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Jimmy Beans Wool January 2006 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Focus on: Substituting Yarns
  • January Kit of the Month: GGH Savanna!
  • This just in... Karabella!
  • New Years Resolutions
  • Reno & Truckee Classes
  • SALE!! Discounts on Debbie Bliss, Nature Cotton, Rowan, GGH, Muench...
  • Looking Ahead... Berroco, Hannah Silk, & Manos del Uruguay

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

Need to Substitute Yarn?

Have you ever found a pattern that you love, but were unable to find the yarn suggested? What if you simply aren't in love with any of the colors offered? Or are allergic to the alpaca recommended by the pattern writer? Or the yarn they used is just too expensive! Situations like these are not uncommon -- and are certainly no reason for you to throw your hands in the air and feed your new favorite pattern to the shredder!

Substituting yarns can be a fun and exciting experience, given you adhere to a few simple rules:

  1. GAUGE. You absolutely must find a yarn whose natural stitch gauge is similar to the one recommended by the pattern. In other words, if the pattern states that the gauge is 8sts/4in over st st (stockinette stitch), you'll want to find a yarn that also shows that stitch gauge on the label. We've tried to aid in this process by grouping all of our yarns by gauge, so you can at least limit your options. For example, when looking at the page for Big Wool Fusion, you'll see a link in the upper right hand corner that reads "View other (1.5 - 2.5 sts/in) Super Bulky Yarn." Clicking on this link leads you to a list of yarns with similar gauges...
    The difficulty with this step enters when the stated pattern gauge is measured in a stitch other than stockinette stitch (a lace or rib stitch, for example). In this situation, it's imperative that you find out what the 'natural gauge' is of the yarn used in the pattern. When i say 'natural gauge,' i mean the gauge stated on the yarn label. That's the number that you need to do a comparison.
  2. DRAPE. Finding a yarn with a similar drape is critical to the garment flowing as intended. For example, you probably don't want to knit a heavy fisherman's sweater out of a cotton or ribbon, as those tend to sag much more than animal fibers.
  3. YARDAGE. Almost every kind of yarn has a different yardage amount. That said, we can't simply buy 10 balls of Rowan Wool Cotton if your pattern calls for 10 balls of Karabella Boise. Each has a natural gauge of 5.5 sts/inch, but the Boise has 40 yards more than the Wool Cotton. Here's how to figure out how much of the Wool Cotton you'd need for the Boise pattern. The pattern calls for 10 balls of Boise, which is 163 yds. So, you'll need a total of 10 x 163 = 1630 yds. Now, if you want to use the Rowan Wool Cotton (which has 124 yds per ball), you'll need 1630/124 = 13.14 balls. It's always wise to round up, so you should purchase 14 balls of the Rowan Wool Cotton.
  4. CREATIVITY. You can double a fine yarn to create a heavier one...or combine a couple of fun yarns together. Just don't forget rule #1 & make sure to measure your gauge.... and be careful when it comes to purchasing enough yardage. If the pattern calls for 1000 yds of the original yarn, and you decide to double something thinner, you'll need 2000 yds of that thinner yarn.

If you have tips for substituting yarns (or troubleshooting other yarns or techniques) we would love to hear from you. Send your tips via email to , and please let us know if we may use your tip in our newsletter!

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 GGH Savanna Sweater with Cable Patterns regularly as low as $95... on sale as low as $76!!

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


Whew! It's been a busy end of year for us at Jimmy Beans. As you might have seen on the news, we were literally flooded with rain and little flakes of snow. The temperatures here have been unusually warm, though, resulting in more rain than snow. Although bad for skiing, it was great for knitting... as most people preferred to stay inside and work on a new project instead of braving the elements! True to form, I got a little 'yarn happy' myself in December, bringing in quite a few new lines:

Yes, you've seen the ads... you've salivated over the patterns.... you've wished and wished that your favorite online store would step up and make your dreams come true. Well, your wish has been granted! The first huge commitment we made this year was to Karabella Yarns . By offering 22 of their yarns, we are able to provide every budget and style with a bit of luxury. And with the help of the folks at Karabella, we've put together a truly elegant mix of dazzlers (think the mohair blend Gossamer ), as well as high-quality classic knitting yarns (think the Aurora and Margrite lines).

On the classic knitting side, I don't know about you, but when I think about life's little luxuries and what makes me feel special - I think cashmere (at least as far as knitting is concerned!). And although you can't go wrong with their machine washable Super Cashmere (heirloom material for only the most special babies), at the moment I can't keep my eyes (or my fingers) off of the Boise. At $25 and 163 yards per ball, I can use 1 ball to make a simple hat for Doug - or my dad - or... heck, i might just make hats for everyone this season! I guess i'll just come up with any excuse to knit with a yarn i love - of course, I'm sure none of you have any idea what i'm talking about :) Try it yourself and let us know what you think.

