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  • October 23, 2023 2 min read 2 Comments

    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.  


    Do you like it subtle?

    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, Viola is considered a self striping Noro, but its colors generally have much lower contrast, so the appearance is more subtle. 

    ViolaNoro viola 01Viola 21

    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
    • Click Search

    .  All the projects that have used Noro for that pattern will be shown!  

    2 Responses

    Rita Lunn-Donovan
    Rita Lunn-Donovan

    October 24, 2023

    Love the list of substitutions. I will be keeping this to refer to.

    Polly Callahan
    Polly Callahan

    October 24, 2023

    I have bookmarked this so. Excellent and thank you.

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