Gifts for Yarn & Fiber Lovers

Don’t let the holiday countdown send you into a panic, we have some great gift ideas for the fiber artist in your life to suit every budget. Here are some of the best gifts to give (and get!) this holiday season. Enjoy!

Lost at Sea Handspun Shawl Kit

This affordable kit features a great shawl pattern designed by Laura Cameron using two colors of Louet spinning fiber (4 oz. each of Merino Top and Northern Lights Top). Pick from any in-stock color of these high-quality fibers (just leave your color choice in the comments section when checking out) or let us surprise you with a hand-picked color combination!

Click here to purchase.

Holiday Fiber Pack

Make the holidays extra-merry with this collection of luxury fibers for an incredible price – only $75! Enjoy! 1/2 lb of Dyed Merino Top  (color will vary), 1/2 lb of Northern Lights (color will vary), 1/2 lb of Bombyx Silk, 2 oz  Baby Camel Top, 2 oz  Baby Camel/Silk Top, and 2 oz of Brown Cashmere Top. Regular retail of these products is $204, so this is a phenomenal deal that’s sure to put a smile on any spinner’s face.

Victoria Art Yarn Kit

This kit contains everything you need to create beautiful art yarns on the Victoria spinning wheel: a mounting head, driveband and mother of all. When installed, this flyer changes the scotch tension Victoria to Irish Tension using the S10 Art Yarn flyer (item 1.510) and the S10 Bulky Bobbin (item 1.312), sold separately. Victoria Art Yarn Kit retails for $75; arriving December 11, 2015.

Click here to purchase.

Sharbella Shawl Kit

Here’s a great gift idea for the knitter in your life – an everything-you-need kit featuring a great new pattern from Very Pink Knits using Louet GEMS sport weight yarn! The Sharbella pattern is free with purchase of two hanks of Gems Sport, 100% Merino machine washable wool yarn, using the coupon code VPGEMS (all caps). There is also a FREE video tutorial to ensure success from start to finish!

Click here for more details at VeryPink.com.

One Skein Pattern Inspiration

With less than two months til Christmas, it’s time to think about quick projects for holiday gifting. GEMS is the perfect yarn choice for everyone on your list since it’s machine washable, plus it’s available in three weights: fingering, sport and worsted. As we mentioned on our last blog post, we just introduced a new color palette for GEMS yarn, too! Our recent Fall Collection features several one-skein patterns using GEMS yarn, and we also have plenty more one-skein patterns from past collections, too. Here are some of our top picks for your gift knitting list – enjoy!

Curvilinear Hat by Angela Tong – 1 skein GEMS Worsted

 

Landloper Hat by Mari Chiba – 1 skein GEMS Sport

Landloper Mitts by Mari Chiba – 1 skein GEMS Sport

Emin TamCowl or Mittens by Anne Podlesak – each project takes just 1 skein of GEMS Sport.

We look forward to seeing your projects knit up in these exciting new colors of  GEMS yarn – be sure to share your FO photos here in our Ravelry group!

Louet North America Fall 2015 & KAL

We’re thrilled to release a new collection of patterns for Louet North America Fall 2015. This collection includes 12 accessories for Gems yarns Fingering, Sport, and Worsted weights. These new pieces are perfect for transitioning from cool fall weather into bundling up for winter. You can see all the patterns on Ravelry.

Aperature Shawl by Quenna Lee

Petiole Capelet by Patty Nance

Petiole Capelet by Patty Nance

Motley Hat and Mitts by Laura Chau

Motley Hat and Mitts by Laura Chau

Curvilinear Hat and Cowl by Angela Tong

Curvilinear Hat and Cowl by Angela Tong

Landloper Hat by Mari Chiba

Landloper Hat by Mari Chiba

Landloper Mitts by Mari Chiba

Landloper Mitts by Mari Chiba

Shingle Cowl by Patty Nance

Shingle Cowl by Patty Nance

Lacuna Crochet Scarf by Cheryl Chow

Lacuna Crochet Scarf by Cheryl Chow

Arcuate Socks by Luise O'Neil

Arcuate Socks by Luise O’Neil

Tortuous Cowl by Patty Nance

Tortuous Cowl by Patty Nance

Pied Scarf by Quenna Lee

Pied Scarf by Quenna Lee

Paseo (stole version) by Susanna IC

Paseo (stole version) by Susanna IC

 

