Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What time is it anyway??


Well, it's getting to be that time again (what time is it??) it's quarterly rewards time! October 1st begins the new quarter and you all will get to spend those well deserved rewards on well whatever you want. I know it's coming because all of a sudden we get kind of quiet for a few days and then the insanity hits, spend those Jimmy Beans Bucks. How about something just for yourself this time, maybe some Hand Maiden Sea Silk yarn for a luxurious scarf or shawl for the holidays (to the left is our most recent Sea Silk sale shipment)? I just had a great customer point out a fantastic scarf on Ravelry called Three Sisters Scarf#three and it is done in Sea Silk.


Oh wait I know a few balls of the new Trendsetter Tonalita Nightlife yarn for a little bit of fun in a hat, gloves, or scarf set. It has a fabulous feel and beautiful colors in a self striping look. No, no how about the new Misti Alpaca Tanos yarn, which is a beautiful blend of Baby Alpaca and Merino wool! Yummmmmyyyy!!! It also comes in a great bulky weight too, darn it! As usual I am getting dizzy, so I better sit down, phew!!

Of course it's also the 1st for our wonderful Lorna's Laces Limited Edition yarn and I happen to know the color this month is particularly beautiful. This will be an exciting and hectic week at the beginning of the fall season around here and I personally can't wait!! It is so neat to be busy and thinking about all these fun projects coming up.

Ok so I have to stop now and put my head between my knees before I fall down. LOL! I am also looking at my Rowan Siena wash cloth and my Artyarns Cashmere Sock that I am knitting for the shop...quick Sandy catch me I am falling!!

As always happy knitting!

Jeanne














Sunday, September 27, 2009

Short row scarf trouble!!!

Hello everyone,

I am having trouble with a diagonal short row scarf I began a few days ago in Malabrigo Worsted Peach Tree. I had no problem completing the first triangle, but I don't understand how In am supposed to start the short rows. I have searched online for an answer with no luck, and looked at similar patterns, hoping they would be a little clearer, but they are all equally confusing. I have decided just to wait until I work with Jeanne or Terry next, and beg them to help me!


I am happy to say I found an AWESOME free pattern here for a lovely
scarf called "The Wedgie Scarf" . I am thinking of knitting it in Snow Bird. I guess I'm a little obsessed with Malabrigo Worsted at the moment . . .

-Amerique


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

We are all blushing around here today, as we have been recognized by
BizRate(R) Research for our quality customer service. This is all because of you our fabulous customers! Thank you for shopping with us and using your valuable time to take the short survey at the end of your online ordering process that generates this kind of recognition.

We are among only 167 companies to receive this recognition and some of the names you may recognize, Zappos, Crutchfield, Clinque along with many others.

It is hard to beleive that we are in such prestegious company as the above names, but don't worry we won't let it go to our heads, we will keep on providing you with the service that you deserve. We were just brainstorming yesterday about ways to provide you with better customer service.

So again, thank you all for your business and loyalty to your humble (online) LYS, Jimmy Beans Wool. Remember October 1st is right around the corner and you know what that means; your well deserved Quarterly Rewards will be available for you to spend. It is just in time for the coming Holiday knitting we are all thinking about.

I look forward to helping you all with your projects and wish you happy knitting!

Jeanne










Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Travelling

I will be away from the shop for the next week on a short trip so I've been packing and cleaning the car today. As I wait for the last load of laundry to finish drying I'm contemplating what knitting projects to take with me. As tempted as I am to take something new to work on I've decided to only take wips (works in progress) because I have so many projects that I need to finish.

Let see... I have 3 ravelry KAL projects... a Gail Shawl (which is a free ravelry download pattern) in a dk weight rayon from my stash that I just have the border chart left to do. Then there is an Apres Surf Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio from Interweave Knits Summer 2008 in a fingering weight in an old gold, colored wool. I'm working it in the round instead of flat and I'm up to the separation for the neck opening. And my newest KAL cast on, a Henley Perfected also by Connie Chang Chinchio (she is one of my favorite designers, can you tell?) from Interweave Knits Winter 2007 that I'm working in Blue Sky Alpacas Silk #131 Kiwi. I am also still working on the Ann Norling Short row Multi-directional scarf I talked about in my post last Wednesday. Do you think these will be enough to work on? Hmmmm, maybe I should take my lace book and start that shawl design with the Helen's Lace in Purple Mojito I've been contemplating... as usual hopelessly over committed!!! At least I'm not over packing clothes this time... I hope. By next Wednesday I hope to have some progress pictures to share with you.

