Friday, April 30, 2010

The traveling sweater....

Here we are again and this will constitute my 3rd post about this fantastic sweater, which I have on right now as I type, yuuuummmmyyy!! What that means is my next post will be my fourth and final post for this sweater give away, so pay attention!

I promised you some measurements and I am a 44" bust and the sweater fits me well in the shoulders, length and really overall, however, when buttoned it will lay open, but does button well and lay flat (single button sweater so not such a big deal?).

So with that said I will stand by my previous statement that this sweater will fit quite a range of sizes, so here you go some more hints!!

Here I am with the sweater hanging out at Scotty's Castle at 3000 feet (approx) above Death Valley by the pool.

Scotty's Castle really wasn't Scotty's at all, it was the incredible project of a guy named Johnson who was a millionaire and wanted a home to winter in away from the winters in Chicago.

Just like Laura and Doug who began Jimmy Beans Wool in 2002, Johnson was a real hard working man and his standards were very high!

Now unlike Laura and Doug he would regularly fire all his employees and hire them back at a lower rate to save money, needless to say he didn't have the loyalty that Laura and Doug have won by being the most amazing bosses I have ever worked for.

Here you can see Audrey our amazing park service guide holding the sweater for me, what a good sport she was!

She started looking at the sweater and was kind of eyeing it like she was going to bolt and I told her I would have to flog her with some Lantern Moon US 17 Blond Wood needles if she tried anything funny, so she straightened up.

Ha ha, of course she was a doll and didn't give me any trouble!

Left you can see both Geoff and I with our bikes at about 4200 feet, at Dantes View. Someone was playing the Todd Snider song Doublewide Blues and I couldn't believe it, because that's the song that the nickname 'Jimmy' came from!!

Well I certainly think that Geoff and I are 'cool like Jimmy' and I know there are some hints and things you may want to take note of in this post, hee hee!!

As always happy knitting and crocheting!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Short and Sweet!

Just a short one tonight to let you all know about some of the new goodies we've been getting in. I haven't had time to really look at all of them personally but we sure have some great new patterns like the Oat Couture Hampden Cardigan and Heritage Blanket. Wouldn't this blanket look wonderful in Cascade Ultra Pima!?

There's also some new Noni patterns too. If you need a cute project for little ones the Bunny & Lamb Hoodie Towel/Blanket is absolutely adorable! I loved these for my boys when they were little.

Have I mentioned how much I love sunflowers? We I do, especially all the newer colors and now I can knit some with Noni's new Field of Sunflowers.

And while I was helping get things put away I spied some Fortissima Sock yarn in box. I can't wait open the bags and get some out in the shop for all to see. It is such a fabulous striping sock yarn!

Always be sure to check our New Products Pages frequently!

Happy Knitting!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The traveling sweater....

So you all may have thought that Death Valley swallowed me up, but it didn't happen! I had a bit of a family hiccup towards the end of my trip and had to jet off to Phoenix, so I just got back to Reno on Saturday and am catching my breathe, phew!

We had a GREAT time in Death Valley and thank you Diane for your comment about the possibility of an 8 X 10 autographed picture of me and Pandora to go along with the sweater; what a grin I still have on my face!

So this is going to have to be the second post in the line of four posts I promised you to win the sweater, which has been so many places that you just won't believe it. I got lot's of looks carrying this beautiful sweater around in the heat of Death Valley and draping it here and there to take pictures.

I kept thinking about our great knitting calculator and how I could use it to make sure I had enough yarn to knit this myself. I didn't have any internet, or cell service, so I just had to dream about it.

To the right the sweater is draped over a railing at the Harmony Borax works and people really looked at me funny here! It was HOT!

While I have some of the Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky in my stash I don't think I have enough and this yarn is discontinued, so I wanted to use our advanced yarn search to figure out what I could substitute, but that had to wait until I got back.

When I finally got to search, I searched based on the gauge of 2.5 to 3.5 stitches to inch for a bulky yarn and am considering the Misti Alpaca Tonos Chunky as an option. I used this yarn to make some hand warmers this winter and WOW is what I have to say about that.

To the left you can see me holding the sweater next to one of the many sea level signs in the park, as it goes up and down everywhere you go. We were camping at -190 feet below sea level at Furnace Creek and I felt so physically fit there, wow!

Geoff and I sat out every night and looked at the stars and really had some neat time together! We did take our cat Tasha with us and while I know that is an unusual traveling companion she was great!

Here she is (right) staring out of the camper screen door and I know it hard to see her, but we wouldn't let her out because she is a city cat! Our son Chris, was taking care of our dog Sierra and since Sierra is inclined to try to eat the cat we took her with us for safety's sake.

Well now are you taking notes? I am sure I have put some hints in this post that you will need to know when we get to the final posting and I will get you the measurements of the sweater in my next post, but I am sure this sweater will fit quite a variety of sizes!

