Spinzilla is an annual (friendly) spinning competition where teams compete to see who can spin the most! Are you in?
Team Louet has won the past two years in a row! Whoa, go team!
Want to spin with us? Registration is September 1st at 9am. To register, hop on over to the registration page (be on time!) and sign up.
If being part of a team isn’t for you (or if your fave team fills up), you can ‘Spin Rogue’! It’s a great time to set your own personal goals and have fun!
So, let’s get ready for that MONSTER week of spinning!
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!
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.
The results are in – and we’re pleased to say that Team Louet has won the Golden Niddy Noddy for Spinzilla 2015! We couldn’t be more proud of this year’s team. Thank you to our wonderful spinners for a fabulous event!
Here are the stats on our year’s team efforts for 2015:
- 24 of 25 registered spinners reported yardage & will be receiving our Team Thank-you gift valued at $100! We’ll be creating a special fiber pack for our hard-working spinners which includes two 1/2 lb. bags of Merino Silk, a 1/2 lb. bag of Dyed Merino and a Lavishea Spinzilla lotion bar!
- 21 of 25 registered spinners are in the Monster Mile Club! This means that they will receive an additional gift from us (their choice of in-stock fibers valued at $100)!
- Eight of our spinners reported 5-digit yardage!
- As a team, we spun a total of 271,607 yards – that’s just over 154 miles, or the equivalent of 5.8 marathons!
We’ve far surpassed our team total from last year (156,853) as well as the winning team total of 171,493, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of our fantastic spinners. We’d like to give an extra-special mention to our top 3 spinners who reported the most yardage for our team at the close of Spinzilla:
- Tracy Hammond: 48,028 yards
- Monica Bittner: 40,765 yards
- Alexis Borsboom: 31,158 yards
We’re guessing these 3 spinners have pretty much depleted their fiber stash, so we’’ll be awarding $300 worth of in-stock spinning fibers (winner’s choice!) as a thank-you for their enormous contributions!
We also have a special gift for all spinners:
a free shawl pattern to put your handspun yarn to good use! Laura Cameron of The Corner of Knit & Tea
blog and podcast designed the Lost At Sea shawl especially for handspun yarn ! This gorgeous two-color shawl is shown here in the Ocean Waves colorway of Northern Lights as the MC and Quoddy Bay Grey of our Dyed Merino as the CC.
The shawl is knit on the bias with alternating sections of squishy garter stitch designed to show off variegated handspun yarns; the lace sections is ideal for solid-colored handspun skeins.
Our team captain has been making rolags with the Louet Blending Board!
Spinzilla kicks off today, and we’re pretty excited about this year’s group of spinners for Team Louet North America! Here’s the scoop on this year’s event:
- Spinning began at 12:01 AM this morning (in each spinner’s time zone).
- Spinning ends at 11:59 PM on October 11 (in each spinner’s time zone).
- Each team members’ yardage and finished yarn photo must be submitted to the Team Captain, who must submit each person’s results by 11:59 PM EDT on October 14.
After the results are in, we’ll be awarding the following prizes to our own team:
Team Thank-You: Everyone who turns in their final yardage at the close of Spinzilla will receive a thank-you gift valued at $100! We’ll be creating a special fiber pack for our hard-working spinners which includes two 1/2 lb. bags of Merino Silk, a 1/2 lb. bag of Dyed Merino and a Lavishea Spinzilla lotion bar!
Monster Mile Club: Each person who spins a mile of yarn (1760 yards) during Spinzilla will win their choice of in-stock fibers valued at $100 – plus they will get a special badge they can add to their Ravelry profile, blog, or website!
Top 3 Spinners by Yardage: We’ll be awarding $300 worth of in-stock spinning fibers (winner’s choice!) to our top 3 spinners who report the most yardage for our team at the close of Spinzilla!
No matter what happens, we’re are honored to be a part of the 1,500+ spinners participating in this year’s event. 100% of the registration fee from each and every spinner benefits the Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP) to provide interested NAMP programs with spinning and weaving equipment and fiber (click here to learn more).
Best of luck to all spinners this week!
Today is the first day of Spinzilla 2014! We are excited to cheer on #TeamLouet as they attempt to spin their way to the Golden Niddy Noddy over the next 7 days! Today, we’d like to alert folks as to some important changes which have been made since last year’s Spinzilla event:
- Plying Credit: This year, plying will count towards your yardage! Here is the formula to use when calculating your plied yardage: [plied yardage] + [plied yardage x # of plies] = yardage for which you can claim credit. Note: Chain or Navajo-plied yarn counts as three plies.
- Spin time begins at 12:01am Monday, October 6 and ends at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 12. This is regardless of your timezone – you will start spinning as the clock strikes 12:01am in whatever timezone you live in.
- Submitting Yardage and Photo: This year, each spinner will be in charge of submitting their final yardage and photo. If anyone on #TeamLouet needs assistance with this task, please PM our Team Captain, Stefaniegrrr, on Ravelry.
