Monday, November 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday and a few FO’s too!

Wow! It has been a long time since we've done a WIP/FO post and holy cow are there a lot of projects to share! So many that I don’t think I can squeeze all of them in here today! But that is ok, we will get them all on here one way or another. :) We have been such busy little beans this year in preparation for the holidays, so we have tons of fantastic projects to share with you! Make sure to check the project log (I've provided all of the links for you) for all of the knitty gritty details! Here goes:
WIPs:


FO’s:
And if these beauties are not enough for inspiration, be sure to check out all of the other awesome new projects we just added to the project log, such as Kristen’s Bandana Cowl, Leanne’s Basic Ribbed Scarf, Amber's Little Colonade Shawl, Sharon’s Basic Ribbed Scarf, Sarah Lee’s Zig Zag Cowl, Diana's Very Cherry Daughter Dress, Leanne’s Bodega and Orbit Scarves, and Jeanne’s Stratum Hat and Mukluks.
There are so many amazing projects flying off the needles around here. I can hardly wait to see what comes next!
Happy holiday knitting and crocheting everyone!
Kristen

PS It's time for Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate! JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And now for something completely silly...


We have an awful lot of fun around here while tending to all your fiber needs, and I thought I would do a quick picture post so you can really see us as we truly are, the professional fiber gurus you have come to know. Here are some pictures from our Halloween party. You'll also find a few from Sandy's and my admission into Fairy Godmother status by Bethany, who is expecting her first little bundle of joy in March. You should note that Sandy is the head Godmother and I am in training, as Sandy has 2 wonderful grandchildren and I am a granny in waiting (no rush, I might add. LOL).

Not the plague just black icing...ewwww!




As you can see, Amber and Amanda were having a great time!! I think is was Amber who got these fantastic cupcakes that made everyone's tongues black!!


Sandy makes quite the Fairy Godmother

It's Super Piet!!!


As you can see, Piet is truly a superhero and Sandy is quite the little Fairy Godmother! The wings are actually a recent addition and not from Halloween, but from our very own Bethany who has dubbed Sandy and I her Fairy Godmothers. How cool is that?

Fairy 1 and Fairy 2 (aka apprentice Fairy)




I am an apprentice Godmother, but will earn bigger wings some day! Sandy is a good Fairy trainer, but I may be a bit of a difficult apprentice...LOL!



Lianna is the cutest little Devil!




Lianna is one of our new little beans and is adorable as a Devil! She was a great sport and even painted her nails the greatest Devilish red!!!


Here's Raggedy Ann, aka Sasha!!
Sasha is a big kid at heart and we love it!







Sasha is another new little bean and was once is still a regular customer. She is an amazing Halloween nut and has costumes galore as you can see here...great work Sasha!

Tatatada!!!
Bethany what's that under your shirt?


As you can see, Bethany is pregnant. However, this was just a test with a jacket under her shirt. The little one is now just starting show itself! We are all super duper excited and Bethany is great about belly rubs!

Please note that I have included Piet at the end here in her superhero mode because that is just what she is around here!!!


Thanks to all the little beans for all that you do every day to make this such a great place to be!!!

As always, happy knitting and crocheting (sewing too)!!!

Jeanne

PS It's time for Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate! JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for...Artyarns giveaways!

As Thanksgiving's epic post-feast glaze settles over us, we couldn't help but take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we've been over the last year. Here at Jimmy Beans Wool, the Beans have lots to share!

"I am very thankful not to have a stuffy nose so far this holiday season. More importantly, I am thankful for my ridiculously awesome family, the amazing workplace I get to go to every day, and my spectacularly fantastical co-workers who also happen to be some of my bestest friends. I am also thankful for ruffle yarn.... but that is least important." - Leanne


"I’m thankful that my 2 year old has transitioned from screaming all of the time to talking and singing all of the time!!! (and that he is potty trained. It makes all of us much, much happier!)"- Laura

"I'm thankful beyond words for all the wonderful people I have in my life this year! Especially all the super fantastic people I work with, the new friends I've made this year, my family including the grandbaby soon to be and the awesome man in my life. There are no words to express how I feel, as I tried to find some I found only tears of gratitude."-Terry


Shawl for All Seasons Kit
"I am thankful for my family's good health which is most important of all. I am also grateful to my supportive husband and best friend, Elliot, and my 2 wonderful boys, actually men now, who I love and treasure more than anything else in this world.

I am also thankful for the opportunity to work at something I am super-passionate about. On a daily basis I try to spread the word how using luxury yarn such as Artyarns in hand knitting produces optimal results. My goal is to inspire knitters of all levels to try their hand at the craft and not to give up, and I believe if they use beautiful yarn that has lovely hand and drape, they will be encouraged to continue. And their friends will follow in their footsteps....and the cycle will continue.

