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Jimmy Beans Wool May 2007 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Knitting How To: The Three Needle Bind-Off
  • Monthly Pattern Contest - April's Winner - Presto Chango Baby Sweater by Valerie Wallis - There's still time to enter May's contest!
  • May Kit of the Month: Grayson Gracie's Garden Bag
  • The Knitting for Weddings Corner
  • Just Arrived - New Berroco Yarns, Lantern Moon Bags and Baskets, O-Wool Balance & Hand Spun Organic Cotton
  • May Only - Karabella Aurora 4 and Aurora 8 40% Off!
  • An Evening with Ann Norling - Friday, June 15th!

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

The Three Needle Bind-Off

Have you ever had two sets of stitches, for example at the shoulder of a sweater, that you wanted to bind off and attach together at the same time? Personally, I hate sewing seams, so I use the three needle bind-off whenever I can to attach two groups of stitches without having to pick up a tapestry needle. In a moment of desperation (I couldn't remember how to graft)I've even been known to use the three needle bind-off to attach the last stitches at the toe of a sock.

Almost all you need for the three needle bind-off is an equal number of stitches on each of two needles, and the desire to attach them to each other. The last necessity is a third needle of the same size as the pair that you're using for your knitting. It doesn't matter if it's straight or circular, or even a double point, as long as you're not binding off more stitches than will fit on the length of the needle.

Keep in mind that these pictures are larger on the three needle bind off article on our website - I know it's hard to see what's going on in these.

Step 1
First, turn your work inside out. Hold both needles with the points away from you just like when you normally knit, in your left hand.

Step 2
With the third needle in your right hand, pick up the first stitch off of each of the needles in your left hand as if to knit. Knit the two together as one stitch.

Step 3
At the end of your knit, drop both stitches off the left hand needles, just like you usually would at the end of your knit stitch (except you'd usually only drop one).

Step 4
Now you have a single stitch where you had two!

Repeat this process once, so you have two stitches on the needle
Pick up the first stitch from the right needle, pass it over the second stitch and drop it off the needle, just like you would when binding off normally.

Step 5
Repeat until you have only one stitch left, then cut your yarn, pass it through the last stitch and pull tight. Turn your work back right side out and admire the neat seam you just made.

It sure looks better than the seams I make when I have to sew things together! I wish I could use the three needle bind-off for all my seaming - and actually, you can. Just pick up and equal number of stitches along the two sides of the seam, and use this method to knit them together!

Please let me know if you have any comments on this (or any other) article. You can email me at .

Pattern Design Contest Winner: Valerie Wallis

Valerie Wallis got her pattern in just before the deadline, and boy, did it make our decision more difficult! We received many great submissions, and chose Valerie's "Presto Chango" for April's winner. Judging took place (as described on our pattern contest page) based on originality, clarity and thoroughness, aesthetic appeal and overall quality.

Presto Chango by Valerie Wallis

Presto Chango is knit in two pieces. The main piece is knit up the back and down the front. A detachable front panel is knit with buttonholes on both sides. Alternate panels could be knit to accommodate holidays, whims, or disastrous stains. It's sized for 6, 12, and 24 months. Valerie's pattern is now up on our Free Pattern Page and as a kit on our website.

Valerie Wallis

Valerie is a stay-at-home mother to five very interesting children. She and her artist husband live in Logan, Utah. She usually stays up way too late at night knitting, and is certain that the next best thing to holding a baby is knitting sweaters for one. She blogs about it at

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. For those who didn't make it this month, check out the full pattern contest details. The prize pack is currently valued at over $350! The deadline for this month's contest is May 31st, 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:

pattern contest    (Right click and save it, then post it up to your site.)

Sample link:
<a href="">Jimmy Beans Wool Pattern Contest</a>

If you have problems or questions about creating a link to this page, email us at!

Kit of the month

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

Gracie's Garden Bag Gracie's Garden Bag Gracie's Garden Bag

This lovely bag is knitted with three Muench and GGH yarns and finished with Grayson E handmade rolled leather handles and individually worked leather flowers. The bag is a quick knit on size 13 needles, and the results are spectacular - and perfect for summer!

