The summer months have arrived; this is one of my favourite times.
Summer for me means knitting, I know this may be a strange combination for some, but I love summer yarns and creating gorgeous summery knitwear that allow me to wear my stitches all year round.
This week I am investigating an interesting summer yarn from Noro. Taiyo is a blend of wonderful fibres showcasing Noro’s signature long gradient colourways. It certainly makes for an interesting knit.
Noro Taiyo 4 ply is available in 50g balls, each containing 210m of glorious yarn. The blend is pretty special and rather unique;50% cotton / 17% wool / 17% nylon / 16% silk. This unique combination gives the coolness of cotton, the warmth and bounce of wool, the luxury of silk and the added strength of nylon.
Tangled Yarn has 14 shade options available and each usually consists of three of four different colours. As with all Noro yarns the colour repeats are long and the colour combinations range from bright and bold to softer and more natural shades.
I was looking forward to working with this yarn as it contains all the things I love, great fibre, soft textural qualities and interesting colours. My interest was piqued when I thought about whipping up a pair of short summer socks. My first sock is now well underway and I am really enjoying how the yarn is working up.
This yarn is interesting to work with. The thick and thin nature of all Noro yarns gives it a beautiful texture and slight variation between the stitches. This does not detract from the overall fabric in the slightest, it creates wonderful detail within your work. Due to the nature of the spin the yarn can be a little ‘twisty’ meaning you have to occasionally stop to smooth your working yarn. For me this wasn’t a problem though as it gave me time to step back and admire the beautiful knitted fabric this yarn creates.
When working the yarn on tiny needles for socks (I am using 2.25mm) you can feel the rigidity of the cotton coming through but it is well balanced with the wool content, making the knitting enjoyable. Watching the long colour shifts is magical and always makes me want to knit ‘just one more round’.
A slightly more unusual sock yarn but definitely great for summer socks!
If you are not a sock fan there is plenty of scope to knit this yarn at a looser gauge and many inspiring patterns out there to choose from. These are some of my favourite projects found while surfing the gloriously inspiring pages of Ravelry. I also love looking at the stunning projects Ravelry knitters create with a specific yarn.
These knee length socks are so pretty and feminine, I can imagine them paired with a floral print summer dress for a slightly bohemian look.
Plain socks with a little bit of detail are ideal for showing off the long colour repeats in this yarn.
Cotton has less stretch and give than wool. Ribbed socks are great for countering this fibre quality and giving you a great fitting but cool summer sock.
Pretty summer colours and interesting, but simple, details on this sock would make a superb summer sock knitting project. The pattern is free too!
The long shifts in colour changes found in Noro Taiyo are excellent for pairing with a contrast yarn. This breaks up the colour and really allows each shade to shine.
Melinda Ver Meer designed the Nymphalidea shawl with long colour shifts in mind. The Noro Taiyo would combine well with Mabel & Ivy Coast, creating a soft, cool and airy shawl.
Using short rows creates interesting changes in the colour patterns. This is a wonderful example of what you can create with a few skeins of Noro Taiyo.
Finally, I love how this knitter has used the beautiful yarn. She named her project “Less is More”, and I couldn’t agree more with her sentiment. Showcasing and celebrating the colour and texture of this yarn with a simple scarf knit on the bias – stunning!
If you really love Noro, take a look at these garments – stunning Noro colour in all its magical glory.
The Arc-en-Ciel pullover is knit on the bias to create flattering diagonal stripes across the body. I love these beautiful examples of this light and air top found on Ravelry.
This wide floaty top knitted by Marie Line would be perfect for a summer cover up, the cool cotton would be complimented by the slight touch of warmth added by the wool.
If you love Noro but can’t see yourself wearing a garment knitted solely in colourful Noro why not pair it with a contrast yarn for a toned down but beautiful knit.
This example of Enchanted Mesa, a Stephen West pattern, really shows how you can emphasise the beauty of Noro by teaming it with a neutral solid.
Noro Taiyo would pair wonderfully with Coast (55% wool / 45% cotton) for a lighter weight garment or Supersoft 100% Wool for something a little warmer. Both of these yarns come in a huge range of colours, meaning you will always be able to find the perfect match for your skein of Noro.
Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures.
She regularly blogs at www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.