Congratulations to Talia S., the winner for our January blog giveaway for a copy of Yarnitecture: The Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want by Jillian Moreno! We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prize. If you missed it, be sure to check out Jillian’s recent guest post about exploring sheep breeds with Louet spinning fiber here on our blog!
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!
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.
This month’s Tour de Fleece event is a great way to stay in top spinning form during the summer months. If you’re spinning every day the Tour rides (or even if you’re not!), the last thing you need is to run out of fiber! Our newest Spinzilla Fiber Pack is filled with exciting fibers at an excellent price. For our July pack, we’ve hand-picked this assortment of fibers to keep your wheels spinning:
- 1 lb of Grey Gotland Sliver
- 1/2 lb Optim Top
- 1/2 lb Dark Coopworth
- 1/2 lb of Super Fine Flax Top
- 1/2 lb of Wool/Flax Top
- 1/2 lb of Dyed Merino Top
- 2oz of Brown Cashmere Top Regular
The regular retail price of all of these fibers is $196.50, so the July Spinzilla fiber pack is a steal at just $75.00! You can also purchase our discounted June Spinzilla Fiber pack here while supplies last.
While all of these fibers would be lovely spun up on their own, they can also be mixed and matched with each other or other fibers lurking in your stash. We’re seeing some really creative blended batts and rolags from Tour de Fleece spinners which are truly inspirational. If you’re eager to get your hands on a drum carder, now is the perfect time: our Standard, Classic & Elite drum carders are 10% off with free freight now through December 31, 2015 only at your nearest Louet Retailer.
To see how you can truly make your next spinning project your own with a Louet drum carder, watch the video above which shows how to card an art batt using the Louet Classic Drum Carder!
With the Tour de Fleece just around the corner and Spinzilla on the horizon for fall, now is the perfect time to assess your fiber stash and start stocking up for the big event – it’s also a great time to give new spinning techniques a try so that you can have them mastered by the time Spinzilla rolls around.
You may wish to focus on speed with an eye on the Golden Niddy Noddy for Spinzilla; or perhaps you just want to try something new to keep things fun and lively while at the wheel. Either way, the great part about handspinning is being about to sample a variety of different types of fibers and sheep breeds, and today we’d like to share our June Spinzilla Fiber Pack as an excellent way to broaden your fiber horizons and encourage you to try something new!
Each month we’ll be introducing exciting new fiber packs which offer a variety of high-quality spinning fibers at an excellent value to you – up to 50% off regular retail prices, in fact! The June Fiber Pack is our second offering as part of our 2015 Spinzilla plans, and it includes the following fibers:
- 1/2 lb of Dyed Merino/Silk Top
- 4 x 2oz of Dyed Merino Top
- 2oz of Baby Llama Top
- 100 gr of Red Eri Silk
- 1/2 lb of White Tencel Top
- 1/2 lb of Wool/Mohair Top
- 1/2 lb of Dyed Karaoke
Our 2015 fiber packs have been delighting spinners in the blogosphere recently; click the images or links below to read more and see spinning project featuring our fibers!
Alicia at Woolen Diversions recently shared this review which includes sample skeins spun from the May Fiber Pack.
Rachel from the Golden Rippy blog reviewed our June Fiber Pack and shared her resulting spinning projects here.
Last but not least, Sarah from the Knitting Sarah blog shared three finished spinning projects featuring fibers from our June Fiber Pack – click here to see more!
We hope you’ll share your own spinning projects with Louet Fibers here in the Louet Ravelry Group!
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!
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!
It’s our final month of Spinning Spring Training, and we’ve got some great warm-weather challenges for you:
Non-wool fibers present some challenges for the beginning spinner (and sometimes even experienced spinners!), but don’t let that scare you away. Below are some of our favorite tips & resources for mastering each of our June challenges:
- If you choose to spin from hankies or caps, check out this easy-to-follow photo tutorial from the KnittySpin archives.
- Spinning silk from cocoons is a bit more labor-intensive, but you can follow these detailed instructions from eHow to get started.
- Of course, prepared silk and silk-blend tops are probably the easiest introduction to spinning with this luxury fiber!
- This free eBook from Spinning Daily has everything you need to know to spin beautiful silk yarns for knitting, weaving, crochet and embroidery!
- Many spinners prefer to spin cotton from punis or rolags; while cotton can be spun on any type of wheel, the Charkha was designed especially for the spinning of cotton.
