Announcing the Jimmy Beans Wool Spring KAL!

I am so excited to tell you about this fun Knit-A-Long (KAL) we’ve been cooking up for you! It’s going to be the biggest and best one we’ve hosted so far! The reason I say this is because we’ve decided to add an extra fun component to this KAL; can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint: It involves something new to us here at Jimmy Beans…

The 1-hour Skirt
A sew-a-long! That’s right, we’ve decided to celebrate our shop’s branching out into the land of sewing by adding a simple skirt sew-a-long to this KAL! We figured the best person to help us out with this would be Brett Bara, who’s book “Sewing in a Straight Line” recently inspired knitter and designer Cecily Glowik MacDonald to sew a whole bunch of cute skirts to gowith her designs for a photo shoot. We were “sew” inspired by Cecily’s cute skirts she created using Brett’s book (which is also personal favorite of mine), that we thought you all might appreciate how seamlessly, yet with plenty of seams, these two crafts go together. The best part is that we’ll be using the “1-hour skirt” pattern from Brett’s book, which is truly a speedy garment to sew! But more on that later… 

You are probably wondering, in all of my talk of sewing, what we will be knitting! Well, since Cecily was the inspiration for this whole KAL/SAL thing, we will be knitting her Goodale cardigan which we think is truly perfect for spring! When paired with a fun printed spring skirt, this cardigan is sure to become a wardrobe favorite! Also, even though it calls for a DK weight yarn, it is knit mostly on size 7 needles so it should knit up pretty quickly. Other details about this pattern include: it is knit seamlessly from the top down, in mostly stockinette stitch, and has some fun little details to keep it interesting. 

One of our beans, Leanne, knit Goodale for Bethany (another bean) last Spring, and she LOVED every moment of it! It only took her about 3 weeks to knit it in the 34” size which means that we can totally do this in the 6 weeks or so that we’ve allotted. Leanne enjoyed knitting Goodale so much, she is planning to do this KAL with us and make one for herself!

So now for the details! The KAL/SAL will go from Wednesday April 18th through Wednesday May 30th.  This gives us 6 weeks from start to finish to knit our sweaters and sew our skirts (if you choose to participate in the sewing component). We will officially kick off the KAL next Wednesday, April 18th with a blog post here. I’ll be blogging updates each week and we’ll also have a guest post from each of the designers during that time!  If you can’t start exactly on the 18th, never fear! You can join us at any time and we’ll still be here to cheer you on via Ravelry and e-mail after the KAL is over!

We will also be discussing anything KAL related in the JimmyBeans Wool group on Ravelry. If you are on Ravelry and haven’t joined our group yet, please do! We’d love to have you! You’ll see the thread near the top of the discussion board for our Spring KAL. That’s where all the shop talk will happen. I’ll also be available for full knitting support throughout the KAL via e-mail:
My supply pile!  SO excited!

We’ll be doing a roll call for this KAL so that we can get an accurate head count of how many of you are participating! Even if you don’t like to talk or comment much online, we still would love if you would let us know that you are participating! This helps us to gauge whether or not we should keep doing KALs or focus our energy on other projects.  But mostly, it lets me know that I am not just hanging out online and talking into cyber space in hopes that someone is there. Join me!  It will be fun, I promise!

You know what else is fun? Knitting with friends! Get a friend or friends to join you to knit for this KAL in person, then tell us about it online…That’s what this whole KAL thing is about-- bringing knitters together.  So join us, I promise, it’s gonna be a blast! (The official roll call will be in next week’s blog post!)

In the meantime, here are the materials you’ll need for the whole enchilada, including the sewing portion:

Sweater Materials:

-580-1160 yards of a DK weight yarn depending on the size.*See notes below
-US size 7- 29” (or larger) circular needle
-US Size 5 DPNs
-Goodale Cardigan Pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  Printed versions are available on our website or the downloadable version is available from Winged Knits on Ravelry.
-Stitch markers
-Stitch holders or waste yarn
-A tapestry needle
-2- 7/8” buttons

Venezia Sport in "Peacock Blue"
*The pattern calls for Tosh Pashmina but since we are running low at the moment on a number of colors and I am dying to try the new Cascade Venezia Sport, I will be using that in the gorgeous Peacock Blue color. The yardage on this yarn is AMAZING.  I am only going to need 3 hanks and I am knitting a 41.25" sweater! Cecily (the designer) also recommends: Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino DK, Malabrigo Silky Merino, MalabrigoArroyo, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, or Rowan Cashsoft DK to give you some other options.  We love these yarns, but we want you to pick what is ultimately going to make you happy so have fun!  

Sizing and yardage for Goodale are as follows:

Finished Bust Measurements: 31.5 (34, 38, 41.25, 45.25, 49.25, 52.5, 55.5, 58.75)”

Yardage Requirements: 580 (640, 720, 770, 855, 935, 1010, 1080, 1160)

Skirt Materials (Beyond the sewing machine and scissors of course):*

-1-2 yds of 44” or wider fabric depending on your height and desired skirt length. If you want a knee length or longer skirt, buy 1.5 yards or more. When in doubt, buy a bit extra.  You can always use the leftovers for quilt squares or a smaller project later. We have tons of great regular and sale fabrics right now so don't forget to check them out! Beginners should choose an easy to sew with fabric like 100% quilting cotton. (In case you were wondering, I am using Amy Butler's Twilight Peony print from the Soul Blossoms Collection.)  
- 1” or wider elastic- the length of your waist circumference where you would like the skirt to sit.  
Brett's Book
- Brett Bara’s “Sewing in a Straight Line” book or a skirt pattern of your choice. Brett’s book is great for beginners because it doesn’t require using patterns, just your measurements and some diagrams and written instructions. Feel free to check your local fabric store for patterns if you are feeling more adventurous. Also, there are several online tutorials and videos on Brett's website for making this exact skirt, so if you aren't sure about getting the book, that info will be provided when we get to that point in the KAL/SAL.  For beginners, this book is great because it has tons of valuable information about sewing that you might like to read so I do recommend it.
- Thread that matches your fabric.
- A large safety pin

*Note, some of your sewing supplies will need to be purchased at a fabric store as we don't yet carry all of the notions you'll need to sew with just yet. We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience this might cause! :)  

By the way, I should mention that the sewing component is entirely optional and you will by no means miss out on any of the fun should you choose not to sew with us! We just thought it would be exciting to bring a complimentary craft into the mix with this KAL!  Let us know what you think!

I hope this post has gotten you excited for the KAL! I seriously can’t wait to cast on! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know via e-mail: If you need help matching fabrics to yarns or have specific product questions, please call our customer service department at: (877) 529-5648 and tell them that you are participating in our KAL they can help you get what you need! If you made it through this long post, nice job, that was a lot of info! Thanks so much for reading and I hope to see you all back here next week and knitting with me in cyber space!

Happy knitting (and sewing),

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  1. I'm ready! I got my sewing machine out of storage and my swatch is done!

    For locals who want help getting started I'm teaching a top-down sweater class beginning this next Saturday. You are more than welcome to choose this as your project for the class.


  2. I am excited! I ordered the Cascade Venezia Sport and the pattern from JBW and as soon as it arrives I promise to follow your good footsteps, Terry, and knit a swatch! I also ordered a dress pattern to sew, as I decided I need more dresses than skirts these days...thanks for the inspiration! I'll be knitting along with you gals shortly.