Noro is one of my favorite yarn labels. The way that the colors transition can make panels of basic stitches interesting and engaging to knit, moving me through the project quickly with the promise of a new reveal in every row. Many patterns have been based on Noro Yarns’ color changes, often using simple stitch patterns to let the colors speak for themselves. I thought it could be fun to explore some new possibilities with Noro’s Shiraito, a blend of angora, cashmere, and wool, spun at a delicate fingering weight.
First, here is color 31, knit into a simple stockinette swatch. The color transitions are fairly wide, making it a great candidate for textured stitches or effects with stripes and colorwork. I love the way that the purple transitions into the green with a displaced, speckled effect, but has almost an immediate transition into the sage color. Just another fun aspect to using this yarn!
It’s fun to highlight and increase this effect, or even break it up a little, by using a textured stitch that features slipped or crossed stitches (psso, anyone?). Linen stitch seemed like a great candidate in the Shiraito because it really upgrades the knitted fabric into something special, giving accessories a woven look. It translated so well in our swatch, I love the way it broke up the transitional bars and made the speckled portions carry on a bit longer than they normally would.
Striping in Noro can be an easy way to get all kinds of awesome effects. If you wind your yarn into a cake and then knit from both ends, using one as your main color and the other as your “stripe” color, you can work the transitions against each other, creating a finished piece that has a ton of interest and movement. It’s almost like an optical illusion!
Of course, you can go the more traditional route and stripe the Shiraito with a plain contrast color to make the transitions really pop. For stark results, pick a color not featured in the yarn but complimentary (a neutral like heather gray or brown can be a great choice). For more subtle striping, choose a color that matches a section of your Noro yarn. In this case, we played up the cream that already existed in the Shiraito skein.
No matter what color, method, or project Noro Yarns inspire you to try, don’t be afraid to play around and swatch a few different options. You might surprise yourself in the process!