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January 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Managing 5 Colors
  • Limited Edition Shepherd Sock February Color: SWAK!
  • February Kit of the Month: Knit Red Shawl Kit
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 3!
  • Meet the Manufacturer: Crystal Palace
  • Stitches from the Heart
  • Our Around the World Party (and trip to Sonoma)
  • Just Arrived: Knit 1, Crochet Too!
  • Blue Sky and Crystal Palace - Select Colors on Sale!

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

Working with 5 Yarns

As we drift slowly into winter (Feb is just the beginning here in the Sierras) and look back at this past fall, we can't help but feel a little giddy about some of the things we were able to accomplish. For instance, the success of the Breast Cancer Support Kits still astounds us - the kits are still selling - and we are still writing donation checks. Thanks again to all of you!

Because of that success (and the overwhelming charitable response from ALL OF YOU), we recently decided to put together another kit for February and American Heart Month (Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of American Women). This time, we were even able to get some yarn companies involved - and each of them graciously agreed to donate $ for each hank of yarn that was sold (thank you to Ashland Sky, Cascade Yarns, Crystal Palace Yarns, Manos del Uruguay, Mountain Colors, and Nashua Yarns). Their commitment (combined with ours) brings the total donation amount to $8 per kit sold! We've also stepped up our involvement and production by getting high-quality glossy patterns printed. And there are even a few heart-healthy tips on the back of the pattern. We think you'll be pleased.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, if you decide that you are in the market for a red scarf or shawl (you can make either with the kit), I wanted to share one of the tips that i learned while knitting mine.

This shawl (or scarf, if you want to make it more narrow) is knit using 5 different strands of yarn. In the breast cancer kit, we stranded all 5 strands together and knit them using a huge needle (US 19). You can do the same with the red shawl yarns - and can even follow exactly the same pattern as the breast cancer kit (one of my favorite patterns ever) - or you can drop down a few needle sizes (US 13) and use our Biased Scarf / Shawl Pattern. If you choose the Biased Scarf option, you'll be knitting with 1 strand of yarn at a time - and each row will be knit with a different yarn. Needless to say, when i first started knitting the test shawl, i ran into some 'tangling' issues... i had 5 strands of yarn that all look similar (well, they are all red!) and i was changing yarns every single row. I was creating a mess. And the mess got even worse when i would set my shawl down - or move it - and then try to pick it back up! Thank goodness that after a few days of trial and error, i finally got a system going. Here's what i did:

  • First off, I noticed that i always seemed to have 3 strands of yarn on one side of the work - and 2 strands on the opposite side. If i set my shawl down and then picked it up later, i figured out that i always needed to start knitting on the side with 3 strands... and i always started with the strand that was the closest to the bottom (the least recently used).
  • Secondly, i found things to be the least confusing when i could knit someplace where i could lay everything out (like my kitchen island). What would naturally happen is that i would lay out the shawl (3 balls of yarn on one side, 2 on the other), then knit a row with one of the yarns. Once i knit that row, i'd physically move that ball of yarn over to to the other side of the shawl. I'd knit another row and then move that ball of yarn to the opposite side. Basically, i'm shifting a ball of yarn across the shawl after every row knit. In the photo below, i just finished knitting a row with the Pink, Fuzzy Yarn (the Merino Stripes). At the beginning of the row, the Merino Stripes was in the red pouch. After i finished the row, i moved it over to the tote bag. That way, it will be in the right spot when i'm ready to knit with it again... (in 4 more rows)
  • Thirdly, I realized that having everything in my 1 Project Pouch was creating a total mess. I quickly grabbed my Burgandy Palm Leaf Tote and stuffed 3 of the 5 yarn balls in it. Using my project pouch as the 2nd bag, i constantly move the balls of yarn between the Tote bag and the Project Pouch - and this 'technique' allowed me to knit in the car - and on the plane. Plus, when i needed to put the shawl away for a bit, i just dumped the Pouch and the Shawl into the Palm Leaf Tote ... and could then pull both pieces back out with very little disturbance!

Knit Red Shawl

Whew - I'm almost finished! I can't tell you how much fun this has been to knit... the colors are incredible, the pattern entertaining, and the result quite unique. And, if you're not into shawls, you can make yours more narrow and end up with a long, comfy scarf (that's my plan for the next one!).

Kit of the Month - Knit Red Shawl Kit

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...this month, in support of American Heart Month, we've created a special kit and, in lieu of a discount, we will be donating part of the sales to (Did you know that Heart Disease is the No. 1 killer of American Women?)

The Knit Red Custom Shawl Kit comes complete with 5 different luxury yarns, a pattern, and a red project pouch. The perfect project for a beginner, you'll want US 13 24" circular needles. The photo below is of a shawl, but you can easily knit a lengthy scarf instead by making the piece more narrow. At $64.25, $8 of every kit sold will be donated to the AHA's Go Red For Women program!!

