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Technique Number 1: Helical Stripes


I didn’t get involved in this - I used my “extra” money on my Hadley yarn but it sounds like something I have been doing for years. I have a couple of yards of this, a couple of yards of that, a couple of yards of something else leftover so I hunt thru the stash for a coordinating solid. Divide my hat stitches in quarters, knit with Yarn A x stitches, drop A, knit with yarn B for xy stitches, drop B, knit with yarn C until I get to where I dropped A, pick it up and start over - right? Very good for using up leftovers. Also fun to see what comes out as the spiral stripes get going. Mixing solids and multis is fun too! Enjoy it knitters!


What are the limitations is a great question! :sunglasses:

You can definitely use it on any sized piece of knitting in the round. I use it a lot when I knit garments with hand-dyed yarn for blending each skein in.

The limitations of your yarn choice are really just dependent on what effect you’re after. If you want the stripes then you need yarns with sufficient contrast - solid colours work just as well as the gradual stripes of a Zauberball. It gets less stripey if you have really short sections of colour in your skein. For yarns like this (lots of hand dyes only have short sections on each colour as it’s easier to dye like that), then pair them with a solid. Sometimes you don’t want the stripes (like the example of blending in skeins of hand dyed yarn).
If you want stripes of more than one round in each colour, then you need to use solid yarns and more than one ball. So to make a stripe pattern that’s 3 rounds in blue and 2 rounds in pink you’d need 5 balls of yarn joined in - 3 of them blue and 2 of them pink.

You can absolutely join in a heap of colours, but the more colours you use, the more angled your rounds start to look. So they will look more like a helter skelter than the normal seemingly horizontal rounds you’re used to seeing.

Phew! That was a long answer. I can’t think of any other limitations for now, if anything else occurs to me I’ll try to remember to come back. :smiley:


Just ordered my book and yarn last night! I’m hoping that I can keep up with the monthly schedule! I’m an average speed knitter, but don’t have as much time as I used to for my knitting.


I’m hoping to keep up with the monthly schedule, too. This first project is
supersimple, so far so good!


Thank you, Jen! A wonderful explanation!


I think dividing the Zauberball will be the most challenging part of this project! I could not find the inside-the-ball end and so wound the second ball from the outside of the Zauberball. (It occurs to me that this will allow me to join some more yarn from ball 1 exactly where I cut it, should ball 2 run short.) Anyway, I wound until I had several color changes on the second ball and the yarn pulled from inside it was in a completely different color section from that coming from inside ball 1 (which I was finally able to fish out when the ball was smaller and looser). So here’s what I have, and we shall see what ensues.


I used my ball winder to carefully wind off the outer bands, turning the ball each time the strands changed their rotation. I also popped the original ball onto the gram scale to see how the division was going.
Also, if you use the strand from the outside of the ball, and the inside of the wound cake, you colors should never overlap in your stripes.
If you hand-wind the second ball from the main one, there is a great likelihood of the same color coming from each ball at the same time.


I had a Crazy Zauberball in my stash, but thought the marling might muddy the effect and/or make it harder for me to tell if I was doing it correctly. This justifies my decision to buy a new Zauberball!


Never would have thought to pull from inside of ball! Very interesting.
Hard to believe those two balls are from the same Zauberball–wow! I think
you’ll be fine on the quantity of ball 2–just finished my first armwarmer
and have a lot of yarn left. Curious to see how this looks!


Hi! I’m still puzzling about what size needle everyone is using…have my Zauberball wound and I’m ready to Helic!


I have a question. I have done the increases for the thumb gusset and am ready to separate those stitches from the hand. The problem is, my yarn change is in the middle of the gusset! How do I handle this so that when I add the 2 stitches everything is working properly and I am using the correct color? When I tried doing it all with yarn A, I end up with an extra row of yarn A color. When I knitted to the 3 sts and did the yarn change to B, then the right side is not connected to the left side of the gusset. Suggestions?

Thanks! Sandy


I’m new to the site so I hope I’m asking this in the right place - but does anyone know when the Snickelway Zauberball might be back in stock? It’s so pretty - but I balked at paying $36 for the one of them I found in New Zealand (gulp). Would much prefer to buy here. Thanks and love all the techniques and good questions.


I’m loving it already. I purchased the black, gray, and white, Zauberball because I didn’t know what the project would be for. It I had known it was for my hands, I would have chosen more color. Oh well. It is pretty.
I have some yarn that I dyed on a machine knitted blank for socks. It was too wet when I painted the dyes on it, the dyes ran out, and the sections are really long. This will be a good way to knit with this yarn when time permits. This is really a fun process.


@skb2714 Hi There! The general feeling over in my Ravelry group is that smaller needles are more likely to get you gauge, but of course everyone is different! So I would say to try 2.25mm or 2.5mm needles to start off and then see how it’s turning out. Hope that helps!

@sdgreenberg Hi Sandy! I was so busy thinking about having the yarn change in the middle of the shaping, I’m afraid that I hadn’t thought about it being there when you came to divide! :blush: The same sort of thing is true though. If you come to the marker with yarn A and you’re ready to divide for the thumb, and your yarn B is hanging off the gusset, you need to slip stitches so that you’re at the yarn B end. Then knit the yarn B round so that it’s safely back on the hand somewhere. Slip sts back round to the yarn A end, and continue to separate your thumb as per the instructions.

I’m glad to read that everyone is having fun with the stripes! I need to get knitting on my new pair. I’ve got the same lovely green and purple colour way as @nellknits - so pretty! Happy knitting all!


I wish we had the list of supplies ahead of time! I am waiting for my needles. I don’t normally knit socks so I don’t have any really small dpns.


I love the idea of using this technique to blend hand dyed yarns. Is it possible to do so for a sweater that is NOT knit in the round? I have 3 balls of hand dyed blue yarn, but each is slightly different than the other.


You can absolutely knit stripes flat in order to blend hand-dyed yarns together, but the only way to knit helical stripes is in the round. :slight_smile: Hope that helps!


Hello! I am giving the helical stripes a go, but I may be in over my head…and I haven’t even divided my ball of yarn. :slight_smile: I have actually never divided a ball of yarn, so how do I go about it? I’ve read some of the comments here, and it seems that dividing Zauberball might take even more care. Any advice? TIA!


Thank you Jen. Your response made perfect sense - don’t know why I didn’t figure it out, but I suppose I was thinking there was something magical about the number 3! Anyway, I followed your directions and it worked perfectly.

BTW - I love these mitts! I started a practice pair before my Zauberball arrived, using a 2.5 US needle. The gauge is not accurate on that size, so I’ll go down for my Z-ball pair. Always good to have a practice pair! They will fit someone I know so I’m not concerned about it.

What a fun process! Again, thank you!


I unwound my Zauberball from the outside, and kept going until the outside
of the ball I was winding had a good contrast with the remaining original
ball. The armwarmers will turn out great no matter how you wind the balls,
frankly. It’s just fun to try to control the contrast in the yarns.