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Friday, April 27, 2012

Stitch Red Knit Night this Tuesday!

On the first Tuesday of February, March and April of this year, Jimmy Beans Wool has hosted a free Stitch Red Knit Night where experts in all kinds of fields have shared their knowledge on heart health. This coming Tuesday, May 1, 2012, we are excited to announce a new Stitch Red Knit Night! This month the focus will be on recipes that are good for your heart. The event will be held at 6pm at the Jimmy Beans Wool shop in Reno, Nevada (1312 Capital Blvd. Suite #103). If you happen to be in the Reno area this Tuesday, please feel free to stop by! Bring your knitting and a heart healthy recipe to share. Not sure what recipes qualify as heart healthy? Well, that's what this Knit Night is all about! Come on by and learn.

Not a Reno resident? Use the month of May to host your own Stitch Red Knit Night Recipe Exchange with YOUR knitting group! Send us your favorite recipe from the exchange along with pictures and anything you learned about heart healthy cooking. We would love to share your story.

Thanks for your support and keep knitting and crocheting red!

From our hearts to yours,

The Stitch Red Team

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be Sweet to Your Heart

Be Sweet has always been a company with heart. Their inspiring story shows that it's possible to be successful and still be true to your conscience. Now Be Sweet is taking that mission a step further. We talked to designer Tanis Gray about Be Sweet's participation in the Stitch Red campaign and asked for her thoughts on heart disease, the campaign and her own heart health.

What does the Stitch Red campaign mean to you?
 "It’s unfortunate that so many people have stories about heart disease, but not at all surprising since it is the #1 killer of both men and women. One of my grandmothers passed away due to congestive heart failure in her late 70s, as well as one of my grandfathers having issues with his heart near the end of his life. Like many knitters, my grandmother was very crafty and I am proud to continue on the tradition of making things by hand. I can’t help but wonder if she had had access to modern medicine and been more educated about keeping her heart healthy and strong she might still be here, knitting and crocheting next to me. I chose to get involved in Stitch Red to make their stories known in the hopes that proper education and awareness could save lives."

What's your favorite heart-healthy tip? "Even if you can only get 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine, at the end of the week that adds up. You’d also be surprised at how easy it is to walk to the post office or bike to the farmer’s market rather than drive. By making small changes like that, you’ll have more energy, be working out more and getting a stronger, healthier heart in no time. You can also set goals and reward yourself with some nice yarn when you meet them!"

What gets your heart racing?
"I love biking with my family. We strap my son into his bike seat and take turns with who carries him. We bike to the river, the farmer’s market, to lunch, past the monuments of Washington, DC and even the yarn shop! I also really enjoy doing Zumba on our Wii, and am happy I can do it in the privacy of our home because I look like a crazy person!"

As a part of the campaign, Be Sweet will be donating 5% of gross profits from their red Whipped Cream yarn and their Keystone Hat kit (both featured above). Additionally, Tanis has a lace infinity scarf pattern using the Whipped Cream yarn that will be featured in the Simply Sweet Look Book #2 coming to a yarn store near you very soon. About the pattern, Tanis had this to say:

"My grandmother and great grandmother were particularly talented in lacework. My scarf is a nod to them, with the joined ends creating an infinite loop of each generation handing down knitting and crocheting to the next. My great grandmother Jenny taught my grandmother Irene, who taught my mother Patricia, who in turn taught me."

Thanks to the fabulous ladies of Be Sweet for your good hearts. May they continue to stay healthy and happy for many years to come.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Denise Knits Pink and Red

Barbara of Denise Interchangeable Knitting & Crochet has been creating pink knitting kits for years and donating a portion of the proceeds from each kit to help fund breast cancer research. Now she has signed on to do the same thing for heart disease. We asked her about her Stitch Red products and a little about her heart healthy advice. Here's what she had to say:

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign? Laura Zander convinced us do this! When Laura told me about this germ of a project, I started looking up the statistics on health. I was surprised to see how big an issue heart disease is in the US, for both women and men. It is one health problem that we can do something to prevent to a large degree. Some of the other causes of death on the CDC leader board are less affected by our behavior. Heart health has a lot to do with our choices. Not entirely, of course. I would love to see more of us make the kinds of choices that reduce the risk of heart disease. It seems do-able in a context when many other health risks are not so easily overcome. Working together across our industry is an appealing way to work toward toppling heart disease from its top spot in our culture.

