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If you cannot read this email, you can view this newsletter online at: http://www.JimmyBeansWool.com/2009JanNewsletter.asp


Jimmy Beans Wool - Your Local Yarn Store... Online!

January 2009 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Sewing Scarves Together: The Modified Mattress Stitch
  • Free Pattern: Kidsilk Haze Circular Scarf
  • Kit of the Month: Biggy Print Mittens
  • New Items: CPY Mini Mochi, Lana Grossa Chiara, Mohair Splash
  • Sale: 40% Off Select Jo Sharp Yarns and 27-40% Off Select Cherry Tree Hill Yarns
  • JBW in the News: Selected as One of Reno's Best!
  • Classes in the Reno Store

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

The Modified Mattress Stitch

Scarves to Throws

Whew! I didn't think i'd ever get done with these scarves... Oh. Actually, I'm not done. And I have soooo little left to do! But, alas, I keep getting sucked in by new yarns, new patterns, new things to spend time on (like the baby cardigan for Allison). Oh well. I'm so close to being done, it's silly. Actually, the silly part is that I really like sewing them together. I mean, it only takes me about an hour (and one large coffee) to sew 2 of them together - and I'm always just so tickled with the result. That said, I have 3 hours of work remaining. I think i can do it before February!

Anyway, we promised you an instructional article on sewing these together... and that's what i'm going to write about here. To tell the truth, we filmed a video a few days ago, but just realized that the sound wasn't working. So we're giving you the next best thing! I'm calling this a "modified mattress stitch" because each of the scarves that we're sewing together is different and has a different kind of edge. It's a little more flexible that the traditional mattress stitch - and the variation in edges and yarn colors do a great job of hiding the imperfections in your technique. So... here's how i've been sewing mine together. Shown below are Harvest on the left and Motherlode on the right.

The first step (not pictured) is to pin your scarves together at various points. This ensures that the seams are sewn together evenly. Secondly, you need to get the sewing process started (i.e., when you get to the end of the Harvest scarf, you're also at the end of the Motherlode scarf). Grab a darning needle and thread it with a piece of yarn (referred to here as "working yarn") approximately 1.5-2 times the length of the scarves. Though it's nice to use matching yarn, it's not necessary - if we do this right, you won't be able to see the stitches. Insert the darning needle into the bottom left hand corner of the Motherlode scarf, from the bottom up. Pull the needle and yarn through, but leave a 6" tail (to sew in later). Now, in the same manner, insert your needle and yarn into the bottom right hand corner of the Harvest scarf. Pull the yarn through. You're ready to get started on the fun part!

Mattress Stitch - 1

Working now on the Motherlode scarf, take your darning needle and insert it into the hole that your working yarn is coming out of... from the front of the scarf to the back. Don't bother pulling the entire length of working yarn through the hole at this point - you'll do that in a second. (Please note that this this photo was taken after i had already sewn a few inches ... the instructions are the same as if i had just started, but i didn't want you to get confused).

Mattress Stitch - 2

In this step, you'll want to bring the darning needle back to the front of the Motherlode scarf, about 1/4-1/2" up from where you inserted it. You can see that I shortcutted the process just a bit by entering and exiting the scarf all in one step.

Mattress Stitch - 3

Pull the darning needle and working yarn all of the way through (not too tightly).

Mattress Stitch - 4

Repeat the process on the Harvest scarf... insert your needle into the spot on the Harvest scarf that your working yarn is coming out of.

Mattress Stitch - 5

Bring the darning needle back to the front of the Harvest scarf, about 1/4-1/2" up from where you inserted it.

Mattress Stitch - 6

Pull the darning needle and working yarn all of the way through (not too tightly).

Mattress Stitch - 7

Repeat the above process a few more times (in and out of the Motherlode, then in and out of the Harvest). Pull the working yarn relatively tightly. You'll notice that the scarves start to "close" together... the working yarn that you could see between the scarves will disappear - it's magic! After tightening everything a bit, you can go back to the steps above... and repeat until you've reached the end.

So, that's how i do it. You can take a look at the complete Modified Mattress Stitch Article on our website (complete with larger pictures). I hope the pictures and commentary are helpful - and please don't hesitate to let us know if you have other questions - you can always email us or use our fancy new Live Chat program on the website. We love to talk about knitting!! By the way, once i do get those final 3 hours of work done, I'll post photos here.

