I've heard the Noro story: either you lust after it with white-hot desire or you loathe it with the force of thousand suns (ok, maybe it's just dislike, no suns involved). It's like sushi. Very few people are indifferent to sushi. We call it a binary food, in my little personal idiom. So Noro is kind of a binary yarn.
I admit I'm in the former camp. I know all about the veggie matter. The thick and thinness. The knots. I know that I can't tug hard at the beginning of a new line of Silk Garden without risking that the yarn will break entirely. It all doesn't seem to matter. I am helpless before the colors and textures.
Pattern: Silk Garden Beanie from And She Knits Too!
Finished: September 2006. It took longer than it should have because I only worked on it in natural light. It was the changing colors that kept me interested, so I figured why bother working on it when I couldn't see the colors. That's me, easily amused.
Needles: 4.0mm/US 6 Brittany birch DPNs.
If I did it again, I'd work it tighter. I'm a loose knitter and the hat's not very snug at all. The finished fabric just feels a little loose. It doesn't work so well in the wind but otherwise it's remarkably warm for a hat that feels so thin.
I finished this hat a while ago with a trial skein of Silk Garden. The pattern creator remarked that it's an excellent for evaluating the color changes in a colorway you're not so sure about -- I agree. It was my way of avoiding going nuts with a WEBS sale: buy one skein to try it out instead of 20 because I was greedy for the Noro. It worked pretty well, since I got the Silk Garden lust out of my system and avoided the other 19 skeins. It's not my usual colors at all but i still love the hat.
I've completely spaced the colorway - it was discontinued last year anyway. The purple isn't quite so bright in real life, and there's blue and greens you can't really see in these pics. I look at these images and think, what a fugly colorscheme. The pics don't do it justice at all.
I like the hat a lot and wear it frequently in the winter. It scrunches up nicely in a pocket and it's great for the drizzley weather that shows up here on a regular basis. It's probably the knitted-item-I-made that I wear the most.