Sunday, March 31, 2013

The MKAL of Ice and Fire- Clue #1


Greetings GoT fans! Is everyone super excited for tonight? I know I certainly am--my hubby and I have been waiting with baited breath since the end of season 2 and we are preparing to join some friends for the big premier viewing at a local brewery this evening. We've been seeing tons of teasers from season 3 online as I'm sure most of you have as well. Ach! I am SO excited I can hardly stand it!

Source: The NY Daily News

I'm really excited to kick of the official knitting portion of the MKAL tonight, but I have to warn you, with this MKAL I am going to break you all in really easy. We are just doing some simple knitting in the round today, nothing too fancy, but it will set you up quite nicely for some short rows next week. :)

Also, I wanted to let you know that I understand that printing from this blog may be an issue for some of you with finicky browsers. I highly recommend that if you plan to print this post, to copy and paste the directions into a word document and print it from there. Printing from this post may result in many pages of stuff you don't really need. Once the MKAL is over, I will provide a downloadable PDF of the pattern, but in the meantime, the blog is the only way to get it. Let me know if you have questions about this and I am happy to help!

Alright, let's cut to the chase, I know what you are really here for and it's not to read my questionable prose. :) I am so excited for you all to begin knitting so here is part one of the MKAL of Ice and Fire!

-2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Haymarket (or 430 yds of a worsted weight yarn)
-US 8- 24" (or shorter) circular needles
-1 stitch marker
-Some episodes of Game of Thrones to enjoy while you knit!

-CO- cast on
-sts- stitches
-pm- place marker
-garter stitch (in the round)- knit 1 round, purl 1 round
-stockinette stitch (in the round)- knit every round

-CO 120 sts
-pm and join for working in the round
Rnds 1-6: knit in garter stitch (see above abbreviations for instructions on how to knit garter stitch in the round)
Rnds 7-14: knit in stockinette stitch (see above abbreviations for instructions on knitting stockinette in the round)
Rnd 15: purl

*Repeat rounds 7-15 twice more.

And that is it for clue #1! I know, I know, easy and painless right? I promise to challenge you a bit more next week. In the meantime, kick back, relax, enjoy your Easter (that is if you observe) and als the premier! It's bound to be a good day!

Happy knitting,

PS. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, I'll check in on Ravelry as both Jimmy Beans Wool and Marinade (my personal account) a few times throughout the day and this coming week as well. Also, remember that the JBW Ravelry Group will have a Thread for Clue #1 as well as for general chat about the show and MKAL. If you don't do Ravelry, you can comment on this post with a question, or e-mail me directly: kristen (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com. Thanks again for joining us! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stash Guilt. Why do we do it?

Last week on our Facebook page, Heather shared a post from Do Ewe Knit? it was one of those cute, little, old timey e-cards:

Being the contemplative type, the ensuing comments, and my own first hand observations as YEE (Yarn Enabler Extraordinaire) for the past 3 and half years in our brick and mortar shop, has got me pondering "Stash Guilt."  Why do we feel guilty about having a stash?  What's wrong with having stash?!

Perhaps it all starts with the word stash.  The word stash as a verb means: to put by or away as for safekeeping or future use... Nothing wrong with that, it's just planning for the future which most people find desirable.  But the second part of the definition: usually in a secret place may be the root of the guilt.  Stash as a noun is: something put away or hidden. So we have a choice in how we look at stash, we can put our yarn and fabric away for future use or we can hide it away and keep it secret.  So, why do we choose the secret place/hidden away aspect?

I've observed that there are some people who have no problem just buying yarn and/or fabric for future use.  They seem to mostly be the people who work through projects consistently. On the other hand, it seems like the vast majority of people, either by choice or necessity hide their yarn away.  It then becomes a guilty pleasure, akin to secretly eating that whole pint of your favorite ice cream or that whole batch of brownies late at night, when no one is looking.  Something we do to indulge or comfort ourselves.

