Monday, January 30, 2012

Stitch Red is a hit at TNNA!!!

 I am one lucky little bean! I got to tag along to TNNA and help spread the word about Stitch Red!! I can't tell you how exciting it was to be at the event and then to have such a wonderful, enthusiastic response to the project. Well, just knock me over with a feather!

Graphic Tunic
 by Daniela Johannsenova
I was, unfortunately, star-struck and didn't think to start taking pictures until late into Saturday. Sorry! I met Iris Schreier (Artyarns) and her husband Elliot! Super, super neat people! I met Sharon the owner of Lantern Moon and had a real blast! I also hung out with Nadine, the owner of Be Sweet, and all of these ladies are AMAZING!!


I did a get a shot of Iris's sweater designed by Daniela Johannsenova from the Knit Red book in the fashion show and I have to say that I can't wait to work it up with those fantastic yarns of hers!


What a doll Ysolda is!!



I met Ysolda who is also in the book and she is just as sweet as she is cute! I am so privileged to say that she signed a copy of her about-to-be-released Whimsical Little Knits 3 book for Sandy and me...YIPPPEEE!!! Thanks Ysolda!!! You will want this fantastic little treasure for your library for sure!







Don't kill me, Diane. It was
Jimmy who took the pic :)

I ran into Diane Soucy and Renie of Knitting Pure and Simple. They were having a blast!! I touched base with them at the Bryson booth and we had a good little chat! 


If you haven't knit one of Diane's patterns you are missing a great experience!!!





Norah is super sweet!
I met Norah Gaughn and she is super sweet and humble about her talent. She is also featured in the Knit Red book. Norah is Berroco's head designer and they had the samples from her newest publication, Vol 10.

It was so neat to see them worked up and I will have a hard time not casting on soon...sigh. I have some finishing to do first.





I have to say it was a really successful trip and I can't wait to see what all of the wonderful folks come up with as their products to add to the Stitch Red campaign.  Here is a shot of Leanne just being, well, Leanne! She was so much fun to travel with and room with. That's why we call her LeAwesome around here!


As always, happy knitting, crocheting and sewing!

Jeanne

PS Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing!  To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog interview with Brett Bara of "Knit and Crochet Now" and "Sewing in a Straight Line"

Brett in her sewing room.
Recently our fearless leader, Laura, attended the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX where she ran into none other than Brett Bara who was there promoting her new book "Sewing in a Straight Line". Brett is one of the hosts of "Knit and Crochet Now" on PBS, former editor of Crochet Today magazine, and writer of a wonderful blog: Manhattan Craft Room.  We asked her to do a blog interview with us and she agreed!  Here is what she had to say about her projects: 

JBW: Can you give us a super quick description of Knit and Crochet Now and how you get started in television?

Brett:  Knit and Crochet Now is a TV series all about (you guessed it!) knitting and crocheting. It airs on PBS and is produced by the yarn maven Candi Jensen.  We focus on teaching viewers how to do a little bit of everything, so no matter what your skill level or particular interest within the crafts, there should be something for everyone.

One of Brett's cute Crochet designs!
I got started as the host of the show because when it launched I was the editor in chief of Crochet Today magazine, and the magazine and show were created by the same team, so it ended up being a natural fit that I became the host of the show. I definitely never thought I would work in television, but it's fun!

JBW: What's your favorite part about writing your blog, Manhattan Craft Room? 
Her awesome new book!

Brett: I love sharing what I make with the internet, and as a result being part of the online conversation about crafts and DIY. Having a blog is a little bit like having your own personal magazine, which is just fun. My absolute favorite thing is when one of my posts inspires someone else to make something, and then they share their results with me. It's the best feeling in the world to know you've helped someone else have a good creative experience.

 
JBW: As an independent writer, designer, spokesperson and consultant as well as TV personality, do you have any advice for folks out there seeking to make a living doing what they love? 

