Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years from all the Little Beans!

Hello everyone! I hope you all have had a fantastic week! We've been busy little beans around here this week as the post-Christmas holiday rush has surprised us all a bit. Many of us are excited for the ringing in of the New Year this evening, as I'm sure many of you are out there too!

I thought I would take the time this morning to share the first part of the lovely holiday gift all of us beans worked on for Doug and Laura-- the owners and brains behind Jimmy Beans Wool. They are two of the most awesome people in the world to work for so we wanted to thank them for all that they do for us with a little bit of knitted love.

Each year, we try to come up with something fun to do for them, and this year we had enough
little beans on staff that we figured we could each knit or crochet a "quilt" square and then sew it all together to make them a lovely patchwork quilt! We were so excited to get started so we all met at the shop to plan and organize- we all just barely fit into the shipping room at JBW:
Here is what all of our yarns looked like before we started:
Our guidelines were pretty simple. Must be in Blues or Browns (their favorite colors), and the finished knitted square should be 12" x 12" pre-blocking. It could be knitted or crocheted and
be in any pattern we wanted. Fun, huh? Here are some of the squares that people came up with:



At the Holiday Party, we gave the blocked squares to Laura and Doug and then Sandy took them home. She and Jeanne are working on sewing them all together. Once they are done we are going to back it with flannel and tack all the corners like a real quilt! We are so excited to see the finished project, which I will share with you all in a Part 2 post as soon as we have it finished.

I hope all of you have a happy and safe New Years, and I'll be back next week with lots of new FO's and WIP's to share. Thanks for to you all for supporting Jimmy Beans in the last year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let The Post-Holiday Knitting And Crocheting Begin!

I hope you all had a safe holiday, finished all your knitting and crochet gifts and were able to enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by family and friends! My Christmas Eve was spent feverishly finishing all of my hand knit presents, but by some miracle I had them wrapped and under the tree several minutes before everyone awoke to the smell of coffee brewing :) My most coveted present this year (thanks Dad!) was Modern Top-Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan, a book I've been obsessed with since it was released. I can't wait to start knitting the Jill's Dress (featured on the cover), the Feather Dress, or really any of the projects in this mind-blowingly awesome book. You may remember it from Kristen's blog a few months ago also featuring Rosemary, one of our in-store customer's FO from this book, the Promenade Dress. If you're also jonesing to get started on a project, exchange that unique shade of wool for something a little more "you", or preventing that JBW Gift Certificate from burning a hole in your proverbial pocket, be sure to check out some of the latest additions to our website!

I'm going to jump right into the good stuff with Valerie's Cardigan, one of the newest patterns from Blue Sky Alpacas! This lacy crochet cardi uses as little as 6 hanks of the lightweight Skinny Cotton and can be worn year round to dress up any outfit! If crochet isn't your game, BSA just released several new knit patterns as well, among them the the rustic Ida Vest and elegant Kaw Valley Wrap!

For those of you hoping to augment your knitting library in 2011, Dolce Handknits: Simple, Sophisticated Designs is a great place to start! Author Kim Dolce, owner of Dolce Handknits (her individual designs are available as patterns), has compiled 16 of her most popular patterns in this stunning book. Every project in this volume has a timeless, contemporary theme and each design is the perfect combination of casual comfort and classic sophistication.Whether you're knitting for yourself or a loved one, you can't go wrong with a Dolce Handknits design!

If yarn is what you seek, well, you know we have plenty of that! Alpaca 2 is one of our newest arrivals, and boy are we exited to have/see/feel it! This sumptuous alpaca and wool blend from Isager is a light DK weight yarn that comes in a rainbow of gorgeous, naturally dyed hues. Its soft hand and excellent drape make Alpaca 2 great for lightweight sweaters, delicate wraps, fingerless gloves and more! Use it for one of the whimsical Ilga Leja patterns such as the Urban Goddess wrap or Never Not Knitting's popular Cedar Leaf Shawlette.

Prefer a yarn that works up a bit faster? Give Gedifra's Riana and Riana Big a try! This single ply wool, acrylic and viscose blend comes in a bold palette of heathery solids flecked with tweedy bits that add a unique visual texture. Whether you're hoping to knit a work-worthy cardigan, cabled sweater vest for the hubby, or a rustic wrap for the chilly winter months, Riana fits the bill! And if you're in a hurry just pick up some Riana Big, the bulky big sister of the worsted weight Riana! Big works up in no time on US 15 needles making it a great choice for chunky cowls and ultra warm sweater coats!

