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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween...and High Blood Pressure Basics

First, Happy Halloween from the ladies of Jimmy Beans Wool! We hope you have a safe, happy, healthy Halloween (try not to eat all the candy like I've been doing...).

Kristen and I are back from VK Live and are still floored from the response of mid-westerners to our Stitch Red campaign. So, what was the hot ticket item this past weekend?

The Kollage Square Needles! 

Ergonomic (for hours upon hours of knitting), sharp tips (seriously) and they come in a snazzy red metallic color - what's not to love? I even got myself a pair of the Kollage Stitch Red double points to cast on my Turkish Bed Socks. I know I have more needles than I need, but I'm a knitter! I just never know when I might need an extra set...

I've been trying to catch up on the heart-healthy news I missed over the past weekend. I stumbled upon this adorable, animated video from The Heart Truth explaining what's really happening when our hearts are working overtime due to high blood pressure. It must be the kid in me who really enjoyed this short video...take a look!

Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Club Red

Every so often we hear from a local yarn shop who caught wind of Stitch Red and was moved to start taking a stand against heart disease. What's even more exciting is when these lys' send us emails with pictures! I'm sure you all know this already, but we love show and tell - really!

Club Red!
On Monday I heard from Lesley who owns Wool & Co. in St. Charles, IL. She sent me a sweet little note about her knitting group and they don't just knit! These ladies are part of Club Red and they meet every week for some yoga or a brisk walk followed by some Knit Red knitting and healthy snacks! I don't know about you, but when I have a huge goal ahead of me (like running my first marathon!) I need a support system - a group of people aiming for the same goal. The camaraderie is what gets me through long runs and keeps me motivated. Now, I'm not saying everyone should go out and run a marathon. No way. I do think what Lesley and her knitting yogi's have is truly special and key in the battle against heart disease.

Lesley ordered copies of Knit Red for her store and as she flipped through the pattern pages she couldn't help but love so many of the designs. With so many of the projects going straight into her knitting queue she thought it would be fun to start a club - Club Red. Together they would work their way through the book while inspiring heart-healthy change!

The first meeting had great promise! Fourteen ladies showed up ready to pledge to some lofty knitting and general health goals. For the next six months Club Red will work through projects and listen to motivational guest speakers. The group includes one woman who just underwent open heart surgery and someone who has lost 80 pounds (you go girl!). The main goal is to take baby steps towards eating healthier and moving more. Take a look at what they've been working on...

This looks like Tanis Gray's Lace Infinity Scarf...

The mini dress! We just love the sequins! 

Is that Ysolda's Slip Stitch Beret?
Still full of positive energy, these ladies are stitching (and walking!) for heart health! I highly suggest joining Club Red if you're in the St. Charles, IL area - it looks like a fun group and it never hurts to start fighting back against the #1 killer of women!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Recap of Stitches East!

We know you've heard quite a bit about Stitches East from those of us left behind ;), but what was it really like for the lucky gals who got to go? Here's a wrap-up from Kristen!

Yowzer! Stitches East in five days...what a journey! Sandy, Jeanne, Rachel and I arrived back in Reno last Monday, completely exhausted (mostly from the air travel) but full of memories of new friends made and new yarns to covet.

Not only did we have tons of fun meeting some of our lovely east coast customers, but we met lots of lovely new companies that we'll be adding to the wish list, better known as the "Spreadsheet of Dreams." This is our list of products that we'd love to add to your lineup someday when we have room in the budget. Here were our favorites from Stitches East:

Not only are their yarns beautiful, but they are family owned for several generations and they create the most lovely colors! They also make Jared Flood's Brooklyn Tweed yarns Loft and Shelter so of course we drooled a little bit (ok, a lot) in their booth. All four of us bought skeins of Loft to make Jared's mittens from the Knit Red book. We even cast on while at the show! 

Their AMAZING color display!

These little multi-use bags are SO cool! All four of us also bought bags from their booth. We each bought the "Iddy" size which can be zipped up with the pockets on the inside or outside and carries notions, needles and your knitting project. It has a long strap that can be worn across your body like a sling, making it easy to walk and knit at the same time. Also, you can unzip the entire thing and wear it as a tool belt. So cool!

Super handy bags!

Rachel and I both went a little nuts in this booth. Not only are the yarns totally amazing, but their depth of color is simply to die for! We each bought a skein of Caper Sock and Rachel also bought a skein of Alpaca Silk (which isn't on their website, but is definitely gorgeous). I restrained myself a bit as I am technically supposed to be in de-stash mode right now, although I did make a few exceptions for yarns I can't get out west. I am totally head over heels for my skein of Caper Sock though, so much so in fact that one night at the show as we were in bed about to turn out the lights, I was holding the skein and gazing at it trying to decide what I would make with it. I actually fell asleep clutching my yarn! I woke up the next morning and the poor skein was tangled in the sheets, still intact, thankfully.  Unfortunately, no pictures were captured of this moment of knitter to yarn twitterpation, but we did have a good laugh over it. 

Sandy and Jeanne came back to our booth excited about the Mother Bear Project! The Mother Bear Project makes and sends hand knit stuffed teddy bears to children in Africa affected by HIV/AIDS. The project is so lovely and heart warming that we just had to support it! We'll probably be getting more involved in this campaign in the near future, but in the meantime, feel free to see how you can get involved on their website. (Sorry I missed getting a picture of their booth. Jeanne and Sandy assure me it was darling!) 