This month's featured kit is the Grayson E Gracie's Garden Bag Kit. On Sale for $97.16, you're saving 20% off the original price of $121.45.

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

The Knitting for Weddings Corner

As the wedding season gets started, we've noticed that a lot of us around the store are working on projects for weddings later in the summer. We have quite a variety of things going for weddings from casual to formal.

Weddings provide an exciting opportunity to branch out from knitting more everyday items of clothing and make something really spectacular. Knitting one gift for two people helps force us to think outside the ordinary, and the results are often amazing.

Some of our projects for this summer's weddings are:

  1. Sandy is making a gorgeous small cinch (i-cord) closure beaded bag for the bride. Try it with Rowan Beads and any number of yarns - for example,Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk.
  2. A friend of mine is finishing up felted slippers for the bride and groom, using the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs pattern.
  3. Rachel just finished a shawl to wear on her wedding day - April 22. Congratulations Rachel (on your marriage, and completing the shawl in time)!
  4. Virginia is designing an afghan in squares with a variety of cabled patterns for a wedding gift - she chose botanical patterns for her theme, but you could work one in any number of ways using the Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 2. For something quick (which designing cables certainly is not!) try the Biggy Print Feather and Fan throw I made earlier this year. The Blue Sky Alpacas Ombre Blanket is another soft, gorgeous blanket.
  5. We've also made the Tahki Cotton Classic ball band dishclothes for shower gifts. Or try something like the dishcloths I made last month using Rowan Handknit Cotton and Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge - there are almost infinite possibilities!

Yarn: We've selected a few beautiful, summery yarns to include in this corner, but there is probably an amazing wedding gift waiting to be made with every yarn we carry.

Rowan Damask

Berroco Ultra Silk
Ultra Silk

Tahki S. Charles Ritratto
Tahki Stacy Charles

Rowan Bamboo Soft
Bamboo Soft

HandSpun Organic Cotton
Blue Sky Alpacas
Hand Spun Organic Cotton


Projects: Using our ideas above, one of the projects from the kits, patterns and books in the Knitting for Weddings corner on our website, or something you invent yourself, try creating a unique knitted wedding gift - what could express your support for a newly married couple better than a beautiful handmade project?

BSA Ombre Alpaca Blanket
Blue Sky Alpacas
Ombre Alpaca Blanket

Rowan Cashsoft DK Hamper
Cashsoft DK Hamper

Tahki Cotton Classic Ballband Dish Cloth
Tahki Stacy Charles
Cotton Classic Ballband Dish Cloth

From $40.95 (including Mason and Dixon Knitting book)
Rowan Bamboo Soft Border Wrap
Bamboo Soft Border Wrap

Rowan Handknit Cotton Turkish Slippers
Handknit Cotton Turkish Slippers



Employee of the Month :: ASHLEY

Ashley is our newest UNR hire. She's only got a few more months remaining in her bid for a BioChem bachelors & then plans to stick around for a graduate degree. Hopefully she'll stick with JBW through grad school, because she's always a delight to have around!

Just Arrived :: New Berroco Yarns, Lantern Moon Bags and Baskets, O-Wool Balance & Hand Spun Organic Cotton!

Just in time for some spring organizing - we've received spectacular new baskets and bags from Lantern Moon.

The woven sea grass Drawstring Box, lined with beautiful dyed silk, is another perfect way to disguise all that yarn as...something else. No, no, that box is full of...early Christmas presents. Really. The Origami Bag (on sale for 25% off) is made of intricately folded palm leaves and also lined with raw silk. It's great for carrying projects, and of course for that knitting by the pool that we'll all be doing this summer!

Finally, we've also received Lantern Moon's Tote For a Cure, which benefits breast cancer research and support. It's similar to the other Palm Leaf Totes, but is black on the outside and inside sports a pink and black taffeta gingham lining. It's a great way to support breast cancer research.

ToteForACure OrigamiBag DrawstringBox

We've also gotten some brand new yarns for spring and summer! Berroco's Bonsai is made from bamboo and its wrapped ribbon shape is inspired by the plant, as well as having great drape and lovely colors. Check out our new kit for the Bonsai Tunic in the spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits!

