Thursday, June 26, 2008

Franklin Habit Color Commentary!

We just confirmed that Lorna's is sending the Franklin Habit colorway to us... I just added it to our website, so feel free to preorder it. I can't believe how gorgeous it is! Ok, i can believe it - he designed it! And if you haven't met Franklin in person, you have to find a way to do so... he's wonderful!!
Here's the link to preorder:
Franklin Habit Color Commentary, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.
And - the new July colorway is arriving in a few days - we'll put it on sale on July 1st. Originally, we had planned on calling it Fireworks, but then changed our mind to Popsicle, but i guess i forgot to tell Beth that i changed my mind (as usual), so it's officially stamped as Fireworks! (But it does remind us of popsicles... :)). I'll post the photo soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

July 21st - Listen to NPR Marketplace!

I just heard the news.... JBW will be featured on NPRs Marketplace segment - July 21st. I hope they make us look (sound?) good.... (interviews are so scary!).

Anyway, a journalist from NPR interviewed us a few weeks ago and just emailed to let us know that the piece has been produced and is slated to run on the 21st. I can't wait to hear!

New Yarns, Smoke, Pottery, and Youtube - the last 2 days

Whew - it's been a long week. Oh, it's only wednesday, eh? Well, it's been a long few days.
I haven't been able to sleep for the past 2 night - dreaming and DREAMING about yarn. I wonder why...

I started the week by ordering WAYYYY too much yarn. Maxine, one of my favorite reps, came to my house Monday morning and we spent the next 5 hours (no food, just coffee and water this time) picking out new yarns. So... what did i get? I got: TONS of Misti Alpacas, Southwest Trading Company, Brown Sheep, and ArtYarns. By the time we were done, i was shaking - a mixture of too much caffeine and too much (gasp!) gorgeous yarn. I WANT IT ALL TO SHIP NOW! (Sometimes, i hate having a budget).

Anyway, after Maxine and i wrapped up, doug and i fell into a mad scramble trying to get an already late Ad over to Interweave. As you can probably tell, we're pretty new to advertising - this will be the first year that we've really committed to it. Doug is learning how to do the graphics stuff - and i'm trying to learn what to put in the ads. This time (for Fall Interweave), we decided to showcase one of the new yarns we'll be carrying: Family by Muench Yarns. After touching and feeling it at TNNA - and hearing about how Kirstin Muench took 2 years to perfect it, we decided that it would be perfect for the Fall ad. Plus, how else are we going to get Wiley in an ad?! If you don't mind, would you let me know what you think?

After finishing and sending the ad, I headed to Reno for Pottery Night with the JBW Team. We all got to see Jeanne's cool new haircut - and we spent 2 hours together painting pieces of pottery. (Ok, i know this is supposed to be relaxing, but i have to say that it was rather stressful. I thought it was going to be more of a paint-by-numbers type of thing - not something where i had to come up with my own design! The other girls did a bang-up job and showed tons of talent. I ended up picking out a mug with "I Love Grandpa" indented in it... i painted it yellow and then filled in the letters with blue and rose. Such an artist i am, eh?) Regardless, we had a terrific time - i LOVE spending time with these girls. And I can't believe i didn't take photos!

Yesterday, I am embarrassed to say that I sat at this very desk from the time i woke up until about 8pm - then i worked out downstairs, then finally took a shower (at 8:45). I am gross. Dinner was served nice and hot around 9:45. And i wonder why i can't sleep sometimes. The smoke was so thick outside that we never even made it outside. Seriously, you could barely see 1/4 of a mile in the distance.

But the real reason i couldn't sleep last night was because of ArtYarns. Who do these people think they are, creating all of the to-dye(LOL)-for yarns that make my heart start beating faster? Iris Schreier from Artyarns called me yesterday to discuss the order that i placed with Max (what service!). After chatting for a bit, she emailed me some information about a new kit that they've just released. She wondered if we might like to carry 1 or 2 of the kits (comes in 2 colors). When i opened the file, i was so excited (and exhausted) that i almost burst into tears.
It's absolutely beautiful - and made from Cashmere... I immediately called Sandy (who loves to crochet) and asked if she would start one as soon as the kits arrived. She jumped at the chance! So, as soon as the kits arrive, we're going to do a youtube instructional video (maybe a series?!) and teach people how to make this themselves. And.... Iris volunteered to design a knitted version (modular knitting) if we would do a similar instructional video. Yay!
Speaking of Youtube, we've got 96 videos up so far (as of last week). Most are product reviews, but there are also a few instructional videos - and we'll have more soon. If you haven't checked them out yet, here's the one i did for the Soft Linen (most aren't this long).

You can find the rest on www.youtube.com/jimmybeanswool - and they will soon be organized on this page: www.jimmybeanswool.com/video (Doug is working on that this week).
Ok - gotta run, i'm going to be late for tennis!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Procrastination or Rebelliousness?