Have a safe and spectacular New Year, and as always happy knitting and crocheting!
Leanne :)





Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday's with JBW...

The holiday's seem to go on throughout the year here at JBW and that's because it is the most amazing place to work in the world!!! We just have fun no matter what is going on and that's even when tons (literally) of yarn are delivered, or we need to work a bit harder to make sure you all get your orders on time...we just have fun around here!

We had our annual holiday dinner party and boy was it something truly special this year! My son Chris was in attendance, as his sweetie Sara has been working here for a couple of months now and he was her date.

Lots of new faces and some that have been around for a bit too! Allison (our original shop manager) is back on board, but was sorely missed as at the last minute there was a family emergency. Luckily it turned out to be only a scare, phew!

Her daughter Amanda was there for the 50th time?? Ha ha! Amanda has left, come back, left, come back and none of us are sure how many times, but she is a real asset to the shop!

We had dinner at a the WONDERFUL Charlie Palmer Steak House in the Grand Sierra Resort here in Reno...and I am sure that everyone would agree the whole night was spectacular!

There were gifts, toasts and texts with pictures of our sleeping angel Huck to reassure our head beans Laura and Doug that all was well at home!


Thanks Emily for sending me this great picture.I have it set as my phones wallpaper to remind me what is really important in life...isn't he a doll?

Everyone was having fun. Here Bethany and Victoria struck a pose for me as I ran around with my camera trying to catch all the action.

I was Bethany's secret Santa and made her a flower (pattern from Brave New Knits) out of Koigu At the last second included a hammered brass piece I made over the button. She was tickled and it looks great on her!




Our two head beans got into the spirit of things and happily posed for me too! Awww what can you say!! They are super duper neat!! Thanks you guys for taking such great care of all of us and for this fantastic party!!


Our gift to the Zander's this year is a throw out of squares done by the little beans in various shades of blues and browns...knit and crocheted! The unfortunate thing was that we didn't quite get them all put together, so we gave them the squares as is with the promise of a finished throw. Laura immediately noted that she would not be sewing the squares together...it was hilarious!! They enjoyed looking at each square and hearing about who had made it. Stay tuned for the finished throw as Kristen will be blogging about that soon.

We had a special bean pop in for the week our very own Leanne who is now living in Boise came down to be with us. It was awesome to see her!! She still works for us in cyber space and will be coming back to town soon, yippppeeee!!!

Here she is getting a hug from Victoria...how can you resist that smile?


Here are Kristen and Nick the newlyweds cuddling in a corner...come on you two!! Aren't they a fantastic couple?







Here Amber is snuggling with her new Unicorn that Tiffany gave her!! If you couldn't guess Amber is in LOVE with Unicorns and Tiffany really scored on this present! I hope you get to meet Tiffany sometime, as she is one of the nicest people I know!






To the right Terry is looking lovely and is with her friend Dave who is just the nicest guy! Then to the left is Marilyn who has been one of our best customers and is now a little bean!



Erika and Nicole are listening to something interesting.






Below right, Kathy is hanging with Victoria. I am sad to report that Victoria will be leaving us to spend more time with her family in February, but Kathy is helping out with all the buying and what not. Kathy started with us as a temporary employee last holiday season and has really filled a need, thanks Kathy, you rock!












To the left we have Amanda M. with her honey Shane. Both of them are working for us now! Amanda is also a return bean and these days I don't know what we would do without Shane to help around the shop...drowning in yarn that's for sure!

Then we have Ailene and Holly (left) who are working their way through school and are so much fun to have around the shop that I don't know what we will do when they graduate. I think Holly is scheduled to graduate this spring and Aileen well I am not sure...but I can tell you we will keep them as long as we can!





To the right we have Amber and Sharon smiling with Leanne laughing (again that smile). I hope you are lucky enough to have Sharon help you sometime, or Leanne, or Amber...gosh all the little beans are amazing!

I am going to let some of the pictures do the story telling for me...as we have more beans now than we have ever had before, phew! It makes me wonder what it will be like next year? Maybe we will have to rent a ballroom some where?



