chunky, I felt I had found a perfect combination – a stitch that makes the yarn look good, and a yarn that makes the stitch look good. Even in beige!

Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed in light Masham
The Masham sheep

The yarn is quite hairy and sheds a bit on knitting, but feels lovely and soft.

Stitch sample in light Masham

Maybe the colour looks so good because the individual fibres vary slightly, which gives the colour a richness, reminiscent of that in tweed or heathered yarns.

So, there we are, two very different yarns, both beautiful in their own way

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