Brett:  My best advice is to just follow your passions and try not to let fear stand in the way of doing what you love. Just go for it and keep putting what you want to do out there; eventually it will lead you where you want to go. It also helps to network a ton and make as many friends as you can within your field. Join groups, comment on blogs, make yourself part of the conversation--it does wonders!


And now for the fun part!   We asked Brett a few more personal questions about herself.  Here is what she had to say:


Shirred Dress

JBW: Where did you grow up? 

Brett: A small town in western Pennsylvania, out in the country. My parents are both very crafty, handy, do-it-yourself kind of people so I grew up in a house where we made everything ourselves, which I really appreciate today.


JBW: What time do you start work? 

Throw Pillow
Brett: Well.... I wake up around 9:30 most days and generally make it to my work room between 10 and 11am. Sometimes I start working right away but other days I just check my email then head off to go do a project, run errands, go to meetings or cook stuff. Sometimes I end up back at the computer and work as late as 2am, other times not. I try to allow myself the freedom to be flexible and work when I need to, and take time to do whatever else when I can. That's the beauty of being self-employed, and I believe it's really important for the creative process, so I try to keep it flexible!


JBW:  Do you watch the Superbowl? If so, who's your team? 

Brett:  Absolutely, positively not! I run screaming from any and all sporting events. :)


Simple Skirt
JBW: Tell us about your previous life (you know, before the crafting business): 

Brett: Magazine editor and freelance writer for men's and women's mags. Out of college, I started working in magazine publishing right away, but for the first 7 years of my career I worked for men's and women's mags like Details and Marie Claire, mostly freelance.  Eventually one day I randomly got an opportunity at a position as a craft editor, which was the first time I was able to combine my love of crafts with my professional career in magazines. From there everything fell into place. I eventually got the position as Editor in Chief of Crochet Today magazine, which helped me establish enough connections in the craft world that I was able to eventually transition to the career I have now.


Nesting Bowls
JBW: Which is your favorite medium- knitting, crocheting or sewing? 

Brett: I can't choose! I love them all! Though I have to admit that unfortunately I tend to get a lot of hand and wrist pain, and knitting and crocheting tend to exacerbate the problem, whereas sewing does not. So these days I do more sewing than anything else. I go in waves though, so I'm sure that will continue to wax and wane over the years.



JBW: Any new hobbies?: 

Brett: Amateur electrician. I recently moved into a new apartment and have been working on beefing up my handyman skills. Lately I've been installing new light fixtures, which is terrifying but also makes me very, very proud! 


JBW: First album you ever bought:  

Brett: Michael Jackson Thriller, of course!


JBW: Dream Job?: 
One of Brett's beautiful Jello molds!

Brett: Starting my own craft magazine. 


JBW: Little Known Fact:  

Brett: I'm a total hermit and I need to force myself to leave the house every so often.


JBW: I noticed the food tab in your website. Do you consider yourself a foodie?  

Brett: I'm a bit obsessed with food. I cook a lot - one of my favorite things is to cook dinner, sometimes I'll cook something really elaborate even if it's just for myself. I love to bake and make desserts too; I'm totally into Jello molds lately, and in the past I used to make wedding cakes. 


JBW: Biggest Accomplishment: 

Brett: Supporting myself doing what I love in New York City!

Thanks so much Brett for participating in our fun blog interview!  If anyone is interested in learning more about Brett's projects, feel free to check out the links below:


Website/Blog: www.brettbara.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crafty-Brett-Bara/128412487195272
Twitter: @brettbara

Happy Friday everyone!
Kristen

PS.  Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing!  To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Casting on- The Swans Island KAL begins!

Well, here we are folks!  Week One of the Swans Island Knit-a-long!  We've experienced a huge response to this KAL! I am trying to get an idea of how many people we have participating this time around, so if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment letting me know that you are here (or on Ravelry if you are participating there) just so I can get a head count, that would be awesome!  You can leave an anonymous comment if you'd like.  I don't mind! :) I am so excited to have all of you join us!

