Color-Matching Noro

Lanesplitter & NoroI’m making progress on the Lanesplitter Skirt. I’m just past the halfway point, which means that I have reached the point where progress is almost imperceptible from row to row. But I am loving the way the stripes are playing out, and therein lies the genius that is Noro. The colors emerge so slowly and gradually, it’s like watching a flower bloom with time-lapse photography. Every knitted row is a tiny bit different from the previous row, and the contrast between the stripe pairs is never exactly the same.

I finished the first two balls of yarn, which brought me to the first real crossroad in the project. I needed to join two new balls of yarn to continue the stripe pattern, but I needed to do so in such a way that the colors would match both at the join point as well as continue the color sequence already established. With long color-run yarns such as this, there’s always the possibility that, even within the same dye lot, you won’t have another ball that starts at exactly the right point. And having worked with Noro before, I know there’s an equally good possibility that there will be one or more knots in the yarn, interrupting or even completely reversing the color sequence.

My first step in this project was to re-wind all the balls, separating them at any knots. I was very lucky in this process; of the six balls of yarn I’d purchased, three of them had no knots at all (which might be a new record for me with Noro!). The remaining three skeins each had one knot, but the color changes weren’t too drastic. I ended up with four full or nearly full balls of yarn, four smaller (a half a skein or less), and one tiny ball (only a few yards). I used two of the full balls which started at different points to begin the skirt, and they got me almost to the halfway point of the skirt. (This was quite fortuitous, as it meant I should have plenty of yarn to knit both the skirt and the waistband.)

Line up the NoroI took the remaining yarn and lined the center-pull balls up on the table. Looking from the inside of the ball to the outside, I checked to make sure that all the balls had the color sequence lined up in the right direction. Then I draped the ends of the working yarn over the balls. I was able to find two balls that started in exactly the right color, so I joined those and kept knitting. (For this project, I was not concerned about joining the yarn in any fancy way. The thick-and-thin texture of the yarn ensures that my woven-in ends won’t show. I simply held the new yarn next to the old, knit four stitches with both yarns, dropped the old yarn, and continued knitting.) Then I lined up the remaining yarn and put those balls in order, too. I doubt that I’ll need to go all the way to the last small balls of yarn, and I’d have to do a bit of surgery on one of them (the color at the beginning would partially repeat the color at the end of the previous ball of yarn), but I have more than enough to finish the skirt with the color sequence intact. Good news!

Now all I have to do is finish knitting it…


About Laura

Avid knitter!

Posted on March 5, 2012, in knitting, projects, techniques, yarn and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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