I often wonder why do we feel guilty? (I find myself doing it too, at times!) Do we like to feel guilty? Does feeling guilty enhance the pleasure of having the stash?  Is it fun?

For me it is enjoyable to have the stash and I think I'd have to admit that it's fun to have something my SO can tease me about.  Yes, my stash gets out of control from time to time.  I do need to keep it corralled and organized for sanity's and my relationship's sake.  But the fact is, I'm going to have a stash! I'm unabashed and unashamed of having one. I come with stash! That all there is to it!

This has lead me to put up a sign in the shop that says "Why no, I don't think I have too much yarn!"

What do you think?  Why do you feel guilty!  How do you deal with it?  Share you stash guilt here we'd love to hear about it!

Happy Stashing!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

An MKAL of Ice and Fire!

Hello and welcome everyone to the preliminary kick off of the Game of Thrones Mystery Knit-a-long! I am so excited to have you all here and I can't wait to see what everyone's projects look like! As promised, today I will go over some of the specifics of the MKAL (ie. how to participate, gauge, etc) and next week I will release the official first "clue" or piece of the pattern.

For those of you who are new to Mystery Knit-a-longs, we refer to each part of the pattern as a "clue" because the project itself is a mystery. You probably won't know exactly what we are knitting until about half of the way through and the design elements are definitely a mystery throughout until each clue reveals what comes next. For this KAL, I will release each clue on Sunday morning, starting on March 31st. Now, I know that the 31st is Easter and I apologize for the timing, but that is when the first episode of Season 3 of Game of Thrones actually starts. Hopefully this won't deter anyone from participating. You'll have an entire week to knit Clue 1 before Clue 2 comes out.

Here is some of the important, need-to-know info for the MKAL:

-Yarn: We are using 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Haymarket yarn in the "Winter is Coming" color or another color of your choice. If you would prefer to stash bust or use something different, you'll need about 430 yds of a worsted weight yarn.

-Needle Size & Gauge: US Size 8- 24" or shorter circular needle to acquire a gauge of 20 sts and 24 rows = 4" in Stockinette St. This gauge was unblocked and taken from my piece knit in the round.

*to knit a gauge swatch, cast on 24 sts or more and create a border around your 20 stitch stockinette section. This will help you get a more accurate gauge. Please adjust needle size if needed to get gauge. Feel free to swatch in the round if you find your gauge to vary significantly in the round vs flat.

-Skills needed: knitting, purling, knitting in the round, basic increases and decreases (yo, ssk, k2tog, k1f&b, etc.), simple lace using either written directions or a chart, and an understanding of short rows. If any of these skills are new to you, you might want to practice them a bit before we kick off next week.

-Ravelry: Be sure to check out the Jimmy Beans Wool Ravelry Group. For each blog post, we will create a new thread in the group specifically for help on that piece of the pattern. I'll also create a "spoilers" thread so that GoT fans can talk about the show or books freely without risk of spoiling the story for anyone. If you haven't read all of the books or aren't planning on watching the new season right away, be sure not to venture into Spoiler territory if you don't want to know what happens. I'll be staying out of that thread myself as I've only gotten through book 3. :)

-Remember that the Ravelry Groups are an intrinsic part of the KAL. Be sure to head there to ask for help from your fellow KAL participants. The group is the "community" aspect of the KAL and only works if we all participate.

-About a month after the GOTMKAL (short for Game of Thrones Mystery KAL) is over, I will release the full version of the pattern as a Free PDF on the Jimmy Beans Wool website on the Free Patterns page. It will be re-formatted and re-edited, much like Lady Violet's Dinner Gauntlets from the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL. It takes me that amount of time to properly re-edit the pattern, have professional photography done, and what not.

I am really truly excited for this KAL! I can't wait for the season to start and for you all to knit this little project I've cooked up for you. I think it's going to be a blast! Of course, if at any time you have a question for me directly, please feel free to e-mail me on Ravelry. I answer e-mails at the JimmyBeansWool account and also my personal account, Marinade, and I am always happy to help!

