Wednesday, January 31, 2018

TNNA Recap

TNNA Weekend

This may or may not have been one of the craziest Vegas weekends all of us at Jimmy Beans have had in quite some time. TNNA Weekend was filled with interviews, discovering new brands and visiting some of our very favorites! If you aren't quite sure what TNNA is, it stands for The National Needlearts Association. Twice a year, everyone in the needlearts industry gets together to showcase new and exciting additions to their brands so that we may all keep advancing in our craft! 

Jeff, Jenny, Lauren and Shannon on the way to TNNA! ... (P.S. That backpack Jeff is holding weight about 50 pounds. Bless his heart for carrying it around all weekend!)

Handmade Getaway
It was straight to work once we touched down in Vegas. First, we visited one of our very favorite friends, Jacqueline of Soak! She helped us film a tutorial on how to use Soak and man, that stuff is ahhh-mazing! Have you tried it before?? The Yuzu scent is my favorite. So fresh and so clean! Jacqueline has another exciting project coming up with Karyn Valino. Their new book Handmade Getaway is a project based book with amazing photography and projects that guides you from start to finish.

Vegas Nights Shawl
You may have even tuned in to our Facebook live sessions! We sat down with the lovely ladies of Lorna's Laces, Anzula, Sweet Georgia, Knit One Crochet Too, and Oink Pigments to talk about their collaboration on the Vegas Nights Shawl designed by OwlCat Designs. The only thing I can say is that these women are not only incredibly talented in their craft but are some of the most genuine people in existence. If you missed that conversation, click here to listen to what they said about working together. 

We also had the amazing chance to sit down with Kersti of Koigu. You may recognize her from Koigu Magazines! Check out the video to get some insight to the brand! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more 'Meet The Makers videos to come!'

P.S. We have some exciting news coming up with Koigu so be sure to tune in to our social media channels on Monday to see what we've got happening! 

As I mentioned earlier, we not only sat down with old friends, but new favorites as well! We are super-duper-uper excited about what 2018 is going to bring and cant wait for you guys to see either!

Coffee Tables - The Knitter’s Edition

When I was younger, every time I saw a Folger's commercial I was so excited to be an adult so that I could have the best part of waking up be Folger's in my cup. Now that I am actually (kind of) an adult, I've discovered that the best part of waking does not, in fact, involve Folgers. But rather, includes recoiling like a vampire once the light hits my face and hitting the snooze button three times.

Once I am finally up and at 'em, I plop myself on the couch and either do one of three things -stare blankly out of the window, read the paper (okay who am I kidding, I read the news online), or flip through what is on my coffee table to get inspired for the day or week. If I am reading a really good book, that often keeps me company, too! Right now I am reading,  "I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala". 

I switch my coffee table up from time to time and will have anything on there from photography books to sometimes even board games. I'll admit, when I first started working at Jimmy Beans, I was not a knitter. And now that I've been sucked in (I now fully relate when people talk about unfinished WIP's, yarn stashes, and weaving in the ends...ugh.), I can't get enough of it!

(Full disclosure: I may be a knitter, but I never said I was a good knitter.)

As for that really cute little knitted cactus, my friend and co-worker, Jenny, knitted it for me. I don't have the greenest of thumbs so this is a great alter-knit-ive :) You can find the pattern here.

Anywho, here are some really great books that not only have a great look and feel, they have some really, really beautiful patterns in them as well! I highlighted my favorites from each one. Do you have any favorites that you keep out as inspiration and decoration? Or do you decorate the house with knitting? Comment below! Always looking for new ideas :)

Making No. 4/ Lines Raina Shawl 

Knit Wit Issue 7 Kimber Beret

Westknits Bestknits Number 2 Askews Me Poncho

Plum Dandi High Cliff Hat

P.S. Here are some books that I'm really excited to get! 

