Friday, May 31, 2013

Featured Fiber - Rayons


Let's see if I can talk about these wonderful fibers and not bore you too much because they are so cool in a geeky, science-y sort of way!

Rayon is perhaps one of the least understood fibers worked with by hand crafters.  Rayon came into existence in the attempt for humans to duplicate what a silk worm does naturally.  That is, turn plant material into a fine, highly desirable fiber.  In essence, rayon is artificial silk.

Many people erroneously think that rayon is a synthetic fiber but it is not; it is a cellulose fiber. While it is man-made, the raw material is from plant material, most frequently wood pulp.  You may recall from high school science class that the cell walls of plants are made from cellulose. Using various chemical methods the cells are broken down and reconstructed then forced through spinnerets (tiny holes) to create rayon fibers which are then spun into threads and yarns. Because rayon is a cellulose fiber, it can be considered renewable.  It is also biodegradable, and it can be dyed in brilliant colors using the same kinds of dye used to dye cotton and linen or by incorporating dye into it during processing.  Some processes for making rayon can be fairly water intensive and can use varying quantities of chemicals but overall it is much more environmentally friendly than synthetics made from petroleum-based products.

There are several different kinds of rayon each using different variations of plant materials and chemical processes.

Viscose is probably the most common form of rayon; it's sometimes just called viscose or viscose rayon.  It is a very soft fiber that feels good next to the skin.  It has beautiful drape, very much like silk but not as elastic.  It is highly absorbent but does become weaker when wet so can lose resiliency if wet blocked too hard.  So only block hard if you want more drape and less "bounce" in your finished garment.  Rayon is washable.  Most garment labels will specify if you should wash or dry clean.  If the label says to dry clean you should do so, as some rayon is not as colorfast and the dye will run unevenly.  Ask me how I know!  I'll show you the lovely rayon scarves I purchased back in the 80's and how they look rather tie dyed now. If you should want to take the chance and wash a rayon item that specifies dry clean only, test an inconspicuous area to check for colorfastness.

We have many yarns that contain rayon/viscose.  My personal favorites are Classic Elite Firefly, Plymouth Linen Concerto, Crystal Palace Monaco (which is on sale!), Berroco Lago, and Rowan Panama.

I encourage you to use our Advanced yarn search  to find other rayon and viscose yarns and our Advanced Fabric search to find rayon fabric and ribbons!

Modal is a type of rayon made from European Beech trees which are grown specifically as a renewable resource. Modal is the registered trademark for Lenzing AG in Austria.  The process of making Modal reportedly uses less water and fewer chemicals than other types of rayon.  It is my understanding that all of the chemicals used to make Modal are completely recaptured and reused. Modal is very smooth, soft and about 50% more absorbent than mercerized cotton.  Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy is one yarn that contains Modal along with cotton and hemp.

Tencel is another trademarked name for another type of rayon, lyocell.  This fiber is extremely drapey, doesn't wrinkle easily, absorbs dye well and has a lovely sheen.  There are a quite a few lines of travel clothing made from Tencel.  At the moment we don't have any Tencel yarns but watch for new ones and know they are a delight to work with!

Soysilk, the registered trademark of South West Trading Company for a type of rayon made from soybean pulp that is left after pressing the beans to remove the oil. Unlike the other types of rayon which help you feel cool in warmer weather, soysilk feels warm but does wick moisture away from the skin as do other rayons.

Seacell, is the trademarked name of a type of lyocell that has about 5% seaweed added to the base materials. It is said that the natural minerals found in the seaweed are retained in the yarn and could possibly be imparted to the skin, contributing desirable minerals to help keep your skin healthy. Hand Maiden Sea Silk is the only yarn we have with seacell.

