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August 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Knitting Groups - A Guide to Getting Together
  • Kit of the Month: Crocheted Cashmere
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 9!
  • New Stuff: Rowan Colourscape, Milk Cotton
  • Back to School BAG Sale: 25% Off Select Bags
  • Fun Videos: Indie Dyer, Misti Alpaca

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

Knitting Together...by Rachel

Every day I'm in awe of the power of knitting to bring people together. There is a sense of true community that seems to naturally flow from the act of knitting, as though it is inevitable that the stitches we are creating unavoidably begin knitting (or crocheting!) us all together. Being a part of Jimmy Beans, I'm lucky that I get to make this giant community of knitters out there a part of my daily life. There are few things better than sitting down for a moment of peace, sharing a good laugh and knitting tips with friends.

I asked the amazing knitters I work with what brings their knitting groups together. Sandy, one of our resident knitting experts, is a part of several different knitting groups. One of them keeps her in touch with long-time friends around San Francisco that she left behind when she moved here with us (and we are lucky to have her!). Another group she knits with is the adventurous type, always in search of new techniques, patterns, and products to keep them on their toes. But ultimately, it seems that the only things you really need to have a great knit night are knitters and a place to sit. And funny enough, I just tested this theory out this past weekend, when I went on a day trip with two of my favorite knitting friends. All in one day we knitted on the grass in a park, at the LYS we were visiting, in a deli, off a hiking trail up a mountain, in a Starbucks, and at the local sports bar. So the location doesn't even really matter, so long as you can get a few knitters there.

Not sure where to find other knitters? Start with your Local Yarn Shop. If you don't have one of those nearby though, check out our list of on-line resources to help you create your own knitting circle.

  • Ravelry:

    The largest on-line community of knitters and crocheters that we know of. You have to request an invitation to the website, but it only takes a few days to get your invite, it's free, and the resources are amazing. Not only can you find other people from your area or all over the world, you can also search for patterns, yarns, projects and everything else knitting related that you can think of. There's even a group for Jimmy Beans! Find us at http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-beaners, and watch for updates there, because we are planning some knitalongs.

  • Stitch n' Bitch:

    Are you a follower of the books by the same name? Debbie Stoller's books have created communities of knitters, and you might be able to find the nearest one on her www.StitchnBitch.org website.

  • Knitty:

    Knitty has been around for a while, offering great free patterns, as well articles about techniques. Be sure to check out the knitty coffeeshop to connect with other knitters.

  • Knitalongs:

    Check out http://knitalongs.xaviermusketeer.com for a list of knitalongs happening on-line that you can participate in. If you can't get out, use your computer to knit with others. Also check out http://knitalong.net/ for resources to start your own knitalong.

And if you've already got a great group of knitters, but you'd like some ideas on projects that you can work on together, consider one of these:

Presto
Presto Chango Baby Sweater Kit
Is someone in your group expecting? Consider having one person knit the body of the sweater, and then each other person in the group make up their own stitch motif and create different fronts. The fronts can be swapped out as they get dirty, and the new baby gets a little piece of love from each of you to wear on their tummy.
Head Huggers
Head Huggers
Have your knitting community knit for your community by creating these wonderfully soft hats for donation. Any simple hat pattern, like Ann Norling's Head Huggers could be combined with the new Muench Family yarn. They can be washed and dried over and over again, making it a perfect donation to your local hospital.
Bob Blankie
Bob Blankie
This soft blanket could easily be started by one person in your knitting group, and then passed along after a few rows for someone else to continue. By the time it gets all the way around your group (maybe even a few times), you have a good sized blanket. Don't think of it for babies only, add a few more balls of yarn, and you've got a great blanket for anyone.

Kit of the Month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount... This month's kit was selected (and is being crocheted by) Sandy.

Scarf Kit Normally $160 ...
On Sale For $120 (Save $40!)
When Iris from Artyarns first sent us these delicious cashmere kits, I was immediately in love. My crocheting career has been on hold for quite some time now, but i'm seriously considering picking up where Sandy left off... and finishing up the super wide scarf in the Jewels colorway (the pic to the left is the pastels version). When else will i ever get the chance (or have the $$) to work with 11 different hanks of the Artyarns Cashmere (each has 150yds)?? And what a fun way to jump back into crocheting... i miss my granny squares! Anyway, I guess i was kinda hoping that some of you would also grab a kit - and maybe start crocheting with me.... (this goes back to the group knitting that Rachel talked about before). Maybe we should set up a crochet-a-long?

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 9

The Scarves to Throws Free Pattern for Month 9 of our 'scarves to throws' is finished! Rachel designed and knit this scarf in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted :: Harvest. And Sandy is sewing together a few of the other scarves this week, so we're going to start seeing how they all look together. So exciting!

P.S. If you're just starting, you can find more information on our project here (as well as an explanation for what we're doing).

New Yarns: Kettle-Dyed Colourscape and Yarn made from Milk

Rowan Colourscape Chunky...a review by Victoria

This new yarn designed by fashion-great Kaffe Fassett is perfect for the upcoming Fall, where you want a quick knit and some warm colors to keep in time with the changing season. Colourscape Chunky is all that (and a lot more)! A bulky yarn that is 100% wool, knits up at 16 stitches to 4 inches and sells for $23.95 per glorious hank. It works up quickly and there is no chance of it getting stale with all of the beautiful color changes that occur at different intervals. It also has fantastic yardage at 175 yards per skein. For great ideas on what to make, check out the Rowan Colourscape pattern book - it is full of pretty straight forward knits that let the yarn do the talking. Some great jackets and cardigans and a couple of fun sweaters and scarves. Colourscape is a great way to dive into Fall. (To see the yarn in 'person', check out the lengthy video review... and we do have the Ghost back in stock!).

