August is a transitional time for many of us. It's the beginning of the end of summer, mornings and evenings are getting a bit cooler, and the kids head back to school. As we hold onto the last days of sweet summer freedom before the weather begins to dictate our time spent outdoors, we celebrate with festivals of all kinds. In many places this means a County Fair - an event where carnival rides, cotton candy, and all kinds of entertainment take our minds off of the changes ahead. These are the "dog days" that inspired this month's Denise2Go needles.
County Fair is a mix of delightful Joel Dewberry Fabrics from his Notting Hill collection. With the Square Petal print on the inside of the case and Tartan Plaid on the outside, this combo is the perfect mix of fabrics to embody this transitional month. The cables inside include three perfectly coordinated colors for a truly unique set. Denise2Go Needle Sets are perfect for the knitter on-the-go with six pairs of needle tips in the most popular sizes: US 5-10, three cords (14", 16", and 19" lengths), and a cord extender in every set. It also includes two cord end caps and a handy crochet hook! All of these knitting essentials tuck up into a charming palm-sized little bundle that fits easily in a knitting bag, purse, or pocket.
Did we mention that Denise is a small, family-owned business and all of their products are made in the USA? We think that is really cool and are glad that they are part of the JBW family! We are so grateful that they continue to create these special limited edition cases for us each month, too! What a real treat for us, and hopefully for you as well!
Take Swans Island's beautiful hand-dyed colors and combine them with ultra-soft, machine washable merino wool and you get the gorgeous new EcoWash line! It is available in both DK and Aran weights, and comes in a lovely palette of colors dyed using Swans Island's signature low impact dyes; these are developed using only naturally occurring minerals, plants, and insects. EcoWash is the new organic process which enhances the wool fibers to prevent felting, without the use of harsh chemicals. All this means that you can be sure that you are purchasing an environmentally friendly product that is produced in a way that honors traditional handmade techniques! The soft EcoWash yarn is great for babies or sensitive skin, and will result in a beautiful tonally variegated finished object. Both DK and Aran have 4 plies that are tightly spun, creating a sturdy yarn that will stand the test of time...and the washing machine!
We love the silky Natural Colors Lace yarn from Swans Island, which is why we were super excited to get our hands on the new Natural Colors Sport! With the same 50/50 blend of merino and silk, the Sport has unparalleled sheen and drape combined with a wonderfully soft hand. It is available in twelve stunning hand-dyed colors with rich tonal variegation that will result in a gorgeous finished piece with so much depth! At five stitches per inch, this yarn will knit up into light, yet warm transitional pieces - perfect for cool fall evenings! Additionally, Swans Island has added several new colors to the Natural Colors line in Bulky, Worsted and Fingering, including Goldenrod, a vibrant yellow, Lupine, a soft purple and Mulled Cider, a rich red. There are also new colors in Natural Colors Lace, for example Lapis, a deep blue, Loden, a gorgeous brown and Slate, a lovely dark gray.
Did you know that Swans Island Yarns is owned by two ex-lawyers with a passion for wool? Yep, Swans Island is owned by John and Carolyn Grace who started the company in the early 90's to produce beautiful, natural hand-dyed, woven merino wool blankets. They still make some of the most gorgeous blankets we've ever seen, but most importantly, they also make yarn!
Crystal Palace has come up with yet another brilliant yarn! Gold Rush is constructed of a sturdy yet soft cotton core in either black or white, which has been plied with high quality brushed wool - giving it a bit of texture and romantic halo. The popular soft striping Mini Mochi, Mochi Plus, and Chunky Mochi colors that we've all come to know and love, are now combined with unique gold or silver flecks of metallic fiber! The fun look and feel of Gold Rush will give your projects a bit of flare and excitement!
Half abacus, half bracelet, the Ablet is a unique, fun and AFFORDABLE tool from Creative Commodities! It provides you with a colorful and efficient way to keep count of your rows or pattern repeats while you knit or crochet. It's easy to use - all you have to do is slide the beads along as you complete each row and it records row counts from 1-99. The Ablet also keeps everything stylish by presenting it as a high quality piece of jewelry that you can easily wear at home or out on the town.
