Archive for May, 2012

Knock Your Socks Off With Noro

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

What could be more uplifting than seeing the arc of a rainbow suddenly sweep across a cloudy sky?  That’s the same reaction knitters will experience as they flip through the newly printed pages of the NORO Knitting Magazine which makes its eagerly-anticipated debut in early June.  Thinking outside the box, Eisaku Noro brought his artistic vision to life with ‘knock your socks off’ colour blended into a melange of nature’s finest wools more than thirty-five years ago.  Each year the list of Noro yarn devotees multiplies, as knitters and crocheters continue to discover the surprising shade transformations surreptitiously spun inside each and every ball.

Energized with a deluge of irresistible colour, and over thirty projects to catch your eye from socks, shawls, hats and sweaters for men and women, to home accessories, dresses and skirts, this premiere issue is a pairing of some of the world’s top designers and our favorite yarns.

This exciting issue will sell out quickly so be sure to get a copy reserved at your LYS!

Here is a sizzling sampling of whats inside-


NORO Magazine Issue 1


‘Many, many years ago, Eisaku Noro took a leap of faith. Trusting his experience and knowledge, his instincts and determination, he envisioned creating a yarn like no other. So many exuberant entrepreneurial moments like this end without success, but not this one. We can only imagine how hard Mr. Noro worked to market a yarn so overtly individual and carve a growing niche in a hand-knitting market dominated by single-color balls and skeins.’

‘Speaking for the knitters of the world, we say: Bravo, Mr. Noro! Your vision inspires us: We are mesmerized as stitch after stitch forms and falls from our needles. We expect the unexpected, crave the next color, and are often hopelessly addicted. Our editors are voracious Noro knitters, so putting together this magazine has been an exciting experience for us. We congratulate the talented designers who embraced the unique qualities of Noro yarns, experimented with shape and form, color and construction, and created such inspiring results.’




Reversible Cable Vest in Silk Garden

Clever Cables!  Designed by Holli Yeoh, here is a vest that features one-piece construction with zig zag cables revealed from the inside.  Knit in Noro’s classic Silk Garden, an aran weight fusion yarn combining silk, mohair and lambswool into forty-six dreamy colourscapes.


Pompom Cape in Karuta

No Clouds on the Horizon!  It will be clear blue skies with this laid-back cover-up designed by Galina Caroll, a project especially suited for novice knitters.  Created in two pieces which slope along the upper arms for an easy fit in Karuta, a chunky blend of silk, wool and cotton that puts the fun in summer knitting.


Cropped Jacket in Silk Garden Sock

Between the Lines!  Take a look at this knockout shawl collar jacket designed by Irina Poludnenko, ready to challenge knitters with a real workout in short row shaping across the shoulders.  Knit with two alternating colourways in Silk Garden Sock, creating a hypnotic stripe effect.


Patchwork Jacket in Hitsuji and Karuta

Making the Grade!  There will never be two of these stunning creations quite the same, thanks to the unique dyeing formulas of Noro yarns.  A remarkable design by Galina Caroll, knit in Hitsuji and Karuta, equal partners in a graphic interplay of architectural angles.


Crochet Slippers in Kureyon

Hooked on Kureyon!  Designed by Yoko Hatta, with the grandaddy of all Noro yarns, Kureyon, a natural rustic wool spun into an amazing carte de jour of choices….. well over thirty to be exact.  There is already plenty of buzz on knitting forums surrounding these easy slip-ons.  If you are looking for a little temptation to hone your crochet skills, this may be it!


Felted Tote in Hitsuji

Felting Fever!  A fashionable tote designed by Jacqueline van Dillen is knit in Hitsuji, a bulky wool available in eight splashy palettes.  Whether its a sandy excursion at the water’s edge, a weekend jaunt to a friend’s cottage, or just settling into a comfy deck chair in the backyard and enjoying some quiet knitting time, wouldn’t this make a great catch-all?

The Lionheart Project

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

With just over sixty days to go, the world’s finest athletes are in the midst of gruelling training and preparation, fuelled on by the prospect of winning gold at this summer’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Meanwhile, a group of talented individuals have also been fervently hard at work, pursuing their dreams with steely determination and relentless stamina, as they share a role in ‘England’s Artists Taking The Lead’ a flagship project for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad showcasing twelve breathtaking public art exhibits, each one representing a region of the UK in celebration for the huge event.

Shauna Richardson, from Leicestershire, is one of the twelve gifted artists selected to participate in the Cultural Olympiad, describing herself as a ‘crochetdermist’ she works with wool and animal forms to create life-size sculptures.  As a young student at school, she learned the craft of crochet, and went on to pursue a career in fine art concentrating mainly in architectural themes.  While at University in Leicester, Shauna began to explore the theory, “that maybe anything could be art, maybe a gesture, or an empty space.”  By experimenting with realism and traditional craft she found her niche in the artistic realm and sees this occasion to showcase her work, “as a truly exciting opportunity to think big and create something spectacular that would celebrate the individual culture of our region and put us squarely on the map.”


The Lionheart Project Poster

The Lionheart Project was submitted to the Arts Council of England by Shauna to reflect the East Midlands textile heritage and regional significance.  The wool used for the giant sculptures is produced locally, and spun onto large cones in the Peak District from a reported one hundred and fifty sheep.  The three lions chosen for her project are featured prominently on the red crest of Richard the Lionheart who reigned as King of England from 1189 to 1199.


Completion of the First Lion

Shauna began her work on The Lionheart Project in 2009.  Each lion is sculpted out of polystyrene, and fastened over a steel skeleton measuring out to a colossal twenty-five feet.  With a 10 mm bamboo crochet hook as her tool of choice, which she states ‘is softer to grip and easier on hand strain’ Shauna works in freeform technique, crocheting in circular and oblong patches to enhance the muscular contours of the animal.  Setting her limits at six hours of crochet per day, she used buckets of ice to plunge her hands into to relieve the pain from constant repetitive hand and wrist motion.


Lionheart Project Goes On the Road

The three completed lions have now taken up residence inside a fifty-two foot long custom-built, glass enclosure which presently sits in front of the Bastion Wall in Chatsworth.  On June 10th, they will embark on a tour of the East Midlands and are set to arrive at the Natural History Museum in London for the opening of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Watch Shauna at work here creating the first lion.