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Jimmy Beans Wool October 2006 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Focus on: Knitting Backwards
  • Free Pattern: Dot's Big Baby Booties
  • October Kit of the Month: Touch Me Cabled Scarf
  • The Crochet Corner
  • Just in - New Big Baby Colors, Big & Little Snugs, & Safari Friends!
  • Coming Soon - More Lantern Moon Bags
  • Classes - Truckee and Reno

Click on any highlighted text to view the item in our online store!

Knitting Backwards

Knitting Backwards? I had never heard of such a thing! Our resident knitting guru Allison told me about this technique while I was working on my Entrelac Shawl.

Entrelac consists of knitting across a few stitches (8, in my case) and then turning the work over and purling across those stitches again (there's a little bit of magic done also, but this is the basic idea). As you're doing this, you'll notice that you're constantly flipping your work over. You're on the right side (RS) for 8 stitches, then on the wrong side (WS) for 8 stitches. This turning can get kinda tiring, especially as the work grows in length and weight. Given that, an alternative to flipping your work to the purl side is to Knit Backwards!

So, how do we do this? The key is to think in reverse:

  • Instead of working from the right to the left, you'll work from the left to the right
  • Instead of inserting the needle from the right to the left, you'll insert it from the left to the right.
  • Instead of knitting the stitches off the left needle onto the right needle, you will be knitting from the right needle onto the left needle!
    

Step 1: In these pictures, I've just finished knitting the purple section (the section that my right hand is touching) and now need to turn it around and purl it. Instead of purling, though, I'm going to knit it backwards.


    

Step 2: Insert the left needle into the end stitch on the right needle. Notice that I am coming from the left hand side of the stitch.


    

Step 3: Throw your yarn over the left needle, in a counterclockwise fashion.


    

Step 4: Pull that yarn back through the end stitch as usual.


    

Step 5: Slip the newly created stitch off of the right needle, onto the left needle! You have just knitted a stitch backwards!


    

Step 6: I'm repeating Step 2 here on the last of my 8 purple stitches.

So, grab some yarn and give it a shot - you never know when you'll need to knit backwards!!

Free Pattern - Dot's Big Baby Booties

This month, we've decided to add the directions for a set of Baby Booties to our catalog of complimentary patterns. To create the booties as shown, you'll need 1 hank of Muench Big Baby yarn - a machine washable acrylic that has been flying off of the shelves for the past 6 months. Soft and snuggly (& a great price), you can knit up baby gifts in a jiffy! The color shown is 5507 (which has just been discontinued, of course), but these booties are just as gorgeous in all of their colors. Thanks, Dot, for writing this pattern!

Scarf Scarf Scarf Scarf

Kit of the month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...

This month's featured kit is the Muench Touch Me Cabled Scarf. Using my favorite pattern from Pam Allen's Scarf Style, the kit (w/o the book) is regularly $75 for solid colors ... on sale for $63.75!! There is also the option to purchase the book at a discount. Please note that Touch Me Due colors are slightly more expensive & you'll need a cable needle and US 8 or 9 needles.

Touch Me Cabled

As a sidelight, I love Touch Me. Even though the scarf takes 5 balls to make, it only took me 5 nights -- i finished 1 ball per night. It's hard to see in the picture above, but the Touch Me Due actually stripes a little bit in this scarf. It's very subtle, but interesting and full of depth. This is definitely one of my favorite projects, so check out just a few of the colors that we have in stock:



As many of you know, Touch Me never ever goes on sale, but we wanted to showcase a project this month that is extra special (and that many of you love!). If you order the kit before Nov 1, you've got plenty of time to finish before the Holidays - whether you're giving this scarf to a loved one - or simply indulging in some knitting for yourself (because we all deserve that!). And, we've got over 40 colors in stock!! So, Enjoy!

This kit will be available at the sale price through the end of the month (sale ends October 31, 2006).

The Crochet Corner

Welcome to a glimpse of the Crochet Corner!! This area on the website pulls together suggested Crochet Yarns, Kits/Projects, Needles, Accessories, Patterns, Books, & Instructional Articles.

As you might have learned from the girls in Reno (if you've stopped in there), crocheting was a lot more difficult for me to learn than I'd like to admit. One of my coworkers in college first me taught to crochet during our lunch hour - many, many years ago (and it took many, many lunch hours). Needless to say that once i caught on, i was hooked :) I started making granny squares & then sewed them together to form afghans. What fun! I must have made 40 afghans over the next couple of years!

