Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Wrapped Up designer Debbie Swartzel and JBW's First Yarn Giveaway!


Do Something Creative Every Day

Those five words are on the wall above my desk reminding me that there’s more to life than groceries and laundry. Cross stitch, sewing, scrapbooking, stamping. These are just a few of the creative hobbies I’ve had and amazingly each of them prepared me for knitting. Cross stitch taught me to have an even tension, sewing an understanding of garment construction; scrapbooking and stamping introduced me to creating my own pleasing visual design with color, texture and placement. I’ve sold my stamps, have a cross stitch piece that’s been hibernating for years and my sewing machine is buried in the basement doomed to begrudgingly make its annual appearance when I can’t come up with a way to avoid it. Scrapbooking-I still scrapbook but it’s all digital today. No fuss, no muss and there are always enough “S” stickers!

In 2003, at the urging of a couple of friends I took the required private lesson and first six week class. I came home from my private lesson able to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off and I was in heaven. I immediately fell needle, yarn and marker for knitting. I just couldn’t put my needles down. My kids quickly tired of me saying, " just let me finish this row".

Fast forward to 2010 and a simple email from a friend: March looks like a long month at school, want to plan a play date? She wanted to take me to visit a yarn store where her good friend worked. Who could resist such an invitation? At Close Knit Knittery (sadly now closed) I met Teri, friend of my friend Deb, and Shari, the store owner. Teri had started designing and knitting felted messenger bags and I was duly impressed and inspired. A couple of years before I had purchased a similar garment to Fall Wrapped Up at a local outlet and I’d had nothing but complements. I searched the internet to no avail, I could not find a pattern for a wrap like the one I so adored. So now with a little inspiration from Teri, and encouragement from Deb, I set off to figure this darn thing out.

The trip to Close Knit Knittery inspired something else: the desire to knit in community. All these years I’d primarily knit at home, in the car (with my husband driving) at dance competitions and soccer tournaments and even a time or two on the beach, but never with other knitters. That same afternoon, I came home and searched for local knitting groups and to my surprise there was a group meeting that night at a coffee shop just a few miles from home and I got up the courage to go. There were just three of us that night but I felt welcomed and immediately enjoyed the company of these other ladies who loved yarn as much as I did and returned regularly through the spring and early summer.

After completing a project with a deadline I immersed myself in developing this pattern. This took some collaboration with some people on Ravelry, reading about various techniques and editing and reediting a chart on Excel. As soon as there was something on paper that seemed like it would work, I cast on. And frogged and cast on again. Thankfully, like childbirth the pain of these false starts faded quickly. My new friends at the coffee shop urged me to submit the pattern on Ravelry or Knitty.com and I started looking into it, downloading a template and reformatting it.

So how does someone from North Carolina come to be a fan of Jimmy Beans Wool? A native Californian, I’ve loved Jimmy Beans Wool since I visited their Truckee, California store with my mom shortly after I started knitting and both of us grieved its loss though a highlight of our last family visit to the Lake Tahoe area was a road trip to Reno to visit the original JBW in person.

About the time I was trying to figure out how to market my pattern, Jimmy Beans sent their June newsletter announcing the Landscape Collection pattern contest. When I saw that announcement, I just knew that this was the venue for my debut pattern so I sent a picture and description of my original which was a light worsted weight and waited to see what might happen. The timing almost made me wait for another time as there wasn’t much time from the announcement until the schematics were due, and I knew that if I was selected as a finalist I’d lose a lot of knitting time as we were leaving on vacation the day after the finalists were to be announced. But every once in a while you just have to go for broke and see what happens. I’m glad I did. We returned from vacation to a box full of beautiful yarn and after working out gauge and adjusting the pattern for this luxurious chunky alpaca yarn I giddily started knitting.

I have to say that I have been honored to have been chosen as a finalist for JBW’s first pattern contest. I pray that I will not be a one shot wonder but will add other designs that knitters will enjoy. One plug for my pattern, all I can say is that no matter how hard we tried the photos really do not do this garment justice. In this case the thousand words may be worth more than the photo. I hope that knitting this will bring you and whoever wears it much pleasure. May you do something creative every day, too!

Bio: Debbie began knitting in 2003 and began modifying patterns almost immediately. Fall Wrapped Up is Debbie’s first original pattern though there are other designs swirling around inside her head waiting patiently for her to find the time to develop them. Debbie lives on the shores of Lake Norman in North Carolina with her husband and two children on the verge of emptying the nest. A preschool director by day, knitting is her refuge, her therapy and her daily creative outlet.