Paseo (shawl version) by Susanna IC

Paseo (shawl version) by Susanna IC

Paseo Knit Along Blogger and Youtube host Kemper Wray from Junkyarn will be hosting a knit along for the Paseo stole and shawl starting this month! Join her in the Junkyarn Ravelry group. The pattern includes directions for both the stole and shawl versions. The triangular shawl uses Gems Sport weight and the stole uses Gems Worsted Weight. Both can be knit with one solid color or with a contrast color as the edging–so there’s lots of room to personalize your garment! To participate: What: Paseo Knit-Along with Junkyarn When: KAL starts September 24, 2015 and ends October 31, 2015 Where: the Junkyarn Ravelry group Prizes: We’ll be giving away several prizes throughout the KAL, please see the Ravelry group for more info on how to win prizes!

Designer Interview: Susanna IC

Today we’re excited to feature an interview with designer Susanna IC. Susanna has created many beautiful pieces for Louet and her designs continue to be popular amongst knitters. After nine years in Europe, Susanna IC now lives in San Antonio with her husband, two sons, one guinea pig and countless balls of yarn. Besides a background in fashion design, she has a Master’s degree in art history and a Bachelors’s in studio arts, all of which continue to inspire much of her knitting.  Her projects and designs can be found on Ravelry user name zuzusus and online at www.ArtQualia.com.
How long have you been knitting? How did you get started designing? I’ve been knitting for about 14 years. I taught myself how to knit when my first son was 6 months old because I missed being creative and knitting was much more portable than painting or sculpture. I wanted to make him some unique baby sweaters, so I picked up a how-to knit book and instantly fell in love. My first swatch was not only the back of the first baby sweater, but also my first knitted design. Learning to knit alone from a book, I did not even realize that there were knitting patterns to follow, so I just sort of made it all up as I went along. I do have a background in fashion design and I’ve sewn all my life, so the designing part of knitting came naturally.

You’re known for your stunning lace shawls, do you wear shawls on a daily basis?I used to wear shawls all the time when I lived in Europe, but sadly, not anymore – it is much too hot here in Texas and I don’t work in an air-conditioned office. On an average day you can find me at home, knitting on my sofa, sitting under the ceiling fan trying to stay cool. But as soon as the seasons get colder, the shawls come out of hiding. The last winter here was great, it got so cold I was even able to wear my alpaca knits – I loved that!

What inspires your designs?That is a hard question to answer; the inspiration can come from just about anywhere – nature and changing seasons, books and movies, music, yarn color and texture, stitch patterns… I’ve designed shawls inspired by autumn leaves and spring flowers, summer rain and winter snow, Art Deco and Downton Abbey, Alice in Wonderland and Dracula, just to name a few.

Do you have any tips for people who are new to knitting lace? Lace is just like any other type of knitting: knits and purls, only with addition of some intentional holes. I would recommend starting with a smaller one-skein project, around 400 yards, in a heavier weight yarn. A first lace project is easier if done in fingering or light fingering weight yarn rather than a true lace weight. The fiber content of the yarn can also make a difference in the success of the first lace; for example, a bouncy merino is easier to manipulate than slippery silk. I would choose a pattern with simple stitches, basic decreases and yarn overs, and relatively short pattern repeats. Lastly, stitch markers and life lines are lace-knitter’s best friends, always. Of all the designs you’ve done for Louet, do you have a favorite? I love them all for different reasons, so it’s hard to choose just one, but Ewynhas to be a favorite. I just love the way that traditional Estonian lace pattern looks and feels modern when worked in an unexpected direction and in a heavier, colorful yarn.

 

Euroflax Inspiration

With warm weather in most parts of North America our thoughts and needles have turned to summer knitting, and what’s more summery than lightweight knits in linen? Today we’re featuring some patterns and projects from knitters and designers featuring Louet Euroflax yarns, and we hope it’ll inspire your summer stitching, too!

Pattern Inspiration

Fine Sand by Heidi Kirrmaier is a lovely lightweight cardigan worked in Louet Euroflax Sport. It’s absolutely stunning in Steel Grey!

by Heidi Kirrmaier

Everyday Raglan by Purl Soho is a free pattern for 4-5 skeins of Euroflax Sport, shown here in Pewter. This is a great wardrobe staple that could work for multiple seasons!

Purl Soho

 ZigZag Twin Set by Gwen Bortner is two patterns in one–there’s a sleeveless top and a lightweight cardigan, both worked in Louet Euroflax Sport. Knit them both and you can wear them together or separately!