Handmade Getaway by Jacqueline Sava and Karyn Valino

Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Knitting Book

Micro-Brewed Bold Betty Of The Month: January

Bold Betty of January

Jeannette Rankin
Our Micro-Brew Club theme for the year is "Bold Betties". Each month we asked our Micro-Brewed "indie" hand-dyers to choose a strong woman in history that they find inspiring. This month, Kimberly of Western Sky Knits chose Jeanette Rankin, the first woman in congress. We got the chance to ask Kimberly some questions on Bold Betties and who inspires her! Take a look! 

Q: Why did you choose Jeannette Rankin?
A: I chose Jeannette Rankin because I have been inspired by the Women's 
March and reflecting on women's representation in government - this
led me to Jeannette Rankin who was the first woman elected to the US
Congress (and from Montana). She wanted to go to Washington to get
women the vote nationwide and also to work for reforms for mothers and

Q: Who is the most influential woman in your life and why?
A: My mother-in-law June is a woman who sees what she wants and goes
after it ... creating her own business on the ranch and tirelessly
working to make it the success it is today. She inspired me to follow
through and create WSK.

Q: What inspires you to be a Bold Betty?
A: My children.

Q: If you were in congress, what would be your cause? 
A: Probably health care and public education. One of my children is 
severely disabled and every day I deal with this broken system of
health care. I'm also a local school board member and see first hand
the under-funding of our public schools and how that effects the
children and our teachers.

Q: Finally, what is the most Bold Betty thing you have ever done?
A: Running for the local school board.

Micro-Brewed Club: January
Hand-dyer: Western Sky Knits
Colorway: Jeannette
Yarn: 4-Ply Fingering, 100% SW Merino
Bold Betty: Jeannette Rankin

"We're half the people, we should be half the congress" - J. Rankin

Are you a Bold Betty? Sign up for Micro-Brewed here!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Yarn on the Moon: A Tribute to the Upcoming Lunar Trifecta

Earth’s natural satellite is about to do an extremely cool – and extremely rare - thing on January 31. Not only will we get to see a lunar eclipse (total if you’re on the West Coast), but it will be the first blue moon lunar eclipse to occur since 1866 – that’s 150 years in the making!

A blue moon is a second full moon in one calendar month, and is such a rare event that it even coined the expression "once in a blue moon." If that in combination with a lunar eclipse isn’t enough to get you out of bed at 4 AM, it will be a Supermoon too, meaning it will be so close in its orbit around Earth that it will be 30% brighter and 14% bigger!

In anticipation of this rare lunar spectacle, we're paying tribute with some moon-inspired yarnspiration! Turns out we fiber enthusiasts love the moon so much we've named a LOT of colorways after it.

The Moonstones:

When it comes to silvery grey hues, “Moonstone” is by far the most popular color on our shelves. Known for its adularescence (that bluish, milky glow emanating from below its surface), moonstone gives the impression of moonlight on water - hence its name!

And while it’s not technically found on the moon, this lovely gemstone has been revered for ages and even inspired the Greeks and Romans to associate it with their lunar deities. Today, it's inspiring fiber enthusiasts to name their yarn after it!

Moving clockwise from "1":

More Moon-Inspired Colorways!

Moonstruck, as in “mentally deranged, supposedly by the influence of the moon;
crazed dreamily romantic or bemused.” See Cher in Moonstruck.

Apparently, moon rocks aren't just found on the moon. After typing "moon rock" into google, I learned they're also found on the earth in the form of a highly popular cannabis product. Who knew?

In astronomy, Dark of the Moon is also known as New Moon.
During this phase, the moon is not visible in the sky.

Penumbra is the term for the shadow cast by the earth or moon 
over an area experiencing a partial eclipse. In February 2017, the moon got a 
little darker when the earth cast a shadow, or penumbra, on its surface.

Did you know moondust tastes and smells like gunpowder? You can read

In Roman mythology, the goddess of the moon was Luna (also known as Diana),
 and in Latin, "luna" means "moon".

