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Jimmy Beans Wool January 2007 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Tips From Us To You
  • Coming Soon - Monthly Pattern Contest
  • Free Pattern - Baby and Veggie Rattles
  • January Kit of the Month: RYC Cashsoft DK Cosy Cable Throw
  • The Hat Corner
  • Just in - Mountain Colors!
  • Winter Rowan Sale: Rowan Spray and Big Wool Tuft

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

Tips From Us To You

For the past year or so, we've been trying to write and share instructional articles that focus on techniques and subjects relevant to knitting (and crocheting). If you're like me, you don't always have enough time to head down to the LYS (or you simply don't have one) and you sometimes need help with a project. That's where these articles and tips come in. Though it's a slow (but fun) process, our goal is to create a website that makes you feel at home. And, since we started as (and remain) an LYS for the Reno and Truckee areas, we've tried to anticipate the kinds of questions that knitters might have. So, let us know how we're doing and what other articles you'd be interested in reading!!! (And please excuse the lack of an article this month, as i'm sure you know how hectic the holiday season can be.)

In addition to the instructional articles, we've also put together a tips page, complete with tips that we find ourselves sharing with customers in the stores... So, don't hesitate to submit the tips that you've compiled over the years to You never know, your tip may just get someone out of a late night snag!

Monthly Pattern Contest

We're working on the specifics for a new JBW Feature - a monthly pattern writing contest. Winners will be chosen by Jimmy herself and will receive a $50 gift certificate to use in our store or on the website. Although the verbage of the rules is still under construction, i can tell you a few things:
  • Patterns must be wholly original.
  • Submissions must include a photo that is at least 3.5" wide.
  • Submissions may be emailed or sent via US Mail. If sending via US Mail, please include a photo that we can scan.
  • Submissions (and photos) must have been knit using a yarn currently sold at Jimmy Beans Wool.
  • Submissions must include a 2-3 line bio of the pattern writer - we want everyone to know a little about you!
  • Winning Patterns will become the property of Jimmy Beans Wool and will be available for all customers on the Free Pattern section of (and will be featured in the montly newsletter).
So, get your creative juices flowing - we'll start taking entries next month (once the rules have been clearly written and established).

Free Pattern - Baby and Veggie Rattles

These adorable little knitted baby rattles can also be made without rattles & then just end up being really cute stuffed toys. We used Blue Sky Dyed Organic Cotton (the cotton is organic, although the dyeing is not) & the results were fantastic - soft and cuddly, yet machine washable.. Allison designed these toys. much to the happiness of her cats Portia & Hannah ... and they immediately fell in love with them (think of adding catnip to the stuffing)!

baby rattles baby rattles baby rattles

Kit of the month

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

Cabled Throw Cabled Throw Cabled Throw

A New Year means new projects! This month's featured kit is the Rowan Yarn Classic Cashsoft DK Cosy Cable Throw.
On Sale For $230.38, you're saving 25% off the regular price of $306.95. Keep in mind that the price is even lower if you already have the book at home!

To ring in 2007, we wanted to offer a larger project at a larger discount - you're saving over $75 when you purchase the book & yarn for this Machine Washable Cabled Throw. Even if you can't start anytime soon, you'll want to take advantage of the savings this month - and the opportunity to work with this luxurious and durable cashmere blend.

Please note that we have most of these colors in stock, but might sell out quickly... please list 1 or 2 alternate colors in the comment box when ordering.

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

The Hat Corner

You can make a hat out of just about anything, but most people prefer hat yarns that are on the softer side & non itchy. Cotton works for warmer climates & for chemo caps. Merino wool and alpaca are top choices for wintery environments. Quick projects, hats are useful for babies and adults alike. They make wonderful beginner projects & can be knit on straight or circular needles. In fact, one of our favorite first projects is a quick hat using Big Wool and US 15 16" circular needles.... you just knit, knit, knit for a few inches and then learn how to decrease. Perfect!

Although contrary to what you'd first think, most hats are better off when made with hand washable yarn, as opposed to machine washable. In rain or snow, the machine washable (or "superwash") yarns absorb the moisture and can start to droop. They will recover their shape, but aren't particularly functional when wet. If you're worried about the recipient's ability to hand wash the hat, just remind them to take it in the shower with them in the morning!

