Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fiber Fest Teacher Feature: Stephen West

We're thrilled to be hosting Stephen West for Fiber Fest 2013! We're looking forward to his classes with Ragga--Steven spent some time with them in Amsterdam last month, so we know we're in for some big fun!
Ragga, Stephen, and Steven knitting in public!
Stephen first learned to knit when he was a sophomore in high school. "I did a lot of musical theater and many of my friends were crafty, so I asked them to show me backstage during a rehearsal for Once on this Island," says Stephen. We all admire his designs and beautiful stitches now but was he an immediate knitting prodigy? "It was a disaster," he laughed, "but it was enough to get me interested and I later bought a book and yarn from Michael's to teach myself more." He's designed some remarkable pieces since then, some of our favorites being Earth & Sky, Vulpix, and the Moose River cowl, samples of which you can see at StevenBe.

One of our favorite things that Stephen does is his YouTube channel, Places Where You Can Knit. You can check out his fabulous video about knitting in Reykjavik here. The strangest place he's ever knit? A lava field in Iceland! Stephen also loves knitting on trains and planes because "I'm forced to sit down and I can't escape so I always get a lot of knitting done."

Stephen knits at the Eiffel Tower!
We all have projects that were less than successful and Stephen is no exception. "One of the first sweaters I made was a raglan style pullover that I tried to make up without swatching or measuring," he confessed. "I didn't try it on until the whole body and yoke were knit and the bottom was fitted, but the yoke was 8 sizes too big." He has, of course, mastered the sweater since then, as you can see in his marvelous Vaila pullover on Ravelry.

Stephen's worked with fibers galore but his current favorites are Malabrigo Finito (which we carry!), Quince & Co. Puffin, Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER, Still River Mill Harmony, and Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk (one of our favorites, too!). For one of his more unusual projects, Stephen knit with strips of plastic bags. "The finished result was beautiful for a gallery exhibit, but the process was laborious and slow," he told us, because the plastic "was so sticky and difficult to work with." Sometimes it's more about the product than the process!

Here are Stephen's Fiber Fest classes, click to register before they're full!
Thursday, April 25th, 10am-1pm @ StevenBe: Top Down Shawl Tips & Tricks
Thursday, April 25th, 2pm-5pm @ StevenBe: Trunk Show & Lecture with Ragga & Stephen West
Friday, April 26th, 10am-1pm @ Yarn Garage: Mixology with RaggaWest
Monday, April 29th, 10am-1pm @ StevenBe: RaggaWest Party Tricks for Knitters

No comments: