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 the ASPCA, 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!"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"The Games That Must Not Be Named"

Knitting + Sports 

By now, we are all more than familiar with the drama that unraveled (har har) in 2012 between the official Summer games committee and the Ravelry group that hosted a knitting competition of a similar name to the official name. Yes, that sentence was confusing but due to intellectual property law, using the official name of the winter and summer games can be considered taboo. Therefore, from here on out, we will refer to them as "The Games That Must Not Be Named".

Knitters vs. The Games That Must Not Be Named, 2012

Here are some of our favorite highlights where knitting and sports had something more in common than yardage...

The Origin of Sport Weight Yarn

Back in the day, the yarn was named so because it was conducive to free movements and was lightweight - ideal for sports and activities like riding motorcycles.

The Knitting Coach

In the 2014 Winter Games, Finnish snowboard coach, Antti Koskinen, was caught knitting at the starting line of men's slopestyle. As you can imagine, the internet went wild and so did we. I mean, look at the uniformity of those stitches. The scarf was then passed on to the Summer Games team to be Finnish-ed...

The 2012 Saltburn Yarnbomber

In 2012, the mystery yarnbomber took a liking to the pier of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The work portrayed a different sport in honor of the London Games. To this day, the knitter remains anonymous...

Leg Warmers & Fitness

In order to prevent injury, ballerinas and fitness enthusiasts, like Jane Fonda, have been wearing leg warmers in order to keep their muscles warm when they are not in use. Misty Copeland demonstrates above. 

Knitted Swimmers

Yes, cotton was an option. But for swimmers, the fiber was far too absorbent and weighed them down during their sport. Thus, wool was the alternative. As a natural water repellent, wool became the ideal fiber for swimwear. Did you know that Speedo was originally a knitting factory? 

The more you know. 

Want to knit your own history this winter? We got you covered with our Speckles and Stripes KAL!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tahki Yarns Terra Collection: Eco-Friendly Since 2008

Terra Collection

knit.wear & WOOL STUDIO presents:

The Terra Collection is a compilation of 11 simple silhouettes knit with Tahki Yarns' line of eco-friendly wool. Since 2008, Tahki has celebrated natural fibers with yarns that are undyed or dyed using eco-friendly products, made with organic fibers, or minimally processed. No matter how they came to be, each one feels good in your hands and good in real life! 

Scroll through for project inspiration, and to learn more about these earth-friendly yarns!

The original Terra yarn, Montana is a roving wool available in bulky and super-bulky weights. 
The available eight shades come in natural sheep-colored hues or are dyed using eco-friendly processes and products.

Big Montana Almond Wrap

Big Montana Walnut Poncho

Montana Elm Ribbed Cowl

Big Montana Banyan Jacket

This earthy, organic blend of wool and alpaca contains two bulky rovings 
plied together to create a round, robust twist that, if knitted loosely, will drape 
more than most super bulky yarns.

This crisp, worsted weight blend of wool and alpaca comes in five natural 
heathered shades and seven marled shades.

This super bulky alpaca yarn is available in eight dyed shades and provides an 
animal-friendly fur look that's great for accessories and fashion accents. 

Organic wool and alpaca combine to create an airy boucle that works 
up quickly and creates texture in the simplest of stitches.

On Our Shelves

The Fabulous Feast Of Wild Men

The Feast of Fabulous Wild Men.

Celebrated on January 12th, the age old tradition of The Feast of Fabulous Wild Men is a holiday created by the internet. My mother was truly right (don't tell her I said that) when she told me, "Anything is possible!"

While we have no idea where or why such a celebration originated, we know that the internet says it exists and the internet is always right ;) Although there are no guidelines as to how we should celebrate this day, we took the wild liberty to define it ourselves and highlight some of our favorite male knitters!

Stephen West

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Stephen West is easily one of our favorite designers. His creative genius is easy to recognize and hard to imitate. He hosts workshops around the world and towards the end of last year, he graced us with his presence in our shop! Needless to say, we were starstruck!

Chris Salas

Chris has been a part of the family for a few years now and we couldn't be happier about it! We are really excited to have a custom design from him for our Big Beanie Bag Club this year.

Josh Bennett

Hang on one second, I am picking my jaw up off of the floor...Not because of his good looks, but because of his talent! He has worked with the CFDA, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang, Perry Ellis and countless others.

