Monday, November 13, 2017

How Do I Love Thee, Zauberball?


There, now that that is out of the way, I can wax lyrical about one of my favorite yarns: Schoppel Zauberball Crazy. And if Schoppel would now like to send me some yarn love, I won't complain ;)

Zauberball is Euro-style sock yarn, 25% nylon/75% wool, thin (420m/100g), 2 ply and non-merino. It is not soft, but has a high price point all the same. Lots of knitters don't like this yarn because for the price they want soft. If you are into "soft",  this yarn will disappoint.

Thanks to the zero merino content, though, it wears quite well - no felting or pilling. I did, however, have a pair of Zauberball socks that wore through badly after about a year - holes in unexpected places all over the sole - though I suspect it was because my teenaged son was wearing the socks while longboarding - his shoes had holes in the same damn places as the socks!! Pro Tip: do not wear handknit socks when longboarding!

I've found that some of the dyes will fade over repeated laundry cycles, some colourways more than others. Since socks get washed a lot, it helps to be gentle with the detergent you use, if at all possible. I have had one colourway (2100 "domino") - which is starkly black and white - fade and bleed quite quickly, with all the white bits going grey. It seems to me that the bright colourways fade more quickly. But in general they look good for at least a couple of years.

Zauberball is a self-striping yarn with a very long colour change, and every ball is slightly different, so you are not going to be able to easily create identical socks using it. If you are a stickler for matching socks, this yarn isn't going to make you happy. But it's that same quality that makes it most excellent for "fun with colour". This is where this yarn really comes into its glory! Below I show you some of the socks I have knit using it, for your viewing pleasure. I've noted the colourways and patterns on the photos.

It's important to note that to get the look created in these photos, I wind the skein into smaller balls (at least 2 per sock so 4 smaller balls if I do 2AAT) and then use alternating balls for the (horizontal or vertical) stripes, or the wedges. This enhances the contrast between the stripes. The only socks where I didn't do this were the Zarathustra socks below - those display the natural colour rhythm of the skein, the contrast being provided by the plain grey of the Regia.

[pattern: Cookie A's Wedge sock, 
Zauberball Crazy colourway 3136 "der lenz ist da"]

[pattern: 2x2 colourwork using 2 ends of the ball, 
garter toes and FishLipsKiss heel,
Zauberball Crazy colourway 1564 "frische fische"]

[pattern: 2x2 ribbing, 6-row stripes from 2 ends of the ball, 
my own afterthought heel; 
Zauberball Crazy colourway 2137 "wurzelsepp"]

[pattern: Cookie A's Wedge sock, 
Zauberball Crazy colourway 3136 "blasser schimmer"]

[pattern: Caoua Coffee's Zarathustra socks;
Zauberball Crazy colourway 2312  "piano bar" 
combined with plain grey from Regia]

[pattern: 2x2 sprialling colourwork using 2 ends of the ball, 
my own garter afterthought heel 
Zauberball Crazy colourway 2092  "my sweet side"]

[pattern: 2x2 ribbing, 6-row stripes from 2 ends of the ball, 
my own afterthought heel; 
Zauberball Crazy colourway 1564 "frische fische"]

Have fun, sock knitters!

No comments:

Post a Comment