It's true - I really do learn something new every day!!
As some of you might remember (since some of you were there), we recently hosted an event spotlighting famous pattern designer Ann Norling. Part of the event included a show and tell ceremony, but I didn't have anything recently knitted to show and tell... I had to knit something! After a few minutes of running around the store, we (I can never make these decisions on my own) decided to knit the famous Ann Norling Kids Fruit Cap using an Angora yarn in pink and green (I used Tahki Jolie). Simple, right? Well, once I started to read the pattern & decided to sprinkle the pink part of the hat with green, I realized that I was going to have to knit 1 green stitch every 8 stitches. Eight stitches seemed like a long way to carry the green along - wouldn't those strands just break eventually? Or get too tight?
It's times like this that make me thankful for having my knitting guru Allison's phone number on speed dial. One quick phone call and I had the answers to my questions.
Here's what Allison told me: "Since you're only knitting with the green every 8 stitches, you need to also weave it in every 3-4 stitches. You can do this by putting your needle through the stitch, wrapping the green, wrapping the pink, and then unwrapping the green. Then just knit with the pink..."
So I tried it - and it worked! See the pictures below... (just note that i couldn't stop knitting the pink section long enough to take photos - i was just itching to be done... so the pictures are actually of me weaving in the pink at the top of the hat).
As usual, insert your needle into the next stitch to be knit. Note that i hold the working yarn in my left hand (many of you hold it in your right hand).
Now wrap the contrasting (pink) yarn around your needle, as if to knit with it.
Wrap your working (green) yarn around the needle.
Simply pull the contrasting (pink) yarn over the working yarn and off of the needle.
Finish knitting as usual with the working yarn - the pink is now locked behind the green - out of sight!
Here's a view of the inside - notice that the green is woven into the hat every few stitches? (it's more difficult to see the woven-in pink at the top of the hat.)
This winning Fair Isle pullover is chock full of a kid's favorite creatures. Inspired by the children's song "The Little White Duck", you'll find ducks, frogs, bugs and snakes floating in the water, separated by rows of lily pads. The palette is sophisticated Rowan colors, and the sweater is finished with special lily pad elbow patches and "pond ripple" cuffs for maximum cuteness. The fit is loose and comfy, with a tunic style for easy on and off, and a stretchy funnel neck. Featuring a yarn that's a blend of wool and cotton, it's the perfect layer for spring weather. Judging took place (as described on our pattern contest page) based on originality, clarity and thoroughness, aesthetic appeal and overall quality.
This sweater is a great introduction to stranded colorwork, for knitters wishing to expand their range. Each row of the pattern features only two colors - the rest of the details are added with embroidery. It's done in DK weight yarn, so there are no tiny needles to contend with. The sleeves are knit in plain stockinette, so there's no floats to catch little fingers. And the sweater itself has no seaming or finishing after the fact - it's knit in the round to the armholes, then uses a three needle bind off for the shoulders. The collar and sleeves are picked up and knit, so when you're done, you're done! Jen's pattern is now up on our Free Pattern Page.
Jen Small is a designer who loves the challenge of creating stories in knitwear. She began knitting 3 years ago, and immediately began creating her own designs as she made hats for her friends' babies. She is the author of the Pink Bunny Hat in Stitch n Bitch Nation, and is excited to be creating clothes for her own son now. To read more about her adventures in knitting and other arts and crafts, visit her blog at http://bluecanary.typepad.com.
Thanks to all the entrants of this month's contest, and remember that your pattern will automatically be included in the next two months' contests (unless you've requested otherwise). Obviously, the winning pattern this month is advanced; please don't be scared off & think that your design isn't complex enough to win - that's just not true! We're looking for all sorts of patterns: felted bags, washcloths, socks, etc... you can do it! For those who didn't make it this month, check out the full pattern contest details. The prize pack is currently valued at over $450! The deadline for this month's contest is June 30th, 2007.
Spread the word! Do you have a knitting related website or blog? You can use the following image and sample link to create a link to this page:
(Right click and save it, then post it up to your site.)
Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...
