If you hold a hank of Louet and a hank of Koigu next to each other, I can see why people would say they are alike. Both are tightly-spun merinos, Louet is a 3-ply, while Koigu is a 2-ply. The resulting yarn in both cases has little beads of texture along its edge, almost like delicate lace. The weights are similar – Koigu is fingering, and the Louet I’m talking about here is sportweight. Louet also makes a line called Pearl, which is probably even more similar to KPM because it’s fingering, but I have no experience with it. Nonetheless, KPM and Louet Opal could be potentially used for similar projects. Louet comes in more subdued, earthy tones, while KPM comes in every shade under the sun.
I think KPM is a bit softer, and produces a buttery fabric. Louet is also soft, but it has this “great sweater yarn” feeling to it – this stuff isn’t going to fall apart or pill in three days! The reason for the difference in softness, I think, is that Louet is superwash merino, while KPM isn’t. An ideal project for Louet – sportweight socks, sweaters (I’m considering Louet for this bad boy), baby clothes of all kinds (especially). A garment made out of Louet will withstand repetitive baby pukings and washings. An ideal project for KPM – shawl, adult sweater for someone who’ll take really good care of it. I guess anything that you know will be handled delicately.
Finally, the price comparison. KPM is $11 for 50 grams/176 yards of goodness, Louet Opal (sportweight) is $12 for 100 grams/225 yards. Louet Pearl (fingering) is $7 for 50 grams/185 yards. Need I say more?
Enjoy your KPMs and your Louets, they both rock!