Ply Away Recap + May Spinzilla Fiber Packs

Last month, Dave & Pam attended (and sponsored!) the first-ever Ply Away retreat in Kansas City, MO! Brought to you by the editors of PLY Magazine, this fibery weekend included classes, a marketplace, and other fun events such as a spin-in and banquet. While Pam attended several spinning classes, Dave was on hand in the Marketplace to tune up spinning wheels; he also had several different models of spinning wheels for folks to try out, including the S10 Concept and S95 Victoria. Also on display was a Louet Drum Carder and Blending Board for anyone interested in learning more about fiber prep.  

A few members of the 2015 #TeamLouet Spinzilla team made it to the event and met up to thank Dave for hosting our team to victory! Everyone got to see the Golden Niddy Noddy up close, and here they are posing with it!

From L-R: Our team captain Stefanie, Joan K., Dave, and Laura from The Corner of Knit & Tea.

Let’s take a closer look at that Golden Niddy Noddy, shall we? Sheepzilla even made an appearance, demanding a table for 3 at dinner one night with Dave and Pam:

We enjoyed this year’s event – congratulations to Jacey and the PLY Away team for job well done. We’re looking forward to returning to Kansas City for Ply Away 2017 and hope to see you there! In the mean time, we’re starting to make our Spinzilla plans. Have you saved the date for Spinzilla 2016? Make sure to circle October 3-9 on your calendar for this fall so that you can spin to win with Team Louet! We’ll let you know when spinner registration opens later this summer, but it’s not too early to start getting ready by tuning up your wheel, buying extra bobbins, and stocking up on fiber for the big event.

 

We’ll be releasing a specially-priced Spinzilla fiber pack each month leading up to Spinzilla, beginning with this month’s selection: Our May Spinzilla Fiber pack contains two luxurious fibers, 1 lb Merino/Silk top and 1.5lb Dyed Merino Top (note: colors may vary from what is pictured here). A $170 value if purchased separately, you can save big when you purchase our May Spinzilla Fiber Pack for only $75.

Happy spinning!

Spin Wherever You Go!

Later this month, we’ll be heading to the Ply Away retreat in Kansas City, Missouri, and we hope to see you there! We know that many spinners will be packing up their spinning wheels to participate in this weekend of fiber, fun, workshops, and more (you can find out more about the Ply Away retreat here on one of our recent blog posts).

How spinners pack.

This got us thinking about traveling to other fibery destinations such as workshops, retreats and sheep and wool festivals, specifically when it comes to the logistics of packing everything you’ll need for your trip. Obviously, clothes and toiletries will be at the top of your list, but if you plan on taking a spinning workshop while you’re traveling, you’re probably going to need some supplies. Most classes will let you know what you need to bring ahead of time, so be sure to consult your class list to make sure that you don’t forget any of the required supplies.

We recommend the foldable S95 Victoria spinning wheel, which folds down to some very suitcase-friendly dimensions (14 x 36 x 55 cm / 5 1/2″ x 14 1/4″ x 21 3/4″). The Victoria includes a lazy kate which can also easily be stowed away in your luggage, and spinning fiber makes great packing material to keep your wheel, kate, and bobbins safe and secure while you’re in transit. We do recommend a specially-made carrying case (shown below) to make sure your wheel survives the journey with nary a scratch, however!

If you’ll be taking  a class on fiber prep, you’ll probably want to take your own hand carders so that you can learn the techniques on familiar equiopment. Another travel-friendly option is our blending board, which is compact and could make the trip safely wrapped in a couple of bath towels to ensure that none of the other items in your luggage snag on the carding cloth. Obviously, we wouldn’t recommend this as a carry-on for air travel, but if you’re driving, taking the train, or planning to check your bag for your flight, the blending board can be a great travel companion!

We are planning to attend these upcoming spinning and weaving events:

Ply Away – Kansas City, Missouri

April 21-24, 2016

Convergence Conference – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

July 30-August 6, 2016

To find an upcoming fiber festival or spinning/weaving event near you, click here to visit the Spinning and Weaving group website to view events by location.

