Monday, April 29, 2013

Show and Tell: Rescued Mink Tres Laces Cowl

Anne (mamaduke2 on Ravelry) made a Rescued Mink Tres LacesCowl using Lotus Mimi. 

This is what she had to say about it.

When I first finished the cowl, my cast on was not loose enough, so it was unbalanced, unfortunately. It would not hang properly then. I started unraveling, intending to start over, when I learned of a way to potentially fix the cast on by inserting needles into an early row, then cut yarn above it (yes, I said CUT), and then knit a couple of rows and do lose cast off.

So I did pick up stitches from unravelled edge, but one or two picked up a row below, so there were a few vulnerable stitches on safety pins. Then I needed to figure out where in the pattern that edge is and complete before tackling the other end.

I picked up all my stitches, and fixed it! 

The pattern is lovely and the designer is very responsive to questions.

Though the directions say to use one pillow, I used two to fill up space.


The one thing I’d do differently, knowing that the yarn was actually lace weight rather than fingering, would be to use a smaller needle, just one size, as I do need to “fluff” the cowl periodically during the day. Also, the larger needle yielded a cowl that is too long to wear untwisted. Though it does look nice twisted, I love the drape of the finger weight version that isn’t as long, and it could also be twisted.

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

Thanks for sharing, Anne!

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fiber Fest Love Reaches Boston

Our wonderful manager Missy is in Boston today, attending her daughter's graduation (congratulations, Kathryn!). She was enjoying coffee and breakfast in a cafe this morning and casting on a sweater when a woman at the table next to her leaned over and told Missy that her family would be interested in what she was working on.

They got to talking about knitting and the StevenBe Creative Community Foundation came up. She and her brother were very interested in the therapeutic knitting that the foundation is sponsoring. Missy told her about the foundation's plans to work with a major Minneapolis hospital this summer, specifically with adolescent in-patient girls with eating disorders. At that point, the woman and her brother were overcome with emotion and told Missy about why they were there.

Her two nieces, the daughters of the brother there with her, are at Tufts Medical Center, just across the street from Missy's hotel. They were waiting to celebrate with their mom at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. One niece lost a leg and her younger sister is battling to keep both of hers. They have had regular 12 hour surgeries for the last two weeks.

Their father called the family knitters who were taking turns sitting bedside with the girls, keeping them company. Missy told them about Fiber Fest and all of our celebrity teachers who were spending time with us this weekend. As it turns out, they are big fans of Stephen West and when she mentioned the Yarn Harlot, they were positively gleeful.

Today, Stephen West picked out one of his patterns and a skein of Madelinetosh for our Boston knitting aunts and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee signed one of her books for them. While they're standing vigil for their nieces, we want them to have something special to work on. Our hearts go out to everyone in Boston and the knitters who love them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fiber Fest 2013: Select Classes Still Available!

There's still time to grab a seat and take in some knowledge from your favorite knitting celebrities! There are still a few spots left in select classes! Register through the links here or come in to StevenBe or Yarn Garage and we'll help you get signed up and pick out your class materials at the same time.

The best way to start your Fiber Fest experience is with Steven at the Pillsbury House Theater tomorrow night for our Kick-Off Party! Steven will be interviewing our fabulous teachers in the style of Joan Rivers-meets-Oprah-meets-Wendy Williams (or as we usually just call it, "StevenBe-style").

Ragga & Stephen West--a package deal!

4/25 @ StevenBe: Icelandic Chevron Mittens from 10am-1pm
The Icelandic Textile Museum has a few very interesting pieces of mittens and socks knit in beautiful chevron patterns. Most of these pieces are older than the lace shawls that also show many variations of chevron and feather and fan patterns. Learn how to create your own Icelandic Chevron Mittens with the expert!

4/25 @ StevenBe: Ragga & Stephen West Exclusive Preview Trunk Show from 2pm-5pm
In this two hour program Ragga and Stephen share their experience of working as a design team on their collection, to be released in fall 2013. Samples will be shown and photographs and videos from photo shoots shared. The book is due to be released in October 2013 as a part of the Iceland Airwaves music festival.

4/26 @ Yarn Garage: Mixology with Ragga & Stephen West from 10am-1pm
In this class it's all about mixing, matching and juxtaposing different yarns, shapes, techniques, colors and textures. We'll break down the walls between knit and crochet and disregard all boundaries between bulky and fine. Participants will find new confidence in planning projects and taking control over their stash.

