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Book review: Noro Lace

A few have noted the updated header image on my blog – it is none other than my Volna pattern, knit in the gorgeous Noro Kirameki. I loved knitting lace with Kirameki, feeling the slightly textured yarn, watching the colors shift before my eyes. Kirameki is now discontinued (sad!), but Noro continues to delight us with a fabulous yarn lineup. If I were to knit a Volna today, I would love to try Taiyo Sock yarn.

Are you also dreaming of knitting some lace with Noro? You might be interested in checking out the new book, Noro Lace. This collection of 30 patterns features mostly accessories – scarves, shawls, and cowls – knit using various Noro yarns. There are patterns using laceweight yarns, like the Infinity Scarf knit in Taiyo Sock, medium weight yarns, like the Buttoned Wrap knit in Shiraito, and heavier yarns, like the Tilted Blocks Scarf knit in Taiyo Aran.

(Click on pictures to view bigger.)

Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace

The pattern which I like the best is the Short Row Shawl knit using Silk Garden Sock. I am intrigued by the construction, and love the way the lace enhances the color transitions.Noro LaceSee below for some other patterns which caught my interest. Looking at these makes me want to get my hands on some Noro and knit with it again; I really enjoyed doing so for the Volna pattern, and would love to experience knitting with Noro again!

Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace Noro Lace

Rikke! A giveaway!

(Shhh! Scroll all the way down for the GIVEAWAY! ETA: The giveaway is now closed, thank you for participating!)

I don’t want to dwell on the topic of snow in Boston, its magnitude, and its voracity in disrupting everyday life and work. Instead, let me show you this awesome hat I knit up!

Pattern: Rikke Hat by Sarah Young.

Yarn: Rozetti Polaris, in color Cloud Cover (61003), almost 1 full skein. The yarn is 65% acrylic, 31% wool, and 4% payette.  It’s a lovely yarn – a bit heathered, with one ply being acrylic/wool, and another thread-like ply holding the payettes. The only minus is that it’s pretty annoying to frog, but I didn’t have to do much of that while knitting this super simple pattern.

Needles: US 4 and US 6 needles.

The hat is knit in garter stitch, and the pattern is written to be worked in the round, alternating rounds of knitting and purling. I weighed the option of purling every other round versus knitting the hat flat and adding one seam, and decided to knit the hat flat. I’m glad I did! The hat is not any worse for it, and the seam lets me find the back of the hat instantly. I seamed it using a smooth wool sock yarn… seaming with payettes wouldn’t have been pretty.

And now to the topic of THE GIVEAWAY! ETA: The giveaway is now closed, thank you for participating!

I do love the way this hat came out, but looking at myself in the mirror only confirmed what I already knew – that I prefer my hats to be close-fitting caps or a more traditional silhouette, not quite this slouchy. And so, if YOU like this hat, please leave a comment on this post between now and 9 p.m. on Friday, and I will select a winner at random to receive this hat! This hat is quite stretchy and should fit the average adult head (mine is 22.5″ around). Please read here for full rules of this contest, and good luck!

Cotton hexagon blanket

A little while ago I showed you a hexagon blanket that I was knitting. Well, at the end of 2014, I finally finished it!

Pattern: of my own design, inspired by the Sand Dollar Wrap in New Vintage Lace and the Basalt Tank in Knitting Nature.

YarnBe Sweet Bambino Taffy in the Spearmint Gum colorway, 70% organic cotton and 30% bamboo, 9 skeins.

This yarn is very soft and lovely to work with, but if you remember, each skein was composed of 5 colors, tied together with a square knot.  If that kind of thing would irritate you as much as it did me, I have some alternate yarns I can suggest. I was determined to work through this stash yarn, however, and so ended up weaving in a bazillion ends after piecing together the same color from 9 different skeins of yarn, boooo!

Needles, finished dimensions: I used US 7 needles, and the hexagons ended up being approximately 3.75″ along each edge. I made a few half-hexagons so that the blanket is straight along two edges, and jagged along the other two. The finished blanket is approximately 30″ x 33″.

After mattress stitching together the hexagons using a smooth, fingering weight superwash wool, I worked three rounds of single crochet along the edges. I really do like the finished product, despite the hassle with the yarn!