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December 2007 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Adding Shaping
  • Limited Edition Shepherd Sock December Color: Ice Storm!
  • January Kit of the Month: Socks for Tots
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 3 - Coming soon!
  • Meet the Manufacturer: Crystal Palace
  • Just Arrived: Panda Silk and Regia Galaxy!
  • Super Rowan Sale - up to 60% Off!

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

Adding Shaping

I think i'm addicted to knitting sweaters. I love knitting super-simple, quick sweaters - using sumptious yarns in sumptious colors. And though i traditionally love the top-down patterns, there are a few aspects of them that don't suite my tastes perfectly. Take KPS pattern 992 below, for example. I'd love to whip up a version in the $5 per ball Rowan Chunky Print (color 83), but need to make a few changes.

  • First, the sizes are a bit too large for me. The smallest chest measurement is a 38 and i really like mine to be about 34 (yes, i know you all feel sorry for me).
  • Second, the sleeve section right under the armhole is too loosey-goosey. I prefer it to be snug fitting.
  • Third, I'd like the waist to have a bit of shaping...

Here's how i can accomplish those goals.

  • Making it smaller: The theory of making the chest smaller is simple - you want less stitches. For example, let's say that your gauge is 3 sts/inch. If the finished chest size is 38 inches, you'll be knitting on 38x3=114 stitches for the body of the sweater. If you want the finished chest size to be a bit smaller (e.g., 34 inches), you'll need to remove 4 inches from the body - which is 12 stitches (4x3=12). So, subtract 12 from 114 and you get 102... That's how many stitches you want to have on your needle while you're knitting the body.
    When it comes to the KPS patterns, we can simplify the math even further. In the beginning, she tells you to knit until there are 55 sts between the back markers - for the 38 inch chest. To reduce the chest size by 4 inches, we need to remove 12 stitches total: 6 from the front and 6 from the back. So.... subtract 6 from 55 (giving you 49)and that's the number that you will knit to. Basically, you can write '49' before the 55, creating an even smaller size!
  • Tightening the Sleeves: This change is simple. Instead of waiting to do your first sleeve decrease (remember, you're starting from the top) for 6 rows, repeat the decrease every other row 3 times.... and then follow the pattern as specified.
  • Adding Shaping: To add shaping to this top down sweater, you want to decrease about 2 inches worth of stitches (at each side seam) gradually to 1.5 inches above the waist, knit 3 inches plain, and then increase them again gradually. So, in the example of 4 sts/inch, you're going to want to decrease 8 stitches total (1 on each side for 4 times). Note that standard waist to shoulder measurement is 17 inches.


And here's a sweater I knit using pattern 992 and those changes (and with a bit of Lace worked in)!

Limited Edition Color - Ice Storm


Ice Storm!

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go..." Well, maybe not everywhere, but at least it's snowing a ton here at my house. After skiing in the sunshine this morning, we returned home to snow and ice... and white skies. Yet just a few weeks ago I went for a run on the trails in shorts and a t-shirt! The lack of snow back then is what prompted us to come up with a yarn color that reminded us of snow and ice... maybe as our way of doing the 'snow dance.' And i guess it worked, cause it's been snowing all week long!

Below are a few ideas for knitting with January's color (and make sure to check in on Jan 20th to see the February color - it's definitely my favorite so far!!)

Socks
2 Askew Designs: Fish Scale Socks

Introducing the inaugural pattern to their line, 2 Askew Designs is really made up of 2 JBW employees (Allison and Jeanne) that just can't seem to get enough of knitting... Photographed here in September Limited Edition Color (Cherries Jubilee), you'll want 2 hanks of Shepherd Sock to finish a pair. Note that there are full color directions for the German Twisted Cast On included with the pattern!

Blossom
Knitting at Knoon: Blossom

Can you imagine this adorable sweater knit in soft shades of blue and white? It's perfect for the little girl that loves bows, but doesn't love pink (hmm...do those girls exist?) This pattern requires 2-3 hanks of the Shepherd Worsted Ice Storm.

Annie
Knitting at Knoon: Annie

Oodles of ruffles at hem, cuffs, and neck add up to oodles of fun in this easy fitting, tunic length, girly-girl sweater named Annie. Knit this up in the Shepherd Worsted Ice Storm (3-5 balls, based on size) ...

Mittens
Elegant and Easy Cable Mittens

These mittens were photographed using the Mountain Colors yarn Mountain Goat, but would be just as lovely (and even more luxurious) in the Ice Storm Lion and Lamb...just 1 hank should do the trick!

Wee Warmers
Knitting at Knoon: Wee Warmers

If you've been knitting socks, but are tired of the same old patterns, try knitting up some of these little Wee Warmers. I know that if i looked as cute as this little girl, i'd wear them every single day!

Kit of the Month

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

At $14.25, You Save 25% on these KnitWhits Sock Kits. Designed for the advanced knitter (or the very adventurous beginner), these Socks For Tots kits include the 4 colors of yarn and pattern.



Usually $19, these kits are On Sale for $14.25

You will need size US2 (3mm) needles (suggested) and a tapestry needle to complete this project. Gauge is 8 sts/inch. Kit includes Louet Pearl 100% Merino Machine Washable and Dryable Yarn. This pattern is written with instructions for using double pointed needles. Socks for Tots! kits make one pair of socks sized to fit children from 3-6 years old (one size fits most). Given the pace in which i knit socks, i should start these now - and might have them ready for Christmas 2009!

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 3

Sorry! I'm still working on this one! I'm using the Shepherd Worsted in Pioneer ... and will have it done by the next newsletter. It's month 3 and i've already fallen behind! The holiday season sure can take it's toll on free time!