Rawwr! Bring out your inner animal with this cute new Animal Hats Pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple. You could even make all six designs so that you can be a different cute critter every day of the week! Each one is knit using a bulky weight yarn, so you're sure to be warm and toasty during those chilly winter months. Diane Soucy keeps things "pure and simple" with her clear instructions, so even beginner knitters can feel confident joining in on the fun. Choose from a Unicorn, Lion, Sheep, Cat, Panda or Sock Monkey Hat - which begs the question...What animal are you?
The Schacht Zoom Loom is finally here and it's already flying off the shelves! The secret's out about this nifty little tool that can be used to make potholders, trivets, coasters, you name it - any little weaving project you want to take on-the-go with you. It even has the instructions molded into the side so you'll never lose them. It's perfect for teaching children to weave, too! The kit includes everything you need to get started - so, what are you waiting for?
Breatkin (especially if you live in a desert like we do in Reno, Nevada) with the new Handmaid Lotion from Soak! The experts at Soak have created this luxury hand cream that is infused with shea butter and vitamins A and E. This product helps rejuvenate and protect your skin; plus, it absorbs quickly while retaining the moisture. It doesn't leave you with that greasy feel on your palms, so you can protect your skin and your yarn at the same time! Soak is packaged in 3oz. bottles comes in 5 different delicious scents.
Jade Sapphire has a reputation for combining high-caliber fibers with eye-catching colors, and their newest yarn has met and exceeded our highest expectations! Sylph combines the light and airy softness of cashmere with the drapey, natural texture and strength of linen, ultimately producing a fabric that we just can't resist! With 309 yards of DK weight yarn and a bountiful selection of soft and natural colors, you'll be able to create elegant and ethereal shawls, lightweight shrugs, cowls, and scarves.
You all loved our knit version of the Swans Island Worsted Hats for the Whole Family in Swans Island's 100% organic Merino Worsted yarn so much that we decided to revisit that pattern in Swans Island Bulky for an even faster knit! Our in-house designer, Kristen, wanted to maintain the versatility of the original version, so the Bulky Hat pattern still accommodates sizes from baby to adult with plenty of ways to customize.
The Swans Island Bulky Hats for the Whole Family are knit on US size 8 and 9 needles for a quick and easy project that you can make in as many colors as you choose. Our versions each use two colors with varying widths of stripes to show off the gorgeous tonal quality of Swans Island's naturally dyed yarns; the super soft organic merino wool is warm and dense, making the hat a perfect winter warmer. Be sure to add these super easy hats to your Ravelry queue, or snag everything you need now by ordering them as a kit. Either way, they will make great gifts this coming holiday season!
We are proud to be a small family-owned business that supports other small family owned businesses every day. That's why we decided to give a little love to them in this issue of our newsletter. The featured businesses below represent some unique companies that we are honored to work with. We hope you enjoy them, too!
Koigu Yarns is based in Ontario, Canada and is owned by mother-daughter-team Maie and Taiu Landra (with the help of Taiu's teenage daughter Kersti as well.) Maie has the creative brain while Taiu has the business brain, and Kersti has a little bit of both! This family-owned and -run operation makes some of the most beautiful hand-painted yarns we've ever seen with some of the most unique designs to accompany them. Known for their popular KPM and KPPPM yarns, Koigu has expanded their range into several different weights over the years (including a DK weight named after Kersti), and has won the hearts of many a knitter and crocheter. We love the 12- yard Mini Skeinettes they make for our Grab Bags (perfect for knitting the Beekeeper's Quilt), and the 25g "Demi" skeins, which are great for smaller projects! While the Landras may own one of the most unique yarn companies in the business, one thing ties them in with all knitters and crocheters everywhere - their genuine love for fiber and creating beautiful designs. That's why we love Koigu and all that they do!
