Meet StevenBe

Meet Steven

“BE INSPIRED. BE BRILLIANT. BE LIMITLESS.”

Steven Berg is a fiber artisan that is armed with a wealth of experience, a daring sense of style, and a firm belief in the transformative power of creativity that knitting or crocheting offers to all who are brave enough to push the boundaries.

Berg began his career early as a young boy, furiously knitting lines of sequin dresses for a discerning clientele of Barbies in Wisconsin.  This naturally led him to become a star student in fashion design at both Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Following graduation, Berg found inspiration in the beautiful, fashion capitals of the world for many years, as a VP of design at Perry Ellis. His creative work experiences brought him back to his favorite medium again, the one that always inspired him the most, the imaginative world of fiber arts.

In a 6,000 square foot, 1800’s restored Firehouse, among a treasure trove of objects devoted to the fiber arts; this is where you will find Steven today. Encouraging his knit-crochet-fiber loving friends to push the limits, hosting a party at his eclectic store and always pouring out his latest designs. Steven’s knitwear designs of ‘chunky funky’ creations have caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities and stylists.

Steven reminds all fiber aficionados: ‘The possibilities are endless.’ ‘There are no mistakes, only variations.’ And always remember to ‘Glam it up!’

StevenBe on the Road

Stitches Texas was a huge success! Here are some of our favorite pictures from the weekend.

Image may contain: 7 people

One of our favorite parts of Stitches this year has been our partnership with Halos of Hope.

About 150 hats were donated to the show floor. And,  as you know, we have promoted the sale of some yarn from Three Irish Girls and Universal Yarns in order to benefit Halos of Hope. StevenBe will be sending off a check that should cover the shipping costs for over 1900 hats to patients around the country!  On top of that, a few more LYS have signed up as donation centers and 20 people pledged either their time, money, or knitting skills for the cause. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated!

For all you Midwesterners who wish that Steven would just stay put so you can spend time with him, you’re in luck! Vogue Knitting Live is in Minneapolis November 4th-6th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This event showcases products like Accessories, needle art bags, yarn, patterns and books, roving, spinning wheels & looms, notions, jewelry, spinning fiber and much more etc. in the Textile, Fabrics & Yarns industry. Check them out on their website or facebook.

On Thursday November 3rd, StevenBe welcomes Vogue Knitting LIVE to the Twin Cities with an unforgettable evening of local flavor–a marvelous night of 10,000 possibilities in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. On this special night, StevenBe is filling his converted firehouse studio with the best in food, music, art, and, of course, fiber from the great state of Minnesota. Be entertained by regional musicians and rub elbows with local celebrities; be inspired by local fiber artists, invited by Steven; be delighted with the local treats and drinks; be enticed by surprises and giveaways; be fabulous at StevenBe!

Mix and mingle with local celebrities and hobnob with the knitting elite–special guests include Jen Geigley, Tania Richter, Joan of Dark, Emma Bull, DrawFour Designs, StevenBe (of course!), Amy Detjen, Three Irish Girls, Josh Ryks, and more! See our calendar for more upcoming events!

 

 

 

Crochet Comeback

Many knitters are bi-stitchual or have at least dabbled with a crochet hook to pick up dropped stitches or add a decorative border to a finished a piece but lately, the craft a crochet has been making a strong come back. And these aren’t your grandma’s granny squares.

Here are some crochet on the runway this year.

Missoni crochet dress

black crochet dress sibling

Sibling Dress

Burberry

Ralph Lauren Shorts

While most of Steven’s patterns are written for knitters, he has created a few crochet pieces like the Wiggle Shawl and the Crochini

 















Do you crochet? Can you knit too? Which craft do you prefer?

Sweater Weather

It’s mid-September and, at least in the midwest, that means it’s sweater weather. Hopefully you’ve been working on your fall closet collection all summer but if you, like a lot of us, forgot that warm weather always eventually ends, now’s the time to pull out your yarn and needles and whip your project into submission.

img_20160901_152355Tackle a sweater project and make it uniquely your own under Steven’s expert guidance! In this workshop, participants will choose from three popular designs: Enchanted Mesa, Swingback, and Breathing Space. Each design has room for reinterpretation, and Steven’s tips and tricks will help you find what design elements, colors, and yarns are perfect for you.

img_20160825_170818Steven will guide you through taking a good pattern and making it your unique dream sweater with an artful use of short rows, stitch patterns, gauge modifications, yarn substitutions, and other special techniques. 