© Kellie Nuss

Knitter Projects

Elizabeth knit the beautiful Hapa shawl  by Mel Ski in Louet Euroflax Sport with two skeins each of Pewter and Natural.  We love the way she improvised her own asymmetrical stripes, and it looks like a lovely shawl with lots of drape!

 

© LizChristine

Bailey made the Casco Bay Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hodge with two shades of Euroflax Sport held double for a lovely ombre cardigan. She combined the cream and the natural, with the yarn held double at the top and the bottom, and a single strand of each in the center. What a wonderful lightweight cardigan for cool summer evenings!

Cardigan in Louet Euroflax Sport

© amondesignlab

Substituting Yarns

As the temperatures rise, you might find yourself looking for lightweight knitting projects to make and wear. Louet Euroflax is a wonderful lightweight yarn that’s perfect for summer: it’s airy, machine washable and dryable, and linen is is cool and breatheable on hot summer days. Today we’re going to talk about how to substitute Euroflax into a pattern, with tips and tricks to make sure your project is a success!

Substituting yarns can affect the gauge, size, and overall appearance of your finished item. It is extremely important that you check for gauge and also take the properties of the yarns used in the original design as well as the key design elements into consideration when making your substitution. Linen yarns have a very different hand and drape from other fibers; in this post, we have some suggestions to help you successfully substitute Euroflax yarn into some of our designs for warm-weather knits.

Before we start, let’s review the recommended stitch gauge for each of the yarns we’ll be looking at today:

Euroflax Sport Weight: 6 sts per inch

Gems Sport Weight: 5-6 sts per inch

Gems Fingering: 6.5-7.5 sts per inch.

When swapping yarns, it’s even more important than usual to make sure that you swatch! This step is crucial to ensure that you match your gauge swatch to what is required in your pattern. Not matching the gauge accurately means your item could come out too large or too small – or you could run out of yarn! When working with Euroflax make sure to machine wash and dry your swatch before measuring, this will give you the most accurate reflection of how your finished item will measure up too. You can read more tips and tricks for knitting with Euroflax in this blog post.

First up, it’s pretty easy to substitute Euroflax Sport weight yarn in patterns which call  for Gems Sport Weight yarn (and vice versa!) . A few things you’ll want to keep in mind is that the item in Euroflax is going to have lots of lovely drape, but it won’t really hold its shape because it doesn’t have the memory of wool. In other words, Euroflax is much better suited for items that are intended to flow a bit, and don’t require a close fit. So, while the gauge may match for hats or mitten patterns which originally call for Gems Sport Eeight yarn, we don’t recommend substituting in Euroflax – which is totally fine since we’re talking about summertime knits anyway!

Swapping Euroflax Sport for Gems Sport

Ballson, from Louet North America Spring 2014, was originally designed for Gems Sport. The gauge is the same as Euroflax (6 sts per inch) and the lace would look great knit up in our linen yarn. Therefore, this pattern would be a great choice for knitting with Euroflax!

 

Need a lightweight cardigan for chilly evenings and air conditioned offices? What about a Euroflax Sport version of Zulia? Originally worked in Gems sport, this crochet cardigan would work well for summer in Euroflax!

Swapping Euroflax Sport for Gems Fingering

Although Gems Fingering is a lighter weight yarn that’s generally knit at a smaller gauge than Euroflax sport, it’s still possible to swap the yarns without having to do the math.

One great candidate for this would be the Roanoke top from Louet Spring 2014. This breezy tee was originally designed for Gems Fingering, but since it’s knit at 6 sts per inch, Euroflax Sport would be a lovely substitution for a lightweight summer top!

Accessories designed for Gems Fingering are also perfect for knitting in Euroflax Sport. Since you don’t have to worry so much about fit, it’s much easier to just work the pattern at a different gauge. Of course, it’s important to note that you’ll probably need a little more yarn and your item will come out larger – you may also need to adjust the needle size when making this substitution. Cowls, wraps and scarves are all excellent options for this type of substitution, and we think both of these shawls would be wonderful in Euroflax Sport:

Ewyn, from Louet North America Fall 2014:

Sheyenne, from Louet North America Spring 2014:

If you have questions about substituting Euroflax for one of your projects ask the experts here in our Ravelry group!

Colinton 2015 Patterns

In our last post we announced the release of our new collection of patterns, Louet North America Colinton 2015. This latest collection celebrates the new partnership between Louet North America and Colinton Australia: Louet is proud to be the new exclusive distributor for these beautiful mohair yarns produced by Colinton Australia.

