A Noro rapture

Noro.  There are no halfway emotions about it. You either love it with a white-hot passion, or you hate it so much that you would rather not knit than to use it.  Why the disparity?  I’m not sure, really.  Its detractors cite things like it’s variations in texture, tiny bits of vegetable matter in the fiber, and sections of color that don’t seem to belong.  I understand.  Certainly, Noro is not extra fine merino and silk.  But then, it doesn’t pretend to be.  Noro yarn is something else entirely.  Noro embodies an aesthetic that is very different from traditional Western views of beauty.  This aesthetic is  Wabi-Sabi, which embraces a beauty that is far from the smooth, new, and refined so valued in western culture.  Noro yarns are purposefully rustic and imperfect.   These yarns have been  minimally processed and still retain the look and feel of their source material, which is Mr. Eisaku Noro’s goal for his fibers.

As for the colors that don’t seem to belong, that too is part of the aesthetic – part of the beauty. It’s the kind of beauty and color play that you find in nature.  Picture an oriental lily with gaudy pink petals and ruby red spots, and a lime green throat.  But what sets it all off? Those fuzzy anthers of deep orange brown!    Bit of greeand that bit of  – it isn’t all one color and all finished.  There are brilliant pink  Imagine a huge, deep vein of emerald or sapphire crystal lodged  in a chunk of drab brown or grey stone.  When you find such a rough gem, there is tremendous energy about getting to that gorgeous green or blue you know is in there.  For the ancient Buddhist philosopher, Kenko, anticipation is the better part of the beauty of a thing.  Similarly, the colors you might love in a skein of Silk Garden – incredible blue, green and purple – would be rather less interesting without the bit of drab to set them off.  Those drab bits make the blue bluer, the green greener – everything is more intense against those bits.  The anticipation and excitement of knitting with Noro is addictive.  You want to knit and knit and knit just to see how the colors will play out.  You crave want to use a new colorway to explore how it will

 Noro has a quality of  Noro that is quite Wabi Sabi.   guess it’s a addt

A really lovely wom came in the shop one day a few months ago- it was so much fun to talk to her because she is a Noro addict in the same way that I am.  When you talk to someone about Noro, you might hear them say things like, “it’s so uneven,” or “there’s always some color in it that I just don’t like.”  Kenko, a fourteenth century Buddhist monk, wrote a collection of sayings about life, death, sex, design, beauty,  imperfection, and the Buddhist law of uncertainty. He wrote that “The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.”  Sometimes it’s hard to see that, but truly, how dull it would be if we knew everything that was to come.

With that uncertainty is unfinished things, irregularity of thigns and the beauty of imperfection.

some of which were about the Japan


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