Sunday, March 02, 2008

Feet of Firsts

New techniques and a bit of a review of Noro yarns.

During a recent trip to my LYS, I picked up a couple of skeins of Noro Silk Garden. I had heard many folks marvel over this yarn and decided to give it a try. My first impressions were mixed. The colors are amazing. The hand is rather rough and it seems to be full of vegetation. Oh, well. I was up for something new. I chose colorway #252; blues, greens, black and gray.

When it comes to knitting socks, I'm more of a traditional kind of girl. But, since I was in the frame of mind to try new things, I also decided to use some new-to-me techniques. Looking through many of the toe-up methods, I chose to use Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on...I love it!!! (Check out Cat Bordhi's video.)

Another technique I hadn't yet used is the short-row heel. I followed instructions by Kim Salazar. It went well, but I definitely need to practice this one.

I finished my first sock and was feeling pretty good about it. I started to rewind the second skein so I could begin with the same color at the toe. Arrrrrrggghhhh! A huge knot hidden in the center of the ball totally ruined the flow of colors.

Since this happened, I have notice a real dichotomy among knitters where this yarn is concerned. One camp will defend it no matter what stating the knots are part of its charm. The other (which I think I lean toward) maintains that there is a better way to connect breaks during spinning. I am sure there are many factors involved at the factory of which I am not aware. However, as a spinner, connecting breaks and blending colors were some of the first techniques I learned.

In any case, I "cut and pasted" my skeins together so that my socks were almost matching. I'm pleased with the end result. Now let's see how they wear!

Here's a simple recipe for my socks: Use size 5US double-point needles.


Valerie said...

Bravo! Those socks look wonderful!

E-J said...

It's a gorgeous colourway - very dramatic.

I've only just finished my first pair of knitted socks, but can't wait to start experimenting with techniques such as this toe cast-on ... already feel as though I would be happy if I never knit anything but socks ever again ...

I'd say your cut-and-paste job is near perfect. Lovely socks!

qusic said...

Ilove these "stormy" socks. I have a love and hate relationsship to Noro.
I love the colour flow but hate those
knots,twigs and the itchy feeling on my skin, but the colours are just perfect. My bank account hates it either:)
The short row heel is one of my newest acquaitances too, I use to knit it with the help of Cat Bordhi's
you tube video on short rows, a great help to prevent holes.