We released all 8 patterns throughout the early part of April; three of these designs are re-released version of patterns by Trudy Van Stralen which originally used our KidLin yarn (it has since been discontinued). The patterns have been updated with additional sizes and charts, and more.

Monica is an elegant shawl with a unique stitch pattern for cloud-like stole knit up in Colinton Lace.

Monica, Louet North America

Gisele is a wonderful airy vest that’s a great piece for laying in transitional weather. It’s knit in Colinton, shown here in Shiraz.

Gisele, Louet North America

Myra was re-designed to include two sizes, and can be knit in either Colinton Lace or Ultrafine.

Myra

Colinton Australia Lace, shown in Moss

Myra, Louet North America

Colinton Australia Ultrafine, in Honeysuckle Tonal

We also have 5 new patterns which pair Colinton Australia yarns with our Louet Gems yarns, three of which are brand-new designs from Susanna IC. The  first is the Reciprocity Stole, an easy-to-knit stole that combines Gems Fingering and Colinton Lace Ultrafine for a beautiful combination of texture and color.

Reciprocity Shawl, Louet North America

The second is the Affinity Top, which can be worn alone or over a t-shirt in cooler weather. The contrast in weights – a combination of Gems Sport and Colinton Lace – creates an elegant sheer upper section.

Louet North America Affinity Top

The third design by Susanna IC is the Concurrence Shawl, a fun triangle shawl worked from the top down Gems Fingering and Colinton Lace.

Concurrence Shawl, Louet North America

We also have two new patterns from Patty Nance to round out the collection. Nikkitta combines yarns and techniques: the lovely crochet edging uses both Gems Fingering and Colinton Lace and the translucent body of the shawl is knit in Colinton Lace.

Nikkita Shawl, Louet North America

And finally, we have a knit bolero with lace edging that combines Gems Sport and Colinton Lace. The Leona Bolero is a great way to keep the chill away on cool spring and summer evenings.

Leona Bolero, Louet North America

You can see the whole collection on Ravelry: Louet North America Colinton 2015. What folks may not know is that we photographed this collection in Boston in January of this year: you may recall that Boston got a lot of snow this past winter! Although it was snowing outside on the day of the shoot, we were in the warmth and beauty of the Wellsley College greenhouse. Here are a few photos of the beautiful greenhouse, and thanks so much to the wonderful staff at Wellsley for allowing us to shoot there!

Louet North America Colinton 2015

Louet North America is now the proud North American distributor of the beautiful line of luxury yarns from Colinton Australia! To celebrate this new collaboration, we’re releasing three classic patterns which were originally written for our now discontinued Louet KidLin, along with five brand new patterns from Susanna IC and Patty Nance which combine Colinton with our Gems line of yarns!

We’ve already realeased the first two patterns, and we’ll be releasing more throughout this week and next. You can view the entire collection here, and don’t forget to keep checking for new updates! We’ll also be announcing new pattern releases on Louet’s Instagram: @louetnorthamerica, on the Louet North America Facebook page, and of course in the Louet – Make It Your Own Ravelry group.

The first pattern is Myraavailable for free through Sunday, April 12 as part of our kickoff celebration for this new collection! Myra uses just one skein of either the Colinton Australia Lace or Ultrafine, and it is a beautiful infinity scarf that’s light and airy.

The second pattern is Concurrence, a new pattern by Susanna IC that combines Louet Gems Fingering Weight with Colinton Australia Lace to make a reversible triangle shawl that’s perfect for transitioning into warmer weather.

Here are some sneak peeks of the upcoming patterns we’ll be releasing thought this week and next week!

 

Guest Post: Susanna IC

Today we have a guest post from talented designer Susanna IC. Susanna’s Taimi Cowl is featured on the cover of the Louet Spring 2015 collection, and Susanna has also contributed to our past collections including Ewyn from Fall 2014, and Blaeberry from Spring 2014.

What do you imagine when you think of spring? I picture millions of tiny little leaves bursting out of their winter cocoons and painting everything with their luminescent greens. Taimi (Finnish, meaning ‘seedling’) is a circular wrap that features delicate lace pattern reminiscent of those tender green shoots.

The sinuous lace is based on a traditional pattern in which the lace stitches are worked on both sides.  However, to make this project a beginner lace knitter friendly, the wrap is worked circularly and all the patterning is done only on the right side. This, along with the short repeat, makes the lace very easy to work and quick to memorize. The lace can also be embellished with glass beads that, much like dew drops on leaves, add some beautiful sparkle and texture to the finished project.

