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Jimmy Beans Wool February 2006 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Focus on: Getting Creative with Scrap (or New) Yarn
  • February/March Kit of the Month: Christmas Stockings!
  • This just in... Blue Moon Buttons!
  • Team Jimmy Beans!
  • Reno & Truckee Classes
  • SALE!! Discounts on TAHKI TAHKI TAHKI...
  • Looking Ahead... Berroco, Hannah Silk, & Manos del Uruguay

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


Lengthwise Scarf

Want to create your own work of art? Have tons of scrap yarn sitting around & you don't know what to do with it? Enter the Sideways Scarf!

Although we can't claim to be pioneers of this technique, we are huge fans & are constantly coming up with new combinations. A great way to bring out the inner-creative in you, the sideways scarf will exploit the color and texture of the yarns in your collection.

Selecting the Yarns :: I choose at least 3 or 4 different yarns, begining with an inspiration yarn. The inspiration yarn typically has the most character, often varigated in color with a touch of sparkle and maybe with a little fluff, mohair or nubs. From this inspiration yarn, I carefully study the colors and then choose other yarns in coordinating colors & usually include one more yarn with a texture.

Putting it all Together :: For each edge of the scarf I always use a plain solid color and a fairly chunky weight yarn. This frames the scarf very well and also gives it stability in a way that a textured yarn wouldn't necessarily. Then I just work 2, 3, or 4 row stripes, however the mood takes me. There are no rules, no right or wrong way of doing it just a lot of creativity and fun!

When choosing the yarns, look at the yardage as you may need 2 of one of the yarns if you are intending to use it for more than just 3 or 4 rows. Yarns with lots going on are often heavier so you dont get as many yards as in a plain yarn. A finer yarn is great too as you can always use 2 strands of it. Use plain yarns with different finishes like a wool and a silk for example.

Start Knitting! :: I typically use a 36" long circular needle size 10 or 10.5 and cast on about 220 stitches using bulky weight yarns. In general, this makes a reasonable length scarf that you can wrap around once if desired. Of course, if you are using much thicker yarns, you'll want to use a larger needle and cast on fewer stitches.

In general, I use math (oh no!) to figure out how many stitches to cast on. For example, let's say that I am using a US 15 Needle for yarn that states that it will get 2 sts/inch on a US 15 needle. If I want the scarf to be 60" long, then i cast on 60 x 2 = 120 sts. Following that logic, if I want the scarf to be 65" long, then i cast on 65 x 2 = 130 sts. In this scenerio (130 sts), the value "65" equals "the number of inches of desired length". The value "2" equals "the number of sts/inch" i am expecting to get when knitting. So.... if you want to knit a scarf that is 65" in length and you think you'll get 3 sts/inch (because that's what the label says, given then needle size you're using), then i can calculate: 65 x 3 = 195 sts to cast on. Make sense?

Ending :: Now once you've figured out how many to cast on, and you've knit until your arms are sore (or you've simply run out of yarn), it's time to cast off. But how will i know how much yarn to leave for the cast off row? That's a very good question! Don't get me wrong, this may not work every single time (do don't get mad at me if it doesn't), but i use a 'rule of 4' when determining whether or not i have enough yarn left over. If i can stretch my leftover yarn across the width of my knitting 4 times, then i have enough left to cast off. Again, let's use some of that high school math that we swore we'd never need... If your scarf is going to be 60" wide, then you'll need approximately 60"x4=240" of additional yarn to cast off. Once you're down to the last 240" of yarn, then it's time to end this project and start thinking of another one. One of the most important thing about a sideways scarf and that is that you must cast off on a needle 1-2 sizes bigger. The reason that this is important is to prevent the scarf 'cinching' up on one side. Since you are only casting off 1 stitch at a time, the length of this larger needle doesn't really matter. In fact, it's probably easier to manuever with a shorter straight needle (or a double pointed needle).

So hunt in your stash for an inspiration piece or look at our website for some really exciting options we have put together...I wanted to knit all of them! This is a great weekend project or one for a car journey so have fun!