Lastly, I couldn't help but search around for a fun quiz we could all take to get a little more excited for season 3 (as if we really need it). I found two different quizzes for "What Game of Thrones Character Are You?" so I will share them both with you:

I found the second one to be a bit more in depth. On the first one I was as Arya Stark and on the second I was Eddard Stark. I guess it's pretty safe to say I'm a Stark of Winterfell which is perfect because Winter is Coming, and I am ready. :)

Happy knitting

Friday, March 22, 2013

Have you ever had ... ?


I am seriously questioning my sanity!  Since last fall I have been in none stop knitting... ok, not completely knitting, more like starting mode. Yes, I've had a bad case of startitus!  I think it all began with the Knit Red A-line hoodie KAL. Then it was holiday gifts, Downton Abby KAL, Truckee Shawlette KAL, some fun designing, working on customer repairs, knitting a dress from my granddaughter for her birthday, teaching top down sweaters, top down shawls, felted hats and beginning socks classes!

It's been a slippery, wooly slope, with few finished projects to show for all my industrious knitting.  Now, after a 48 hour marathon last weekend to finish that design I mentioned, I think I can say with my tired, aching hands, that I am experiencing a knitting hangover!

My hands would be very happy if I didn't pick up knitting needles at all this week but my mind is still racing with projects I would like to start. But NO!  I have decided to be firm and not allow myself to start anything new until I finish at least a couple of the WIPs that are piled around me in my squirrels nest of knitting at home. How bad is it? How many of you carry 4-5 projects around in your knitting bag every day, just in case you have time to work on something?

I have told my awesome co-workers and my SO at home that if they catch me starting anything new, before I finish something, that they are to initiate an intervention STAT!!!

Yes, even we Beans get burned out either physically or mentally from time to time.  It is definitely time for me to step back and take a break to recharge and rest.  Stretch the hands and arms, get some exercise and get out and enjoy the spring that is starting to bloom here in Reno.

Not to fear, after a little R & R I'll be good as new and ready to finish those outstanding projects and move on to some new and exciting projects for spring and summer!  Have you seen all the new yarns we've been getting!  I'm so excited to get some summer tops and shells knit!

Some of our KAL participants are finishing up their projects too.  (Hmmm, perhaps we should do a WIP KAL....!)  Diane, one of our Truckee Shawlette KAL participant has finished her shawl.  I love the colors she chose!  She used Rainwater & Parchment in MadelineTosh Merino Light and switched out the increases for kf&b instead of the M1R & M1L.

Check out more finished Truckee Shawlettes in our Ravelry group thread.

For those of you who have been waiting for the video on how to work the 3-Needle Crochet-Style Bind Off for Hexipuffs, it is now up on our instructional page. Please check it out!

If you are local or will be visiting Reno please check our class schedule.  The April schedule will be out soon.  We have some exciting new classes we're offering - Crochet Beaded Wire Necklaces, Crochet Felted Bags, How to weave on your Rigid Heddle Loom, learn how to choose the right yarn for you project, knit a fun skirt or learn to knit or crochet!

I think that's it for this week!  Please join us on Ravelry for the Game of Thrones MKAL!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ahhhh Shetland wool...

Sandy and I have been working towards an adventure in Scotland for a long, long time and we are finally in the real planning stages of our adventure! Of course we would love to visit every knitting and wool venue that we can think of (and boy can we think of a lot!!), but we will have to limit our time to some specifics. Alice Starmore, if you are reading this, can we please, please come to tea?

Kate Davie's Sixareen Cape

Now what trip that Sandy and I planned not be all about the knitting and of course we are going to Scotland one of the world's knitting capitals, so come on let's knit!! We just received our package from Jamieson and Smith in Lerwick Scotland full of our yarn for Kate Davies Sixareen Cape! Now of course we can get yarn here at the shop that would fill the bill perfectly, but this came from Scotland and that makes the two of us feel a little like we have already begun our adventure.