Knit Red Shawl Kit - available now for $64.25!

Thanks to the following companies for their equal sponsorship: Ashland Sky, Cascade Yarns, Crystal Palace Yarns, Manos del Uruguay, Mountain Colors, Nashua Yarns.

Shawl Pin
Silver Shawl Pins

Need a pin to secure the shawl you're going to create? Or maybe you just want to support the jewelry making dreams of a husband and wife team...? One of our own employees, Amanda, has created these one-of-a-kind Shawl Pins just for Heart Month! The pins are silver plated copper, have a hammered texture, and sell for only $29.95 (i know, i know... at that price, she's probably making less than minimum wage on this one - but she thought it quite important to get involved in the cause!).

Limited Edition Color - SWAK

2008 February Limited Edition Color - SWAK
SWAK (Sealed with a Kiss)!

American Heart Month, Valentines Day, and lots of chocolate.... February makes me think of reds, browns, and all of the colors in between. This month's color SWAK (Sealed with a Kiss) is the perfect combination of all things sweet (candies, love, your honey, etc). Whether you choose to knit a pair of socks for the love of your life - or a shawl to keep your darling mom warm during the cold months - or even a simple poncho for your 2 year old - you'll adore watching the colors of red, purple, and deep brown blend together. So - have fun with this color - and have a terrific February!

Make sure to check in on Feb 20th to see the March color!!

Brake Stops
Regia Brake Stops

These clever decals go on the bottom of your socks and are meant to stop you from slipping. Each set comes with 8 pieces (enough for 4 socks) and sells for $6.95.

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 3

The Scarves to Throws Month 3 Scarf was made in Baltic Sea and is beautiful! We have a new strategy to make sure we do not fall behind on the scarves again! Our very own Rachel, new mother to beautiful twin boys Ben and Grayson, has volunteered to knit up our scarves of the month. She just finished up the Month 3 Scarf while at home caring for those precious babies!

Scarves to Throws

We've Made It Around The World! (and also to Sonoma)

We did it!! We've sold enough yards of yarn to make it around the world... (you might not have even known that we were paying attention, but we were!) We hit the milestone (no pun intended) just a few weeks ago, when Linda from Virginia placed her order online! Linda's purchase propelled us around the entire earth... Amazing, eh? To say thanks for making it happen we gave Linda a $50 gift certificate for her next purchase! To celebrate with the JBW team, and to say thanks for making 2007 happen, we are all going to take a cooking class together on Thursday Night (it'll be an Around the World Party!). We're heading over to the local cooking school ( and will be exploring the world of Asian Fusion cuisine with award-winning chef Douglas Dale (he's the chef at acclaimed Wolfdale's restaurant in Tahoe City). Wish us luck - and thank all of YOU for making this happen!!

In other JBW news, i forgot to share our recent getaway with you guys... Instead of a holiday party this year, we chose instead to spend a holiday weekend together. We rented a van, filled it up with knitters, and drove off to Wine Country. After spending the day tasting wine and enjoying a picnic, we sat under the heated lights of the hotel deck, knit a few stitches, and then just enjoyed each others' company. I can't wait to do it again!!

Sonoma trip
Sonoma trip 2    Sonoma trip 3
If so inclined, you can read more about our recent weekend on Dannette's blog.

Stitches from the Heart - Update

As many of you might remember, we started a charity knit program this past summer with the goal of donating knit (and crocheted) items to Stitches from the Heart. Check out our charity home page for more details. As a result, we were able to donate the following. Thank you everyone!!!

:: 78 Hats
:: 22 Sets of Booties
:: 20 Sets of Mittens
:: 29 Blankets
:: 2 Sweaters

(a special thanks to Terri from San Jose, Grandma Ginny, and Auntie Jo Jo)

Just Arrived :: Knit One, Crochet Too

Knit One, Crochet Too

Soxx Appeal
Soxx Appeal

These simple socks feature the self-striping of Soxx Appeal. You'll need 2 balls (1 ball per foot) and will delight at having socks with a bit of stretch in them! Soxx Appeal has 208 yards and is $8.50 per ball.

Ty Dy
Ty Dy Cotton

Using 3-5 balls of the new Ty Dy cotton - and some US 7 needles - you can start this top on a Monday and have it ready to wear by the weekend. Though i'm sure it's out there, i can't recall seeing cotton dyed like this... I'm thinking of a baby blanket or a summer skirt - how about you? The Ty Dy is $13 for 196 yards.

Ty Dy

Feel like knitting something with multiple colors, but want it to happen automatically? Paintbox is the yarn for you! Strikingly similar to Noro Kureyon, you get 100 yards for $9. The bag shown here is adorable, but i'm more likely to whip out a Grinch Hat or a pair of mittens with this yarn (or knit the Mistake Rib Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts).

