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Noro Lily
Noro Lily

Yarn Profile: Noro Lily

First Impressions
If you don't like the somewhat brassy look and feel of mercerized cotton but still want the sheen, Noro's new cotton/silk Lily may be the yarn for you. The addition of silk gives the cotton a luminescent glow and extra softness.

Lily is composed of multiple plies that are bound in a braid-like spin. Completely smooth and consistent in thickness and texture, it produces a light and fluffy knitted product with a subtle, attractive drape.

Lily comes eight colors: white, celery, mustard yellow, forest green, red, pink, purple, and burgundy (color names mine, not Noro's).

Knitting Up
Lily knit up like a dream. It slid easily through my hands and gripped my bamboo needles with a perfect balance of tightness and fluidity. I could knit quickly without feeling any loss of control.

Only once did I snag the yarn, and that was more my fault than the yarn's. When I did, however, my heart stood still.

The braded strands appeared to have come completely undone, puffing out in every direction. Fortunately just a little tugging brought the yarn back into shape.

Blocking / Washing
Lily washed well - no fading or bleeding, and the swatches felt wonderfully soft in the water. They definitely needed prodding back into shape after rinsing, but the process was fairly painless.

My advice: Don't even think about drying a wet Lily garment on anything but a flat surface.

The yarn bloomed slightly once dry, and my gauge expanded from 5 sts/inch to 4 1/2 sts/inch. Definitely keep this in mind when sizing your garment.

Lily isn't as strong or hearty as mercerized cotton yarns, but it doesn't try to be. It's a silky, delicate cotton for special summer knits.

Still, I was surprised at how durable the swatches turned out to be. It took quite a bit of torture before they submitted and began pilling. Snags were easily resolved by gently tugging the affected area to and fro a few times.

Lily has a high stitch definition that makes it excellent for stitch-intensive patterns. At the same time, the braided body gives standard stockinette an almost spongelike appearance that I found visually appealing.

One word of caution for beginners who are still struggling to establish a consistent tension between knit and purl rows: Lily shows everything. You may want to stick with a more forgiving cotton such as Mission Falls 1824 Cotton.

Otherwise, if you feel like adding a little luxury to your cotton, don't mind the small color selection, and have an ample budget, Lily makes for a lovely choice.

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Previous Reader Comments
"I just loved knitting with this yarn, and agree that it was a dream on bamboo needles. It did work up to more 4.75-5 sts/inch, however, but I tend to knit loosely, so it may be me more than the yarn. I did not experieince any "growth" in the finished product, and have worn the sweater several times, to rave reviews. I would definately work with Lily again." mln, 8/21/03

"I don't want to offend anyone, but for my style of knitting, this yarn sounds like a big pain. I would hate to knit it up and then have it shrink." mballard1, 3/29/01

Actually, Lily poses a reverse challenge - our swatches expanded slightly, even when subjected to heat. So instead of too tight, you may face extra looseness. - Clara