Shevawn with her honey and her Darth Vader...what's not to love? A neater gal you can not find than Shevawn who is always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done!






Chantal with her sweetie looking very stylish! Chantal is one of our brilliant high school Students who will be graduating in the spring and she really adds a bright spot to the shop!


Then to the right we have Sara and Elyse her best friend...these two gals are super neat to have around and will both graduate from high school in the spring. Of course Sara is pretty special to me, as she puts up with my great son Chris and is a budding knitter!

Well I hope I didn't leave anyone out and here's wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thank you to all our fantastic customers and friends who have helped to make 2010 one of the most amazing years ever!

As always happy knitting and crocheting!

Jeanne

Friday, December 24, 2010

Koigu Skeinlette winners!

Finalist have been chosen! We posted the winners on Monday, but we were really late and *hangs head low* we misspelled one of the winners names. For shame! With that in mind AND seeing as it's the holidays and we should give people a second chance, we are REPOSTING the winners and their ideas. Please contact bethany [at] jimmybeanswool.com by Monday December 27th at noon PST with your mailing address, otherwise we will pick new winners.

Our 3 finalists are Tracy with your idea for the scarflette/veil, Lelah with your hip zig zag baby hat and Daria for your lace based hat !!

We hope that everyone will check back and leave your comments on the blog the week of January 24th-28th which will help us choose the final winner of full skeins of Koigu KPPPM!

Happy Holidays to all and here's to second chances when we need them the most! Cheers!

Jimmy Beans Wool


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Products For New Projects!

You may have noticed I missed posting last week's latest products, but I assure you it was not due to a lack of new stuff... quite the opposite in fact! And now that you're (hopefully) done with your holiday knitting and crocheting, it is time to find new, exciting projects to keep those digits busy!

Tosh Merino DK in Oxblood
Toshaholics beware, we have added two new Madelinetosh yarns to the website: Pashmina and Tosh Merino DK. If you haven't had a chance to feel Pashmina, an ultra silky soft merino, silk and cashmere blend, indulge in a hank (or two!) -you won't be disappointed! On top of its luxurious hand, Pashmina comes in over 40 gorgeous hand dyed colorways that work up all-to-easily into elegant scarves and shawls. Of course the Toshmania continues with Tosh Merino DK! This sumptuous machine washable single ply yarn is new to Madelinetosh and scheduled to be released in 2011... but you can get it right now exclusively from Jimmy Beans! This super-soft yarn comes with over 200 yards per 100g hank and is available in dozens of your favorite Tosh colorways.

Need something to knit with Tosh Merino DK or Pashmina? Consider the Autumn Vines Beret, Never Not Knitting's latest design. Just one hank of either Tosh-tastic yarn is enough to knit this charming cap that is sure to become a staple in your winter wardrobe. The cabled stitch pattern is engaging to knit and creates an intricate intertwining vine detail that looks stunning in any hand dyed colorway.

Speaking of patterns, I am in love with the Midnight Sun Legwarmers from Ilga Leja! Extra-long and lightweight, these legwarmers can be worn over the knee or scrunched down without creating unnecessary bulk. My favorite part of this pattern is the multi-color polka dots which can be created using a variegated yarn that contrasts the background color, or by using up those leftover yarn bits that have been sitting in a plastic bag for years. Midnight Sun is great way to fullfil your resolution to slim down your stash with stylish results!

Of course Madelinetosh isn't the only one introducing new yarns for the new year and we've also got a smashing new fiber from Trendsetter! Flamenco, the latest in ruffle-rific knitting, features a unique, net-like construction. Knitting along the edge, Flamenco works up into flouncy, open ruffles that make for a stunning scarf or wrap. Check out the Flamenco Pattern Booklet for some fabulous fashion-forward designs!

If you're looking for post-holidy project inspiration we've got plenty of new books covering the latest styles, yarns and techniques! Be sure to take a peek at Knit Kimono Too from best-selling author Vicki Square, especially if you're hoping to work on your mad knitting skills in 2011! Brimming with classic and modern knits inspired by traditional Asian elements, this book also includes a helpful instructional DVD covering many advanced techniques. For all those knitting fashionistas out there we have two new Kim Hargreaves books hot off the presses! Both Cherished and Touching Elegance are stunning collections of chic, wearable knits featuring your favorite Rowan yarns.

