Thursday, December 6, 2012

Excitement with yarn

As I've mentioned several times on this blog, I love Knit Picks for my knitting and crochet supplies. I have multiple sets of interchangeable knitting needle tips and cables from them, I bought their new wood crochet hooks (and love them!), and I buy most of my yarn from them. They have lots of selection of workhorse natural fibers (wool, alpaca, cotton), and some luxury blends to indulge in on occasion, for very reasonable prices. I know that I get more for my money with them than if I shopped in other places. When I need yarn or needles (which seems to be at least once every other month), I turn to Knit Picks. They have very friendly customer service, and our relationship is quite loving. I participate in the Knit Picks Lovers board on Ravelry. I recommend them to others. I'm rather wedded to them.

However, I have a hidden yarn secret: somewhat regularly, I have an illicit affair with Jimmy Beans Wool.

Jimmy's yarn is pricier than Knit Picks, but I was drawn to him because of a discounted Namaste knitting bag he had in stock. I bought the bag, and found that every purchase you make with Jimmy Beans gets you 5% back in store credit that you can use during the next quarter. And their customer service? Out of this world. I mean, SAINTS can't be as nice as these people, and their shipping speed is verging on the very wings of angels. Then I saw that they had that London 2012 colorway in their Lorna's Laces sock yarn and I ordered a skein, to commemorate my first successful Ravellenic Games.  Yes, it costs twice as much as I normally pay for yarn, but everybody deserves a little splurge sometimes. Suddenly, I had a little stockpile of store credit and a free shipping code to use from October until the end of December.

And oh, oh Jimmy. Seducing me with your limited edition colorways every month in the Lorna's Laces yarn, that is most unkind of you. I felt like I was sneaking around every month checking on the new color to see if I liked it. Several were pretty, but I wasn't tempted. Until last Friday.

I'm innocently scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. Suddenly, via my friendship with Jimmy's Lorna's Laces limited edition fan club, I see December's colorway. It's called "Christmas at Downton."

*keyboard activity ceases*

*brain function comes to a screeching halt*

CHRISTMAS AT DOWNTON?! I *LOVE* Downton Abbey!!! It's one of Mike's and my absolute favorite shows. And the third season begins airing in the U.S. right around our anniversary in January.*heart*

It was meant to be. I considered the sock yarn, but let's be honest. I already own A LOT of sock yarn that still needs to be knitted up into warm and comfy socks. I looked through some patterns on Ravelry and justified a skein of the worsted weight so that I can make a hooded cowl for myself. Doesn't that sound cozy for a winter project? And with my store credit and the free shipping, it was only $16. I mean, it would have been a sin to not get the yarn and let that credit go to waste.

So I ordered the worsted on Friday. And Jimmy, with his wonderful speedy shipping, had my yarn on my doorstep by Monday afternoon (and it was coming from Reno, NV!). Didn't I tell you that he is wonderful?

The colorway is *beautiful*. Pleased as punch, I tucked my new yarn into my stash to pick up again after I finish Christmas knitting.

And then came yesterday. I'm innocently (ah hem) looking for a pattern on Ravelry when I notice on the "Hot Right Now" list the following:

"Downton Abbey Mystery KAL (knit-along) with Jimmy Beans Wool."

*eyes widen*

How could I not click on that? I click on it.

Starting on January 6th, Downton's premiere date, Jimmy is hosting a mystery knit-along in which participants will receive a clue each week and knit a project together, the final product of which is a mystery until the very end. The recommended yarn is of course some of the "Christmas in Downton" colorway in a sport weight.

A mystery KAL?

*Hallelujah chorus*

I DREAM (quite literally) of good knit-alongs. I MUST DO THIS. My dignity as a knitter requires that I take part in this blessed event. There's just 1 problem.

I have no sport weight yarn.

Well, ok, that's not *completely* true. I have a few skeins of sport weight yarn, but they are ear marked for other projects. It's not like worsted weight, or sock yarn, which I have an abundance of in my (very reasonably sized, that's my story and I'm sticking to it) stash.

What to do, what to do...

Somehow, it was all a blur I can't remember the details, the "Christmas in Downton" Sportmate yarn that the KAL mentions jumped into my cart. I swear I don't know how it happened. 1 skein is $24.50.


But you see, Jimmy, with his smooth talking ways, was already working on me. You only need 1 skein to make the mystery item, he whispers in my ear, and if you can get free shipping...

I'm on the email list to my knitting group in seconds. Anybody want to take part in the Mystery KAL, I ask? There's a brief silence, and then a flurry of happy responses. Anybody want to order the yarn?

There was some negotiation involving consideration of existing stash yarn, but Jimmy worked his wiles with them as well. Next thing you knew, everybody was in for a skein of Sportmate and together we had free shipping.

The yarn is actually out of stock, but is on order. Jimmy wrote right back to me to tell me he was sorry that he didn't have the yarn ready to ship out immediately, but that it would arrive in 1-2 weeks. He thanked me for my patience. We sent Jimmy a kiss.

It will arrive in plenty of time for the KAL, and meanwhile excitement is building in my knitting group.

This is the most fabulous development in my knitting life since the Ravellenic Games. I AM RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED. So expect lots of Downton Abbey and knit-along talk this January and February. I'm just lettin' you know now. I'll keep you posted every step of the way.

Karen, want to join us? *evil smile*


  1. lol, if I were a knitter, this is so something I would do. I love that colorway too, it's something I would wear! I've actually never watched Downton Abbey, but always wanted to. Maybe I should get the dvds..

  2. Sure! But I can't go anywhere near Jimmy Bean's Wool. I do have a number of unassigned sport-weight skeins as well as a gift certificate for my local yarn store.

  3. That being said, I just put a skein of the Christmas at Downton sport weight on my wish list ;)


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