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Friday, June 29, 2012

Lindsey's Knit Red Giveaway - And the winner is...

Happy Friday everyone!

I don't know about where you are, but the sun is out, the sky is blue, and it's going to be a hot weekend here in Reno, Nevada! I'm excited to get out into the fresh air for a run and possibly a hike! What are YOUR plans for this (almost) 4th of July Weekend?

What better way to celebrate the weeks end then announcing the winner for Lindsey Jacobellis' Knit Red giveaway? And the winner is...

Commenter #12 - Geknitics who said:

"Having a family history of heart disease, I walk 3 miles most days, do yoga, and knit!" 

We can't argue with that! Sounds like you're on the path to a long, happy, healthy life! Congratulations to Geknitics! We can't wait to see what you make from Knit Red! 

And a big thanks to Random.org for choosing a random number for us.

Geknitics - please email me at casey@jimmybeanswool.com to claim your book!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stitch Red at TNNA!

For those of you who haven't heard, TNNA was a huge success for Stitch Red! Laura couldn't have been more thrilled with all the appreciative vendors, manufacturers, and the entire needle-arts community. So, on her behalf, we would like to thank everything who follows and supports this campaign - it really is making a difference and we're very grateful that Stitch Red (and Knit Red) have taken off like they have.

Laura and Terry were all smiles upon returning on Monday, so here's a brief recap of the weekend's festivities...

Stitch Red Gift Baskets at TNNA
The Stitch Red Gift Baskets were a huge success and helped us to raise almost $1,500 for The Heart Truth in support of heart health awareness and education. Tickets were raffled off from Friday through Sunday afternoon and winners were chosen before the Knit Red book signing. The lucky winners received two bottles of heart-healthy red wine from Michael David Winery and various Stitch Red products. From hanks of Swans Island in Winterberry to copies of Knit Red  and hat pattern kits, these gift baskets were quite the jackpot!

What really struck Laura and Terry as they reconnected with some of our vendors and Stitch Red supporters was how appreciative they were to Laura and the Stitch Red campaign. Even after all the goodies Laura learned about and the classes Terry took, they both raved about the overwhelming number of people who are aware of Stitch Red. Humbled and grateful for the support, we have faith that this campaign will bring courage and inspiration to women everywhere.

Beth Casey of Lorna's Laces - Pretty and smart!
The needle-arts industry is a warm, welcoming community full of creative, friendly people who have a passion for fibers and fashion. Terry got to experience TNNA for the first time last weekend and left feeling more inspired and in awe of the needle-arts community than ever before! She even got to hang out with Beth Casey of Lorna's Laces who was floored to see her billboard in front of the convention center in Columbus, Ohio!

The best part about TNNA (besides all the wonderful people) was that Knit Red was the #1 book sold through Unicorn Books! We've now sold over 3,000 copies total and we can't wipe these smiles off our faces! On Sunday about 95 people lined up to have Laura sign their copies of Knit Red

While Laura was wandering the show and mingling with the big names in the yarn industry, she had a few people share their promises for the Heart Health Promise Challenge. Here's what some people are promising to do:

Barry Klein of Trendsetter Yarns promised to keep doing Zumba! He really got into it and has found a form of exercise he truly enjoys!

Linda from Blue Sky Alpacas promises not to react too much when things happen. Hopefully taking a step back will reduce her stress level!

Michele Lee Bernstein wants to work at a standing desk because sitting can increase heart disease. We didn't know how sitting can impact our hearts, but now that we do Laura might need to install a few more standing desks to keep our tickers strong!

To all our partners, supporters, and the friendly faces at TNNA - thank you, thank you, thank YOU! Without all of your support we wouldn't be here today!

Just because TNNA is over, does not mean that the Heart Health Promise Challenge is over. Visit us on Facebook, leave us a tweet on Twitter, or a comment right here with your promise to stay heart-healthy! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lindsey Jacobellis Shares her Stitch Red Story...and a Knit Red Giveaway!