This is a two-part workshop that will covered by a one-time registration fee of $28. The cost of your sweater pattern is included in the registration fee.

Sign up on our calendar!

 

Felting, Spinning, and More

Most of you, when you think fiber arts, you think knitting or crocheting but it’s a term that encompasses a wide realm of crafts like felting, spinning, dying, weaving, sewing, and paper making. The Fiber Loft, located upstairs, is home to some of those supplies.

Here’s a look at a few places where you can expand your fiber arts repertoire:

img_20160908_192811Felting is the tangling and matting of wool also what accidentally happens when you forget your hand knit sweater isn’t superwash. When done purposely, either with water, temperature, and friction, or with a sharp barbed needle, you can make beautiful study structures. You can wet felt already knit fabric to shrink and shape or you can use roving or wool and build the structure as you go. Needle felting is used to create small, usually adorable, objects like. We have easy to follow kits that will walk you through step by step how to create you own tiny wool companion.
screenshot-2016-09-12-at-4-14-21-pm This weekend there was plenty of felting going on at StevenBe’s. On Saturday, the cat caves class used welt felting to create whimsical homes for their favorite pets. On Sunday, the fiber loft held a free workshop on needle felting so everyone could take a stab at it.

Spinning yarn is a rewarding craft that allows you to create yarns in the exact color, fiber content, and weight you need for a project. While buying a wheel can seem intimating for a beginner, drop spindles are affordable, portable, and easy to pick up. We have a variety of drop spindles in the fiber loft along with colorful fiber braids, roving, and rolags.

img_20160911_124930Dying yarn can be as easy as using food coloring  and vinegar but is an art form that can be wildly challenging and wording. Take a look, for example, at Hedgehog Fibre, her beautiful handcrafted yarns take planning plus layers and layers of dye to create her colorways. It’s not too late to sign up for our dye class on Wednesday!

There is so much to be discovered and you might just fall in love with a new hobby!

Ponchini Week

From the creative mind of Steven Berg, otherwise known in the knitting world as StevenBe, the ponchini emerged and became an international phenomenon.

One cold evening in Minneapolis while he enjoyed a dinner of Fettuccine Alfredo, Steven tapped into his fashion design background and created this simple yet multifaceted garment.

Mid-bite, inspiration struck! Simplify the design so it can be knit in one piece and seamed, creating one point and making it a more functional garment–one that can be worn as a poncho, a cowl both long and double-wrapped, a hooded cowl, or a keyhole scarf. Pleased with both his idea and his dinner, Steven dubbed his new garment the Ponchini.

The original Eyelet Ponchini was a hit and Steven quickly followed up with variations on the design featuring his favorite stitches and fiber combinations.

Get started on your own with the pattern book!

It’s Ponchini week so share your Ponchini, either finished or in progress on Instagram using the hastags #stevenbe and #ponchini.

What’s in My Bag?

The well prepared knitter always their needles and notions close at hand probably in an adorable yet functional bag. Today we’re going through those essentials.

 

unspecified (1).jpgOne of Steven’s favorite bags is by Offhand Designs, a California based company that creates high quality, locally handmade bags. Not only do they have knitting bags for your needles and projects but also stylish bags to carry with you day to day (or just carry around your purse things in your knitting bag, that’s totally acceptable too)!

Here are some of Steven’s favorite knitting items to keep in his bag:

Going across these are

1.Scissors

2. Stitch Markers

3. Spare glasses because Steven is constantly misplacing his

4. Yarn Needles

5. Needle Gauge

6. Tip  Toppers

7. Single use Soak wool wash

8. T-pins (you can never have enough T-pins for blocking those huge shawls)

9. An Anne Taintor flask complete with a snark saying

 

Other essentials include Steven’s latest project, pattern notes, and tape measure. What in your knitting bag?

Faux Fair Isle

Fair Isle is a beautiful and traditional knitting technique but it can be time consuming and tricky to master. For those that love the look but don’t have the time or patients, self-patterning yarn, or Faux Fair Isle yarn is the answer. The yarn is dyed to create a pattern when knit up.

The most common faux fair isle is sock yarn: 

 

 Ravelry user JoeysHouse made a baby sweater.

Arne and Carlos created a teddy bear  

Arne and Carlos designed their yarn by pulling inspiration from traditional Norwegian fair isle patterns and colors. They also designed the self patterning yarn in this hat:2dbbbdfc-e813-4afc-97c5-9583435974a6

This hat, along with Norwegian knitting techiniques, will be taught  by Arne and Carlos at StevenBe’s on September 25th. Register now!