Free Pattern

Here's the scarf that I was inspired to knit by Ann Norling. Though not a published pattern, she had knit one for herself and let me borrow it one afternoon when i was freezing to death. The scarf was knit in 5" sections... 1 section for each color, repeated twice. Once knit (or you could do single crochets - a size C or D hook), the scarf will be about 60" long, but you can block the heck out of it and make it about 25% longer! Note: In all honesty, I'm only 1/2 way done (other projects to work on), but I have enough done to know that you'll only need 1 ball each of the colors - and that the colors turned out nicely :)
View the free pattern here.

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 is the Super Bulky Mitten Kit.

Biggy Print Mittens Normally $28.50
As low as $7.98 (select colors)

These quick and easy mittens are the cure for cold winter days... knit on relatively small (US 11) needles, don't be surprised if you finish a pair in one evening! Though not complicated, you will be knitting on double pointed needles - and will need to pick up stitches for the thumb. Other than that, these are a piece of cake - and you can't beat the price for the discontinued colors (or the fact that the pattern is free)!

New Arrivals: CPY Mini Mochi, Lana Grossa Chiara, Artyarns Mohair Splash

Mini Mochi
Mini Mochi

Wow. I simply don't know what else to say about this new yarn from Crystal Palace. Susan (from CPY) and her crew have outdone themselves. Mini-Mochi is a self-striping fine, single ply yarn. Not only is this yarn an obvious choice for socks, but imagine using it for anything that requires a fingering weight yarn ... shawls, baby clothes, mittens, hats. And each magic ball of 195 yds is only $8.60!


Eye Socks
Eye Socks

Only $17.20
Lace Leaf Wrister
Lace Leaf Wrister

Only $8.60
Weekender Stole
Weekender Stole

Only $34.40
 
Chiara
Lana Grossa Chiara

Chiara from Lana Grossa is a gorgeous mohair blend with just a teensy bit of sparkle. Light and airy, yet full of romantic drape, we know you're going to love this yarn as much as we do ... especially since you get 209 yards for just $12.90. And don't be scared by the prices below... you can easily knit an amazing scarf with just a couple of balls. We have one in the shop right now (it's the one in this picture) and all of our in-store customers are loving it. And while the Mini-Mochi above may be my favorite new sock yarn, Chiara is my sweater pick of the season.


Chiara Cap
Flower Cap

From $38.70
Vest
1 Button Vest

From $51.60
Chiara Cap
Striped Cap

From $64.50
Wrap Jacket
Wrap Jacket

From $116.10

Artyarns Mohair Splash contains 165 yards per skein and dry clean only. Offered only in solids, Mohair Splash is similar in composition to Artyarns' Beaded Mohair and Sequins, but the spacing between the clusters of beads and sequins creates one-of-a-kind designs when knitted up. We are extremely excited about the appeal of working with this yarn. It is more casual and everyday than the extremely popular Beaded Mohair and Sequins.


Bright Green
Bright Green
Gold
Gold
Navy
Navy
Burgandy
Burgandy
Mohair Splash
Artyarns Mohair Splash

Sale: 40% Off Select Jo Sharp Yarns and 27-40% Off Select Cherry Tree Hill Yarns

Cherry Tree Hill Sock Yarn Sale

Stock up on super-soft, super-fun sock yarn by Cherry Tree Hill. For just $12 (normally $20), you can treat yourself to a hank of semi-solid, hand painted merino sock yarn - there are quite a few Supersock Solids colorways to choose from! For $16 (regularly $22), you can start knitting with an equally luxurious yarn - Sockittome - that's been handpainted with multiple colors. (The serengeti is my favorite, by the way...) Whichever you choose - solid or variegated - you're bound to be pleased with the result (and with the money left in your wallet)!

Serengeti
Sockittome

On Sale $16
Peacock
Sockittome

On Sale $16
Island Red
Supersock

On Sale $12
Lime
Supersock

On Sale $12
Jo Sharp Sale Yarns

Save 40% on discontinued colors ever popular Jo Sharp cotton line: Desert Garden Aran Cotton and Soho Summer DK Cotton (both are normally $6.40 per ball, now $3.84). To be perfectly honest with you, I had never seen these yarns in person when I placed my order. For those of you that are familiar with these cottons, can you imagine my surprise when they were delivered? Um, to put it mildly, they are both absolutely, incredibly gorgeous. The sheen is just perfect (not too shiny, not too dull), the colors are rich and heavy, and the texture is simply divine. I'd have to say that these are 2 of my favorite cotton yarns of all time. Please note that we are sold out of a few colors, but have more on the way - feel free to contact us via Live Chat if we're out of a color that you're interested in (or for pattern suggestions)... we might be getting more!

