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February 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Getting the Kinks Out
  • Limited Edition Shepherd Sock March Color: Spring Forward!
  • February Kit of the Month: Touch Me Scarf
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 4!
  • News: Sock Wars III, Alsatian in the News
  • Just Arrived: Manos Silk Blend, Rowan Purelife, Cascade Throw Kits!
  • Oddball Lornas Laces and Zelda Handbags on Sale!

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

Getting the Kinks Out

I don't know about you, but every once in awhile I get about halfway through a project and then decide that I just don't like it anymore... In my early knitting career, I used to just keep plugging along - striving to live by my father's words of "you need to finish what you've started." Somewhere along the way, I had an epiphany and decided that my time (and yours!) is just too valuable to be spent on knitting things I don't like. As painful as it is to rip out my hard work, I've accepted those first few hours as a sunk cost (refer back to Econ 101 for more on sunk costs!). More often than not, I delay the 'ripping' for as long as I can stand it. When I finally get around to it, I've noticed that the yarn looks 'frogged' - it's bumpy and curvy - and not very appealing (like a frog). The last time this happened, I consulted with our retail store manager Jeanne and this is what she told me to do:

  1. First, put the yarn back into a hank by winding it loosely around your arm; just like you would a long electrical cord. The "winding it loosely around your arm" part is important.
  2. Take it off of your arm carefully and lay it on a table.
  3. Tie it with some waste yarn in 2-3 places (not too tightly) just to hold the strands together.
  4. Set it in cool water with just a bit of gentle soap for about 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse it and squeeze the water out, being careful not to tangle the strands.
  6. Set it on a towel and roll the yarn up to get the excess water out of the yarn.
  7. Hang it over a hanger (plastic is preferable, but if you don't have a plastic hanger you can use a rag around the neck of the hanger, so it won't rust on your yarn) and hang it in the shower to drip. It is sometimes helpful to hang a weight on the bottom of the yarn - I find that a heavy wooden suit hanger is perfect for the job. Again, you will want to protect the yarn from rust by placing a rag between the hanger and the yarn.
  8. Once it dries, you can use that beautiful yarn to knit something else!
Getting the kinks out 1 Getting the kinks out 2

Did you know that back in the 'old' days when money was scarce and buying new yarn wasn't in the budget, garments would be 'frogged' making the yarn available for a new and useful piece. In fact, our very own Sandy often scours the thrift stores - looking for sweaters made from luxurious fibers... she unravels them, washes the yarn and then uses them for one of her own creations! She loves the adventure and excitement of finding a hidden treasure!

You can also see larger pictures on the Getting the Kinks Out article on our website.

Kit of the Month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...this month, in honor of the huge Touch Me shipment that just arrived, we're discounting our favorite Touch Me Scarf Kit

At 20% Off, you Save $15. - that's like buying 4 balls and getting the 5th for free!

Limited Edition Color - Spring Forward

Spring Forward!

This month, the girls in the store sat down and picked out a few of their favorite Lorna's shades - and asked Beth if she could dye them all next to each other. Whisper, Sage, Sunshine, and Natural are joined together to create "Spring Forward" - our limited edition color for March. I personally love it!

And make sure to check in on March 20th to see the April color!!

Ebony Needles
2-At-A-Time Socks

When we received this book, i sighed a breath of relief - i thought i was the only one that couldn't finish knitting the 2nd sock. Whew - i'm relieved that there are others that suffer from the same problem. Once i learned how to knit socks on circs, i promptly tried to figure out how to do 2 socks at once. Take it from me, the self-learned process was far from pretty. Instead of beating your head against the wall like i did, i'd suggest shelling out the $16.95 and learning how to do it from this book. I sure wish i had!

Spiral Boot Socks
Spiral Boot Socks

Though i haven't tested it, i think you can get a pair of these out of 2 hanks of the Shepherd Sock... 3 hanks at the most (calls for 3 hanks of a yarn that has 162 yards). I'm knitting these right now and am having a blast. Now i just need to get some Wellies to wear them with!

Can of Paint
The Little Can of Paint

For an extra $3, you can order the Spring Forward sock yarn as a kit! Discover the joy of hand-dyed yarn with Lorna's Laces exquisite Shepherd Sock yarn and Basic Sock Pattern, all bundled up in this adorable can. It makes the perfect gift for you or your favorite knitter.

Ebony Needles
Ebony Wood Sox Stix

If you haven't tried them yet (and still prefer the process of knitting on DPNs), now is the time to grab a pair of Lantern Moon's famous Sox Stix. These 5" double points were made specifically for socks... use the US 0s or 1s with Shepherd Sock - or the US 5s with Shepherd Worsted. Once you try these, you'll never want to use anything else again.
(Make sure you read below for getting Shepherd Sock and Worsted at 25% off!)

