Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hannah Fettig of Knitbot designs and a Coastal Knits giveaway!

Cover Shot
Hello everyone!  We have a special treat for you today!  Hannah Fettig, of Knitbot designs, updated us about her latest projects including “Coastal Knits,” her new book collaboration with fellow blogger and designer Alana Dakos of “Never Not Knitting”.  (And check back next week for a follow-up guest blog post with Alana!) Here's the juicy scoop:  
1.  JBW- Tell us about Coastal Knits--we are so excited to get our hands on a copy! 
Coastal Knits
HF- Coastal Knits is a compilation between myself and Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting.   It features ten designs inspired by Alana's California and my Maine coastlines. Each design is inspired by specific places in our local areas and is accompanied by photographs and essays on the location's special meaning to us.

2.  JBW-  So when is Coastal Knits going to be available?
HF-  Pre-orders will start in the next week or two and the book is actually due to release in October.
Featherweight Cardi

3.  JBW-  How exciting! The book sounds really wonderful. Tell us a little bit about Knitbot, where does the name come from and how did you get started on the designing path?  
HF- Back before Ravelry existed (it's hard to remember that time!) my husband and I had a similar idea and had reserved the domain name Knitbot.  I started blogging in that space, and the name carried forward to my self published pattern line.  My first designs were for The Fibre Company, the original mill was here in Portland, Maine, right down the street from the yarn shop I worked at.  I attended TNNA with them one summer and ended up meeting the editor for my first book, Closely Knit.  What really jump started my career was the popularity of my Whisper Cardigan pattern, which was published in the Spring 2009 issue of Interweave Knits.  This lead to my Featherweight Cardigan pattern, which is my most popular design to date.  I continue to strive to design simple, wearable knits.  My designs are a great way to showcase luxury yarns.
Coastal Knits

4.  JBW-  So, as an independent designer, do you have any advice for those folks out there who are just starting to design as well? 
HF- Discover your niche, and consistently move in that direction.  This allows you to build a fan base, if a knitter likes you're style they'll come back for more!  Be patient, it takes time to build a name for yourself.  Blog and submit to magazines. 

5.  JBW-  Now that Coastal Knits is completed what's next?
HF- Well, I keep saying I'm going to take a break, but somehow I always commit myself to SOMETHING!  At the moment I'm developing the Knitbot Snack Size Pattern series.  It's a web exclusive series of super basic accessories patterns, all at the snack size price of $2.49.  There will be 4 patterns in the series.  If it goes well I may do another series in the Spring. 
Coastal Knits

6.  JBW-  Now for some fun questions...what time do you start work each day?
HF-  I work at home, with a toddler running between my legs!  I usually package wholesale orders first thing in the morning and answer any e-mail.  Then during my son's nap I get a good chunk of design related work done.  For this project with Alana, we're in different time zones.  A lot of the work for Coastal Knits happened at night! 

7.  JBW-  And now for the really important stuff...Coffee or tea?
HF-  Coffee - specifically Americano, please! 
Coastal Knits

8.  JBW-  If you could live anywhere else in the world (including the US) where would it be?
HF-  Honestly, right here in Portland, Maine.  I love to travel, to cities especially, but I am always so happy to be in my home town!  But I will say, part of my heart lives in San Francisco (just like the song says!)

9.  JBW-  Any new hobbies?
HF-  Cooking!!  I'm obsessed with Heidi Swanson and Alice Waters right now.  They are teaching me how to do it right! 

10.  JBW-  What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?:
HF-  Giving birth - I'm still really proud of myself for that one!  I had a super long labor and pushed for 7 hours.  He finally came out!

11. JBW-  What is your favorite place to travel or vacation?
Hannah herself!
HF-  San Francisco. 
Thank you so much Hannah for answering all of our serious (and not so serious) questions and for sharing this space with us.  For more information about Hannah Fettig and Knitbot, check out her blog and designs at http://knitbot.com.
Hannah and Alana have also generously offered to give away a copy of “Coastal Knits” to one lucky Jimmy Beans Wool blog reader!  To be eligible to win, please leave a comment describing your favorite knits to wear on the coast, or a favorite design of Hannah’s by Tuesday at 6pm, PST.  We’ll choose a winner at random and announce it here next week when we interview Alana Dakos of “Never Not Knitting” and get her take on Coastal Knits as well!
See you all next week!

PS.  Are you currently receiving our bi-monthly newsletter?  If not you should check it out and sign up here!  It's chalk full of fun knitting info, new products and sales!