Azalea
Soho Summer DK

On Sale $3.84
Azul
Soho Summer DK

On Sale $3.84
Pageant
Desert Garden

On Sale $3.84
Evening
Desert Garden

On Sale $3.84

I should also note that we have a fair bit of Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair on sale for 40% off also ($4.68 a ball). Currently, we have 6 colors (and 2 colors of the Infusion) in stock, but are expecting more to arrive from Italy in the next couple of weeks - stay tuned!

JBW in the News

I just realized that we get our fair share of press and, in all of the excitement, usually forget to share it with you... Just in the last month, we've had 5 press mentions (usatoday.com, forbes.com, reno news and review - twice, and reno magazine)... pretty cool for a knitting shop, eh (and what a great way to bring knitting to the attention of LOTS of people!)? Anyway, I thought I'd share the most recent mention with you, our inclusion (again) in Reno Magazine's annual "Best of Reno" issue. Thanks, Reno!

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).

top down sweaters
Sue's Top Down Kids Sweaters

Sue, one of our amazing customers from Ohio, knit these precious top-down sweaters using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Yarn and was kind enough to share her photos with us. I don't know about you, but I think they turned out adorably!!

Kidsilk Haze Scarf
Jimmy's Kidsilk Haze Circular Scarf

I was inspired to knit this scarf by my friend Ann Norling - though not a published pattern, she had knit one for herself and let me borrow it one afternoon when i was freezing to death. Her scarf was knit in 5" sections... 1 section for each color, so I followed suit and am now halfway done.

Victoria's Cotton Fleece Ballet Top
Victoria's Cotton Fleece Ballet Top

I have knit one of these Ballet tops before - and gave it to my friend. I decided I wanted one myself for Spring and so I picked up two balls of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Robin Egg Blue and held two strands together as instructed on size 15 needles (I used 24" length circulars). The only change I made in the pattern is that I probably knit an additional 10 rounds in the body of the top as I didn't want it to measure 17" in length on me. The Cotton Fleece is lightweight and soft and makes this an inexpensive top to whip out in just a few hours!

Jeanne's FairIsle Mini Mochi Socks
Jeanne's FairIsle Mini Mochi Socks

When the Mini Mochi came into the shop, I almost swooned with love! It is so soft and hollered at me to take it home. I chose 2 colors (103 &108) for socks. I am using a US 3 needle and working the Magic Loop technique to make some Funky socks, alternating the two colors; as in Fair Isle. I am not using a specific pattern, but may write it up as a 2 Askew Designs Pattern for all of you. This yarn is soooooooooo fun to work with and super soft! Happy Knitting!

Baby Cardigan for Allisaura
Baby Cardigan for Allisaura

Here's the cardigan that i've started for my dear friend's upcoming (impending? soon-to-arrive?) baby girl (we jokingly named the first girl born Allisaura when we were kids - Allison + Laura). Knit from the top-down, you can see the hood at the top of the photo (you do that first, then sew it up). Towards the middle, you can see where i've put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn - to be picked up and knit after i finish the body. I'm planning to trim the entire thing in green - and maybe add some green embroidered flowers along the bottom. It goes so fast!

Jeanne's Felted Tweed Tendril
Jeanne's Felted Tweed Tendril

I started the Tendril from the Rowan book Nature and am using Rowan Felted Tweed in Dragon, 147. It calls for large pearl like beads, but I think I am going to forgo the beads and just let the yarn be the star. I am knitting it for myself and love the cables that go up the back and down each side on the front. It calls for a different yarn, but the Rowan Felted Tweed swatched out perfectly on a US 6!

Classes in the Reno Shop

We've had multiple requests daily for more knitting classes. So, here is the latest schedule! Visit the website for additional information - costs, materials required, instructor names, etc. (And don't forget about weekly drop-in classes with Allison.) For further information, call the reno store at (775) 827-YARN (9276) or (877)JBW-KNIT (529-5648).

Note: Our Upcoming Classes and Events include: Knit Night, Kid's Knitting, Shawl Class, Knit Hand warmers, Crochet 101 and more!

