Thursday, June 30, 2011

Enjoy your 4th of July Weekend with these Featured Products!

Happy Independence Day a little early folks!  Today, in honor of the impending July 4th holiday I am reviewing Victoria S' Flag Stitch Markers, Lorna's Laces Liberty color in Shepherd Worsted, 50 Socks for 50 States, and Lorna's Laces' "Old Glory" Pattern.

Now go enjoy some BBQ, fireworks, and and the outdoors because summer is finally here!  Hurray!  Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Sweet 16 Sandy!!

Happy Birthday! Note the tiara...what a diva!
Happy birthday to our wonderful Sandy!!! If you have received our most recent catalog, you might have read some of Sandy's great knitting tips and learned what a treasure she is to us here at JBW! June 16th was her birthday so we had a great party on Friday to celebrate! The reason I say "Sweet 16" is somehow the numbers on everyone's ages around here got turned around and, well, you can figure that one out! Ha-ha! I am now 35 and Sandy has to listen to me...I am the oldest :)

Note the shy boy behind the flame me Grammy!

 Sandy had on the most lovely party dress and all of the other little beans got 'doodled' up in their finest for the event. Sandy's wonderful daughter, Melissa, and her lovely children, Mateo and Maya, were there too, along with Doris (Sandy's mom) and her husband Bill!

Bill Doris and Melissa along with Amber and her poodleskirt! 
Note Sandy's pink socks to match her outfit!

Sandy and I had gone out and
gotten our party shoes quite
sometime ago...
what do you think?
shoes -
so much fun!!

Happy, happy birthday Sandy from all of the Beans.We love you!!!

As always, happy knitting and crocheting!


P.S. If you haven't received our catalog you can download it here, or give us a call and we will pop one in the mail to you. You can also stay up to date on the latest happenings here at JBW by signing up for our newsletter!

Friday, June 24, 2011

FAQ's about the "Larch" pattern for the Endless Possibilities KAL

Hi everyone!  I thought I would take a few minutes to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Larch pattern.  Most of these are compiled directly from the Ravelry Thread that we have going.  Hopefully this will answer any of your pressing questions!  Here goes:

Q1.  I've never followed a chart before.  How do I read the chart?

A1.  Charts are generally read starting from the right on row 1 and all odd rows and from the left on row 2 and all even rows.  Usually the chart is read from the bottom to the top.  The middle section of the chart that is highlighted is the 12-stitch repeat.  I find it helpful to place a stitch marker every 12 stitches so that I know exactly where I'm at in the pattern at all times.

Q2.  Does this chart have a key?  I can't find it.

A2.  This particular chart does not include a key on the printable pattern but the key is available on the "Larch" Ravelry page.

Q3.  How do I work the YO's on the edges and center?

A3.  These are built into the chart and worked in the same way as the garter stitch section.  Your center and edge YO's continue throughout the entire pattern.

Q4.  The pattern says it takes 450 yards but one skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is only 435 yards.  How do I make the pattern work with the yardage?

A4.  The pattern describes how to make this pattern work for any yardage.  This particular lace pattern has a 4 row repeat.  You can bind off after any 4 row repeat in the chart.  I think you will probably work one full chart plus another half of a chart or maybe a little more.  I am 1.5 chart sections in at the moment and could go at least one more repeat.  It's knitter's choice though.

Q5.  Once I start the lace chart, what do I do when I get to the middle stitch?

A5.  Although the answer to this is not specifically outlined in the pattern, after consulting with several other expert knitters, we concluded that the pattern should be mirrored and thus worked backwards to the end of the row.  This way, the pattern is a mirror of itself on either side.

Q6. Can I knit this pattern in a different weight of yarn?

A6.  Absolutely!  Just adjust your needle size to work for your yarn choice and expect the finished size change as well.  This is a great idea if you want a larger shawl instead of a shawlette.

Q7. Can I make the "Larch" bigger?

A7.  Absolutely!  You can add additional stitches to the garter stitch section, just be sure to add them in increments of 12 on both sides.  If you follow the pattern to 96 stitches (on either side of the center stitch), then you would knit to 108, 120, or 132 sts, etc.  You can do extra chart repeats to make your shawl larger as well.  Customization is entirely up to you!  Knitter's choice!