As always, happy knitting and crocheting! Jeanne

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's New Around the Shop this week?

I've been at it again! I've been busily rearranging and restocking. When you visit the shop you will now find more warm weather worsted weight yarns more easily. Recently we received several beautiful new colors of Berroco Comfort and Mission Falls 1824 Cotton and they are now out on the floor. Look for more cottons and cotton blends to be taking the places of some of our heavier winter yarns but never fear they aren't going away just taking a break from being the stars of the show.

We've also received some exciting new yarns. I can't wait to knit up some Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. It's a lovely DK weight, jewel toned tweed that will be a perfect yarn for elegant spring and summer evening wear like Dolce Handknits -Charleston. Look for some Elsebeth Lavold books to be up on the website in the next day or two.

Some absolutely luscious Zitron yarns are beginning to appear in the shop. Zitron Opus 1 is a super soft, self striping wool infused with jojoba and aloe and it comes in lovely colors. I'm excited to report that we are also getting Zitron Trekking XXL a fabulous and popular sock yarn. I just can't keep up with all the great sock yarns. I need more hands and more hours in the day to just work on socks!

Now that spring is well underway be sure to take breaks from gardening and sit with a nice cup of tea and your knitting to dream about those beautiful summer flowers.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cool New Kits from Knitscene Easy!

Hello Everyone,

We have a new special edition issue of Knitscene Magazine, called Knitscene Easy. It is filled with super easy, super cute projects, like scarves, slippers, and hats. On our website, we have several great kits featuring patterns from this issue. My favorites are the Berroco Blackstone Tweed Scarflet kit, and the Cascade Eco Wool Easy Peasy Slippers kit. The beautiful scarflet is simply a strip of garter stitch which is folded and buttoned at an angle to make a cowl. The slippers are knit from the cuff to the bottom of the sole. The top of the foot is worked in stockinette stitch with YO increases, and the bottom is worked in garter stitch. The best part: one skein of Eco Wool is enough for 4 pairs of slippers!!!

If you are a new knitter who cannot wait to move beyond boring block scarves and dishcloths, this is the magazine for you! Prepare to be proud of yourself when you finish one of these awesome projects!


Amber's First Kitchen

This month’s Lorna’s Laces Limited Edition color is quite unique, not only because it is a limited edition color, but also because our very own Amber dyed it especially for us! Amber’s First Kitchen was conceived when Amber journeyed to Chicago to visit Lorna’s Laces where she got to see exactly how the beautiful yarn we sell gets to be so beautiful. Creating one-of-a-kind colors is a trial and error process. When I asked Amber how it was done she told me it starts with the basic colors in powder form which you then mix to create the perfect hue, spill on a table to make sure it is exactly what you’re looking for and then pour it on the yarn. This process can take some time, it took Amber and the Lorna’s crew five tries to find the perfect green for Amber’s First Kitchen!

In case you were wondering, the colors from Amber’s First Kitchen are right out of Amber’s original kitchen! The soft perky pink, chartreuse (my favorite color name ever!) and deep chocolate brown create a unique and welcoming atmosphere in her personal cooking space. This color combination translates beautifully to fiber and knits up into a trendy fabric. If you’d like to take a peek, Jeanne is currently working on a lace ribbon scarf in Amber’s First Kitchen, and it does look quite fantastic! We all oo-ed and ah-ed over the knitted effect of pink/green/brown combo –and her mad knitting skills—when she brought it into the store :) This color comes in a variety of weighs including Lace, Sock, Sport, Worsted and Lion and Lamb, and is perfect for scarves and other accent pieces if you're looking to add some pizzazz to any outfit or style!

Happy crocheting and knitting!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's New Around the Shop?

If you've been in the shop lately you've probably noticed a few changes. I've been moving things around, giving things a fresh, new look. I've been working hard to get many of the newest yarns out for you to see. In the front of the store you'll find many of our newest DK and sport weight cottons and warm weather blends like Cascade Ultra Pima that is so shiny and comes is such vibrant colors. Then there's Berroco Pure Pima that also comes in fabulous colors, Debbie Bliss Amalfi, Rowan Purelife Revive, Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed Cotton, Debbie Bliss Eco Baby, Araucania Chaiten, Manos Del Uruguay Serena Multi and Solids, and Classic Elite Allegoro. They are all so fun, lovely and cool I'm having a hard time deciding which ones I'll use for knitting up some summer cardigans, camisoles, shells and tanks.

Scattered around the shop you'll also find other yummy yarns like the new Noro Shirakaba, Noro Aya, Debbie Bliss Eco Cotton, AraucaniaNature Cotton, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton and Trendsetter Free Spirit. All are fabulous for knitting up some lacy pullovers and summer cardigans and wraps.

If you want to knit up some summer fun try joining some of our classes to get a start.

Stay tuned to see what's new each week!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cool New Afghan Kits!!!

