Thursday, April 24, 2014

Game of Thrones Mystery Knit-A-Long 2014!

Hi everyone, and welcome! We hope you’ll join us for this year’s MKAL! It’s going to be SO much fun, I can hardly wait to get started!



Here are the details for this year’s Game of Thrones Mystery KAL:


  • The MKAL will begin on Sunday, May 4th and run for 6 weeks (through the end of Season 4 of Game of Thrones.)
  • We will be knitting a lace shawl inspired by Daenerys Targaryen! The mystery is in the design…
  • The recommended yarn is 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock and we are using the Limited Edition color “Fire and Blood” (avail. 4/25.) Lorna’s Laces Solemate is also a great substitute, and as usual, you are welcome to use ANY fingering weight yarn of your choosing. You are never required to buy yarn from us to participate in one of our KALs. Anyone is welcome!  
  • The pattern difficulty level is considered Intermediate. The stitches are basic enough (a list of abbreviations is available immediately when you download the pattern in case you need to brush up on any skills), but there is some interesting shaping that may challenge you a bit (in a good way of course.)
  • The pattern will include both written instructions AND charts (by popular demand!)
  • The KAL will be hosted entirely on Ravelry, so the pattern will also only be available on Ravelry this year.
  • You will need to go here to download the pattern: Game of Thrones MKAL 2014
  • Each Sunday during the KAL, you’ll receive a message that the pattern has been updated. You can download and print each clue individually, week by week. 
  • As usual, we’ll have threads for each clue in the JBW Group on Ravelry, so come on over and join in the conversation, ask questions, get help with the pattern, etc.!!!


Since we started doing these MKAL’s a little over a year ago, we have learned a ton! With each one, we’ve tried to improve the participant experience a little bit, and learned a little more each time as we go. After this year’s Downton Abbey MKAL, we received tons of great feedback (thank you all!) and think we’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of optimizing the KAL experience for all of you, and streamlining the process and information as much as possible. If you are returning this year for your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) MKAL with us, you’ll notice a few key changes:

1) The pattern will now be available as a Ravelry download making it easier for you to print, store on an iPad or e-reader device, save for future reference, etc.

2) Each week, the new clue will be published separately from the week before (and e-mailed to you on Ravelry) so all you have to do is print the new section, not the whole thing over again. Once the KAL is over, you will receive a fully formatted all-in-one version of the pattern.

3) Because of this huge change, we’ll no longer be putting the instructions on the JBW Blog (which most of you mentioned is tough to print from anyway. Win-win!)

4) This also means no more going back and forth between the blog and Ravelry. Everything is in one place! Hurray!

5) Last time (for the Downton KAL 2014 AND the Game of Thrones KAL last year) the yardage on the pattern ran really close to the yardage needed to finish the KAL piece. I will never do that to you all again! This time there is ample yardage to finish the project, with extra to spare! (Gauge is still important! So please do check your gauge!)

6) As mentioned in the KAL details above, I have created charts along with the written instructions for this pattern. I have been asked for charts in the past, but not been able to provide them for various reasons. Now, thanks to my awesome new chart software, I’ve got nice, clean, and easy to read charts for every section of the project. :)

7) Lastly, (and please don’t tar and feather me for this) we are going to be charging a small fee for the pattern this year. The KAL promotional price for the pattern is just $3 and helps to cover the awesome changes I’ve listed here as well as my time in the design process and running the KAL. After the KAL is over, the price will go up to $6, so if you think you want to knit the shawl but are planning to wait to cast on, be sure to order it now and save the pattern in your Ravelry library for a rainy day to take advantage of the 50% off price!

I hope this covers any questions you might have about this year’s Game of Thrones Mystery KAL! As usual, you are welcome to leave comment/questions here, or send me a message on Ravelry at either JimmyBeansWool or Marinade (my personal account.) Also, be sure to join in the conversation in the Jimmy Beans Wool Group!

Hope to see you all in this year’s MKAL!

