When StevenBe Came to Tucson

StevenBe with Holly and Pam at Birdhouse Yarns

Knitting workshops with Glitter Knitter – StevenBe

Is this guy a knitting celebrity?”

“Exactly honey. He’s a knitting rock star; he’s part of the knitting royalty. StevenBe is charismatic and supposedly hysterical and he makes knitters in his class feel fabulous too.”

“OK. Is he here in Tucson?”

“Oh no, he’s coming from Minneapolis where they know knitwear.”

“That might be cos they need knitwear in Minneapolis. Anyway, don’t worry I got the kids. Have fun honey.”

So went the conversation with my husband when I signed up for the StevenBe knitting workshops at Birdhouse Yarns in October.

I’m not sure if the remark about needing knitwear was a sly comment on the absurdity of being a knitter in the desert, but as I got to spend a whole day in the company of other knitters and the magnificent StevenBe, I’m going to let it slide.

Far from the madding crowd – classes with a knitting rock star

StevenBe at Birdhouse Yarns

And what a magnificent weekend it was. Most knitters may never get to Rhinebeck or Stitches West; they might never see Vogue Live Knitting or meet a knitting star. It was extremely exciting to have Steven Berg, aka the Glitter Knitter, agree to teach and share the StevenBe experience at Birdhouse Yarns in Tucson, far away from the crowds of large festivals. In a location where it seemed like we were all at a wonderful intimate private party with our knitty friends and our very own knit rock star, Steven.

Friday evening we packed into the back room for a most unusual trunk show. The emphasis should be placed on show because Steven is a performer, and a generous performer at that. This wasn’t listed as a class, but Steven held court and explained how best to use the fibers he’d brought with him along with those Holly stocks or what we have in our stash to get drape and texture, to bring movement and pizazz to our knitting. He invited us to get in touch with our knitting selves and revealed or perhaps reveled in his knitting admissions: his need for variation, for immediate satisfaction, for glamour and 45 projects on needles.

I admit, the knit-with-abandon approach was infectious, and along with the call to match our projects to our knitting style I was sold on changing my upcoming project list to something that better reflects me, and then I took the brioche and color knitting workshops.

Be Basics: Brioche

StevenBe with some class participants at Birdhouse Yarns
StevenBe with some class participants at Birdhouse Yarns

I’ve long admired brioche, but not had the gumption to actually try it. Coaxed on by Steven’s words of wisdom, “No mistakes, only variations” and “Expectations are unrealized resentments.” I cast on.

Once Steven had lead us through the cast on, the brioche stitches (burps and barks) took a few tries before it became a rhythm of its own. I’m anxious to try and mix up my brioche skills once I’m a little more adept. Adding brioche to my project list.

Bumblebee dandelion – knowing my color

I took the color workshop as a bit of a laugh. Steven’s class description was a little tongue in cheek about his ability to gauge ‘our color’, however not only did his color quiz peg me as the Bumblebee Dandelion come Flamingo Bubblegum (with a little Shamrock Harlequin thrown in) that I am (note: StevenBe doesn’t do plain color names!) but it also reflected much of my actual stash. Along with an artful short row cowl which had me trying a new short row method, I also started to mix textures and colors in my cowl under Steven’s expert and encouraging guidance.

After this weekend I see a lot more texture, brioche and color in my knitting future along with much bigger needles! Thank you StevenBe.

Who are your knitting rock stars? Teachers you’ve only dreamt of taking classes with? What knitting and crochet skills would you like to develop?


brioche cowl
Buttercup Sprinkles in her StevenBe brioche cowl

Yours in knitting,

Rachel – aka Buttercup Sprinkles (my StevenBe color name)

ps. Did you know we offer private and small group lessons at Birdhouse?

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