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Friday, April 07, 2006

Listen to this post as an mp3 file (for posts after 3/6/06)
I'm a Winner and a Ranter

click for bigger pictureSo, as some of you know, this has been a good week for me in blogland. I was randomly chosen as the March winner of the Sock-a-Month Knitalong. I won some sock yarn, which I haven't received yet, but here's a picture of it that I stole from Knittin' Mom's site.

Yeah, you've seen my stash and you're thinking, "What does she need with more yarn?" Well, shush. A girl can't have too much yarn. Even Brooklynne of The Mosh Knit now agrees -- go listen to her essay on stash in her latest podcast.

And, as if one prize wasn't enough, I also won the Mystery Cable contest that Anne was holding at knitspot. I finally identified the cable after much scouring of stitch pattern books (and desperate consultations with others who have bigger book collections than I). Anne said she's sending me some handspun and one of her patterns as my prize. I've never knit with handspun before so I'm excited. Plus, I can't wait to see one of her patterns.

Warning: Rant Ahead

OK, that was the happy news. Now it's time for a nice long rant. [I hope Robot Lady can pull off an authentic ticked-off tone of voice. Wouldn't that be cool if you could use tags to tell Talkr what tone of voice you want things read in? Ahh, but I digress. Back to the rant... ]

So, I've still been cranking away on the Lady Eleanor Stole -- on and off, but it's still actively in progress. Anyway, I continue to be annoyed by the knots I keep encountering in this Noro Silk Garden yarn. Not only are the knots annoying, but they always introduce a completely different color that is totally out of sequence. Every time I hit one of these knots (which has been in about half of the balls I've used so far) I have to rip back to the beginning of the little entrelac square so I can change the color discretely (see the picture of the stole in this post, if you don't know what I'm talking about). Then I have to figure out where I am in the color sequence and try to find another ball that starts somewhere close to the right place, so I don't end up with a huge glob of lavender in one spot and thus destroy the whole balance of the thing. Sigh.

I didn't rip back the first time I encountered a knot (which happened in the second row of squares) and now I regret it. It's in the lower corner of the stole, in a spot I hope is not too noticeable, but it looks crappy too me so I learned my lesson. I would have ripped back, but I didn't see how noticeable it was until I got into better light, at which point I was too many rows of squares away.

Anyway, after the millionth time that I encountered a knot I decided I would rewind my remaining balls to find all those hidden little annoyances ahead of time. That way I could make a separate ball whenever I encountered a knot and I would be better able to match up the color sequence. And, boy, am I glad I did because here is a picture of the very next ball:

click for bigger pictureStupid, Annoying Noro Silk Garden with a Millon Knots

There were FOUR STINKING KNOTS in this one ball! What did I get -- the crappy leftovers ball? And even more annoying, it's missing half the colors. Compare the picture above with all the colors shown in this nice ball:

click for bigger pictureNice Ball of Noro

OK, so I complain a bit to myself and to Uncool Guy (even he could understand my annoyance -- and that's not a frequent occurance, people) and I move on to rewind the next ball and what do I find but this:

click for bigger pictureLook in the circle. Do not be distracted by the pretty colors.

"What is that in the little circle?" you ask. Why it's another freaking KNOT! And it's right there sticking out of the end of the skein. What are they doing -- ADVERTISING that their yarn has more knots than you thought were possible in one skein of yarn? Is the company that anal about yardage that they couldn't just cut off that extra two inches to avoid a knot hanging there right at the end? I guess it just shows that they don't care where their knots fall or how many of them there are. Yeah, I know they need to make a profit but really, a little quality control would be nice.

So, for future reference, can anyone recommend another brand of yarn that has colors like Noro without the irritations of Noro? Anyone?

Leave a Comment 10 comments:

Brooklynne Michelle said...