Calling all members of #TeamLouet for Spinzilla 2015! If you will be attending the Ply Away retreat, let us know! Our team captain Stefanie is planning a meetup for any team members who helped us spin to our victory last year;  look for a message from her in your email inbox, or get in touch with her via Ravelry PM for details. Not only will you get to meet your fellow teammates in person, you’ll also get to see the golden niddy noddy you worked so hard to win!

Spring Events: Ply Away Retreat

Next month, we’ll be heading to Kansas City, MO for the first-ever Ply Away Retreat April 21-24! This event, which is put on by the publishers of PLY Magazine, is going to be a lot of fun: besides a vendor marketplace and events like the Saturday night Spin-in,  the weekend boasts a great list of classes taught by some of the most notable folks in our industry, all built to correlate with the first two years of the magazine. We’re pretty excited to be a sponsor for this year’s event, so we wanted to give you a sneak peek of what attendees can expect!

Louet is going to have a Spinning Wheel Tuneup Station in the marketplace, so if you have a mysterious squeak or any other issues that need tending, stop on by so Dave can fix you up! We will also have the Victoria Art Yarn Flyer on display, for anyone who is  interested in checking that out.

We’re partnering with Yarnorama, who will have lots of great goodies for sale in their booth, including hand cards, extra bobbins for your Louet wheels, and Victoria Art Yarn Flyers!

Pam is looking forward to building her spinning skills and has signed up for several classes throughout the weekend: Who’s the Fairest of Them All: The Official Princess Breed Study with Beth Smith,  Fractal Frolic with Jillian Moreno, Colorwheel Carding with Beth Smith, Color ESP with Amy King, and Batts in the Belfry with Jillian Moreno. Be sure to say hello to her if you happen to be in one of the same classes!

We’re looking forward to meeting all of our fellow spinning enthusiasts to talk about fiber and get to know you better. For anyone who spun on Team Louet for Spinzilla 2015, we’re also looking to do a team meetup! Our Team Captain will be at Ply Away, so if you plan on attending, too, shoot her a quick message so that she can work on putting together a fun event so that we can all get a photo with the Golden Niddy Noddy!

While many of the classes are already sold out for this event, there are a few spaces here and there which are worth snapping up. Even if you weren’t able to reserve a class space, the Vendor Marketplace is still free (it’s open Thursday-Saturday)and there are some fun, free events taking place throughout the weekend – so do be sure to drop by the Westin Crown Center to Ply Away with us!

Click here to visit the Ply Away website for more details.

Art Yarn with Louet & StevenBe at Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

We’re quite thrilled to team up with the one, the only StevenBe for next month’s Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival. This fabulous event is in its twelveth year, and it features knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing and other creative art classes, workshops, vendors and special displays and events. The Festival is a local favorite, having been named a “Top 10 Best Bet in Pittsburgh” by Pittsburgh magazine in February 2013, and Louet proud to sponsor it for 2016!

We hope you’ll stop by to say hello to Pam and Dave in Booths 92-93, where we’ll have Louet spinning wheels, drum carders, a Jane loom, and – of course! – YARN! Our booth is right next to StevenBe in Booths 94-95, and there will also be a fiber blending bar where we will be focusing on art yarn. This is a great opportunity to play with a wide variety of fibers and colors – you can really glitter it up with Louet & StevenBe in our fiber blending station!

The 12th Annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival and Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival takes place March 4-6, 2016 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center; click here for more details!

 

TNNA Winter 2016 Recap

The Winter 2016 TNNA Trade Show took place this past weekend, and our new yarn colors & patterns made their debut in the Louet booth! The weekend began with SampleIt!, which takes place on Friday night which allows yarn store owners to buy samples and kits from vendors which they can take back to their shop. It’s so popular that folks start lining up long before the doors open!

Not too soon after SampleIt!, the Fashion show began. One of the patterns from our Spring collection walked the runway: shown below is the Hermosa Tee by Robin Allen, which is knit in our Euroflax Sport yarn. Click here to see a preview of our entire Spring collection on our previous blog post!