Yesterday Sandy said hey have you checked your mail to see if our package is here and I said no, but what do you think I did when I first got home?? Yep that's right I went straight to the mail and it was exciting to see our package in my box. I started texting Sandy right away and she said open, open, open, but it just didn't seem right to open the package without my Jo (gaelic for friend) by my side, so I waited and it was HARD let me tell you!!!

When we did finally open the package our fingers, eyes and hearts were in total wool overload...ahhhhh Shetland wool. The yarn is a recent addition for Jamieson and Smith and it's called Heritage. The idea is that it is more like the traditional yarn used in fair isle knitting of old and I can say that I just can't wait to cast on. Of course I have a couple of pressing projects that I am working on right now, but I am sure I could squeeze in at least a gauge swatch right?

Kate is beautiful in her Sixareen

Have any of you ever been to Scotland? I did get to go many, many years ago with my Mom (on a tour) and absolutely loved it!! Sandy and I are trying to decide if we should book a tour, or go freestyle and would love to hear any suggestions you may have for us.

For now we will continue to play Scottish music, dance a little and knit with Shetland wool. Stay tuned for more, as our adventure is actually about a year away, but it's always good to plan ahead.

As always, happy knitting, crocheting and sewing!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Crafty Projects Galore!

It's National Craft Month and we've been busy beans around here as of late! As a result, there are tons of new projects on our project log so I thought today would be a good opportunity to share some of them with you. Especially because in addition to knitting and crochet projects, we now have the ability to feature sewing projects. Our fabulous web development team just added the feature for us, and we are thrilled! Here are some of our most recent projects:

Monika's Koigu Bandana

Rachel's Birdie Sling Bag

Jenny's Romance Shawlette in Madelinetosh Merino Light.

Jeanne's Night Bird Mitts in Rowan Fine Tweed.

Emily's Melofores Tam in Malabrigo Worsted Merino.

Penelope's Pinafore in the Apple Jack fabric. So cute!

Gus's Mina Bag in Phillip Jacobs fabric.

Be sure to check out the project log for more info on the projects, patterns, fabrics used etc!

Would you like to see your projects on our Project Log? We'd love to feature you! Do do so, we just need an e-mail containing the following info:

1) Your first name
2) The pattern you used (it can be a pattern we don't carry but if you know where we can find it, please provide a website so we can link to it)
3) Yarn or fabric used
4) A brief description of your project and any modifications you made,
5) At least one clear photo of the project. Feel free to provide 2 or 3 photos of multiple angles if necessary.

If your project is already up on Ravelry, feel free to link to your Ravelry page and we'll snag photos and info from there with your permission of course. You can e-mail this info to: info(at)jimmybeanswool(dot)com anytime with the words "Project Log Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail. By submitting a project, you are giving us permission use the photos you provide. If you'd like photo credit for the photos, please let us know who to mention and we'll be sure to include it on the project log page. I can't wait to see what projects you send us!

Happy crafting everyone!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Truckee Shawlette KAL update

Oh my, where has the time gone!  I just realized that we are past the end date I set for this KAL!  And I have yet to restart my shawl!  Yikes!  As Jeanne mentioned in her blog post this week, so much has been going on around here!  I've completely lost track of time!  Lots of fun things I can't yet disclose are coming and we're so excited about them!

We are seeing some completed Truckee Shawlettes and WOW are they beautiful!  I am in awe of the wondrous ways each handcrafter comes at a project and at the personal nuances each person adds!

Bold stripes, subtle stripes, no stripes, large needles, smaller needles, more blocking, less blocking, extra pattern motifs added... the list goes on and on!!!

How would you all feel about continuing this KAL awhile longer?  I don't want to miss any of the fantastic ideas you all have!  I'm thinking to maybe the end of March.