First, I want to give you all an update on the shipping status of the Anna Cowl patterns and kits. We underestimated the number of folks who would be interested in the KAL, so we've ordered more patterns and should be receiving enough copies to fill your backorders by 1/30/12.  If you are itching to get started (I know I would be), please call our customer service gals at: (877) 529-5648 and let them know that you would like to have your order sent with a photo copy of the pattern. If you've ordered the pattern without the yarn, just request that a PDF be e-mailed to you.  We have received permission from Swans Island to distribute the patterns this way until the hard copies arrive.  Once they do, we'll still send you the hard copy from Swans Island as well.  We just don't want to delay anyone's progress!  (Also, don't forget-- if you haven't ordered your Anna Cowl kit yet, they are 20% off right now through the middle of February!)





Now onto the knitting!  I cast on last weekend and I have to admit that I was a bit stumped by the provisional cast-on described in the pattern.  I am a visual learner and the written instructions just don't always work for me.  In my impatience, I cast on using another provisional cast on that I have a feeling I will regret doing later.  It works fine and yields the same result, but can be a bit tough to take out.





So, to help you all, I found this awesome you tube video that shows very clearly how to do the provisional cast on used in the pattern.  I hope this helps all of you get started!



Also, here is a picture of my progress.  I'm about finished with the middle section of garter stitch and am about to start the first side of lace pattern!  I love the way the Swans Island Worsted feels on my fingers!  So soft!

Thanks for checking in this week and don't forget you can e-mail me directly with any questions: kristen@jimmybeanswool.com or visit the Ravelry Thread if you haven't already.  The lovely designer, Breean Elyse Miller will be stopping in there from time to time.  If you like her design and want to see some of her other work, check out her blog as well!  See you all next week, and don't forget to leave me a little hello comment so I know you are here!:)

Happy knitting,
Kristen

PS.  Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Sandy and I got a present from Jimmy...



Jimmy, aka Laura, just came back from Vogue Knitting Live in New York and I am in awe of the time that was had by Laura and Kaity!!! They went to get the word out on our Stitch Red campaign! There were events, charity auctions and so much more!

The book, titled Knit Red, will be coming out in June and so many wonderful people were excited to hear about it at the event that they wanted to be on board.There are a couple of things in the book that are near and dear to us here at JBW as Kristen, Sandy and I are all in the book!!!

Kristen designed the most wonderful market bag, I designed a special spa set (for use after a workout, remember we are working on fighting heart disease) and Sandy got to test knit the most lovely shawl designed by Kieran Foley...sigh!


The book proof!! Woohoo!



Here is a proof of the upcoming book and I am so thrilled to be involved that words just won't do!!


My humble spa set :)

Kristen's spectacular market bag!

Kieran Foley's shawl that Sandy knit...yummy!

























I am excited to knit Kristen's Market Bag and am having a hard time waiting for the pattern to be published!!

Of course, there isn't much in the book that I don't like....hmmmm actually I love everything!!



There are 30 designs in the book, all from amazing designers (if I do say so myself. Ha ha)!!

Laura also went to the trouble to get some superstar signatures on the Charity Auction Programs for Sandy and me....WOW!!!

Alice Starmore signed 1st, then there are Debbie Bliss, Sarah Hutton, Kaffe Fasset, Nicky Epstein and a whole bunch more. Thanks, thanks, thanks Laura! I know that these will be treasured by both of us forever!! We will both be framing them and hanging them up for inspiration!!

All in all, the event was more than a success in so many ways. Remember that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Exercise and diet are the best ways to fight this disease. You can read more about this silent killer here at The Heart Truth. Believe me, being part of this project has opened my eyes!!

Sandy's lovely collection!

Jeanne's collection...swoon!