As current TNNA president, Dave had the honor of cutting the ribbon to officially open the show floor on Saturday morning. He wields those big scissors like a pro!

In addition to our Spring Collection, we had our new yarn colors on display in the booth. Shown below are the new colors of Euroflax – click here  and here to see more of our new colors which will be arriving soon at an LYS near you!

Also on display in our booth was this gorgeous cabled blanket in GEMS worsted weight yarn, which is a brand-new design by Mari Chiba Luke. The 2016 Blanket will be a series of classes you can sign up to take at your nearest Louet Retailer which will help you learn the skills necessary to knit this project from start to finish.

We look forward to sharing more exciting new projects & inspiration with you in 2016. Happy New Year!

Back from TNNA!

At the beginning of this month, we headed to Phoenix, Arizona for The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show. This is where folks in the fiber arts industry come together to share their latest products, network, and learn!

It was here that we debuted our Spring 2015 Pattern Collection, which we’ll be sharing in greater detail her on our blog very soon; in the mean time, you can visit your  LYS for early access to these exciting new designs! These patterns are available at your nearest Louet Retailer only until the end of February.

Our GEMS yarn (which comes in fingering, sport and worsted weights) was a hot seller at the show, and savvy retailers also stocked up on Euroflax yarn in anticipation of warmer temperatures ahead. Our S10 Concept received a warm welcome, and the Jane Loom we had set up as part of the window display (shown above) received a lot of attention.

Our own Dave Van Stralen stopped by the Spinning & Weaving group booth, which was adorned with garlands made up of handspun bows contributed by Spinzilla spinners. Sheepzilla was on hand for photo ops and even hitched a ride with Dave as he set off in search of a place to take a spinning break!

Be sure to bookmark our blog – we’ll be sharing some sneak peeks of our new Spring 2015 Pattern Collection in February!

Congratulations Team Louet!

The results for Spinzilla are in, and we couldn’t be more proud of our 2014 Spinzilla team! Team Louet NA placed third with an impressive total yardage of  156,852.920. We had many of our teammate join the Monster Mile club, and we had a great time cheering each other and sharing our spinning successes throughout the week in the #TeamLouet Ravelry thread.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who spun with us this year! We are truly impressed with the enthusiasm and skill each and every one of our team members exhibited. We were also inspired by the variety of fibers, colors, and yarns produced by members of #TeamLouet, not to mention the creativity everyone showed when photographing their finished skeins! Below is just a small sampling of photos shared here in our team’s Ravelry thread!

Collectively, Spinzilla spinners spun 3,983,286.18  yards of yarn and raised over $13,000 for NAMP to foster the spinners of tomorrow. You can read more about this year’s results here on the Spinzilla blog! Prize drawings will be announced soon, both for our own Team Awards as well as the Spinzilla prize drawings and other contest prizes, so stay tuned! 

 

In the mean time, if your fiber stash is looking a little empty, we still have some spinning project kits featuring the gorgeous designs of Kirsten Kapur up for grabs! Our popular Pippi Project Kit now has an option to dye the fiber yourself. It includes two half-pound bags of natural BFL/Silk fiber, a bonus half-pound of cashmere/silk, and a copy of the Pippi shawl pattern designed by Kirsten Kapur. There are three color choices are available (three different combinations of two colors of Gaywool dye), and of course, instructions are included to help you dye your fiber with confidence!

If you’re not ready to give dyeing a try, we also have Pippi Project Kits in your choice of three different combination of already-dyed fibers. In addition to a half-pound of each color of our 100% Merino fiber, you’ll receive a print copy of Kirsten Kapur’s Pippi shawl and a bonus 2oz sample of Camel/Silk top!

Click here to view all of our kits on the Louet website. Don’t forget to enter ILOVEYARN to receive $10 off any order of $50 or more! Offer is good through 10/31/14.

 

Spin Like The Wind!

On Saturday, July 5, the Tour de France began its famous ride through the UK and France. Each year, spinners around the globe challenge themselves to spin each day that the tour rides in an event that is known as the Tour de Fleece.