 
Knitting 101

Students will learn the basics of knitting: cast-on, knit, purl, and cast off. During the two hour class students will knit a 5"x5" swatch to learn the basics then begin working on their first scarf. Students will receive a reference sheet to take home so that they can finish their scarf on their own.
Level: Beginner
Dates and time (Choose ONE date): Sunday January 25th from 3-5pm, Wednesday February 11th from 5:30 - 7:30pm, Or Sunday February 15th from 3-5pm
Materials to Bring: Size 13 or 15 needles and a bulky weight yarn
Cost in advance: $20 (supplies NOT included).

 
Beyond the Knit and Purl Stitch: Intermediate Knitting

This 2-hour class will give you the skills to move on to more challenging projects. You will learn increasing and decreasing which will allow you to shape your knitting. One of the basic increase techniques (YO) will lead you into simple lace knitting. We will be working on swatches to practice these techniques.
Level: Intermediate
Dates and time: Saturday January 24th from 2:30-4:30pm
Cost in advance: $15 (supplies NOT included).

 
My First Sweater Project

This 9-week course, designed to "take the beginning knitter to the next level" with the confidence to move beyond the beginning sweater and begin to experiment with basic designs and pattern creativity. While working on a child's sweater, the goal of this course is to complete a sweater that incorporates basic patterns and designs including, but not limited to, basic fair Isle, knitting a sweater in the round, reading of patterns for aran sweaters or a pattern within a pattern.
Level: Advanced Beginner
Dates and time: Sundays February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd March 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29 from 1:30-3:30pm
Cost in advance: $80 (supplies NOT included).

 
Finishing

As much fun as it is to knit a project, we knitters sometimes dread the "finishing" part. I find that usually this is because you may have had some unfortunate experiences with ugly seams, unwieldy button holes, or uneven knitting. In this class you will learn how to make your projects, from a simple scarf to the most complexly patterned sweater, look as if it was made by a pro! . Topics covered: Long tail and knitted cast on, Stitch gauge, 3-needle bind off, I-cord and applied I-cord, Seaming, Button holes , Washing and blocking, How to read a ball band and if time allows, Kitchener stitch. There will be homework to be done prior to class, involving the knitting of swatches. Be sure to pick up a materials list and homework assignment at the time of payment.
Level: Advanced Beginner
Dates and time: Sunday February 8th from 11:30 - 3:30
Cost in advance: $40 (supplies NOT included).

 
Beginning Lace

Holes in your knitting? Why not learn to make them intentionally - and create beautiful patterns at the same time. We will cover the basics of lace by learning to read a chart and making a sampler using simple lace patterns.
Level: Beginner/Advanced Beginner
Dates and time: Sunday February 22nd from 12:30 - 3:30
Cost in advance: $30 (supplies NOT included).

 
My First Hat

Students will learn how to make their first hat by knitting in the round.
Level: Beginner/Advanced Beginner
Dates and time: Saturday February 7th from 2-5pm
Cost in advance: $25 (supplies NOT included).

 
Hand Warmers

Student will learn how to make a pair of fingerless gloves/hand warmers by using double-pointed needles.
Level: Beginner/Advanced Beginner
Dates and time: Saturday February 28th from 2-5pm
Cost in advance: $25 (supplies NOT included).

 
Crochet 101

Students will learn 3 basic crochet stitches, how to change colors, and other basic techniques involved in crocheting a simple scarf.
Level: No Experience Necessary
Dates and time: Saturday February 21st from 1-3pm
Cost in advance: $20 (supplies NOT included).

 
The Yoga of Knitting

A wonderful class that incorporates Yoga with knitting. Have you ever sat for hours on end knitting? You are in the enchanted knitting zone... you lose track of time and space and your legs, wrist, back and shoulders begin to stiffen. While you Knit learn to incorporate yoga to help restore balance to your body, mind and spirit. Focusing on the seven main Chakra* colors to create a beautiful meditation shawl or scarf. With each change of yarn color we will focus on a different portion of the body with a yoga asana or position you can do from the comfort of your chair. Based on the book "Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. We will also weave or knit the Laws of Pure Potential, Giving and Receiving, Karma, Least Effort, Intention and Desire and Dharma or purpose into our projects.
Level: Beginner
Dates and time: Saturday February 28th from 1-4pm
Cost in advance: $35 (supplies NOT included).

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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Jimmy Beans Wool
1312 Capital Blvd. #103
Reno, NV 89502

Toll Free in U.S. (877)JBW-KNIT (529-5648)
Phone (775)827-9276

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