- Spinners have until midnight on October 15th, regardless of your time zone, to submit your yardage and photo.
If you still have questions about this year’s event, be sure to check out the handy Spinzilla FAQ!
We’re also pleased to announce a brand-new photo contest for this year, sponsored by none other than Louet North America! Click here for full contest guidelines on the Spinzilla website; photo submissions will be accepted October 13-20 in the following categories:
Handspun from Louet Dorper Top
Best Photo Of Yarn
$100 1st Place Gift Certificate for Fiber from Louet North America
$75 2nd Place Gift Certificate for Fiber from Louet North America
$50 Gift Certificate for Fiber from Louet North America
Best Sheepzilla Photobomb
$100 Certificate for Fiber from Louet North America
Most Creative Spinning Spot
$100 Gift Certificate for Fiber from Louet North America
Best SpinzillaTeam Photo
Wins a Free Team in 2015 and Handspun String is Not A Theory Spinzilla Button for each team member.
Best of luck & happy spinning!
We’ve got two exciting new exclusive products for this year’s Spinzilla event! First, we’ve teamed up with LaviShea to bring you a limited-edition Spinzilla lotion bar; it’s a great way to keep your hands moisturized, and it’s the perfect size for stashing in your knitting bag or spinning basket. Hard-working hands will appreciate the skin-loving ingredients which are non-greasy and absorb quickly – so you can get right back to spinning!
We’ve also added an exciting new project kit to our online store:
The Pippi Project Kit includes enough Louet Merino fiber to spin two colors of yarn for knitting Kirsten Kapur’s Pippi shawl; choose from Pagoda & Champagne (pictured above), Tawny Gold & Quoddy Bay Gray, or Deep Aqua and Sea Foam. Each kit also comes with a bonus 2 oz. sample of our luxurious Camel/Silk top!
We are also offering $10 off ANY order of $50 or more from our online store placed between now and October 15, 2014; simply enter SPINZILLA at check-out to take advantage of this special deal! Click here to start shopping!
Team spinner registration opens for Spinzilla today, and we’re looking for a few great spinners to join #TeamLouet! Last year, we had a fantastic time during the inaugural Spinzilla event, and this year, we have even more exciting prizes and events in store for our team members!
Last year, #TeamLouet spun an impressive 63,964 yards, the equivalent to 36.3 miles! For 2014, we’d like to challenge our members to help us spin even more in our quest to win the Golden Niddy Noddy from #TeamFancyTigerCraft, who will be defending their title (they spun a total of 94,939.73 yards in 2013!).
Click here to register for Team Louet NA for this fall’s second annual Spinzilla event. Remember, your $10 registration fee goes towards the Needlearts Mentoring Program, which fosters the spinners of tomorrow by supplying educational materials and outreach to the Handspinning program. This year’s goal is to double the number of children served!
In the weeks and months leading up to Spinzilla, we’ll be hosting live events online and sharing spinning inspiration, techniques and other helpful information to help our team members reach their goals for Spinzilla 2014! We hope you’ll join us!
As we spin our way through a most unusual spring, we’d like to share some of our favorite tips, tricks and resources to help you refine your skills and create the yarns of your dreams!
Taking a class is always the best way to get started, but it’s not always possible to find one nearby. That’s where Craftsy can save the day: we recommend Drucilla Pettibone’s Spindling: From Fluff To Stuff for beginners. It’s a great adjunct to our everything-you-need drop spindle kit, and the many benefits of the Craftsy platform include lifetime access to the class and the ability to post questions for your instructor & classmates to answer.
A few good reference books are also nice to have handy; some of our favorites include: The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn, Start Spinning, Respect the Spindle, and the Intentional Spinner. Another great reference to have on hand is the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, which contains information about hundreds of breeds of sheep and other fiber-bearing animals and is geared towards spinners, knitters and weavers.
More great online sources include:
- Spinning Daily: a great resource for all things related to spinning, there are lots of free e-books about spinning techniques and an interactive online community where you can post your questions.
- Knittyspin: a great resource for informative technique articles and knitting patterns designed especially for handspun yarns.
- Louet Support Center: our own online resource is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions we receive about our products. Visit our Spinning Room, Carding Room or Fiber Room to search our database of knowledge or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your spinning product-related questions!
We hope to welcome some new spinners to #TeamLouet
this year and would love to know what questions you’ve been having as you embark on your spinning journey – feel free to post your questions in our Ravelry group
or here on this blog post!
Speaking of our Ravelry group, we are seeing a lot of Dorper being spun this month as part of our Intermediate/Advanced challenge to spin different breeds of sheep (we’ve also spotted mentions of Cheviot, BFL, Cotswold and Suffolk!).
Our Dorper top is a surprising fiber to spin, as the Dorper sheep is better known for meat production than producing a spinnable fiber. Part of our Canterbury Prize Wool Group, our Dorper has been raised with care in New Zealand and boasts finer fiber and longer staple length when compared to standard Dorper sheep.
Click here to read more about Dorper on the Louet blog!
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!
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!