Knitting Two Strands of Linen Yarn Together

There are plenty of reasons you might want to knit two or even more strands of linen yarn together.  Maybe they aren’t thick enough for the pattern you’re working off of, or for the desired thickness of the final project.  Or perhaps you really like the two colors and want to make a more visually interesting project that puts them in combination.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to spin them separately into yarn before working with them.  There are a couple easy ways to knit multiple strands of linen yarn together that hardly take any time at all. Continue reading

Benefits of Interchangeable Knitting Needles

Louet North America knows that when it comes to your hobbies, it’s easy to have an overabundance of items cluttering your space. One of the easiest ways to scale down your knitting supplies is to use supplies that are good for more than one purpose. Interchangeable knitting needles are one way that you can reduce the number of knitting needles that you need to have on hand for all your projects. Continue reading

Find Comfort with Ergonomic Knitting Needles

At Louet North America, we understand your need to knit. Knitting is one of those activities that make you feel relaxed and soothed while creating something new for the world to enjoy. It’s a wonderful feeling. The repetition that comes from knitting is one of the things that makes it so peaceful, but that repetitive motion can be hard on your hands and wrists. For those that suffer from carpal tunnel or worry about repetitive motion injuries, there are ergonomic knitting needles. Continue reading

What to Look For When Shopping for Interchangeable Knitting Needles

In the knitting world, there are a couple of things all beginners will realize quickly:

  • The quality of your needles matter,
  • Your needles seem to multiply overnight.

Regardless of your skill level, investing in a set of high-quality interchangeable knitting needles from Louet North America will help reduce this knitting basket clutter. Continue reading

Prevent Hand and Wrist Injuries with Ergonomic Knitting Supplies

Knit with Kollage Knitting Needles
There is something about knitting that
soothes and relaxes, in fact, more and more crafty Millennials are turning to the hobby because of the comforting repetition and satisfying results. However, this repetition can also lead to wrist and hand problems, particularly in those who are at a higher risk of repetitive motion injuries.

All too often, we hear about someone abandoning their passion for knitting because they experience hand or wrist pain. The very nature of the past time and required hand motions can cause carpal tunnel, which causes pain, numbness, and loss of dexterity . Those who have arthritis may also experience greater hand and wrist pain during or after knitting.

Tips to Prevent Injury

Wrist pain should not stop you from enjoying your passion. Prevent problems before they arise, or help reduce further damage by taking frequent breaks and resting your hands often. As a rule, give your hands a break every half hour or so. If you already have pain and numbness problems, besides speaking with your doctor, you can try these wrist exercises for carpal tunnel to help reduce discomfort.

Your knitting supplies also play a significant role in preventing pain, particularly your knitting needles.

Ergonomic Kollage Square Knitting Needles

The repetitive motion of knitting can potentially place you at risk of carpal tunnel, and while taking regular breaks and doing targeted exercises can help prevent this, investing in ergonomic needles can further reduce your risks.

Louet North America has a line of square shaped needles, Kollage Squares, that are specially designed to reduce the stress placed on the hands without compromising workmanship. Their unique square shape allows the knitter to hold the needles in a way that alleviates stress and pain and also helps create more uniform stitches. The superior joins and precise points make them a high-quality knitting needle that is a joy to use.

Made from a high quality, lightweight aluminum alloy, Kollage Square Knitting Needles help you to knit faster with less stress on your hands and wrists. Every stage of manufacturing, from the raw materials to the final packaging, are produced in Canada to Louet North America’s high standards. In fact, each of their needles, which are etched with the size, are guaranteed to be of the highest quality.

Too often, people are forced to abandon their passion for knitting due to hand pain. However, the right knitting tools can make an enormous difference.

“I wouldn’t be knitting if I didn’t have my Squares!” ~ Gale

Try them for yourself! Browse the full selection of Kollage Square needles, which include straights, circulars, double points and interchangeables at Louet North America today!

