Friday, January 18, 2019

Crochet Club 2019! Q&A with Katy of KT and the Squid!

We're already two weeks into 2019 and we hope that you all had a fantastic Holiday Season! We are so very excited for the New Year and all of the wonderful things that it brings with it: new resolutions, new surprises, and new Jimmy's Clubs! But this year, we wanted to do something a little bit different: you see, behind every yarn and pattern we feature in our clubs there's a dyer and a designer; they are all incredibly creative, hardworking individuals and we just wanted to give you the chance to get to know them a little bit better!

First up is our designer for Q1 of Jimmy's Crochet Club: Katy of KT and the Squid and we are
so, so excited to be working with her! She has developed many wonderful designs that have struck the perfect balance of practicality and style! Katy also grew up in Reno and frequently visited our store back in our early days!

Why did you start designing patterns?

Back in 2009 I started selling finished items on Etsy just to make a little extra income. People started asking for the patterns so I gave it a shot and realized I really enjoyed it. So in 2014 I became a full time designer.

What was the first pattern that you designed? 

A hat! It was really simple but I actually didn't publish the pattern until a few years later.

Where do you find your inspiration for your patterns? 

This is always a tough question because I get inspiration for a lot of places. I find myself on fashion blogs a lot of the times looking for shapes or styles of garments. 

Is there any particular pattern that has a special meaning to you? 

My Favorite Crochet Pullover is really special to me. When I was making the first sample I was in front of the mirror at home and my husband walked in. He said, "Wow, that looks like a real sweater!" We laughed it off but oddly, the comment made me feel really good about it.

Would you describe how you feel when you see someone making/wearing your designs?

I try to keep my cool but I get so excited! I love seeing what people have made from my patterns. It's like seeing your kid score a goal in a soccer game. I feel proud of myself but also really proud of the person who made it. 

What are some signature features of your designs?

I tend to have a pretty simple style but I really try to think of the functionality or the fit (if it's a garment) of my designs.

Are there any “rituals” that you might have while designing patterns? 

I always start with a sketch. I'm not the best illustrator but I like putting what's in my head to paper to help me visualize it.

If you could partner with any dyer, who would it be and why?

This is a hard one because I love so many dyers! Montana Crochet, A Homespun House, Casual Fashion Queen, Hue Loco...I could go on! 

Are there any hints you can give about upcoming designs? 

I have plans for a big collection in 2019. All I'll say is if your looking to learn more about making garments (even if you've made a lot already) you'll love it. 

What’s on your needles/crochet hooks now? 

I'm finishing up my second Mala Pullover in some yarn I dyed myself. I like to do one selfish project around this time of year so that's this.


Have you signed up for Crochet Club yet?? It's not too late! You can still subscribe here and you'll get everything you need to make Katy's project!

Crochet Club 2019 Q1 Project

**Please note: Jimmy's Crochet Club is a 3-month progressive project. In order to complete the project in its entirety, Club members who join after the first or second month have already been shipped will receive the previous month(s) contents. This means that new subscribers will be billed upfront for any prior month of the 3-month window. 

Want to see more of KT and the Squid?? You can find all of her designs here!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

We don't want to alarm you, but CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 4 DAYS AWAY!! Have you gotten everything for the special people in your life? Or . . .  do you need some inspiration? Check out some of these fun and easy stash-busters that'll surely make you look like you've got your stitch together! 

Thirty Minute Cowl by Haley Waxberg
33 yards of Super Bulky yarn and US size 50 needles

Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal
35-50 yards of DK yarn and US size  2.5 needles

Simple Little Something by Wendy Chapman
15-20 yards of Worsted yarn US size 8 [5.00 mm] straight needles or 2 double pointed needles of the same size, some buttons

Christmas Dog Sweater by Louise Bollanos
Super Bulky yarn and US Size 17 needles

But we understand how busy the holiday season is; you might not have any time to make anything at all! So did you know there are other, easier ways to give people the gift of crafting?!

Have you seen the 2019 lineup of Jimmy's Clubs and KALs?? These subscriptions are so much fun and have something to offer to any crafter who loves yarn! From knit to crochet and big brands to small indie-dyers Jimmy's Clubs and KALs are the gift that keeps on giving all year long!

But sometimes, it's best to play it safe and just let the gift getter get the gift they want to get! Jimmy Beans gift certificates are perfect for just such occasions, with a digital code emailed to you immediately! 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Manos del Uruguay Turns 50!

Yarn dyer Manos del Uruguay turns 50 this year; we thought it’d be fitting to dedicate this post to them for all of the amazing work that they
have done!

In 1968, Manos’ founders, Olga Pardo Santayana de Artagaveytia, Sara Beisso de Souza, Dora Muñoz de Cibils, María del Carmen Bocking,

and Manila Chaneton de Vivo, set out to create a company that provides opportunity for women in villages throughout Uruguay.

Wool and handcrafted items are such an integral part of of Uruguayan culture and Manos strives to celebrate their nation’s artisans by facilitating a sort of union between 12 women-owned co-ops in rural Uruguay. They are certified by the World Fair Trade Organization!
We first started carrying their yarns 7 years ago, and we can't imagine being without them! Each skein is hand-dyed, one-of-a-kind, and its tag is even signed by the artisan whom created it!

Manos del Uruguay has also created this video that dives more into the background of the company and the impact it has made in the lives of so many people. Yarn companies like Manos del Uruguay are few and far between and we are so happy that they exist to bring vibrant color and happiness into the world. Here’s to your first 50 years!

Let's also take a look at five of our favorite yarns from Manos del Uruguay! And be sure to check out their special edition color, Cincuenta (which means 50 in Spanish), that was released in honor of this milestone!