For me, there's nothing worse than doing things because i have to - instead of because i want to. And that goes for knitting, too.

Now that i've finally committed to knitting the Soft Linen Hoodie (and using Soft Linen), it makes me crazy to have to work on anything else. I've been knitting on this hoodie for days now - days in which i should have been knitting on the Breast Cancer Scarf to send to Knit n Style. (The scarf will be featured in their December issue - which comes out in September... ?!?). We did have 1 BC scarf in the store, but i sent it to Vogue last month for inclusion in their Holiday Issue (that comes out in October - at least "holiday" is a more nebulous phrase), so i needed to knit another one for KnS. Of course, i knew i needed to do this 5 days ago. But i didn't want to! I wanted to watch my hoodie grow (yes, i know, i'm knitting it in brown... but at least it's a greenish brown. That's a huge leap for me).

Anyway, i sucked it up last night and was able to get my scarf in the mail today (granted, i had to pay $23 for express mail, when i could have just worked on it 1 day prior and paid $5 for priority... geesh! I basically just paid $18 to work on the soft linen first...). Anyway, it should arrive to KnS tomorrow afternoon - in plenty of time for photographing (of course Buddy wanted to model it first).

Btw, i think i have enough left over yarn to knit a single-stranded hat (alternating between the different yarns - could be kinda pretty!). If there's anyone out there that would be interested in me sending the leftovers, all i ask is that you send me a photo of the finished hat to use on the website. Just let me know and i'll stick them in the mail.

On a separate note, i wanted to thank all of the wonderful women that arrived at the shop this past Saturday to help with our YouTube Video Reviews. They got to be "employees for the day" and earn 20% off all of their purchases, in addition to reviewing some of their favorite products on film. I think we got 40-50 reviews done and doug is in the process of editing and putting them up right now. Stay tuned! And thanks again so much to all of the women that helped - we had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Back From Columbus - I Finished Aimee's Blanket

We're back! Columbus was absolutely amazing - i can't get over what a cool town it is - and i'll tell you more about the trip later (had dinner with Beth from Lorna's Laces the first night - and Kirstin from Muench yarns the next). If you've never traveled to Columbus before, i highly recommend it. If given the chance, I'd definitely live there!


This is just a quick post to show you the blanket that i finished yesterday. I can't remember the last time I just sat on the couch and knit. I wanted to finish this blanket! I crocheted a brown border around the entire thing - and then blocked it out last night. Looks great, doesn't it?!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Going to TNNA in Columbus... What Project do i Take?

Well, we're off to Columbus in 2 days for the TNNA trade show. Doug, Ashley (ecommerce manager), her boyfriend and I will be flying there Friday and returning Sunday. It's a convention center full of yarn, bag, and needle vendors. Basically, it's like Stitches for yarn shops. We'll go in, circle the floor, and get completely overwhelmed (that's why i almost never go - it's simply too overwhelming). It should be fun, though - i have tons of meetings scheduled & will be having dinner with Beth & her husband (from Lorna's Laces) on Friday night. They are some of my favorite people in the world.

In the meantime, Doug has been furiously working on getting 50 videos up to Youtube.com. We think they'll be up by this afternoon, so i'll share the links then. I'm so excited - and think you will be too! Once we get back from Columbus, we should be able to film another 50-100 and will have those up by the end of the month. We're thinking of holding a customer filming event on KIP (knit-in-public) day - i'll keep you posted.

So, more importantly... what project am i going to take with me this weekend? I'm almost done with Aimee's blanket and am ready to do something else. Here's my dilemna: we just got a new yarn in last week - SouthWest Trading Company's Therapi... it's made from Jadeite, Wool and Silk and we are all drooling over it. I love the yarn - and the name- but i'm not sure yet what to do with it. At the same time, there is a classic elite pattern that i can't stop looking at: the hoodie in soft linen (out of the make it modern booklet, which we are out of - again!). The soft linen is amazing yarn, but since it's still 36 degrees here on the 4th of June, i need something that's a bit warmer... enter the Therapi.
I just feel guilty using the classic elite pattern and not using the classic elite yarn. But i guess i'll get over it, eh?

Ah! One question: we had some JBW slick folders made - they have 2 pockets and are perfect for holding a few patterns. We had to get 250 of them made, even though we really only need about 50 of them. Do you think people would like getting them with their orders? Maybe orders for patterns? Or would most people just throw them away? Any thoughts would be great!


Monday, June 2, 2008

CNN Video - Here's the link

Ok! It's up!

Here's the link, in case you're interested:http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/#/video/fsb/2008/05/30/fsb.makeover.jimmybeans.fsb

Was 99 degrees in Austin - whew! Had a terrific time - ate too much food - and will post pics in a bit :)