In this class we cover various tricks that will come in handy in a wide variety of projects. We will cover 4 different types of casting on, 4 different types of casting off, various uses for i-cords and different techniques of making buttonholes. We’ll discuss how you can take control of your knitting and make smart decisions that will refine your knitted pieces and make you the master of your knitting!

Mary Scott Huff!
 4/26 @ StevenBe: Two Strings = Not Scary from 10am-1pm
In this introduction to stranded colorwork, we will learn the basic moves for handling two strands at the same time, and what is special about the construction of stranded colorwork.  We will practice stranding by swatching in class, then begin this stranded colorwork hat pattern.  No stranded knitting experience is necessary and we promise--it's not as scary as it seems!

Julie Weisenberger of Coco Knits!
 4/26 @ StevenBe: Pick Your Girl from 10am-1pm
This is your chance to have your own "Cocoknit-along" where everyone chooses a Cocoknits pattern to fit her own personal style and shape and choosing the right yarn for the project is a guided experience. What a perfect opportunity to make something to suit you and work with the designer!

4/26 @ StevenBe: Coco Knits, Habu, & Claudia Handpaints Trunk Show from 2pm-5pm
Learn how to read Japanese patterns from expert Takako Uekei, owner of Habu Textiles. This class will give you the keys to decipher a Japanese pattern and the confidence to knit one of Habu's beautiful garment kits! Experience fabulous fibers coming together in Julie's amazing designs!

4/28 @ Yarn Garage: Seamless Sweater Construction and Japanese Pattern Reading from 10am-2pm
Do you hate seaming sweaters? This class will teach you how to transform a seamed sweater pattern into a seamless pattern. We will use the Gisela pattern from cocoknits and go through the pattern in class to transform it into seamless construction featuring set-in sleeves and English Tailored shoulders. Also includes Takako's Japanese pattern reading workshop!  

Melissa Leapman!
4/26 @ StevenBe: Two Color Double Knitting from 2pm-5pm FILLED!
With this fascinating knitting technique, both sides of the knitting appear to be stockinette stitch. In just a few fun hours, learn how to knit—and even design!—these beautiful reversible fabrics. 

4/28 @ StevenBe: Flatter Yourself from 10am-1pm
In this fun hands-on workshop, learn how designers use fully fashioned shaping to create flattering sweaters. No matter your shape, use your knitting prowess to create knockout pieces that fit and flatter.

Franklin Habit!
4/28 @ StevenBe: History and Methods of Lace Knitting from 10am-1pm FILLED!
In this three-hour session, we’ll examine the fundamental principles and techniques of knitting's grandest tradition. Students will learn about the history of lace knitting, and the development of the art in three parts of the world (Russia, Estonia, and the Shetland Islands) in which the craft was developed to the highest level of artistry. We will not only discuss, but practice and play with some of the methods and motifs that distinguish each of these traditions. 

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot!
  4/28 @ Pillsbury House Theater: Exclusive New Lecture by the Yarn Harlot from 6pm-8pm
Even if you were lucky enough to see Stephanie in October when she was last here with us, you'll be in for a treat on Sunday night. She has created a brand new lecture just for StevenBe and you get to be the first to hear it! Also, the last hour will be our fabulous wrap-up party, another not-to-be missed opportunity to see Steven interact with Stephanie and our other teachers.

For Your Review: Malabrigo Sock Yarn

Malabrigo sock is one of my favorite sock yarns.

It's Malabrigo, so you know the color is going to be fabulous. The red here is Ravelry Red, a lovely, deep red with subtle variations from Malabrigo's kettle dyeing method.

But, I also love that the yarn is the best of both worlds. It is super soft AND durable. I have yet to have a Malabrigo sock pill or shrink on me. Also, at 440 yards per skein, I can get almost 3 woman's size small socks out of one ball of yarn. So, two skeins of yarn could yield up 3 whole pairs of socks. Wonderful!

Machine-wash is ok, but please hang or lie flat to dry. It would be terrible if one went through the dryer - it probably would shrink, then.

What's your favorite sock yarn?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Show and Tell: Cashmere Scarf for Him

Danni (Danniknitter on Ravelry) knit a gorgeous CashmereScarf for Him using 4 skeins of Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 8-ply. 

This is what she had to say about it.