Soxx Appeal
2nd Time Cotton

A unique new yarn made from 75% Recycled Cotton (and 25% Acrylic). $6.50 for 180 yards, you only need 4 hanks to make this sleeveless shell! (We're mixing the Meadow Ty Dy with the Linen Cotton for a subtly striped baby throw.)

Pure Cashmere
Pure Cashmere

Super soft and luxurious cashmere...the name says it all! At $19 and 88 yards per ball, you can knit a cashmere hat for under $40 (or hat and mittens for $60)!! Since it's pure cashmere, you don't need a lot of fancy cabling and patterning... the cashmere itself adds a level of elegance.


Select Blue Sky Colors on Sale!

Though we're sad to see the Blue Sky Bulky Duotones go, we're thrilled to offer the discontinued colors at 50% Off! 50% Alpaca and 50% Wool Super Bulky Hand Dyed Yarn, there's no shortage of patterns to choose from... we've highlighted a few below (personally, i'm planning to knit the leg warmers in the tan).

Usually $16.80, these hand-dyed colors are On Sale for $8.40

Quick Earflap Hat

(takes 2 hanks)
Chic Fitted Jacket

(takes 16-21 hanks)
Cable Leg Warmers

(takes 4 hanks)
Bulky Baby Hat

(takes 1-2 hanks)

The 3 Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight colors below aren't discontinued, merely overstocked... so you are able to get them for over 40% Off! Though the Moss is definitely my favorite, i can envision striping with both the moss and tarnished gold ...

At $4.99 and 110 yds per ball, you can knit like an heiress and still have money leftover for dinner.

Pleated Skirt

As crazy as it seems, you can actually knit this skirt for less money than it would cost to buy it! Starting at less than $35, a tarnished gold version would be exquisite under a dressy white t-shirt. If i go back to an office job (one without snow falling 9 months of the year), this is the first thing i'll knit for work.

Woven Scarf

As soon as this issue arrived, i just had to start knitting the cover scarf. Sometimes i just need to work on something a little bit different, do you know what i mean? Equally as gorgeous in the Lush and the Blue Sky Sportweight, you could knit it in one of the overstocked colors for less than $35!... and have a blast braiding it all together - i did!

Arm Warmers

These ribbed arm warmers include a thumb hole and require just 3 hanks of the sportweight (2 of the master color and 1 of the contrasting color). Translation? Grab 3 hanks of the overstocked colors and knit these for less than $15!

Cropped Cardigan

Now is your chance to knit one of our most popular Blue Sky patterns ever... While i know i could never get my hair to poof up effortless the way hers does, I am confident that i could make a sweater that looks as good ... The sportweight is doubled in this design, so you're in for a quick knit! The smallest size can be knit for less than $30!

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'm telling you - i love these Suss designs... so simple yet fun to knit. And we had a blast picking out 2 Jasper colors that would go together... (there are so many potential combos!). I've finished the front and back - and am now working on the sleeves. You'll see that i like to knit both of my sleeves at the same time - on the same needle. This way, i end up with parallel increases - and when i'm done, i'm done!

Knit Red Shawl
The Knit Red Shawl!

When looking for something to do for February and American Heart Month, we decided to use Sandy's Biased Scarf Pattern - and changed the number of yarns from 3 to 5. We loved the idea of using multiple red yarns - and combining them together to create something completely unique. You'll notice the little scrap of gold yarn that i used to mark the 'increase/decrease' side...

Grinch Hat
Dannette's Grinch Hat!

When the Paintbox yarn arrived, Dannette could barely keep her fingers off of it! A sucker for self-striping yarn, she quickly grabbed 2 balls and set off to knit Jeanne's Grinch Hat. A few days later, she finished it!! Looks like her doggie is enjoying the design...(and staying warm).

Friends of JBW

Welcome to our latest addition to the newsletter... "Friends of JBW" (an occasional feature)!

Throughout the last few years, we've noticed that many of you are creative and successful in areas outside of knitting... some of you have written books, some have started small companies, while others work as aspiring artists!

We at JBW would like to highlight these accomplishments. Not only will you then know what your fellow newsletter readers are up to, but you can also help them achieve their dreams!

This month, I'd like to draw attention to the cd release of my high school buddy, James Dunn. As a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne (I'm listening to Bruce right now!), I had a feeling that I might really enjoy listening to James' music... even if he did drive me a little crazy in high school J. He's working on building his music career and was named by CMT as one of "America's top unsigned Americana artists."

So, give his songs a listen and maybe even pick up a copy of the cd for your car (I listened to mine all day yesterday)! and here's the photo: James Dunn

If you would like to be featured as a "friend of jbw", send an email to We'd love to hear what you guys are up to!

Knitting Night at Truckee Book and Bean!!

On Thursday evenings, 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