Bamboo is another rayon that is from a highly renewable resource and has the unusual property of being antibacterial even after many washings. Bamboo fiber is very soft and absorbs moisture very quickly then allows it to evaporate just as quickly so it helps you to remain very comfortable.  It makes excellent bath towels and sheets.  Yarn containing bamboo will have a nice soft drape, excellent wicking ability and dyes in beautifully vibrant colors.  It is an excellent fiber for making warm weather socks!  It's also great for shells, tops, coverups, evening wear, hand towels, baby clothes or any time you want a cooler fabric with drape, shine, durability and the added bonus of being renewable.  Some of my favorite bamboo yarns are: Be Sweet Bamboo & Bambino, Crystal Palace Panda Silk, Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo, Vail, Chalet, HiKoo CoBaSi, Frog Tree Pediboo Sock & Worsted, and Univeral Bamboo Pop.

Corn and other high starch agricultural products like sugar & wheat are also being broken down through chemical processes to form polymers, which are then spun into fibers!  We are currently out of any yarns that contain corn but do watch for Araucania Ruca which is 100% sugar viscose. We'll be getting more in a few weeks!

Acetate is a slightly different type of fiber that starts with wood pulp but goes through a different chemical process.  It has been around for decades, and most of us are familiar with the shiny fabric that melts when ironed too hot.

Last, but far from least, is one of the newer technologies, Outlast viscose!  According to the Outlast website (in geek speak): it is a phase change material that can be incorporated into or coated on a fiber and adapts to the temperature of your body.  It pulls excess warmth away or radiates warmth back depending on what is needed.  I recommend visiting the website,, to find out the more technical aspects, which are really cool if, like me, you love geeky science stuff but I fear will put many people to sleep. So far, the only yarns I know of that incorporate this high tech fiber are Lorna's Laces Sportmate & Solemate!

Are you still with me?  I didn't put you to sleep with too many facts?  Good! Rayon is one of my very favorite fibers to wear.  I have several knitting project planned with these awesome yarns like Paseo in Lorna's Laces Solemate and Cocoknits Belle in Classic Elite Firefly.  I'm very much looking forward to learning to sew better so I can try some fabrics too!

I hope this helps clear up some confusions about these wonderful fibers!  There is lots more to read about each of them if you're interested.  Check out The Knitter's Book of Yarn  which has been very helpful to me in preparing this post for you and then don't forget to search the web!

If I can help further please drop me an email: askTerry (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com.

Happy Knitting, Crocheting and Sewing!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sew Pretty T-Shirts Giveaway!

Upcycling, repurposing, or just plain recycling it really doesn't matter what you want to call it we are all agog for the patterns in Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses from Sweet Dreams here at the shop!! I just love the idea of mixing favorite t-shirts with fun fabrics and creating an entirely new look for the young ladies in my life!

With that said the tips and techniques in the book are so complete that sizes are easily adjustable up into the adult range and with the confidence that comes with this great instruction anyone can venture out and become a budding designer if that's what you choose to do.

No matter how you wish to approach this fun idea you can't go wrong with any one of the projects from the book.

Past Perfect

The embellishments are very creative and the book gives fantastic instruction on how to attach the top to the skirt. That's neat for me, as I get a little nervous working with knits and love it when something takes fear away and leaves confidence in it's place.

Pretty in Pink...

I am truly enamoured with the charming designs!! The gathering and clipping corners instructions are clear cut (no pun intended) and concise! Do you hear a theme here...I love to be taught and gain confidence in my about you?
What's Cooking?

I love all the designs in the book, but my personal favorite is What's Cooking! I just love the charming apron style and this would be one I would make in my size. Sew with that said, I am off to start taking measurements and see what I can come up with in an adult version!

As always, happy knitting, crocheting and sewing!


PS. If you think this book is as cute as we do, leave us a comment and tell us who you'd make your t-shirt dress for! We have one copy to give away, and we'll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday, 6/5 and post it on the blog!

Friday, May 24, 2013

On Our Needles- Spring/Summer Edition!

Hi everyone! We couldn't help but popping in on this fine Friday before Memorial Day weekend to share some of our latest projects with you. Hopefully they will provide some inspiration for the weekend ahead. Is anyone else as excited as we are for Summer?!?!

