I bought this beautiful green Noro Shirakaba last month at Admit Ewe Knit when I spied it sitting oh-so-prettily in the Wall of Noro, and finally got the chance to start knitting it into something. It's a cotton/silk/wool blend in gorgeous saturated colors that's much softer than other Noro yarns due to the cotton content. I decided on the Karin Wristwarmers since I've never knit a pair of fingerless gloves for myself and I love fingerless gloves. Love, love, love.
The picture really doesn't do the color justice. I found the pattern to be a bit wonky to start. To get gauge I had to go up to a US 10 needle when the pattern called for a US 7, only for it to be way too big. I went back to the seven, ignoring the gauge and it's knitting up perfectly. The take away: gauge swatches are for chumps. This is not a good lesson.
Also, while the cotton makes the yarn really nice and soft, it's hard on the hands. Well, at least my poor, arthritic hands. I think I can manage it through this project and will just have to take a break from cotton for a little while to recover.
P.S. I was curious what "shirakaba" translated to, and best I can tell is "white birch." From wikipedia:
"The Shirakabaha (白樺派, literally ‘the White Birch Group’) was a Japanese literary movement centered on the magazine Shirakaba, first published in 1910. It also refers to members of the group who share the same ideas and literary style." I don't know what that has to do with yarn.