Hi everybody,

We have an awesome new book called Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans. This wonderful book contains 50 gorgeous patterns using Berroco Comfort yarn. When I was a teenager I was OBSESSED with crocheting afghans, and for a couple of Christmases every member of my immediate family received one (whether they liked it or not) These days I don't have time for a small project, let alone an afghan, but I sure wish this book was around when I had "afghan fever"!! My favorite patterns from Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans are "Spiral" (crochet) and "Calico Hill" (knit). These two afghans are kits on our website. Nothing makes a home homier than handmade afghans.

Check out our other great afghan kits here.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Knitfiti: knitted grafiti!

Ever since I moved to Reno over a year ago, I have noticed random granny squares tied to telephone poles and fences. I assumed that it was some sort of Greek related thing, since my square-sightings were close to many of the sorority and fraternity houses near campus. I had no idea what kind of organization(s) are responsible for these haphazard displays of crocheted and knitted art, but several theories have arisen including territorial markers for the underground fiber arts mafia that controls all organized knitting and crocheting in Reno, or some sort of mysterious code meant to lead whoever can de-code the squares to a pirate treasure hidden under one of the casinos.

Seeing as I do work in a fabulous yarn shop by the name of Jimmy Beans Wool (you may have heard of it -hehe!), which contains some of the most amazing/knowlegdable knitters and crocheters I know, I thought one of them might have some insight. When I asked Jeanne if she knew anything about the mysterious public fiber art, she looked me in the eye and said, “I have no idea who would do such a thing!” and winked ;) Apparently Reno does have an underground “knitfiti” organization -the few examples of knitfiti shown in this post are their handiwork! If you would like to see more you can check out their blog or just run an image search through Google for “knitfiti” and you can find all sorts of spectacular urban yarn art! As it turns out knitted graffiti is not a phenomenon unique to the Biggest Little City, but can be found in cities around the world adorning buildings, signs, traffic lights, or adding some pizzazz to public art. I am intrigued by these phenomena and will be researching it a little more intensely. Next week I’ll let you what I find out!

Happy knitting and crocheting!


Friday, April 9, 2010

The traveling sweater....

I am stoked!!! I am going on a road trip with my Road King motorcycle, Pandora! My honey and I are taking our bikes (as some of you know I am totally into my bike) to Death Valley tomorrow to try to get some warmth and let the bikes stretch their wheels.

So we were all talking this afternoon about blogging (you are all going to be sooooo excited to see what's coming your way) and I have been holding onto some GREAT samples that are going to be given away one at a time here on this very blog.

Now you will have to work for them and we will be giving one away every month until they have found new loving homes and the first one is this beautiful single button cardigan worked up in Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky.

The pattern is the Georgie Jacket and the color is Blackberry and it is soooooo scrumptious!!

This is how it's going to work, I am going to take pictures of this sweater in various places on my trip next week and I am going to post about it over the next 3-4 weeks AND you will need to pay close attention to the blog (all posts not just mine) because you will need to be able to answer a series of questions that will be in the very last post (I am not going to make them easy either hee hee) and the first person to email me all the right answers get's the sweater for their very own.

This is the first picture of The traveling sweater resting on my 2008 Road King Classic, Pandora. The name comes from Greek mythology and means giver of all and I would love to have a Road Queen name plate fashioned for my bike, but for now I am a princess who rides a Road King, ha ha! Pandora was supposed to be the first woman (according to Greek myth) and you can read a bit more about her on Wikipedia.

Did you know that Jimmy Beans Wool started in 2002 and thanks to all of you has grown into your LYS Online (and in Reno) store? We really appreciate all of our customers and I hope you have fun following The traveling sweater and seeing all the new stuff coming your way on our blog. Thanks for reading and good luck!

Ok so I wonder if there is anything in this post that you may want to remember???

As always happy knitting and crocheting!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Provisional crochet cast on...

I am a HUGE fan of learning and it is so easy to learn something new everyday just like the old saying. In this instructional video Sandy teaches us how to do a provisional crochet cast on and this great technique is perfect for a project that needs to have live stitches later. It's used a lot in the construction of lace, or adding edging to projects.

Now moving onto to something that I am super excited to show you is the book, Knitted Toy Tales!! How about that frog prince on the front??? I would kiss him any day of the week! There are bunnies, pigs and just a plethora of fun little things to work up in this book by Laura Long!

So have a great day and learn something new today, you won't be sorry.

As always happy knitting and crocheting!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

President learns to knit!

Hot off the presses, the President of the United States just cast on his first scarf using the Lorna's Laces Limited Edition color, Amber's First Kitchen. He commented on how soft and luxurious the yarn is and can't wait to finish his first scarf. He is already planning his next project and is considering a throw pillow for the oval office.

We will keep you updated as this story develops, but it is a real boon to the knitting community!

Happy Knitting and happy April 1st, hee hee hee!


(it could happen)