Thursday, June 12, 2014

Loving Knitty First Fall 2014

Knitty's First Fall issue came out yesterday and we've been lusting over the patterns featured in it. Here are our favorites, along with yarn suggestions you can find right here at Yarn Garage and StevenBe.

Indigo Cones, a gorgeous open and lacy cardigan is knit with Rowan Creative Linen, a worsted weight cotton/linen blend. Our Diva Audra knit herself a dress out of this yarn and absolutely loved it. This cardigan is the perfect garment for transitional seasons and gives you a great opportunity to use the perfect statement button on the front--and you know how we love our buttons around here.

The Katie Cowl features two of our favorite things right now: two color brioche (Nancy Wynn is teaching eight eager knitters how to do this technique right now!) and funky handspun. Beginner spinners, this one is for you--designer Maryse Roudier says that the more textured the yarn is, the better. Not a spinner? That's okay! We've got some great handspuns in the shop and available on our website here.

Double stranding to create a gradient?! That is SO up our alley. The Briar Mittens use three different colors, always holding two strands together for a fabulous gradient. We love the idea of using Rhichard Devrieze Fingering to add some hand-dyed depth to these basic mittens.

Jenise Reid, the designer of Double Take, was admiring the high-low skirts that are in style right now and considering the possibility of a high-low cardigan. We love her creative solution to the neck shaping and the sweep of hand dyed color across the back! She knit hers with Malabrigo Rastita but we're thinking about double stranded Malabrigo Finito for that extra bit of softness that comes with lambswool or Trendsetter Merino Sei for a more solid colored classic version.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

VKL Chicago 2013!

Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace opens today and we're doing it up in true StevenBe style! To those of you lucky folks who are enjoying the weekend in Chicago, we've got a crazy assortment from Be Sweet, Skacel, Alchemy, Feza, and Malabrigo along with some fabulous exclusives from Madelinetosh, Three Irish Girls, Batts in the Belfry (thrummed mitten kits!), Handmaiden, Zen Yarn Garden, Wild Hare Fiber Studio, and MORE.

The StevenBe mini-shop is hardly "mini"!
 Make sure you check out Steven's Knit It In a Minute presentation and pick up a free copy of his Deep Rib Collar Cowl pattern--then head to the booth to check out the Icelandic Edition! You'd never believe Lopi could feel so soft or that you could have such a huge cowl in so little time.

Steven and his Divas: Brenda in her Cabled Ponchini, Mama Christa in her
Color Block Ponchello, and Sue in her sparkly Laurel!
We've got a group of Glitter Divas roving Chicago, recruiting for our new Glam Club on the brand new StevenBe website.

Mama Christa and Steven making travel friends!
 And, of course, Steven and his mother are collecting new friends, as they do wherever they go.
Vanessa Putt shops our booth and shows off her fantastic designs
in Malabrigo Book 5!
Say hi to Missy and Jeremy in the booth, too. They did an amazing job yesterday turning our booth into an experience you won't soon forget. Tag your StevenBe stash on Ravelry and comment here to let us know what classes you're taking and how much fun you're having!

If you're still in the Twin Cities, don't worry--there's still fun to be had! Yarn Garage is having a huge sale this weekend so head to Rosemount and check it out!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Congratulations, Jennifer T.! You're the winner of two fabulous skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Steven! It's squishy soft and I know you're looking for another project. Come on in and we'll check out Ravelry and see what you can make!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Handpainted Yarn Mania!

My name is Bridget and I am a handpainted yarn addict. When I see the colors that these dyers create, I get chills down my spine and I must have them now. I have probably used this same logic to enable you: if you see a color you love, you need to get it now because the next dye lot will probably be wildly different. Here are just a few of my favorite color magicians:


Take a squishy soft merino wool base, then apply vibrant colors that knit up into a wild mish-mash of delightful color and just try to keep it off my needles. Just try. Rios is their superwash and it's perfectly lovely and my pick for baby knits but my heart belongs to Worsted--it's a single-ply, lofty and squishable.