I have added walking (how simple is that?) to my daily routine and am always working on my diet. I am finding it easier and easier to make those healthy choices.

As always happy knitting, crocheting and sewing!

Jeanne

PS Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!

Friday, January 20, 2012

FO Friday and WIP Weekend!

Happy Friday! We made it through another week! It's been a bit crazy this week as we attended Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, where we introduced our new project--Stitch Red. Some of the Beans, including Jimmy herself, are currently in Phoenix, AZ for TNNA today! So many exciting things happening around here! We are all just trying to keep up!

Speaking of keeping up, we have so many new Beans around here and almost all of them are knitters! Even our newest knitters have been making their needles click at the speed of light, producing some amazing and beautiful knitted items. On that note, I thought I would share some of our newest Customer Service Beans with you today!

Rachel came to us after years of working in archaeology. She was so excited about turning her passion (knitting) into a career and thank goodness she turned to us! We are so lucky to have her knitting expertise. She knit a Honey Cowl (one of Madelinetosh's free patterns) for her sister-in-law for Christmas and almost didn't send it to her. She loved it so much that she decided to make one for herself. She is using Tosh Vintage in Opaline--isn't it gorgeous?!? (Also, yes, that is a "Rusted Root" top she is wearing in the background! Her collection of knitted garments is seriously impressive!)




Another of our newest Beans, Casey, who recently learned how to knit, has been creating all kinds of wonderful items! She has been drawn to the simple yet beautiful aesthetic of Churchmouse's patterns. She is currently knitting a pair of Welted Fingerless Gloves. In fact, here is the first one already finished in Madelinetosh's Tosh Vintage in Alizarin!



She also recently finished knitting an Annabella's Cowl out of Tosh DK in Parchment paired with Debbie Bliss's Angel in Ecru. She was all smiles as she showed it off to me-- isn't it beautiful? It's really the perfect accessory! I am so impressed with all of our new little Beans and their amazing knitting skills!



Ok, so now it's time to announce the winner of the Swan's Island Giveaway!  Drumroll please..... and the winner is commenter #32- Andi who said, "Pick just one color? Seriously?  That's mean... ;)  But I guess it would be Beetroot.  Gorgeous yarn!!!  I will definitely have to try it out if I don't win!"  Well Andi, you did win!  Please e-mail me directly at: kristen@jimmybeanswool.com to claim your prize.  (Thanks to the random number generator at random.org for picking our winner for us!)

Also, for those of you participating in the KAL, we have more of the Anna Cowl pattern and some more of the out of stock colors of the worsted on order and it should arrive next week.  Don't worry about getting a late start--this pattern should be a quick knit!  If you've already got your kit on order, that batch of patterns should arrive today and your orders will ship right away!  We've had such a great response to this KAL--I am so excited to start knitting!

Thanks everyone for tuning in this week for FOs and WIPs. Next week's post will be baby-centered as we all gear up for Bethany's baby shower this weekend! I can't wait to see what all the Beans come up with to give to the little bean in the oven. I'm sure it will all be adorable!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy Knitting,
Kristen

PS. Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sad news...

Yesterday we lost a loyal, hard working bean. Since you are all part of our family, we had to share it with you. Wiley, one of the dog mascots you see around the site, passed away suddenly. We are all devastated by the loss. Of course our head Beans, Laura and Doug, are the most affected, as is Buddy, Wiley's pal for his whole life. Thankfully, Huck is a bit small (2 1/2) to truly grasp the loss, but is still confused.




Wiley will be missed, but will be remembered fondly for his terrific personality, beauty and true loving nature.

No words...Jeanne

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Extra, Extra Read All About it--Swans Island KAL and a Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am so excited today I can hardly stand it! We are starting a new Knit-A-Long next week (on 1/25/2012) with Swans Island yarns! We started carrying Swans Island's beautiful yarns back in October of last year, and I have been wanting to host a KAL ever since I saw the Anna Cowl pattern. Delicate and lovely, yet practical and warm, this cowl has everything I look for in a knit-- simplicity, with a little something interesting. I just love it and I hope you all will join me!