As you may have seen in last week's newsletter, our latest free pattern is the Ombre Tapis. Even though it uses bulky yarn held double, it's a great summer project because the yarn is machine washable cotton-- Rowan All Seasons Chunky. When you are done, you have a lovely 2' X 3' rug you can use in any area of your home! (Wanna know a secret? You could also use 6 skeins of Berroco Weekend Chunky for a more wallet-friendly option with a similar result!) You can queue it up on Ravelry here.

Gina recently knit this super cute tunic dress out of Rowan Creative Linen for her college graduation. The pattern is the Lilly Tunic by Kate Oates and it can be found to purchase on Ravelry. We love this--linen tunics are such a great summer staple!

Jeanne and Kristen have both been sewing a bunch lately and are really excited about the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern from Sew Liberated. It's super simple and the result is a cute tunic dress you can layer over leggings or skinny jeans, wear with boots, or just about anything really. Here is the two of them modeling their latest creations together. Kristen has made two already and is planning to make a couple more for summer with short sleeves.

While we are on the topic of sewing, Monika just finished the most AMAZING quilt! It's from Tula Pink's latest line of fabric called Salt Water and the pattern is free from her website. The result is simply stunning and Monika can't wait to curl up underneath it next winter. In the meantime, she has graciously allowed us to use it for display in our shop, so if you have a chance, come on by and check it out in person!

Marilyn (who is an amazingly fast knitter) whipped up this gorgeous Gypsy Petticoat (a knitted long ruffled vest pattern by Stephanie Dosen from Tiny Owl Knits in last Fall's Knitcene) in Rowan Revive in about two weeks. Then she knit a second one. Unbelievable! Setting our speed knitting envy aside, this piece is so charming and beautiful. What a fun item to wear!

Speaking of Tiny Owl Knits, have you all seen her latest concoction--the Moonkoosa Boots?!?! Holy cuteness! Kristen loves them so much that she is casting on this weekend for a pair of the short boots (shown in green) in the Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky. She chose the Olympic Bronze color but had a really hard time deciding. We can see several more pairs in her future. We don't have this pattern yet, but you can rest assured that we will get them if Tiny Owl Knits releases them for wholesale. In the meantime, you can certainly download it on Ravelry at the link provided above! :) 

Well, that's it for today! We hope you have a fantabulous Memorial Day Weekend spending time with loved ones, crafting, and honoring our past and present soldiers!

Happy Crafting,
The JBW team

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Botanical Knits is Here!

For months we've waited with needles at the ready for the release of Alana Dakos' latest book, Botanical Knits, and now the printed copies are finally here! Botanical Knits is a collection of 12 knitting patterns inspired by nature. Each design very much embodies Alana's personal style, and is uniquely beautiful with various leaf and floral motifs. 

Alana, of Never Not Knitting blog and podcast fame, has been creating beautiful designs for years and is most known for her independently released patterns in her Never Not Knitting line, as well as  the book Coastal Knits which she released in 2011 with Hannah Fettig.

Botanical Knits, her first self-published collection entirely her own, is a true testament to her talent and knack for beautiful design. Each pattern is photographed beautifully and is complete with both written and charted directions. What is nice is that Alana also recommends alternative yarns for each of her patterns, making it easy to find a substitute and give you more options.

Here are some of my personal favorites from the book:

Pressed Leaves Beret

Twigs and Willows Cardigan

Wrapped in Leaves Shawlette

Forest Floor Tam

Autumn's Ends Pullover

This is only a small sampling of the lovely designs in the book--there are so many that I want to make! At Jimmy Beans, we loved each and every design so much, that we made kits for each one. Check them out if you are thinking about making something. Botanical Knits is also available as an e-book directly from Alana, so if you prefer to download it instead, feel free to check out that option. I kinda love how a book feels in the hand so I'll be taking a copy home with me today! 