Jared Flood

As the founder of Brooklyn Tweed, Jared has helped create and grow the knitting community into something even more special. Growing from a just a blog in 2005, Brooklyn Tweed now manufactures and develops all of their yarn in the USA.

Kyle Kunnecke

There is nothing we admire more than those who use their passion to help others. In 2009, Kyle led a worldwide movement collecting squares from knitters and crocheters around the world to make a blanket for a man battling cancer.

Martin Storey

As the lead designer of Rowan Classic, Martin Storey has created the classic knits that we all love.

Arne & Carlos

With a strong influence from their Scandinavian background, these two fellas are known for their colorful and striking designs. Their work is even on display in several museums throughout the world.

Ryan Gosling

We are featuring Ryan Gosling as an honorary "Dude Who Knits" 'cause...well...just 'cause.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017: One For The Books

With only a few days left of 2017, we are taking a moment to step back, reflect and get ready for the new year (we have some really exciting stuff coming up, by the way!)

Here are our highlights of 2017: the good, the bad, and the yarny :)

The Great Flood


Normally, people "go out with a bang", but at Jimmy Beans we do things a little differently and decided to START our 2017 year with a bang! Life has a funny way of challenging us and one of our biggest challenges this year was when Reno weather decided to be...well, Reno weather and flood our warehouse. Our staff worked tirelessly to #savetheyarn and you all waited patitently for us to get back on our feet. We are forever grateful for you and our Jimmy Beans Family!


 Jimmy's Journey to Fifteen

Man, we're gettin' old...We celebrated our fifteen year anniversary this year with Jimmy's Journey to 15! In this first season of Jimmy's Journey, Jimmy tells us the story of each year of Jimmy Beans up until this year. It's like a photo album, but better!





Semi-precious Tosh Kickoff


This year, we also kicked off our Semi-Precious Tosh Blanket and Shawl subscription KAL. Our yarn clubs for 2018 have gotten a bit of a makeover so be sure to check them out!



Grand Re-opening of Our Retail Shop 


There is always a silver lining! Because we had to relocate due to the flood, we also got the chance to spice up our new retail space at our new location! Shannon, our General Manager, was able to turn the shop into an art piece itself. It should probably be on display at the Louvre!

Police Box MKAL


With the new season of Dr. Who, we kindof had to...We teamed up with Lorna's Laces and paid tribute to the famous TARDIS with bold blues and grays befitting any traveler of space and time. Although this MKAL is over, you can still checkout the pattern!

Shark Bite II KAL


Duh-nuh...duh-nuh...duh-nuh-duh-nuh...DUH-NUH-DUH-NUH! We were lucky to team up with Lorna's Laces and Lara Smoot to bring you a Shark Week KAL. This is still one of our favorite KAL's!

Voyager KAL

We just can't get enough of these KAL's! We trekked back to 18th century Scotland! We joined forces with Lorna's Laces to bring you Lorna's Limited Edition color - "Voyager." This
colorway incorporates an array of grassy greens with speckles of soft purple, reminding us of the vast Scottish Highlands sprinkled with pretty wildflowers!



When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, we knew we had to do something. With the help of you and Blue Sky Fibers, we were able to raise over $7,500 to help students of The Knowledge Is Power Program who were directly affected by the hurricane. At the beginning of November, Laura made a trip to Houston to deliver the stuffed animals knitted by you in order to give these kiddos some hope! We cannot thank you enough.

Jimmy's Journey: Passport to India

In November we brought you Season 2 of Jimmy's Journey! Our trip to India was amazing. You knitted along with us as we traveled with Amy Small of Knit Collage and Knitter's Pride to bring you the stories of the individuals that make the products we carry. We even brought back some souvenirs!

Craftvent 2017


The freshest memory from our highlight reel is, of course, Craftvent! Afterall, it ended only 4 days ago! Maybe you're still even knitting along! In any case, we had so much fun with this MKAL this year and loved that you all enjoyed it as well. We love going through your comments and seeing your progress and finished projects so keep them coming! 

As you can see, 2017 was definitely one for the books! And like always, we wouldn't have been able to accomplish any of this if it weren't for you! Thank you all so much for your support this year...We can't wait to see what yarny goodness 2018 brings us! We hope you enjoy this holiday season and ring in the new year with lots of happiness, love, and of course...yarn!