- Download this free ebook from Spinning Daily to learn everything you ever wanted to know about spinning cotton (and more)!
- Break out the spindle: it might initially be easier to spin your cotton (especially if it’s not from a prepared top) with a spindle – click here for instructions and a photo tutorial from New England Simple Living.
- Yak, Camel, and Qiviut can be processed similarly to cotton, since fibers from these animal are typically short and quite fine – usually as soft (or softer) than cashmere! Try spinning from the fold or using a long-draw technique to make working with short staples a little easier your first time out!
With the Tour de Fleece just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about spinning! For those of you who prefer to spin wool no matter the season, we’ve created a special Fiber Pack for June with you in mind: explore the world of naturally-colored fibers with this mix of Romney, Coopworth and Dorper. This limited-edition pack contains 4.5 pounds of fiber valued at $138 for only $75!
Welcome to month 2 of our Spinning Spring Training event! This month, we’re focusing on exploring new techniques to flex our spinning muscles. We’re seeing lots of chatter in our May Spring Training thread on Ravelry: participants are going to try everything to spinning from batts to giving boucle a try or even experimenting with ply. Turns out we have some pretty adventurous spinners in our midst!
Raveler tktl, who spun with #TeamLouet for Spinzilla last fall, has been sharing her batt spinning progress from start to finish. Batts are a great way to use up leftover fibers to create unusual yarns such as this example from tktl:
If you are interested in finding out more, we’ve explored spinning from batts and rolags in this earlier blog post!
Chain plying is another technique we’re seeing mentioned quite a bit in this month’s Ravelry thread. Also referred to as Navajo plying, this technique is used to create a 3-ply yarn from a single bobbin (rather than using three bobbins of singles to create a 3-ply yarn). It’s especially great for dyed fibers because it allows for better control over where the colors fall into the yarn. While it can be a little tricky to get started, it quickly becomes second nature as you pull a loop of yarn through the loop preceding it – sound familiar?
Pictured above is a swatch containing samples knit with the same needle size (US 10.5) so that the only change was the ply of yarn: 6, 5, 4, 3, chain, and 2 ply. Pretty impressive!
If you’re new to spinning and would like to explore ply in greater detail, Spinning Daily offers a fantastic free e-book which covers just about everything you could ever want to know about plying – click here to download!
We hope you’ll join us this month as we spin our way through May. Below are a few more suggested challenges, but we’d love to see what’s on your technique to-do list! As always, there will be a monthly prize drawing, so click here to join the fun over on Ravelry!
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!
Many of you have spent this week taking stock of your fiber stash, clearing out bobbins, and making any necessary repairs to your wheels to ensure you are ready for a monstrous amount of spinning next week. Don’t forget, those of you with Louet spinning wheels have our Support Center at your service 24/7 – and if you need more ideas on how to prepare for next week’s spinning extravanaza, you can read more here on our Team Captain’s blog.
One of our team members reminded us that it’s important to make time for self-care: whether it’s a nice bubble bath, some gentle stretches, or a walk in the park after your daily spinning session, remember to keep yourself in top spinning form throughout Spinzilla (and always!).
If you’re worried about running out of spinning fiber (or would just like to replenish your stash), we’ve created a limited-edition fiber pack in honour of Spinzilla! The Spinzilla Special Fiber Pack includes: 1 lb Eastport Alpaca (70/30 Alpaca/Merino blend), 1/2lb Northern lights, 2lb Carded Alpaca Sliver, and 1lb Dorper Top, and it’s an excellent deal, too – over $200 worth of quality fiber for just $69!
We’re still looking for a few good spinners to join the ranks of Team Louet! We’d like to open our doors to all spinners who have what it takes to spin like the wind during Spinzilla next month. In other words….you are free to use any spindle, wheel or fibers of your choosing during the event!
Have we mentioned there are prizes involved? Besides a TON of chances to win gift certificates to a number of fibery online retailers from the Spinzilla prize pool, we’ve got a few more reasons for you to take up your spindles and wheels in the name of Team Louet:
- Prize Drawing for September: We’ll randomly select one member of Team Louet to win a 1/2lb. bag of carded alpaca fiber!
- Prize Drawings for October: The teammate who spins the most yarn during the competition will win a $400 fiber prize pack! Two runners-up will win $100 fiber prize packs!
Each team is limited to 25 spinners, so you have pretty good odds of winning a fibery prize! Click here to join Team Louet – registration closes September 23, so don’t delay. We’re glad to have you aboard!