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Jimmy Beans Wool September 2007 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Welcome Back From Hollywood!!
  • Custom Autographed Books! - Suss Cousins
  • Meet the Manufacturer - Lornas Laces
  • Limited Edition Sock Yarn - Candy Corn
  • Monthly Pattern Contest - The Storm Scarf
  • October Kit of the Month: Pink Scarf
  • The Breast Cancer Support Corner

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

We Survived Hollywood!

Well, we made it! This past weekend was a bit grueling, but also quite fun - and very successful. For those who didn't receive last month's newsletter, I'll fill you in: We attended the 2007 Emmys SwagSuite to give away these 'Go Green' knitting gift packs to celebrities:

Organic MarketBag Organic Dishcloth

All of the celebrities we met were truly wonderful -- especially all the guys we asked to learn to knit for charity. We were knitting on a pink scarf to be auctioned off for charity (given October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and every guy we asked to try out knitting said, "Yes"! I'm not sure if any were bitten by the knitting bug, but they sure were good sports!

Here's a little bit from our press release:

Beverly Hills, CA- Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Christian Clemenson (Boston Legal), Ernie Hudson (Desperate Housewives), Tim Daly (Wings, The Nine) , Hal Sparks (Talk Soup), Scott Baio (Diagnosis Murder, Happy Days), Judd Nelson (Suddenly Susan), - These are just a few of the noted celebrities who put their time and talents into knitting a darling pink scarf in the days leading up to the 59th Emmy Awards. Now memorabilia collectors around the world have the opportunity to bid on the finished project and donate to a good cause at the same time. The 60" by 10" scarf made w/ 5 strands of different luxury pink fibers is being auctioned off at www.clothesoffourback.org with the proceeds benefiting children's charities.

Hal Sparks Anthony Anderson Christopher McDonald Ernie Hudson Kenny Johnson Scott Baio

The Clothes Off Our Back Auction runs through October 2, 2007. Take a look at more celebrities knitting the pink scarf on our website. In addition, a pink, multi-stranded scarf kit inspired by the one knit by the celebs is available for purchase on our site, with $5 from every kit donated to the Young Survival Coalition - Young Women United Against Breast Cancer www.youngsurvival.org.

The Clothes Off Our Back Foundation hosts charity auctions showcasing today's hottest celebrity attire. Items are put up for bid to the public with proceeds going to benefit children's charities. The organization, founded by actors and philanthropists Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Bradley Whitford ("The West Wing," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") whose efforts, along with their celebrity and designer friends have helped improve the lives of children across the globe.

Great Gift Idea! Customized Autographed Copies

We're going to try something new this month - when you order a copy of Suss Cousins' new book Design Essentials (or any of her books, for that matter), you have the option of getting it custom autographed. Through the month of October, we will be offering customized, autographed copies of her books. Why? Because I think she's terrific - and I want everyone else to have just a bit of the personal experience that I had with her. After arriving in LA last week, I met up with Suss for the first time on Thursday afternoon. We immediately hit it off and started chatting about all of our yarn experiences, our life experiences, and anything else you can think of. We had a blast! The next morning, she picked me up from the hotel and took me to one of her favorite breakfast places where we had Lattes and Smoked Salmon and watched the cars go by. We chatted for an hour or so before heading to tour her new location (on Beverly Blvd.). I have to say that i was stunned - I've always known that she's an amazing pattern designer, but I had NO IDEA that her knitwear line was so incredibly gorgeous... and classic and simple. I couldn't seem to keep my hands off of everything in her shop. And if i were rich, i think i would have bought it all!! I think she sensed my enthusiasm, because she brought me 2 sweaters the next day - and I'm almost ashamed to admit that i've been wearing them ever since! :)

Suss, Me, and Ursula (from The Office) Suss and Sarah Clarke (from 24) Suss with our Organic Market Bag Here's Suss Watching Hal Sparks Suss and Sarah are Working on the Scarf for Charity

To celebrate her newest release, Design Essentials, she has graciously offered to autograph every copy that we sell! To have your copy autographed, please specify so in the 'comments' section when checking out. There is no extra charge, but please give us approximately 3 weeks to ship your copy.