The pattern includes directions for two versions of Taimi; a cowl, which fits closely around the neck, and an infinity scarf, which can be wrapped several times as a cowl or worn loosely as a long scarf. Both samples pictured here were knitted with Louet’s Euroflax linen, in lace weight (green) and sport weight (pink). Besides being a perfect choice for the warm months, the 100% linen gives beautiful stitch definition to the lace and a gorgeous drape to the finished project. That said, Taimi could be worked just as successfully with any of the Louet’s Gems yarns, fingering up to the worsted weight; the luscious merino yarn would transform Taimi into a snuggly accessory perfect for the colder seasons.

I would love to see your versions of Taimi, and I hope you will share your projects with me on Ravelry. Happy knitting!

Giveaway

Enter to win a skein of Louet Euroflax Sport and the Taimi pattern! Click here to join the Louet Newsletter and enter to win! If you’re already a part of our list you won’t be added again, and you can still enter to win!

Guest Post: Lynda Rosetti

Today we have a guest post from our very own Lynda Rosetti. Lynda has been knitting and crocheting for over 40 years. She spends hours looking through stitch pattern books and has often thought of knitting her way through Barbara Walker’s series of books, Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Lynda worked side-by-side with Trudy Van Stralen of Louet North America for over 15 years, working on all elements of design from start to finish. She has three patterns in the Louet North America Spring 2015 Collection

I am very excited that three of my original designs are included in the Louet Spring 2015 CollectionLillium (Euroflax Cardigan) and Saxicola (Euroflax Handbag) were both designed and knit before the call for submissions went out. My inspiration for designs is myself. I design what I personally want to wear or in the case of Saxicola, want to carry. Having knit with Euroflax linen since 1997 (can’t believe it has been almost 20 years), I have to say that it is my favorite yarn to work with. My idea for Lillium was born out of a need for a cool and lightweight cardigan that could be worn over a simple tank top or sleeveless dress and give that little bit of extra coverage. I very rarely, if ever, draw out a sketch of my design beforehand. I know in my mind what I want, and so I start by swatching patterns and working out a gauge. I then chart out the garment and start knitting.  Different ideas may come to me while knitting and if so, I make the changes and carry on. This was how Lillium came to be.

The same can be said for Saxicola. I was in need of a handbag after one I had been carrying started to fall apart. I liked the shape of the bag I had and it had a great paisley lining in it. I removed the lining and designed Saxicola to go with it. In order for the bag to remain firm, with very little or no stretching, I used 2 strands of the Euroflax sport weight throughout. The simple slip stitch pattern in the main body of the handbag also helps to prevent any stretching or sagging. Using 3 strands of Euroflax for the I-cord handles, can be a little difficult, however it is well worth it, as you will end up with very firm handles.

My design process for Banksia was different. I got so much use out of my Lillium, I wanted to make something similar but different. Living in Eastern Ontario we are subject to a cool spring and fall and a downright cold winter. I choose Gems Fingering as the yarn for this cardigan as it would provide me with the warmth I wanted without the weight. Again after numerous swatches I settled on a stitch pattern and tried sketching out my design. I will be the first to admit that I can’t draw. My husband can, so I gave him my swatch and the sketch that I had attempted and asked him if he could come with a drawing that I could submit. The only change that was made from his original sketch, was that we decided to go with a three quarter length sleeve instead of a full length one.

Not only do I have three of my designs in this collection, I also tech edited the patterns.

All of the designs are beautiful and knit out of Louet’s Euroflax or Gems yarns makes them all the more stunning. You can purchase my patterns on Ravelry. I hope you enjoy knitting these designs and if you have any questions on them, please do not hesitate to email me at rossetti(at)rideau.net.

Join the KAL
Knit any of the patterns from the Spring 2015 collection in the  Louet Spring 2015 KAL. We’re hosting weekly giveaways throughout the KAL!

Louet Spring 2015 Blog Tour
March 2: Louet Blog, Spring Knit-A-Long & Kickoff
March 4: Lindsay Lewchuck, How to Hem Tutorial
March 9: Mari Knits, Pattern Inspiration & Giveaway
March 16: Louet Blog, guest post by designer Lynda Rosetti
March 29: Louet Blog, guest post by designer Susanna IC & Giveaway