Swan's Island in "Garnet"
Swans Island yarns is a small, all natural hand-dye company based in Swan's Island in Maine. All of their yarns are made of 100% Organic Merino Wool and dyed with natural dyes and processes. The colors are truly stunning. So stunning, in fact, that I have already had my color picked out for months, the beautiful berry-toned Garnet color. The rich almost-red shades are balanced out well with vibrant pinkish tones. The Anna Cowl pattern takes just two skeins of Swans Island Worsted, and I can hardly wait to cast on! I might even jump the gun a little bit and get started over the weekend so that I have something to show you in that first KAL post. If you want to learn more about Swans Island Yarns, check out their website here, or click here for a look at their other awesome designs.

Anna Cowl
For those of you who aren't familiar with Knit-A-Longs, here is an overview. Knit-A-Longs (or KALs) are project-based knitting circles. You can host them either in person with your local knitting groups or online with knitters all over the world--this one is the latter. Everyone knits the same pattern at the same time, so when issues arise, you have a whole group of knitters who can help you through it. For the Jimmy Beans hosted KALs, I have started a Ravelry Thread on our Jimmy Beans Wool group page and will be posting there regularly. I will also be checking it several times daily to support you all in any way I can. If you are on Ravelry and want to participate, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact me either on the thread or by message. My Ravelry name is "Marinade." If you are not on Ravelry and will just be following the blog, feel free to e-mail me directly with any inquiries: kristen@jimmybeanswool.com. There is no pressure to post anything or show off pictures of your knitted work (although we always love when you do). Basically, it's just a friendly community of knitters, who are all excited about knitting the same project together!

An added benefit of participating in the KAL is that the kit is on sale on our site this month as the Kit-of-the-Month (through mid-February) for 20% off! What a deal!

Now for the best part! The kind folks at Swans Island have donated a kit to give away to one lucky winner! Please leave a comment by 12 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Friday 1/20 letting us know what your favorite Swans Island color is, and we'll choose a winner later that morning and announce it in Friday's blog post. We'll ship the kit as soon as we hear from the winner, so that he or she will receive it in time to participate in the KAL! Fun stuff! (Please only one comment per person, we will be choosing a winner at random.)

***Edit- 1/20/12*** Thank you so much for entering the Swans Island Anna Cowl Kit giveaway.  We've already chosen our winner.  Please see today's post for the announcement!  Thank you!

Well, thanks so much for checking in today! I hope to see and hear from you all during the KAL and best of luck to those participating in the giveaway! I'll be back next Wednesday with our first official Swans Island KAL post!

Happy knitting!
Kristen

PS. Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Jeanne's fav's for 2011


Here we are well into 2012...okay maybe only 16 days in, but there are already so many new yarns and projects to consider that my head is spinning for 2012. However, I think you might agree with me that there are always a few favorites which we turn to as much as we can and I thought I would share some of mine from 2011.

Tosh Vintage "Crumble"
1. Madelinetosh (any weight and almost ALL the colors) and I just can't say enough about the quality of this yarn. I would remind everyone that this wonderful line of yarns does NOT have dye lots and that is because each hank is dyed on it's own. Now that doesn't mean that you can't work up an entire garment out of one color (Please call us. We will look at them for you), it just means that you should enter this special world of unique colors with limited expectations and I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised. I did say any weight and that is true, but I do have a favorite and that has to be the Vintage, due to the amazing quality of the base. The ply is firm and creates lovely stitch definition for any kind of a project that needs a worsted weight yarn. I also said most of the colors and that too is true, but of course I have a couple of favorites in each base. I am afraid there isn't enough room here to mention them all, so here are just a few:

-Tosh Vintage in "Crumble"
-Tosh Merino Light in "Black Velvet" 
Vail
-Tosh Prairie in "Terrarium"



2. Has to be the Classic Elite Vail, and of course it is a fingering weight (which might deter some), but it has a fabulous hand and works up beautifully! The blend of Alpaca and Bamboo lends this yarn to anything that you want to have a fluid drape...yummy!



