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June 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Chain Stitch Embroidery
  • Kit of the Month: Independence Day Dishcloths
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 7!
  • Book Review: Signature Scarves
  • New Stuff: Undulating Waves Scarf, SWTC Therapi, Video Reviews
  • Knitting Ideas for July 4th

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

Chain Stitch Embroidery

You'll notice below that the Kit of the Month is a set of Red, White, and Blue Dishcloths. Based on the day-of-the-week Organic Dishcloths that we designed last year, this set uses a slightly different technique for the embellishment: the Chain Stitch. Of course, I'd be lying if i told you that i knew how to do the Chain Stitch a few days ago... i didn't. But here's how i learned:

Just last week, I knit 3 different dishcloths and then crocheted borders around each of them. (Ok, did you notice the red and white border on the blue dishcloth? and the blue and white one on the red dishcloth? yep - that's my creativity screaming out loud and clear... get it? red, white, and blue on each one? Genius, i tell you! Ok, if i must be honest, i actually wasn't even clever enough to come up with that - while sitting in the kitchen, trying to figure out what colors to use for each border, doug suggested that i stick with the theme of "red, white, and blue." Oh. Good Idea. Darnit! Why didn't i think of that??).

before

Anyway, I brought the blank, but beautifully bordered, dishcloths into the store the other day - baffled as to how i could make them more festive. I knew i wanted stars or fireworks or something 'written' on them, but couldn't visualize what i wanted - or how to get there. Enter our most artistic knitter, Jeanne. Jeanne immediately scooped up the blank canvases and laid them on the counter to stare at. When she brought them back the next day, my jaw dropped - they were brilliant!! Now i just had to learn how to do it myself.

Step 1

Step 1: Using a sharpie and some scratch paper, draw some stars and then cut them out.

Step 2

Step 2: Pin the cut-out stars to your dishcloths.

Step 3

Step 3 (here's where it gets complicated): First, thread a tapestry needle with a few feet of yarn in the desired color. Working from the underside of the dishcloth, insert and pull the needle up through the stitch above one of the points. Now (the tricky/weird part), insert the needle back into the exact same stitch, but don't pull ALL of the yarn back through (leave a little loop of yarn) - then immediately insert and pull the needle up through a nearby stitch (that's what the picture shows).

Step 4

Step 4: At this point, the objective is to toss that little loop of yarn over the point of the needle and then pull the yarn taut. You're basically creating a sort of 'hitch' by: creating a loop of yarn, tossing that yarn over the point of the needle and then pulling on the needle until the yarn is secured. This photo shows the latter part of that process - the yarn had already been looped over the needle and now we're pulling it tight.

Step 4

And here's the result (of doing it with both red and blue). Ok, I realize that these photos and descriptions are not terrific and i'll work on getting new ones up soon. In the meantime, you can really see what's happening by watching Jeanne in this youTube instructional segment on how to do chain stitch embroidery. It's only a few minutes long and she does a terrific job of explaining how the technique works. Thanks, Jeanne!

You can see the entire Chain Stitch Embellishment article on our website.

Kit of the Month

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

Just in time for 4th of July - Dyed Organic Cotton Dishcloths... for your 4th of July BBQ at 20% Off! Inspired by our original organic dishcloths, these were designed using 3 different colors (red, white, blue) and use the Chain Stitch Embroidery technique for creating the stars.

July 4th
On Sale For $23.28
July 4th
On Sale For $23.28
July 4th
On Sale For $23.28

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 7

The Free Pattern for Month 7 of our 'scarves to throws' journey is finished! Rachel designed and knit this scarf in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted :: Glenwood.

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

Book Review: Signature Scarves

Signature Scarves...a review by Victoria

Appropriately titled, Nicky Epstein's new book, Signature Scarves is full of her signature style: an abundance of flora and frivolity paired up with some seriously stylish designs. There are 30 scarf designs in this book, each of them quite special, in the Nicky Epstein tradition. I love Nicky's sense of adventure, daring to tackle really playful ideas and make them very wearable. The best thing about this book is the variety:

  • Variety of designs, from really cute (the Mouse Trap scarf, which i just started knitting) to really classy (the Shawl-Collar Cable Point scarf).
  • Variety in the knitting and construction techniques used, such as cables, fair isle, felting, lace and shibori, making each scarf unique.
  • A variety of skill level also makes this book a real success. It caters to every level of knitting experience.

This is not a book you buy and only knit one pattern from it - with the 30 patterns in this book there is some kind of scarf for every personality you know, including yourself hopefully!

Fun to make, fun to give as a gift and fun to wear - hard to beat! I'll definitely be adding this one to my library. A fantastic book and perfect timing on the part of Nicky Epstein as I start to think about Christmas gifts this year!