In honor of Debbie's wonderful pattern (which is available free on the Jimmy Beans Wool website) we are giving away 6 beautiful hanks of the Misti Alpaca Landscape Collection yarn in the color of your choice. Coincidentally, this is just enough to complete Debbie's creative design!

To enter the contest, leave a comment (only one per person!) between now and November 28th at 2 pm PST. Using a random number generator we will pick a post and that person will win the 6 hanks of Landscape Collection yarn. Jeanne will be announcing the winner Monday November 29th here on the blog, so check back in to see if you are the lucky winner!!!

200 comments:

Annie said...

Wow! What a great giveaway :)
railyuh@gmail.com

maria said...

How generous! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

SusanH said...

Beautiful pattern, and beautiful yarn! Happy Holidays!

Lisa said...

I love this blog! I want to teach myself to knit. Your wrap is gorgeous!

jane said...

Adore this yarn and, as it is my birthday on the 28th, would love to have it!

knits4u said...

What a wonderful giveaway thank you so much

Dawn K said...

Fantastic Giveaway. Good luck to all...

Ruth Dejam said...

Your pattern is really nice. I hope I win because I'm definitely making it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Happy Thanksgiving!

rdejam@ij.net

Connie said...

What a lovely thing to do at Thanksgiving!

kaykatrn said...

What a great giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks for the beautiful pattern and story!!!

Ivory said...

Yes please!

Angele said...

Another fantastic yarn from Misti Alpaca! Their colors are so beautiful too! Thanks for the giveaway!

flossie said...

What a fabulous give away! Love the story too, gives hope to all of us who wish too start designing.

Heatherly said...

hurray! yummy yarn!

Sarah K said...

From one North Carolinian to another - beautiful design! I can't wait to see what you do next!

anythingbutsnow said...

Fabulous JOB! love the pattern and love the yarn too!

Jalayne said...

I have learned being creative every day can mean making something creative, but it can also include thinking about your every day tasks differently. Creativity comes in many forms - and those who are creative see the world in an "outside the box" kind of way.

Thanks Jimmy Beans for helping with one of my creative addictions.

persnicketysknits said...

Happy Thanksgiving to the best online yarn retailer I know of. What an awesome giveaway!

Auntie Pudentaine said...

I love the pattern AND the story. Knitting stories are always encouraging, inspiring!

Mary said...

Thank you for the pattern and for reminding us how important it is to be creative, and think creatively, every day.

MaryjoO said...

How lovely -- thanks!

Roberta said...

Absolutely beautiful yarn in both look and feel :-)

cj said...

This is a great pattern, so happy/ proud of Debbie. Can't wait to go back to the coffee shop after the holidays.

forensicgrl@sbcglobal.net said...

I would love to win 6 hanks of Misti Alpaca Landscape Collection!

babyboxermom said...

What a lovely story to read! Thanks for sharing it!

daisyelf said...

Woo-hoo! I'm in!

Sherry said...

That is a beautiful shawl!

Jane said...

What a great giveaway! More please! Happy Thanksgiving to all you knutty knitters.

fran said...

What a great way to promote a beautiful pattern and great yarn.

Two-of-Six said...

Love the shawl. Winning yarn is always a very good thing.

h00ker said...

Great giveaway count me in!

CloseAcademy said...

That's really pretty and a wonderful story. Thanks for the giveaway.

TJJ said...

Thank you for the giveaway.

Katherine Hutter said...

Love the colorways! And love the chance to win some free yarn!

lyndabogel said...

I adore Misti Alpaca, but have never seen this subgroup: can't wait.

a2z said...

Jimmy Beans is my absolute favorite yarn store. I wish I could visit in person.

marsha said...

I love your blog!! Misti Alpaca is one of my favorites! Keeping my fingers crossed!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Diane said...

Beautiful wrap! Would be perfect to wear to my son's wedding rehearsal and dinner!

knittaroo said...

This is such a lovely wrap, it looks so cosy and warm (and the yarn is just beautiful). Congratulations on your great design!

Elizabeth Lafferty said...

Lovely design, beautiful yarn, great giveaway! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Ani said...

Even if I can't give much time to creativity right now, I try to sneak in a few stitches as it gives me grounding and balance.

