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Archive for July 6th, 2009

Zauberball is a Super Ball o’Fun!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Brian and I went camping for an overnight this weekend. It was his family’s annual event. I figured I needed a project that did not require counting much, and did not require piles of similar yarns to use together, like this or this. Following is what happened with that idea.

zauberball20.jpgThere is a new type of sockyarn called Zauberball. It is a very slowly color-changing yarn, and it comes in hand-wound balls. The way it is packaged really makes the yarn look colorful and quite tempting (at least to me) to buy.

I have seen socks knit with this yarn. They are subtly changing, no lines between one color and the next one. The rainbow-like wash of color is incredibly beautiful.

However, the color change takes so long on a pair of socks, that someone with small feet may not like how the yarn looks knit straight from the skein into socks. Also, it may be hard for those knitters who like matching socks, to get this yarn to match from one sock to the next.

I originally figured that I would stripe the yarn against itself, as I did with Noro Kureyon sockyarn in the small sock shown at right. It would work, but since the ball is hand-wound, I can not work from the inside and the outside of the ball simultaneously. That is, unless I want to re-wind it into a center-pull ball for myself first.

(It occurs to me that now I own two balls, because I think I need that much for a shawl. I could have striped between those two balls at the same time. Never mind that I would not have purchased the second ball, had I planned a single pair of socks.)

I would have been willing to rewind the yarn if I felt that was the right move for the yarn. However, I kept pondering the possibilities while I worked on other more obvious projects.

THEN I started knitting mitered squares from turquoise sockyarn into a lovely fabric. The squares were very satisfying.

I went on Ravelry.com (you must sign up for a free membership to view the project pages there) and looked at mitered square blanket projects (this link goes to 750+ project photos on Ravelry). Most of them set up the colors in horizontal rows, starting at the bottom and building one level at a time.

One of the projects I viewed, built the squares from a corner and worked the squares in diagonal rows. That knitter worked one color at a time, each diagonal row a different color group. If you are a ravelry member, you can see her project here.

The diagonal angle struck me as beautiful. It wasn’t using the Zauberball, but it gave me the idea to work diagonally.

zauberballphase1-400.jpg

So here is the beginning of my stole. A stole is a rectangular shawl/wrap. I hope mine will be at least a foot wide. I started with the dark purple square. I then started to the right of that square, and made three squares working up and to the left, in plum to raspberry. Following that was a reddish/orange row of five rows, starting at the bottom again and working up and to the left.

The un-attached square you see in the photo may be the beginning of the last diagonal row on one short end of the project. I will weigh the knit squares and the yarn I have remaining, to estimate how much yarn it takes per square. I have two balls of this yarn and will do some calculating to see if maybe I can get a fifth diamond added to the width before I start working up rather than to the right. (The squares are about 2.5 to 3″ wide from left point to right point, unblocked.)
I think this will be spectacular. I’m not a huge orange fan, but this pure orange with no gray or brown in it, is incredible with the red and purple in the ball. I am delighted with it so far.

More photos as the project progresses.