July 2008 Newsletter!
In this issue:
- Traveling with Knitting - a few tips
- Kit of the Month: Summer Wrap
- Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 8!
- New Custom Lorna's Laces Color: UNR (Univ. of Nevada, Reno)
- Meet our Newest Team Member...
- Book Review: Knitting on the Road
- New Stuff: Travel Accessories
Traveling for the Summer
Summer is finally here and at some point it will be time to hit the road with friends or family....the best part is deciding which project(s) to take along! Here are some tips from Team Jimmy Beans for maximizing your knitting on the road (or plane, or train) experience! We have some great new yarns in store for you to cover any summer time knitting projects you have in mind, so be sure to check out our new inventory!
Some general common sense tips when traveling with knitting projects are:
- Choose small projects that don't take up too much space in your luggage or get too cumbersome to knit while traveling.
- Projects that are relatively simple to make can increase the joy if you have to stop-and-go knit while sight-seeing. If you have charts to follow or 24 row lace pattern repeats, it can make it tricky to pick up and put down at a moments notice.
- Photocopy the patterns you want to knit while away so you don't have to lug around heavy books and it prevents your books from being damaged while in transit. Of course, only make a copy if you purchased the pattern and the copy is only for your personal use.
|TEAM JIMMY BEANS TIPS!
And these tips came straight from the horses (um, i mean team's) mouth...
|Jeanne's tip: Denise Needle Sets - I love these for travel because they are compact and have every needle size, especially since it is pretty convenient to knit back and forth on circular needles, say the 24" length so your project can sit comfortably in the middle while not being worked on.|
|Ashley's tip: I'm a huge fan of point protectors when traveling with my knitting...somehow the stitches always like to work their way off the needles when bouncing around in my purse!|
Laura's tip: Take a measuring tape! That's the one item I often find myself without and get stuck on my project because I am not sure how far along I am. (There's nothing worse than wanting to knit - oh, so badly - but being scared of knitting TOO far!)
Sally's tip: Security check-in at airports usually don't like to see long straight needles - take circulars or small double pointed. If you are knitting socks on double pointed needles (I'm old fashioned!), take an extra set of needles along. Somehow airports and airplanes can gobble up a needle and there are no yarn shops at these locations! (P.S. I'm about to start a pair using the new Indie Dyer Sock Yarn... this color is Swamp Monster, my favorite.)
Victoria's tip: Ziploc bags! I just love them! They protect unused balls of yarn, they can temporarily hold all of the notions I need for my journey. They can protect my project from nasty Velcro encounters, greasy sunblock, gritty sand, mashed up fruit or sticky snacks....or anything I might have lurking in the trailer. (Of course, the project pouches from Ashland Sky work pretty well, too!)
Of course, traveling in your own vehicle, by train, by coach or even on a cruise, you'll be able to take along anything you want. But if you are flying, please make sure you check out the official guide to flying with needles and related tools. The TSA has a page devoted to traveling with your knitting.
Wherever your vacation takes you, we wish you a safe journey, fun memories and happy knitting!
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 knit by) Sally.
It's summer time! I embrace summer with lemonade, beach books, watermelon, going barefoot...you get the idea! Summer knitting for me is on my front porch in my rocking chair enjoying the view of sagebrush covered mountains! After all this is Nevada! Summer knitting may mean a day at "The Lake." In our area this means Lake Tahoe. Wherever I'm knitting I want a mindless vacation pattern. This summer I'm knitting a Mac and Me pattern called Summer Wrap -- at 20% off!.
This pattern is a stockinette stitch with a seed stitch border. Really not much more than a scarf! I am finding it helpful to place stitch markers where the pattern changes as a signal to pay attention. This way you may be able to knit right through the family reunion!
For my Summer Wrap I am using Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. This yarn is like knitting a cloud! I am doing my first one in Bone, a summer neutral. But, who couldn't resist colors like Sand and Pebble for summer knitting?
For even more summer fun select Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed-Organic Cotton in colors like Honeydew, Shell, Lemonade, Sky,Tomato, Ladybug or Pickle!
What does summer mean to you? Where will you be doing your Summer Wrap?
Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 8
The Free Pattern for Month 8 of our 'scarves to throws' journey is finished! Katie designed and knit this scarf in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted :: Sage. Hopefully, later this weekend, i'll be sewing this one and the glenwood to the 4 shown in the video below... then i'll show you a new picture!
|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).|
|P.P.S. If you want to see the ones i've sewn together so far, you can see them in our Shepherd Worsted Video Review (at about the 1:50 mark)!!|
Exclusive UNR Color!
We are proud to introduce a new custom (and exclusive) color into the Jimmy Beans Wool family: UNR - University of Nevada, Reno. Inspired by, you guessed it, the Wolfpack here in Northern Nevada. The color is a combination of about 75% Navy and 25% Pewter and knits up nicely for everyone - even if you're a Blue Devils fan like me (a girl can leave North Carolina, but North Carolina will never leave the girl... or something like that :)). The UNR color is available in 3 weights right now: Shepherd Worsted, Shepherd Sock, and Lion and Lamb. We'll be bringing in Shepherd Sport next month (with the August Limited Edition color), so you'll be able to get the UNR color in that weight also. Have fun!
Team Jimmy Beans...Meet Morris!