This month's featured kit is the Rowan Biggy Print Felted Bag Kit. On Sale for $83.60, you're saving almost 50% off the original price of $162.50. I created this kit (you can find the free pattern here) after too many days of staring at those Rowan Wicker Handles. I just love them!!! Sandy helped me pick out the colors and helped me figure out how it should be designed. What i love about this bag is that it's heavy duty -- i'm not much of a seamstress (doug actually does all of the sewing in our house), so i didn't want a bag that required lining. I really think it turned out pretty well - what do you think?
This kit will be available at the sale price through the end of the month (sale ends June 30th, 2007).
The Fourth of July Corner
Although knitting in the winter has a special warm cozy feeling, I sometimes think I prefer knitting in the summer despite its apparent seasonal disadvantage. There's no pressure at this time of year; I can take projects with me on vacation, and I'm often starting on next winter's Christmas presents, so anything I get done qualifies as getting ahead.
Lately I've been branching out a little bit, and instead of making endless pairs of heavy socks I've been thinking about tank tops, cool shawls, and even a lacy knitted dress in the Summer '05 issue of Interweave Knits (it's on the cover).
That said, what better time to start a summer of knitting than the Fourth of July? We've got ideas from felted bags to sweaters to a cute baby hat. The possibilities are endless - just like summer!
Yarn: We've chosen summery yarn for this corner, and most below include traditional red, white and blue color choices. Then there's the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in color 1776 - Liberty. It creates a red, white and blue striped pattern when you knit it up in its natural gauge! I've put in a photo below.
Projects: Some of the projects listed below will take a little creativity to make them truly July Fourth themed -
it might be as little as choosing red, white and blue yarn or more complicated, like adding an intarsia star (or embroidering one)
Cotton Classic Sleeveless V-Neck. And a few are just great summer knits!
Amanda recently moved to the Reno area from Santa Cruz and is loving the sunshine! In between classes at UNR (and learning
how to knit), she has been helping us with orders, backorders, and everything else that has to be done! I don't know how we got
so lucky to get so many smart and friendly people... I guess that's just the way knitters are :)
Just Arrived :: Schaefer Yarns, Lornas Lion & Lamb, & Harry Potter!
Yep, we finally did it - we brought in Schaefer Yarns! When the yarn rep visited us last month,
i just couldn't say "no" to the deep colors and buttery fibers - especially after seeing the look on Sandy's face as she fondled the
yarn reps hank of Andrea.
Not 20 minutes after Jerome delivered the shipment Sandy was on her way from home (it was her day off). She brought
her knitting buddy and they proceeded to spend hours deciding on colors and patterns. They
settled on each knitting a beaded shawl and picked out Rowan Beads to match the Andrea (Sandy picked
Toni Morrison & the J1006 Grey Beads, while Barbara settled on Elizabeth Blackwell with J1009 Bronze Beads).
Personally, I love Catherine the Great, but am planning to knit socks with the
a tank with the Laurel first...!!
Equally as buttery (but a little bit thicker) is the Lornas Laces Lion & Lamb.
If you've never knit with it before, you're really missing out. At 205 yards of 50% Silk, 50% Wool, you'll want 3 or 4 for a sleeveless top... or 1-2 for a shawl (the Natural would be perfect for a simple wedding wrap!).
I'd suggest this yarn for those that don't like wool, but want something natural, warm and cuddly.
Are you ready for the next Harry Potter movie? We are! Thanks to the release of Alison Hansel's new book Charmed Knits, we'll be attending the local premiere in full Harry Potter gear. If you've got a young one (or older one, like us) that loves Harry Potter, consider knitting them a hat, scarf or invisibility shawl - what could be more fun??!
June SALE - Jaeger, Muench & GGH
I don't even know where to start with this one! Spring is always a great time for sale yarn & this June is no exception. We've just received HUGE shipments from Jaeger, Muench, and GGH. (Yes, Jeanne has threatened to kill me more than once this week - not because she hates unpacking the yarn, but because she wants to just take it all home!)
