Whew! It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for us here at Jimmy Beans, primarily due to one very exciting new development- the release of our book Knit Red! For those of you who are not yet familiar with the book, I hope you’ll read on to learn more about it!
Knit Red has been a long time in the making. Back in 2007, I was meeting with my friend Marta McGinnis who also happened to be one of our yarn reps. She had recently suffered a heart attack and had been diagnosed with heart disease. It was a total shock to me that someone so young (she was just barely in her fifties) and so seemingly healthy could already have heart disease! Also earlier that year, my husband Doug, who is extremely active and healthy and also young (in his mid-thirties) had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Marta and I were so amazed to learn that heart disease can affect a wide range of people, not just older men. At that moment, we began to brainstorm ideas to create an awareness campaign in hopes of educating more people about this deadly disease. Sadly, Marta passed away just six months later and for a variety of reasons, our ideas were put on hold for a few years.
In 2010, the timing for something like this just seemed right so I began working again on what has now become the “Stitch Red” campaign. At TNNA in January of 2011, we pitched the idea to our friends in the industry many of whom are vendors and designers. Almost everyone we talked to jumped at the chance to participate whether it be through creating a Stitch Red product to sell or designing something for the Knit Red book. We heard so many personal stories and ties to heart disease from these friends and vendors that we knew that Stitch Red could really work.
SoHo publishing (they publish Vogue Knitting) immediately agreed to help us publish Knit Red. We were so thrilled to see so much support for something that is so near and dear to our hearts- literally!
Next we set out to find a partner in all of this. We loved the Heart Truth campaign (known for their little red dress logo seen on Diet Coke cans) and what they stood for and knew that they would make a natural fit for a partnership in the campaign. The Heart Truth itself is a national awareness campaign that focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle and gives tips to help prevent heart disease. Most importantly, they focus heavily on women and the importance of knowing the individual symptoms which are often very different than in men.
All of the vendors that are participating in Stitch Red are donating at least 5% of the gross profits from that product to the Heart Truth. Jimmy Beans Wool is donating 5% of the gross profits from the Knit Red book as well. Ultimately, we want the entire needle arts industry to get involved including local yarn shops, crocheters, sewers and quilters, and many more. We are already working on a 2nd book that will come out early next year called “Sew Red” which will focus on designs for sewers and quilters.
Knit Red itself features 30 designs knit in red yarns from industry knitwear designers (including two of them who work here at Jimmy Beans- Jeanne and Kristen) and includes items that range from sweaters to accessories to home items. I just love all of the designs in this book. To me it represents the amazing power that we have as knitters to create something meaningful and share that with the world. You can view all of the designs on Ravelry to see what I mean. They are just stunning. I can’t say enough about them. Many of the designs use yarns that are Stitch Red products so when you knit the garment, you can support Stitch Red even more!
I’d really like to thank all of the vendors and designers who have helped make Stitch Red and Knit Red happen. It really couldn’t have without the enormous amount of support we received from this industry. Also, this entire campaign could not have happened without Marta. Her support of this campaign meant a lot to me, and I miss her everyday. Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you, all of our wonderful customers, for supporting the Stitch Red campaign. It means a lot to us that you continue to encourage and support what we do!
With that I’d like to give away a signed copy of Knit Red. Please leave us a comment on this blog post telling us your reason for supporting Stitch Red or what your favorite design from the book is. Even if you’ve already bought a copy, feel free to enter and win one to give to a friend or family member. We’ll randomly select a winner and announce it in the blog post on Friday, June 8th. Please leave your comment by Thursday, 6/7 at 11pm PST.
Thanks so much to all of you again for your support and of course, happy knitting!
Laura (aka. Jimmy)