What product have you created for the Stitch Red campaign? What was your inspiration behind it? Denise has made red cords for our interchangeable knitting needles and crochet hooks.  These are available in the three extra long lengths (30”, 40” and 52”) and in the set of extra cords we call a Companion Set. We had already been making pink cords and a few other products in pink to support breast cancer research. With that experience, it was easy and natural to add red cords to support heart health for everyone. The red cords are beautiful and vivid! Visually they remind me of licorice laces, but these are so much better for us.

Do you have a heart healthy tip or recipe to share?
We live in Virginia now, but have lived in other places. We tend to eat here the way we do when near the Mediterranean: vegetables and fruit, grains, fish, cheese, yogurt, olive oil, red wine. If we could have this on a terrace overlooking the sea, it would be even better! In the meantime I have been known to keep jars of cornichons and capers in my desk drawer to enliven lunch in tasty and healthy ways. Lots of taste oomph in each small package! Denise staff all like chocolate occasionally, strictly dark chocolate, though I am not sure we can justify that as a genuinely heart-healthy choice.

4. What gets your heart racing?
A truly healthy habit is to adopt a dog who wants to go for long walks often. You need to walk with the dog, and that is good for you both. If that dog is a rescue, so much the better. If that rescue dog has a black coat, you do even more good, for dogs and for yourself, since black dogs are more often overlooked and left at the shelter.

Thanks, Barbara! We appreciate your contributions, both the breast cancer research and to the Stitch Red campaign for heart health. We also appreciate your fabulous knitting and crochet supplies.

For more information on Denise products, which are 100% made in the U.S., you can visit their website here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barry Klein Sets Stitch Red Trends

Poppy yarn in Red Barron
Barry Klein of Trendsetter Yarns truly is a trend setter himself. We asked him to share a little bit about the Stitch Red product that his company will be contributing. This one is unique, not just in its style, but in that a portion of proceeds from ALL colors of this product will go to the cause. You can view other colorways of the Poppy yarn here.

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign? 
I chose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign because of who our customers are. Most of our clients are woman and without clients we have no business. We must all work together to fight heart disease. I also come from a family that fights high blood pressure and obesity and stroke, all that can be fought with a healthy heart.

What product have you created for the Stitch Red campaign? What was your inspiration behind it?
Terry wearing a Poppy scarf
We selected a product called Poppy which is a scarf yarn that is a wide mesh that has wool tops attached to one edge. I created a jacket in Red using three of my favorite yarns and attached Poppy as the detail effect. I love that scarf yarns are still the most fashionable. I love that they are easy to knit, quick to knit and be crochet as well. What is better for your heart than to have something to hold onto that feels incredible and is easy to do……makes my heart happy!!

What's your favorite heart healthy tip?
A group of us have been doing Weight Watchers for the past year. It is important to learn a way to enjoy the foods you love but maintain the idea that quantity is something to watch. In addition, we have been doing 3 hours of Zumba in order to get our heart rates up and get into an aerobic state. Food is really important. It is my reward and so doing the exercise allows me to enjoy the foods I love.

What gets your heart racing?
What gets my heart racing is being with a group of people who love to knit and create and who love to be creative. Nothing is more satisfying than teaching people something new that they will share with their friends. Trendsetter is my company…in fact its my life. I love sharing the yarns that I create, the patterns I create and then have people come and show me what they’ve made in my yarns. Having people appreciate “my yarns/my kids” as much as I do really gets my heart racing.

Barry will also be featured as one of the designers in the upcoming Knit Red book. For a sneak peak at his pattern (and the 29 others in the book), a digital preview is available here.

