Noro Silk Garden is a wonderful yarn to work with. It is art in your hands. As a former shepherdess and yarn designer, I really look to knit with yarns that hold the vitality of their own origins. Noro's yarn still feels silky, warm, soft and vibrant - even though it has been processed and dyed. The knit stitches it produces I am knitting Susan Gutperl's and Sharon Miller's Birch pattern are lively and inviting and display color and pattern in a 'one of a kind' way. So that even several knitters using the same yarn in the same pattern will end up with unique finished objects. Because the Silk Garden is art in your hands, it is also a little undpredictable. There were a few very, very thin and very, very thick lengths in my skein. I had to be careful to adapt these to the pattern. And there were a few places where a color shift showed up in the skein that was just not harmonious with the complementary colors in the rest of the skein. Those lengths I just spliced out and then wove in the ends. The best aspect of Noro Silk garden is how it feels. It is warm, and light and inviting to knit with and to wear. Well worth the investment of time and your knitting budget to at least try once!
Although I always find myself wishing that Silk Garden were a bit softer, it's hard to beat the sheer intensity of color that you get with it. And it does of course, soften a bit with careful blocking I'm fond of Eucalan, but there are other washing products.
What I appreciate the most, though, is the assistance I get from the wonderful and VERY patient! folks at JBW when purchasing Silk Garden. I know they do usually photograph the actual product they have, but it's still so nice to be able to call up and just say something like, Is there really a good amount of pink in that color combination? Because they will literally go and put their hands on the yarn and check it out for you. Usually, they'll pick my yarn and send it right on the spot--which means that there's an attention to detail that you just can't find with some really big online places.
So JBW's service gets 5 stars, as always, and Silk Garden is as beautiful but typically woolly-feeling, of course as ever.