Happy knitting,
Kristen


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Art of Felfs by Cat Bordhi

Hi! Leanne here! This past January at TNNA I had the honor of meeting legendary designer Cat Bordhi at the Frog Tree Yarn booth where she was plugging her latest book, The Art of Felfs. After chatting for only a few minutes, we had brainstormed half a dozen ways to get Felfs onto feet of all shapes and sizes across the globe. But it's not just about creating a Felf-craze (although let's face it, a world where everyone wears felted elf slippers would be AWESOME). Cat is donating ALL of the proceeds of this e-book to research that is being done to cure cancer. That is no small feat, and we jumped at the chance to become part of Cat's effort in helping to fund this potentially life-saving research. While the book is available only as an e-book (which can be purchased on Ravelry or Cat's website), we have created 3 kits of some of our favorite Felf styles to make it easy peasy for you to get started on the Felf project of your choice! We will continue to add kit options from the book for the next several months, because, well, Felf knitting can be a bit addicting. ;) The Art of Felfs is only $20 and includes 15 stylish Felf patterns, plus invaluable tutelage in the art of felting and customizing the Felf template to make these cozy feet-warmers one-of-a-kind.

Cat was kind enough to write an informative introduction to The Art of Felfs, where it all began, and the research we can all help fund in some small way, so I'll let her take it from here!

Happy knitting and Felfing!
-Leanne

The Art of Felfs

A week or so before my E-book, The Art of Felfs: Felted Footwear for Families, was released, I had a life-changing talk with my friend David Krag, MD, world-renowned cancer researcher, optimist, and Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Vermont Medical School. David is perhaps the most intelligent and well- rounded human being I have ever met, and also has a degree in music. Here he is playing his saxophone.


David

David explained that the cancer treatment that his research team has been developing for many years is finally ready for clinical trials. This treatment is as kind as chemo is cruel. It targets the tumor so exclusively that the rest of you remains whole and healthy. Once sufficient funds are in place, the trials will begin, leading to the possibility for people all over the world to have this treatment instead of chemo. David introduced sentinel node detection over a decade ago, and one million women have benefited from it. He has a great track record.


Lots of First Felfs

It took me only moments to decide to donate 100% of my book’s income to David’s lab to help save lives, rather than keep this income to support myself. I knew, just as you would have in my place, that this was an opportunity to make a huge difference.


Vaquero Felfs


Here is my dream: one by one, knitters will buy The Art of Felfs and fully support this research through the clinical trial phase. (To donate directly to David’s lab, visit Felfs.com, where you’ll also find links for more information about the treatment.)


Striped First Felfs

There are more than enough knitters in the world to replace the brutal landscape of chemotherapy with the flower-filled meadow of David’s gentle and perfectly targeted treatment.


First Felfs

No one needs to do much if enough of us do something…please join us by doing something.


Cowboy Felfs

I have diverted a major part of my income to David because I believe in what he is doing. I come from medical family and have had cancer twice myself (now twenty years ago). I know David and his team will see this through and change how cancer is treated even if knitters do not create a groundswell of funding, but if we can, it will happen so much faster. Then you and your loved ones will have his treatment if and when you need it.


Fairy Legs Felfs


Please help spread the word to your friends. If you buy the book on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/the-art-of-felfs) you have the option of using the gift button to send it to a friend.

Here is what your money can do in David’s lab:
• $20 (1 book, 1 knitter) will buy a bottle of the special media (food) for the immune cells they are growing.
• $100 (5 books, 5 knitters) will buy the special reagents (chemicals) needed to test for anti-cancer antibodies produced by a cancer patient’s lymph node.
• $1000 (50 books, 50 knitters) will pay for the materials and researcher time to produce an anticancer vaccine.

The Art of Felfs is a PDF download which you can store and use on any and all digital devices you own. I think you will really like the book! Felfs are a carefree joy to knit. Knit flat in garter stitch and then folded and sewn before felting, even a child can calculate how to fit any foot (in the photo below, those are Felf Pockets...they act as a unit of measurement to produce perfect foot length).