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 4

Month 4 in our 'scarves to throws' journey is finished! Knit in Pioneer, this super-soft scarf would be equally as gorgeous in the color Jeans.

If you're just starting, you can find the Month 3 free pattern here, the Month 2 free pattern here, and the Month 1 free pattern here (as well as an explanation for what we're doing).

Sock Wars and Soap in the News

Sock Wars III

The signups for Sock Wars III has just begun... though i haven't had the opportunity to partake in this game before, i have heard that it's a great excuse to get some socks knit up. Here's my understanding of the game: on May 9th, you'll be emailed the details of another person (called a 'target') involved in the game. You must start knitting socks for them (using the pattern in the email) immediately. As soon as you finish, you mail them off to the person listed in the email. When that person receives your socks, they are eliminated from the game and must send you their unfinished socks (to then finish and send to the 'target' to which they were assigned). However, If you receive a pair from someone else before yours have been mailed, you are out of the game and must mail your unfinished socks to the person that eliminated you. Though i don't know the details, i get the impression that there will be lots of prizes available. Sounds like fun...!! Of course, since it takes me between 1 and 2 years to finish a pair of socks, i don't think it'd be in my best interest to participate :)

You can use any kind of sock yarn you want to play, but Southwest Trading Company has graciously agreed to sponsor the event this year - and is hoping that you'll take this as an opportunity to try their Tofutsies sock yarn - the one made with shrimp and crab shells (a natural anti-bacterial)! In addition to the Tofutsies, we've also listed a few of our favorite sock yarns:


$16 per pair
Soxx Appeal
Soxx Appeal

$17 per pair

$12.80 per pair
Oddball Shepherd Sock
Oddball Shepherd Sock

$16.50 per pair
Oddball Shepherd Sock
Panda Cotton

$13.80 per pair

Soap in the News

Creating soaps and lotion bars for some time now, Reno local Kathy Bray of Alsatian Soaps has most recently come up with specialty products for us knitters. Through this newsletter, many of you are already familiar with her creations... but this month the rest of the knitting community will be introduced to her via Knit Simple magazine (the Spring 2008 issue). Her products (and our website) will also be featured in the April issue of Redbook (Knitters Soap) - and the May issue of Family Circle Magazine (Knitters Hands Tin)... Keep your eyes peeled - and Congratulations, Kathy!

Just Arrived :: Manos Silk Blend, Rowan Purelife, and Cascade Throw Kits

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend

We're in love with this new yarn! Not only are the colors to-die-for, but the texture is just heavenly. Manos Silk Blend is a luxurious blend of merino and silk. Hand dyed in large kettles to create a marbleized, subtly striated effect that forms a rich palette of glorious colors. No two skeins are exactly alike and there are no dye lots.... We're all fighting over who will knit that Maria Cardigan below... just gorgeous!

Manos Silk

The nearly-solids are $11.50 per hank and the multi-colors are $12.50.

Maria Cardigan
Maria Cardigan

(takes 9-11 hanks)
Fingerless Mitts
Fingerless Mitts

(takes 2-3 hanks)
Shannon Shell
Shannon Shell

(takes 5-9 hanks)

Rowan Purelife

Rowan has hit the mark with their new Purelife organic cotton yarn. It knits to standard DK tension and is coloured with plant dyes. Due to their organic nature, there will be some shade variation - but it simply adds to the yarn's unique inherent beauty!

From the book The Organic Cotton Collection : "Why organic? This eco-responsible yarn uses fully certified organic cotton which keeps nature pure and life good for the farmers who make their living from the earth - each batch of cotton can be traced back to the certified farms in India where the cotton as been grown.... Our organic cotton is grown in an environmentally and socially responsible way without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers - we are using organic plant dyes which produce no toxic effluent."

Eco-friendly in every way possible, even the pattern book was printed using vegetable based inks and on FSC paper.

Rowan Purelife is $9.95 per ball - 131 yards and 50 grams. Try it for one of these projects:

Crocheted Candytuft
Crocheted Candytuft

(takes 7-9 balls)
Track Jacket
Men's Track Jacket

(takes 13-16 hanks)
Cornflower Tunic

(takes 14-20 hanks)
Buttercup Pullover

(takes 5-8 hanks)

Rippling Cascade Throw Kit

I love the Colinette Absolutely Fabulous Throw Kits. I really, really do. In fact, i'd make one in ever single color if i had the time - and more importantly - the budget. And since my budget isn't always as big as i'd like it to be, i often find myself searching for more 'affordable' alternatives to those gorgeous hand-dyed throw kits. Well, search no longer... Cascade and Di.Ve Yarns have joined together to create a stunning 5-yarn throw kit - at a more affordable price point. (Yes, i realize that $139.95 isn't so afforable that you'll need to buy 10 of them, but it is $45 less than the hand-dyed Colinette version... and $45 still gets my Jetta a full tank of gas!