Thanks Barry for your fabulous yarn, patterns, and commitment to the cause!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yarn Pop's Lori Jordan Shares Her Stitch Red Story

Independent designer and travel-lover, Lori Jordan of Yarn Pop products (also known as Top Shelf Totes), has come out with a project pouch specifically for the Stitch Red campaign. We asked her about her involvement in the campaign and what she does to stay heart healthy.

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign?
My husband's family has a history of heart disease and I had a good friend who was affected with a heart issue, as well. When I was presented with the opportunity to support this campaign, I joined immediately. Education and research are critical to making progress against this disease, and I’m happy to be part of a movement that supports both.

What was your inspiration behind your Stitch Red product?
The product we are offering is the Bold Red Fleur - Yarn Pop. Great for holding yarn, projects and notions, our entire Yarn Pop line is available in the Stitch Red print. I chose this look because the red combined with the pattern is bold, bright and has a feeling of movement.

Do you have a heart healthy tip to share?
Daily, 30 minute walks. It is good exercise, and also helps keep stress levels down.

What gets your heart racing?
Travel will always get my heart racing. I traveled a lot on my own before I met my husband and now we travel a lot together. It is always refreshing to get out of town and explore. Of course I always use it as a great opportunity to visit local yarn shops and love the time in transit for some focused knitting time!

Thanks for your contribution, Lori!

Do you have a heart healthy tip to share? We would love to hear from you! Post a comment, or send us an e-mail at info@stitchred.com. Tell us your tips and your heart stories, your heart-felt stories, or your Stitch Red felting stories. We may end up sharing them in out blog or newsletter!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blue Sky Alpacas Goes Red!

We asked the folks at Blue Sky Alpacas why they're choosing to Stitch Red and what melts their hearts. Here's what they had to say: 

Blue Sky Alpacas chose to be involved with the Stitch Red campaign because when Laura at Jimmy Bean's Wool asked, we knew it was the right thing to do. Ten of eleven employees have been touched by heart disease here at Blue Sky. With this disease affecting so many near and dear, becoming a part of Stitch Red was a great way for the whole Blue Sky staff to become involved in awareness and prevention.

Blue Sky Alpacas had already designed the Techno yarn in Cha-Cha Red [featured above] when we were invited to participate in the Stitch Red campaign. We felt that Techno Cha-Cha Red was perfectly suited to Stitch Red because of its duality. Techno is new technology; the latest advancement in how it is possible to create yarn. Blue Sky thinks all knitters and crocheters deserve the latest and greatest. We certainly feel that all people deserve the best technology when it comes to taking action to fight heart disease. Blue Sky Alpacas Techno may be new technology, but it is also yarn; used to make garments for centuries. Knitting and crocheting can be a slow task that takes time and perseverance. Much like heart health, you have to be committed, you have to want to be healthy. It takes time, but the results show one step stitch at a time.

The Blue Sky Staff is taking a heart healthy step in the right direction. We try and go for a walk together everyday. That time sure flies by when you have good friends to chat yarn with! It's always easier to do something difficult when you aren't alone.

Here at Blue Sky our hearts melt for the newest member of the Blue Sky Family! Jones [the handsome alpaca shown here] joined the herd in late February and we just cannot get enough of him.

If you love the cardigan shown above, you'll be pleased to know that this Stitch Red pattern and the Stitch Red Techno yarn in Cha Cha Red it's shown in are available together in kit form here. Just find your size to purchase the pattern and all the yarn you need for this cardigan. And, of course, 5% of Blue Sky Alpaca's gross profits from sales of both the pattern AND the yarn will go to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in support of The Heart Truth®.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Classic Elite Yarns with Heart Healthy Hats and Love of Dance

Betsy from Classic Elite Yarns signed up with the Stitch Red campaign early and her fabulous company has already come out with several lovely red yarns AND a free pattern (shown below) for our enjoyment. We recently asked her about her involvement in Stitch Red and how she gets her heart racing.

The Healthy Heart Hat
Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign? There is a long history of heart disease in my family, so along with a general bent towards doing the right thing, this cause is personal to me and my family. Many in my father’s generation succumbed to the disease at a very early age. My generation is doing much better, but we still watch for warning signs because of our genes.