OMG had I not been a lazy slacker podcaster and not do my show this week caus ethere's only 24 hours in a day... i was going to rant on this same exact thing... GOD I HATE NORO'S KNOTS... it's just annoying.... i don't know of a yarn to compete with it but if i find out I'll let you know... also thanks for the pretty and nice plug :-)

Brooklynne ( who will be doing a podcast NEXT week)

Melissa said...

I spent a great deal of time with noro kureyon on a project once. I had a lot of time for reflection. My conclusions are as follows:

Once upon a time in Japan a group of businessmen got together and said "How can we get rid of this scratchy yarn that breaks all the time?" One gentleman came forward and said "I have an idea! We will dye it in a rainbow of colors, and sell it to the Americans! They buy anything!!" and so Noro Kureyon was born.

I love the stuff. I love SG, I am using it for my crochet 40th birthday jacket-or-vest-I-have-not-decided-yet (depends on how close we get to Feb and it's level of completion). Because my colorway is not quite as diverse, and because crochet chews up yarn faster than a terrier, jarring color changes are not an issue (unless black appears immediately after black, in which case I cut it out.)

Somewhere in Japan there is a group of businessmen, sitting around a table laughing at me. I just know it.

Auntie Amanda said...

Arrrr...it does suck to find those knots...I will most likely never buy it again, but man oh man, I will drool over those colors and all the pretty things other knitters make with it.

Rachel said...

Congrats on all the wins! I've missed your blogging, by the way - no snoozing next week!

Sorry about the Noro probs. Personally, I hate the stuff (though Lady Eleanor, of course, is beautiful). If, as Melissa suggested, there's a table of Japanese men sitting around laughing at the idea of us using that stuff, they must be hysterically laughing till they cry at the thought of us reading their patterns. THAT was my initial Noro turn off. Those things are lethal. They're not even pretending to be in English. Or remotely correct. In fact, it's possible they're not even about knitting at all, and actually the long lost instructions for how to set your VCR so it's not blinking 12:00.

Laura said...

I am not a Noro fan. I used Silk Garden to make Edgar and was shocked at the number of knots. Also, the colors were not the same in two balls of the same color number and dye lot. Weird! Plus it grew and grew and grew. Often, I have noticed that there is one color in the sequence that inspires a "WTF!" response, although this isn't always the case.

I think Karaoke from Southwest Trading Company is a good substitute. It is much softer, has subtler but very pretty colorways, and when I have used it, was free of knots, twigs, etc. I started a small Lady Eleanor with it and it was turning out very nicely. I only plan to frog it because it's too wide for the amount of yarn that I have.

anne said...

i was going to say try karaoke too! i have a picture on my website; feb 27th; this is one of the very bright colorways, but it comes in subtle colors that you would like, i think (wink).
also the yarns i'm sending you will soothe your irritation, i promise. i fiber dyed, then spun them so that, like noro, they shade slowly from one color to the next. AND i hate knots, so there aren't any!!

JessaLu said...

Apparently I need to check my Noro. Crap. I agree with Melissa - somewhere there is a table full of Japanese businessmen laughing their asses off at us.

Congrats on winning...twice. I'm trying to not be jealous ;o) It's not working so well...

christine said...

I can live without Noro, too. I agree with Laura on the Karaoke - It seems to be softer, the colors are just as cool, and no Japanese businessmen laughing in the background.
That really sucks. And the worst thing: You don't really have any recourse, other than to perhaps take it back to the store and tell them to deal with Noro, and give your $$$$ back........

ymil said...

pk, congrats on your 2 recent wins. i am anxious to see the homespun, hand dyed prize yarn. i am wondering what you will be making with it....?
i think you should send your recent blog along with photos and comments, to the noro men to let them know the jig is up, thanks to melissa!
ymil

Isabel said...

I just moved to Japan and thrilled with the cheaper price on Noro, I bought 10 skeins. No knots so far after rewinding 5 skeins.

I think they send the crappy skeins to the USA. That's my theory.