For whatever reason, though, once i took my first knitting class (a shop into which i had stumbled looking for crochet yarn), i never really picked up the hook again. Although i don't love to crochet the way that i love to knit now, i do find it a helpful skill to have. Typically, I'll whip out the crochet hook when i want to add an edging to a blanket - or if i want to incorporate a contrasting color into a neck or sleeve edge. I still have a lot of fun and love to watch how quickly i can get that hook going - it's like riding a bike!

Like knitting, you can really use any yarn for crocheting, but i'm recommending yarns that show off the stitches nicely. Some of my favorites are: Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, Muench Touch Me, and Rowan Handknit Cotton

Here are some of our favorite books for crocheters (or wannabe crocheters):


In addition to these books, you'll find tons of patterns ideas in the Crochet corner - like the Blue Sky Alpacas Crochet Camisole, the Valentine Capelet by French Girl, and a selection of Baby Blanket Patterns by Ann Norling.

So, whether you're a veteran crocheter or just a beginner, take a minute to peruse our Crochet Corner - there's something in it for everyone!

TEAM JIMMY BEANS...MEET BUDDY

buddy
Employee of the Month :: Buddy

If you've got a border collie, then you've probably seen this face a million times in your own living room. Buddy's only job is to catch the tennis ball at least 1,000 times each day. Some days he only gets to about 900, but we still love him! (it's a good thing he's only 1/2 border collie, or we'd really be in trouble.) Though he still hasn't mastered the computer keyboard or answering the phones, his chief contribution is to provide us all with never ending cheeriness. And he's quite good at that.

Just Arrived :: Safari Friends, Big & Little Snugs, & New Big Baby Colors!

Knitting at Knoon has done it again! This fall, they have introduced a number of fun & functional patterns. Our favorite is the Safari Friends: Huggable, tote-able, adorable, stuffed friends just the right size for your favorite tot. Pattern includes all four friends (each with his Swahili name): Tembo (elephant), Simba (lion), Punda milia (zebra), and Twiga (giraffe), to make in natural or whimsical colors like ours. Worsted wt singles, heavy worsted, or Aran wt yarns. Safari Friends range in height from 8" to 10" and will cost you a mere $10 for the pattern collection.

Safari Friends Safari Friends Safari Friends Safari Friends

Big and Little Snugs: Winter has arrived here in Lake Tahoe (yep, snow has already hit our house 3 times) & what better way to welcome the weather than with these sweet "Ugg"-like felted boots from Pick Up Sticks.

These alpaca-lined boots will lend your little tyke an adorable mini-surfer vibe, or you can knit them in adult sizes for yourself! For the kids, there are 2 different kit options (Baby and Child: $28-$32), as well as the Little Snugs pattern option ($5.50). For adults, you can purchase the Big Snugs pattern. You'll want 400 yds of Worsted Weight Wool (like Cascade 220) for the boot & 300 yds of Worsted Weight Alpaca (like Berroco Ultra Alpaca) for the lining. As far as needles, you'll need US 10 DPN and US 10 16" Circular. I've already knit one Snug for myself and it only took 2 days... i can't wait to make some baby Snugs for some of my friends' new babies - they'll probably only take an evening. How fun!!!

Big Baby:: Finally - A machine washable super bulky weight yarn that changes color as you knit!! You'll want to use this yarn for creating something quickly that can be thrown into the washing machine. Although perfect for a baby blanket, it's also great for booties, sweaters and hats. Just look at some of these pattern options!

Big Baby Big Baby Big Baby Big Baby

In addition to the patterns that just arrived, Muench has really struck gold with the introduction of 13 new colors. 6 variegated shades and 7 solids round out the 6 current colors, while adding significant depth to the line. And although the solids are on the pastel side, the more mature variegated shades make Big Baby a candidate for adult garments!

50 yds. US 13-15 Needles. 100% Supersoft Acrylic. Solids $5.90, Stripes $6.90 per ball.

Big Baby Big Baby Big Baby Big Baby Big Baby

Coming Soon - More Lantern Moon Bags!

With the holidays around the corner (which i still can't believe), we've been scouting out tons of new bags in every price range for gift giving - and gift receiving :) We expect these 3 Lantern Moon bags (below) to arrive in our stores any day now & i know a few of us are counting the hours! Our knitting guru Allison has her eye on the Rio Studio Basket, which is dyed and woven from twisted palm & holds tons of stash yarn. Personally, I'm thinking the Ruby Bag (on the far right) is going to be the perfect gift for my stepmom in Austin: the garnet red and black paisley taffeta silk is just her style and will look great with her dark hair and tanned skin. At $32 and 8"x8", the Libby bag is ideal for carrying around each of my ongoing sock projects. Ah - so many choices...and just wait until next month - we're expecting a shipment of even more styles!