In the meantime here are a few photos that I've been able to snap here in the shop.  For more, check out the Truckee Shawlette thread in our Ravelry group!
Sharons Truckee Shawlette with Plymouth Finial Black Horn Shawl sticks

This one was made by our very own Sharon!

She knit it double stranded on a US 7 needle. She made the modification of crocheting a single crochet edge around her whole shawl with the remainder of her contrast color. If the edge was stretchy enough she simply crocheted each stitch, if she needed it stretchier she did a chain 1 between each single crochet.

I tried to take a close up of the crochet stitches below.

One of our local customers, Iris, knit this fresh, springy green and purple Truckee Shawlette which is modeled by our lovely Ashley.  Iris was too shy to model it herself. ;)

And sadly, this is the current state of my shawlette.  With any luck I can get restarted on it next week. 

If you have a photo of your completed shawl project and would like to have it immortalized, I would love to post it here on the blog. Please send photos to me at askTerry (at) jimmybeanswool dot com.

On other notes, the Downton Abbey MKAL project, Lady Violet's Dinner Gauntlets pattern is now up on our free pattern page.

Our March Class Calendar is also up on our class page.  Lots of fun new classes so please sign up as soon as possible.  If you have purchased a Schacht Cricket Loom and want to learn how to use it we have a class scheduled this Saturday at 1:30 pm. hurry and sign up!  This class will be taught by one of our very experienced local weavers, Sharon Campbell!

Until next week, Happy Knitting!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More of what's new at the shop...

It's hard to believe that so much has been going on around here in the last 6 months, but boy have we been through a lot of late. Of course we are just coming out of our busy season and can't thank all of you enough for helping us make it one of our best yet!!

Laura and Shelli of the Knitterly in Petalmua California have put their creative sides to work and WOW is all I can say!! The new look for the retail space is going to be absolutely fabulous and we can't wait to reveal it fully to you! Shelli has the greatest taste and is making our formerly utilitarian shop look more homey and inviting. We are so thrilled!

Also, as with most of the country we have had our fair share of sickness around here this winter and it seems like everyone is starting to finally feel well again with more sunshine and daylight savings...phew! We hope all of you are well and working on your favorite craft!

As some of you know we are now carrying fabric at JBW and are all having a lot of fun with that side of the business and watching it grow, so we wanted to combine our love of yarn and our love a fabric in an eye popping way here in our retail showroom, that will be worth all the mess once it's all done!!!

We are hoping to have the remodel done by the end of April and will be having a big unveiling party of some kind, so stay tuned for more info on that. For now I will leave you with some pictures of a few of the changes for you to ponder.

Also, on a a quick side note, if you are here in Reno this Saturday, the 16th at 2:00 pm, Laura will be signing copies of her newest addition to the Stitch Red campaign and book collection, Sew Red at Barnes and Noble books in South Reno...I know I will be there to say how do. 

As always happy knitting, crocheting, and sewing!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Join Jimmy Beans Wool at Brooklyn Craft Camp!


Brooklyn Craft Camp

We’re thrilled and honored to be part of Brooklyn Craft Camp, a "one-day DIY vacation" in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on March 16th!  The amazing and lovely Brett Bara, author of Sewing in a Straight Line and host of “Knit and Crochet Now” on PBS, organized this cool craft-stravaganza to get crafty people together for neat classes, networking, great music, and good food. 

You can make these gorgeous crepe-paper flowers!  (Thought they were real, didn't ya?)

It’s like a play-date for grownups: all of the fun activities (re-imagined for grownups who love making things), but none of the crying.  We can’t promise no fighting, though – with so many amazing prizes, goodie bags and giveaways, there’s bound to be something worth fighting over!  If you do get into a tug-of-war over, say, a gift card from West Elm (one of the sponsors), you can chill out in the awesome photo booth sponsored by JimmyBeans Wool!