We’d like to invite fans of Louet fiber to share their progress and victories in our own Ravelry group, regardless of your team affiliation! We’ll be giving away some spin-worthy fibers to those of you who spin with Louet fiber during the Tour de Fleece; to be eligible for our drawing, simply post your finished photo of handspun yarn here in our Ravelry group.

Our July Fiber Pack is sure to keep you spinning this month!  It features some of our most spin-worthy fibers: Princess Blue Merino/Silk, Quoddy Bay Merino, Eri Silk, and Alpaca Sliver. You’ll receive approximately 3 pounds of fiber for just $75; it’s an excellent way to replenish your fiber stash as you spin like the wind this month!

Click here to purchase our July Fiber Pack.

Last but not least, we’ll be heading to Convergence 2014 in Providence, RI next week! Louet North America will partner with the Lone Star Loom Room where we will be displaying the Megado, Spring, David and Jane looms.  Dave Van Stralen will be representing LNA and will be happy to answer any questions you may have! 

Spinning Spring Training

We are looking forward to July’s Tour de Fleece and the return of Spinzilla this fall, which promises to be bigger than last year’s inaugural event! We hope to see some familiar faces on #TeamLouet and welcome spinners of all skills to join our ranks!

We’ve joined forces with our friends at The Woolery to embark on a little Spring Training! We hope you will answer the call and challenge yourself to try something new each month!

You can get more details and join in the fun in our Ravelry group – we’ll start spinning on April 1, 2014 (and that’s no joke!). Join our fearless Spinzilla Team Captain to tackle monthly challenges and win great prizes along the way!

Below are our suggested monthly challenges to guide you along the way; in addition to the monthly prizes, we’ll be announcing a GRAND PRIZE soon, so stay tuned! We look forward to seeing your progress each month in the Louet Ravelry group!

 

Spotlight on David Loom + Mystery KAL

The David loom is a unique sinking shed jack loom which is a compactly constructed floor loom that takes less floor space, but still has many of the same features of a large floor loom. The David now comes with the tension brake included. The sliding beater, well received since its 2013 introduction, has a shuttle race, and is adjustable in height. It stays back, close to the shafts to get the optimal shed. At both sides the beater is guided by special bearings along a stainless steel rod. By adjusting the position of these rods, the weaver can adjust the height of the beater.

We always enjoy hearing from our customers, and the David loom has been quite popular in recent years. Here are just a few of the comments we’ve come across on Ravelry:

Raveler macweaver shared this photo (left) of how the warp runs through the raddle on her David loom and notes: “It is easy to use and so efficient.”

Raveler Dortea999 said, “I do like my David better. It is easier to tie up. It gets out of my way when weaving. Treadling is light and easy.”

Raveler ilaine shared a detailed review of the David loom: “This loom exactly met my criteria for compromise between the loom of my dreams and my living space. I need it to be small and quiet, but had to have 8 harnesses, and the ability to have two independent warps. Treadling is easy and beater light to move. The loom is a thing of beauty, feels nice to the touch. Parts are well made, the loom is surprisingly sturdy for its light weight.” 

1930s Mystery Shawl-a-long


mystery KAL

Heritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion, Michigan let us know about a new mystery knit-a-long (KAL) that will be starting in March.

Inspired by the colors, textures and economic climate of the 1930′s, designer Jae Koscierzynski has hit another home run. There will be five clues, the pre-clue will be issued 3/7 with Clue A coming on 3/14, Clue B on 3/21, Clue C on 4/11, Clue D on 4/25, and ending with Clue E on May 9th. This shawl is an arc (sort of heart-shaped so that it will fit nicely) worked from the bottom up. The shawl features lots of texture and some cables. The yarn selected is Louet Gems Sport weight. Joan and her team have selected the colors in which they believe the shawl will look best, either knit in one solid color or in either of two selected colorways.

The fee to participate is $15 for the pattern OR, if you purchase your yarn through Heritage Spinning and Weaving, the pattern fee is waived. For yarn ordered prior to 2/15, you will receive a $10 discount. The KAL will be closed on 3/21. After that, later this year, you can get the pattern on Ravelry. Click here to register.