Monday, August 29, 2011

One Lucky Little Bean!

Why am I such a lucky little bean, you may ask? Well, all the other little beans pitched in to work extra so that I could go to Peru. I can't thank them enough! This was an amazing adventure! From Lima to Macchu Pichu and back, we saw so much that one blog couldn't possibly hold it all (but I'll certainly try)!

Peruvian dancers

We had so much fun experiencing all that Peruvian culture has to offer - delicious food, beautiful dancing, and of course a lot of fiber!

Fiber in the Andean region is primarily Alpaca. I found it just a tad ironic that I wore my Never Not Knitting Autumn Vines Beret knit out of Isager's Alpaca 2 yarn most of the time I was there. Since most of the world's Alpaca comes from Peru, I am pretty sure that I wore my hat right back to the source. Cool, huh?

Museo Larco was fantastic!

We saw so many amazing things, including the Museo Larco which boasts 45,000 pieces of Incan pottery in its private collection. There was also an amazing example of weaving that dates back to 800 B.C. but since flash photography can damage ancient artifacts, I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of it! What's really interesting about Andean textiles is that it was their 'written language', where certain weaving styles and colors were used to symbolize anywhere from grandiose spiritual concepts to accounting methods!

It never rains in Lima but it is very humid due to it's coastal location. Lima has the most extraordinary fish and seafood I have EVER had in my life!

I ate Ceviche which is an amazing raw fish (yep, raw) concoction!!! I have to say that Peruvian cooking is FANTASTIC!! I will be working on a couple of recipes for my family soon.

As you can see, I found the LYS in Lima. However, it was very different than what we are used to here in the States. I bought a set of very nice circular needles, which I am happy to say made it all the way back home. I have heard horror stories of needles being confiscated when people are trying to return but I thankfully didn't have any trouble. I did get my small scissors taken away in Lima but that's it! Phew!

Here is an amazing example of traditional back strap weaving. To be able to see this artist weaving was truly spectacular. The Peruvian government is working to preserve this tradition and the costume is actually everyday wear for a lot of Peruvian peoples. There are, of course people, wearing modern dress, but we saw people dressed like this everywhere and in the fields on the outskirts of the cities.

No show here - this is the real deal!

I don't know if you have ever heard of Vicuna fiber but it is super duper expensive (if you can find it) and that is because this adorable little guy is endangered!!! The Vicuna is the smallest in the camelid family, which begins with camels, llamas, alpacas and then the oh-so sweet Vicuna!! Soooooooo soft!! Unfortunately, they have been hunted to the brink of extinction for their amazing coat. The good news is that they are now protected by the government so hopefully they will be able to build back up their populations.

Machu Picchu

We hiked all around Machu Picchu and it is truly breathtaking! This extremely rugged terrain was home to the Incan people up until the Spanish Conquistadors came to Peru. The precision with which the stones are laid is mind boggling and the fact that they climbed these mountains everyday is incredible!

Well for now this will have to wet your appetite for all things Peruvian! I will write in more detail about my fiber adventures, which were many to say the least! Let me know if there is any specific part of my adventure you would like to hear about in more detail and I sure will do my best to accommodate you all!

As always, happy knitting, crocheting, and adventuring!


P.S. I know you would love to get all things JBW via our twice monthly Newsletter! It's FREE and safe too! We never sell, trade or barter your information, so rest assured that your privacy is our number 1 concern!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Start of A Long Adventure

So here I am in the San Francisco International Airport, and I can’t believe that this is happening right now. I am going to study abroad through a program at the University of Nevada, Reno called the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC). I chose Chengdu, China over my other choice, Shanghai, because I figured I would be more immersed in Chinese culture there. Not as many English speaking people. *crossing fingers* Why immersion you ask? Whelp, for intensive language learning purposes, I'm hoping to come back fluent in Mandarin. That would be awesome.

Chengdu is the home of pandas!

This is all very surreal! Not being able to sleep a lot the past couple days might also factor into that. =D I've done a ton of research on the plane ride alone. Like how much I can pack, and I've been plotting the best spots for me to sit on the 15 hour plane ride to Hong Kong. I'm thinking window seat. I found a great site called www.seatguru.com that lets you know about the layout of the plane so you can find a good seat for yourself. It's actually kind of magical.