Yarn: Personally, my favorite hats are ones that don't itch, are buttery soft, and knit tightly enough to ward off the wind and rain. As such, I'll sometimes shoot for a gauge that's 1-2 sts/inch tighter than the yarn's ballband suggests. Here are some of the ones i've used (and loved):
Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Ultra Alpaca


Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
Baby Alpaca Chunky


Alpaca Sportweight
Blue Sky Alpacas


Mountain Colors
Mountain Goat




Patterns: Though it may seem pretty simple to create a hat pattern from scratch, i've learned (the hard way) that it helps to have a template to start from. The most vulnerable area - and most prone to ruining the appearance and fit - is the top of the hat... If the decreases aren't performed with the correct frequency, the hat will pucker at the top. As such, I have a small library of patterns that i keep in my knitting bag - one hat pattern for each weight of yarn. But, I love the patterns below because they each offer something rather unique to the knitter -- and because i know and admire each of the women who write them!
Kids Flower Cap
Ann Norling
Kids Flower Cap


Baby's 1st Hat
Blue Sky
Baby's 1st Hat


Bailey Hat
Bailey Hat


Beanie With Brim
Beanie With Brim


Tahoe Knots
Earflap Hat


So, January is definitely a month in which we could all use an extra hat or two. If you're in need of inspiration - or just a little guidance, please take a minute to peruse our Hat Corner - you'll find hats ideas for everyone!

Team Jimmy Beans - Allison

Employee of the Year :: ALLISON

Unless you've been taking classes in our Reno store lately, you've probably noticed that you don't see our store manager Allison around as often as you used to. For the past 2 1/2 years, we've watched her do everything from straightening the cubes to sending out orders (while taking care of everything else in between)! It goes without saying that, with the tremendous growth rates that we've experienced over the last few years (and even more so over the past 6 months), we're constantly finding new roles that need to be filled. Without fail, Allison has always jumped right in and taken over these new roles & is now embarking on a new challenge - classes!! We're discovering that we need to offer a wider range of classes in our reno store. This is where Allison comes in - she's volunteered to be our 'master knitter' and to help develop these classes, as well as teach most of them. So, why am i telling you this? 2 reasons: 1. we're going to have a more extensive class list in our reno store; 2. you'll be seeing less of Allison behind the counter and more of her in the classroom!

Just Arrived :: Mountain Colors!

With the holidays & gift giving behind us, it's finally time to knit for ourselves! And with inspiring new yarns appearing at our doorstep everyday, the timing couldn't be better. This month we welcome Mountain Colors and a 3 new Blue Sky Alpacas yarns!

After years and years of pleading from Diane (knitting pure and simple) and Allison, we've finally broken down and added Mountain Colors to our offerings. I think part of our previous hesitation was the worry that we'd desperately fall in love with this yarn - and that we just wouldn't be able to get it quickly enough to satiate our needs and desires! As you all might know, Mountain Colors is so incredibly popular that it can take 3-4 months for yarn to get dyed (so you might want to include alternate colors when ordering). We ordered this batch at the beginning of august and received it a few weeks ago... and let me tell you, the wait was worth it!!

Of the 5 yarns we now carry, the Mountain Goat is definitely my personal favorite, though the Merino Ribbon is just begging to be knit up this summer (I've got my eye on the color Tamarack). So, check these out - and maybe grab a hank or two and get started on something for yourself for a change... you won't regret it.

Mountain Colors - 4/8's Wool
Mountain Colors - 4/8's Wool Yarn

Good basic worsted weight yarn. Use it alone or team it with other Mountain Colors yarn. Makes great ribbing and warp too.
Mountain Colors - Bearfoot
Mountain Colors - Bearfoot Yarn

This soft, washable wool blend is perfect for socks, baby gifts or any of our designs that call for Weaver's Wool. Can be used singly or doubled. When doubled, you'll get 4 - 5 st/in.
Mountain Colors - Merino Ribbon
Mountain Colors - Merino Ribbon Yarn

Incredibly soft, yet light weight. Knit stitches are clear and distinct.
Mountain Colors - Mountain Goat
Mountain Colors - Mountain Goat Yarn

A smooth non-fluffy mohair/wool blend that is excellent for doing colorwork and stitch patterns.
Mountain Colors - Twizzle
Mountain Colors - Twizzle Yarn

Hand-dyed luscious yarn & tons of yardage. 85% Merino Wool, 15% Silk.

WINTER ROWAN SALE - Rowan Spray & Big Wool Tuft

Brrr!! When i woke up this morning and started working it was 1 degree outside! Our heater is running as hard as it can, but i still start to shiver after sitting at the computer for too long (thank goodness for my new Ultra Alpaca Gloves!). Anyway, i'm really wishing i was a faster knitter, because i'd love to whip up a sweater or a lap blanket in one of these 2 yarns ... it would keep me warm for the rest of the day!
Don't get me wrong, it breaks my heart to see these 2 yarns go, but i just ordered tons of bamboo sock yarn from Crystal Palace, Brushed Suri from Blue Sky Alpacas, & 100% Organic Wool (O-Wool Classic) from the Vermont Organic Fiber Company ... and i've got to find somewhere to put them all. We simply don't have enough space (what is the old saying - "Out with the old, in with the new"?)!