I am thankful to Laura, Bethany, and the rest of the staff at Jimmy Beans for their incredible support of our brand, and the way they share our passion in making our yarns available to knitters around the world." - Iris, Artyarns


And we couldn't be more grateful to Iris for creating such fantastic yarn! To celebrate the holiday, we are giving away on of her precious Shawl for All Seasons kits in one of the new colors, either Red Carpet or Purple Velvet! Each kit includes a large skein of Silk Rhapsody Glitter Light and 4 small skeins of the Beaded Silk & Sequins Light, and calls for size US 9 needles for the knit pattern, or US I for the crochet version. It includes directions for both crochet and knit versions.


For a chance to win this kit, please leave a comment here telling us what you are thankful for this year by Tuesday, November 29th at 6pm PST. (Only one per person please!) We will announce the winner on Wednesday November 30th.

Thank you, as always, for reading our blog and being such an important part of our lives. We Beans have the best job ever and it's all because of you!


Happy Turkey eating!

Bethany



PS- What am I thankful for this year? I'm thankful for my wonderful husband (just married in August) and for our new bundle of joy that will be here this spring!


PPS- I'm also thankful to be a part of the Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate! JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles!!!

The thing around here of late has to be ruffles!! Ruffles are the word of the day and ruffles are clearly the yarn on manufacturers minds too. There are quite a few different kinds of ruffle yarns on the market, ranging from elegant to fun and whimsical. My first exposure to ruffle yarns was Trendsetter Cha Cha and Cha Cha Print. Then we got Flounce and things just went to ruffles after that. Of course, my new favorite ruffle yarn has to be Kidsilk Haze Creation!!

Rowan's Kidsilk Haze has to be one of my ALL time favorite yarns for many reasons, not the least of which are it's fantastic feel, halo effect and just general quality in such a wonderful, yardage-generous package. Of course, Rowan has added Kidsilk Stripe to their line up and what's not to love there? However, I am on a yarn detour and must get back to the theme of this post, and that is ruffles!!


Leanne is the best ruffle model ever!


What's that? You love ruffles?
As I mentioned, Kidsilk Haze is one of my favorite yarns, but I have to say that Rowan has a real hit with its new Kidsilk Haze Creation!

I grabbed a hank in Dewberry, read the pattern (on the inside of the label), and went to town. The first thing I did was hand wind my yarn to keep it flat and smooth. Then I worked as instructed from the label. I needed a little extra guidance, so I watched Rowan's GREAT instructional video (knitted version). I finished my scarf in just about 40 minutes, but who's counting?

You wouldn't think that 11 yards of anything is much, but this yarn is full of surprises! I will be giving several of the luscious scarves as gifts and stocking up too! Rowan is making this yarn in limited quantities, so I am not going to let it pass me by. I swear that the scarf Leanne is modeling really is from just one hank!!

I have a million ideas on how I want to use this yarn and my next scarf will be in Jelly and Dewberry held together. What do you think? The other idea I had was to use the yarn as cuffs and collar edging on a sweater, but I have to find the right sweater to work with.

I am thinking a fun trip to my favorite thrift store is in order for that one. What would you like to do with this lovely yarn? I sure would love to hear your creative ideas and hope you will consider giving this fantastic new yarn a try. It's rufflicious!!!

Note that we have a winner from our SMC Select Silk Wool Giveaway:

Thank you to everyone for leaving your comments for our SMC Select Silk Wool Giveaway! There were so many wonderful comments about what people are asking Santa for that we used a random number generator! Here is the winner of the SMC Select Silk Wool Giveaway:

StaceyD! Below is what she is asking Santa for:

"Sleep and time to knit... In that order. My 6mo old hasn't slept properly in almost two months, so i need the first to recharge the body and the second to recharge the mind."

Congratulations StaceyD! We hope Santa will bring some much needed sleep and time to knit to you! Please email your mailing address and color and size selection to info@jimmybeanswool.com by Wednesday, November 23rd to claim your prize!

Thanks again to Sarah Hatton and SMC Select! We are so fortunate to work with such awesome people!

As always, happy knitting and crocheting!

Jeanne

PS- Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate!
JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Beans for Brains!

Hello knitters and crocheters!

Last year we had over 3,000 applicants for 2010-2011 awards. There were so many amazing applicants we couldn't wait to get started with our 2012-2013 Beans for Brains Scholarship program. And we can't do it without you!!

