One of the most popular yarns is Silk Garden from Noro of Japan. It is a blended fibre containing a silk, mohair and wool. Silk Garden Solo is a super-saturated tonal, monochromatic single-ply that complements any of the beautiful Silk Garden colorways.
Silk Garden - Colourway 84 - Otaru
Composition: 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool
Size: 50g ball
Length: 100m / 110yd
Recommended needle size: 5.00mm / US8 / 6UK
Tension: 18st / 24rows over 10cm
Washing instructions: Hand wash, dry flat
Made in: Japan
All animal fibers used to create Noro yarns come from certified organic farms, including producers in Australia, the Falkland Islands and South Africa—the best the world has to offer. Noro himself personally maintains the integrity of the production process, visiting farms, checking the type of equipment used to spin the fiber, and monitoring the dyeing process as well.
One of the most prominent qualities of Noro yarn is its handspun, loosely processed quality. This, too, is an essential part of Noro's vision of creating yarns that remain true to their natural heritage. Keeping processing to a minimum and eschewing the use of harsh chemical treatments is critical to this vision. Friction created by agitation and heat during processing can weaken natural fibers; by shortening this process, Noro reduces the damage done to fibers and to the environment. Minimizing the amount of machine handling also preserves the original qualities of the fibers. Noro uses only one roller on the carding machine instead of the usual three, uses a shorter bed, and gently hand feeds fiber into the carder. The yarns receive less twist in the spinning process, which creates the variances in thickness along the length of the yarn.
Occasionally, those new to Noro yarns are unfamiliar with their unique texture and unprocessed hand. Don't be put off by these qualities. Variations and slight unevenness in the yarn's texture is not a mistake but rather a deliberate choice so that knitters may feel closer to nature. As Noro observes, "If we make wool yarn, we use various lengths and thicknesses of wool fiber: We want to reproduce the sheep itself in our yarn." Indeed, this willingness to embrace the imperfections and variations is a hallmark of Noro yarns. Eisaku Noro sees this as a cultural phenomenon: "From ancient times, Japanese have accepted, enjoyed and been charmed by the ununiformity, unevenness and occasionally the coarseness of nature. It may be the base of us, and not only the basic philosophy for Noro yarns."
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