We're excited to have Lindsey Jacobellis, from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, here to blog about her contribution to Knit Red! There will be a Knit Red giveaway, so take a look!

Lindsey Jacobellis
Earlier, this year, I had a great opportunity come my way that includes my passion for knitting. I have been involved in raising money for breast cancer research for many years since my mom is a survivor. Now, I am also involved in raising awareness about heart disease in women for the Stitch Red campaign.

The owner of Jimmy Beans Wool, Laura Zander, started the Stitch Red campaign and since then Jimmy Beans Wool has become one of my wonderful sponsors - up there with Red Heart® yarns who was an early supporter of the campaign.

Lindsey's Snowboarder Hat!
The goal of Stitch Red is to get women to be more heart-healthy and recognize the signs of heart disease before it's too late. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. and the knitting and crocheting industry's have truly embraced this effort to spread awareness. Many designers and yarn manufacturers have created unique Stitch Red products to support heart health awareness. From the profits of these Stitch Red designated products, a percentage of the profits will go to the Foundation for the National Institutes for Health in support of The Heart Truth.

In addition, as a part of the Stitch Red campaign, a series of books will be published to help support the campaign among the needlearts industry. The first book, which you all know, is Knit Red and I am featured in it! Along with 30 other beautifully knitted garments and accessories all in red!


All of the designs are beautiful and it is awesome to be a part of such a great book with talented designers from the knitting industry. I designed a super-cute snowboarder's hat that is perfect on and off the slopes! The book also contains heart healthy tips from each of the designers and tasty recipes that are also good for your  heart.

For a chance to win a copy of Knit Red, please leave a comment about what YOU do to stay heart-healthy. A winner will be randomly selected and announced in the blog post on Friday, June 29th! Please leave your comment by Thursday, 6/28 at 11pm PST.

I am so excited and happy to be a part of this campaign and cannot wait for everyone to get the book and see how gorgeous it is!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Jimmy's Heart Health Promise Challenge!

We have a challenge for you and it starts at TNNA!

As you know, Jimmy won't have a booth at TNNA, but she will be wandering around the show; meeting people, scoping out the products, and (hopefully) meeting a few of our Stitch Red supporters and followers!

Stitch Red has started a Heart Health Promise Challenge! One post on our Stitch Red Facebook, Twitter, or right here at this blog can help save a life. If you're going to TNNA, look for Laura Zander and share your promise with her (she'll be expecting to hear from you)! Our goal, for starters, is to collect 500 promises and inspire heart-healthy living in as many people as possible!

Oh, and don't forget to keep your eyes out for the Stitch Red Gift Baskets with wine from Michael David Winery while you're at TNNA! 

To kick off this challenge, here's Laura's heart-healthy promise:

"I promise to eat one piece of fruit per day."

Sort of like a real-life game of "Where's Waldo", find Laura at TNNA and share your promise with her! She loves nothing more than hearing from YOU!

Here's what Jimmy Beans Wool is promising:

"I promise to be outside, moving for 40 minutes five days a week" -Amanda

"I'm going to keep walking to and from work every day!" -Erika

"I promise to eat dessert once a week instead of every night." -Nicole

"I will add four blocks to my nightly walk." -Jenn

"I promise to snack healthy." -Cherie

"I will bike to work three times a week...until it gets too cold." -Rachel

"I promise to work out six days a week!" -Courtney

"I am going to drink more water everyday." -Allie

"I'm with Nicole, I have an ice cream problem. So I promise to have ice cream once a week instead of every day." -Amanda S.

"I promise to work out three times a week." -Autumn

"I promise to be more consistent in eating healthy." -Terry

"I promise to get my husband to move the TV and VCR into our bedroom so I can do my stretching video 3-4 times a week." -Sandy

"I promise to exercise 200 minutes per week and drink 64 ounces of water per day." -Lianna

"I will maintain positive affirmations while working out." -Piet

"I'm gong to keep eating my oats!" -Chris

And as for me, I promise to get my recommended servings of milk and veggies in daily! -Casey

What will YOU do to stay heart-healthy?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bellsister Susan Signs on to Share her Stitch Red Story!