Design Essentials Design Essentials Design Essentials

Meet Your Manufacturers: Beth Casey from Lornas Laces

Welcome to a new feature in our newsletter! For years now, we have been introducing you to our employees - sharing their photos, bios, and job duties. The response has been overwhelming - many of you have written to let us know how much you appreciate being able to 'meet' the people that you do business with. Well, we thought it might be fun - and educational - for you to meet the people that WE do business with - the faces behind the yarn and needle companies. Knitting is a touchy-feely hobby - and we think it's important to realize that even the biggest companies are run by touchy-feely people!!

Format: each month, we'll feature the owner of one of our favorite knitting companies. In addition to the standard photo and bio, we'll be publishing their take on 3-5 questions posed by our readers. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you'll receive a special gift from that company (a pair of needles, a hank of yarn, etc...).

Next month's manufacturer is Lantern Moon, the only source for premiere needles, bags, baskets and more from Vietnam. If you have a question for Bruce - or any of the crew there - email it to support@jimmybeanswool.com by October 10th (please email your name, mailing address, and question- and don't worry, we won't use that information for anything other than possibly sending you a gift). So, let's get started...

Introducing Beth Casey (a.k.a. Lornas Laces) and her beautiful dog, Pearl

Beth Casey Pearl the Dog Flamingo Stripe

Florence from South Carolina asks "What got you into this?"
And Beth's response:
I worked in college textbook publishing for 11 years. There came a time where I was very unhappy with my job. It got to the point where I was complaining about it all the time. One morning, my husband had had enough and said "One of us is going to call your boss and resign, do you want to do it or should I?" So I gave notice. I spent the next couple of years trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I studied baking at the French Culinary Institute in NYC, walked dogs and just kind of bounced around. One evening I was looking for my next project in a knitting magazine and saw an ad in the back offering a hand dyed yarn company for sale. I contacted the owner, Lorna Miser, in August and got more information. In October, I flew out to California to meet her in person and see the operation. I was enamored. We ironed out the details over the next couple of months and I was introduced as the new owner at TNNA in January of 2003.

Our very own Jeanne, a native Nevadan, wanted to know how she comes up with the color combinations. Just playing with dye, or does she use a color wheel?
I find color combinations all over. I try to keep my eyes open to possibilities around me every day. Let me give you some examples. Think about the last time you went shopping for bath towels. There was probably a wall filled with different colored towels. Instead of just looking for the ones that will work in the bathroom, I like to see how they play against one another. Tahoe is a color that evolved from a towel shopping expedition. I do the same thing here in the studio with skeins of our nearly-solids. Glenwood is another color that came about from just looking around. One fall evening I was walking home from the studio and one of the houses I passed had a terra cotta pot filled with yellow and orange mums. The colors intrigued me and the next day I came in and started playing around with dye. Sometimes blind luck plays a role too. Once, there were several skeins where the yellow section had gotten dark spots on it. Instead of tossing them in the mill ends pile, I took some leftover dye and overdyed them. The color was gorgeous! So, I reverse engineered things and Lakeview was born. So, there are many avenues we take to creating new colors.

Allison from Vermont asks "What do you love/hate most about the work?"
It's really a thrill to see a garment someone made and know that I was the one who dyed the yarn they used to create it. This may sound corny, but the thing I love most about this work is the idea that the yarn I dye by hand goes out and the person who buys it is also making something by hand. (And often for someone they love.) The chain of human touch going through all the different stages is pretty darn cool. I can't really think of anything I hate about this work. I guess the worst thing is the paperwork. I'm much happier getting dirty working the dye pots.

As for me, I just wanted to ask "What is your favorite Lornas Laces color?"
Yikes, that's like asking a mother to pick a favorite child! My favorite color changes from time to time. It also makes a difference what the yarn is going to be used for. Some colors are well suited for sweaters and others are better off as accessories. Some colors are great for kids and others work better for grown-ups. And there is the ever present male vs female distinction too. So, I'm going to give you two of my current faves. Vera has been holding on as my all around favorite for quite some time. It kind of funny because I didn't love it at first and now I think it's great. (I think many of us have friends like that too.) My favorite kids color has to be Rainbow. It's gender neutral and just so bright and happy.

