Monday, January 31, 2011

February is Heart Month....

February has been dubbed Heart Month by the American Heart Association and I think it's important to remember that heart disease is one of the number one killers of women today. With that said we are going to be participating in the 'wear red' day on Friday February 4th at the shop and I think I will be wearing a hank of February's Lorna's Laces Limited Edition color around my neck!

The shipment was delivered today and it is a real festival of color (hint, hint)!! Okay with the picture here it isn't much of a hint, but it's beautiful don't you think? Shevawn inspired this months color and boy did it turn out to be amazing!! Of course if you are a member of the LLE Fan Club you have already seen this great color and are probably ready to add it to your cart as soon as it is live on the site right? If you are not a member then check out the Facebook Fan Club, or if you aren't part of Facebook just sign up here and once you are a member you can even win yarn, so what are you waiting for?

I hope you will participate in 'wear red' day on Friday and we would LOVE to see pictures of you wearing your red to remind everyone how important the fight against Heart Disease is! I have been personally affected by heart disease and miss my mother very, very much! I will also be knitting with my Festival of Love knitting up my little hearts from the book Gifted. I plan on working up a BIG bowl of these adorable hearts for Valentines Day!

This pattern is a fantastic short row knit and after stuffing the little darlings they get felted. This picture is before felting, so stay tuned for more! I am going to use the Festival of Love in the Greenline Worsted which will felt up great! I used Classic Elite Fresco for these hearts here (I doubled the yarn), but have been using anything I can find including Cascade Pastaza.

And we have some other really exciting news to share!

It's that time again! We are now accepting applications for the 2nd annual Beans for Brains Scholarship! We've partnered up with The Yarn Group, Interweave, Denise Needles, Lorna's Laces, Tahki Stacy Charles and tons of other folks across the industry to offer one of the largest Knitting and Crocheting scholarships out there!

As you may or may not know, the Beans for Brains scholarship is a merit-based scholarship open to all students attending an accredited institution in the fall of 2011. Applicants must know how to knit or crochet. The scholarship is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students in any course of study.

For the 2011-2012 award year, there are five $3,000 scholarships up for grabs!! Deadline to apply is April 1st, 2011 so just hop over to our website to apply today!

As always happy knitting and crocheting!!

Jeanne

Friday, January 28, 2011

WIP Weekend---And the winner of the Koigu Skeinlette Design Contest is...

....the lovely Fingerless Mitts!!! These are absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations to our winner Ruth, and thank you to our other designers Sandy and Linda for providing some very stiff competition! All three of these designs will be available soon on our website so keep your eyes peeled if you are excited to make one of them! Ruth, you've got 3 full hanks of KPPPM coming your way!


Now onto some fun WIP's that we all have going on in Jimmy Beans land! This weekend is sure to involve knitting as "Jimmy" has invited all of us beans over to her house for a knit night! How exciting! I'm particularly excited to meet Buddy and Wiley, Laura and Doug's two furry children who are often featured in place of yarn on our website! I've been hearing about how sweet they are for years and am looking forward to finally getting to meet them!

A few days ago, I was knitting with Bethany, and was able to get a few pictures of her modeling her sweater. She is about halfway done (maybe more now) and it is looking fantastic! I should say that Bethany is one of those rare actual left-handed knitters who knits English style, but completely backwards from regular English knitting. She never thought she would be able to knit a sweater for lack of being able to follow the pattern, but after finding Knitting Pure and Simple, she's succeeding beautifully! I can hardly wait to see the finished product!

Jeanne is working on the Autumn Leaves Beret from Never Not Knitting. She is knitting it in Isager Alpaca 2 yarn, which is quickly becoming a best seller around here. It's really lovely! I have this pattern in my Ravelry Queue and i'm looking forward to knitting it in the near future...


In preparation for Valentines Day, Jeanne has also been making some adorable little stuffed hearts. This very sweet pattern is from the book "Gifted" by Mags Kandis. She is making hers out of Classic Elite Fresco (one of her favorite yarns). What a cute little gift to give the ones you love this year! Great idea, Jeanne!

