Walk in the Woods

Can I tell you about my perfect type of knitting? It’s a pattern that has some interest to it and I learn something new… but it’s not so complicated that if someone calls my name, I completely lose track of where I am and I need to rip back 2 rows.

I mean, I dream of knitting a Shetland Lace shawl. They’re gorgeous! It’s just that, like most of you, I squeeze my knitting into a busy life. And I’ve gotta just be practical about my projects.

I’m in love with Walk in the Woods by Lisa Hannes of Maliha Designs. Isn’t it gorgeous?

The complicated-looking colorwork pattern is created by slip stitches, so that you’re only knitting with one color per row. And on the purl rows, you’re copying what you did on the right side. It’s like a little mini-vacation every other row. Love it.

The pattern is written as well as charted, which is awesome. Can I tell you what I did with my pattern? I printed out the chart (it’s 1 double-sided page) on paper, and took it to a copy shop and had it laminated (it was about 2 bucks). That way, I can throw it in my bag and easily use a sticky note to remind me what row I’m on. Because, you know… life.

Check out my progress! I started a week ago, and I’ve become obsessed.

I’m knitting mine in Louet Gems Worsted in Aqua and Pewter.
But so many color combinations would be awesome… like Marine Blue and Gold. Or Eggplant and Champagne. Oooh.

Head on over to the Ravelry listing of Walk in the Woods to purchase, and grab your yarn either on our site or at your favorite local retailer!

Louet Gems Fall 2017 Skeins

Fall Yarn Trend: Jewel Tones

Now that we’re in October, it’s definitely fall. The leaves are turning and crunching and apples are abundant. (by the way, I’ll be making this Apple Crisp Recipe, the secret ingredient being boiled cider which is supposed to make it super-especially-apple-y. Yum.)
And in shops, the fall-wardrobe is in full swing. Have you noticed lots of rich cranberry, hunter green and delicious mustard colors? It’s the season of jewel tones!
Fall Yarn Trend: Jewel Tones
Our new Fall 2017 colors of Louet Gems captures this luscious palette of colors!
Look for these new fall colors to be hitting shops, soon!
I’m planning to cast on for Hatcher in our new Gold…. the great stitch definition of Gems means that cables knit up fabulously!
These rich colors add to our Gems (100% merino wool) yarn line some of the the gorgeous jewel tones that were already available in Cottolin (our 60% cotton/40% linen weaving yarn)!
I’ve also been thinking of a woven piece combining Deep Plum, Dark Purple, Autumn Red and Rich Red combo… yummy!
What are the colors you’re feeling inspired by this season?

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!

2014 Pattern Collection Preview

Happy New Year! We have a lot of exciting things in the works for 2014, but we’re quite thrilled to share a few sneak peeks of our collection of patterns for 2014. They will be making their debut this weekend at the January TNNA Trade Show in San Diego, California!  

There are 11 patterns in all, each using your favorite yarns from Louet North America. Click here to view the entire lookbook. Stay tuned for more details!

Socks for Everyone on Your List!

Lynda Rossetti, who worked with Trudy Van Stralen designing for years, just showed us a pair of worsted weight GEMS socks she made. We were so excited about these quick-knitting socks, we asked Lynda to share her thoughts on sock knitting in today’s guest post. We’ve also created five affordable kits  for this fun new design!  

“I don’t do socks.”

“By the time I get the first one finished, I don’t want to repeat myself and knit a second one.”

“Hand knit socks wear out to quickly, and I am not about to start darning socks.”

It is true, up until about a month ago, I rarely; if ever knit a pair of socks. I admired hand knit socks, but I always felt that knitting them were a waste of my time. Living in Eastern Ontario, socks knit with a fingering weight yarn were just not going to keep my feet warm, and would likely wear out long before the snow disappeared.

But all that has changed.

One of the benefits of working with Louet North America  for over 15 years is that you accumulate a wonderful stash of GEMS superwash merino, and I needed to knit something to send to England for my daughter’s boyfriend for Christmas.

I opened my “yarn cupboard” and out poured my bags of GEMS: not enough of any one color for a sweater and I knit him a scarf last year…but do I really want to knit socks?!

After a short debate and some quick calculations, I cast on and away I went. In a matter of hours, one sock was finished. It felt wonderful, so soft and warm! The expertise of Trudy Van Stralen (click here for more info from our September 2013 blog post) when designing this yarn really shines through. Knitting socks with other worsted weight yarn would not feel this good.

In just over 3 weeks, I have knit 3 pairs of these socks, as well as 3 pairs of thrummed mittens and 5 pairs of children’s socks in GEMS Sport on a 2.5 mm needle. They feel as great as the worsted socks!

Sock kits are available in the following color combinations (click each image for more information):

Pewter & Fern

Caribou & Terra Cotta

Navy & White

Teal & Golden Rod

Candy Apple Red & White

Click here to purchase GEMS worsted sock kits for only $19.95 each!