Sometimes the best way to see how a yarn will knit up is to peruse pictures of finished garments. It's for that very reason that we've created kits out of many of these yarns -- and even offer discounts for some of those kits. And keep in mind that many of these yarns have similar gauges -- and can be substituted. In other words, if Margrite Bulky is out of your budget (or you simply have your heart set on a different color), you could use Aurora Bulky instead! Just make sure to pay attention to the yardage.


With the winter holidays quickly fading behind us, it's time for us to start thinking about ourselves & the things that we want to accomplish this New Year. If "more knitting" is on your list of New Year's Resolutions, then your objectives fit perfectly in line with ours:

  1. Ship in-stock orders out within 24 hours.
  2. Communicate, via email, to customers regarding out of stock items within 24 hours.
  3. Reply to customer inquiries within 2 business days
  4. Let no customer walk away unhappy
  5. Provide the most comprehensive and intuitive internet knitting store out there.

As you might have noticed, we take our business very seriously. We love knitting -- and assume that you do too (and that's why you're reading this!) -- so we work extra hard to get your orders out as soon as possible... or to let you know if we're unable to send your order out for some reason. If you're interested in how we've done, check out what others have to say about our service at the Testimonials page.

And just as important as speedy shipping is the ability for the site to help you choose the right yarn for your project. We've added a few tools in the hopes that our site provides you with enough data to make informed and successful decisions. Our Product Reviews are one such tool. Directly above the available colors for every yarn is a Customer Rating , as well as a link encouraging you to write a review for that particular yarn. One knitter, after using Blue Sky Organic Cotton, wrote "I just love this yarn! It is so soft, I could not stop knitting!" I don't know about you, but reading comments like that really help me when i'm trying to choose between different products. That said, we need your help in building our review database. As you're browsing the site, take a second to add comments to yarns that you've used before... you won't regret it!

Still haven't set up your user account? Visit our store, or click here to do it now!


As usual, you've come to the right place for unbeatable deals. Not only are our regularly priced yarns often less expensive than those found elsewhere, but we get great deals on discontinued yarns from many of the yarn companies. Our sale prices are typically a combination of yarns that have been discontinued -- and yarns that are still in circulation, but that we have decided to stop carrying.

And, sometimes, we are just in the giving mode... As such, Biggy Print , Chunky Print, and Plaid from Rowan Yarns are marked down for the first 2 weeks of January. We've stocked up in anticipation of the rush, so you should be able to find enough of any color for your project. Just make sure to notice the quantity available listed above the "add to cart" link. Although we've worked diligently to ensure that these inventory numbers are correct, please recognize that we are human and sometimes make mistakes -- that sometimes the numbers are a bit off and we might be out of something even though the numbers on the site read otherwise.

To make room for the new yarns from Karabella, Berroco, and Manos, we've been forced to purge our shelves of a few premiere cottons::

Grab hold of a wonderfully soft thick and thin cotton known as Araucania Nature Cotton -- it's being sold at $5.99 instead of $7.50 -- and is hand dyed in Chile!! The colors are beautiful and rich.. Their variegated Patagonia has been reduced to $8 from $10.

Katia's Arc en Ciel and Jamaica are at least 20% off. With strong pattern support, you can get a head start on some of those summer projects you didn't have time for last year! And you can't beat the price - or the colors.

HALF OFF!! Discontinued yarns from Muench and Debbie Bliss are still 50% off... and will remain at that price until we sell out! Because these yarns are discontinued, we're limited to stock on hand and once they're gone, they're gone. Please remember: no returns on sale merchandise (but you can't beat the prices!!)

Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton has been reduced to $3.99 from $6.99.

And, lots of discontinued yarns from GGH & Muench are still on sale.

  • Gala, a super-soft synthetic (100% polyamide) with a furry texture and a subtle sparkle sells now for as low as $6.00 per ball (reg $11.98).
  • Carneval, the popular cotton-blend textured tape is now $6.50 per ball (reg $12.95). Fuzzy, sparkly
  • Fee, is on sale for $7.00 per ball (reg $14.00).
  • Modena, is now just $4.90 per ball (reg $9.80), and
  • Tiffany, the funky nylon ribbon yarn is now only $6.25 per ball (reg $12.50).
  • Dynasty, a synthetic multi-colored slub yarn with metallic accent, on sale now for $5.50 (reg $10.99), and
  • New Marabu, a fancy metallic eyelash, now $3.50 (reg $6.99).

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 - January 12th - February 2nd (10:00am - noon)
Reno K101: Thursday evenings with Hannah - January 12th - February 2nd (6:00pm - 8:00pm)
Truckee K101: Tuesday Evenings with Dot - January 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st (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 with Angela - January 10th - January 31st (10:00am - noon)
Truckee K102: Wednesday Evenings with Dot - January 11th, 18th, 25th, February 1st (6:30pm - 8:30pm)
Truckee K102: Thursday Evenings with Angela - January 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th (6:30pm - 8:30pm)

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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