We are so lucky to have so many wonderful sponsors for BiCrafty Bootcamp! We reached out and asked for the knitting needles that we really wanted to share with you and some great companies responded. In the past month, the Marly Bird team began working with Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables. Team Marly member Cryssi especially loved these needles, which we mentioned briefly in yesterday’s Month Three Learning to Knit Thoughts from the team.
Tape Measure On Your Knitting Needle
Cryssi’s favorite thing about the Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables is one of their most unique features: they’re a knitting needle and tape measure in one. The needles as well as the cords have marking at 1″ intervals. Therefore, you can use the needles / cords to measure your work as you go. You don’t need to carry a separate measuring tape with you. It’s so simple and yet so genius. This is one of those things that knitters create when they want to solve a problem that a non-knitter might not even realize is a problem.
Jimmy Beans Wool Is a Special Company
We love working with small businesses and Jimmy Beans Wool really stands out. Laura Zander launched the company with her husband in 2002. They steadily, strategically added to the business and now employee about 75 people.
In addition to their own yarn and products, they’ve acquired Madelinetosh, della Q, and Namaste. As a fun fact, Laura was (and is) friends with all of their original owners. This is truly a family business even as it grows. Meet the team here.
They offer the Beans for Brains scholarship. This is a college scholarship for creative, artistic individuals.
They have a Broken Needle Exchange Program. In other words, in the unlikely even that you break one of their knitting needles – they will replace it for you at no charge.
And they support all kinds of great causes and beliefs.
Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables + More
So you already know that Jimmy Beans Wool works with cool people to create interesting products. Laura Zander was on a trip to India with general manager Shannon Flores when she realized that she had forgotten her tape measure. They solved the problem by marking the needles every inch. Realizing the genius of this, they partnered together and SmartStix was born.
Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables
SmartStix is a line of products. It’s more than just the Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables that we used here at the Marly Bird team. But let’s start by talking about those. The full set is color coded with 9 sizes of alluminum needles: 4 – 11 plus one 10.5 size.
Additionally, there are four cable cords: 1 20″, 2 24″ and 1 32″. Therefore, you could mix and match to have 24″ size 5 needles, 20″ size 10 needles, 32″ size 4 needles, etc.
In addition, the full Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables set comes with cord keys and end stoppers. They’re all corralled neatly into a terrific fabric case that keeps everything really well organized. Kathryn, in particular, appreciated how easily so many materials stayed organized.
Other SmartStix Products
First of all, you don’t have to buy the SmartStix Interchangeables as a set. You can buy the needle sizes that you need and the cords that you want separately. The needles come in sizes 2.5 – 11. The cords come as aforementioned plus they have additional sizes. Finally, in addition to the aluminum needles that we used here at Marly Bird, they have wooden SmartStix Interchangeables.
You’ll also discover that there are SmartStix DPNs. They offer 5″ and 8″ DPNs in sets of five each. They range from US O (2 mm) to US 9 (5.5 mm).
Moreover, there are even SmartStix crochet hooks! That’s right, you can measure your crochet work as you go, too. They have 5″ and 6″ crochet hooks. Each come in four sizes ranging from about B-D. See our crochet hooks chart here.
All in all, we think these are a really smart product. They work well. They store easily. And they’re truly made to solve a simple problem for knitters (and crocheters alike).