Noro Sekku came out what, about six months ago? I bought this skein as my souvenir yarn in the Houston trip covered elsewhere in these pages.
First, the Citron: extremely soothing low bandwidth project, but getting on to tedious on the 500+ stitch rows. Might be great for a beginning knitter, though the tab cast-on might be a bit tricky, and maybe not in laceweight–except for the edge rows the body is all stockinette, with useful excursions into increases and decreases, and the finished project is way cooler than some old scarf. I’ve read discussions of whether a beginning knitter should be saddled with some long simple endless project, but for me doing a scarf and a couple of lapghans helped me establish even stitches and a nice regular knitting rhythm (even if I was knitting through the back loop). Your mileage, and your beginning knitter, may vary.
Second, the yarn: Noro Sekku is at least 50% cotton, and the fabric it makes is beautifully light. I did run into one Famous Noro Knot, and since the yarn is a hard little single I couldn’t spit splice, I had to very carefully weave in the loose ends, allowing room for stretch during blocking (haven’t blocked the shawl yet, but if something bad happens be assured I’ll complain about it here). The yarn did some twisting but it wasn’t the twistiest I’ve ever knit with.
Most people seem to feel pretty strongly about Noro yarns and I am squarely in the pro-Noro camp (actually I’m in the buy what you want, all yarn has a purpose camp, but certainly in the pro-Noro tent)—I will admit, though, that the high price, short yardage, and surprise knots make it the Hungarian Girlfriend of yarns.
Hungarian Girlfriend is a Law & Order reference–Lenny tells Ray about the Hungarian girlfriend who lifted his wallet and ran him over like a rental truck and Ray says “and if she showed up again?” and Lenny says “I’d be waiting on the curb.” So yes, when Noro shows up, I’m waiting on the curb. I stalked Sekku for weeks once I heard it was released.