In any case, Botanical Knits is definitely worth checking out for yourself. It's a beautifully done book that makes a wonderful addition to your knitting library (and mine too!)

Happy knitting!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fiber Feature- Cotton Blends

This week in my continuing explorations of fiber characteristics I will be discussing cotton blends. I hope you all are finding this information useful, as it is essential to at least understand the basics about fibers to make informed yarn substitutions and sewing fabric choices. If there is more you wish for me to discuss, please let me know I'll be happy to incorporate your suggestions.

Also, please note that much of what I describe for yarns also applies to sewing fabrics!

Yarns and threads made from blends of fibers offer the best qualities of each fiber included in the blend.  There are two main methods that are used to blend fibers.

The first method is to mix the fibers together, either before or after dying, in the desired proportions before spinning it into yarn. This type of blending allows for a mixture fiber characteristics to create a new overall character that is unique to the specific blend. One of our newest yarns, Lotus Yarns Autumn Wind is a great example of this type of blending. It is 90% cotton blended with 10% cashmere.  The result is an absolutely, heavenly, soft yarn that one simply must pet every time one walks by it!!! I think it will be fabulous knit up into shells, tanks, scarves or anything that is in close contact with your skin. It would be perfect for that little lacy nighty you always dreamed of knitting!

The second method is to ply together separate singles composed of each fiber. Blending fibers in this way maintains the individual fiber characteristics and takes advantage not only of each fibers strengths but add new characteristics from the interaction between the fibers. The type of twist used to ply the strands together can also add some interesting characteristics.  Rowan Summerspun is an excellent example of this type of blending. This 50/50 Wool/Cotton yarn is composed of 4 strands of wool plied into one highly energized ply and 8 strands of cotton plied into a very sturdy ply then the two are plied together so the yarn looks like a two ply.  This unique construction makes a yarn that is both light and breathable yet very springy and resilient.  The yarn is dyed after plying in variegated colors and because the wool & cotton take the dye differently the result is in a soft marled variegation.

As I mentioned in my last fiber post, we currently have at least 51 different cotton blends in our regular stock of yarns.  There are just too many to list individually so I'll give you a little run down on each type of blend.

Cotton/Wool blends offer more resiliency that pure cotton yarns because wool is more elastic than cotton.  Anything made from this blend will retain a more warmth that pure cotton but not as much as pure wool, especially when wet.  Which is why this blend is not good for winter socks but works well for sock for spring & fall.  The cotton in this combo will add drape to the wool.

Cotton/Acrylic blends balance the durability, sturdiness and lighter weight of acrylic with the heft, drape and feel of cotton. Berroco Weekend is a great example, I love this yarn for beach coverups, summer skirts, kids clothing and blankets.  It works especially well for Tunisian crochet (aka afghan stitch) and comes in DK, worsted and chunky weights.

Cotton/Silk blends offer the luxurious hand and drape of silk combined with the soft, loftiness and easy care of cotton.  This can be one of the softest blends!  These blends can either have a soft sheen or matte depending on how the fibers are prepared. Some of my favorite examples are Cascade Pima Silk, Knit One Crochet Too Cozette (I've taken to keeping a hank of this one near me when I work in the retail store just to pet from time to time, it's that soft!), Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk & Hand Paint Pima Silk, Classic Elite Yarns Classic Silk, and Rowan Summer Tweed. I'm just finishing up a project out of Summer Tweed and am really enjoying knitting with this rustic, slubby yarn. Just have the sleeves and neckline to do! All of these yarns are just the thing for summer tops and wraps!

Cotton/rayon or viscose blends.  I'll go into the specifics about rayon, seacell, tencel & viscose in a future post but for the present, suffice it to say that these fibers impart about the same characteristics as silk - excellent drape, shine and durability. One thing to be aware of, especially with older yarns, is that not all rayon has been dyed in a colorfast manner. So be sure to care for it as directed on the label. If the label says dry clean only check for colorfastness.  We have some lovely blends that are perfect for shells, tanks, twin sets, skirts, beach coverups, and evening wear. Examples are Rowan Panama, Trendsetter Phoenix, and Classic Elite Sanibel.