Well, that is it for this weekend's WIP's. Congratulations again to Ruth, our Koigu skeinlette contest winner, and happy knitting to you all!

Kristen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Follow The Wool Watcher Puppy On Twitter!

The Wool Watcher Puppy never barks or whines, but now he Tweets! That's right, you can follow Wool Watcher on Twitter for instantaneous updates on the latest discounted yarns and items posted to WW! If you are already on Twitter and would like to add us to your feed just search "woolwatcher" (all one word). Not a member of Twitter? Sign up for a piece of the action at Twitter.com -it's free and a great way to keep up with the latest JBW news as well as Wool Watcher deals! Note: our Jimmy Beans Wool Twitter feed is separate from the Wool Watcher feed, so be sure to follow both!

Even puppies like them!
Room for everything!
Now onto the new in-store stuff! Bethany has been singing praises for the new Bitty Bags from Namaste ever since she bought one a couple weeks ago. Trendy and compact, these purses are flawlessly functional without sacrificing an ounce of style. Seriously, these classy bags have no drawbacks except that once you have one, you just might want another :) The Bitty Bag interior features easy organization with open-top pockets and elastic straps for keeping all your necessities in place as well as 2 zippered pockets; one on the inside and one on the outside!

Kristen already introduced you to the latest issue of Knitscene Magazine in her last post, but I couldn't help reiterate how awesome it is! This particular publication is overflowing with gorgeous patterns from the twisty texture of the Tosh Sock Bas-Relief Socks, to the colorful Mette-Marit Pullover knit in luxurious Rowan Belle Organic DK, to the all-seasons Belvedere Cardigan. Knit in sumptuous Sweater from Spud and Chloe, Belvedere is a lacy, relaxed cardi perfect for layering and looks great year-round!

Sweater - Barn
Speaking of Sweater, there are three new bright new colors now available in this machine-washable wool and organic cotton blend: Igloo, Barn and Waterslide! Sweater wears great and only gets softer the more you wash it, making it the perfect medium for knits that will be much loved and worn often! If that isn't reason enough to work with this fabulous yarn, for a limited time a free pattern will be included with any order for Spud And Chloe's Sweater yarn! I don't know about you, but I'm a fanatical free pattern enthusiast -especially for the cute, stylish designs like the ones from Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud And Chloe :)


One more thing I can't help but mention: Wisteria, a new patter from Knitting At Knoon! This smart little number is knit in one of my favorite fibers, Plymouth's Taria Tweed! Of course you can opt for any heavy worsted weight yarn and still get stunning results :) The Wisteria Vest is great for layering during transitional seasons and can be appreciated by both the trend-savvy businesswoman and hip coffee shop crowd!


Enjoy the rest of your week and happy knitting and crocheting!
Leanne :)





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

KPPPM Design Contest Finalists! Vote Now!

The KPPPM skeinlette designs are in, so scroll down and try to pick a favorite before casting your vote! I say "try" because all three designs are phenomenal. When I received the pictures it took me several hours to recover from a double attack of IKG and UOC (Inspired Knitting Genius and Unexpected Overwhelming Cuteness... don't say I didn't warn you!). But enough of my ramblings and onto the designs themselves!

Gorgeous Fingerless Mitts!
Behind Curtain #1 we have a stunning pair of exquisite fingerless mittens. The hand-warming body of these Fairisle wonders are charming, colorful and unique with the perfect finishing touch of lacy swallowtail edging around the fingers. I'm especially impressed with how well the color transitions melt effortlessly from one hue to the next incorporating the whole rainbow into one beautiful work of fiber art! Not to mention anyone wearing these trendy mitts is sure to turn a head or two with this eye-catching design wrapped around their digits.
Scarf In Progress

Curtain #2 yields a coy Koigu design for your neck! Unfortunately we received this particular piece late in the game (due to communication issues that are no fault of the designer), so you will have to combine this picture and my powers of description with your imagination :) The design itself was inspired by a simple, ribbed scarf with a lacy, over-sized flower that reminds me of something a flapper from the '20s might wear to a speakeasy. As you can see, this project starts out in a simple fisherman's rib using the warm reds, browns and oranges that abruptly switch to cooler blues, greens and purples for a "fire and ice" effect. This scarf does a stellar job of letting the hand-painted colorways shine and I'm just bummed we don't get to see the finished product!