Lovely design! Lovely yarn!

CardiLover said...

Love the story and love this yarn! Have a terrific holiday!!! I'll miss Movie Madness days!

cindy said...

Great post and beautiful yarn!

Linda said...

What a great story and pattern and yarn combination works wonderfully together.

ddeq said...

That yarn and wrap are beautiful.

May said...

beautiful pattern!! very inspiring beginning.. thank you :)

kwanita said...

Just beautiful. I would love to be able to make that!

Martha O. said...

So beautiful! Another thing to be thankful for during this season.

SamIam said...

This is such a great give away. I love Misti Alpaca!

Ann said...

What a gorgeous wrap! Thanks for the opportunity to win the yarn to make it! Happy Thanskgiving!

Jamie said...

This wrap is so pretty and it looks WARM! I LOOOOVE the Landscape Collection (my latest project uses it)...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea, gorgeous wrap, thanks for the opportunity, Eileen

HaveFaith said...

I love the softness of alpaca and the Landscape Collection is gorgeous. Thanks for the contest.

Debra said...

Enjoyed Debbie on the yesterday's Movie Madness chat. This article added more depth. I love the Landscape and have a color all picked out!

sandy said...

wow how very generous- great story I am inspired to create every day . sandy

Rebecca said...

woohoo! certainly would make a wonderful Christmas knit! :)

Lisa said...

What a great idea for a great yarn and pattern. Count me in! Thank you, Lisa

hmiller82 said...

Wow! This yarn is fantastic, I want some more to work with :)

kataish said...

What a wonderful giveaway! I have one skein of this beautiful stuff, and its AMAZING!!!!!

William said...

Great yarn great giveaway, hope I win :)

Sandie said...

There's nothing I enjoy more than knitting, unless it's knitting with free yarn! ;o) Thanks for a fabulous giveaway!

Sandie
zaftig2k at yahoo dot com
http://zaftigdelights.blogspot.com

longdogyarns said...

this is so pretty. and what a great give away!

Lise said...

Beautiful wrap. Seems very cozy

Jessica said...

Gorgeous yarn and pattern!

Amy said...

Great holiday giveaway!!!

thegreatgatzke said...

As a novice, but obsessed knitter, Debbie's story is inspirational. I would love to win some of this lovely yarn to try out!

Marjorie said...

Beautiful shawlette, Debbie! I'd love to win enough yarn to make it!

Anne said...

What a great giveaway!

Miranda said...

I too have a cross-stitch pattern in long-term hibernation.

sue said...

This is a lovely gift to the winner during this hectic holiday season! Good luck everyone!!

Anne Tebo said...

I would be so happy to win this giveaway. The design is beautiful, and the yarn looks so yummy.

Kendra Hill said...

Ooh, that would be so nice! I made a cowl out of this recently, and it's not only beautiful but oh so soft! Yippee, maybe I'll win!

Kristin said...

Love it!

kristinfitzgerald on Ravelry

Zoei said...

What an inspiring story! I've been toying with the idea of designing something someday... You just added fuel to the fire.

Rachel said...

A very thoughtful give-away!

Ethel K said...

Very Nice....

MonkeySocks said...

Congratulations on the pattern and the yarn is beautiful.

AnnieBelle said...

What a great give-away! I love Misty Alpaka! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm posting from my phone and hope this works;-) Anniebelle

Christine said...

What an inspiration for all of us! I have to get off the net and get knitting!

Amanda said...

The landscape colors are beautiful, I'm more worried about picking a color! Can't wait to make the wrap.

Ter - N. MI said...

Love the colors in this collection.

Holly said...

What a lovely shawl! Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

Elly said...

gorgeous pattern and yummy yarn! thanks for this generous giveaway!

- Eliana -

Gina said...

Beautiful. Would love to win!!

yardsailor said...

Already downloaded the pattern, I'm ready and waiting for the yarn!

dnelson said...

Misti Alpaca is beautiful and so soft-love the feel of it.

The Sassy Librarian said...

This yarn is GORGEOUS - I'm going to go download the pattern! LOVE Jimmy Beans Wool!!!

Barbara C. said...

So generous of you, yes count me in!

laceramiste said...

gorgeous pattern! count me in for the giveaway!
casey

Mami Dearest said...

yummy yarn - count me in!

Kristen TenDyke said...

Such a lovely yarn & design!