Originally known to everyone at Jimmy Beans Wool as the Bellsisters, we've gotten to know them individually as they continue to contribute to our Stitch Red campaign. And let me tell you, they are an absolute joy to work with! Debbie, part of this crafty duo, shared her Stitch Red story on Tuesday (and if you haven't read it, I suggest you do!) Today we get to hear from Susan! I hope you enjoy...

Susan (right) and Debbie (left)
Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign?

As a physical therapist by day, I have experienced first-hand with my patients how women neglect themselves in favor of caring for others, and especially how women will not seek emergency care for heart symptoms until much later than men do. Plus, heart disease runs rampant on both sides of my family and my sister suffered an unusual form of heart attack - a Tako-Tsubo Syndrome at the age of 54, despite having good cholesterol numbers and no evidence of heart disease! This form of heart attack is often called the "Stress Heart Attack" as it is often brought on by extreme stress. Through that experience I learned about the many forms of heart attacks that can affect women more than men, and until recently, have gone unreported and/or undiagnosed.

 What is your Stitch Red product? 

Susan's Cloche Enough Hat!
Even though my Cloche Enough Hat pattern wasn't originally designed for the Stitch Red campaign, I had chosen to dedicate it to this mission. It was originally designed as a flattering, stylish hat for women undergoing chemotherapy treatment. My niece (Debbie's daughter), who is an oncology nurse, had the pleasure of handing out my Cloche Enough Hats to special patients and ALWAYS got remarkable comments back. Every woman loved how it felt, how it fit and how feminine it helped them feel. Handwritten notes of thanks were common. It just was, and is, a huge success, so I wanted to spread the love to the Jimmy Beans Wool Stitch Red campaign!

 Do you have a heart healthy tip to share? 

I believe keeping in mind the mind/body connection in life is important to keeping your heart full and healthy. Besides eating "right", it's important to enjoy the food! A glass of red wine and a small piece of dark chocolate in moderation help the heart as well as the mind and soul, but in addition one needs to find and do the things that make your heart happy and expansive.

One of my favorite heart-healthy snacks is to dry roast some pumpkin seeds in a saute pan until toasted, then very lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray and lightly salt to taste! Delicious and incredibly good for you! Yum!

What gets your heart racing?

Heart-healthy wine and dark chocolate!
My heart is happiest when I'm either knitting, riding my bike, swimming, eating dark chocolate, drinking fine wine or working in my chosen profession as a physical therapist, especially treating infants and children. Knitting-wise, it is always a major rush to create a pattern and then see it get published, but the happiest times are when people actually knit it up and I can see others' creations and versions! My knitting partner and sister, Debbie (Bellsisterdebbie on Ravelry.com) and I have a stated mission when designing together: "have fun!" and mostly we succeed! That also keeps our hearts full and racing!  

Thank you for sharing, Susan! We just love the hats that come through our doors from Debbie and Susan - so cute and soft, we understand why people go wild for their designs!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TNNA Stitch Red Gift Baskets Raffle & a Knit Red Giveaway

We can't wait for TNNA in Columbus this weekend! While we won't have a booth, Laura and Terry (our fabulous retail lead) will be wandering around the show, scoping out all the venders. If you see them around feel free to say hi! Stitch Red products will be available for sale at various booths!

We also have some other exciting news to announce! Michael David Winery, the winery commonly known for its 7 Deadly Zins labeled wine, is going to sponsor Stitch Red at TNNA (and donate three cases of wine to the event)! With your help, we will use this wine to create "Stitch Red Gift Baskets to Stick it to Heart Disease." You don't want to miss these baskets! With heart-healthy red wine, a copy of Knit Red (signed by Laura!) and various Stitch Red products, these baskets are sure to set you on your way to sticking it to heart disease one stitch at a time!  The baskets will be raffled off at the Knit Red book signing on Sunday afternoon.

