Crazy: Zauberballs & Kieran Foley
If you don’t know what a Crazy Zauberball is, please. Proceed with caution.
It hit a couple of weeks ago, when I was thinking about socks. Socks are fun, I thought. Haven’t made a sock in a while. Maybe I’ll make two. Put one on each foot and have a swell time of it.
When you look at a selection of sock yarns, Crazy Zauberballs jump right out at you. They look different from other sock yarns. They are so sincerely crazy—those bands of color are wound so tidily, the barber pole so twisty.
Another thing: Zauberballs look like wool, a little closer to the sheep than most other sock yarns. Zauberballs do have the 25% nylon that makes it a practical sock yarn, but somehow the Zauberball has a nice, rustic feel to it.
I ditched my sock plan pretty fast. I wanted only to Zauberball, uninterrupted.
I’ve been getting a lot of joy out of knitting triangle-shaped things. One skeiners, little snacks of yarn with no big agenda. The slow shifting colors in a Crazy Zauberball are just the thing when you’re feeling sort of aimless about your knitting.
First Zaubersperiment: Åsne by Finland’s own Eeva Kesäkuu. An asymmetrical triangle, yarnovers and garter stitch all the way.
The priss in me hastens to point out that I haven’t blocked this yet.
Second up: Kerchief by Ireland’s own Kieran Foley.
Kieran Foley is so amazing. I’m a recent convert, and Kerchief is my first stab at these knit/lab patterns, but good lord, there is no end of invention to be found there.
If you click on only one thing today, this is the click. I have never seen anything like these hybrid patterns. They are stunning. In particular, Renaissance Stripes is worked on US size 0 needles, using 67 mini skeins of laceweight merino. PS: The stripes are worked vertically, eight colors in each row. Fifty-six intrepid masochists have posted their projects on Ravelry. Go give them all a high five. Count me gobsmacked.
MEANWHILE, I’m enjoying this puttering little crescent. I wanted to try stranded knitting worked flat, just to be sure that my deep preference for working stranded knitting in the round isn’t just crazytalk.
I’m not crazy. Working two colors in a purl row is not my idea of a good time. However, in Kerchief, there are only five rows of it, so I put my head down and thought of England. (That’s Alice Starmore yarn in the stranded section; Crazy Zauberball isn’t that crazy.) I’m curious how Kieran Foley works gigantic shawls using flat stranded knitting. I’m not even vaguely coordinated enough for that.
Finally, I think that the way Crazy Zauberballs are wound is brilliant. It makes you want to knit your way down to, say, teal as fast as you can. I dismantled one to see how many colorways I could discern, and the answer is: ten.
At least ten distinct colors, though of course it’s impossible to put my finger on where exactly one color starts and the previous one ends. It’s crazy, I tell you.
It definitely helps to use one of those little Portuguese knitting pins on for your left purl hand so it only has to flick the yarn over the needle. But I’m with you, let me do fair isle in the round!
Or – learn to knit backwards. It’s not as awkward as it sounds once one gets the motions down.
My Crazy Zaubersocks are favorites of mine – all bright orange and blue coziness!! So the next time I ventured to that same beachside yarn shop, a new Crazy ball found its way into my shopping bag. Can’t wait to see how the next socks knit up!
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