Cindy said...

Awesome giveaway! This yarn is amazing!

Kelly Ann said...

yummo yummo yummo yarn...

theblackhen said...

What a beautiful pattern and the yarn is perfect. You have a real talent for putting together a variegated yarn with a pattern that really shows off the yarn. Congratulations!

*Michelle* said...

Well, shoot. Sign me up! Thanks!

Sada said...

Congrats, Debbie, on your first of many patterns! I really enjoyed your story :)

And please enter me in this awesome contest!

Lily said...

Gorgeous yarn. I love giveaways!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win some yarn, please!

Jennifer
tbowen1 at nc.rr.com

Anonymous said...

Lovely pattern, Happy Holidays

Tammy said...

Oooh. I'd love to win!!

Kristy said...

The pattern is really lovely and you certainly can't go wrong with Misti Alpaca! Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Great Contest and Happy Holidays

R_Z_T@msn.com

Jan said...

I'd love to win the gorgeous yarn.

C said...

Beautiful yarn and interesting pattern!

Wendy Lozier said...

Fabulous colors that I'd love to knit!

Michelle said...

Oh, my!

Lynn said...

Happy Holidays! Great post. Thanks

Dana said...

Great pattern, wonderful yarn!! Enter me to win, please!

Betty H in Plano, TX said...

Cool story. Love contests.

Janet said...

Beautiful pattern that works up wonderfully in that yarn! What an honor for the designer. Love the backstory to the design and the desiger!

Janet
Dallas, TX

BSpross said...

Beautiful yarn! Please enter me to win. Thanks!

Carolyn said...

What an inspiring story - perhaps I'll give designing a go one day too!

ash_fred42 said...

What a great giveaway! I hope I'm the lucky duck!!! :-)

Xuxu's M.A. said...

We are all lucky that so many creative, talented people are drawn to knitting.

Mimi said...

Awesome giveaway :) enter me please!

Anonymous said...

Inspiring story. Thanks for the giveaway. Nkzmom@gmail.com

debiharvey said...

This is a kind and generous offer. Good luck to everyone.

busymom said...

Very nice. Knitting is my therapy as well.

Kristin said...

Would love to see this up close - it looks gorgeous!

Martha said...

Would LOVE to have this! The Yarn is Gorgeous!!!! :)

Sandra Hedicke Clark said...

Beautiful pattern and lovely yarn! Happy Holidays!

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It is very inspirational to hear about someone who has taken the plunge into designing their own patterns.

Elizabeth said...

Count me in! :o)

Joyce said...

Inspiring story - and beautiful yarn.

Lisa said...

I love this pattern and look forward to using your yarn to knit it.

MaggieBelize said...

Wow, gorgeous yarn, great giveaway! Keeping fingers crossed ...

rainberry said...

Gorgeous yarn!

Jenipurr said...

Ooh, gorgeous yarn and lovely pattern!

cin said...

What a great giveaway--good luck to y'all!

L SS said...

Alpaca yarn is my favorite! It's so silky-soft and warm :D

Melanie said...

Love alpaca!!!

RegsSpice said...

Wow! How wonderful!

Nicole T said...

Amazing, lovely yarn! I felt much the same way when I started knitting, although I lack the knowledge for garment construction. :)

nirathom@indiana.edu

releasethestars said...

Congratulations on getting your pattern published, Jeanne!

It's lovely! :)

archercrafts said...

Super fun give-away!
archercrafts@gmail.com

Revlahart said...

Lovely, lovely stuff. I'd take it if I get picked!

xx

Gemini Knits said...

Amazing giveaway!

vickib said...

Very pretty! Would love one in Amity Island or Big Whiskey. :) Thanks for the opportunity!

Lisa Marie said...

Wow! Thank you and Happy Holidays to everyone! :)

Anonymous said...

Yipes! I definitely meant Debbie, not Jeanne. My apologies!

CT said...

Oh I want to win this! really bad! LOL!!! pick me! memememememe! lol!

Deana said...

Great pattern and awesome yarn!

Lisa Cook said...

Love the Amity Island colorway!

Ana said...

Great story and great giveaway!

rams said...

C'mon, RNG!!!

Kathy said...

Beautiful yarn - I hope I win!

jbalk said...

Would look lovely in Endor Moon I'm thinking!

martha said...

How could I resist such a temptation?
Consider me entered. Love the wrap.