If you're going to be at TNNA, make sure to stop by the registration booth to purchase your raffle tickets! Keep your eyes peeled for these Stitch Red gift baskets. Whenever you see one you like, drop a raffle ticket into the corresponding jar to be entered for a chance to win one of the 12 baskets!

And now, for the Knit Red giveaway from Ann Norling's post last week! Drum roll, please! The winner is: Commenter #2 - suburban prep who said:

" I like the Aline Hoodie. This winter my mother had a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm dissection. I am blessed that she is alive. It was an emergency. So heart disease hit close to me. My young niece who is one today (June 14) was born with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome (essentially half a heart)."

Congratulations to suburban prep! We're glad to hear your mother is doing well after her emergency surgery and we hope she continues to heal for more happy, healthy years.

And a big thanks to Random.org for choosing a random number for us.
suburban prep - please email us at casey@jimmybeanswool.com to claim your book!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Sisters Week - Meet Debbie Fring!

Debbie (left) and Susan (right) fashioning hand knit hats!
We have something special going on right here...and it isn't just the Ann Norling Knit Red giveaway (stop by tomorrow for the unveiling of the winner!). It's sisters week here on the Stitch Red Blog and we're extremely excited to introduce you to Debbie Fring and Susan Glenfield - the Bell Sisters! Both of these wonderful ladies are contributing adorable patterns to our Stitch Red campaign and they so graciously agreed to share their stories with you this week!

Let me introduce you to bellsisterDebbie - she (and her sister) have been designing chemo hats since their father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003. Not only supporting chemo patients with their cuddly caps, but now supporting heart health awareness! Here's Debbie's story...

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red Campaign? What does fighting heart disease mean to you?

Nanny & Debbie!
The Stitch Red campaign caught my eye, first, because I love Jimmy Beans Wool so much and noticed it while shopping on their website - ordering more yarn! As I read more about it, I really was shocked to learn that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, more than all cancers combined! My sister (Susan Glenfield, AKA bellsistersusan on Ravelry.com) and I have been focused on designing stylish chemo caps since our dad's diagnosis with lung cancer in 2003. We have been designing and knitting chemo hats like crazy as cancer seems to be so common these days. My daughter is an oncology nurse, so we frequently donate our hats to her cancer center and, thus, hear a lot about people with cancer diagnoses. But actually, for women, heart disease is really the bigger, perhaps more silent problem. Heart disease runs like crazy in our family, so I really had a wake up call, personally.

What product have you created for the Stitch Red campaign? What was your inspiration behind it?

I created the Lizzie Hat pattern (shown below). My inspiration was my 103 year old grandmother, Elizabeth, who only recently passed away! She had one strong, healthy heart (and good genes)! 

Do you have a heart healthy tip to share?

For me, I tend to be much too serious for my own good! So, to manage my stress better I make an effort to be more lighthearted, laugh more, be more positive and optimistic. I am fortunate to be married to a very funny guy who keeps me laughing and who is just a big optimist. 

What gets your heart racing?

My husband tells me that HE gets my heart racing! Must be true, as we celebrate 40 years of marriage this August (congratulations!) He has really helped me to laugh and not be so serious. He is a big "role model" for exercise...I don't think he has missed a day of exercise his whole life! He has a sunny disposition and I think that has helped him to stay so vibrantly healthy all these years.

As far as knitting goes, there is great reward for me in getting feedback from women who knit my chemo hats for friends or family. I love hearing how those hats bring smiles or a bit of joy to their journey through chemo treatment; especially knowing the hats were knit with love, especially for them! 

This sister team sure is sticking it to heart disease one stitch at a time! We just love their enthusiasm for taking a stand to support cancer, and now, heart disease! Stay tuned, this Thursday we will have Susan Glenfield (bellsistersusan) share her Stitch Red story!

How does knitting get YOU through life's ups and downs?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Introducing Ann Norling...and a Knit Red Giveaway!

