My first recommendation would be Noro. The diamonds on the back of the Blocks sweater are done in Noro Silk Garden, color 226, which I got for my birthday. The yarn has a great feel, a great smell, and (though you do have to pick out the occasional bits of pasture grass) is wonderful fun to knit. I may be easily amused, but watching the colors change as you knit the yarn up is endlessly entertaining.
The entire sweater in progress (this is the back, which I don’t have off the needles yet, much less have it washed and blocked) is in three different colors of Noro Kureyon—40, 95, and 182—(my Christmas present) and a simple Fair Isle block pattern.
Same comments about this yarn as the above, except that this is 100% wool rather than wool/silk.
ADDED—Image of Crazy Joy with corrected colors. These aren’t perfect either, but they’re really close.
I intend to annoy my family to get me every variety of Noro yarn—there simply aren’t enough holidays in the year.
Enough yarn to get one large sweater will run you about $150-$200 if you buy from Webs, which gives a killer discount on larger purchases. If you’re looking to spend about $300 (and if your recipient likes to knit in smaller gauge, also look at Great Adirondack’s Sireno. It’s smooth, very finished, very silky, and it knits up beautifully on number 3 or 4 US needles (small).
These I can recommend personally as being both wonderful and decadent—real luxury gifts.
Webs has a ton of other wonderful yarns, but I haven’t worn out Noro yet.
And—you are a wonderful gift-giver, Katherine.
Katherine—if you have a bunch of Wal-Mart plastic yarn (I do), knitting is pretty cheap. And the results make decent afghans and sweaters and such. But not great. Greatness is beyond my reach with Wal-Mart yarn.
And once you start hitting the hard stuff, watch out. If you’re a fast knitter, you find yourself like the wino who blew his budget on one great bottle—you’re down to hitting the Thunderbird and Mad Dog 20/20 in no time.
Oh. Very sorry to hear about the cold, too. Hope you get over it quickly.
Thanks very much! I missed work yesterday due a wonderfully snotty cold and this has really cheered me up this morning.
The Noro looks amazing on the website and the two tone looks really appealing to me as well. I think she’ll love it.
I had never realised how much wool you need to make one jumper and how much it costs. I always thought that knitting was a thrifty option! Maybe only if you get synthetic stuff from the co-op.
Thanks again for helping me out, I really appreciate it and I think my mum will too. I’ll have to keep my eye for a pattern I like and maybe I’ll get the finished product back for my birthday present (grin).
Those look like very yummy sweaters. I wish I lived somewhere where it would be possible to wear something like that someplace other than in an overly air-conditioned restaurant. Someday!
Guess I should mention, too, that the colors on Crazy Joy are a lot deeper and richer and less crayon-y than they look in the picture. There is nothing remotely like neon pink in the palette. Or neon green, for that matter. It’s really, really hard to match real colors with a digital camera. They did a much better (not perfect, but much better) job at the Webs site.
The Katherine mentioned is klharrds. 😀 Sorry I didn’t clarify that.
Just to clarify… the Katherine listed in the blog roll over on the right (me) and the Katherine who is a wonderful giver of luxurious wool are not the same person. Credit where credit is due… and my Mom doesn’t knit.