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Jimmy Beans Wool August 2006 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Focus on: Knitted Cast On
  • Free Pattern: Dot's Crocheted Cotton Chenille Blankie
  • August Kit of the Month: Berroco Ultra Silk Carlotta Pullover
  • Summer SELL OUT
  • Just in - Crystal Palace Taos, Bunny Hop and CarpetBags!
  • Classes - Learn to Felt & Embellish a Bag
  • New Patterns & Double Points from Blue Sky Alpacas
  • What I'm working on...

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

Knitted Cast On Method

The knitted cast on method is great for those projects that require a ton of stitches (like the Sideways Scarf), because you don't have to try and guess how much yarn to use for the cast-on. You'll also notice that your first row after a knitted cast-on is a right side row, whereas the first row after the Long-Tail cast-on is a wrong side row.

The down side to this cast on method is that it really helps to know how to knit, since that's basically what you are doing: knitting stitches onto the needle. As such, you'll see similarities in the instructions here and in the instructions for the Knit Stitch.

1. Create a slip knot and put it on your needle.

2. Put that needle in your left hand. Insert the tip of the other needle into the stitch on the left needle...

3. Using the yarn leading to the ball, loop (or 'throw' as some knitters say) the yarn around the empty needle in a counter clockwise fashion. I like to think of it as looping the yarn from "left to right" or "under, then over."

4. In this step, you are going to pull the piece of yarn that you just threw over the needle through the loop on the left needle.

Hint:: hold the yarn taut against the needle & it won't slip off.

If you think about it a little differently, you could have simply stuck your fingers through that first loop on the left needle and grabbed a piece of yarn, then pulled it back through the loop as you extracted your fingers... that's what you're trying to do, only using a needle instead of your fingers.

5. Using the right needle, stretch that loop out (that you just created) and place it on the end of the left needle. Remove the right needle & pull that new stitch tight, but not too tight.

You now have 2 stitches on that needle!

Hint:: If you notice, I keep my index fingers on the yarn (on both needles) to prevent the stitches from sliding off of the ends of the needles.

6. Start over with Step 2, only this time (and for every additional stitch), you will insert the right needle into the last stitch on the left needle.

Hint:: You can easily turn this into a cable cast on, by placing your needle in between the last 2 stitches, instead of into the last stitch.

7. Continue repeating steps 2-5 until you have added the desired number of stitches.

You can find larger pictures and more information about the Knitted Cast On Method on our website.

Free Pattern - Cotton Chenille Crochet Baby Blanket

This month, we've decided to add the directions for a Crocheted Baby Blanket to our catalog of complimentary patterns. To create the set as shown, you'll need 6 hanks (3 of each color) of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille Yarn (now in variegated colors also!) - a classic cotton chenille that wears well, knits well, and looks great!. This is a great project for those who want to try crocheting, but are nervous about making something that needs to actually fit. Check it out - and let us know what you think!

Scarf Scarf

Kit of the month

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

This month's featured kit is the Berroco Ultra Silk Carlotta Pullover regularly as low as $99.00 ... on sale for as low as $74.25!! A trendy and flattering summer/fall sweater using Berroco Ultra Silk. Ultra Silk is a round, knit ribbon with unique qualities of touch, elasticity and stability. A hosiery-like tube of silk and rayon encloses a core of airy nylon roving. The result is the ultimate in stitch definition and softness with the recognizable luster of silk in 12 luxurious shades.

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


Move over summer, we've got to make room for Fall! Our first Rowan shipment of the new season just arrived and we have no place to put it. Hopefully you can help us out by taking home some summer yarns at great prices. Discounts range from 30-50% off standard retail price, so you're sure to find a bargain in something you like. All of the yarns can be found on the sale page, but I wanted to show you a few of my favorites:

30% Off
Rowan Luxury Cotton
Rowan Cotton Rope
Rowan Cotton Braid
Gedifra Fiocco Oro
40% Off
Trendsetter Delicious
Curious Creek Mawensi
GGH Lara
Bouton d'Or Dandy
50% Off
Gedifra California Like
GGH Tiffany
Filatura Orchidea
Gedifra Serano

Sale prices are limited to stock on hand. We try to ensure that the inventory numbers are correct on our website, but sometimes we do make mistakes (I know, it's hard to believe). If the inventory numbers look low, you might want to write an alternate color in the comments box when you check out.


Employee of the Month :: Patti

Patti has been helping us in Reno for quite a few months now. If you've ever visited our Reno location, you probably noticed that things look their best right after she leaves!! As a mom of 2, she's learned how to clean up after the rest of us -- and does an amazing job. We're so lucky to have her -- and consider yourself lucky if you ever meet her!

Just Arrived :: Crystal Palace Bunny Hop, Taos, and Carpet Bags!