There are some helpful tips about working the lace section in the pattern notes.  It helps to read through these thoroughly before beginning the lace section so that you have a clear picture of how it's knit.  Feel free to ask any more question--especially if we didn't cover it here already!

Please let us know if you have any helpful hints to share or if you have any feedback, we'd love to hear it!

Happy weekend and happy knitting!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Featured Products Wednesday!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  It's the middle of the week and you know what that means...time for new featured products!!!  This week I'm reviewing Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Artyarns Beaded Silk Light, and Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitter's Almanac Commemorative Edition."

Enjoy the vlog and let us know if you've knit with any of these items.  We love to hear your project stories!

Hope you all have a fabulous rest of your week!

Happy knitting and crocheting!

PS.  Are you receiving our twice monthly e-newsletter yet?  If not, you totally should!  It's the best way to find out when we get new products and sale items!  Plus, it's awesome! :)  Sign up here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More about Hand Dyed Yarns...

With so many colors, dyers and options out there, it's hard to know where to start with all of the beautiful hand dyed yarns on the market these days. And then, of course, there is the issue with keeping the 'lots' consistent.  Many hand dyed yarns do not have dye lots (Madeline Tosh, for instance, or Manos Del Uruguay yarns) so we have done a lot of work for all you about this great topic. You can find more information on how to work with hand dyed yarns and which companies we are currently carrying in our line-up right here on our very own Guide to Hand Dyed Yarns page!

Sandy's Dragon, alternating every 2 rows!
When I first started knitting and working with hand dyed yarns, I have to admit I was totally clueless about what yarns would do what, but after sometime now I think I am getting the hang of things. We have recently started a very small internal KAL with some great Madeline Tosh sock yarn in Filigree! The term KAL is used a bit loosely as we are all just using the same yarn but different patterns! There are four of us involved: Sandy, Sharon, Terry and yours truly! Two of us are working one pattern while the other two are working on something else.

Sharon's Dragon, just going for it...go Sharon!

However, due to some extreme color differences in this particular yarn, we decided to use this opportunity to mix it up a bit and show you how we are working through the differences to make the colors flow together for each project. Even though Sandy and Sharon have chosen the same project, they are approaching the issue of color differences in the same yarn a bit differently.

Terry's Martimonia Bolero, alternating every 2 rows
Sandy and Sharon are working up a beautiful scarf out of the most current Piecework magazine. Sandy is alternating 2 rows of one ball of Filigree and 2 rows of another while carrying the yarn up the side of the piece. Sharon has decided to just let the stitches fall where they may and will be working with each ball until it is finished and then adding the next one to the piece. I love this idea and can't wait to see her scarf completed!

Terry is working up the Matrimonio Bolero and is using her yarn in rows of two, just like Sandy. I have finished my first Veyla by Ysolda Teague from Whimsical Little Knits 2. Since it is a smallish project, I worked the cuff by alternating the 9 row repeat with 2 different shades of the Filigree. I worked the hand portion in only one shade, but it is completely different from the other 2.

I will of course work the second mitt in the same manner, for a similar result. I don't know about you, but I love the surprise that comes from working with hand dyed yarns and with some planning you can create a truly beautiful piece!

As always, happy knitting and crocheting! (remodel update in the 4th week at least 2 more weeks to go, sigh, stay tuned)


P.S.- Sometimes the only way I can keep up with what's going on around the shop is to read our twice monthly Newsletters (really so much to know:), so if you aren't getting it I hope you will sign up and remember we never share you information!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

KAL Update and Knitting at the Ballpark...

Hi everyone!

I hope all of your Endless Possibilities KAL projects are going smoothly!  I've been cruising right along and managed to start the lace pattern two nights ago.  It's going quite well I must say!  Here are some pics of my progress as I worked on my Larch last night at the Reno Aces baseball game:

Seventh Inning Stretch!

Finally in the Lace Section! Woo hoo!

Doug and Laura (the owners of Jimmy Beans Wool) took all of us out to the ballgame for a night of fun. Thanks again guys!  We had a blast!