The past few days have been hectic. I was literally running all around Reno getting errands done. And spending time with people before I left! It was literally one thing after another. And despite how busy I was, I couldn’t quite get myself to pack. I guess that it would make it all too real to actually pack. Despite how ready I am for a new experience, I can’t help but be scared. Silly, I know, but this will be my first time out of the country – the first time away from my family for an extended period of time. So, I figured I could be excused just a for little bit. But, I woke up around 3 AM on the Saturday morning before I left anxious and knowing that I couldn’t put off packing any longer.

Here is my luggage, holding my possessions for the next 4 months

It actually took me almost until the very second that I had left Reno to pack. =/ That is what I get for procrastinating. Those of you who know me personally know my problem with procrastination. However, I did get to spend quite a bit of time with my friends, who were willing enough to come to San Francisco with me on a day trip before I headed off to SFO for my flight to China. Thanks you guys! You’re the best.

But I have to admit, as tough as leaving my friends was, I already miss my family and have found myself a little bit emotional about leaving them all. A lot of my friends that have studied abroad have found themselves completely and irrevocably in love with the places when they studied abroad and hope to go back on a permanent basis. I can’t ever see myself in that position since I am so close with my family, but who knows. You can never predict these things, and maybe I’ll love the country so much, I’ll become another one of those crazy ex-pats.

Next time you’ll hear from me, I will be on Chinese soil! Wish me luck.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Featured Products Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope everyone is hanging in there as the end of summer fast approaches!  It's been a whirlwind season that is ending in some new and fun changes for JBW - like the fact that we are moving next Wednesday!! Due to all of the excitement (and packing, packing, packing) around here, our video Vlog will unfortunately not be available this week. However, I still have plenty of awesome new products to rave about for the week so let's see if I can capture them in 'text' form. :)

Hook It Up!
First up is the lovely Interweave Crochet Collection - a "best of" compilation of designs found throughout the past issues of Interweave Crochet Magazine. No more thumbing through old issues of this magazine (especially if you never had a subscription) to find that perfect design - the editor of the magazine has gone ahead and chosen the most popular, dare I say most epic, crocheted masterpieces and delivers them right to your fingertips! I'm just starting to up my crochet skills and this book has definitely given me that extra push to learn just so I can make these designs! There's an incredible "Infinity Wrap" by the one and only Kristin Omdahl, a geometric modern blanket composed of asymmetrical granny squares, and of course the Bow Cardigan on the cover is to die for! A design that really blew my mind was the Solos Caomh blanket - who knew you could do cables with crochet?! I certainly didn't!

Not a crocheter? Don't worry, these brand new fall colors from the already gorgeous Lantern Moon Silk Needle Cases will certainly appeal to your kniterest. :) When you open these nifty cases up, you'll find that you'll have more than enough room to store your circular needles in the middle slots, straights to the right, and a huge notions pocket on the left! This is the perfect mid-range case for new knitters looking to store their needles but is also a thoughtful gift for knitting friends and family and, of course, a luxurious yet affordable treat for yourself.

This next brand new item will appeal to knitters and crocheters alike! Katia's Triana Lux yarn has already delighted the ruffle fans out there, while sending its siren song out there to those not yet taken in by the 'ruffle mania' (speaking from personal experience)! I admit I was hesitant to dive into the ruffle craze but as soon as I saw Triana Lux, I had to cast on immediately! This is the same Triana yarn that opens up into a net-like fabric that you knit (or crochet!) along the edge with, which of course creates that 'ruffle' that everyone has been all a twitter for. The "Lux" part of this brand new yarn is the subtle glitter-like filament that runs along the sides of this fiber, adding that extra oomph to your ruffly fabric! Make scarves, pillows, dresses - let your imagination run wild!

The last stop on our featured products tour is not 'brand new' per say but now available in a wide range of new color blends for the next year! Misti Alpaca has just released a fantabulous array of Baby Me Boo colors, resulting in new color arrangements from variegated multi-hues like Jardin to more tone-on-tone variations like Wolf Grey! If you have as of yet to try this ultra-luscious blend from Misti, perhaps these colors will give you that extra push to go ahead and cast on! Your hands will thank you as soon as it dives into the super soft Baby Alpaca, Merino Wool, and Bamboo blend that is Baby Me Boo. Plus, 174 yards gives you plenty of options for one-skein projects such as cowls, hats, and gloves! Or, add a few more skeins for cozy wraps, sweater goodness, and extra-long scarves.

Well, that's all folks! I also wanted to let you all know that I'll be taking a break from Featured Products Vlogs for the next couple of weeks, but don't worry, we'll be providing you with some alternative blog entertainment. Upcoming, we have a couple of guest blogs, a giveaway, and some fun insider JBW stuff. See you back here in a few weeks and enjoy these last fleeting days of summer!