Wild Hare Fiber Studio:
My love for Wild Hare is not just because Melissa, the owner/dyer, is so much fun to work with and understands us so well. It's because she creates these fantastic color combinations (animal prints, even!) on yarn that feels nice on the hands and works up into a wonderfully soft and drapey fabric. But also, she gets us--Melissa created yarn for me inspired by Firefly, one of my favorite sci-fi shows, based on some images and my obsessive colored pencil shadings.
Gotta love someone who gets you!

 Dragonfly Fibers:

Dragonfly does these marvelously deep colors and then dusts over many of them with this smokey  haze of black. I find that the haze doesn't hide their intensity but draws it out in those little portions where it peeks through. We have two of their fingering weight bases, Djinni Sock and Pixie Skein--Djinni is fabulous for socks and single ply Pixie is awesome for shawls.

Smooth, beautiful handpainted gradients on lovely wool base yarns. Freia is my absolute go-to yarn for Stephen West's Spectra--I made mine using the lovely single ply Sport with Lorna's Laces Sportmate and I adore it.

Three Irish Girls:

 I'm an Irish girl so it only makes sense that I'd be partial to other Irish girls, especially the yarny ones. I love their color combinations and the distribution of those colors. Ordering from them and staying within budget is one of the hardest parts of my job (and yet still one of the most pleasurable). Plus, they do a lot of really fantastic exclusive colors for us.

There are so many really amazing hand-dyers out there and I love discovering them (or having them brought to my attention). To ring in my first guest blog here in true StevenBe-meets-DrawFour fashion, I'm doing a giveaway! Hurrah!

Enter to win the two squishy skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in exclusive Steven by commenting here and answering this question: if you were a handpainted yarn, what colors would you be? (Imaginary bonus points if you tell me your fiber content, too.) The winner will be chosen by random number generator on Sunday the 15th!

Bridget (DrawFour Designs) signing out!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For Your Review: Bobbin Winder

Winding bobbins by hand is kind of like winding yarn into balls for knitting - it’s possible to do it without one, but it’s a lot faster when you have the right tools. There’s a great video from The Woolery about how to wind a bobbin.

You SHOULD practice this, though. The person in the video makes this look really easy, but it’s harder than it looks, at least for me! So far, no weaving mishaps have happened because my bobbin wasn’t perfect, but I still wish I were better at it.

I wind as many bobbins worth of yarn as I think I will need before I start weaving, but it’s no big deal to jump up and wind some more if I run out. It creates a small break in the weaving - I probably should stop and stretch my legs every once in awhile, anyway!

If you're a spinner who doesn't weave, you might still want to consider buying a bobbin winder. They're great for winding storage or plying bobbins!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Show and Tell: Crown Jewel Hat

63Stella on Ravelry made a Crown Jewel hat out of 2 skeins of Plymouth Yarn's Gina.

This is what she had to say about it:

I did this project as a tester and it’s a quick easy knit. I checked my notes and next time I am going do the bobbles thicker so they stand out more. Also I would buy an extra skein of yarn so I can “pick out” colors if I use the Plymouth Gina again.

Thanks for sharing, Stella! Photo is used with her permission.

Want to buy supplies for something you read about here? Call us! 612-259-7525.

Want to share your story? Email me at jessie at stevenbe dot com.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For Your Review: Mini Boat Shuttle

The 9-inch mini boat shuttle was my first shuttle purchase. The wood is so smooth! It really just feels so nice in my hand, I can’t believe it. I bought 10 bobbins for it. The little plastic bobbins for shuttles are really inexpensive, so there’s no excuse for not having a bunch of them.

Bobbins come in different lengths - make sure the ones you buy fit your shuttle!
With stick shuttles, I sometimes snag the warp yarn as I weave. This basically never happens with a boat shuttle. Plus, if I work carefully, I can use more of the warp with a boat shuttle than with a stick shuttle. I can tuck the nose of the shuttle into small and strange sheds. For thinner yarns, like sock yarns, it works great! It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, and I always end up winding more bobbins than I think I needed, but I really like it.

I should back up - boat shuttles hold bobbins, which are just little plastic spools that hold yarn. You can wind bobbins by hand or you can use a bobbin winder. Winding by hand takes no more time than winding a stick shuttle, so until you’re ready to get a winder, you can just work with your fingers.