Libby Bag Rio Studio Ruby

CLASSES - VESTS, FELTING, CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS & MORE!

The following classes are scheduled to take place in Truckee:

Knitting 101 - This class is for students that have never knitted a project before as well as for knitters that just want to brush up on their knitting skills.
Tuesday Evenings - November 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd (6:30pm - 8:30pm)
$60 plus materials, and we ask for a 50% ($30) deposit to reserve your space

Knitting 102 / Help with any project class - This class is for knitters looking to expand their skills.
Wednesday Evenings - November 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th (6:30pm - 8:30pm)
$60 plus materials, and we ask for a 50% ($30) deposit to reserve your space

These classes will be offered in Reno this Fall:

Basic Knitting with Hannah
In this class, you'll learn the following skills & techniques: How to cast-on, knit, purl and bind off. You will also learn 2 different increases and decreases (and why we need these different techniques), changing yarns, washing and blocking methods, how to deal with those pesky seams, pattern reading will be discussed, as well as what information is on a ball band that will allow you to substitute yarns for any given pattern. Hannah will guide you in picking out a project, or help you along with a project of your choice.
Level: Beginner - Advanced Beginner
Prerequisites: None
Materials: A smooth, preferably light-colored yarn and needles appropriate for that yarn to practice on, scissors, Knit Chek stitch gauge, tape measure, stitch markers and other various accessories as needed. If you start a project, you will need the yarn, pattern and needles for that project. Supplies can be obtained before or during the class.
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Basic Crochet with Hannah
In this class, you'll learn the following skills & techniques: Learn to crochet or brush up on your crochet skills. You will learn several basic crochet stitches, increasing and decreasing, changing yarns, pattern reading and finishing, you will also learn what all those mystery symbols on a ball band mean! Hannah will guide you in picking out a project or help you along with a project of your choice.
Level: Beginner - Advanced Beginner
Prerequisites: None
Materials: A smooth, preferably light-colored yarn and hook appropriate for that yarn to practice on, scissors, Knit Chek stitch gauge, tape measure, stitch markers and other various accessories as needed. If you start a project, you will need the yarn, pattern and hook for that project. Supplies can be obtained before or during the class.
Dates in Reno on Saturdays between 1pm - 3pm:
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Simple Vest Project Class with Janet
Learn to knit a simple cardigan vest. You will learn how read a pattern, decide which size to make, which yarn and needles to use, increasing and decreasing, button holes and finishing. We will all be using the same vest pattern, and you will be amazed that with so many choices available, everyone's vest will be different!
Level: Advanced Beginner (know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off)
Materials: Pick up a materials list from the store at the time of sign up.
Dates in Reno on Fridays, from 10:30 - 12:30:
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Christmas Stocking Project Class with Janet
Make an heirloom for your family while learning new skills. Basic sock construction, plus 2-color knitting. You'll learn to customize with names and motifs.
Level: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate
Materials: Pick up a materials list from the store at the time of sign up.
Dates in Reno on Fridays, from 10:30 - 12:30:
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Mason Dixon Knitting Project Class with Janet
We'll create a project from this wonderfully funny and informative book. Learn about yarn substitutions, pattern reading, etc. Students receive 10% off the price of the book. Look for more information as class time approaches!
Level: Various, depending on project
Materials: Pick up a materials list from the store at the time of sign up.
Dates in Reno on Fridays, from 10:30 - 12:30:
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Beginner's Felted Bag with Connie
Have you seen the latest fashion statement in handbags? YES! Felted bags - they are everywhere and are so much fun to make! Join Connie in learning how to knit while making a wonderfully simple yet unique felted bag. This 3-week class will cover the knit and purl stitch, casting on and binding off, increasing and decreasing, and sewing up. Some discussion of different embellishments will be included as well.
Level: Beginner
Materials: Pick up a materials list from the store at the time of sign up.
Dates in Reno on Wednesdays from 1 - 3pm:
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Cost: $50 for 3 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Color Knitting with Jennifer
In this class you will learn how to use color in Fair Isle (also known as "stranded") knitting and Intarsia. Learn to knit in the round, read and create your own charts, combine colors, cut a steek (and understand what a "steek" is and why cutting one is not for the feint of heart!), and more!
Date: Sunday, October 1st from 11 - 3 (or so) with a short break for lunch.
Level: Advanced beginner - Intermediate
Please call our Reno location for current dates and to sign up. (775) 827-YARN (9276).
Class size is limited - deposit required at time of sign up. Materials list will be provided in advance of class.

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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