Remembering Eisaku Noro

Eisaku Noro, the creator and founder of Noro Yarns, has died. Noro was immensely creative and developed his namesake yarns with luscious color combinations that are often imitated but it’s still possible to pick out a garment made with Noro yarns from a crowd.

An announcement posted on Knitting Fever’s Facebook page said:

With regard to quality or artistic expression, Noro-san did not compromise. This was reflected in all he did, from the unique, eco-friendly and painstaking production methods, to the thoughtful selection of fibers from farms where animal stock is treated humanely. Noro’s vision for creating yarns was that they should inspire joy while remaining true to their natural heritage.

Knitting Fever has distributed Noro yarns since the 1980s. The post described him as “tall, regal, with a sense of humor and full of passion, here was a true artist who painted with fibers to create yarns unlike any on the market at the time.

Noro’s eye for color and texture has inspired countless knitwear and crochet designers, including me. When I was working on my book Colorwork Knitting I knew it was time to finally knit a sweater that had been on my mind for years. Shown above, it’s called the Color Belt Sweater in the book, and is worked starting with the linen stitch waistband, then the bodice is knit onto one side and the bottom of the sweater on the other. I knew Noro Silk Garden was the only yarn to bring this vision to life and it remains one of my favorite sweaters (you can check it out on Ravelry.)

Noro’s creative spirit lives on in his company, which is in the good hands of his son, Takuo Noro.

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