Lola Lookin' Pretty in Koigu
Last but not least, Curtain #3 is an adorable knit for woman's best friend! This delightful dog sweater was designed for fashion-conscious Lola, a 9 pound shiatsu who shares her name with a character in the musical Damn Yankees originally played by the legendary actress/fashionista Gwen Verdon. Featuring a ruffled hem and sleeves along with a bright red flower on the shoulder, this feminine roll-neck sweater may be inspired by '50 fashion, but decades later it is a glamorous garment any dog would love to show off!

Congratulations to the three finalists for their incredible creations, we are all thrilled and awestruck by these marvelous designs! Readers, please chose your favorite and vote now! The poll (located in the top right hand corner above our Tweets) closes this Friday, January 28th at 3pm PST and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. The design with the most votes will receive 3 skeins of KPPPM, and to ensure a fair vote we ask that you only vote once :)

Thank you!
Leanne





Monday, January 24, 2011

Filming and Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Fan Club!

Today was a filming day and I must admit while we have a bunch of fun it does tire me out! We did new instructional videos for the site and I hope you enjoy them. In the new videos I show you how my mother taught me to darn socks, how to work with the new Flounce yarn and how to do a long tail purlwise cast on. I had to learn this one to work on Never Not Knitting's Autumn Vines Beret. I am having so much fun working on the pattern and am using the Isager Alpaca 2 yarn....super yummy! We reviewed a bunch of new products and were just generally silly! Stay tuned to the same LYS-online store for more!!

I also want to remind you all to be sure to check out our Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Fan Club!! Did you know you can win free yarn by being a member? You also get sneak peeks at upcoming colors and input on naming and the perks just keep on coming!

This month's color, Nicole's First Anniversary, has been a big hit. We sold out of really quickly and ordered more. (There's still a bit left here and there if you hurry!)

Well, I must confess I am a little tired after such a busy day, so for now I will wish you all happy knitting and crocheting!

Jeanne

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FO Friday/ WIP Weekend

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week! We’ve been busy around here as usual! I just have a couple of FO’s to share this week and a few new fun projects to share with you all too!


Last time I posted, I wrote about the darling little flower that Jeanne knitted for Sandy from the Brave New Knits Book. Well, she didn’t stop there. Our creative knitting genius (Jeanne of course) took the same flower motif and made Sandy a sweet little pair of cuffs out of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. How beautiful are these? Sandy is one lucky lady! Jeanne--my birthday is in April, and I like purple...hint...hint...wink...wink...


I managed to put in some good knitting time over the weekend and I finished my Annabella’s Cowl! Hurray! My first FO of 2011! I’ve been wearing it all week just because I really wanted to, even though it’s a tad warm for it here in Reno. I really love the way it came out and I’m so glad I made it a bit larger! I’m 5’11”, so I knew I needed mine to be a bit wider than everyone else’s to work with my broad shoulders. I am so happy with the way it turned out!



Using one ball of Kidsilk Haze (in Dewberry) with 1 skein of Madelinetosh Merino DK (in Amber Trinket), I cast on 8 extra stitches and knit in K4, P4 for the first 8 inches. Then I increased one stitch in the middle of each purl section (11 increases total) and knit the rest in stockinette until I ran out of yarn. Easy enough! These are just the modifications I made to the original Annabella’s Cowl Patterns by Churchmouse designs, so please reference the original pattern for a complete list of instructions. I just made it to suit my needs a bit more and I think it came out just great!

This weekend, I’ll be putting in some time working on Nick’s sweater. I am determined to finish it before the month is out. I have restricted myself to finishing his sweater before I start anymore sweaters for myself. I know, no fun right?! Oh well, it’s good motivation for me though, because we just got the new Winter/ Spring 2011 Knitscene and my fingers are already itching to knit the Rayonnant Pullover by Romi Hill. I am thinking maybe Lorna's Laces Green Line Worsted...we just received a beautiful shade of Periwinkle...or maybe some more Madelinetosh Merino DK in Betty Draper’s Blues... Decisions, decisions! There are so many great yarns out there, I’m sure I’ll find just the right one!