Spinning Wheels from Louet North America Offer Precision Handling for Fine Yarns

April 4, 0217- Prescott, ON-based Louet North America are now inviting clients to review their latest spinning wheels. Included within the company’s selection is the S17 Spinning Wheel – Unfinished, which is designed with turned wood for a classical appeal and durable performance in all spinning applications. The S17 offers the same exceptional quality of the leading wheels on the market, and is now offered through Louet North America at entry-level pricing. Continue reading

Save on the Latest Knitting Patterns from the Experts at Louet North America

April 4, 2017 – Prescott, ON-based Louet North America has announced it’s now offering a sale on the latest pattern book from Trudy Van Stralen. Through this latest company sale, knitters can save on the She Made Them Her Own pattern book, which features expertly crafted designs that fit all sizes. The book includes 10 high-quality patterns, each of which assures the ideal results and a high-quality garment. Continue reading

Yarnitecture Winner

Congratulations to Talia S., the winner for our January blog giveaway for a copy of Yarnitecture: The Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want by Jillian Moreno! We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prize. If you missed it, be sure to check out Jillian’s recent guest post about exploring sheep breeds with Louet spinning fiber here on our blog!

Sheep Breed Exploration & Yarnitecture Giveaway

Jillian Moreno is the author of Yarnitecture & shares a guest post on the Louet blog!We’re pleased to welcome spinner, author, and instructor Jillian Moreno a guest blogger here on the Louet blog.

Jillian is the author of Yarnitecture: The Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Wantpublished by Storey Publishing in 2016. She is also the editor ofKnittyspin and is on the editorial board of Ply Magazine. She frequently contributes to Spin-Off and PLY Magazine and teaches all over North America. Be warned, she is a morning person and frequently breaks into song before 9am. Keep track of all of her crafty and other pursuits starting April at www.jillianmoreno.comShe lives buried in a monumental stash of fiber and books in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A wonderful thing that happened along with the rise of spinners and dyers is the availability of different breeds commercially prepped, ready to spin. It used to be if you wanted something beyond merino or BFL or the ubiquitous ‘wool’ you had to buy a fleece and process the whole thing yourself. If you wanted less than pounds of this new to you fiber you’d have to find spinner friends to share the fleece with.

I love spinning wool, but I don’t like processing it myself. That left me without a huge amount of options for a long time. Along with individual dyers who are having their own selected fibers made into top and roving there is one company that has a great selection of really interesting breeds to spin, Louet. Yes the same Louet that makes the wonderful wheels and my favorite handcards. I first knew about Louet as a knitter, their Gems merino and Euroflax linen are yarns that I’ve happily knit for years. But it’s only been recently that I’ve discovered the depth of their fiber selection.

Louet has a fantastic range of commercially processed spinning fibers, some you won’t find anywhere else in the US. Many shops, carry their fibers or you can order directly if you like.  I’m still learning about different sheep breeds, how they feel and spin and what I might use them for, so I turned to Louet to further my education.

Breed Specific spinning fiber from Louet - click to read Jillian Moreno's guest post!

Clockwise from the top – Swalesdale, Finn, Coopworth.

Out of their long list of different fibers and blends, I went straight for their wool breeds. I hunted for things I’ve haven’t spun or haven’t spun a lot. I chose three breeds: Finn top, Swalesdale top and Coopworth roving. I’ve spun a bit of Finn, but have never spun Swalesdale or Coopworth.

I did a quick sample of each, spinning two 2-ply yarns, one with a woolen draft and one with a worsted draft, just to get the feel of each. Boy were they different from each other!

Breed Specific spinning fiber from Louet - click to read Jillian Moreno's guest post!

Swalesdale front to back, top, 2-ply drafted worsted, 2-ply drafted woolen.

I first spun the Swalesdale. I chose this fiber because I’ve not seen it offered anywhere else. The fiber is a mix of a coarse outer and softer under fiber. There were some stray black hairs and a little kemp. This is not a fiber I could wear as a garment; it was prickly to my hands while I was Andean plying it.  Even though it was a mix of longer outer fiber and shorten under fiber it was easy to spin both woolen and worsted without he two coats separating. This fiber would be great for rugs or bags, something that need strength and durability. It would be cool to use it in tapestry or frame weaving because of the unusual surface texture because of the mix of coats.