So, some of you are probably wondering what Ravelry is and what KALs are. Ravelry is a great free networking site for knitters and crocheters. You can do all sorts of things like keep a project log, an inventory of your stash, lists of favorite patterns, a queue of projects to do and you can chat with other fiber enthusiasts from all over the world! I just checked and I see that there are now over 450,000 members! I would have to say it is the single greatest resource for finding patterns from almost any source and it has a great search engine to help sort through them all. If you aren't already a member I highly recommend joining. When you do join you can join our JBW chat group called The Beaners. If you can't tell I just love Ravelry and have made friends in Europe, Australia, Central and South America in addition to ones I've made in the US and Canada. There are chat groups for many languages too, not just English.

One of the things you can do on Ravelry as well as with any other group of knitters or crocheters is to form a KAL (Knit Alongs) or CAL (Crochet Alongs). These are projects that a group of people are all interested in working on and then they arrange a time frame when everyone who can, works on them at the same time. I really like KALs because they help to keep me on track to get things finished, maybe not always in the allotted time but much sooner than I might otherwise. A great benefit of an Along is that you get lots of moral support by having other people to talk to about the project and help you sort out problems or make modifications. People share their frustrations at working on something they find difficult and their joy of triumph when they accomplish a goal. All this helps keep enthusiasm for the project fresh.

I would love to do some KAL and CAL both in person and online. What kind of projects are you interested in working on? Let us know in the comments or when you stop by the store and we'll see what we can put together.

Also, do check out our October class list, just out this week. You can find the schedule by following the link or finding Classes near the bottom of any page on the website under the How To section. We've added new classes and times. Please let us know if there is a class you would like to take but don't see listed.


I'll leave you with a bit of fall color from last year.

The best of success in your projects this week!
(The handsome fellow in the top picture is my dog whose been staying with a family member and I'm going to get to see him again!)

Terry


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1 lonley mitten....will it get a mate?


Well I finished my first Grove mitten from Jared Flood's new book Made in Brooklyn. I used the Debbie Bliss Fez yarn and am totally in love with both the yarn and the pattern. The yarn just seems to get softer and fuller as I work each beautiful stitch and while I loved doing this mitten will I do the second one? That is the question, well I have cast it on and am on about the 5th round and yes I think I will finish it. Most of you know how obsessed I am with working two of anything at once. Socks, mittens, hats, sleeves, and on and on....you get the idea. If it needs a mate then I am working them together, but this pattern needed to be cherished and not just stitched mindlessly through. It calls for the knitter to take their time and enjoy the intricacies of the design; it is truly beautiful!

So with that said I am going to get my needles clicking on the second mitten and say happy knitting for now....

Jeanne :)










Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scarves!!!

Hi,

I am not wasting any time with my Christmas scarf plan. On Wednesday I purchases two hanks of SWTC Saphira #572, a BEAUTIFUL purple. I'm searching for the perfect pattern; one worthy of this awesome yarn. In the meantime I'm making two other scarves in some acrylic yarn I've had for years. One is a simple sideways pattern worked on 26" circulars, and with the other one, I'm alternating garter and knit stitch to give the illusion of each block of color being pieced together.














Thats all for now,

Amerique

Friday, September 18, 2009

So much yarn...and a squirrel.

Well, now that the wedding is over, we're home from the honeymoon, and the thank-yous are sent (ahem...mostly...), I've finally got a bit of time for knitting and other fun things. Last weekend Cory and I visited my best friend and her fiance in Sacramento, CA and went to the Tamales Festival (yum!). I know the picture below has nothing to do with tamales, but we were so darned amused by this little guy carrying that great big granny smith apple, I just had to share him with someone! (The tamales were all delicious, by the way--but the best ones had pumpkin filling!)

Now on to the serious stuff--what I've been knitting. Before our long weekend I started on a zippered cardigan from the Rowan Big Wool booklet (sadly, out of print) using Jaeger Natural Fleece (very sadly, discontinued). I love the yarn, and I wouldn't tease you with it here except it just knits up so nicely in place of Big Wool in this pattern--a great example of the fact that you don't have to use the yarn a pattern calls for 100% of the time. That's Marcus Aurelius there in the picture, 'helping'.