3. This one is a real work horse in the yarn world and I love to work with it and it is Cascade's Eco Wool! This is by no means a new yarn, but I have used it (am using it) on several projects this year and have fallen in love all over again! Here you can see my Umaro by Jared Flood and I have added another repeat and a half to this...which is for my daughter and her new husband...shhhhh!

If you are interested in the project details check those out here.


DeAire
4. I love working with super bulky yarns and I have to say that I am excited about the Plymouth DeAire!! It has a lovely lofty woven ply and calls for a US 15 needle, so what's not to love here? It has a lovely feel in the hank and works up with great stitch definition and FAST!! I am particularly fond of color 705 Portland, but any of you who know me are aware of my lust for anything green.


Wild Onion


5. Last but not least is The Fibre Company Acadia...ooohhhh so yummy and super soft and luscious to the touch. The fiber content is amazing, 60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca and 20% Silk and with it's lovely 'slubby' texture this yarn has real personality! I know I mentioned my green fetish, but my favorite (at least for now LOL) is the Wild Onion in this line. It is so pretty and I know this onion won't make me cry.


Okay I have only mentioned 5 of my fav's in this post and I have to say that I am constantly touching something as I cruise through the shop and oohhing and awwwing, but these are foremost in my mind at the time of this writing...who knows what it will be tomorrow ha ha! Be sure you check out the pattern support for all of these lovelies and for now I need to go knit, so I can calm down!  Also, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what your favorite yarn was this last year!

As always happy knitting, crocheting and of course now sewing! (for those of you following the quilting saga don't worry there is more coming soon on our adventure)

Jeanne

Check it out:

Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns at www.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!





Friday, January 13, 2012

FO Friday and WIP Weekend!



Happy Friday everyone! I hope this Friday the 13th finds you all well and free of any superstition or strange happenings. I know I am looking forward to the weekend and planning my knitting time out. I am hoping to finish a few fun items for an upcoming baby shower... I'm in the home stretch now!


As for FO's this week, we've got my Springtime Bandit Shawl from the KAL we hosted back in November. I knit it out of The Fibre Co. Terra yarn in the Mint color and I managed to finish it in time to give it to my Mother-in-Law as a Christmas gift. She literally squealed when she opened the package. I think she liked it. :) Anyway, here are some photos of me modeling it just before I wrapped it up for her. (Please never mind the blurry photos and the fact that I look exhausted. These photos were taken late at night during a marathon knitting session. The lighting in our bathroom was not kind to me.)

This project is Raveled here. I did make a couple of modifications to make it bigger. In retrospect, I probably only needed to do one extra body section repeat as the finished shawl was quite large. C'est la vie! It still turned out gorgeous!




In WIPs this week, we have two projects by Shevawn! She's made it her goal this year to finish up all of the WIPs floating around her house so that she can work on new projects guilt-free. I envy her tenacity! I know I am trying to do the same without much progress. :)
Shevawn is currently trying to finish her Shawl Collared Cowl by Never Not Knitting in the Misti Alpaca Landscape Collection. Although this collection of colors is discontinued, the regular Misti Alpaca Hand-Paints have plenty of gorgeous colors to choose from such as: Havasu, Faberge, or Macbeth. I really love this cowl pattern too. It's a fairly quick and easy knit and it only takes 2 skeins of this yarn!
Her other project is her Rowan Lima "Guernsey Wrap" by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. You may all remember Sharon's Guernsey Wrap that she knit last year out of Misti Alpaca "Best of Nature Worsted" Yarn. Well, her wrap was so stunning that Shevawn had to cast on as well in this lovely color of Rowan Lima. The color is discontinued, but there are plenty of other lovely colors to choose from. The gold color suits her well and I can't wait until she walks into work wearing it! So pretty!
So that's it for this weeks FO's and WIPs! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Happy knitting,
Kristen
PS. Jimmy Beans Wool is the official yarn, knitting and crochet supplier to U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing! To encourage people to be creative on and off the slopes, we have partnered with Red Heart® yarns to create “Stitch Mountain." Check out the free Stitch Mountain patterns atwww.jimmybeanswool.com/StitchMountain and like our Facebook Fan Page!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Working with Hand Dyed Yarns

