Spinning Spring Training: April Resources

As we spin our way through a most unusual spring, we’d like to share some of our favorite tips, tricks and resources to help you refine your skills and create the yarns of your dreams!

Taking a class is always the best way to get started, but it’s not always possible to find one nearby. That’s where Craftsy can save the day: we recommend Drucilla Pettibone’s Spindling: From Fluff To Stuff for beginners. It’s a great adjunct to our everything-you-need drop spindle kit, and the many benefits of the Craftsy platform include lifetime access to the class and the ability to post questions for your instructor & classmates to answer.

A few good reference books are also nice to have handy; some of our favorites include: The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn, Start Spinning, Respect the Spindle, and the Intentional Spinner. Another great reference to have on hand is the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, which contains information about hundreds of breeds of sheep and other fiber-bearing animals and is geared towards spinners, knitters and weavers.

More great online sources include:

  • Spinning Daily: a great resource for all things related to spinning, there are lots of free e-books about spinning techniques and an interactive online community where you can post your questions. 
  • Knittyspin: a great resource for informative technique articles and knitting patterns designed especially for handspun yarns.
  • Louet Support Center: our own online resource is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions we receive about our products. Visit our Spinning Room, Carding Room or Fiber Room to search our database of knowledge or email info@louet.com with your spinning product-related questions!
We hope to welcome some new spinners to #TeamLouet this year and would love to know what questions you’ve been having as you embark on your spinning journey – feel free to post your questions in our Ravelry group or here on this blog post!

Dlthom6’s Dorper

Speaking of our Ravelry group, we are seeing a lot of Dorper being spun this month as part of our Intermediate/Advanced challenge to spin different breeds of sheep (we’ve also spotted mentions of Cheviot, BFL, Cotswold and Suffolk!).

Our Dorper top is a surprising fiber to spin, as the Dorper sheep is better known for meat production than producing a spinnable fiber. Part of our Canterbury Prize Wool Group, our Dorper has been raised with care in New Zealand and boasts finer fiber and longer staple length when compared to standard Dorper sheep.

Click here to read more about Dorper on the Louet blog!

What’s New For Fall from Louet!

Fair Isle Peacock Hat by Tanis Gray in Gems Fingering

In the fiber arts world, autumn is an eagerly-anticipated time of year: after hibernating all summer long, it’s time for your handmade items to come out to play! Additionally, the cooler air reminds us that winter is coming and it’s time to make even more hats, mittens, scarves, and sweaters.

Our favorite yarn for fall, superwash superstar Gems, is just what the doctor ordered! Available in several different weights and an array of color choices, you’re sure to find the perfect yarn for your next project. We’d like to sweeten the deal for those of you who’d like to enhance their stash, make a sweater, or gear up for holiday knitting: click here to download a PDF coupon to print and redeem at select retailers.

This special offer is good on fingering, sport, and worsted weights of Gems yarn – simply purchase 5 skeins of yarn in your preferred weight of yarn and receive a sixth skein free! Please note that all six skeins purchased must be the same weight of yarn, and of course, you must present this coupon at time of purchase!
Our brand-new PolarKnit kits to make Froggy, Ladybug or Piggy slippers are sure to delight the little ones in your life. For those of you who are young at heart, the pattern is sized up to adult, too! Each kit contains enough yarn to make the largest-sized slippers. Click here to see more easy-to-knit kits using this ultra-warm machine-washable yarn!

Handspinners will rejoice to see the latest fibers from our Canterbury Prize Wool Group; for those of you who are new to spinning or just getting started, we heartily recommend Drucilla Pettibone’s Spindling: From Fluff to Stuff video class on Craftsy.com! Once you’ve mastered the basics using an easy-to-spin fiber such as our Blue Faced Leicester, give something more exotic a try with our soon-to-be-out Canterbury Prize Wool Sampler Pack. Look for this fiberlicious survey of sheep breeds in stores later this fall; each pack will include the following breeds: Blue-Faced Leicester, Cotswold, Jacob, Leicester, Romney, and Wensleydale!

We’re looking forward to Stitches East in Hartford, Connecticut this October 11th -14th; Louet is proud to sponsor this fun-filled event! Please enjoy 50% off the price of marketplace admission with our compliments – click here for an easy-to-print coupon to bring with you to the convention center. We look forward to seeing you in booth 511!

Our next event for October will be SOAR, the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat in Tahoe City, California October 21-27. This week-long offering of workshops and retreat sessions was created by the editorial team behind Spin-Off and Spinning Daily and is celebrating its 30th year! Louet is a proud sponsor this year, and Dave Van Stralen himself will be there to help fix your Louet  spinning wheels. Stop by and say hi!

Learn Online With Craftsy.com

Craftsy is the next big thing in the crafting world! Craftsy’s online classes range from cake decorating to crochet to spinning your own yarn (and everything crafty in-between). Taught by some of the best instructors and available 24-7 with no expiration date, you can watch each video lesson at your own pace as many times as you’d like. We’re pleased that several Louet products have been featured in the Craftsy classroom!

Look for our Bottom Whirl Drop Spindle and a range of Louet fibers in Drucilla Pettibone’s Spindling from Fluff to Stuff.  If you want to spin the yarn you have always dreamed about, check out this course! You’ll learn carding, drafting and plying as you create yarn on a drop spindle.  Small enough to pack in a handbag, you can take your spinning on-the-go just as you would any knitting or crochet project!

In the bonus lesson from Felicia Lo’s Spinning Dyed Fibers Class, you’ll get to see Louet’s Roving Carder in action! This class explains the ins and outs of spinning with hand-dyed fibers to create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind yarns.  Not only will you learn about fiber preparation and learn several spinning and plying techniques such as fractal spinning and Navajo plying, you’ll also learn Color Theory to ensure your fiber doesn’t spin out of control!

Last but not least, Krisin Omdahl’s Sweetheart Shawls class features three romantic designs using Louet KidLin Lace (ETA: this yarn has been discontinued; we recommend Euroflax lace to make these projects!). For those of you who are new to knitting lace, Kristin in there every step of the way! Experienced knitters will also enjoy Kristin’s signature geometric designs found in nature. Each shawl was designed to build your knitting skills and explores a different construction or technique, such as top-down, bottom-up, knit edging, motifs, tiers, picots and more. Let Kristin chase away your lace-knitting fears!