If you’re feeling ambition and want to create a fair isle piece the traditional way, here’s a good place to start. You can design your own fair isle design here. In honor of Arne and Carlos visit, StevenBe is hosting a social media ball designing contest. We will pick two winners, one for the best ball and one for a Stevenbe’d ball. That means we want to see you go balls to the wall with your crazy designs and excess flair.

Send us a picture of your finished balls by tagging @Stevenbe and #ShowStevenBalls via Instagram. Stay tuned for more details on dates and prizes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arne and Carlos

Fuglr-omslag-850x450

Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison are two Norwegian designers, textile artists, and authors well known for their colorful designs that put a twist on tradition patterns.

AC-HageBok-421-823x450This method of pushing the limits of a tradition craft falls right into StevenBe’s area of expertise. Knitting is such an old art and it’s important to fine find new ways to bring it into the modern scene of fashion and design. Arne and Carlos have “StevenBe’d”, or taken a piece a little bit further than it was intended to go by adding their own creativity and art,  many traditional Norwegian motifs.

 

2dbbbdfc-e813-4afc-97c5-9583435974a6This world-famous, knitting duo is returning to StevenBe for a fabulous Sunday of knitting fun and inspiration September 25th. Join us for a workshop where Arne and Carlos debut a hat design from their newest collaboration with Schachenmayr. While knitting up your hat, Arne will share with everyone his technique for knitting and purling the Norwegian way. Learn more on our calendar.

Fuel your Fiber Arts

426

 

IMG_6289Steven’s  fascination with perfectionism was initiated in Rosemont with the founding of the yarn garage. As a small business owner, he loves to support and promote small local coffee shops but, sometimes you just have to stop at Starbucks and, of course, he has to do it the “StevenBe Way.” 

Steven’s favorite drink is 50% caramel drizzle at the bottom with 4 shots of espresso stirred with a spoon in a Venti cup with extra ice and skim milk. Of course he calls his creation The StevenBe. Most baristas respond to this bizarrely specific order with blank stares or huge sighs but he always gets it made perfectly. Do you have a very specific go to drink order? 

583StevenBe has it’s own custom line of fair trade coffee exclusively blended by the Velasquez Family in Honduras, this smooth cup of joe is a blend of roasts including espresso—sure to set your synapses sparkling!

Here’s a gorgeous video from the Velasquez Family about their coffee: http://www.ashlivin.com/blog/2016/6/9/velasquez-family-coffee-video

 

Drink your coffee in style and let everyone know how you’re really feeling with one of these mugs!

Halos of Hope

IMG_20160705_155027StevenBe is the new Halos of Hope Ambassador!

IMG_20160710_174107The love and support knit, crocheted, sewn, or woven into every hat not only provides cancer patients with comfort and warmth but it also lets them know people are keeping them in their thoughts and supporting them from afar. Halos of Hope has a list of recommended yarns best suited for sensitive skin. If you aren’t attending Stitches this year, you can learn more on how to donate here.

Along with the hat donation, this year StevenBe, Halos of Hope, and Knitting Universe is running a crazy hat contest called Beyond. The challenge is to create the hat you believe most celebrates life Beyond cancer. It’s time to turn your knitting up a notch and be inspired to make the craziest, most outrageous hat imaginable! Use color, beads, feathers, glitter, in any combination of style and fashion that you think demonstrates a celebration of life. Listen to Steven talk to Marly Bird about the contest in her Yarn Thing podcast.

Beyond will bIMG_20160713_204418e a year-long event kicking off on August 5, 2016 at Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, Illinois and championed by StevenBe. Hats can be donated from August 5, 2016 through July 1, 2017 either directly to Halos of Hope or at a participating Halos of Hope or StevenBe booth during a Stitches Event until July, 2017.

IMG_20160728_162417All hats meeting the criteria of the BEYOND campaign will be on display and considered entered into the final contest  with winners announced during the Stitches Midwest event in 2017. They will be auctioned off to raise funds for Halos of Hope to continue sending hats to cancer patients. Learn more about the contest and start your creative engines on the official Beyond Page.

Visit Steven at Stitches Midwest From August 4th to 7th and drop off your donations, your contest entry, or just to see which hat Mama Christa is sporting. StevenBe will also be selling kits with in an exclusive hand-dyed yarn by Three Irish Girls in DrawFour Designs’ Perfectly Pooled Hat Pattern. Can’t wait to see everyone at Stitches Midwest!