Bunny Hop:: will likely be one of our most popular yarns this season. With an extremely favorable 'preview' by Knitters Review last week - and an unbeatable price point of $6.80 for 113 yds, this worsted weight angora blend is my pick for easy-to-clean, easy-to-love clothing. Arriving in prints and solids, we've sold more than a few balls of the Bunny Hop before it has even hit the shelves. Grab yourself a ball or two and make some socks - or get 4-5 balls and whip up a kids sweater - the kids will love you for it.

Bunny Hop

Taos:: just might be the subject of my next sweater project. At $7.80 for 128 yards, you can make a small-medium sweater for less than $50!! Now that's a deal. The sweater below was designed by Crystal Palace and can be purchased as a kit on our website (as a sidelight, Taos is spun from very soft wool with a wonderful feel). I know it's a little funky, but i just can't keep my eyes off of this design; i've just never seen anything like it. In addition to being a great sweater yarn, Taos also felts beautifully (see the bag kit below for an example)!


Felted Carpet Bag:: Words cannot describe how beautiful and stylish this bag is. I honestly don't know what to say! I love it, i love it, i love it.... the colors are gorgeous, the shape is timeless, and the embroidery is perfectly romantic. Besides, I've seen similar handbags in the Tahoe shops and they frequently sell for $150-200 each - you can make your own for only $67.60 (beware - you'll be the envy of your friends & family.. and might be commissioned to make more). Give it a go - and then let us know how yours turns out.

Eco Wool

CLASSES - Learn to Felt and Embellish a Carpetbag!

Come join us in Reno and learn to create a felted carpet bag with floral embellishments (knit with Taos & Aran wool yarns & shown above).

In this 4 part class, you'll learn the following skills & techniques:

  • Reading Knitting Instructions
  • Knitting with multiple strands of yarn & changing color
  • Knitting in the round on circular needles
  • Measuring Gauge & Adjusting Needle Size
  • Decreasing (SSK & K2TOG)
  • Picking Up Stitches
  • Knitting an I-Cord
  • Attaching Purse Handles
  • Felting
  • Creating Flower Embellishments
  • Using the Magic Loop Method and the Closed Bottom CO

Prerequisites: Cast-on, Knit, Purl, Bind-Off

Dates in Reno:
Wednesdays 6-8pm, August 30, Sept 6, Sept 13, Sept 20.
Saturdays 12-2pm, Sept 9, Sept 16, Sept 23, Sept 30.
We don't have a schedule for this class in truckee yet, but if you email us at, we'll let you know when the dates are set!

Cost: $125 for 4 week class and Materials (does not include needles). Limited to 8 students.

New Patterns & Double Points from Blue Sky Alpacas

What is it about Blue Sky Alpacas and their unrelentless passion for bringing us the cutest patterns ever? These works of art (ready for you to inject your own art into them) retail for $4 each and are ready to ship today. Shipping is Flat Rate, so you may as well get as many as you can!

Bulky Hat Crochted Scarf Cropped Cardigan Kids Kimono Silk Shrug

Introducing Blue Sky Five Inch Double Points.

Sets of five petite wooden needles come in a gorgeous collectible tin. Surina wood is from the Lal Kohla (Elegant Tree) in India. Highly trained and skilled artisans craft this strong, lightweight, flexible wood into exceptional knitting needles. A lustrous polish is given to the smooth wood, enhancing the superb grain without the use of any harmful chemicals.

Available in sizes 0-6, these are perfect gifts - for yourself or someone else!

Double Points

What I'm working on...

A few months ago (when the snow was still falling), Doug and I realized how all of our living room throws just aren't big enough for the 2 of us... they're never quite long enough to cover our toes - and one of us is always 1/2 covered. That combination doesn't work too well in an environment that holds snow on the ground until August (yes, I can still see the snow from my front deck)!

Once I realized that I have both the power and the skills to create our ideal throw, I was on a quest to find the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn! (Thank goodness I work in a yarn shop :) I wanted something that would knit quickly, but that wouldn't be too bulky... with just enough drape to cuddle underneath. And machine washable. With 2 dogs (did you know we had dogs?) and no humidity, we are constantly washing and dusting everything. It was also important to me that this throw would last quite a while. I don't want to spend 6 months knitting - and then have to throw it away in a year or two because it appears shaggy!

Anyway, I found a pattern in the Family Circle Books - Easy Afghans 50 Knit and Crochet Projects book that I really liked - it's a Linen Stitch pattern that one of my friends knitted a few years ago. I remember how simple and tasteful the resultant afghan was... As far as the yarn, I jumped at the chance to use Karabella Superyak, doubled- the colors are perfect for us, it's sturdy & machine washable, yet very very soft. Perfect! And I'm more than halfway done...

Blanket Blanket Blanket Blanket
If you're interested, you can watch my progress here

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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