Meet the Manufacturer: Crystal Palace

Each month, we're featuring the owner of one of our favorite knitting companies. In addition to the standard photo and bio, we'll be publishing their take on 3-5 questions posed by our readers. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you'll receive a special gift from that company (a pair of needles, a hank of yarn, etc...).

For the January newsletter we will feature Crystal Palace. They were scheduled to be featured this month, but that holiday toll on free time seems to have snuck up on this area as well! Don't despair, though, Crystal Palace will be featured next month!

Just Arrived :: Panda Silk, Regia Galaxy

Panda Silk

You won't believe how soft this yarn is - and machine washable. Perfect for socks, shawls, and baby items... The bamboo gives a great feel and a luster, the wool gives a soft feeling core and the combed silk gives it sheen and strength. Panda Silk's printed colors are all tone-on-tone shades with solid colors coordinated with the solids. The numbers are a clue - color 4001 coordinates with 3001, 4006 with 3006, etc.

Try using it to knit one of these projects:

Shawl
Arabella Shawl

Using 2 or 4 balls of the Panda Silk - and some US 6 needles - you can practice your lace knitting skills while knitting something exquisite. (Use 2 balls for a scarf or 4 for a shawl.) Though stunning as a shawl, I can also see this as an heirloom table runner.

Shawl
Urban Goddess Wrap

Using 2 or 4 balls of the Panda Silk - and some US 6 needles - you can practice your lace knitting skills while knitting something exquisite. (Use 2 balls for a scarf or 4 for a shawl.) Again, this is stunning as a shawl, but I can also see this as an heirloom table runner.

Shawl
Queen of the Waves Shawl

Knit this as a shoulder shawl or a full-sized shawl - and wear it with pride to your next special event. You'll likely draw some comments - and lots of envy!

Regia Galaxy Color

Regia Galaxy Color - It's out of this world... ok, i need to grab another coffee :). Let me try this again:

A new addition to the ever-popular Regia sock line, Galaxy Color is a fingering weight wool blend that's sure to keep you knitting (remember how exciting it was to see what color would pop up next in your fair isle socks?). With colors for men, women, and kids, there's something for everyone. And even though it's snowing out, it's never too early to start thinking about summer ...can you imagine how cute this yarn would work up for Golf Club Covers?? (Father's Day is closer than you think.)

Jingle Bells, Rowan Sales, Get Them While They Last!

Fantine
Knit Fantine w/ Big Wool Fusion

Excuse me? You can knit this sweater for less than $18?? Yep, Rowan Big Wool Fusion is on sale for $5.95 a ball (you save $10 per ball!) - and this sweater takes 3-4 balls of yarn! What a perfect gift - and a quick one, too.

Big Wool Fusion Was $15.95 .... On Sale Now for $5.95

Plaid
Knit an Afghan w/ Rowan Plaid

Since they're saving $10 per ball on the Rowan Plaid, Sandy and Amanda have each decided to knit cuddly blankets with it (actually, Sandy will crochet hers). Sandy bought the 154 Spicy and the 156 Hearty, while Amanda picked various bits of 5 different colors (160, 162, 167, 168, and 155). This yarn has been discontinued, so i suspect that they're just grabbing it while they can... (and knitting squares, as opposed to the single color shown here).

Plaid Was $16.95 .... On Sale Now for $6.75

Ribbon Twist
Knit a Hat w/ Ribbon Twist

For $6-12, you can knit a hat with the Rowan Ribbon Twist - or knit my sweater (see below - 'what i'm working on') for about $50... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, eh?

Ribbon Twist Was $13.50 .... On Sale Now for $5.99

Crochet
A Hooded Sweatshirt w/ Chunky Print

Yes, Diane, i know the gauge for this pattern doesn't match the Chunky Print, but i know i can make it work! I'm going to use 8 balls of the 083 (what is it about that color??!) and am going to make that sweater for $40!! The Chunky Print is a wonderful chunky yarn, with a bit of thick and thin action - and it knits up to create a lightweight fabric. Pebble Dashes is my personal favorite, especially when mixed with the Beige and the Chocolate.

Chunky Print Was $14.25 .... On Sale Now for $4.99

What We're Working On

Even if i'm not working at the computer, my fingers are still going... they're just knitting instead. Same with the wonderful girls in the store! Below is a sampling of what we've gotten accomplished lately (on the knitting front, that is).

Naturwolle
I finished my Naturwolle sweater!!!

I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!

I was barely into the 5th ball of Naturwolle when i finished this sweater - i had so much fun knitting it and couldn't get over how fast it went.

Kathryn Alexander Hat
The 3 [Knitting] Amigos!

Once Allison knit up one of these hats, Dannette and Jeanne just had to jump in and knit one for themselves! It didn't take long - and they've caused quite a frenzy in the store - next time you visit Reno, you're likely to see these hats all over town!

Naturwolle Cardigan
Jeanne's Desiree Sweater!

Jeanne finished this sweater out of Rowan Big Wool. It took her 8 balls, so she saved about $50 by choosing a discontinued color (personally, i love the Sugar Spun)

Knitting Night at Truckee Book and Bean!!

On Thursday evenings, Jimmy Beans very own Dannette Arney will be hosting a Knitting Night. From 6:30-8pm we will gather in the parlor of beautiful downtown Truckee's Book and Bean. This is a time to hang out, chat and sip some warm tea on the cold snowy nights. Instruction is available for a $10 drop in fee, but if you want to hang out... well that's FREE of course!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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