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A skein of Implession
Implession once knitted up
click each image to enlarge

Yarn Profile: Noro Implession

First Impressions
Noro yarns are like rich oil paints that create complex colorscapes with greater depth and texture than simple watercolors. The fibers are all dyed and blended before being spun, which means that any color shifts must be made by artfully blending the neighboring fibers.

In Implession, Noro has implemented its color concept through feltlike fibers spun in a zigzag manner with four dark, fine binder fibers running down the middle.

Besides holding the brushed fibers in place, the dark binder fibers act as a visual anchor to the ephemeral lighter-colored fluff.

Knitting Up
Implession was designed to be knit up on large needles so that the fibers have extra room to breathe and bloom. The yarn knits up extremely quickly and easily on Noro's recommended needle size (US 15), although the resulting fabric seemed almost too loose. It performed equally well on both bamboo and aluminum needles, as well as on smaller needles for a firmer fabric.

I encountered no snags or odd spots, but I did notice occasional variances in the yarn's thickness that produced a handspun effect in the knitted swatches.

The yarn's bulk and felted appearance make it easy to miss a dropped stitch for several rows. I advise giving your work a once-over every few rows to make sure everything's where it should be.

Blocking / Washing
My swatches instantly relaxed when exposed to water, expanding significantly in width. This isn't an unusual phenomenon, but it's always a question whether or not the swatches will bounce back. Because Implession has almost no elasticity to it, I worried.

The colors stayed true in cold water and bled only faintly in warm water. The water ran clear in the very first rinse.

My swatches dried quickly into nicely formed flat squares without any significant need for blocking. Once they were completely dry, I measured the damage.

Unwashed, my gauge averaged 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 stitches per inch (the yarn's varying thickness makes gauge measurement somewhat iffy). Washed, the gauge became an even 2 stitches per inch, expanding in width by a factor of 12.5 to 25 percent.

If Implession were used as an accent yarn, I suspect you'd be able to enjoy the yarn's bloom without worrying as much about expansion.

Wearing
I'm a little surprised Noro picked such a large needle size for this yarn because the resulting fabric feels almost too open and loose. I can see an all-Implession sweater stretching and drooping excessively with wear, unable to sustain its full weight from the shoulders down. I can also see elbows wearing thin more quickly than they would on a firmer fabric.

From a touchability perspective, Implession is lofty and soft, but not too soft. There's a subtle hint of brassiness from the brushed mohair, especially around more sensitive areas, such as the neck.

The yarn's vibrant colors appear to glow when held up to the light, thanks to the presence of silk and mohair.

When exposed to constant friction, my swatches performed surprisingly well. When the surface began to look matted, I simply tugged my swatches vertically and gave them a quick brushing with my hands.

The silk stayed perfectly blended with the rest of the fibers, and there was almost no pilling to be found. The swatches did gradually stretch out, so an Implession garment would benefit from periodic washing and reblocking.

Conclusion
Noro yarns tend to err on the bold side, and Implession's intense colors and fuzzy texture are indeed striking. I probably wouldn't use Implession for a full sweater, opting instead to use it as an accent for an otherwise calmer garment. Noro coordinated Implession's colors with those of Silk Garden, Kureyon, and Cash Iroha yarns, possibly for this same purpose.

At $9.95 per 52-yard skein, Implession definitely falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. Fortunately, you can still benefit from using it sparingly.

If cost isn't an issue, another interesting option would be to use two strands of yarn for your garment, Implession and a coordinating but single-colored brushed mohair.

Knit with US 15 needles, the fabric would be fuller, have more strength to support the weight of wear, and have an underlying color to subdue all of the dramatic color changes.

 
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