Breed Specific spinning fiber from Louet - click to read Jillian Moreno's guest post!

Finn, front to back, top, 2-ply drafted worsted, 2-ply drafted woolen (there are two of these).

Finn was next; this is a great middle of the road fiber. I’m not surprised that I’m seeing it more and more from dyers. This is a fiber that could be used in place of Corriedale for basic spins and for new spinners. In fact while it was as easy to spin as Corrie, it was softer than a lot that I’ve spun. I draped my yarn around my neck and only got a slight prickle. Finn is not very crimpy but got lofty when spun woolen. The surface of the spun yarn feels like suede, a matte texture. I am fascinated by this fiber. I want to experiment more with it, it may have the sweet spot for softness and durability for sweaters that I’m looking for. I just need to play with it to see what kind of stitch definition it has knit in stitch patterns.

Breed Specific spinning fiber from Louet - click to read Jillian Moreno's guest post!

Coopworth, front to back, top, 2-ply drafted worsted, 2-ply drafted woolen.

I left the Coopworth for last because I was the most excited by it. The roving was so well prepared I jumped right in and drafted with a looooong long draw. It was easy to spin and the yarn was springy and softer than I expected and the color, my favorite natural color, somewhere between grey and brown.  This fiber showed the most difference between the two type of drafts. I was surprised at how defined the plies were with the worsted draft on roving!

This is another fiber I can’t wear on my neck though it is nowhere near as prickly as the Swaledale. I could wear this Coopworth as a hat or mittens or a sweater. It is a durable fiber and would be fantastic woven into throw pillows. Coopworth might find it’s way onto my loom this year.

These three fibers just scratch the surface of what Louet has, and many are only available through Louet in this country. I’m definitely going back for more. 

Win a copy of Yarnitecture on the Louet blog!

GIVEAWAY

Want to learn more about how I spin and sample for knitting? Storey Publishing and Louet North America are giving away a copy of my book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want.

To enter, email info@louet.com with “Yarnitecture Giveaway” in the subject line and tell us what breeds you want to spin in 2017 in the body of your email. We’ll randomly select a winner to announce on January 11, 2017. Good luck! 

A New Year Looms: Weaving Resolutions for 2017

At the start of a new year, many of us pledge to change our habits for the better: losing weight, eating healthier, decluttering the house, etc. etc. Sometimes, these resolutions are easier to break than they are to make, but if you have determination and make them habitual, then you can actually make a change in your life!

The same rules apply when it comes to weaving! Let’s look at 5 weaving resolutions you can make for 2017:

1: Weave for 15 minutes every day.

This one may seem daunting, but 15 minutes daily is totally doable! Whether it’s measuring a warp, threading your loom, or weaving on a project, just take 15 minutes as a weaving break. You will start becoming a more efficient weaver, and increase your skills as each week progresses.

2: Weave the full width of your loom.

Many of us have looms that can accommodate much more width than we use. Do you find yourself weaving a lot of scarves but you have a Jane 70/8? Find a weave structure and some yarn you love, and warp up the whole loom!

3: Push your color boundaries.

If you are like most people, you probably have a color scheme that you tend to gravitate towards project after project. Choose some colors that you still like but don’t use that often and start a project. You can also turn to Pinterest for color inspiration, or visit the Design Seeds and Pantone websites for color palette ideas. Or, have a friend choose colors THEY like for a gift of napkins!

4: Work on those selvedges.

Most weavers will tell you that selvedges are a personal thing, and that you have to figure out your tension on your own to perfect those pesky edges. Try weaving different widths, or try different shuttles and see what techniques work best to keep your edges straight!Give dyeing a try in 2017! Find more great weaving resolutions on the Louet blog.

5: Try dyeing your handwoven fabric.

This could be a fun experiment to try: start with weaving in a natural color of yarn and then dyeing the resulting fabric to get the exact shade or shades you want using our user-friendly Gaywool dye range

Do you have any weaving resolutions? Let us know in the comments!