They invented a new sock yarn, darn them, Zauberball. I was hanging out at my LYS, Green Planet Yarn, and remembered I have a customer loyalty reward. That and my practice is doing good so I have yarn budget. So I browsed the sock yarns to see what was new, and came across the crazy variety of zauberball. Now, trekking, another skacel yarn, has always been a favorite, and this looked just like a weird cool new twist on that, so I had to try some. When I browsed online, I discovered that it comes in a solid variety, with my favorite yarn quality – long slow gentle gradual color changes! big fat lazy wide stripes! I HAD TO HAVE SOME

Did you know that sometimes EVERY yarn store in the WORLD can be out of the yarn you want at the same time? Seems I’m not the only knitter that NEEDS this yarn. Yarn designers take note… long slow gradual color changes fly off the sock yarn shelves…

To make a long story short, I was reduced to begging, and pinged an e-mail off to the distributor asking if they let designers sample. And got a lovely yarn package in the mail. You guys have GOT to see this yarn:

On the lower right is the regular zauberball – a lovely 1 ply yarn that is amazingly even and well spun.  No thick or thin spots visible or feelable at all.  Its about as soft as the regular trekking and the colors are PERFECT.  I think I really will need to collect the whole set. The only way this yarn could get better would be if it wasn’t 1-ply.  socks take a lot of wear and I worry about using ANY 1 ply yarn for socks.  1 ply is just weaker.  Plying means you have opposite twists combined, and no matter which way the yarn moves, a twist will be holding it together.  My advice: Knit this stuff tight, at least 10 SPI.  The colors are WELL WORTH putting up with the 1 plyness, especially since the thickness is so wonderfully consistent, which will help it wear well.

The next yarn of note was a surprise gift: A new line of trekking! Located top left.  Clearly skacel browsed my patterns and knows I love this yarn.  From all I can tell online this trekking is different than the old XXL in 2 ways.  The colors change slower for what I hope will be wider stripes, and it looks as if it may not have that completely random color order – that’s right, it may have predictable stripes and allow MATCHING TREKKING SOCKS.  Now, I have yet to test this!  I am only going off manufacturer pictures.  I will update as soon as I have the change and I really can’t knit 3 socks at once!  I have mixed feelings about it too.  Part of me loved the randomness of the trekking, but matching socks…  just too good to pass up.  I have gotten used to fraternal but the option to match is very welcome.

The other 2 yarns are the crazy Zauberball I picked up at my LYS and the one sent by Skacel.  The rainbow brite yarn is being offered to my sister, so is likely to hit the needles soon as a much belated b-day gift (yes I know, its not a birthday gift if you cast on AFTER the day… but the socks’ll still be socks!) The yarn is a 2 ply version of the regular zauberball, with somewhat wilder colorways.  It looks to me like it may also be predictable color orders, in that the plys are offset just a bit and going in the same order – similar colors seem to land next to each other.  This is all just impressions from poking at the ball though, I could be way off.  The color stripes are definitely going to be MUCH wider than trekking XXL stripes, so I’m looking forward to actually playing with loud colors and fun patterns at the same time.

All in all, I’m doomed to not finish old projects for quite some time, I really want to cast on all 4 balls NOW!