I already mentioned cotton/linen blends in my April 26th post on linen yarns. In my opinion this blend should be everyone's go to for summer projects just like worsted wools like Cascade 220 are go to yarns for winter items. Rowan Creative Linen and Berroco Linsey being the two I would go to first.

I hope this is providing useful information to help you in your yarn decision making. If you ever need help determining which yarn(s) are suitable to substitute in your pattern we will be happy to assist as best we can.  Just give us a call on our toll free number 877-529-5648 or email your questions to me at askTerry (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com.

Happy Knitting, Crocheting and Sewing!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Handmade is the Word of the Day.

I am a HUGE fan of Alabama Chanin, the amazing Alabama-based sustainable clothier and design company!  I bought one of their books from the Nevada Museum of Art sometime ago and have been in love ever since. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was beautiful and had the most amazing hand work in it that I just couldn't resist. Then when we started carrying fabric here at the shop I really got excited when we added all of their books to our line up and am finishing out my collection through the shop.

I started with the Alabama Stitch Book and we now have the Alabama Studio Style, as well as their most recent publication, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design...lovely books!!! They are full of inspiration and fantastic tips and techniques and even include yummy recipes!! What's not to love?

I have been an avid crafter, sewer, mixed media artist and knitter my whole life, of course not all of those things at the same time, but you get the idea!! The bottom line is I like it handmade whenever I can get it and am continually looking for inspiration in any form that it may present itself in my life and Alabama Chain has won my heart!!

The most inspiring thing for me personally is the hand work, as I was taught to embroider at a very young age by my mother and grandmother, so any hand stitching holds a special place in my heart. I think that the reverse applique that they use in their designs is a stroke of genius and works a many levels. I love the way their style lends itself to repurposing of so much of my current wardrobe and there is such a wonderful grass roots movement these days to use what we already have that I am truly inspired to dig through my clothes and find new ways to where them and create new fashion statements with my old favorites!!

At this point in this post I have decided to let the pictures tell the story and hope that you have an inspirational, handmade spring day!!

Stay tuned for some upcoming Alabama Chanin-inspired projects. Also, a little bird told me that we might be getting some of Alabama Chanin's Organic Jersey fabrics in stock this summer! Until then...

Happy knitting, crocheting, sewing and creating!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

On Sinatra and Pretty String...

Sometimes I find myself humming the Sinatra version of the tune "I've Got the World on a String" when I think about designing. That song quite literally reflects how I feel about designing knitting patterns--like I'm the luckiest girl in the world to get to do something I love so much for a living. I've talked to a lot of knitwear designers about this and it seems that the feeling is pretty mutual across the board. We love what we do. Not to mention that we have an obsession with string...really pretty string. I guess a lot of knitters do, it's a pretty common affliction.

So to give you a sneak peak, here are some of the "pretty strings" I am planning to and am excited to design with over the next few months:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted:

Their slogan is "We make pretty string." Fitting, eh?

Swans Island Bulky:

Organic and naturally dyed merino wool. Yum.

Zealana Rimu DK:
Awesome possum!

Spud and Chloe Sweater:

The perfect sweatshirt sweater would be made from this yarn...

Rowan Softknit Cotton:
Deliciously soft cotton anyone?

Bijou Basin Ranch Bliss:

50/50 Yac and Cormo Wool. Rustic, soft, AND beautiful...
also, it's dyed by Lorna's Laces. :)

So these are the yarns on MY list to work with! What's on yours? Better yet, what would you like to see a Free Pattern for here at Jimmy Beans? What yarn would you like to see featured? I would love to hear your suggestions!

Happy knitting everyone!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fiber Feature - Cotton

Today, in our ongoing discussion about fibers and substituting yarns I'm going to talk about cotton.