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 Elegant Heirlooms Googleheims Christmas Stockings regularly as low as $32... on sale as low as $25!!

This kit will be available at the sale price through the end of the month (sale ends February 28, 2006).


Well, we finally did it. We finally committed to carrying buttons! We've teamed up with Blue Moon & Renaissance Buttons to carry a wide variety of quality and unique buttons. Now you can you get everything you need for your knitting project all in one spot - saving you time and money! We'll be adding new buttons frequently, so keep an eye out. And we've divided them up into different groups - hopefully making it easier for you to find what you need. In addition, the larger picture that we display is typically the actual size of the button. At the moment, we have the following groups (but will be adding and expanding):

Antler Buttons Children's Buttons
Glass Buttons Horn & Bone Buttons
Metal Buttons Nut Buttons
Porcelain Buttons Resin Buttons
Shell Buttons Wood Buttons


Welcome Team Jimmy Beans! If you're like me, you like to see the faces of those with which you do business. With that in mind, we thought it might be a good idea to introduce you to all of the people that are involved in getting our yarn to your doorstep. So, take a moment and check out Team Jimmy Beans! We also have a page on the site that tells a bit about the naming of our company: Jimmy Beans Wool

Each month, we'll showcase one of our employees, so that you can get to know our team a little better.

Employee of the Month :: Angela

Angela, or "English" as we like to call her, literally grew up in a yarn shop in England & brings a ton of experience and flavor to our Truckee store. While all of the young snowboarding teens love her accent, they also love the fact that she's happy to show ANYONE how to knit, crochet, cast on, off... you name it! And she's one heck of an interior designer also. She has truly been an inspiration (and a teacher) to us all.

!!! SALE !!!

We just received 1,000 bags of discontinued yarns from Tahki Stacy Charles. Poor,poor Jerome! Not only were these yarns a great deal, but they were some of our top sellers last year. I have yet to meet a person who has knit with the New Tweed & didn't love it... In fact, most people can't just knit 1 project out of the New Tweed! Here's a list of what we just received:

New Tweed Hopla New Tweed Hopla New Tweed

Shop now for the best selection. Quantities are limited!!

For a complete listing of sale yarns, visit:


We've got a bunch of classes going on now in the Reno & Truckee stores.

Knitting 101
This class is designed to take the beginning knitter through the basics: cast on, knit & purl stitches, bind off, increasing & decreasing, sweater assembly.... everything you need to know to follow simple sweater pattern!
This class is perfect for the beginner knitter or for those of you who are ready to try your first larger project.
So, if you're tired of knitting scarf after scarf and looking to try something new, Knitting 101 is for you!

Reno K101: Thursdays with Hannah - February 9th - March 2nd (10:00am - noon)
Reno K101: Thursday evenings with Hannah - February 9th - March 2nd (6:00pm - 8:00pm)
Truckee K101: Tuesday Evenings with Dot - February 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th (6:30pm - 8:30pm)

Knitting 102/Project Class
This is the perfect class for knitters looking to expand their skills or complete a project!

Reno K102: Tuesdays - February 7th - February 28th (10:00am - noon)
Reno K102: Tuesday evenings - February 7th - February 28th (6:00pm - 8:00pm)

These classes are $60 for the four-week series, and we ask for a 50% ($30) non-refundable deposit to reserve your space.

Private Lessons
Don't have time to make 4 classes? Prefer to have 1-on-1 help? We are now offering private lessons in both of our stores. For $20/hour, you will get undivided attention and help with anything that you need (including learning to knit)! Just give us a call to schedule a lesson.

Call the Reno Store 775-827-YARN or Truckee Store 530-582-9530 for more information or stop by to reserve your space today. As always space is limited!

There will be more classes beginning at the conclusion of the current sessions... check the website by clicking here for up-to-the-minute details!!


Next month you can look forward to reading more about a few of the other new yarns available through Jimmy Beans Wool: Berroco , Manos Del Uruguay , Hannah Silk, Tahki Stacy Charles, Tiboodoo and more...

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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