Fitted Knits
Signature Scarves

$29.95
Royal Crowns
Royal Crowns

Starts at $44.95
Mousetrap
Mouse Trap

Starts at $21.00
Mosaic
Melange Mosaic

Starts at $28.20
Tudor Lace
Tudor Lace

Starts at $151.80

New stuff :: Undulating Waves Scarf Kit, SWTC Therapi, and Video Reviews

Undulating Waves Scarf Kit

Undulating Waves Beaded Scarf

While in Columbus last weekend (at TNNA), I stopped in to chat with Laura from Schaefer Yarns. She immediately took me over to look at the Undulating Waves Beaded Scarf that the Yarn Harlot has now made famous. It was beautiful! Laura designed the scarf herself and showed me a couple different colorways that she had knit. After oohing and aahing for awhile, we decided that the scarf was begging to be a kit! Since she had knit the orginal scarf, she knew exactly where to get beads - and was happy to share that information with us... and she even helped me pick out bead colors to go with each of the Heather colors. As soon as i got back home on Monday, I picked up the phone and ordered the beads - they should be arriving here any day! And i stocked up on the Heather colors also - these kits should be ready to ship in just a few days.

At $37, you'll get the pattern, the yarn, and 100g of beads to match. As soon as the beads arrive, we'll also be adding a few other kit combos - we just wanted to wait and see the bead colors in person before going crazy. We'll also be putting together a video review of the project as soon as the components all come in. Also, i just checked and there is a KAL happening on ravelry - go to the Schaefer Yarn Group.

South West Trading Company Therapi

SWTC Therapi

This is our collective favorite new yarn. Maybe because all of us at JBW could use a little Therapi every now and then? Or maybe we're just tickled by the thought of knitting with Jadeite (just what is that exactly?!). Whatever the fascination, it's catchy... and it seems like every person entering the store these days is stopping to pet our new favorite yarn (and with the patterns shown below, you can see why!).

Video Reviews

Yep, we're doing video reviews of our favorite and un-favorite products)!! We have about 100 of them done already - and aim to have another 100 done by the end of the month. Once we have the videos all done, we'll work on making them more obvious on the website. For now, you can scroll through the ones we have by going to http://www.JimmyBeansWool.com/video (or www.youTube.com/JimmyBeansWool). You'll also notice that our product pages are slightly different right now - there is a 'video review' tab under the 'add to cart' button. If the product you're looking at has a video review, it will show up on that tab. Again, we'll be working over the next 2 months to make all of this more user-friendly (our site will also be undergoing a mild face-lift), so don't worry too much if it's not super intuitive. It will be!

Fourth of July Corner

Star Spangled Knits?!...by Ashley

I'll be the first to admit, when it comes to the Fourth of July, knitting is the last activity that comes to mind. I mean, July is one of the warmest months of the year in many parts of the US, and most of us spend the majority of our free time outdoors with family and friends. However, in flipping through dozens of books and magazines in the last few months, I've come across some really cute Fourth of July-inspired patterns. By adding a few stars, fireworks, or stripes just about any basic pattern can become a festive 4th of July project. Or choose a red, white, and blue yarn like Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock or Worsted in Liberty.

Some of my favorite projects are below, including a new version of our Organic Cotton Dishcloths.

Knit with purpose: what better time of year to knit something up for the soldier in your life, or a soldier who's not lucky enough to have a knitter in theirs! Check out Socks for Soldiers or Operation Home Front for details on projects for soldiers.

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).

Modular Blanket
I'M DONE! ...Modular Baby Blanket For Aimee

I just finished this blanket for a pregnant friend of mine. She's having a girl and is decorating the room in pink and brown. The pink and brown in Berroco Pure Merino was perfect! The pattern is from the book Modular Knitting... it's the cover pattern.

Don't forget, you can watch a video review of the Pure Merino... it's just a few minutes long and we (ok, I) describe what i like best about this yarn.

Breast Cancer Support Scarf
Breast Cancer Support Scarf

I'm knitting my 2nd one! The first scarf that I knit is now in the offices of Vogue Knitting - they're planning to photograph the kit for the Holiday Issue. I'm knitting a 2nd one to send over to Knit 'n Style for their Winter Issue... can't wait to see these scarves in print! Check out the Breast Cancer Support Scarf Kit Video Review!

Soft Linen
Soft Linen Hoodie

I gave in and started knitting this using the Soft Linen a few days ago... Orginally, i had thought about using the new SWTC Therapi - it's super soft and silky - and the colors are amazing. But, i decided to play it safe and go with the Soft Linen... and i'm glad i did! Check out the Classic Elite Soft Linen Video Review!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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