Terry just bought enough Tosh Merino Light in a beautiful pale blue shade to make the darling short sleeved pattern on the cover of the new Knitscene--the Chiton Pullover by Melissa Wehrle. I’m telling you, the Madelinetosh yarns are truly AMAZING! I can hardly wait to see how Terry’s project turns out!


There are so many beautiful designs in this new edition of Knitscene! I love how there is always something for everyone in this magazine. Diverse patterns in terms of difficulty level and design. Quite a variety of projects too! It’s definitely one of my favorite knitting magazines in current publication!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this week folks! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Happy knitting!
Kristen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Take A Peek At The Trends Of 2011!

Plenty of new thing just keep on rollin' through our doors -I can hardly keep up! This week we've got everything from the latest in novelty knitting to a glimpse at the styles to come in 2011!

How big a glimpse, you ask? Well, between Norah Gaughan's pattern booklet Volume 8 and the latest issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine, I'd say a fairly large glimpse :) I am always in awe of Norah's simple yet intricate geometric designs, and her latest collection is particularly stunning. Lacy, open stitch patterns are a common motif in Vol. 8, creating wistful, artistic garments knit in lightweight cotton and linen blends. The airy nature of this collection is picture perfect in pastels and features the purely divine Pure Pima and summery soft Linsey. Linsey is one of Berroco's new yarns this year and will be available on our website soon! I wish I could give you some tantalizing tidbits regarding Linsey, but I have yet to see it for myself.

The Winter 2010/11 issue of Vogue Knitting, however, is no mystery! Page after page of hip, urban designs and classic, form-fitting styles, this Vogue has something for every wintry activity! Over-sized cabled scarves such as the Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Hand Dyes Scarf for those long weekends on the slopes and the asymmetrical Draped Cardigan for staying warm at the office without putting a crimp in your savvy fashion-sense are just a few of the fabulous patterns in this issue as well as an enticing preview of the trends ahead!

If you prefer the simplicity of everyday styles to high-fashion runway knits, consider some of the free patterns available from the Stitch Nation website. Founded by Debbie Stoller, author of the famed Stitch 'N Bitch series, Stitch Nation features a stellar line of affordable, all natural yarns as well as a continually growing collection of excellent free patterns for a wide range of ability levels. Recently posted is one of my favorites, the Beloved Shawl, available as a kit on our website! This classic shawl is knit in silky soft Bamboo Ewe, a worsted weight blend of bamboo and wool. The leaf-like lace pattern and a delicate swallow-tailed edge gains a fresh modern look from the luscious, vibrant hues of Bamboo Ewe.

Looking for something a little more... unique? Try knitting with Flounce! Much like Trendsetter's Flamenco, this new novelty yarn from Katia has an open, net-like construction that can be transformed into bouncy flouncy ruffles by knitting along one edge.  The self-striping colorways of Flounce add extra flare to the texture and depth of this particular fiber, making it perfect for scarves, accessories, accents and more! For a super easy yet striking neck warmer, use 2 balls of Flounce for the Flounce Scarf! Available as a kit, this scarf knits up in no time on size US 11 needles and the pattern, which includes detailed pictures describing how to knit with this yarn, is free on the KFI website!

Have a splendiferous week and happy knitting and crocheting!
Leanne


Monday, January 17, 2011

What's up Doc?



The weather here is like spring...wow! The high today is supposed to be 66 degrees.

With the warm weather we had a little subversive visitor and one of our down spouts was yarn bombed!! K4Ps is a local yarn bombing crew here in Reno and I have been waiting for them to get around to us.
I think they did a great job don't you? It will be interesting to see how long it stays up.


So with the warm weather it got me thinking about projects (like I need anything specific to get me thinking about projects, ha ha!) and in walks Amber with her finished heart out of Greenline DK in Chagrin. The Chagrin is sold out, but there are some other beautiful colors for hearts!