What products have you created for the Stitch Red campaign? We are coming up with new things every day! Our designated yarns are Magnolia, a lustrous silk and wool blend, and Silky Alpaca Lace, our flagship laceweight silk blend. Look for kits featuring two of our most popular designs, the Lacy Scarf and the Empress Wrap in Silky Alpaca Lace and Magnolia respectively. 

We also have some free patterns coming up in our weekly Web-Letter; we kicked it off with a Valentine’s Day pattern from our very own Meg Myers, the Healthy Heart Hat in two colors of Magnolia. We have a few other projects lined up, but they’re top secret for now! You’ll have to sign up for the Web-Letter to find out. 

Betsy and her granddaughter
What gets your heart racing? I love to dance, but I’m married to someone who doesn’t share the passion. But now I have a 6-year old granddaughter who loves to dance – and she has become my dancin’ partner! We turn up the funky music (her favorite) and just do whatever we feel like. It’s a blast! Everyone should try dancing with a 6-year old – it’s a very exhilarating experience!! (She danced with enthusiasm as a 4- and 5-year old too; I’m hoping the dancing bug will last well into her adulthood.)

Thanks, Betsy! 

If you love Classic Elite Yarns, stay tuned for their NEW addition to the Stitch Red campaign, Alpaca Sox in a deep, rich red. We will be featuring this new product very soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lindabelinda Talks Heart Health and Creative Design

This week we interviewed Dr. Linda Ruggiero, of Lindabelinda Ceramics. As an independent designer who has pledged to donate 100% of gross profits from the sale of her Stitch Red buttons, we wanted to know what her thoughts were on the Stitch Red campaign, heart health and her commitment to the cause. Check out her heart-warming answers below.

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign?
"I am a huge advocate for promoting awareness through craft. I support several initiatives in this way, and when I learned about the Stitch Red Campaign, I was immediately on board. Having grown up with a father who suffered two heart attacks during my childhood, followed by triple bypass surgery and implantation of a pacemaker, I am well aware of the prevalence and dangers of heart disease. I am also a firm believer in preventative health care, and I try to demonstrate this in my own lifestyle with a daily yoga practice and a healthy diet. I also believe that preventative care is made possible through education, and I support Stitch Red for its commitment to that."

What was your inspiration behind your Stitch Red product? 
"As an avid knitter and ceramicist, I enjoy combining clay and fiber arts in different ways. One way is through the creation of handmade ceramic buttons, which can be functional findings for knitwear, as well as aesthetic, decorative accessories. When I learned of the Stitch Red Campaign, I decided to design a line of heart-shaped red buttons embossed with a feminine floral design. The buttons are also available in a simple round shape, with the same color scheme and design."

What's your heart healthy tip? 
"I believe it is most important to reduce stress in one's life as much as possible. I have learned through both personal experience and through my training as a neuroscientist that stress reduction is accomplished through positive emotions, and so I believe that everyone should do one thing a day for themselves. Life should be enjoyable - and so often we get caught up in routines and deadlines and neglect taking care of our own interests and happiness. Giving to one's self is important - it allows us to better give to others and makes us healthier individuals - both physically and emotionally."

What gets your heart racing?  
"I am most thrilled when I  am learning new skills or having novel experiences. I love to travel and to see how others implement crafts in their daily lives. I also love working with children - particularly in creative settings. Kids are so free and uninhibited - they come up with the most exciting ideas. And I adore the pride that children take in work they have made themselves. They are the best teachers."

Thank you Linda, for your generous (and beautiful) contributions to the campaign and for your insight. We're proud to have you on board.

If you would like more information on Linda, please visit her custom-design website here, or her Etsy page, here.

For those of you who live in and around Reno, don't forget to stop by Jimmy Beans Wool at 6:00 tonight for our monthly Stitch Red Knit Night, where University of Nevada, Reno Graduate Research Assistant, Heidi Lengdorfer will discuss her most recent research on local trends involving heart disease, and the most effective ways women can reduce their risk. Bring your knitting, a friend, and any questions you might have. This event is free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you there!

-The Stitch Red Team