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! This week, as I have been knitting away on my Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, I have been contemplating hand dyed yarns and how they can be a bit tricky to work with as a novice knitter. I am not what you would consider a novice, but I am a staunchly lazy knitter in that I rarely (until recently) give much thought to how a garment will turn out when working with hand-dyed yarns. I often find myself blissfully knitting along without a care in the world and paying no mind to how the colors look from one skein to the next. Some knitters might find this appalling, but not me--I am pretty laid back about the whole thing.

I realize though, that this isn't the case for many knitters and I completely understand why. You put all of those hours and hard work into your knitted garments and you want them to turn out as close to perfect as possible. Hand-dyed yarns, although beautiful, can sometimes foil this plan. They don't have to though, and these videos: Hand Dyed Yarn 101 and 102 starring our very own Jeanne Giles of Battle Born Knits are super helpful in preventing a project meltdown. Take a look:





I hope you found these videos as useful as I did. I may actually decide to stop being so lazy with my next hand-dyed yarn project and try some of these out! Also, if you have a second, leave us a comment and let us know what you think about working with hand-dyed yarns! Do you have any helpful tips and tricks to share?

Hope you all have a great rest of your week!
Kristen

PS. Have you seen our latest catalog yet? It’s 48 pages of pure, 100% Rowan.
Visit jimmybeanswool.com/catalog to sign up for your free copy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's Quilt!!



As you may have noticed, we have added tons of lovely fabric to our inventory and, being who we are, we've been oohhing and aahhing all over the place! Fun projects have been dancing around in all of our heads and thanks to Sandy's encouragement, Laura and I decided to make our first quilts. Of course I right away thought of you all out there and decided to share this fun process. Sandy is a super experienced quilter and I am a pretty experienced seamstress, BUT Laura has never sewn a stitch, so you will get the entire spectrum of experiences from these posts. We are starting with a very simple strip quilt by Joel Dewberry from the book Sewn Spaces. I must say I am super excited!!!


Laura can hardly concentrate on work and Sandy (who is our instructor for this project) is already getting hers a few steps ahead of us. While I have sewn everything from soup to nuts (LOL), I have always avoided quilting because I thought it was too hard. I had to remind myself that I am always telling you all to give it a shot with your knitting and it's about time I take my own advice!!


So, on to step one; choosing our fabrics:

Here we are with our pile of options for this project. These stayed here for a week. Our assignment was to walk by the quilts every day and look at the fabrics.

We all did that and wait until you see our final choices next week...you will be surprised!

Our next steps will be to cut the fabric, wash it, trim all the threads and then iron each piece really well.

Below you can see Sandy being a show off (okay, okay she is the instructor so does need to be prepared :) Her project is moving forward nicely.

She is using:

Melissa White, Misaki Mallow and Bee
Kaffe Fassett, Classics Roman Glass

Kaffe Fassett, Classics Lotus Leaf
Kaffe Fassett, Classics Millefiore
Brandon Malby, Shingles



Stay tuned for more, and as always happy knitting, crocheting and sewing!!

Jeanne

P.S. Have you seen our latest catalog yet? It’s 48 pages of pure, 100% Rowan. Visit www.jimmybeanswool.com/catalog to sign up for your free copy!