I want to embroider arrows!  So cute!
As part of your registration, you can choose up to four classes to take throughout the day, and some fantastic things are on the list: learn to embroider, knit, or crochet, or take a more advanced level where you’ll end up with a finished project.  You can also learn to make wooden bead necklaces, make life-like crepe paper flowers, and more!  Each class is taught by a special guest teacher, like Lindsey Ibarra of BurdaStyle and Kollabora, or Kayte Terry of Anthropologie fame!  Project Runway winner Jay McCarroll will also be there as the keynote speaker during lunch…and what a lunch it will be!  Special gourmet bento boxes and a delicious menu from chef Lisa Leonard-Lee are almost reason enough in themselves to sign up for this event!

Take a class to crochet this cute twisted headband!

Head on over to the Brooklyn Craft Camp website to sign up – and when you get back, email us pictures you took in the photo booth.  We’d love to put them up on the blog or on our Facebook page!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Goings-on Around the Shop, Truckee Shawlette KAL Update, and Monday's Giveaway Winner!!

I apologize for being MIA last week.  Crazy, fun, exciting things are happening around the shop and there are so many things to attend to.  If you are local and have been in the store recently you have seen some of what is being worked on.  We can't wait for it to be finished so that we can show you!

Big Surprises!!!
  For those of you that are participating in the Truckee Shawlette KAL, how's it going?  I know many of you have yet to start.  As for me, I've decided to move up to a larger needle.  I started on a US 5 but I think I want more drape so will be starting over and moving up to probably a US6.

I've seen some beautiful shawls being worked on and some even finished!  I'll try to gather up some photos to show you next week.

One of the items that has kept me from working as diligently as I should on my Truckee Shawlette is the March calendar of classes we will hosting!  I'm so excited to share that we have three new instructors this month who are bringing some fresh, fun new class ideas to our regular line up of classes.  I hope over the next few blogs to introduce you to each of them.

Here is a list of the new classes we are offering this March:

Learn to Weave on your Schacht Cricket Loom taught by Sharon Campbell, an excellent local weaver. So if you've purchased a loom or received one as a gift, this is the class to learn how to use it.  You can join in with any rigid heddle loom but it will be focused on how to use the Cricket.

Crochet a Beaded Wire Necklace taught by Colleen Morgan a new comer to the Reno area and we're delighted that she wants to share her talent with us.

Crochet a Felted Square Bag designed and taught by Colleen Morgan

Knit a Peaks & Valley Skirt designed and taught by Maxene Harlow. Can be knit in 5 sizes and three lengths using worsted weight cotton or cotton blend yarns.

 And some new classes I'll be teaching this month:

Hand Spindling (aka Drop Spindling) - learn how to spin using a hand spindle
Knit and Felt a Brimmed Hat - Project based class for knitting and felting hats using either one of two Fiber Trends patterns.
Knitting Short Rows - I'll show you how to do wrap & turn short rows and why we use them plus I'll talk about other methods to work short rows.
Choosing the Right Yarn - an overview of yarn weights, gauge and fiber qualities to help you choose the right yarn for your project.

Please go to our Classes page to download the calendar and schedule for the complete listing of classes and descriptions.  Please be patient if the March class aren't up for a few days.  Our IT people have a lot on their plate and they do an awesome job of getting things done as quick as they can!  If you want the class list before it's up on the website please email me and I will email the pdf to you.

Please email questions, suggestions and comments to: askTerry at (remember to remove the spaces and replace the word at with @)

Happy Knitting!


PS. Those of you who entered the Tunisian Crochet book giveaway on Monday, the randomly selected winner is commenter #9 Karin Ishibashi who said...

"Thanks for an awesome giveaway. I just started learning how to Tunisian crochet (WIP), and am trying to finish PAX by Aoibhe Ni on Ravelry."

Karin, please e-mail your m,ailing address to me at: kristen(at)jimmybeanswool(dot)com to claim your prize!