Libby said...

love your wrap--and the yarn! Happy Thanksgiving!

mjm knitting said...

Stunning. Thanks for the giveaway!

suddenexpression said...

What a great giveaway idea! And what lovely yarn! Hope you had some happy holidays :)

LauraMB42@yahoo.com

PlazaJen said...

What a great pattern! Thanks for the giveaway chance, too!

Stacey said...

It is beautiful! Congratulations on the lovely design :)

Renee said...

I'd love to win. I'm just getting back into knitting after a year-long hiatus due to an very intense schedule.

There is a Girl That Never Goes Out said...

Those colorways are beautiful!

Ann-Marie said...

oh wow, what a great giveaway!

Katie said...

Great giveaway, thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

winterharp (at) hotmail (dot) com

Marlana said...

What a great giveaway! Thanks!

Lexie said...

Gorgeous yarn! The only problem winning would be deciding what to knit!

Emily said...

Great stuff. Have my fingers crossed!

Shana said...

what a great idea! Good luck everyone!!

Alexandria said...

This would make a lovely gift.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE alpaca! Thanks for the offer! doverath at yahoo.com

busyHSmom said...

Lovely! And how sweet of you to be giving some away!

Michele B said...

What beautiful yarn and great pattern. It would be hard to choose!

GarySue said...

Please pick me... even though I am currently on a sock mission I could do a wrap mission next.

Rebecca said...

I love the wrap!

Anonymous said...

Please count me in - this yarn looks yummy!

esea, Ravelry

neknitsandbeads said...

How beautiful!

bonnieboogans said...

Free yarn is like free books, you can lose!

AG mode said...

The wrap and the yarn are beautiful!

Joy Joy said...

Great inspiration. Do something creative every day. I should hang that up on my wall somewhere. Thank you for sharing.

joyiers@yahoo.com

The Knitting Weather Barista said...

This is fabulous. For sure.

michelle at caperkayleeATgmailDOTcom said...

i couldn't agree more about the way one's life activities inform each other. keep weaving them together in interesting ways.

Jessica K said...

I love watching the video reviews that the ladies do on JBW... makes it so much easier to order online when I'm unable to get to a crafty store :) I've finished up 2 cowls and started on another cowl and capplet since I had knee surgery this past Monday, so going on JBW and watching everthing has helped me be creative in some way shape or form <3 Thank you!

murran said...

i would love some nice soft yarn, how generous of you !!!

kate said...

That yarn is lovely!

Ariadani said...

*grin* What a great way to celebrate a beautiful new pattern! In Alpaca, too! (mmmm)

Jen said...

I'd really love some of this yarn!

Sarah said...

Sweet! What a story and a giveaway!

Jacq Jones said...

Awesome story - knitting is addictive!

el said...

beautiful colors, I would love to add this yarn to my stash. Can't wait to touch it and dream.

StephCat said...

nice contest!

nancyjatms said...

wonderful pattern would love to win this yarn!!

ChiLibrarian said...

Congrats on the pretty pattern. I'd love to win the fluffy yarn, too.

Kim said...

Gorgeous!!! I'd love to win!!

Hanabie said...

Thanks for offering! I'd love to win!

Wanda said...

I love reading this blog, and I love your post! I think this is a fabulous giveaway, too! :)

Sharon said...

Hmmmmmm yarn

Kelly said...

What a beautiful wrap and what a great way to end the Thanksgiving weekend!

The Golden Knitch said...

Fantastic giveaway!!

Ronda said...

The pattern really brings out the colors in the yarn! Beautiful!!

delighted said...

Congratulations! I look forward to seeing more great patterns from you :)

Janine said...

Looks beautiful - once again, wish I had the nerve and patience and talent to design! Haha. Good for you.

Connie said...

Wow! What a great giveaway before Christmas! Thanks

Blogless Wanda said...

Can I sneak under the wire? I LOVE Misti Alpaca yarn and would dearly love to win this fabulous prize! Great pattern too--warm and wonderful ;-)

catsknit@yahoo.ca

livin4fishin said...

What a great giveaway! Beautiful pattern and looks so very comfy in this cold reno weather.

livin4fishin said...

What a great giveaway! Beautiful pattern and looks so very comfy in this cold reno weather.

Cyndi J said...

Lovely pattern and yarn!

ccajatcoxdotnet

cosmicsnup said...

I would love to knit that yarn!