Yarn Pop is the brainchild of a voracious knitter named Lori who was tired of carrying her balls of yarn around in plastic baggies to keep them neat. One day, she decided to make her own project bag that would allow her to keep her yarn tidy but also accessible. She came up with an idea using grommets to thread the yarn out from the inside of the bag, and it led her to think that other knitters might like it as well. Boy was she right! She took her first line of products to Stitches West in 2011 and was sold out of Yarn Pops by Sunday morning! From there, she has gotten to work building a Yarn Pop empire with many different types Yarn Pops, including the Mini- perfect for your small notions and teeny skeins, Single, Double, and Gadgety - which has an inner pocket with its own space for notions or even your iPod. We also love the Totable, which is great for those extra large projects or just toting all of your projects around in! Lori's products are both innovative and fun - and that is why we love them (not to mention that Lori and Dee, her husband who helps out at all of the yarn shows, are about the nicest folks around!) We can't wait to see what they come up with next!
Namaste, Inc. - based in Los Angeles, CA - has long been one of our best-selling accessories suppliers. Their beautiful (and amazingly high quality) bags are chic and versatile, making them great for hauling both your knitting or crochet projects and your everyday necessities. Most of us who have been here at Jimmy Beans for a while own at least one Namaste product (and some of us more than we care to admit.) One reason we love Namaste is their obvious love for their furry friends. They let their furry and feathered pets Lola, Jack, Annie, Cowboy, and Paco the Parrot come to work with them each day, which is SO cool! They really are a part of the family business which we find to be fun and refreshing, just like the fine folks at Namaste (Kelly, Clint, Dawn, and Mama Toni) themselves! Some of their most popular items are the gorgeous Harlow Bag, the Oh Snap Pouches, the Circular Needle Case, and the new Devin Wristlet and Jemma Pouch. We love ALL things Namaste and we hope you do too!
Doug and Laura Zander have worked over the past 11 years to grow Jimmy Beans Wool into what it is today. By always being in competition with themselves, the Zanders and JBW staff have overcome obstacles and are proud to announce that the business has made the Inc. 5,000 List for the 5th year in a row. This award is based on ranking the nation's fastest growing private companies. We are so humbled and honored to be included in this list again that we are celebrating by using this issue of the newsletter to highlight some of the small businesses that we work with and are constantly impressed and amazed by. We hope you enjoy reading about them!
Throughout the years, the Zanders learned from their mistakes and have become experts at their own 'organic' way of running JBW. So much so that Laura was recently offered the opportunity to become a columnist for the entrepreneurial outlet Inc.com! The theme of Laura's column is what she calls "boot-strapping your business," her tips and tricks for building and running a business without generating debt. For Laura, the most important facet of running a business is growing organically without depending on loans - something that has proven to be more difficult than expected. "This process has lasted over 11 years and it's been painful" Laura said. "We haven't avoided mistakes and continue to learn a lot." Her column is designed to be both comforting and educational for other small business owners who may be experiencing the same challenges the Zanders have faced.
To read Laura's column, be sure to check out her author page on Inc.com!
Chicken Boots Long Needle Case: 35% off! We love the adorable fabric prints and functional style of Chicken Boots accessories and needle cases! Unfortunately, the Long Needle Case has been discontinued, but that means that we can pass on this amazing deal to you! With a multitude of pockets in different shapes and sizes, you can store just about any type of needle in this case, including, of course, those hard to store long straights. There is even a little clear zipper pocket for notions! There are just 3 fabrics left - so grab one before they are gone!
Jul Pedestal Buttons and Purse Handles: 20-50% off! JUL accessories are some of the most unique we've seen in a long time, and we were so excited to see that they were offering some discontinued styles on sale! If you are looking for a new way to close a cardigan or keep a shawl in place, these accessories are a great alternative to buttons and shawl pins. The Resin Pedestal Buttons come in lots of bright and funky colors, making them a fun way to bring a pop of color to your finished garment. There are also bright pink Prague and Madrid leather purse handles, which will really add a polished finishing touch to your next felted bag project!
Trendsetter Blossom and Bacio: 40-50% off! We recently found out that Trendsetter Blossom has been discontinued. Although we are sad to see it go, we are happy to pass it along to you at 50% off! The soft and furry base yarn has flecks of different colored material worked into it throughout the skein, making it interesting and fun to knit with! For pattern ideas, check out the adorable Blossom Baby Sweater from Churchmouse. In addition to the Blossom, we also have Bacio on sale from Trendsetter. This multi-color single ply yarn is wonderfully soft and perfect for accessories. It is thick and thin and has a slight shine to it, making it a super fun yarn to knit or crochet with!
