Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yarn Review: Noro Yuzen

We're stocking a new Noro yarn called Yuzen which has the same stripey goodness we've come to expect from Noro, but in a dk weight. A coordinating solid yarn called Maiko is on order. Amanda took some Yuzen to give it a workout.

First, the facts. Yuzen is made of 56% wool 34% silk and 10% kid mohair. For Amanda it worked up to about 4.75 stitches per inch on a size 7 needle in stockinette. There are 120 yards (110 meters) per skein. The price is $10 per skein. The laundry instructions recommend dry cleaning.

Amanda decided to make a top-down cardigan, which she is modeling in the photo at left (one of the beauties of the top-down technique is that you can try things on as you go). She finds the Yuzen colorways to be more subtly variegated, compared to some of the other Noro yarns which exhibit striking color contrasts. The color changes make for fairly narrow stripes, especially when applied to the long rows of her sweater pattern.

At right, you can see a sample swatch where Amanda tried rib stitch, seed stitch and feather-and-fan. If you're going to use textured stitches with this yarn she recommends a bold texture such as double-moss or wide ribbing, that can stand up to the color; or go with stockinette and let the color alone carry the interest. Subtle, complicated patternwork will be lost.

Another note: Amanda points out that the yarn feels a little bit stiff in the skein, but softens noticeably as you work it. She found it perfectly easy on the hands and not at all splitty.

Let us know in the comments if you've used Yuzen and what you think of it!

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