BerrocoBonsaiBeaujolais BerrocoBonsaiBelmont BerrocoBonsaiBrenda BerrocoBonsaiBerenice

Touche is Berroco's summer cotton blend, great for lightweight sweaters and kids clothes. Pure Merino is a super-soft washable 100% Merino that comes in a gorgeous color palette (and there are even more colors in Pure Merino Heather), and Peruvia rounds out the quartet - it's 100% wool that's great for felting!

Bonsai Satsuki Green Touche Oyster Pure Merino Bluebell Pure Merino Heather Winter Chocolate Peruvia Caliente

It seems that a current trend in yarns is towards sustainability, and we couldn't be any happier about it! Along with the introduction of bamboo in yarns from many companies this spring, we're also excited about the large numbers of organic and fair trade yarns that are showing up everywhere! This month we have two more to add to the growing list: O-Wool Balance and Blue Sky Alpacas Hand Spun Organic Cotton.

The O-Wool Balance, made by the Vermont Organic Fiber Co., is a blend of 50% merino wool and 50% cotton with an earthy look and a soft hand. With the flexibility of wool and the coolness of cotton, this yarn is perfect for light sweaters, cool-weather wraps and clothing for children. O~Wool Balance is made from 100% certified organic fibers and processed in accordance with the Organic Trade Association's Fiber Processing Standards. Although the yarn is dyed, O-Wool uses no harsh chemicals in processing, so you get gorgeous color along with sustainability!

BalanceRuby BalanceButterstone BalanceMalachite BalanceNatural BalanceLapis

The Hand Spun Organic Cotton is grown from 100% organic cotton; no pesticides, herbicides, agro-chemicals or dyes are used in the growing, harvesting or production of the fiber. The yarn is hand spun on drop spindles by a women.s cooperative in Arequipa, Peru. The yarn production is helping preserve a centuries-old tradition of eco-friendly cotton cultivation in Peru and improve the lives of the poverty-stricken women who live there. Working with a local charity, Blue Sky Alpacas employs women to spin Hand Spun Organic Cotton, providing them with a living wage that helps them care for their families and send their children to school. Not to mention that the yarn is spectacularly rich and a pleasure to knit with!


May SALE - Karabella Aurora 4, Aurora 8, and Aurora Melange

This month our sale is a pretty crazy one - All colors of Karabella Aurora 4, Aurora 8 are 20% off until the end of May (or until we run out). Aurora Melange is on sale for 30% off ($6.25 a ball) until we run out during this same time period! These ultra premium superwash yarns are from a highly respected Italian mill that has been in operation for over 120 years and is favored by designers and knitters for their rich texture and quality craftmanship. The worsted weight Aurora 8 is $6.80 & 100 yds per ball (reg price $8.50), while the fingering weight Aurora 4 is $6.80 & 196 yds per ball (reg price $8.50). Below are a few of the kits and patterns using these yarns.

Aurora 8 Funnel Neck Pullover Aurora 4 V-Neck Pullover Aurora 8 Leaves Scarf

An Evening with Ann Norling!

Always wanted to write your own patterns? Or start your own home-based business doing something you love? Or maybe you'd just like to know what it's like to be famous in the knitting world??! Join us on Friday, June 15th to get one designer's answers to these questions... Starting at 5pm, we'll spend an evening sipping wine & eating cheese with one of the U.S.'s most famous designers, Ann Norling.

She'll begin the evening by telling us how she got started in the business, things she would have done differently, lessons she's learned, and just where she got the inspiration for that uber-famous kids fruit cap!

Ann Norling Kids Flower Cap Ann Norling Ultimate Cover Up Poncho Ann Norling Kids Flower Cap Ann Norling Ultimate Cover Up Poncho Ann Norling Kids Flower Cap

The evening will conclude with an autograph session - bring one of your patterns from home or purchase one at the store! And don't forget your camera - Ann specifically mentioned that she'd love to see all of the projects out there that were based on her patterns... it's these projects that provide her with inspiration and make her job so much fun!

There is no cost to attend, but we do request that you rsvp to (or call us at 775-827-YARN) so that we'll know how much cheese to buy! Also, attendees will receive a 15% discount on projects based on Ann Norling patterns. (The discount is limited to yarn, needle, and pattern purchases made during the event.)

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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