When I'm helping customers choose just the right yarn I sometimes feel like we don't have many cotton yarns. But while preparing for today's post I listed out all of our 100% cotton yarns. WOW! We do have a lot!  Not counting those that we have on sale, we have 32 - 100% cotton yarns and 51 cotton blends! This was a great exercise for me to freshen my memory of what we've carried for awhile and to learn about the new yarns we just received this season. Because we do have so many, today, I will only be discussing 100% cotton yarns and save the blends for my next post.

As most people already know, cotton is a plant fiber. It's the fluff that surrounds the cotton plant's seeds and helps the plant to disburse the seeds. Cotton is a member same plant family that includes okra, cocoa and hibiscus and is native to the tropical regions around the world. The cotton plant was domesticated independently in both the old world and the new world. According to the archeological record, the use of cotton in textiles goes back at least 7000 years.

Cotton is the most common textile fiber we can find our daily lives. I would say it's probably very difficult to find an environment where there is not at least one cotton item present. Your jeans, bedsheets, towels and under garments are most likely all made from cotton. Jeans, towels and most sheets are made from fabrics of woven cotton or cotton blends. T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, and many under garments are typically made of knitted cotton or cotton blend fabrics.

Cotton's properties as a fiber are: a comfortable and soft hand (feel), it's absorbent, retains color well, is machine washable or dry cleanable, has a staple length of 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inches, and drapes well. Like linen, cotton is damaged by acids but is resistant to alkali. Prolonged exposure to sunlight weakens the fibers and it is susceptible to mold, mildew and damage by silverfish. Cotton burns readily and is damaged by prolonged exposure to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because cotton fibers are relatively short compared to many other fibers, a lot of twist is needed to make a stable yarn, thread, twine or rope. The typical construction is many very thin plies twisted together in different numbers to create different thicknesses. More plies equal a stronger yarn or thread. Some yarns like Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton and Tahki Rosa have fewer, thicker plies that give a wonderfully soft feel, great for baby blankets but at a sacrifice of durability when handled as roughly as say a pair of blue jeans. These yarns are also more likely to shed fibers because there is less twist to hold the fibers together.

Mercerization is a treatment  used on cotton and hemp fabrics and threads which gives them more luster, strength, affinity for dye, and resistance to mildew. On the other hand it increases the fabric's affinity for gathering lint. During the mercerization process the fabric or thread is held under tension to keep the fibers from shrinking, then treated with an alkali (lye), neutralized with an acid and finally passed through a gas flame to remove any stray fibers. Hard to believe after all that it's stronger than before, but it is! I love the shine and brilliant colors of mercerized cottons! I love the colors so much that I'm even using them to choose paint colors for a home decorating project I'm planning.

When choosing alternate yarns for patterns, it is possible to sometimes substitute cotton for other fibers but you must consider the yarn structure to make sure it performs similarly to the yarn the garment was originally designed to use. In general, cotton will have more drape and less elasticity than wool, breaths well, absorbs moisture well and will not retain as much heat as protein fibers. Cotton does dry slowly which makes it good for staying cool on hot summer days but not so good for keeping your feet warm in cold weather. Cotton is also unlikely to stimulate allergic reactions for most people.

Some of my very favorite cotton yarns that I recommend often are:

Mercerized, drapey & shiny:

I love these yarns for children's clothes, shells, light cardigans, summery shawls, bags, purses, skirts and dresses. Washcloths made from mercerized cotton will feel a bit more scrubby and hold up better as dishcloths than softer cottons.

Soft, drapy with a soft sheen:

These are great for children's clothes, soft washcloths, baby items, hats, summer tops & tanks, and scarves.

Interesting textures & ribbons:

These are fun for clothes of all sorts - pullovers, dresses, cardigans, tops, tanks, shells, bags, hats, and baby items.

Great sources for more information about cotton can be found here:

The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes
Alabama Chanin

And don't forget to check out all of our cotton woven fabric too! They make great liners and coordinates for your yarn projects!

