What's the low-down on Noro yarns?

I’m hoping to make this shawl. The knitter used Noro’s “Silk Garden”, which I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use, as it contains 45% mohair, and I’ve found mohair to be itchy in the past (although I’m willing to try to give it another chance). Also, the other 45% is “wool”, but what kind of wool, I don’t know (maybe that is itchy, too?). I know for sure that merino is fine for me to wear right next to the skin.

So I looked for a replacement Noro yarn, because without a doubt, their hand-dyed colors are so pretty–I figured if I couldn’t wear the Silk Garden, maybe Noro had a comparable substitute? It seems that their “Kureyon” yarn is comparable in weight and gauge, but I read a review on yarndex that someone said the yarn is scratchy and not good for next to the skin wearing, and someone else reviewed and said that Noro yarns contain extraneous bits of stuff in their yarns (hay, etc.), which to me is kind of discouraging to hear after what you pay for the yarn.

Has anybody here used Noro yarns? What are your experiences? Any comments? Were you overall satisfied, or did you feel that the price was too much for what you were getting? Maybe I’m being kind of nitpicky here, but I’m going to be spending quite a bit of money on this shawl if I use the Noro yarns, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to regret my yarn choice. I would be horribly disappointed if I went through all of this time, work, trouble, and expense if I never wore the shawl after I made it. :verysad:

If Noro yarns aren’t worthwhile, what are some other brands of multi-colored yarns that might work well? I would like to try to find a yarn with a fiber content of a merino wool/silk blend, but maybe that isn’t possible? :shrug: I think what really makes the shawl they show so pretty is not only the colors, but also, the sheen of the silk combined with the halo of the mohair.

Personally I dislike most Noro Yarns. I find them to be itchy and rough.

To keep the haloed appearance I would peobably go with Rowan Tapestry, which I find to be beautiful and much softer.

im sensitive, and even though i drool when i look at noro, i cant knit anything that will be touching my skin with it. the closest subs are karaoke by SWTC (REALLY soft with some great colorways) and the Diakelto yarn which is much softer than noro, with very similar colorways. it still isnt as soft as the karaoke, but i think the colors are richer and more interesting.

the swtc is closer to heavy worsted and the diakelto is closer to light worsted

Tapestry is a gorgeous yarn, BUT I don’t believe that it is worsted weight (I think it’s DK), so for the project she has, it would work but would take a bit longer to knit up.

Silk Garden is a wonderful yarn but yeah, it’s kind of scratchy IMO.

I think Paton’s SWS (a beautiful self-striping soy-wool yarn) is a great sub here. You would want to make sure that isn’t going to be too scratchy for you though, some people find it a tiny bit scratchy feeling. It has a wonderful sheen and it looks beautiful knitted up.

Also, as someone else mentioned, SWTC’s Karaoke is gorgeous and soft.

Here are some others you could try :

Plymouth Boku

Classic Elite Desert

Berroco Foliage (this is chunkier, I think it would work fine for the pattern you’re using, it just wouldn’t take as long to finish)

Nashua Wooly Stripes

Hope this helps! I love self-striping yarns so I have thought about this some. I do love Noro yarns, but only in certain applications. I am making a shawl out of Kureyon, but it ain’t for everyone, that’s for sure!

Tapestry is DK - I just used it for a scarf. It IS gorgeous though!

I’m using Paton’s SWS right now for Lady Eleanor and it’s AMAZING!!! I’m really in love with it.

I’m VERY glad I asked about this yarn–you guys are the best! :hug: :muah:

One other question–how do you think this shawl might look with the recycled sari silk yarn? It looks like it’s kind of “stringy” once you knit it up, but at $20 per skein at the LYS, I didn’t want to buy it and have it not knit up the way I wanted it to look. It was another yarn I was contemplating for this project instead of the Noro. I’m going to have to go to some LYS’ to investigate the Rowan Tapestry, SWTC’s Karaoke, Diakelto, Paton’s SWS, and all the yarns you mentioned, Kristi. These are all so pretty!!! :drool: The LYS’s in my area don’t have very much in the way of yarn, so I’m going to have to do some calling around and maybe a bit of traveling. I sure hope this shawl is worth it!

I knitted a purse out of recycled silk- I have a picture in my gallery at http://dragonwingarts.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=605

It’s a brand called Mango Moon, but the principle is the same. I liked the result, personally :slight_smile:

Tapestry and Noro both can be knit on size 7 needles (but Tapestry is WAY softer)
the colors are lovely
I make my Goddesses with BOTh of them
I made a knitted/felted bag with SWS, but it shrunk WAY more than expected
and I LOVE that fiber, and would wear that next to my skin anytime

we shall see how I feel in the future