I've been getting tons of great questions about the Larch pattern over on the KAL Ravelry thread.  Please keep them coming!  If you haven't checked it out yet, please do, there have been so many questions and good conversations happening.  You might find the answers you need about the pattern over there.  I'm compiling a most asked questions list and I'll be posting those answers here next week as well.

Lastly, I've decided to change the Ravelry Chat Room day to Sunday because I figured more people might be around or at home working on their projects on that day.  If you want some live help with the pattern, please find me in the Ravelry Chat Room on the Jimmy Beans Wool group page from 10am-5pm pacific time.  All you have to do is go to the group page and click on the "Chat Room" in the right hand column.  It will log you right in!  I'm "Marinade" on Ravelry so you'll see me in there.  I'll also be on Live Chat on the JBW website from 11am-4pm pacific.  

I'm so looking forward to seeing all of your finished projects!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crochet Cuties and Lovely Rowan Summer Yarns!

Howdy knitters and crocheters!  This week on the Vlog, I am reviewing Amigurumi Toy Box by Ana Paula Rimoli, Skacel Simplicity Books: Kids Vol. 1, and Rowan Savannah Yarn and Book!

I hope you all have a magical week!

Happy knitting and crocheting,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Behind the scenes at Jimmy Beans Wool...

Thank you everyone for voting on the LLE July Colorway Poll! Check back in July to see who won!

I thought you might be interested in some behind the scenes pics of one of our filming here you go all of the JBW stars!!

Lights, camera action!

We are gearing up for our busy time of year and have been filming reviews once a week during our slow time to try to get ahead of the game! Here you can see Amber filming Leanne who is reviewing her favorite 'rufflelicious' Tundra yarn!

Amber is the videographer and Kristen is in the back round and that blur, is Jimmy aka Laura, running through on some errand or other!

Leanne is being her regular star self!! 

So here is some sort of discussion that Laura (in the doorway) is in on as she stopped long enough on her blur run, ha ha!

Laura is always on the move and yet has time to stop and give us encouragement all the time!! Thanks Laura...okay everyone back to work!

Piet is one of our newest little beans and I am working on getting her to do reviews for you, as she is so quick witted and funny too! You may have seen Ailene in a video or two and these two are sisters! Boy are we lucky to have them around the shop!!

Of course we need a snack while we are filming and our regular customer Betty dropped this off for us....yuuummmmyyy chocolate!!

Thanks Betty!!

Staging for some instruction...hmmm k1, p2?

Here you can see my staging for the instructional videos that we put up for you and if you ever have something you want me/us to tape for you please let me know and I will get it on the list!!

We are currently in the process of getting our fabulous crocheting little beans in the spot light and I am so excited to give that beautiful art it's due!

Leanne is hugging her newest favorite yarn, Tundra and we have had the best response to this lovely ruffle style yarn; boy what's not to love either?

The colors are phenomenal and create the most amazing ruffles. Leanne just recorded a video on how to crochet with Tundra, so stay tuned, as I am sure that will be up real soon!

So for now that's a wrap, but stay tuned for more of our JBW stars coming your way soon!

As always happy knitting and crocheting!


PS if you aren't getting our Newsletter we hope you will consider signing up, as your information is always private and secure with us!

PPS for those of you who have been following the remodel drama you can see an update here on my Battle Born Knits blog...I am so over this whole thing that I couldn't bring myself to talk about it in 2 different places, sigh!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Endless Possibilities KAL is here!

Endless Possibilities!
Rue's Larch
I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  The Endless Possibilities Knit-a-long starts today!  Are you ready?
The staff here at Jimmy Beans really wanted to do this KAL as a fun way to commemorate the Endless Possibilities color that means so much to us.  It commemorates our first catalog effort on our own and the start of our 10th year in business!  
We had a staff contest and voted on our favorite nominated pattern.  The winner was the Larch Shawlette by Tinks and Frogs Rue.  Rue is the designer and she blogs about knitting, life, and her little one at her blog, Tinks and Frogs.  She was kind enough to share the design with us for the KAL-- thanks again Rue! :)  

You can download the Larch pattern for free on Ravelry.  If you are not on Ravelry and cannot access this pattern there, please let us know at and we can e-mail you a copy of the PDF as it is not currently available on the Tinks and Frogs Blog.  (We have the designers permission to do this.)   