I hope you are finding these discussions about different fibers helpful.  If there is anything I'm not covering or you would like me to discuss in more detail please let me know!  As always you can email your questions about knitting, fibers, crochet, weaving, and spinning to me at askTerry (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Huck went to the farm...

Huck's garlic is amazing!!

As most of you know I am completely and utterly in love with Huck and recently had a chance to take him to my daughter and son-in-laws urban farm here in Reno, Earth Alchemy Farm. The farm recently acquired some baby chicks to boost their egg production and when I mentioned it to Huck he jumped at the chance to go and see them!

What's on the other side of the fence?

Huck is a budding farmer in his own right and this last fall we planted some organic garlic together and it is growing quite well! I tried to get him to pose by his garlic, but alas he was a little distracted by the goings on in the yard beyond the fence.

Chickens love Pea Shoots!

Once I was able to pry him away from the fence at his own house we jumped in the car and off we went to the farm. He was a bit shy at first (it has been about a year since he was there last), but warmed up to Shelly and Rory quickly and seemed to enjoy himself immensely.

Wow check out the greenhouse!!

Our first stop was outside to see the older chickens and give them some snacks. We then toured the greenhouse and he was quite impressed to know that the greenhouse is producing micro greens for over 17 restaurants (and counting!), our local Great Basin Food Co-op and will be on a local delivery system real soon! That's a lot of micro greens!! The farm is just finishing up their winter CSA and it was yummy!

Huck and Shelly are good friends now!

I can't believe Huck is going to be 4 in a couple of weeks and has his own urban farm going as well! While we were visiting Shelly was making Pad Thai and while he didn't want to eat the eggs, he went nuts for the the noodles and I was feeding him like  my own little Huck was so cute! He also loved, loved, loved the jungle peanuts that the kids had roasted...yum, yum!!

Huck wasn't ready to hold the chicks,
but did love watching them

All in all it was a really fun visit and I am so glad that I can be a part of his gardening education!

Do you plant a garden? If so we would love to hear about your adventures...

As always, happy knitting, crocheting, sewing and gardening!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

The MKAL of Ice and Fire- Wrappin' Up! Let's see some FO's!

Hi everyone!

It sounds like it's been a good week for a lot of folks and the KAL projects are flying off the needles! There has been a lot of talk of buttons on the Ravelry Thread and I love what folks have come up with. So many unique and beautiful buttons!

Several of you submitted your gorgeous FO's to me this week and I am so excited to show them off here. All of you did such a great job!

First up we have Cyprienne's Cowl! She used Cascade Pacific since she allergic to wool. Didn't it turn out great? She also has a knitting blog--Big Knitting Trouble. Feel free to check it out!


The next FO came from LukaArcane who MADE her own buttons! How cool is that? I think they are perfect on her steely gray cowl!

Luka Arcane

The next FO (knit in Lorna's Laces Haymarket) came from lauramv who actually got to wear her Water Dancer Cowl the other day when it SNOWED in CO! I guess winter IS still here in some places...


Next up we have neechee49's project. She hails from Belgium! I think it's so cool that we had so many international knitters join us for this KAL! :)


Lastly, and perhaps the most adorable of all of the photos I received, is parke's FO! I'm gonna guess that parke is not modeling this herself, but what a cute model she has! :) (Parke is also a talented poet! She won our National Poetry Month contest this month! Check out her knitting poem, and the other finalists here.)


Thank you all for submitting pics of your FO's and allowing us to share them on the blog! I am sad to see this KAL end! As I mentioned in the last post, I will leave the GoTMKAL Threads on Ravelry active for a while so please feel free to continue the chat, otherwise I hope you all enjoy the rest of GoT season 3! Can you believe it's already 1/2 over?!?!

Also, don't forget that the final formatted version of the pattern will be available as a PDF on the Jimmy Beans Wool Free Patterns page on May 17th, in case you are waiting for it to come out to finish your project.

Thanks to everyone for being a part of this wonderfully fun MKAL!

Until next time, happy knitting!