I've also been lucky enough to get to try out Artyarns' Cashmere Sock...and at the risk of sounding punny, I have to say this stuff knocked my socks clean off. It's like nothing I've ever knit with. Honestly. Not only is it the softest, airy-est thing I've ever knit with (we're talking kitten fuzz soft here), it's machine washable (eek!) and knits beautifully on a US 2. I didn't even have to go near my 0's to knit heaven. I'm using the Knitting Pure and Simple Pattern 216-- Beginner's Lightweight Socks and color 195. An easy, no nonsense sock pattern that really shows off the beauty of the hand-dyed yarn. This particular colorway is made up of vibrant reds, purples, and a bit of maroon. I'll admit, because it's made up of three separate plies, it is a bit splitty, so I won't be knitting in the dark with it anymore.
Of course, I wouldn't knit something this nice for myself (well, I might, but certainly not to stuff into my sneakers!)--you've probably guessed it--I'm making them for my grandma. She's my favorite person to knit for because I know she really appreciates the work that goes into it, and I know she both wears the heck out of everything I make her, and she takes care of it. Aren't those the best kinds to knit for?!

*Ashley*












Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great new projects!

Hi all! I'm chiming in and saying hello. My name is Terry and I'm also one of the new JBW team members. I have been thoroughly enjoying getting to know the staff and all our regular retail customers as well as meeting all the internet customers who have been stopping by on their visits to Reno. You all are such great people and make everyday a pleasure. I don't think I've ever had such a fun job before! What could be better than talking about knitting, crochet, yarn and fibers all day long! Except maybe getting to touch all the pretty yarns all day and plan a gazillion projects. Thank you so much Laura, Jeanne and the rest of the staff for inviting me to join the team!

Speaking of a gazillion projects, I think I have about that many on my needles...ok well not exactly a gazillion... maybe a dozen. My newest project is an
Ann Norling Short row Multi-directional Scarf using Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in color 107 Autumn Rainbow. I just started it this morning and it's going very quickly. I love this yarn! It's so soft and the colors are very vibrant. I've been itching to try out this yarn with this pattern since the yarn came in a few weeks ago and I'm not disappointed!


The pattern is super easy and so cool how it comes together with no fancy tricks. This is a great cruising project for travel or when you just need something uncomplicated and fast to knit and have it come out looking fabulous.

Best of all, we can put it all together for you in a kit!
Here's my progress so far.


I love how the color progresses in smooth gradations of color. I'm already thinking how lovely it will look in a top down lace shawl. I love knitting lace and hope to be working on more soon.

Did I mention that this is a sock yarn? It's 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon so not only will it look fantastic it will be easy to care for. Hmmm.... maybe I should make socks with it sometime too. More ideas...

The other new project I'm working on is a Henley Perfected by Connie Chang Chinchio from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. I'm using the recommended yarn, Blue Sky Alpacas - Alpaca & Silk in color 131 Kiwi. More about this in our up coming newsletter in the What's on our needles section.

I hear that scarf calling to me to come work on it some more and we all know how insistent some of our projects can be so I'll sign off for now.

Wishing you well on whatever you are working on!

Terry


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall is in the air...




Fall is in the air here in Reno and it is my favorite season! I just harvested some of my pumpkins and my rhubarb, yum, yum!! Of course it is going to be 92 degrees starting Thursday through the weekend, but is nice and cool in the evenings. I can't wait to make some pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup, and of course my favorite rhubarb pie!!! This is my first season for the rhubarb and it was still a good harvest, wow, next year should be awesome!!

Of course knitting is on my mind and I am almost done with the first full repeat on my Rowan Shetland Woman's sweater (Rowan Magazine #46) in the new Felted Tweed Aran yarn. It is an amazing knit and I am enjoying the color knitting with bigger yarn than I usually work with, easier on my hands. It just goes fast, fast, fast!!

As the good little knitter that I am I of course have cast several other things on and fallen completely off my knitting queue, imagine!

I have the first cuff of the Grove Mittens from Jared Flood's new book, Made in Brooklyn done and am now moving up to the hand chart. I am using Debbie Bliss Fez yarn in color 10, Lilac and I can't say enough about how amazing this yarn is. I can't wait to do a vest, sweater, or well whatever with it! It is super soft in the ball, but after working a few rows, it just fulls and gets even softer with each stitch, it has to be the Camel.

I am also excited about the new Clover 9" circular needles that I am using for this project. You wouldn't think that it would be easier than double points, but it is!! I also picked up a US 2 8" Addi circular needle yesterday and cast on a sock with the Regia Hand-dye Effect yarn, wow is all I can say about both of these new products!!!