Bethany's Larch
As you know already, Bethany could hardly wait to get started so she went ahead and did the whole stockinette section while on a recent road trip!  Go Bethany!

My Larch

I cast on last night in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (the pattern only uses one skein!) and am already loving the way this color is knitting up!  It’s so bright and fun!  

I used a slightly different cast on than the pattern called for, mostly because I'm lazy and sometimes don’t feel like picking up stitches.  Here’s what I did:
- CO 5 sts
- Knit 2 rows
  • Row 1- k2, yo, place marker, k1, yo, k2 (7 sts total)
  • Row 2- knit 
  • Row 3- k2, yo, k to marker, sl marker, k1, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2 (9 sts total)
  • Row 4- knit
  • Row 5- k2, yo, k to marker, yo, sl marker, k1, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2 (13 sts total)
  • Row 6- knit
You are now ready to start with Row 1 of the pattern!  It’s not quite as pretty as the pattern cast on, but I’m perfectly happy with it and it seems to be easier for beginners (or lazy knitters like me)!

So I hope you all are ready to get started this weekend!  Remember that I’ll be doing pattern support on Monday from 10am-6pm pacific on the Ravelry Chat on the JBW Group page.  I’ll also be available on the JBW Website’s Live Chat as well as on the phone or at  Please let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer!  I can’t wait to see all of your FO’s!
Happy knitting!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Madness of Magic

Ailene here!

Appropriately for my first blog post is a subject near and dear to my heart.  For over a decade, there has been an obsession with the world JK Rowling created through a boy named Harry Potter.  I remember reading the first Harry Potter book at age 10 and finishing within two days.  I fell in love.  Each book led me closer to the fate of The Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not Be Named.  The midnight release of book seven (Ailene - age 18) led to an all-nighter that finally resolved the conflict between The Chosen One and The Dark Lord. I was left with a feeling of awe that I had the privilege of sharing this magical world for so long...and sad that such a big chapter of my admittedly nerdy life was really closed.  

I am now 22 and still in love with the world of wizards and Muggles.  I sometimes still long for that owl from Hogwarts to let me know that I am indeed a wizard, or that I had a Time Turner to get through all my studying.  But alas, I am but a college girl (who finds no hardship in finding magic again and again with each rereading of the series).  And, now, Jimmy Beans has finally embraced the madness of this magic!!  So, naturally, my fellow Beans and I are excited to bring July’s Limited Edition Color inspired by Harry Potter to you!  July 15th is the eagerly awaited release of the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  The release of the last book was also in July four years ago.  And July 31st is the birth date of Harry Potter.  It all fits that July would be the perfect month.  =D  

The amazing ladies at Lorna’s have created two unique colorways inspired by the series. 

It is Harry vs. Voldemort in our knitting world! And it’s up to you to decide who will survive.

    Here are the colors:

    He Who Must Not Be Named
    The Boy Who Lived

    Here are the rules:

    • 1      Voting will take place from June 6th - June 13th.
    • 2      Please vote only once on our poll to the right.
    • 3      The colorway with the most votes will be July’s LLE colorway!
    • 4      You will get bonus life points for sharing our poll with other fans!!
    There you have it! Vote for good or evil or just because you think one colorway is prettier than the others. We will announce the winner on July 1st.

    Please join us in our magical contest!

    P.S.- If you enjoy being a part of fun and exciting events like this, join our Lorna's Limited Edition club!

    ***EDIT 6/6/11 12:00pm- Bethany accidentally put up the wrong skein for the colorway "The boy who lived". Feel free to change your vote if you need to! Sorry!! end edit****

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    KAL eye candy!

    Get your orders in now! The Larch KAL using Lorna's Laces Limited Edition Endless Possibilities starts in one week!
    Bethany got a head start! 
    Happy Friday everyone!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Oui, oui ma Cherie! And a few other lovely things...

    Well hello folks!  It's that time of the week again where we find out what new or favorite products are exciting us in the shop!  This week, we are focusing on the lovely Trendsetter Cherie yarn, gorgeous Madelinetosh Merino DK and the phenomenal new book, "Harvesting Color"!

    We hope you like the Vlog (aka. Video Blog).  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

    Happy knitting and crocheting!