The 2 Jaeger yarns, Natural Fleece and
Roma, are 25% off, while the
GGH yarns are 50% off. Receiving tons of yarn like this really brings home the saying that 'there is something for everyone'; Sandy already bought some of the Natural Fleece in Damask, while Jeanne and I are drooling over the soft touch of the Roma (she's got the Denim color ready for a tank top, while i'm planning a 3/4 sleeve sweater in the tan). We're working on specific project ideas for all of these yarns, but would love to hear about any projects that you've done!
In an effort to provide you all with better service, a better selection, and just overall happiness (we're still working out how to send a pound of chocolate with every order :) ), we've incorporated a short survey into our checkout process. From now on, when you make a purchase online you'll see 3 survey questions on your order confirmation page. It should take you less than 1 minute to answer them, if you so choose (you can also skip the questions). I really can't express enough how much we'd appreciate it if you took the time to answer.
Just to clarify, we're not asking for any personal or identifying information, but are simply trying to get a better picture of what you like, what kinds of projects you're working on, and what we can do better. If you have concerns or want to let us know about something that's not covered in the questions (the full survey, that is - when you check out you'll just see 3 questions picked at random from a larger pool), please drop us an email at survey@JimmyBeansWool.com.
As spring moves on into summer, I'm doing a little bit of cleaning out - finishing projects I started over the winter (and before!), and getting ready to start some summer fun knitting.
After seeing this adorable pattern in the most recent Vogue, i knew i had to knit it! However, my friend is due to adopt her baby in less than a month, so i knew i had to knit with something a little chunkier than the DK weight called for in the pattern. The Blue Sky Cotton was perfect! By doing some math, i just figured out how many to cast on instead (answer: 133) and how many fewer repeats i should perform.
I picked a stitch pattern from Nicky Epstein's book and set to knitting a dish towel. My plan is to make 3 of these in different colors and patterns and then to give as a housewarming gift! This one's done...now I just need 2 more.
I'm using Karabella Superyak yarn & the Linen Stitch Blanket pattern found in the Family Circle Easy Afghans Book. It's been great fun! And it only took 15 months to finish...I guess it happens to most everyone sometimes. It's a gorgeous, super-soft blanket!
Upcoming Events - Stitches and the Customer Appreciation BBQ
We''re Coming to Stitches Midwest & We Need Help - August 9-12th! Stitches Midwest will be held in Rosemont, IL -- about 20 miles outside Chicago. If you live in the Midwest and are planning to attend Stitches the weekend of August 9-12th, please stop by and see us! We'll be in 4 booths straight back from the entrance and would love to meet you.
Want to attend, but worried that you'll spend too much money? We might have a solution for you!! Come help us out for a few hours and earn free entry to the market, a $50 JBW gift certificate, & a really cute JBW t-shirt. We're looking for knitters & crocheters to help us out for the 6 shifts listed below. You don't have to be an expert crafter, just a friendly person that loves to be around yarn. If you're interested, please email email@example.com and write "Stitches Help" in the subject line. Make sure to let us know which shift(s) you're interested in & why you'd like to help out. We look forward to hearing from you! Click here for more information about Stitches Midwest.
Friday, Aug 10th: 10am-2pm; 2pm-6pm.
Saturday, Aug 11th: 10am-2pm; 2pm-6pm.
Sunday, Aug 12th: 10am-2pm; Tear Down Help 3pm-7pm.
Customer Appreciation BBQ - Sunday, Sept 23rd
Let's have a BBQ & KNIT ALL DAY LONG! As a thanks to all of our customers (in and out of the Reno area), we're organizing our first Annual Reno Knit Out... Here's the idea - we'll meet at the park (maybe Galena Creek?) and have a day of knitting together. There will be demonstrations & mini-classes during the day, raffles & giveaways, as well as show and tell, book signing, etc. We'll provide the burgers and dogs & leave the rest up to pot-luck - everyone could bring a side dish (or dessert) and a beverage to share... and a knitting project to work on. Of course there's no cost to attend - simply bring your friends, your projects, and your imagination - I think it could be a blast. If you're interested in attending, or have suggestions regarding the event, please email us at reno@JimmyBeansWool.com & put "BBQ" in the subject line.
Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!
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