With all this delicious new yarn and must-knit patterns comes the potential for clutter. Stay organized with the Travel Case from della Q! Compact and functional with plenty of pockets and sleeves for keeping essential needles, hooks and notions close at hand, I love the Travel Case for its versatility and portability. Whether you're traveling from the living room to the bedroom, home to work, or Chicago to Seattle, this case makes it easy to bring your knitting with you no matter where you are!

Enjoy the holidays and happy knitting and crocheting!
Leanne :)




Monday, December 20, 2010

The finalist are AND stay tuned for more in January!!

So your comments and ideas for our little skeinlettes giveaway of the new (to us) Koigu yarn are phenomenal!! It is so cool to see what you all come up with when faced with amazing yarn to work with!!

I have had a hank of Koigu in my stash for sometime and just grabbed two more hanks in contrasting colors and have been knitting flowers for last minute gifts with them!! It has to be one of the yummiest yarns I have worked with!

The pattern is from the book Brave New Knits and I have been making hair clips, pins and using 2 flowers together to give things more depth. This is a great stash buster project AND button stash buster project too! I mention the project as I think the Koigu ones are my absolutely favorite flowers!!

I can't wait to work in more depth with the Koigu yarn and am thinking that I may just have to work up the Churchmouse pattern Barb's Koigu Ruffled Scarf asap!! I will be using some of the spotted hanks for this scarf and it will just be the choosing of the colors that will be the challenge.

Drum roll please...we have chosen our 3 finalists,
Tracy your idea for the scarflette/veil is in, Leah your hip zig zag baby hat is in and Daria your lace based hat is in!! CONGRATULATIONS and I can't wait to see your ideas done up!

Now that we have chosen our skeinlette finalists we will need the finalists to contact bethany@jimmybeanswool.com with your shipping information (BY FRIDAY THE 24TH @ 9:00 AM). Normally I would organize the shipping of your skeinlettes for you, but I was graciously given this week off, YIPPPEEEE!! Thanks Bethany for helping out with this and for you fantastic organizational skills!

I hope you will check back and leave your comments on the blog the week of January 24th-28th which will help us choose the final design!

As always happy knitting and crocheting!

Jeanne







Friday, December 17, 2010

A Very Victoria FO Friday!

Wow! While most of us are struggling to finish holiday projects, it’s been slim pickings around here for FO’s this week. Luckily, Victoria came to my rescue with a few FO’s she’s been saving up!

Victoria is the lovely head of our buying and inventory department who will be leaving us soon to spend more time with her family. We are going to miss her so much! I’m so glad she was able to share some of her work here before she leaves us in a few weeks. We are all so sad to see her go, but are excited that she’ll be able to hang out with her kids more...and maybe even knit more too! She’ll still continue to make the fabulous Victoria S stitch markers that we all love so much too!


Victoria has been on a shaw-knitting kick for quite a while now, and it’s so fun to see all of the lovely things she’s made. This week she brought in 3 finished shawls!


The lovely Citron done in Merino Lace by Skacel:



The Mara Shawl a free pattern from Madelinetosh done in Tosh DK Amber Trinket:



And this lovely shawl of which I can’t remember the name, done in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Ivory:



Just beautiful Victoria!


The only other FO I have to share is a fun holiday-related one. Last weekend, I got the bug to knit some Christmas ornaments for a few folks. I couldn’t find one I loved online, so I decided to make up my own. This is what I came up with:





It was super simple: Grab some green scrap yarn, Cast on 2 sts. Increase every couple of rows until you have a decent sized tree. Bind off. Pick up a few stitches on the bottom and knit a few rows until you have a little trunk. Weave in all of your ends and stash dive again until you find some red yarn or another color of your choice. Now dive into your button stash and find some fun lovelies. Sew on buttons and voila! Cute tree ornament done! I made a few last weekend and will probably make a few more this coming weekend to give as little nifty gifties with presents. Who doesn’t love a cute little tree ornament?!


So that is it for this week! Check back here next Friday, when I reveal a super top secret project that we’ve been working on around here...so fun!!! Happy Holidays to you all!


-Kristen