Rowan Spray: Rowan Spray Yarn is a super bulky wool and acrylic blend, with spray dyed colors. Because it's a blended yarn, it's much lighter and loftier than the 100% Wool alternatives. Normally $15.95, we've got it on sale for $7.95 a ball until we sell out.

RowanSpray RowanSpray RowanSpray RowanSpray RowanSpray

Big Wool Tuft: A tufty variant of Rowan Big Wool, we've seen this used as trim on coats, as ponchos and wraps, or as great big cozy afghans! Normally $9.95, we've got it on sale for $5.75 a ball until we sell out.

BigWoolTuft BigWoolTuft BigWoolTuft BigWoolTuft BigWoolTuft

Reno Classes

Drop-In Sessions
Join us at our Reno location for 2-hour long drop-in classes. These can be whatever you would like to make of them! Come in for help on a project, to learn a technique or just to socialize with other knitters. Allison will help you fix mistakes, answer your questions, teach you any aspect of the craft, or get you going on your next project.
Days and times:Please call ahead to ensure that a session hasn't been cancelled! 827-9276
Wednesdays, beginning January 31st. Afternoons: 3:30 - 5:30; Evenings: 6 - 8
Cost:All classes must be pre-paid, and there will be no refunds. Extensions granted in the event of cancellation by the instructor or Jimmy Beans Wool.
1 class: $20.00
2 classes: $35.00 (must be used in 4 weeks)
3 classes: $50.00 (must be used in 5 weeks)
4 classes: $60.00 (must be used in 6 weeks)
We know it can be difficult to make it to every class in a session and we are providing this schedule to give you flexibility!

Sock Basics with Jeanne
Sock Basics will take you from cuff to toe by taking the stress out of knitting socks. You will learn the anatomy of a simple sock, how to turn a heel, complete the heel gusset and a simple toe finish. Even if you have made socks before you will want to take this class, as the secret to knitting a pair of socks on two circular needles will be revealed for those who suffer from 'second sock syndrome'. This technique allows you to knit two socks at once.
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: You need to be able to knit and purl in relative comfort.
Feel free to stop by or call to get the information sheet for this class and sign up by paying the deposit of $25.00 with the balance of $20.00 due by class time.
Cost: $45. $25 deposit required to reserve your spot.

Basic Knitting with Hannah
In this class, you'll learn the following skills & techniques: How to cast-on, knit, purl and bind off. You will also learn 2 different increases and decreases (and why we need these different techniques), changing yarns, washing and blocking methods, how to deal with those pesky seams, pattern reading will be discussed, as well as what information is on a ball band that will allow you to substitute yarns for any given pattern. Hannah will guide you in picking out a project, or help you along with a project of your choice.
Level: Beginner - Advanced Beginner
Prerequisites: None
Materials: A smooth, preferably light-colored yarn and needles appropriate for that yarn to practice on, scissors, Knit Chek stitch gauge, tape measure, stitch markers and other various accessories as needed. If you start a project, you will need the yarn, pattern and needles for that project. Supplies can be obtained before or during the class.
Dates in Reno on Saturdays between 10 - Noon:
Please call to sign up. Classes will be scheduled when enough people have registered.
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Basic Crochet with Hannah
In this class, you'll learn the following skills & techniques: Learn to crochet or brush up on your crochet skills. You will learn several basic crochet stitches, increasing and decreasing, changing yarns, pattern reading and finishing, you will also learn what all those mystery symbols on a ball band mean! Hannah will guide you in picking out a project or help you along with a project of your choice.
Level: Beginner - Advanced Beginner
Prerequisites: None
Materials: A smooth, preferably light-colored yarn and hook appropriate for that yarn to practice on, scissors, Knit Chek stitch gauge, tape measure, stitch markers and other various accessories as needed. If you start a project, you will need the yarn, pattern and hook for that project. Supplies can be obtained before or during the class.
Dates in Reno on Saturdays between 1pm - 3pm:
Please call to sign up. Classes will be scheduled when enough people have registered.
Cost: $60 for 4 week session. 50% deposit required to reserve your spot. Class size is limited to 8.

Help in Reno?

Interested in being hands-on with the latest and greatest yarns we can find? We're looking for knitters interested in helping in our Reno store on Saturdays and Sundays. Knitting and computer experience are both required. Please email us at if you are interested!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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