Felf Pockets


You can make Felfs small enough to fit a doll or oversized enough to be a baby’s bunting or a cozy bed for your cat or dog. Please send Jimmy Beans Wool a photo when you do that! I can’t wait to see! If you’ve never felted before, beware: it is addicting and easy. The book (see pages 12-13) offers a variety of methods, from using a washing machine to not needing one at all.


Ballet Felfs


In other words, you can have fun eliminating chemo. And someday you can tell your grandchildren, “I was one of the knitters who made it happen.”

You will find all the Felfs you see in this blog post, and other styles as well, in the book, along with the patterns and clear instructions on everything. There are also Youtube video tutorials to guide you through folding and sewing.


Raven Felfs


My friends, Chet, Tricia, and Jim Petkiewicz at Frog Tree Yarn make the wonderful Ewetopia Yarn that I have used for nearly every pair of Felfs in the book. They were also part of my conversation with David, and made a significant direct donation to his lab because they also believe whole-heartedly in what he is doing.

I have made some charts to show you how much Frog Tree Ewetopia you need for several styles of Felfs for just about any size foot there is. Jimmy Bean Wool is offering kits of the yarn for the Raven, Ballet, and First Felfs and they are also happy to help you choose yarn for the Felfs of your choice!

Thanks so much for joining me in this project and happy Felf-knitting!

Cat Bordhi

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Murder Mystery at Jimmy Beans....Help Us Find Out Whodunnit to Win Some Free Yarn!

Something is amiss at Jimmy Beans!! This morning we arrived to work to find an innocent ball of yarn that was murdered in our warehouse overnight! 




We've got our detective on the case, but she's going to need a little help solving this one and that where YOU come in!



Here is the reward: Each person who answers the 3 questions below will be entered into a drawing to win a kit to knit Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Sherlock Scarf in your choice of the two Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Colors for this month- Sherlock's Secret or Dr. Watson's Blues. Here are the 3 questions you need to answer::

1) Who is the killer?

2) What was the weapon?

3) What was the motive?


Here are the "rules":

1) The clues will be delivered starting on April 1st through April 7th on our both our main JBW Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JimmyBeansWool

As well as our Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Fan Club Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jimmy-Beans-Wool-LLE-Fan-Club/120382228015984

2) You must "like" or follow at least one of our two Facebock pages in order to be eligible to win. 

3) Once you have all of the clues and have figured out all three answers, please send your response in an e-mail to me (Kristen) at: kristen (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com.

4) You will have until Midnight (PST) on April 7th to submit your answers. 

5) I will reveal the correct answers on the 8th on both Facebook pages. 

6) All of the people who guessed correctly will be put into a drawing to win one of two kits. I will draw and announce the winner on April 9th.

Below is our list of potential suspects (in no particular order) and some information about each one. Please feel free to use this information to figure out your answers once the clues start. This info will be very helpful to you...


Suspect #1: Scarlet Hamish


Scarlet Hamish

Favorite color: Blue
Favorite Yarn: Madelinetosh anything
Least Favorite Yarn: Ruffle yarn.
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Knitter's Pride Dreamz Circulars
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: The Yarn Hot Tub
Favorite Fiber Type: Wool
Truth or Dare?: Dare












Suspect #2: Guenivere Muircastle


Guenivere Muircastle
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite Yarn: Any hand-dyed fingering weight
Least Favorite Yarn: Any ruffle yarn
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Knit Kit
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Tosh Merino Light Section, so pretty! 
Favorite Fiber Type: Wool
Truth or Dare?: Neither. But if you force me, truth. I might lie though.













Suspect #3: Zippy von Purlmeister


Zippy von Purlmeister
Favorite color: Red....right now.
Favorite Yarn: Wollmeise...but we don't carry it. Otherwise, Spud & Chloe Sweater and Rowan Lima.
Least Favorite Yarn: Anything mixed media or too many alternating textures.
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Nancy's Knit Knacks Perfect Notion Case
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: the Rowan, Shibui, and Spud & Chloe Sections
Favorite Fiber Type: Wool
Truth or Dare?: Truth.