While i was nursing my punctured leg at home last week (details of the fun incident available on the blog - ugh!), Ashley, Amber and the rest of the team adopted a new mascot for the shop - Morris the Alpaca. Morris arrived last week with our Misti Alpaca shipment - what a surprise! Sitting at my [home] desk 50 miles away (and crying lightly because i wasn't able to walk or drive), i swear i heard Ashley's shriek of happiness when she dug through the new Hand Paint Chunky and happened upon Morris' head... Little did i know that she and the girls spent the rest of the day teaching Morris to knit, training him to work in the shop, and trying to make him feel comfortable in his new surroundings. Talk about being jealous! (At least they took some pictures :))
Book Review: Knitting on the Road
Knitting on the Road...a review by Rachel
I couldn't resist paging through Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter while discovering perfect projects for my summer knitting. Whether you have planned a long-distance road trip, or are whiling away the lazy days of summer at home trying to stay cool, socks are a great way to keep your hands busy and your creativity flowing.
Before we even get to the patterns, the very design of this book begs you to bring it along on your travels. Its narrow design fits neatly into your knitting bag, and the sturdy hard cover and spiral binding will stay open hands-free on your lap, or a plane tray table. Clearly illustrated, Bush includes a variety of cast-ons, and sock construction techniques, making the patterns easily accessible to beginning and advanced knitters alike. She also includes three pages of suggested sock yarns, so if in your travels you happen upon a great LYS you can match the sock yarn gems you find with the patterns in your book.
The 17 patterns (for only $18.95!) vary from easy to advanced, so there is something for everyone, and each pattern includes large easy-to-read charts. If you need a little light reading, Nancy included her personal travel anecdotes that inspired each pattern. So grab a glass of lemonade and your sox stix, your toasty toes will thank you for it when the cold weather returns.
New Stuff :: for Traveling
Travel Accessories.... a review by Jeanne (and, yes, she does own all of these bags!!)
We just received the most amazing bags and pouches from Della Q! I couldn't stand it and I bought the Della Q
Mazie Tote in Blue.
I currently have a pair of socks in it and I just love it for portability and style (and price!).
I think I will have to get them in all the four colors for all my small projects.
Here's a Video Review of the Mazie.
I am also thinking that the Della Q
Lily - Que will be perfect for travel!
I love to knit socks on circular needles (both fingering and bootweight) and this will keep my needles at hand with no trouble.
It doesn't hurt that they are so yummy to touch either. (Plus, it sure makes me feel put together when pull my blue Que out of my blue Mazie. Matching is fun!
And here's a short Video Review to show you how the Que works.
I adore my Lantern Moon Molly bag!
I have my
Schaefer Undulating Scarf project (more than 1/2 done) in it right now and all of my personal stuff (wallet, etc.)
in the outside pockets. This way I don't have to carry my purse and my knitting bag.
And here's a Video Review of the Molly.
|With my bag lust I am going to have to have the Olivia Rose too, because it is so roomy. It is much bigger than the Molly bag, but has the same great features and will hold a much larger project.|
|And finally, I am thinking of tying one of the Cambodian Twisted Scarves to my Olivia Rose bag so that I have a stylish scarf with me at all times - for that little kick of fashion. They are so nice and the colors are amazing! Useful for dressing up my outfit for the evening, or just because I am a girl and like pretty things. Perfect for traveling and feeling pulled together (not to mention the fact that i kinda like the Video Review that Jimmy did).|
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).
Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock
When this yarn arrived the other day, i could barely keep my hands off of it! Jeanne dove right in and grabbed a ball of the Maple Gray, while i decided to step outside of my comfort zone and knit with the boldest color i saw - the Taos! Even though i have 5 other projects to work on, i immediately cast on as soon as i got home that night. The picture makes the yarn appear a bit more red/orange than it really is... that's because of the smoke in the air today - it's casting an orange hue over everything! Needless to say, this is the most fun yarn i've EVER worked with. Not only do i love the colors, but it's soooo soft and light to work with. I'm actually considering doing a sweater with it. (Ok -maybe 'starting' a sweater :))
Therapi Braided Wrap Kit
Shortly before Sandy and I started filming our 9 minute Provisional Cast On Instructional Video, Sandy challenged me to a knit-off! She had just started knitting the Braided Wrap out of the SWTC Therapi and just knew that i'd also love knitting it... so we decided to race each other! Well, 2 weeks have gone by - and she just finished hers - i had to take a break b/c i just couldn't stop myself from knitting on the new Misti Sock Yarn (see above)
Blue Sky Cotton Blanket
My friend Laura had a baby boy last fall and asked many of her friends to come together and knit squares for a patchwork blanket. Well, the squares are knitted, but the dirty work of sewing them together is still to be done. That's where i come in (and i knitted the brown ones you see - imagine that!). I'm hoping that Laura likes the placement of the squares - and that Bryce likes the softness of the Blue Sky Cotton (but who wouldn't!).
Soft Linen Hoodie - Update!
I've got the back done!! My Soft Linen hoodie is coming along just fine... i just wish i could concentrate on it enough to finish it (of course, i should probably finish the Ab Fab blanket first).
Ab Fab Kit - Update!
I am much farther on this blanket for Allison than i was, but i know i need to get my rear in gear and get it finished. Dunno why it seems so hard sometimes... i think because it requires a bit more concentration (for me) than the stuff above... it's not the pattern that's difficult, it's just that i am trying to pay attention to when i have to switch yarns. It's still really fun, though.
Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!
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Jimmy Beans Wool
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Reno, NV 89502
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