In Greek mythology, Selene, Artemis and Hecate were all lunar goddesses, 
but only Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself.

And we can't forget a few of our 
favorite moon-inspired knits!

Happy moon gazing!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Visions of Ultra Violet

Sick of red and pink for Valentine's Day projects? Knit with Pantone's color of the year instead! Visions of Ultra Violet have us feeling ultra-Prince! (Purple Rain, anyone?) We got to talking about the Purple Rain creator around the office, and found that Jeff, our Marketing Director (and boss...hi Jeff!), had a Prince story of his own to tell:

I once worked for a casino resort that had a large theater and booked major acts. Rumors about a Prince performance circulated occasionally, and if they're true, they should tell it at his inevitable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Legend has it, long ago (somewhere in the 80s or 90s, the date of this event was fiercely disputed) Prince played a show in the theater, and he tore the place apart! The show started at 9, and Prince and his band didn’t shut the show down until after midnight. It was said to be one of the greatest shows the theater had ever seen. After the performance, the crowd dissipated and the casino floor fell quiet. The only real activity left was a small lounge nearby, where a small band was quietly playing lounge hits and Jazz. By 1:30 am there were only a few people left, listening to the band and enjoying their drinks.

Someone in the lounge was listening to the band a little more intently than the others though, eyes closed and bobbing his head to the music. Eventually he stood up, and to the surprise of the remaining patrons, he had a few words with the band’s drummer and then stepped up onto the stage and strapped on a guitar. The mystery guitarist was Prince and he played with the band for 3 hours, and not a single guest left the lounge until it was over! When it was over, he humbly thanked the band for letting him play with them, gave each one of them a hug, and walked away into the night.

After playing a 3 hour show for thousands of people, he walked into a lounge and played another 3 hour show for less than 10. Legends like this tend to have embellishments, but I sincerely believe that there is truth in this one. The love and devotion to music combined with the humility and grace demonstrated in this story will always resonate with me. Rest in Peace Prince, and I hope somewhere in heaven you’re sitting in a lounge right now, bobbing your head and preparing to play along! - Jeff

Got any Prince stories of your own? Share them in the comments!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dashing Doggo-naire: 10 Free Patterns To Keep Your Pupper H*ckin' Happy This Winter

This list was inspired by our local SPCA, the first charity chosen for our 2018 Year of Giving, and the latest trends in DoggoLingo and Dogspotting! But mostly it's all about keepin' your pups nice 'n snug all winter long.

(All patterns are free on Ravelry!)

by Angelcatkins (Elizabeth Watkins) Designs
Try it with Cascade 220 Superwash 
(colors shown at right: 872, 862 & 1926)

12/10 puguccino, would pet again

by DROPS Design Team
Try it with Cascade 220
(colors shown at right: 8414, 4192, 8505)

14/10 love at first bite

by Jodi Lewanda
(colors shown at right: 706, 704, 728)

13/10 looks doggone good to me!

by Jacqueline Cieslak
(colors shown at right: Moonstone, Dustweaver, Smokestack)

11/10 Be still my borkin' heart...

by Lion Brand Yarn
Try it with Plymouth Gina
(colors shown at right: 04, 02, 05)

12/10 Human, fetch me my bone!

by Kj Hay
Try it with Cascade Tangier
(colors shown at right: 06, 23, 01)

11/10 the fluffiest of flufferinas, loves her hu-mom

by Joann Rogers
(colors shown at right: 16, 01)

12/10 cold paws... warm heart!

by Lisa M. Barnes
(colors shown at right: 113, 117, 115)

11/10 das a good boy!

By Three Cats and a Dog
Try it with Cascade Avalon
(colors shown at right: 12, 17)

13/10 stop, drop, shut 'em down open up... blop

by Megan Barclay
(colors shown at right: 324, 322)

10/10 *spike-drop* "I'm out!"