Suspect #4: E.B.


E.B.

Favorite color: Green
Favorite Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Least Favorite Yarn: Anything with a lot of Acrylic.
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Knitter's Pride Cubics
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Shibui
Favorite Fiber Type: Mohair 
Truth or Dare?: Truth












Suspect #5: Heavy D


Heavy D
Favorite color: Turquoise
Favorite Yarn: Tosh Vintage
Least Favorite Yarn: anything Chenille
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Knitter's Pride Cubics
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Cascade
Favorite Fiber Type: Superwash Wool
Truth or Dare?: Dare













Suspect #6: Gertrude Fizzlesnips


Gertrude Fizzlesnips

Favorite color: Green
Favorite Yarn: Freia Fine Handpaints
Least Favorite Yarn: Ruffle yarn
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: ChiaoGoo RED Circular Needles
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Freia
Favorite Fiber Type: Wool
Truth or Dare?: Dare












Suspect # 7: B. Star


B. Star
Favorite color: Green
Favorite Yarn: Rowan Lima or Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky 
Least Favorite Yarn: Anything with glitter
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Chicken Boots Notion Case
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: The Needles section
Favorite Fiber Type: Wool
Truth or Dare?: Dare, for sure.













Suspect # 8: Frau Rumples


Frau Rumples
Favorite color: Green
Favorite Yarn: Fyberspates Britishspun Cashmere Lace
Least Favorite Yarn: All Ruffle yarn.
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: ChiaoGoo Knit RED Circular Needles
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Books & Patterns
Favorite Fiber Type: Cashmere
Truth or Dare?: Truth













Suspect #9: Pugsly Popper


Pugsly Popper
Favorite color: Silver Gray
Favorite Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico
Least Favorite Yarn: Ruffle Yarn
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: None, I am a weaver.
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: The Wall of Koigu
Favorite Fiber Type: Cashmere
Truth or Dare?: Dare













Suspect # 10: Ophelia der Vander Snoot


Ophelia der Vander Snoot
Favorite color: Green
Favorite Yarn: Classic Elite Chateau
Least Favorite Yarn: Anything in a ball
Favorite Knitting/Crochet Tool: Circular needles of any kind.
Favorite Area in the JBW Warehouse: Madelinetosh
Favorite Fiber Type: Baby Alpaca
Truth or Dare?: Dare












There you have it folks! Our 10 suspects. Now we just need to know whodunnit! The clues begin today so head on over to Facebook to check out the first one! Looking forward to seeing what answers the clues dig up! 

Happy sleuthing!
Kristen

(aka. Sherlock)


Friday, March 28, 2014

6th Block of the Sew Red Sew-a-long from Kay Whitt!

You’ve been waiting patiently for the next block in the Mystery Sew Red Sew-along so here it is!  You’ll fall head over heels for this amazing block designed by Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studio.  


All about Kay

Kay Whitt is the talented designer of Serendipity Studio patterns.  You can also catch her adorable mug modeling on the pattern covers.  Her modern-yet-classic style is on display once more in her recent pattern releases.  See the range of her designs in the fun, flirty style of the Ramona WrapDress, the chic elegance of the Jordan Jacket, and the simple wear-ability of the skirts in the Fashion Formula Skirts Booklet 3.  She sure is one fashionable lady!

Kay and Sew Red

We at Jimmy Beans have loved Kay’s patterns from day one so it was a bit of a no-brainer for us to see if she would be willing to whip one up for Sew Red.   Kay's personal connection to cardiovascular disease made her more than up to the challege.  Her father underwent heart bypass surgery, and that had a huge impact on her lifestyle choices.  We're glad she choose to participate, and her Sweet Sixteen skirt definitely did not disappoint – it’s fun, flattering, flirty and easy to sew! 

Kay’s Block for the Mystery Sew Red Sew-along

Kay isn’t a traditional quilter, but she still wanted to participate in the Mystery Sew Red Sew-along, and we were so excited that she wanted to be a part of it!  Her finished block is an amazing strip heart.  Follow the link to her blog to get started right away!