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?
Make a custom gradient yarn

Tutorial: Make a custom Gradient Yarn

I have a little secret to tell you- you can make your own gradient yarn by holding two thicknesses of solids, together!

Here’s the tutorial!

First, gather up the yarns you’d like to compose your gradient. You can go as subtle or as crazy with your line-up of colors as you want!

Rainbow of Louet Gems colors

Here’s the ‘formula’ for making your gradient. Label your colors in order (let’s call them ‘color 1’, ‘color 2’, etc.)

Knit with 2 strands of color 1.
Knit with 1 strand of color 1 and 1 strand of color 2.
Knit with 2 strands of color 2.
Knit with 1 strand of color 2 and 1 strand of color 3.
and so on!

Yup, it’s really that easy!

If you’re a ‘planner’, you’ll want to knit the first section (with the same color doubled) for about 2/3 of the skein of yarn, leaving 1/3 for you to use singly with the next color. This results in color sections of equal length.

Knitting with 2 colors of yarn at once

I find it easiest to do if I’ve wound my yarn into a center-pull ball, and pull 1 strand from the inside and a second strand from the outside. (but there are many ways to work with 2 strands of yarn at once!)

When you’re ready to switch, cut one strand of color 1 (leaving one strand attached), and knit the desired number of rows holding 1 strand of color 1 and one strand of color 2 (you may naturally find yourself finishing color 1):

Knitting with 2 different colors of yarn, held together

And continue!

Make a custom gradient yarn

Isn’t this lovely? Shown in Gems Worsted in Cherry, Petunia, Lilac and Aqua. Knit on a 10.5 needle (working as a bulky yarn)
It’s that easy! And if you have a lot of the same weight of yarn (for example, if you’re a sock knitter and have a lot of fingering weight skeins), this is an amazing stash-busting technique!

Following a Pattern

You can use this technique in any pattern that calls for a solid or gradient yarn! For inspiration, check out this Pinterest board of Rainbow and Ombre items!

How do you calculate the thickness of yarn you’ll need? Check the recommended weight in the pattern. Since you’ll be holding 2 strands of yarn together, so you want to use yarn that is approximately 2 weights smaller than your pattern calls for, that totals twice as much yardage. (For example, 2 strands of lace-weight knit up to about a sport-weight gauge).

Of course, do a gauge swatch with two strands of yarn so that you get the right gauge!

Gradient Flair

The pattern, Gradient Flair by Gwen Bortner uses this technique, and it’s gorgeous! So, if you want to try making your own gradient yarn but want more step-by-step instructions, this skirt could be right for you!

Gwen used Cottolin (which is traditionally a ‘weaving yarn’ because of it’s thinness), but holds 3 strands together and knits it up on a size 6 needle.

And with 70 colors? I bet you’ll find your dream gradient!

Fave Links

Upcoming Events!

Gifts for Knitters

The holiday season is upon us! Make sure that your wish list has lots of options to help your loved ones find the perfect gift you’ll use again and again this year. Many non-knitters have a hard time picking things out for their crafty friends & family members, so we’ve made things easy by sharing some universal advice and creating this handy gift guide featuring some of our most popular products. All you have to do is the share this link as a subtle hint!

Louet Gift Guide

Idea #1: Pattern Books

Most knitters already have plenty of yarn, so an interesting book of patterns can help them put all of it to good use! This year, we published She Made Them Her Own: The Best of Trudy Van Stralen as an homage to the founder of Louet North America. Trudy’s timeless garments are sure to keep them knitting all year long!

We also have many more patterns available to purchase individually; we recommend checking out our collection of Gems patterns for wearable garments and accessories using our easy-care Gems superwash Purl & Loop Placemat Weaver, distributed by Louet North America.yarn!

Idea #2: Purl & Loop Weaving Looms

These user-friendly looms are a great introduction to weaving! As previously mentioned, most knitters have a LOT of yarn in their stash, and weaving is a great way to use up that stash to make room for more pretty skeins. Purl & Loop looms are the perfect way for knitters to give this craft a try. Check out this post on our blog which shares a few project ideas using these clever little looms!

a11f6140aae2a5ce_mediumIdea #3: Kollage Needle Sets

A well-crafted set of knitting needles can provide a lifetime of pleasurable knitting. Kollage needles (and crochet hooks!) come in a variety of options, from Double Pointed Needle (DPN) sets to Mini and Full Interchangeable sets, which ensure that they always have the size of needles they need for their next project.

