In Review: Louet’s June Spinzilla Fiber Pack

I’ve kind of been power stashing fiber over the last year or so. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of as I realize I should be working on draining my yarn & fiber stashes these days, but being relatively new to spinning I’ve never had a very deep stash. I knew that timing looked very good for my being able to participate in both the Tour de Fleece and Spinzilla this year though and somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind it made perfect sense to stockpile fiber for those events as well as just the general daily spinning I’m shooting for this summer. Summer is my very favorite time to spin, especially early in the morning watching the birds out our front window or in the late afternoon on the back porch, so my ‘summer spin 2015’ challenge to spin everyday during the summer was a fun, enjoyable little personal challenge to take on and further justified the stash enhancement of late.

As you can imagine with this mindset, when I was asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of Louet’s Spinzilla Fiber Packs I jumped at the chance. Partly driven by that ‘need’ to further enhance my fiber stash, but even moreso I enthusiastically agreed because the folks at Louet North America always put together great packages. They have excellent base fibers and they have a real knack for creating mixed packs that are full of a great mix of both fibers I’m familiar with and some that are new to me.

The box that contained the June Fiber Pack arrived when I wasn’t at home, but I was so excited to see what was inside that I asked my hubby to text photos of the contents. No really, I did that and he totally humored me (he really loves me, obviously). I could not believe it the bounty!

IMG_9470It was close to 3lbs of a really amazing assortment of fiber (for non-spinners, this makes quite of bit of yarn)!

Specifically, the June Spinzilla Fiber Pack contained:

  • 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

I knew there was no way I’d get through it all in a single month, so I picked three to spin up and review for you here.

IMG_9501My first choice was the half pound of Dyed Karaoke. This is a fiber I normally would not choose. I tend to stick specifically to animal fibers — maybe with a little bamboo or tencel or nylon mixed in here and there, but this is 50% wool / 50% soysilk. One touch and I could tell it was very different than that which I’m familiar. The best was to describe it is that to me it felt both tacky & slippery at the same time. I was a bit challenged in finding a comfortable method of drafting, but I did a bit of research and opted to try spinning from the fold and it worked like a charm.IMG_9502I also opted to spin the singles heavier than I usually do which was an added challenge, but it went pretty smoothly.

The finished skein is 150yards of bulky weight yarn…

louet soysilk det And I’m  very pleased with how it turned out.

louet soysilkConsidering it was a new-to-me fiber blend, new-to-me drafting technique, and not my comfort zone of thin singles, I’m kind of wowed by how it turned out. I think this fiber blend would also make a great lightweight yarn for shawls, but it definitely will work great for a chunky cowl, too.

Second, I thought I’d try my hand at the Baby Llama top.

Apparently Super Dehaired Llama from Louet is where all the fluff is at!
#louet #junespinzillapack #spinstagram #igspinners #handspinning

 Words cannot convey how lofty and fluffy this fiber is. Having just learned the whole spinning from the fold thing, with this relatively short staple length I opted to use my newest skill again and it made this spin just completely delightful.
Plying from a center pull ball for the first time. So far, so good! #todayonmywheel #plying #spinstagram #spinnersofinstagram #igspinners

 I decided to try out another new-to-me technique for plying — plying from a center-pull ball. It wasn’t bad and with a smallish amount of yarn to work with I appreciated the lack of waste this method provides, but overall I’m not yet ready to give up my tensioned lazy kate. Nonetheless it worked just fine and the finished yarn is about 120 yards of sport/DK weight yarn.

louet llama fullIt reminds me a whole lot of alpaca.

llama fullAnd I totally am head-over-heels in love with this little skein. In fact, I would spin this fiber again in a heartbeat.
My third choice was the light green 1/2 pound of 50/50 merino/silk.


I have time for a quick fat single, right? #todayonmywheel #louet #merinosilk #junespinzillapack
This wonderfully soft fiber I opted to spin into a bulky single.
louet 5050detSingles aren’t yet my forte, but practice does make perfect and although its a bit overspun in places, I think it’ll knit up just fine.
louet 5050 greenThis blend was simply a delight to work with. It’s very easy to draft and I found it pretty easy to control even considering I was outside my comfort zone in the heavier weight singles. I liked the blend so much that I actually bought more when I spotted it at a yarn shop while on vacation last week.
IMG_9746I can’t wait.
But I digress.
As for the rest of the June Spinzilla pack, I cannot wait to dig into the Red Eri Silk
louet silkI have never felt anything softer in my whole life. I’m a little afraid to mess it up, but even though I’m kind of intimidated by this fine, fine fiber, nothing will stop me from spinning this treasure.
I will admit, I’m not quite sure what to do with the 1/2 lb bags of tencel top and the wool/mohair top…
louet tencelmohairSo I will let those simmer for a bit while I do some further research. I’m thinking about perhaps a dyeing experiment with the wool/mohair at a later date, but I’ve got to think that through a bit more.
These four 2oz bags of merino, though…
louet merinoI think they’d be very pretty as a striped yarn. Maybe short little strips of each color. I will keep thinking about those, too.
All in all, I’ll admit that I’m once again really impressed with Louet North America for putting together such a great pack at a fantastic price — retail on these fibers alone would be close to $200 & the pack costs only $75. Great for stash & skill enhancement alike, the Spinzilla Fiber Packs — of which there will be five — are a great investment whether you plan to participate in any of the upcoming fiber events or not.
Many thanks to the kind folks at Louet North America for letting me try out this fantastic pack of fiber!

 

9 responses to “In Review: Louet’s June Spinzilla Fiber Pack

    • Thank you so much! Bulky singles are way out of my comfort zone and I have to go REALLY slowly to make them, but it’s definitely getting easier. I tried employing tips from the Craftsy class I have on drafting and that definitely helped!

  1. This was such a fun review, I enjoyed seeing the variety of the pack and your approaches to each of the fibers. I thinking dyeing the wool/mohair blend could be a lot of fun. With the baby llama did it seem to have the same itch factor that comes from Alpaca, with the guard hairs?
    Overall great job on all your spinning and I look forward to seeing your plans for the remaining fiber.

    • The llama is labeled as “super dehaired” and I just sat here holding the skein to my face for a couple minutes (true story). It’s not knitted up or anything, but in the skein I can feel a bit of that same alpaca-y/guard hair type scratchy-ness, but definitely not to the extent of an alpaca yarn. Does that sort of make sense?

    • I bought the Craftsy class from Jacey Boggs ‘From Worsted to Woolen’ and it really helped me to understand how to make a better heavier weight single. I still have a very LONG way to go, but the difference was instant for me once I understood the basics.

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