So now I don't need to think too hard just follow the leader, yippee! How about a knit heart for Valentines Day? I am in love with this anatomical heart and want to get this going NOW!! She worked up her heart with US 5 DPN's and I think it turned out perfectly!!


She found the pattern on Knitty and is going to work up another heart with the Zombie BBQ...woo hoo!! The working title around the shop is the 'living' heart, ha ha!

I think I will work my heart(s) up in the GreenlineDK Zombie BBQ (why mess with a great idea) and I will only need 1 hank for the project, thump, thump!




So this got me thinking about the upcoming holiday of love and I started looking for knit hearts...what do you think about these lovely little treasures from Berroco?




This free pattern will make approximately 15 hearts from one hank of Peruvia, so what's not to love?

Of course the problem with getting ideas is that well it gives me ideas and one thing leads to another and I am not finishing other stuff (which is my New Years resolution, sigh) right?

I am limiting myself to one big project like a sweater and a small project like socks, but I am sorry these hearts are calling my name!! I guess I need to revisit my resolution and say at least 2 small projects at a time...phew that was close!!

Okay with that knitting rationalization out of the way where's my needles?

As always happy knitting and crocheting!!

Jeanne


Friday, January 14, 2011

TNNA adventures and the winners of the books!

Should we start by announcing the winners or by telling you all about our TNNA trip?

*hears shouts coming from cyberspace saying "tell us about TNNA!!" *

Alright alright! We'll tell you about our great trip to Long Beach and then let you know who the winners are. Where to start?

This year our head knitter, Laura, decided to take Miss Sandy (our eldest and eldest employee) to do some hands on investigation of all the new and wonderful products at the show. Sandy walked the entire floor on the first day!! What a woman!

She's keeping some products under wraps, but I heard that she's already picked out 3 or 4 patterns from the upcoming Rowan Magazine 49 to work up!
Also, she couldn't help but buy amazing needles from a new company, Indian Lake Artisans. She got a pair of bulky size 11's with cute acorns on the top! (Shhh. Don't tell but I definitely saw her petting them over the course of the weekend!)


We got to have coffee with Julie Turjoman, author of Brave New Knits! What an incredible book and she is such a nice lady. :) I was lucky enough to be able to tag along too and introduce myself to a whole bunch our partners!



I enjoyed talking with some of my favorite designers, Miss Norah Gaughan and Miss Cirilia Rose! Aren't they so adorable?

Norah is a favorite at Jimmy Beans Wool and you can tell from the wide selection of her pattern books that we carry. Both of these ladies are lucky enough to be working with the wonderful folks over at Berroco. Check out our video reviews of all of their great products on our website!!









Here are Laura and Matt from Prism Yarn Company! Their booth was breathtaking! We will be featuring them in a blog this spring, so stay tuned!











And what knitting event would be complete without Diane Soucy, the genius behind Knitting Pure and Simple?

I'm currently working on one of her patterns for a top down cardigan with Lorna's Laces Green Line Worsted in Caramel Pumpkin Latte. We've sold out of that limited edition color but there is plenty more Green Line Worsted up from grabs (AND it's on sale!!)!





I have to tell you that there were so many wonderful people and fantastic products that it's hard to name them all. I did have the pleasure of getting to know the Madelinetosh team who were not only super nice, but also had a great booth!


In front they had an old school chalk board where they were taping Polaroids of passersby with note cards that stated their favorite Madelinetosh color. Mine was Citrus! Just looking at it brings a smile to my face.


And Lantern Moon! What an incredible group of people! They were celebrating their 10 year anniversary while at TNNA. Have you seen their blog? Check it out here to read Michelle's fun and informative posts. We also met Iris from ArtYarns who taught me a few things about facebooking!


Editorial Director Trisha Malcolm and Director of Ad Sales Doreen Connors from Soho Publishing (who produce Vogue Knitting) taught us a thing or two about ping pong. They were sharing their excitement about the Vogue Knitting Live that is starting in less than 2 weeks! They've got the most amazing line up of teachers ever put together in one space! Good luck, Ladies!

Overall it was a wonderful experience and we had a ton of fun!

