There is no substitute for Noro yarn. Only Noro is Noro, and that, as my daughter would say, is a hill I am willing to die on. No other company can begin to replicate Noro's texture, color, and overall aesthetic. That being said, not everyone loves the brand's trademark bold colors and stripes and many people will dismiss Noro before they realize that Noro is so much more than Kureyon and its colorful siblings.
From the start, a big part of Noro's appeal has been those colors, and while I love them, even I can't support an entire wardrobe of statement sweaters knit in Noro stripes. Fortunately, there is an entire range of gorgeously solid, semi-solid, and flecked Noro yarns that give you a more subtle Noro experience and result.
I thought it would be fun and helpful to take a look at some of Noro's less striking, but equally beautiful solid and semi-solid yarns and how to exchange one for the other in Noro designs and even in other patterns.
How do you substitute other Noro yarns
How to substitute yarns is now complicated by modern yarn construction methods, but in Noro's world, most everything is a single-ply woolen spun yarn, so substitutions are pretty easy based just on gauge.
What Noro yarns are not striped
In the chart below, I've listed the solid color Noro yarns, their gauge, and the yarns that they will happily stand in for.
It's important to note that while much of what differentiates one Noro yarn from another is the fiber content and weight, some of it is just the way the colors run. For instance, Violais considered a self striping Noro, but its colors generally have much lower contrast, so the appearance is more subtle.
I would also like to add that most Noro yarns have some level of striping. With the exclusion of Sonata, Malvinas, and Kashirukuru, there will be some level of color shift, but it's subtle enough that it reads as a solid. But like all things Noro, when you take the time to really look, there is a lot going on to make the knitting that much more interesting and the fabric that much more sophisticated.
So whether you're team bold and striped or subtle and solid, there's a Noro out there for you.
I would love to hear in the comments which team you're on, and what your favorite Noro is.
p.s. Here's a trick if you're thinking about using Noro in a pattern but just can't quite picture it:
Go to the pattern's Ravelry page and click the "projects" link
Click the "Projects" tab
type Noro into the bar where it says "search in projects"
. All the projects that have used Noro for that pattern will be shown!
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