Beth, thank you soooo much for taking the time to answer these questions - I love reading and learning about how people got started, what motivates them, and where they get their ideas. Thank you again!

And don't forget, next month's manufacturer is Lantern Moon. If you have a question for Bruce - or any of the crew there - email it to support@jimmybeanswool.com by October 10th (please email your name, mailing address, and question- and don't worry, we won't use that information for anything other than possibly sending you a gift). We look forward to hearing from you!

Limited Edition Lornas Laces Sock Yarn - Candy Corn

The October color is here!! For October 2007, we came up with the color Candy Corn (our very own Jeanne came up with the name!). The color combination of orange and chocolate came about as a tribute to those who are fans of the Halloween holiday - and to those who aren't (hence the brown instead of traditional black). Personally, this color makes me think of those chocolate dipped orange slices, but it reminded Jeanne of her favorite October treat Candy Corn (without the white, obviously). Whatever it reminds you of, you won't be disappointed when you get your needles on it. So grab 2 for a pair of socks today - you'll never be able to get it again!

And remember, we're only producing enough for a few pair of socks per U.S. state, so the likelihood of you seeing someone else with the same pair is pretty doggone low. And once we sell out, we're sold out - no one in the UNIVERSE will ever be able to get more. Lornas has promised us that they will destroy each month's secret dyeing algorithm, so if you love socks - and if you love Lornas Laces (who doesn't?) - then you might want to grab a few hanks right in the beginning.

Auto-Ship Update: To give everyone a fair chance at getting these Limited Edition Colors, we have decided to not pursue an auto-ship program. The colors have just been selling out so quickly - and we want to maintain the 'limited edition' spirit of the program. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but look forward to seeing you on the 20th of each month when the next month's color becomes available for pre-order!

You can order Candy Corn here.

Pattern Design Contest Winner: Iris G

Please help us to congratulate Iris for her prize winning pattern!

Iris describes the inspiration behind her scarf design: few guys I know want their knitted scarves long and fancy, instead they always ask for something short, soft, and machine washable. "Storm Scarf" meets their standards. It can be comfortably tucked under a winter coat, and does not take much space when taken off. The two-color mini cables make it a quick and fun project for you -- great as a last-minute gift item!

ThunderScarf ThunderScarf ThunderScarf

About the Designer:: I currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I'm always on the move. Knitting is a creative outlet for me, and most of my designs are inspired by historical, cultural, and artistic resources. Check out my blog http://irisgknits.blogspot.com/ for designs, stories, sketches, techniques, and free patterns!

Iris G

Thanks to all the entrants of this month's contest, and remember that your pattern will automatically be included in the next two months' contests. For those who didn't make it this month, check out the full pattern contest details. The prize pack is currently valued at over $450! The deadline for this month's contest is September 30th, 2007.

Spread the word! Do you have a knitting related website or blog? You can use the following image and sample link to create a link to this page:

Pattern Contest    (Right click and save it, then post it up to your site.)

Sample link:
<a href="http://www.JimmyBeansWool.com/freePatternContest.asp">Jimmy Beans Wool Pattern Contest</a>

If you have problems or questions about creating a link to this page, email us at contest@JimmyBeansWool.com!

Kit of the Month!

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

Pink Scarf Kit Pink Scarf Kit Pink Scarf Kit

In honor of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this month's featured kit is our Breast Cancer Support Scarf. The kit contains 5 luxurious pink yarns - all ready to be knit together and worn in support of those who have been (or will be) affected by Breast Cancer.

On Sale for $55.52, $5 of every scarf sold will be donated to the Young Survival Coalition (Young Women United Against Breast Cancer).

This kit will be available at the sale price through the end of the month (sale ends October 31st, 2007).

The Breast Cancer Support Corner

We've put this corner together so that you can see all of the Breast Cancer related items in one spot. For instance, a portion of the profits from the sale of Flamingo Stripe Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock goes towards a Breast Cancer Organization... so grab a couple of hanks (or a Tote For the Cure) and help support a disease that affects us all!



Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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