Jeanne has already started on the Reds, Oranges and Greens (the 4th pic)... stop by the shop to see it!

Zelda Totes and 'Oddball' Lorna's Laces on Sale!

If you're a fan of Lorna's Laces yarns (and who isn't?), you probably know that it rarely goes on sale! Well, we've lucked out and gotten a huge shipment of Lorna's Millends... and are extending the deal they gave us to you! Save 25% on these Millend colors and yarns... you won't regret it!

There's no doubt about it, this yarn is still gorgeous. Lornas received a shipment of their Shepherd Sock, Sport, and Worsted that didn't take the dyes normally. Instead of even-coloring, the result is a bit 'swirly' - some of strands took the dye normally, while the others soaked it up a bit less. The yarn is great, but still classified as "millends," hence the discounted price (and no-return policy).

Lorna's Laces Oddballs
Millends - No Returns, No Exceptions

In the photo of Sandridge above, you can see that the light blue is a bit uneven and not a consistent blue. The colors shown on the website are of the 'perfect' colors - but the photo above should give you an idea of how the 'Oddball' colors are not as perfect as Lorna's is used to. We just received this yarn on February 20th, so we haven't had a chance to take photos of the actual Oddball colors, but we'll work on it!

Give one of these Sportweight Patterns a try!

Deco Dots Socks
Purple Iris Socks
Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf
Spring Blossom Socks
Grape Trellis

Zelda Knitting & Crochet Handbag

Save $30 each on these fantastic handmade knitting bags. Normally $120 (on sale for $89.95), we got a deal on some overstocked Zelda Handbags and are passing that savings directly to you. Even if you aren't in the market, you might want to pick one up as a future birthday or Mother's Day gift - i've never seen these bags on sale before - and don't know if we'll see it again!

Zelda Features
  • Removable strap stays out of your way
  • Enough room inside for many balls of yarn
  • Long enough for straight needles
  • Stands wide open on its own four feet so you can see all your knitting and crochet supplies
  • Enough pockets to keep track of all your knitting and crochet notions
  • Sleek, secure closure - knitting and crochet supplies do not fall out
  • Available in many plush, beautiful, limited edition velvets, chenilles, brocades, and wools
Zelda Details
  • 5.5"H x 20"W x 5"D
  • 23" removable velvet strap
  • 16" frame closure
  • 5 inside pockets
  • 4 protective feet
  • Corded velvet trims
  • Faille lining
  • Handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area

Save $1.49 on Gadget Sacks!

Now is your chance to stock up on Ashland Sky Gadget Sacks. Never on sale, we have them in 8 different colors - and each has a cotton JBW logo sewn on. Normally $7.99, they are on sale for $6.50!

Gadget Sacks Gadget Sacks Gadget Sacks

What We're Working On

Even if i'm not working at the computer, my fingers are still going... they're just knitting instead. Same with the wonderful girls in the store! Below is a sampling of what we've gotten accomplished lately (on the knitting front, that is).

Jasper Pocket Pullover!!!
I finished! I think this is my favorite completed sweater ever. I absolutely adore it... and it fits perfectly.
Tao Scarf
Tao and Parisienne Scarf
When the Colinette Tao Silk and Parisienne arrived, i knew i had to do something special with it! I started a custom scarf - and am almost done... stay tuned for the pattern!
Rachel Baby Dress
Rachel's Baby Dress
Rachel knit this Blue Sky Alpaca Baby dress in the Alpaca and Silk, color is Sapphire. This pic is just after washing it, so it is wet, but looks good!

Knitting Night at Truckee Book and Bean!!

Thursday evenings in November, Jimmy Beans very own Dannette Arney will be hosting a Knitting Night. From 6:30-8pm we will gather in the parlor of beautiful downtown Truckee's Book and Bean. This is a time to hang out, chat and sip some warm tea on the cold snowy nights. Instruction is available for a $10 drop in fee, but if you want to hang out... well that's FREE of course!

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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Contact Us

Jimmy Beans Wool
4850 Joule St. Ste A1
Reno, NV 89502

Toll Free in U.S. and Canada (877)529-5648
Phone (775)827-9276