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1,000 Videos! (And our Artyarns winner!)

Hello everyone!
Over the last couple of years Jimmy Beans Wool has been slowly creating a variety of videos for your viewing pleasure! This summer, we decided to get a little more serious about the videos (but not serious IN the videos, as you know if you've seen this one!) and really tried to provide you with all the product reviews and instructional videos you might need. We think we've succeeded!

Over the last few months we've been filming regularly to reach our goal of 1,000 useful product reviews and helpful instructional videos, and last week we hit it!  We've now filmed 1,011 videos and the final few will be up on our Youtube Channel and the JBW website soon!

What a team effort it was! Almost all the beans did their part and helped make some videos. Did you see this one with Erika and Nicole reviewing Berroco Vintage? Or how about this one with Amber and Erika showing off their Amigurumi Toy Box? And how fantastalicious is Leanne here in her ruffle mania? I mean, even I wanted to knit with ruffles after seeing this!!

We couldn't have reached our goal with out these two wonderful knitters, Jeanne and Kristen! They have spearheaded this project and have done a spectacular job!! Not only are they responsible for all of the back end organization, planning and set up, but they also did the lion's share of the filming! And if you've ever done filming, you know that it really takes a lot of energy and excitement!! We are so honored to have these knowledgable and spunky women in our family. Check out this video of them teaching us how to customize your project by modifying gauge and stitch patterns!


What we want to know is- what videos are we missing? Is there a stitch you wish we'd do an instructional video about? Is there a product you'd like to hear about from experienced knitters before buying it? Let us know and we'd LOVE to make a video for you!!

Oh! I wouldn't leave you hanging without announcing the winner for the Artyarns "Shawl for all Seasons" giveaway. :) The winner (thanks to www.random.org for picking our random number!) is 
"livin4fishin" who said "I elevate my art by wearing it! Whether it is a shawl I knit or a shirt I tye-dyed."
Thanks to everyone who commented and of course thank you to Iris for inspiring us all to "Elevate our Art"!  Livin4fishin- please email giveaway@jimmybeanswool.com to claim your prize!!

Thanks again everyone and happy video watching!

Monday, August 22, 2011

JBW Pet-fest, part two!!

And we are back with some more of our furry friends!! This week we are featuring the pet of Jeanne, Allison and Amber! 


This lovely pooch lives with Jeanne! Sierra is 9 years old and likes to give Tasha (see below) a razz every once in a while.  One day Sierra decided to start throwing her chew toy for  herself and this went on and one until she plowed into the kitchen  cupboard.


And this fur ball is Tasha, who is 12 years old. She does everything she can to say out of Sierra's way!! Tasha loves to roll over and have her belly rubbed (who  doesn't) and she can get into it so much that she falls off the edge of whatever she is laying on at the time. The truly funny part is she comes back immediately for more!

This little Wire Fox Terrier is named Mitch and lives with Allison. He just turned 10 this year!! Allison tells us he can do several circus dog tricks, such as Roll Over, Beg, Hop-Hop-Hop on his hind legs, Bark on Command, Spin Around on his hind legs. She taught him all these tricks after they found him in the kitchen sink one day.  They decided he needed a job to keep him busy and out of trouble!

Amber, Ruckus and Kietzke
Here are 2 of my favorite puppies, Rukus (staffy bull terrier) and Kietzke (long hair chi chi)! Rucky is 11 and Kietzke is 2 years old and they live with Amber.

Rukus doesn't really do tricks, he is too smart for them and doesn't feel the need to show off.  Kietzke recently learned what her dad likes to call "Kietzke fishing" which is when dad puts his finger out like a hook and she jumps up to get it.  He also taught her "snapping ninja piranha attack" which is basically her dive bombing and biting you.

Amber's story about how Kietzke came into her life is a bit unusual. Amber accidentally ran her over on, yes, Kietzke Lane(one of the main drags here in Reno), took her to the doctor, they sent her to the pound and after a week. No one claimed her so Amber and Rukus decided to adopted her.  They are now inseparable!!

Thanks again for letting us share our furry family with you! Do you have any funny stories about your furry family members?

Thanks and happy petting!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Featured Products Friday!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to another fantastic featured products Friday!! In this video, I discuss (and show off!) Lantern Moon's Olivia Lite bag, Interweave's "best of" Knitted Lace book, Rowan Fine Lace yarn, as well as Artyarns' Rhapsody Glitter Light yarn!