Rowan Milk Cotton...a review by Victoria

What a great product - the new Milk Cotton is 70% cotton and 30% milk protein! It is an amazingly soft yarn that comes to us in two weights, both at $12.50 per ball. The DK weight works up at 22 sts/4 inches and comes in 14 soft colors (and 123 yds per ball). The Fine Milk Cotton has a gauge of 24 stitches/4 inches and comes in 8 similar colors. This yarn is perfect for any kind of knitwear you might want to make for you little ones. The Rowan Milk Cotton pattern book is full of beautiful designs for babies and toddlers. This is a great alternative to the 100% cotton products and you can really feel a difference in the texture of this yarn versus all cotton yarns. I mean, seriously, who couldn't use a little more milk protein in their lives??! (And just think what the girls will say when you announce that your baby shower gift was knit with MILK.)

Fun Yarns and Fun Videos ... from the Cast of JBW

Indie Dyer Video
Cats Eyes
New colors of Indie Dyer Sock Yarn have arrived - and they are simply mouth watering. Though we are sold out of the super-popular Swamp Monster (and I didn't even get any!), I have requested that we get a similar colorway in our next shipment. Just fyi - the next Indie Dyer shipment will include Cherry Tree Hill's Supersock Select (Supersock Select is the cream of the crop when it comes to Merino....a very low micron count) and their Possum Laceweight Yarn (the possum sock we have now is dyed by Cherry Tree Hill - this will be Indie Dyed). I can't wait! In the meantime, i think i'll start knitting on the Cats Eyes... what a cool green!
Meet Morris the Alpaca while viewing the many colors of Misti Alpaca's Hand Paint Chunky yarn in this fun product review video. Havasu Chunky Alpaca Video

Back to School Sale :: 2 Weeks Only

From now until the end of August, we're offering one of our favorite products to all of you at a RIDICULOUS PRICE! Offhand Designs makes these gorgeous luxury bags by hand, bags that are definitely an investment, but that will last a lifetime... One of our favorites is the Zhivago Weekender, a larger bag that easily carries it all, making it the perfect accompaniment for all of your romantic adventures (as well as perfect for carrying all of your knitting while on the plane or in the car). Normally $229.95, we're marking those bags down $60 for just 2 weeks (that bag is now $169.95)... in hopes that just a few more of you will be able to pick one up for yourself (or will take this opportunity to grab one for a friend). After all, don't we all need a new bag to send us Back to School in style? And while we're at it, we may as well clear the shelves of some other styles ... and make way for new colors.

Foliage
Zhivago

Save $60
Eve
Eve

Save $42.50
Cosmo Bloom
Deluxe Clutch

Save $15
Stripes
Zelda Weekender

Save $63
Zelda - Hip to be Square
Zelda

Save $36

p.s. if you haven't already watched our Zhivago bag video review of the Zhivago bag, make sure to check it out!

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). ... Sure looks like we all like Blue, eh?

Presto Chango
Sandy's Striped Family Presto Chango Sweater

Sandy knit the Presto Chango sweater in the 24 month size for the Feb Knit n Style Magazine... (it will be a featured pattern). She spruced up the original by adding stripes, a flying bee, and embroidered flowers... (she used chain stitch, satin stitch, and running stitch).

How adorable!! And Sandy is now in love with the new Muench Family Yarn! We're still figuring out which buttons will work best - and will keep you posted. Btw, you'll have enough yarn leftover to knit a matching hat... we're thinking of a colorful pompon at the top.

Undulating Scarf Kit
Jeanne's Undulating Scarf
Jeanne started this scarf as soon as the yarn and beads arrived - i mean, about 20 minutes after UPS dropped off the yarn, Jeanne was digging through the box, trying to figure out which color she wanted... She decided to make it twice as wide as the pattern called for, so used 2 hanks of the Heather and 2 sets of beads. It's gorgeous!

(She bought 2 of the Undulating Waves Scarf Kits in Eleanor Roosevelt)
Ashley's Gayle Jacket
Ashley's Gayle Jacket
Ashley started this jacket as soon as the British Sheep Breeds Yarn came in! It's the Gayle Jacket shown on the cover of the accompanying book British Sheep Breeds Collection. In the book it's show in Bluefaced Leicester, but Ashley wanted a darker color so that it wouldn't show spots as much.
Saphira Hooded Vest
Saphira Hooded Vest
Feeling a little blue last weekend, i decided that i needed to knit something quick and fun. I needed instant gratification! The day before i had attended a birthday party for my friend's 1yr old son - so i thought that a little vest for him might be the perfect project! Enter SWTC's new machine washable yarn, Saphira. I loved the jeans-y color - and these ceramic car buttons.... and i've almost finished the entire project - in just a few days!
clapotis in lion and lamb
Dannette's Lion and Lamb Clapotis
Dannette's own Clapotis was made in the Limited Edition color Blueberry Snocone. It is beautiful - great job Dannette!
Panda Silk DK
Jimmy's Panda Silk DK Gloves
When this book first arrived, i immediately fell in love with the layered gloves on page 118 (the ones on the far left).... And though i love the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk called for in the pattern, i couldn't help reaching for the new CPY Panda Silk DK when it arrived. Maybe because of the variegated colors? I'm not sure... Orginally, i had thought of using the variegated brown as the bottom layer - and the solid brown as the top layer. But after convening with Jeanne, Ashley, and Sandy, i started to think about using another solid color instead of the multi... So, i've started with the sage - and am planning to use the solid brown on top, but am still not positive. We'll see!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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