With a pattern collection of every design imaginable, Ann Norling is one of the industries brightest stars and we couldn't be more thankful for her help in Knit Red - have you seen her Spiral Rib cowl design? It's the perfect winter accessory! From hats to sweaters to her wildly popular Christmas stocking patterns, Ann has created one of the most extensive pattern collections we carry. There are patterns for everyone; from beginners to more advanced knitters - she has something that will suit your tastes! The possibilities truly are endless with Ann's pattnerns!

Ann Norling's Spiral Rib Cowl
On June 5th, we hosted a Knit Red book signing with Laura Zander and four designers who helped bring Knit Red to life: Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich, Jeanne Giles, Diane Soucy, and Ann Norling! We had such a blast meeting with these wonderful designers and getting our personal copies signed! To celebrate Ann Norling's design in Knit Red, we've decided to host a blog giveaway in her honor!

Diane Soucy's A-Line Hoodie
Ann Norling is actually the "nom de knit" of Marge Okuley, a yarn sales representative in Northern California and Northern Nevada. She often visits our store toting the latest yarn trends and her newest designs. Always smiling, Marge is a wonderful presence. She even gets special treatment - a little walk through Madeline Tosh Onesie land!

The day after Marge's 21st birthday, her father passed away due to heart disease. He was just 60 years old. Her personal connection to heart disease (and we like to think, her love for Jimmy Beans) was what made her jump on board with Knit Red the moment we approached her.

Jeanne Giles' Home Spa Set
The design phase of any project holds all the secrets to a designers finished pieced. As avid knitter's, we know just how important yarn choices are when starting a project. We often giggle at how personal the decision is - some yarn is just more chatty than others. ;) Marge is no exception to this rule! Her Spiral Rib Cowl is a drape-y knit 2, pearl 2 rib stitch with a twist - literally! She used the lovely merino wool blend of Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in honor of her friend, and fellow colleague, Susan Druding. Susan is the founder of Crystal Palace yarns and she too lost her father to heart disease. Marge thought it appropriate to design her Knit Red project using Susan's yarn as a tribute to both of their fathers. Connecting her project with two Stitch Red stories, Marge hopes this helps draw attention to everyone's risk of heart disease.

Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich's Tote
If we've learned anything over the course of the past few years, it is this: we're all connected in our efforts to spread heart disease awareness because so many of the designers, vendors, partners, and customers have been touched by this disease. We would like to thank everyone: all the partners who've contributed their Stitch Red stories to this blog, all the designers in Knit Red (and those participating in our second book - Sew Red!), The Heart Truth for sharing their knowledge of heart-healthy living, and to all of you! Without you - our wonderful costumers and supporters - this campaign would not have taken flight. We raise a glass of heart-healthy wine to each and every one of you - thank you!

With that, I'd like to give away a signed copy of Knit Red in honor of Ann Norling! Please leave us a comment on this blog post telling us your reason for supporting Stitch Red or what your favorite design from the book is. Even if you've already bought a copy, feel free to enter and win one to give to a friend or family member. We'll randomly select a winner and announce it in the blog post on Wednesday, June 20th. Please leave your comment by Tuesday, 6/19 at 11pm PST.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support! <3

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Knit Red Blog Giveaway!

In the wake of all the excitement of Knit Red being released, we forgot to post the schedule for designer giveaways! Silly us! :) Check out these blogs to enter to win a free copy of Knit Red over the course of this month! Visit us tomorrow and we will be facilitating Ann Norling's giveaway!

June 13: Iris Schreier
June 14: Ann Norling (visit us here for a giveaway!)
June 15: Kieran Foley
June 19: Ysolda Teague
June 20: Beth Casey of Lorna's Laces
June 26: KaRi of High Fiber Diet

Say tuned, we promise to keep updating the schedule so you have a chance to win a copy!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Linda Dances & Cooks to Stay Heart Healthy!

Meet Linda!
Westminster Fibers has been a big support system for Jimmy Beans Wool since the very beginning in 2002 - and now with our expansion into fabric! Linda Pratt is the Consumer Marketing Manager for Westminster and while she doesn't have a heart-wrenching Stitch Red story, she sets a fantastic example of how to stay healthy, be aware of what goes into your body (and how much), and reminds us that we are only as old as we feel - all valuable lessons to remember! 