I was also fascinated by this booth with beautiful hand-crafted boxes. The company is owned by a super nice couple from Tennessee. Their display was stunning and dramatic to say the least, with this gorgeous tower of boxes. I failed to grab their card so I don't remember their name at the moment, however, they will be at Stitches West in February, so I fully intend to post about them then! In the meantime, here are some of their lovely boxes:

Loved the stacks in this booth - such a neat display!

Lastly, I had to show off my recent knitted item. I made this cowl from Malabrigo Book 3 in the Malabrigo Rasta yarn (color "Stitch Red") just in time to wear at Stitches East. It kept me cozy in the chilly convention hall all weekend, plus it was a super fast knit - perfect for holiday gifts. In truth, I made three of these last Christmas to give to my sisters-in-law and never bothered to make one for myself. As you can tell, I am happy I finally did! We sell this as a kit on our site so here is the link if you'd like to check it out.

Roasty, toasty and oh so soft!
I hope you all have a lovely week! My weekend was relaxing and now I'll be heading to Chicago Thursday for VK Live! Hope to see you there!

Happy knitting,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy National Health Education Week!

With so much talk about the Presidential election, we're relieved to know that this week is one in which we don't have to be up on all the hot button issues (now that they debate is over). This week, October 15th through the 19th, marks National Health Education Week (NHEW), so let's brush up on public health issues- and heart-healthy awareness in the younger generations. Since 1995 NHEW has been celebrated to help focus national attention on major public health issues, like heart health. This year's theme was inspired by the youth our our country: "Adolescent Health: Planting Seeds for a Healthier Generation." With doubled obesity rates in people 12-19, it's important that people of all ages are educated on the risk factors of heart disease.

To play our part in NHEW, we found this cute little quiz in Glamour's Health & Diet section - quiz your knowledge about heart health with eleven questions and answers! We're sure you know more than you think! If something surprises you - for example, the percent at which the risk of heart disease drops if you stop smoking (it's amazing!) - let us know in a comment. We'd love to share all of your feedback with others!

What will YOU do to spread heart health awareness this week? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rolling Out the Red Needles at Stitches East!

As you all know Kristen, Sandy, Rachel, and Jeanne are in Hartford, CT at Stitches East this weekend. On their first night working the show, the wonderful folks of Kollage Yarns hand-delivered a new Stitch Red product (one we've been really, really, REALLY excited for!). Without further ado, we welcome the Stitch Red Kollage Square Needles to the campaign! Here's a photo of Sandy knitting a Mini Red Dress with a pair of the new square needles! 

Sandy (right), the amazing Kollage crew and Benjamin from XRX!

I must warn you, these pretty needles aren't yet available for sale (unless you're attending Stitches East), so stay tuned! They'll be added into our system soon enough! In other news, we welcomed another Stitch Red surprise to our Stitches East line-up. Drum roll, please! The Stitch Red Denise2Go set was especially designed for Stitches East. If you're around the show, I highly suggest you stop by and take a look at these adorable red sets and grab one while you can! These are a Stitches East one-time deal, but don't worry! We have a Halloween inspired set for everyone to have the chance to purchase in just a few days! 

Denise2Go Stitch Red Sets - aren't they adorable?!
Stayed tuned for more Stitches East updates! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What's Making OUR Hearts Race?

Stitches East! 

Four of our beans left today for Hartford, CT to start setting up our Stitch Red booth, and last I heard Rachel, Kristen, Jeanne, and Sandy were chomping at the bit to get the trip started! 

We'll have everything from Knit Red to all your favorite Stitch Red yarns and patterns. If you're one of those super organized Stitches-goers (whom I envy greatly!) and you prepare your list of booths to hit and product to look for, take a look at our Stitch Red Products to get an idea of what you're looking for! Psst! I even heard we'll have some non-Stitch Red related goodies...Tosh Onesies, maybe! 

Stop by booth 1007 to meet two of the Knit Red designers and chat with the wonderful gals from JBW!

Here are some hot-sellers you should keep an eye on!
(they went like hotcakes at Stitches Midwest)

Johnny's Socks were the events most popular pattern - I think. We were out  faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

There's no question, Knit Red is our biggest seller! Flip through and see for yourself!

This Lantern Moon Felted Keychain Clutch is just too adorable to pass up!

Classic Elite Magnolia is a crowd pleaser! Don't forget to ask for Kristen's free heart lace hat pattern to go with it!

This mini red dress can be a pin or an ornament! There's something about mini things that we knitters can't pass up! 

Laura Nelkin's True Love Butin Collar is the perfect handmade red accessory - beautiful!

These Lantern Moon heart shaped stitch markers brought quite the chorus of "ooh's and awe's" at Stitches Midwest!
 We hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's High Cholesterol Education Month

Do you know your numbers?

Cholesterol builds up in the walls of our arteries and increases one's risk for developing heart disease. Nearly 1 in every 2 American women has high or borderline high cholesterol. With no signs and symptoms, high cholesterol is a number that seems to just creep up when we aren't paying attention. We found this info-graphic quite helpful...take a look at the numbers:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary to The Heart Truth!

Check out the Jimmy Beans Wool tribute to The Heart Truth. We're hoping to inspire change in women nationwide with our Stitch Red campaign! We're humbled and oh so proud to be your partners in fighting this silent killer.