For that special someone, you can go the extra mile by treating them to our Needle of the Month Club, which allows you to personalize their needles with their name or a special saying. Each month, a new pair of interchangeable tips will be delivered to their doorstep for their knitting pleasure. Click here to learn more about our 2017 Needle of the Month Club – but hurry, spots are limited!

Kollage Needle of the Month Club

Idea #4: A Little Spa Treatment

Soak Wool WashEvery crafter has use for a good wool wash, and Soak‘s no-rinse formula comes in a variety of wonderful-smelling scents to delight their senses! Handknits shouldn’t be the only thing enjoying the spa treatment, though: go the extra mile with Soak’s Heel and Handmaid to provide luxurious care for hardworking hands and feet.

From all of us at Louet North America, we wish you a happy holiday season!

 

Louet Spring 2016 Collection

We’re excited to announce that the Louet Spring 2016 Collection is now available! You can purchase each pattern individually through Ravelry via the links below and also at your local yarn store.

The inspiration for this collection was light, airy lace projects perfect for layering in the spring and summer months. Some patterns have an eyelet detail, while others have intricate allover lace patterns – but each garment includes some form of lace, from simple to complex.

Our featured designer for this collection is Susanna IC; this collection features two designs from Susanna, highlighting her exquisite lace skills. Veleta is a sleeveless tunic knit in Euroflax Sport with a beautiful lace edging: 

 Zambra includes instructions to knit both a crescent shawl and a stole, with variations of the same lace pattern on each piece. The stole uses Gems Fingering, while the shawl is knit in three shades of Euroflax.

The Hermosas Tee by Robin Allen is a great layering piece. Knit in Euroflax with little rows of eyelets and ribbing, this lightweight top will get softer as you wash and wear it!

The Island Heights Poncho by Lynda Rossetti is perfect for when you need just a little something to keep you warm.

Manzanita by Beth Major is a lovely crochet cowl/shrug. Worked up with just one skein of Euroflax, this is a fun and fast project.

Tallahassee by Kristen TenDyke is a sleeveless top in Euroflax Linen. Lightweight, breathable, and soft, it’s the perfect summer top!

Leucadia by Heidi Gustad can be knit as a scarf or as a wider stole. The undulating lines in this lace pattern are reminiscent of the beautiful lines found in nature.The Adamas Cardigan by Alexis Di Gregorio features a lovely diamond lace motif on both the fronts and the back. This lightweight cardigan is perfect for pairing with a summer dress, t-shirt, or camisole.

Ixtapa by Kirsten Singer is a tunic style top with lace details that’s perfect over a camisole or a swimsuit. You can see the rest of the patterns in the collection and purchase them here on Ravelry: Louet North America Spring 2016.

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

Handspun Holiday

If you’ve been spinning all year long but have neglected to knit, crochet or weave with your handspun creations, now is a great time to do a little inventory and make plans for some extra-special handspun holiday gifts!  Last month’s Spinzilla blog featured many great projects to knit, crochet, and weave with handspun yarn, and we’ve got a few more suggestions to share with you today.

Knittyspin is an excellent source for patterns which are written specifically for handspun yarns, and best of all, they’re free! The Whorled Hat from the most recent issue would be an excellent gift for just about anyone on your list.

Don’t be afraid to use your handspun for patterns calling for commercial yarns (just be sure to check gauge)! Look for patterns that are easy to customize, such as the Wasabi Cowl (left) or The Age of Brass and Steam scarf (right). Both of these patterns are available as free Ravelry downloads and would look stunning in your handspun!

 

 For last-minute woven gifts, a simple scarf can be extra-spectacular with handspun yarn at center stage! Serialspinner’s Collapse Weave Scarf project on Craftsy is a great example from which to draw your inspiration:

 

Handspun also makes fantastic pom poms – the loftier the yarn, the better! You can top any hat with a handpun pom pom for the perfect finishing touch, or use your poms to adorn gifts. When it comes time to wrap presents, leftover singles or other small bits and bobs of handspun yarn can be used as festive (and reusable) ribbons and bows for an extra handmade touch!

 Whatever you decide to do with your handspun, we hope you’ll share your projects ideas and inspirations with us here in our Ravelry group!