Oh, right, the winners. ;)

As you know, we were running 2 giveaways at a time. The in-store winner is: Marcie from East Lansing MI. See! We can be anyone and everyone's LYS! If you are ever in Reno, stop in!

The online winner is Mystery Writer!! Please email your snail mail address to giveaway@jimmybeanswool.com to claim your signed copy of the amazing book "The Knitter's Guide To Hand-Dyed And Variegated Yarn" by Lorna Miser within 24 hours or we will pick another winner.

Congratulations and Happy Knitting!
Bethany

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Berroco Yarn So New It's Practically Still On A Sheep!

I don't know about you, but I am still having problems writing the date... I just can't believe it is already 2011! This is my second January at JBW and it never ceases to amaze me just how much new yarn is out there, not to mention all those yarns that have yet to be created! You'd think I'd know better by now, right? Case in point, we're starting to get the latest Berroco yarns (so new they aren't even on the Berroco website yet!), and these might just be some of my favoritest fibers of the New Year!

Vintage DK 2177
First up is a new version of a Berroco classic: Vintage DK. I ended up knitting a hat with the worsted weight original, Vintage, and fell in love. This ludicrously affordable yarn gives you everything from machine washability to cuddley softness to a gorgeous spectrum of colors... seriously Vintage has it all. And now that Vintage DK has entered the scene, you can enjoy the versatility of of the Vintage family for your lighter weight projects!
What DK weight projects you ask? Why, the ones in Berroco Pattern Booklet 308 - Vintage DK and Vintage of course! Berroco, being the awesome company that they are, always anticipates your burning desire to work with their new fibers and provide superb pattern booklets to accompany all of their yarns. Full of trendy, wearable knits that cater to a wide range of ability levels, these booklets are a great place to start if you are in search of some knitspiration! Needless to say, #308 is brimming with stylish knits including, but not limited to an adorable top, delightful sweaters and a snazzy cap!

Glint 2953
For those of you looking for something a little more glam, Berroco has you covered with Glint! This light, worsted weight fiber consists of shimmery metallic filament encased in delicately woven strands of a soft cotton and nylon blend. Perfect for knit and crochet fashionistas, Glint has a beautiful drape and comes in a sumptuous array of classic solid colors. Don't forget to check out the Glint Pattern Booklet, #306 which has plenty of project ranging from casual chic to glitzy elegance!

If you're still hungry for Berroco, stay tuned as we'll be receiving even more in the near future!!

It is wise to use stitch markers!
Ok, so enough Berroco (for now). On to those handy-dandy accessories/necessities: stitch markers! Victoria S, a.k.a. the Queen of Crafty, has added the Power Animal Packs to her collection of darling handmade beaded stitch markers. Available in sets of 3, these ultra-cutesy notions are the perfect way to add a bit of serenity and extra [insert power here] to your knitting. Whether you hope to infuse more Love (Panda) into a project, or strive to relax and enjoy your knitting with Contentment (Kitty) the power animal stitch markers are a great reminder to have Fun (Monkey) with your knitting!

Also on the Newness Front: 4 spectacular patterns from Knitting Pure And Simple! I'm partial to the Children's Mukluk Slippers, though my feet are far too large... sigh. These adorable boot-like slippers knit up in no time with bulky weight yarn to keep your favorite little toesies nice and warm! If their feet are already taken care of, consider the Children's Bulky Top-Down Pullover and/or the Children's Henley Top-Down Pullover to maintain their upper body warmth! Both of these cozy sweaters are easy-to-knit and perfect for days spent playing in the snow. If you're in New England preparing for the Nor'easter (a snowstorm of epic proportions), all three of these patterns are great garments for an after-storm snow party (and you can knit them in the mean time)! Ok, so I know it is too late now to get started on these delightful designs if you're on the verge of being snowed-in, but I'm fairly certain there will be more storms to come ;) Of course the fashion-fun isn't limited to kids; we've got the New Neck-Down Pullover for us grown-ups as well! A variation of the popular Neck-Down Pullover, this sweater is more fitted with a simple, classic design that is easy to dress up for work or wear about the house on a lazy weekend!

Until next week, happy knitting and crocheting!
Leanne :)