I found the pattern to be simple and intuitive, with an elegant, reversible finished product. Combined with the amazing yarn, it was a very satisfying knit!

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

Thanks for sharing, Danni!

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For Your Review: Denise Interchangeable Needles

A friend of mine is overseas for the Peace Corps. (How cool is that?)

Anyway, she has a little time on her hands and some knitting knowledge in her brain, but she didn't bring any knitting supplies with her.

She asked me to please send her some stuff. I dug through my stash for yarn, patterns, darning needles, measuring tapes...

But then I started to worry about needles. Would she need straight or circular? What sizes? I didn't want to lock her into just the particular needles I thought went with the project. What if her gauge was different from mine?

Enter Denise Interchangeable Needles.

The kit is nice and orderly, and has a LOT of possible uses. If she wants to make socks later, I'll have contemplate sock needle sets, but this seems perfect for her. Compact, and needles ranging from sizes 5 to 15. And, it's all affordable enough not to completely break the bank. 

So, this is the kit I've put together: 
row counter
yarn snips
highlighter & post-it notes
patterns - right now it's just simple hat and mittens. I can send more when needed.
stitch markers
measuring tape
yarn needle
needle gauge

Did I forget anything? I'm going to wind any yarn I send before I pack it up, so she doesn't have to worry about that. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Show and Tell: Cartagena Yoke Sweater

Nicky Klein (Knitcky on Ravelry) made a luscious Cartagenayoke sweater using Lotus Mimi.

She had this to say about it.

The pattern isn’t too challenging. I decided to try it out based on all of the flattering ravelry pictures. I’ve avoided using patterns requiring double strands of yarn up until now, but it really isn’t so bad!

I chose the yarn because I like to try out different fibers, and I had never used mink before. It’s by far the softest and warmest yarn I have ever used and I highly recommend it.

The shirred pattern looks gossamer and sort of feathery. I’m really happy with the way it came out and have received a lot of compliments.

You can find out a lot more about Nicky at her website

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

Thanks for sharing, Nicky!

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For Your Review: Perfect Sock Stitch Markers?

I have a LOT of stitch markers. Fancy ones, plain ones, locking ones, blue ones, you name it.

But, even though HiyaHiya calls these "safety pins," I think they are the perfect stitch markers for socks.

1) They are thin. They don't stretch out the spaces in-between stitches like thicker ones can.
2) They don't have dangles hanging down. For some reason, I always get these tangled up in my sock knitting. Larger projects, I'm fine, but dangles on sock stitch markers drive me nuts, pretty as they are.
3) The wider bit at the bottom? Keeps the stitch marker from creating drag as it moves down the needle.
4) There's no little blip at the top of the marker. This is great because the blips on regular safety pins can snag knitting.
5) They lock/unlock. This is perfect because you can hang them off a work in progress to measure decreases, for example. Also, if you sometimes get your markers tangled up in your knitting (I don't know HOW that happens, but it does!), you can unhook these very easily.

Come by and get some before I buy them all!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Show and Tell: Falling Water Scarf

Doris (Strickliese on Rav) made a lovely Falling Water Scarf out of 1 skein of Lotus Mimi, a really lush yarn that is 100% MINK. 

This is what she had to say about it:

My favorite thing about knitting this was the feel of the yarn. It is so super-soft and extremely light. Another good thing is that the pattern was easy to remember and I could take the project “on the road”, knit when chatting etc. :) I am so happy with the finished scarf!

You can read a lot more about Doris on her blog

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

Thanks for sharing, Doris!

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

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For Your Review: Bryspun Stainless Steel Sock Blockers

Ok, sometimes socks DO need a serious blocking. Maybe your ssk decreases don't look so great (mine don't!), or maybe you're going to photograph a sock for something, or you just don't want your dad to think his socks look all weird because they've never been worn.

Metal blockers to the rescue. With stainless steel blockers, you can pull a sock on and STEAM away any problems you have, just like they do in clothing shops. You can use a pro steamer, a teakettle or a really hot shower. Either way, your socks will look better in way less time than it would take to wash and dry them.

The hook makes them easy to hang, either to dry or for steaming!

Do you care if your socks look strange right off the needles?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Show and Tell: Eden Prairie Shawl

Nancy of designed and knit a gorgeous shawl/wrap out of 4 skeins of Madelinetosh’s tosh merino light.

It’s called Eden Prairie and it’s based on a stained-glass design.

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

Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

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