Book review and giveaway: Knit Noro Accessories

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Today, I’m reviewing Knit Noro Accessories: 30 Colorful Little Knits, published by Sixth & Spring.  I received a review copy from Sixth & Spring which I’ll be giving away, so read on for details!

As the name implies, the book features 30 small knitting projects using Noro yarn.  Are you sitting down?  Because I have shocking news.  I have never used Noro yarn.  (I’ll pause so that you can catch your breath.)  For those of you, who, like myself, are relatively ignorant to the Noro phenomenon, let me share a few facts.  Noro is a Japanese yarn which is known for its beautiful color changes.  According to Wikipedia, it is partially handspun and partially machine spun.  In the U.S., Noro yarns are distributed by Knitting Fever.

The book is artfully presented. It includes a two-page photo spread of each design.  Most knitting and crocheting books display the samples on models with minimalist attire against white backgrounds.  This book takes a radically different approach, featuring models with patterned clothing in art directed “cluttered” environments featuring floral wallpaper.  The combination of the yarn, with its frequent color changes, and the photo styling made it difficult for me to really see the stitches on the patterns. This approach just highlights the fact that the projects are about the yarn, and not really about the designs.

Here is a break down of projects in the book and pattern difficulty levels:

  • Scarves/Cowls/Neckwarmers: 2 Easy, 3 Intermediate, 2 Experienced
  • Hats/Headbands: 1 Easy, 4 Intermediate
  • Mitts/Mittens: 3 Intermediate, 1 Experienced
  • Bags/Tech Cozies: 1 Intermediate, 2 Experienced
  • Pillows: 3 Intermediate
  • Shrugs/Wraps/Shawls: 3 Intermediate

There are three other Intermediate patterns: a tea cozy, a pair of legwarmers, and a dog sweater.

Several patterns stood out for me (literally, since they had to battle the with the backgrounds for attention): the Puzzle Scarf by Anna Al, Scale Pattern Mitts by Amy Polcyn, Stitch-Sampler Tote by Cheryl Murray, and Earflap Hat by Jacqueline van Dillen.

The patterns are written with pattern abbreviations, but several patterns (lace and cables) also include charts.  There is a short section in the back with illustrated instructions for the following techniques: 3-needle bind off, yarn overs, mattress stitch, kitchener stitch, I-cord, and chain stitch provisional cast-on.

This book is clearly aimed at an intermediate knitter who loves Noro yarn.  The fact that the book is a hardcover allows it to lay flat so you can read and knit at the same time.  I think that most of the patterns are probably lovely, but would benefit from a more simplified approach to the photography since the yarns all have frequent color changes.  This book is more like a coffee table book to me than a pattern book (except that it is small, like a pattern book).

I had a hard time coming up with a rating for this book because, as I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t able to get a clear view of most of the patterns.  I choose patterns to knit based on both the overall shape and how the stitch pattern looks.  If you love Noro yarn and knitted accessories projects, this is probably a great book for you.  If you are neutral about Noro, I would suggest you wait until more patterns and projects from this book are uploaded into the Ravelry database.  With simplified photos, you will get a better idea of whether this book has enough patterns you would enjoy making.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.

I’m giving away my review copy of Knit Noro Accessories: 30 Colorful Little Knits, courtesy of Sixth & Spring Books.  This giveaway is only open to readers with U.S. mailing addresses.

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