This year, we have 10 major sponsors that will be matching public donations to the Beans for Brains scholarship fund. For the month of November, Jimmy Beans Wool will be accepting donations online and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU! Each of our sponsors will match the amount raised up to $1,000 for a grand total of $20,000 combined.
So from now through November 30th, be sure to send your family and friends to our website to donate to Beans for Brains (a 501c3 non-profit organization). If every one of our customers gave $1, we'd be well over our goal in no time!! And remember, the more we can raise this month, the more we can give this spring!
Want to apply for a scholarship? Make sure to check back March 1st when we will announce the call for applications for our 2012-2013 awards!!
Please be sure to thank all of the Beans for Brains sponsors! We couldn't do it without them!!




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Springtime Bandit KAL- The end is nigh!

Hello everyone and welcome to the final Springtime Bandit KAL blog post! For those of you who are just now joining us, never fear! I’ll still be posting on the Ravelry group and I'll be available for help and questions for the next month or so. I hope you’ve found the blog posts helpful! If you are just getting started, be sure to check out the blog post tutorial on the Provisional Cast-on used for this pattern. A number of people have found it helpful.
In the meantime, I have a few more WIP’s and an FO to share! Courtney from The Fibre Company is participating in the KAL with us, and she is using a new color of the Fibre Co’s Terra yarn for her shawl. The color is called Belladonna and don’t worry, well be ordering this new color soon! :) Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love it and can’t wait to see it in person!

Courtney's Bandit in "Belladonna"
Also, Forensicgirl on Ravelry, who used to work for us here at Jimmy Beans when she was finishing up her schooling, knitted this gorgeous version in the Fibre Company Terra- Black Walnut. It is shown here being blocked, and it is awesome! Nice work Sara!
Sara's Bandit in "Black Walnut"

Sharon, my JBW Partner in Crime (aka. my co-team lead in Customer Service) is knitting this in a simply amazing color of Malabrigo Twist called Liquidambar. It is truly stunning and this picture doesn't even do it justice. This is Sharon's 2nd Bandit Shawl--she knit one out of Berroco Remix yarn earlier this spring. One could easily knit 2 of these. They move along quite quickly and the pattern is super well-written. Isn't Sharon's 2nd Bandit gorgeous?



Sharon's "Liquidambar" Bandit


Lastly, I am ALMOST finished with mine. I so wanted to be done in time to have it at least blocking for you this week, but time got away from me this last weekend... darn it! Here is the most recent photo I have of it. It is definitely going to be as large as I intended:
Kristen's "Mint" Bandit
A close up of the beginning
of the final chart.

I promise to post FO pics on Ravelry next week. And hopefully I’ll be able to post it on the blog too! In the meantime, if you are participating, feel free to stop by the
Ravelry thread and post a WIP or FO photo, or send me an e-mail with your FO and I can do another post later on! Looking forward to seeing those lovely shawls!
I hope all of you are having a great week! Don’t hesitate to e-mail me with questions or issues with the pattern. I am happy to help! My e-mail is: kristen(at)jimmybeanswool(dot)com.
Thanks to all of you who participated or are still participating in the KAL, and as always, happy knitting!
Kristen
PS- Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate!
JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest blog and giveaway with Sarah Hatton!

Hello and Happy Monday, everyone! We have a special treat for you today. Sarah Hatton, designer for many fashion-forward companies such as Rowan, Patons, Sirdar and Sublime, wanted to tease us about some new and exciting projects she is working on for 2012. She's sent us a little info below (I told you it was a tease)! To help us celebrate her news, we've decided to do a great giveaway!!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As you can see, it's been a beautiful, crisp autumn day here in Yorkshire and as the evenings draw in I find myself more drawn to my own crafting. This week I have just finished designing two new brochures (Vintage Inspired Projects and one that is still a secret!) for SMC Select which will be out in the shops next autumn and so have decided to treat myself with some time out to do my own knitting.





This Christmas my plan is to make all of my gifts. I love the idea of giving something so personal and full of love but am starting to feel that it might have been an ambitious plan when I realized just how close it is and I have only 1 pair of socks completed!

I think at this point I might need to move to some chunkier wool and luckily I have some beautiful SMC Select Tweed Deluxe in my stash. I think a cozy scarf and a simple jacket will be added to the list. For next season, I am working in the Silk Wool and love how clearly stitch detail shows up, so might have to add a piece knitted in this.


Now if only I could knit a computer console for my nephew, I might have Christmas planned! And top of my list to Santa - more hours in the day, obviously!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like I mentioned before, to celebrate Sarah's new adventures, we are doing a sweater kit giveaway. We just love the SMC Silk Wool Holiday Cardigan and the timing seems just about right!

To enter to win this SWEET kit, please leave a comment below telling us what you are asking Santa for this year. Comment before Sunday, November 20th at 6pm PST. We will post the winner on Monday!!