So I better get back to knitting as clearly I have a few project on the needles. As always happy knitting!

Jeanne :)








Hello Everyone


Hi everyone,

My name is Amerique and I am one of the newest additions to the store. I started working at Jimmy Beans a few weeks ago, pulling online orders, and now I am up front in the retail part of the store. Jeanne and Terry are super nice, and I am awed by their knitting expertise! I consider myself a beginning knitter (well, maybe closer to intermediate), so I am incredibly inspired by my coworker’s creativity as well as their technical skills.

I was on a “vacation” from knitting before I started at Jimmy Beans, but lately

I have been going through the needles and yarn that I lugged with me from California this summer, and I have to say, the knitting possibilities are endless!! I didn’t know I had so many needles!!!

Being around all this beautiful yarn is giving me lots of ideas about the cool things I can make! My favorite yarn so far is Noro, because the colors are AMAZING!! I especially love Silk Garden in 258 and 293. I am thinking of making pretty scarves and/or hats and/or mittens for my sisters for Christmas. The color and texture of Silk Garden is so interesting, that I think even a simple beginner’s scarf will look fancy and expensive.

Well, that’s all for now!

Amerique













Friday, September 11, 2009

Piles of packages and more...


I hope you holiday weekend was filled with family, friends and of course plenty of fiber! Ours was and packages too! We kept on working to bring you your projects as soon as possible and here is Ashley with her mountain of packages, which got bigger after I took this picture, wow! Bryan came in the afternoon on Tuesday and took about 6 loads with his hand truck to his mail truck and we were all glad to wave goodbye to all those packages.

I am also super excited to say that I have help in my little retail part of the shop and boy I really had no idea how much I was trying to do on my own, gee wiz Jeanne you are NOT super knitter, ha ha! It has been the crew on the E-commerce side that finally said you need help, because you are going nuts. Thanks gang you are the best bunch of beans to see what I couldn't see myself. Now maybe I can concentrate on some more creative pursuits for the shop and you, my wonderful customers. I have already mentioned Terry and hope you will say hi to Amerique next time you are in the shop. She is an amazing gal and you are going to love her!

Of course there is always knitting in my mind and why should today be any different?? I have been working on a hat out of Rowan British Breeds DK Yarn and I have to say that this is one of my new favorites!! It is so soft and works up great for me on a US 6 needle, wahoo!

Now in the picture to the left you can see that I am on the last little bit of my decreases and decided to try out the new Clover circular needles in the 9" length and they are so cool!! Cute is a good word to use to describe them and I can't wait to knit a sock with them!! I am a sucker for new stuff here in the shop, even though I know that this is not a new product on the market it is new here, I still love them!!

I hope you are all knitting up a storm and of course it is time to be gearing up for the gift giving season and the hat is my first knitted gift this season.

As always Happy Knitting!

Jeanne














Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bring on the crochet!

Maybe I'm the last one to figure it out, but crochet is catching on, and quickly! It seems my desk has been inundated with new (and inspiring!) crochet books to be added to the website lately, and more and more we have crocheters in the shop and online asking about project ideas, hooks, etc. I've done a bit of crocheting (I'm proud to say I can crochet more than just to add a border, I actually did a scarf with several motifs a few years ago), and our very own Amber and Sandy are of course the resident crocheting experts.

Back to the new books, my favorite of these has been Crocheted Gifts


edited by Kim Werker. There is just about something for everyone in the book, including a hairpin lace bowl crocheted with wire, shawls, shrugs, beanies, socks, even jewelry, and an assortment of handbags. For most of the projects (those you'd consider 'beginner', or 'intermediate'), the instructions are even clear enough for a die-hard knitter like me to follow with only a few flips back to the technique guide at the back of the book.


Apparently I'm not the only one enamored with Crocheted Gifts, as KnittingDaily TV has decided to demonstrate the Swirling Bag from the book in episode 13 (check your local PBS listings). Designed by Kathy Merrick, it's the only pattern from this book that Interweave Press will be releasing as a free download, which can be found here, on KnittingDaily's website. We're proud to offer the necessary yarn as a kit on our site, so if you're as enamored with this bag as the rest of us, you can get started with one-click ease! You'll need a US E hook, which isn't included in the kit.

Again, though the pattern is free, I highly recommend the Crocheted Gifts book, especially with the holidays coming. Even if you've only done a granny square (or less!), I'm pretty confident you'll be able to get your crochet on with this book ;-)

As always, happy knitting (and CROCHETING!)
*Ashley*