And those 4 letters are N-O-R-O.
I bought 2 different skeins of the Noro sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe.
I'd heard some negative buzz about the yarn. Things like: it is very rough, you might find twigs and leaves in the yarn, the yarn has knots, there's thick and thin spots to the yarn, and the color repeats are so long that it's very difficult to make matching socks.
So why was I so eager to have some of this yarn? Why do so many other people want it that The Loopy Ewe sold out their stock?
I picked color #92, the skein on the right, and starting pulling some yarn out. I really wanted to make the colors match up on both socks, so I figured I'd have to patiently stretch out the yarn, find the color repeats, and divide the skein so that I could begin in the same place. I had visions of my bedroom draped in Noro strands in my quest for matching socks.
As I cranked the ball winder, the madness began. A knot. Another knot. Another knot and another knot and another knot. 4 knots were in the first 1/2 of the skein. Some of the knots were tied to the same color, but some of them began a whole different color. There was no way I was ever going to get identical socks for my big feet out of this skein. In fact, with all the breaks in color, I didn't think I wanted to use the skein at all.
(Now I have to point out, The Loopy Ewe has great customer service and I feel sure that if I'd complained about all the knots, they would have made it right somehow.)
You can guess where this is going, right?
I cast on late Saturday afternoon and immediately became obsessed. Two rows from one skein. Two rows from the next. Watching the colors change and intersect was addicting. Things got ugly there, mid cuff, though. Both skeins went to a yucky blackish tan that looked to go on for quite a while. Not wanting 3 inches of blech striped with blech, I had to do a little stripe manipulation. It's not ideal, but 1/2 an inch of blech is better than all of this would have been.
If I'd known that I was going to make stripey socks, I would have ordered two color ways that were as different as possible. Definitely I would have made sure that they both didn't have black in them. In the beginning, I tried a few methods to avoid the color change jog, but none of them were smooth enough. I decided that I kind of liked the jog and maybe sometime I'll knit a pair and put the jog right up the middle of the sock.
So. Totally. Fascinating.
I bound off this morning and cast on the 2nd sock without a pause. I hadn't even gone through the entire color repeat for the first sock and I'd been thinking that maybe I could make these socks match, since I had double the yarn to work with. But I didn't want to have the blech issue again, so I just kept going where I'd left off. The toe of the 2nd sock is purple just beginning to stripe with pink. They won't be identical, but they'll be interesting.
Yes, the yarn is a bit rough. It's weird that it feels rough in the skein, but the sock feels just fine. I mean, it's not cashmere by any means, but it feels as comfy as other socks. I personally love the thick and thin parts of the yarn. The stuff does twist and tangle and stick to itself to the point you won't pull out any more than you need for the next row. No matter how badly you want to see when the next color is going to come up.
If anyone is looking for me, just follow the Noro. I won't be able to think of knitting anything else until these socks are done.