Yes, I do realize that I've been neglecting my knitting posts! Don't worry, though; I haven't been neglecting my knitting :-) I'm just busily working on my holiday projects, and I don't want to give anything away. I will share my latest finished object with you now, simply because it is so beautiful and delicious. (modesty aside...)
It started with the Noro scarf that everyone who is anyone is knitting right now. (just in case you aren't anyone, you can look at the scarf and the pattern here: http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.com/2007/04/noro-scarf.html )
Yes, it is beautiful. Beautiful!! The Noro colors are truly unrivaled and simply breathtaking. However, like many people, I have some Noro issues. Two are minor, but one is so major it's almost a deal-breaker. First off, there are always bits of grass and leaves and twigs in the yarn. I know it's minor and easy to pick out, but why? Why can't they clean the vegetable matter out of their yarn?
Second, why is the yarn so scratchy? I don't mean itchy like your normal wool, I mean sharp and scratchy. I have heard that the Silk Garden is much softer after it's washed, but I have never tried Silk Garden, because of issue number three, which is the biggie:
KNOTS. (that's plural). Every skein of Noro Kureyon I have used has had knots in it. The worst part is, wherever the knots occur, the yarn colors are joined randomly. So... you are knitting along, enjoying the surprise of the gradual, beautiful color changes, eagerly awaiting the next change, when you come to a knot. The gradual color change turns into an abrupt and seemingly random color change which can pretty much ruin the beauty of the thing you are knitting. If you have knit with this yarn, you know what I'm talking about. I have tried piecing together skeins to keep the colors going, which is a huge pain in the neck. Plus, I ended up buying way more yarn than I needed and I couldn't help but wonder: WHY??? Let's just add that the price of the yarn is not cheap.
Noro felts like a dream and adds a dash of beauty to any felted knitting, but I'm not really interested in dealing the with knots right now. So, I won't be knitting the Noro scarf... at least not immediately. (I never say never. I reserve the right to change my mind completely.) I really don't have time to deal with it while trying to complete my holiday knitting.
However... I do love the scarf. I love the way the 1x1 ribbing looks, the way the scarf lies flat, the neat edges. I'm not a huge fan of knitting miles and miles of ribbing, though. Could I make it through an entire scarf? Absolutely! Not only did I make it, the knitting went quickly and easily and I enjoyed it and might make another one!
Here are some pictures of my scarf. I used Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes). I chose this yarn because I still longed for the gradual color changes of Noro. These colors aren't nearly as beautiful or brilliant as Noro, but it's still pretty in a very subtle way. I didn't alternate two different colors; I just knit it up. It's soft, no veggies, and not one single knot in all three skeins! If you are interested, I used size 8 needles, cast on 29 stitches, and slipped the first and last stitch of every other row, the row that begins with a purl stitch, slipping purlwise with yarn in front. It made a neat and pretty edge.
Yes, it is a Christmas gift... but for whom??