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Jimmy Beans Wool December 2006 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Focus on: Adding a Cable to a Baby Sweater
  • Free Pattern: Sandy's Diagonal Baby Blanket
  • December Kit of the Month: Soft Lux Deco Throw and Cushion
  • The Gifts to Give Corner
  • Just in - MuseAbles - Fun Creations for Non-knitters!
  • 50% Off Sale - Tahki, Rowan, Trendsetter, Karabella
  • Big Yarns = Big Savings: 25%-35% Off Select Biggy Print and Big Wool

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

Adding a Cable to a Baby Sweater

I'm not sure what's happening in the world lately, but it feels like I learn of another friend's pregnancy every week! As the owner of a knit shop, I'm pretty sure I could be arrested if I didn't personally hand knit something for each of these new babies. But in between filling orders, making holiday dinners, and shoveling snow (ok, I don't really shovel, but it is time-consuming to watch Doug do it!), I haven't had a ton of time to knit. Thank goodness for Knitting Pure & Simple patterns. Even with a minimal amount of time on my hands, I'm able to get a baby sweater done in just a few evenings... and they couldn't turn out any cuter. After a number of straightforward creations, however, I was itching to try something new with my needles. This is what makes me just love Diane's patterns... the fact that I can use the exact same pattern, the same needles, even the same yarn - and create something completely unique.

As such, the focus of today's "discussion" is adding a cable to an otherwise simple sweater. My example is quite specific, but I hope you are able to extrapolate these instructions to other patterns that you love.

To create an infant-sized sweater, I used 2 hanks of Karabella Superyak, a machine washable, natural yarn made from 100% Yak. As you can see from this page, the pattern I used is Knitting Pure and Simple - 214 - Baby Pullover & is knit from the top down (we'll have a lesson on that later!).

baby sweater
Karabella Baby Sweater Kit

Of course, the width of the cable is up to you, but I aimed for something that was nicely centered and not quite as wide as the neck opening. Specifically, my cable covered about 25% of the total width of the sweater. In this case, the width of the sweater (under the arms) is 10.5." Including the cable border, the cable is 2.5" wide.

The cable on front and back is P2, K8, P2. You'll want these 12 sts to be the center of the front and the back. Every 8 rows, you'll do a cable: put the front 4 K sts on a cable needle and hold to front. K the next 4 sts, then K the sts on the cable needle.

baby sweater example
Baby Sweater Example

Question: How did I know how many stitches to use for the cable?

Answer: Math. If I want my cable to be 25% of the total width, then I needed to allocate 25% of the total stitches to the cable. In this case, the number of stitches for the front was 48... and we used 12 of those stitches for the cable.

Also optional are the number of cables you'll add to the sweater. For this baby, I chose to add 4 cables: 1 cable on each arm, as well as 1 each on the front and back. Because the arms are much smaller than the front and back, I used a different cable for those.

The cable on sleeves is P2, K4, P2. You'll want these 8 sts to be the center sts on the sleeves. Every 6 rows, you'll do a cable: put the front 2 K sts on a cable needle and hold to front. K the next 2 sts, then K the sts on the cable needle.

Question: How did I know how often to cable the stitches?

Answer: I'm not sure if this approach is foolproof, but I decided that the frequency (6, for the sleeves) would equal 75% of the total number of cable stitches (8, in this case).

So, give it a try & let us know if you have other suggestions or tips ... I think you'll find yourself having a ton of fun - and impressing your newly pregnant friends!

Posted by Jimmy (Laura) of Jimmy Beans Wool

Free Pattern - Sandy's Diagonal Baby Blanket

This month, we've decided to add the directions for a Diagonal Knit Baby Blanket to our catalog of complimentary patterns. To create the blanket as shown, you'll need 2 balls each of 5 coordinating colors Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky - a machine washable cashmere/merino wool yarn. Thanks, Sandy, for writing this pattern (and thanks to Wiley for modeling)!

Scarf Scarf Scarf Scarf

Kit of the month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount... Given the holidays & downtime in December, we thought you might enjoy starting a larger project that could be given as a gift next December!

Soft Lux Throw Soft Lux Throw Soft Lux Throw

This month's featured kit is the Rowan Yarn Classic Soft Lux Deco Throw and Cushion.
On Sale For $153.36, you're saving 35% off the regular price of $235.85. Keep in mind that the price is even lower if you already have the book at home!

Please note that we don't have the colors shown in the photo here... However, the colors we are offering are somewhat similar & equally as beautiful (there are 4 choices). If you come up with another combo that you'd like to knit (using the colors we have in stock), just email us and we'll add it as an option!

This kit will be available at the sale price through the end of the month (sale ends December 31, 2006).

The Gift Corner

Don't know what to get the knitter in your life? Then welcome to a glimpse of the Gift Corner!! This area on the website pulls together all kinds of great stuff that can help when choosing gifts for knitters. We've accumulated some ideas for you!