Silk Blend Yarn
Maxima Multis Yarn

Fino Yarn
Alegria Yarn

Alegria Solid Yarn

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 Gift Guide for Your Crafter(s) in Crime

Season’s greetings, everyone! It’s getting to that time of year again where the weather gets a lot
colder, the days get shorter, and that list of what to get friends and family seems oh so daunting.
Sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve come up with a gift guide for all your knitter and crocheter friends. . .

And maybe just a lil sum-sum for yourself.

The new holiday interchangeable set from Knitter’s Pride has got everything: 9 pairs of interchangeable needles, 4 cords, a fabric pouch, and tote bag! And as an added bonus for cat lovers out there, the box is hand-illustrated with adorable depictions of kitties lounging around a lovely knitters home.

Looking for a sweet gift for your buddy? How about. . . another buddy!? The Namaste Loaded Buddy Case comes with a journal, a magnetic stitch marker tin, and a darning needle! Now that’s a lot of stuff!

Boobie Beanie (knit or crochet)

This gift is especially thoughtful; not only will the recipient be able to make a gorgeous beanie, but $5 will go to to support breast cancer research! Each kit comes with a skein of Lorna’s Laces, a pom-pom, a darning needle, and a leather ribbon tag!

A beautiful necklace that is just as practical! This gift is perfect for anyone that might need a stitch marker in a pinch!
Another accessory that matches style with practicality: the leather wrist ruler from I Love Handles. . . Other wrist bands just don't measure up. . . get it? cuz it's a ruler tha-- you get it. (pro-tip mix and match colors and snap them together for even more possibilities)!

This backpack was designed with crafters in mind! It features a Lotus Yarn Feeder, a key leash (doubles as a tape-measure), and a decorative tassel (equipped with an emergency stitch marker)! And with all the pockets anyone could ever ask for, this backpack is sure to please.

Knitters and crocheters both need their yarn wound, and this new gadget sure is a fun way of doing it! It also prevents your yarn from becoming tangled! We call that a wound-wound... err, win-win!
Let’s face it; handling all that yarn plus the cold weather can lead to a lot of dryness and discomfort on your hands. Rejuvenate them with these sets from Beekman 1802!
Don’t get us wrong. . . T-Pins can work in a pinch... but why settle when there is a better option out there?? Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers come in assorted sizes to help give a garment the perfect shape!

Simple. Elegant. Thoughtful. You choose the amount, they choose how they want to spend it. It's truly a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Five Things to Love about JBW's Customer Service!

If we got a notion for every time we heard, "I LOVE your customer service!", well... we'd have a warehouse full of them! Making our customers happy is our #1 goal and it's been our mission since Laura (aka Jimmy, our Founder and Chief Knitter!) opened our doors back in 2002! 

Our team is made up of knitting and crochet fanatics who LOVE talking all things yarn and we most enjoy sharing those passions with all of you! 

So, whether you're a frequent JBW shopper or a first time buyer (welcome!), here are five fun things to know about Jimmy Beans Wool's Customer Service! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Welcome to Namaste: Reincarnated. :)

The beans have officially been spilled: We are now the proud owners of the Namaste Brand of Handbags and Accessories for the Mindful Knitter. WHAT? How in the heck did this happen?! Well…

Earlier this year I reached out to my friend Kelly, the founder of Namaste, and asked if she was still interested in selling the business to us. She said YES! (A few years ago, she and her husband closed the business down after a divorce.)

You see, Kelly started Namaste in the mid-2000s, back when Jimmy Beans was still a 500 sq ft shop in Truckee, when Doug still had full time job elsewhere, and when none of us were quite sure if this “internet thing” was going to catch on (Facebook had just started!). You could say that Kelly and I grew up in the yarn industry together - and became lifelong friends as a result. We’d see each other - and hang out - at TNNA (the yarn industry trade show) and at Stitches and VKLive Events. We created some fun, special products together (anyone remember Stitch Red Oh Snaps?) and were constantly comparing notes about how to make our industry, our businesses, and ourselves - better.

Anyway, when the sh** hit the fan and she had to shutter the business, she called me & asked if I could take over. At the time, I just couldn’t make it happen… (remember the launch of beanie bags? the flood? We were busy beans!), but now - with Kelly’s guidance - we’re officially re-launching (reincarnating?) Namaste!

We’re bringing back some old favorites like the Oh Snap Pouches and Buddy Cases (Kelly and i compared notes and made improvements based on years of feedback from you). We’ve created some new goodies like the Knitter’s Train Case & Knitter’s Dot Journal. Handbags? We’ve updated the vegan leather & added some pretty awesome features to make them ever MORE knitter specific than before (a key leash that doubles as a tape measure? A decorative emergency stitch marker? A patent-pending lotus yarn feeder?! Yep. Stay tuned for a big reveal on the handbag line really soon!!)   

Anyway, it’s been a super fun, super crazy 6 months: traveling to china (twice), designing new products, getting to know the people who make them (Linli, Mr Chen, and Mr Qiu!), learning about manufacturing, materials & sustainability, and even getting to know more about ourselves - and WHY we are doing this.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be filming videos, taking lots of photos, and receiving our first shipment of knitting handbags. And don’t worry - our plan is to share everything with you as it happens, including some of the stuff that we’ve learned (and some of the people that we’ve met) along the way.  To be quite honest, this has been a life changing experience for both of us - and we’re so grateful to have you as part of it.

For now, Namaste… and Welcome to Knitting Nirvana.

- Laura (aka Jimmy) & Kelly.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Our Favorite Andrea Mowry Patterns

Have we mentioned how much we love Andrea Mowry? There's something so perfect about her designs!! Always artistic, whimsical, wearable, and cute, classic knits. Here are 5 of our most favorite Andrea Mowry designs (kitted up for your knitting pleasure!).