Lorna's Laces Black Sheep: 50% off! Are you looking for a yarn that is economical, high quality and gorgeously dyed? Then Lorna's Laces Black Sheep is the choice for you! One skein is a generous 235 yards, and at only $9.95 per skein you can make all the special people in youys! The colors are wonderfully unique, with a strand of black fiber plied with a strand of natural fiber that has been dyed with the same Lorna's Laces colors you know and love. Black Sheep is also a thick and thin yarn; so combined with the "barber pole" dye effect, it knits up into really neat finished pieces!
KA Interchangeable Sets: 60% off! We have a wonderful opportunity for anyone out there who is interested in a super high-quality bamboo needle set at a deep discount! KA interchangeable and double pointed needles are made with the highest quality bamboo from Japan. They have a light weight and warm to the touch feeling, making them comfortable for anyone to knit with! The Interchangeable's unique join is easy to screw on and off with no extra tool required, and the cords are nice and flexible. There are several interchangeable sets to choose from on sale as well as the Miniature, which contains everything you need for small gauge knitting and crochet projects (think socks!).
We have so many projects on our needles all the time, but here are some of our most recent completed projects that used yarn from small, family-owned yarn companies like Be Sweet, Madelinetosh, Brown Sheep and Malabrigo!
Gina May made this beautiful mohair scarf with Be Sweet's Extra Fine Mohair for a friend - what a lucky friend! The pattern is from Adele Cutten and is available on Ravelry as a download for purchase along with a larger version of the scarf. Gina says the yarn is somewhat difficult to work with because it is so fine and nubbly, but the end result is well worth the effort!
Rachel made the Honey Cowl as a gift, but immediately wanted to keep it for herself! It's a free pattern from Madelinetosh and uses 1 or 2 skeins of Tosh DK. Rachel did the longer version using 2 skeins of Tosh DK in the Alizarin colorway. It's beautiful and works up in a flash!
Madison is a beginning knitter and this was her first finished project! Luckily she had the help of her co-workers to guide her along - and her resulting shawl is absolutely beautiful. Madison's Truckee Shawlette (a Free Pattern from our website by Kristen Ashbaugh Helmreich) was knit using 2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace Superwash in the Velvet Grapes and Azul Profundo colors. This limited edition yarn is running low on color choices, so we are now recommending the Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace for this project instead, or any light fingering weight yarn of your choice (Tosh Merino Light would also be beautiful!) All you need is about 400 yds of each color.
Moonkoosas!!! Kristen couldn't help but cast on for these fun felted/fulled booties the minute she saw the pattern. The pattern is by Tiny Owl Knits and can be made in 4 heights. This is the short height, with an extra repeat of the leg. Kristen used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in the Olympic Bronze color. She made the size 9 boot (Lg) and has plans to sew on leather bottoms similar to the ones that Tiny Owl Knits (Stephanie Dosen) shows in her video for these boots.
Erika is about to go to Italy and Greece on vacation and she wanted to make something light and airy to wear in the Mediterranean sunshine! Belle by Cocoknits fit the bill perfectly, so Erika snagged some Shibui Linen and some Size 9 circular needles and got to work right away! She told us that the pattern didn't specify exactly which needle to use for the ribbing (it just gives a range) so she used a US 8 and she is happy with the gauge. The result is utterly fabulous and we can't wait to see her wearing it in pictures of her European adventure!
If you haven't taken advantage of our awesome deals on the Wool Watcher, then you are missing out! Especially since we often put up exciting items, like overstocked Lorna's Laces Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Colors, at deeply discounted prices! At the moment we have quite a bit of some of our older LLE colors on the shelves and need to make some room for all the new fall yarn by finding loving homes for these orphaned skeins. Seeing as this month is tthe start of the LLE color (can you believe it's been 6 years?!?!), we thought it would the perfect time to offer some extra special deals!