Yarn: The trend this year is yarn that is multicolored and stripes naturally when you knit it. Examples are Rowan Tapestry and the Lang Mille Colori. For super soft and luxurious yarns, you can't beat the Karabella line (Boise is amazing). Sock knitters would go crazy over receiving 2 hanks of Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn. For scarf knitters, Muench Touch Me is exactly as described - 5 balls make a wonderful scarf! Or, choose one of these gorgeous Colinette colors - each kit makes a hand-dyed scarf:


Needles: If the object of your affection knits socks, choose Double Pointed Needles (size 0 for thin socks, size 5 for boot socks). If she knits hats or baby sweaters, choose 16" circulars. For adult sweaters, 24" circulars or 14" straight needles are the norm. The shorter 10" straight needles are perfect for scarf knitters.



Books: there are tons of wonderful books out there for beginners, as well as plenty for experienced knitters. We love the Sally Melville Series and the Vogue Series - I'm hoping to get both sets for my birthday!



So, whether you're buying for a veteran knitter or just a beginner, take a minute to peruse our Gift Corner - you'll find gifts ideas for everyone!

TEAM JIMMY BEANS...MEET AMANDA

amanda
Employee of the Month :: AMANDA

Ever wonder who that girl is that's constantly emailing you? Or who it is that sends your packages out so quickly? Her name is Amanda & in addition to being Allison's daughter, she's the best thing to hit Jimmy Beans Wool since ball winders. In July, she returned from a semester abroad in Australia & she picked back up right where she left off. We've been grateful ever since, but will miss her dearly when she departs for Detroit on December 30th.

Just Arrived :: MuseAbles Artsy Fiber Kits

Got lots of time this holiday season, but sick of playing card games? These fiber (non-knitting) kits are the ideal activity for creative types of all ages - and you end up with a product way more amazing than a potholder (of course, the potholder will protect your hands from burning). So, take a look at the description below and let us know what you think!

What do you get when you combine the finest yarns and fibers with a soluble film and a creative mind? A one-of-a-kind wearable, displayable piece of art a ~ MuseAbles ~ to be exact!~ MuseAbles ~ inspires creators to tap their inner muse, and use yarn and other fibers in a fun and innovative way to produce dazzling masterpieces.

At $62, each kit includes well designed combinations of fibers in irresistible color schemes, the soluble film that holds the project together, the thread that laces through the fibers, and crystal-clear instructions. And best of all, one of our good friends is the inspired mind behind these kits! (You've probably noticed that we continually try to showcase products developed by people we know!)

Our local Muse, Dannette, gave one of these a try and here's what she had to say:

I was having a blast because it is so crafty and a non knitter can have fun with amazing yarns and make a scarf. I imagine it as a fun gift for a teen, or anyone actually. You could make it with children helping so it would make a nice family made gift for grandma or whoever...lots of possibilities. Basically it is kind of clever. There is a disolveable sheet of material that you cut to size for what you are making, making sure to leave enough for double...top and bottom like a sandwich. Then you plop down on the floor and play! Cutting yarn and placing it however you like. I really got into it and found it fun and relaxing. After you are done with all the yarn you place the top piece of sheeting on and pin like crazy. Then you sew a grid pattern over the whole thing.

So, channel your inner MuseAble & create some memories this holiday season. You won't regret it!!

Big Yarns = Big Savings

Do you ever feel like people are looking at you as if you're crazy? Well, i've been getting a lot of that lately. Never one to turn down a deal, i just couldn't resist when Rowan offered us these great yarns at great prices... and we've extended the savings to you! Later this week, a semi is scheduled to arrive and drop off some HUGE boxes of Rowan Biggy Print and Big Wool. I'm still not sure where we're going to put it all, but we'll find a place (and you thought you had a lot of yarn at home!).

We're not getting every color on sale, but will receive 16 colors of Biggy Print and 13 colors of Big Wool. If you love these yarns, but aren't sure what to knit with them, check out our Kits page!

Biggy Print overstocked colors (showne below) are on sale for $9.95, down from $14.25:
235 236 237 240 244 246 248 250 251 254 255 256 257 259 261 263

Big Wool overstocked colors are now $11.25, down from $14.95:
23 24 30 31
32 33 34 35
38 39 40 41 43

Note that our inventory numbers won't be updated until next weekend, but we will be getting sustantial amounts of each color above. Feel free to preorder and we'll send it early next week. Sale prices are limited to stock on hand (as of Dec 15th) and will expire Jan 30th, 2007.

50% OFF SALE

Great deals in December! Once again, we're running out of room (see above story) and need some help from you guys. We've put the following yarns on sale at 50% off and will keep them at that price until we sell out! Now's your chance to try a few new yarns at prices you'll never see again!

NewTweed YorkshireTweed4Ply YorkshireTweedAran Binario Barbados EmpireSilk Magic

CLASSES

We're taking a break for the holidays, but will post a new class list at the beginning of the year. Stay Tuned!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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