To find out more about Sarah, you can find her here:
http://www.sarahhatton.com/
http://sarahhattonknits.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading! Happy knitting and crocheting!!
Bethany

PS- P.S. Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate!
JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Question and Answer Session

So I’ve been a little bit lazy and haven’t been responding to some of the questions that have been posed to me. So I’ll make an entire blog out of it! No pictures but chock full of information.


Question: I like how you compare everything to stuff in America!! -Mrs. Wakefields class :)

This isn’t a question, but this definitely deserves a response. I figure everybody needs a gauge to see how things compare. I can only make things relative to things I think other people will probably know. And things that I know back home to describe how I feel. I actually did not even realize I did that so much in the post you all commented on until I read it over. So, if said in sarcasm – Sorry. But, if said with appreciation – I guess I make things more relatable than realized! I’ll probably still do it.

Question: James wants to know if you have found any roast chicken Doritos? – Yun

In short: No. But I’ll keep a look out. I’m not looking too hard, but I haven’t seen any Doritos here actually. I just talked to a friend and she said that she saw some Doritos in the foreign section (weird to think of the US as foreign right?) at the large store we shop at sometimes. I’ll look there!

Question: Can you post three (or more):-) street scenes that we would NOT see in the United States? Just random, you are walking down the street and **This is not something you would see in the US!!

From Mrs. Wakefield

Absolutely. In the process of taking a ton of pictures for you now. It will be a blog just full of pictures and captions. No eta yet but definitely within the next few weeks. Which is all I have left. =P But I can do multiple scavenger hunts at once if you have more requests in the meantime!

Question: How are the schools of China different than in their US counterparts? (architecturally and curriculum wise):)

Architecturally, schools are right smack dab in the middle of bustling neighborhoods. They look just like the surrounding buildings, with shops and restaurants that are convenient to access especially for older students. Look for the blog with my next scavenger hunt request and I'll include what schools look like, at least from the outside. Most are gated to protect the students and buildings though, which I feel like you don’t see in Reno unless you are at a charter or private school.

Curriculum wise, I actually don't really know. As I am just learning Mandarin, I'm not nearly proficient enough to be in a course taught in Chinese. However, from what I've gathered from some Chinese people that I've met, curriculum is very strict. Once you pick a course of study, you are restricted to a certain track of classes. You are told by instructors how things are, memorization is a must, critical thinking and interpretation are not necessarily encouraged. That is starting to change a little bit. Curriculum is a little more free, students are taught to think for themselves a little bit more.

But if there is one thing that I know for sure, this is a society that learns how to test and how to test well. Curriculum is not only strict but heavily focused on passing international and national standardized tests. The higher you score, the better the university you can be accepted into. For rural students, this usually means prestige for your family and sometimes within your entire village. For urban students, this is really about the competition of being the best.

School days and weeks are really long. We see students in their school uniforms walking around 6 days a week from 8 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’ clock at night or later. College students are not to party, but they are expected to study – study late and study hard. For us in America, it is common to get a part time job in college and even in high school. However, here, while you are a student – all you are is a student. Rarely do you see students working here in China. There is no time for anything else. But I gotta say, as an Asian American back in the US, my parents also discourage me from having a job while I am in school. But things are little different for expectations in the US, especially if you want to continue studying at higher levels. A little bit of my hybrid culture.

I think those were all the questions. Keep them coming!

Ailene

PS - If any of my Chengdu friends have anything to add or contradict, especially those of you who are teaching right now, feel free. I am definitely not always correct and these are based on my impressions.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zara giveaway winners!

Thanks everyone for leaving your comments! There were too many good ones to choose from, so I used a random number generator! Here are the winners:


Patty W: 

I'm really into making scarves, shawls, and cowls right now. I would probably make a yummy cowl.


Holly:
If I were to win the 5 balls of Zara, I think I would be completely selfish for once and make myself a lovely cowl. I have made so many beautiful scarves, cowls, blankets, shawls....the list goes on...but I make something and give it as a gift. If I win....this one is for ME!

Congratulations Patty and Holly! Please email your mailing address and color selection to Giveaway@jimmybeanswool.com by Monday November 14th to claim your prize!

Thanks again to Stacy and the entire Filatura di Crosa and Tahki team (you too, Jan!)  We are so fortunate to work with such lovely people! 

Happy Knitting!
Bethany



P.S. Beans for Brains 2012 Scholarship Program! Don't just apply- Donate!
JBW and 9 other sponsors will be matching YOUR donations dollar for dollar during the month of November (each sponsor will be matching up to $1,000 each, for a total of $10,000) to the Beans for Brains Scholarship fund. We will be accepting donations here and in our retail store with the targeted goal of raising $10,000 from all of YOU for a total of $20,000 in awards!! Together, we can help Craft a Higher Education! Track your donations on our Beans for Brains Facebook page!!