Why did your company choose to get involved with the Stitch Red campaign? What does the Stitch Red campaign/fighting heart disease mean to you and those you work with?

Jimmy Beans Wool began purchasing Rowan Yarns from Westminster Fibers when the business opened in 2002. Since they, we have had a great collaborative business relationship, supporting Laura and Jimmy Beans Wool in several projects (and we couldn't be more thankful for their support!) 

While we have always respected Laura's talents as a merchant, we remain in awe over her ability to move awareness of her business and the entire hand-knitting industry into mediums outside of our normal channels. Through her hard efforts, Jimmy Beans Wool has become a recognized retailer in the national media and government.

So soft & squishy - Rowan Lima "La Paz"
When Laura first proposed the Stitch Red project, and working with The Heart Truth®, we knew Westminster Fibers had to be involved. We all could relate to heart disease - it had taken the lives of many close to our personal and corporate families. It was already part of our personal and company lives; many of our staff chose to eat healthy at lunchtime and others participated in walking daily or exercising outside of the office.

What product did your company create for the Stitch Red campaign? What was the inspiration behind it?

We offer the proceeds from our beautiful Rowan Lima yarn in the vivid La Paz red shade to support the Stitch Red campaign. Lima is a super-soft baby alpaca mixed with a bit of merino wool and nylon for strength. The red shade we offer is very deep ruby, which mirrors our support and belief in this cause. 

Westminster Fibers has also supported Knit Red with four garments. Three Rowan designers - Kim Hargreaves, Sarah Hatton and Martin Storey all offered signature designs in a variety of our best-selling Rowan yarns. We added a fourth design when top North American designer Deborah Newton agreed to design her leaf lace and cable cardigan in our SMC Select Silk Wool - a luscious aran-weight blend.

What's a heart healthy tip and/or recipe you would like to share?

What a cookbook collection!
I love to cook. At last count, I own about 90 cookbooks. I am most inspired by Mediterranean and Southeast Asian cooking. I love adding spinach to a meal - either simply sauteing in a bit of olive oil with a little sea salt and ground pepper, or adding garlic, onions, tomatoes, spices and making an Indian-inspired saag. 

I have recently become a convert to food journaling. I am obese and although I have tried to eat thoughtfully for years, it was not until I started journaling on the My Fitness Pal program, that I was able to address portion control.

At any time during the day I can see where my calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc. levels are. It's become a positive motivator. I am finding this an achievable challenge and share my findings with three friends who are also participating, so there is common understanding and support. 

What gets your heart racing?

I have been participating in group exercise classes for over 20 years. I've taken classes in high, low and plyometric aerobics; step, cardio, kickboxing, funk and salsa dancing, and free weight classes. It is something to look forward to after work or first thing on a Saturday morning to start the weekend off right!

Zumba Lady Gaga day! Linda is in the upper right corner!
For the last three years, Zumba is what gets my heart racing about four times a week. For me, it is the perfect exercise program. The music is formatted to create an hour-long interval workout that increases my heart rate and burns calories faster for hours afterwards. Short breaks between songs guarantee that I am able to stay hydrated and still keep the aerobic intensity level I need. 

The other attraction is, of course, the music! It's a fresh world-inspired beat with some of the same songs that you hear on the radio. It keeps my heart pounding, my brain clear to focus on the movement and intensity and overall, I feel younger than my years (we like to remember that we are only as old as we feel!) The atmosphere in the studio before, during and after class is warm and cheerful. I've met and kept many friends from class - which is another health benefit!

Zumba is really taking exercising to a whole new level! We think the big attraction is being a part of a fun, energizing class where you don't think about the activity as a chore; just enjoy the tunes and have fun - oh, and burn calories while you're at it! What do YOU enjoy that gets your heart racing?

Thank you, Linda for sharing your story!