I hope you enjoy and that you have a fabulous weekend!

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Artyarns Elevate your Art giveaway!

Every once in a while, there are women who inspire us to keep trying to improve ourselves for the better and prove that no matter what life you've been given, you can make it your own. Iris Schreier is one of those women.  

Iris Schreier, Founder and Owner of Artyarns
Iris grew up in Manhattan, NYC on 79th street on the west side! In a previous life, she worked at various corporations in New York City for 20+ years in a variety of publishing positions ranging from editor to internet new business development (McGraw-Hill, Wiley, Scholastic).

These days, she runs the super successful yarn and design company, Artyarns. Her daily schedule seems pretty hectic! She usually works at home for a few hours before hitting the gym for a bit, then heads into the office/factory around 11.  Believe it or not, knitting and designing only takes up about 10-20% of her time, the rest is used to help run the business.

And what an amazing job she's done. If you've seen their Facebook page, you'll know that Iris is in LOVE with Facebook and it is her latest addiction. They continually have new patterns, products and project ideas streaming in!!

One of the most amazing things I admire about Iris has been her super healthy lifestyle shift. Through nutrition, supplements and weight training, she has changed her day to day quality of life dramatically (and she can do a shoulder stand)!! Iris told me that she still firmly believes that you can get healthier as you get older....

And what does Iris have up her sleeve for us next? Well, she is coming out with the first in a series of new books with Lark in March 2012 which will pick up some of the beautiful graphic elements created by Officelab for Artyarns in Project Re-Brand with American Express. Check out the links at the bottom of the post to find more information about their work with American Express.

But here is our new favorite little shiny thing! Artyarns has these amazingly stylish new "Shawl for All Seasons" Kits. They come in a sleek silver tin and are just stunning! Here are the different styles:

3 Colorway Options:
Champagne (silver beads & sequins)
Wildflowers (gold beads & sequins)
Minerals (gold beads & sequins)
And the kits includes:
-1 200-yard skein of Rhapsody glitter Light
-4 small skeins of Beaded Silk & Sequins Light (approximately 20 yards per skein = 80 yds total)
-Knitting Pattern for Shawl for All Seasons
-Decorative Box

Requirements:  Size US 9 Needles, tapestry needle
Shawl Measurements:  56" (142cm) long x 10" (25cm) wide
Gauge:  4 sts and 5 rows = 1" x 1"

The good news is you can knit or crochet the shawl - whichever you prefer! 

And the SUPER good news is that Artyarns is giving away one of these spectacular kits to one of our lucky readers. Here are the details: 

To enter to win, please leave a comment on how you "Elevate your Art" (only one entry per person please!) between now and Tuesday, August 23rd at midnight PST. We will pick and announce by random number generator the winner on Wednesday, August 24th.

For more information about Iris or Artyarns, be sure to check them out here:
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Ravelry
Her Blog

Here are Iris' books:
Exquisite Little Knits (co-authored with Laurie Kimmelstiel)
Modular Knits
Lacy Little Knits
Reversible Knits

And here are the AM articles:
American Express Video:

American Express Articles:

Thank you Iris for talking with us and continuing to raise the bar on showing us what is possible when you follow your passion! 

Good luck everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer days...

We are having the loveliest summer here in Reno and I thought you would enjoy some pics. I hope you are all enjoying your summer where ever you are!

These pictures were taken outside one morning at a lovely little crepe place here in Reno...Creme! It was such a perfect morning!

As always happy knitting and crocheting! 


P.S. Did you know that we put out a twice a month email newsletter and it's super easy to sign up for! Of course it's free and secure too! It's a great way to stay up to date with the latest and greatest around the shop!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Featured Products Friday!

Shibui Sock in "Peony"
Hi everyone!  So, due to the huge Koigu shipment that UPS dropped off last Thursday (check out the amazing grab bags now available in the sale section), we were unable to film as usual.  Sadly, that means I don’t have a Vlog for you today.  On the other hand, I get to share with you some sweet new products that we have in the shop minus my bumbling and rambling!  Win-win, right? :)

First up we have Shibui Sock yarn!  We just started carrying this recently, and it’s awesome.  It’s super hardwearing yet squishy soft and can be used for a variety of knits including socks, hats, scarves, baby knits, gloves, and much more. This splendidly superb yarn is spun from ultra fine super wash merino wool. You’ll also want to check out Shubui’s generous array of patterns and books to accompany their yarn -you’ll never cease to find knitspiration!

