New fun here at Jimmy Beans!!!

By now you most likely are aware that Jimmy Beans is branching out into other aspects of fiber arts. Last weekend our first fabric newsletter went out which we are SO excited about! We're having so much fun being creative and learning all kinds of things about fabric and sewing! In fact, you can read more about our adventures in fabric by reading Jeanne's posts on Wednesday. She is chronicling all of the fun sewing projects we are embarking on in the shop.

Now, for what many of you have been asking and waiting for... Spinning and weaving supplies!!!!

We are now carrying Schacht spinning wheels and table looms.  Again, we are easing our way into this area and seeing what you like and want.  The first spinning wheel we are carrying is the Schacht Ladybug, a light weight, durable castle style that is easy to transport.  It even has a hand hold built right in! I've been spinning for many years and I have to say that this wheel has a lot of very nice features that make it very versatile. The Ladybug has double treadles (so you use both feet), adjustable leveling feet (for uneven surfaces and balance), the drive wheel is made of a composite material (so no need to worry about it warping and wobbling) and it comes with both a medium and a fast whorl.  One of my favorite things about it is that you can use either Scotch Tension or Double Drive (it comes with drive bands for each) so there is a wide range of what and how you can spin on this wheel.  The ratios go from 5:1 up to 16:1.  And Schacht has added a fun, whimsical touch, somewhere on each wheel is a ladybug.  It's in a different place on every single wheel so no two wheels are exactly alike!

Schacht telescoping Niddy Noddy's are available too!

We have top whorl drop spindles on order too!  They should be arriving to us in the next couple of weeks so keep a look out on our website for them!

For our venture into the world of looms we've started carrying Schacht's Cricket Looms in both 10" and 15" weaving widths.  These are nice little 8-dent rigid heddle looms that are a good introduction to the world of weaving.  I can see making purse and bag handles, belts, scarves, table runners and placemats in the future of many a knitter!

The 15" width is proving a big hit with knitters in our retail store!  Each one I put out for display is sold by the end of the day!

To get you started spinning we have Imperial Yarn's Sliver Roving (sliver is pronounced with a long "i" sound) and Bulky 2 Strand which is a pencil roving (prepared fibers drawn out to pencil thickness).  Both are very good for learning to spin.  Other "yarns" that can also be used for spinning are Cascade Magnum, Tahki Montana and Big Montana which are all technically pencil rovings as well.

We hope to add to our selection of spinning materials in the future.  Tell us what you would like to see!

We also have some excellent books to get you started learning to spin. Start Spinning by Maggie Casey has lots of basic information on everything you need to know to get started. The Intentional Spinner by Judith Mackenzie McCuin who is a much respected spinning teacher, this is an excellent book using a holistic approach to spinning that I highly recommend.

Once you have learned how to spin and want to begin to spin with objectives in mind, two other books we carry are Spin to Knit by Shannon Okey and Spin Art by Jacey Boggs.  Shannon's book is written as a guide for knitters who want to spin their own yarn and Jacey's book teaches you how to spin artsy, textural yarns.

Don't forget that we also have some needle felting supplies too!

And keep an eye on our class schedules for beginning spinning and weaving classes too!

We always appreciate your feedback so please let us know what you think!


PS. We now have a twice-a-month fabric newsletter in addition to our knitting and crocheting newsletter! Be sure to let us know if you'd like to start receiving it!

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  1. If you can use sheep's wool or cotton to make yarn..can you use dog hair?
    I have an English Cocker Spaniel with long wavy gold-red hair that I have to get completely cut off every 3-4 months. Is this even possible?

  2. Hi Helena!

    I've definitely heard of doing that! Some people have done this but I don't know enough about spinning certain fibers to know. I imagine it's a bit of trial and error. Perhaps a google search for spinning with different animal fibers would give you a more concrete answer!


  3. Helena,

    Yes, you can definitely spin dog fur! Usually the soft downy undercoat is used but the kind of fur you describe can be used as well. It will just make a harder, drapier yarn, more like soft adult mohair yarn. Spinning dog fur is not recommended for beginners though as it's slippery and can be a bit frustrating. -- Terry

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