Cardiff Coat

Next we have the new Interweave Knits-- Fall 2011!  This edition features a slew of lovely cold weather knits.  From the stunning cabled Cardiff Coat on the cover, to the draped Dahlia Cardigan, there is something for every knitter.  One of my personal favorites is the tweedy Honeycomb Coat that is both stylish and cozy for those cold winter days.  I love the asymmetrical button detail on the front as well as the cowl neck collar.  Prepare to be inspired with this newest edition of Interweave! 

True Art-yarns

Artyarns has taken their lovely beaded silk and sequined yarn to a whole new level by lightening it up just a bit.  The result is an exquisitely beautiful and unique yarn!  Artyarns has been pushing the borders of unique and luxury yarns for years, and this season they have completely outdone themselves. With 110 yards of luxury to play with, you’re sure to find something to create with Artyarns’ Beaded Silk and Sequins Light.  And if the yarn itself isn’t enough to inspire, check out Artyarns’ website for tons of free patterns using their yarns.  So many stunning designs!


Lastly, the Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky yarn has finally arrived!  This squishy and slightly heavier version of Madelinetosh’s Vintage yarn is perfect for making sumptuously warm wintertime accessories.  Available now in a full selection of Tosh’s gorgeous hand-dyed colors (with more arriving every week), this yarn knits up at 3.5-4 stitches per inch on US size 9 or 10 needles.  In fact, I took home a skein of Filigree the day we received it, and have been working on a new slouch hat for this fall.  With 165 yards per hank, you too are sure to be inspired by this delectably soft yarn! 

So that is it for this week's Featured Products.  I’ll be back next week with another Vlog, since we were able to film new videos today.  Just a fun side note, we filmed our 1,000th video for the Jimmy Beans Wool website and Youtube channel today!  We are so excited to have that many product reviews and instructional videos to share with you all!  If there’s ever a product you’d like to see reviewed or a technique you’d like to learn, let us know and we’ll try to provide it for you!  

Thanks again for tuning in this week.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Happy knitting and crocheting!

P.S.  Are you receiving our bi-monthly newsletter yet?  It's the best way to find out about new products and sales!  Check it out here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taiu from Koigu gives us the skinny!

As some of you may know, earlier this month we got a whole pallet of colorful mill end wooliness from Koigu. (We've still got some of the grab bags here if you want to score some amazingly beautiful Merino 2/6 wool.)

While you may be familiar with Koigu's gorgeous yarns, we thought you might like to get to know the sweet lady behind the Koigu brand, Taiu Landra!  

JBW: Taiu is a very unique name- what does it mean?  Taiu was my mother's nickname when she was young. It means "creative person" in Estonian.

JBW: Where did you grow up? As a child I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and as teenager we were living at the farm. 

JBW: Where did you come up with the name "Koigu"? What does it mean? When we bought our farm in 1972 as a summer cottage, we named the farm Koigu after my father' s ancestral farm in Estonia. We still have a sleigh blanket from Koigu (Estonia) which is hand spun and woven natural grey and black. We then just continue using the name into the business.

Koigu grounds
JBW: Have you ever been married? Never ..... maybe one day if I have time!

JBW: How do you like your morning coffee? A venti non-fat vanilla latte at 130 *C.

JBW: What did you do before starting Koigu? That is a very hard question because this has always been my life. After Guelph University I came home -at that point we had up to 200 sheep. I wanted to create business that could be self sustaining - from sheep to fashion. The rest is history.    

Taiu's yarn.. I mean, desk!! :)
JBW: Have you ever pulled a really good prank on anyone? No, I am too serious.

JBW: Do you eat the licorice jelly beans or throw them away?  I give them to Rhichard!!

JBW: What has been your biggest accomplishment? Kersti, my daughter!

Awesome extra-fact: From the age of 14 to 28 Taiu held various leadership positions within a Canadian political party!

If you can't tell, here at Jimmy Beans Wool we LOVE Koigu yarns and their gorgeous magazines (and it seems we aren't the only ones since we can barely keep it in stock!!)!  Keep your eyes peeled for the Fall 2011 Issue- it's sure to inspire!!

Thank you Taiu for chatting with us! We are looking forward to our many adventures together in the future!!

Want to keep up with Koigu? Follow them here:
Koigu on Facebook: www.facebook.com/koigu.wool.designs
Koigu on Twitter: @koigu 

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!