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Amy

Chain Link MN 2011: Steven Be Yarn Store (FABULOUS!!!!)

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One of my favorite vendors on the show floor at Chain Link, and coincidentally the vendor who saw the most of my money, was the Steven Be/Yarn Garage booth. The original LYS is Yarn Garage; the newer store in Minneapolis is Steven Be. Both stores are owned by Steven Berg, knitter and salesman extraordinaire. If the gorgeous yarns he stocks aren't enough to do it on their own, this man knows how to make you start handing him large sums of your money and make you happy that you're doing it!

 

Here's a picture of Steven Be in the ad (featured prominently in his show booth) he did for Addi Knitting Needles:

 

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I didn't take any still photos of his booth, but you can see it in Part 2 of my videos of the show floor. The videos have been posted to Crochetville's YouTube channel and embedded in the thread I just linked to. You don't even have to leave Crochetville to watch them!

 

Local people were raving about the lusciousness of Steven Be's LYS. Several friends (CrochetRenee, Marty Miller, JoviMom, Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby, Kimberly McAlindin, Tammy Hildebrand, and I'm sure others I'm forgetting right now) and I were soon salivating and wishing we had a chance to get to the shop. During one of my early visits to the booth, I mentioned to Steven Be that I really wished I could see his shop in person. He let me know that he provided a free shuttle service from the hotel to his store and back. All we had to do was call the store, about a 5 minute ride away, and someone would come pick us up. Unbelievable!

 

So Saturday morning, CrochetRenee, JoviMom, Marty, and I all managed to meet up over at the yarn shop. We would've all ridden together, but Renee and Marty left just a few minutes before JoviMom and I got out of our CGOA board meeting.

 

So how would you like a tour through his shop? Let's start with what you see on the outside. The shop is located in an old converted firehouse.

 

First, the shop sign:

 

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Next, the mural painted on the front of the building:

 

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We came in from the parking lot entrance, which features a beautiful little patio with a bubbling water fountain, pretty plants, and patio furniture. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of that. But here's what you see as you walk in the door in the lobby area:

 

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On the ride to the shop, our personal chauffeur told us the story of the chandelier that hangs in the main room of the shop. A very wealthy business in the Minneapolis area was involved in some sort of Ponzi scheme. They got busted, and all their assets were going to be sold at auction. The crystal chandelier was valued at $220,000. It was offered to Steven Be for $20,000. He said no. Then it was offered for $10,000. No again. It didn't sell at auction. He offered $1,000, and the offer was accepted. Here's that beautiful crystal chandelier:

 

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Have I managed to draw it out enough for you? Are you ready to see the yarn yet? Well, here are some shots showing the yarn in all its glory:

 

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And here's a picture of the 4 of us together, to prove we were there:

 

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From left to right: Marty Miller, Karen Whooley (JoviMom), me, Renee Barnes (CrochetRenee)

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Some interesting fibery goodies from various places in the store:

 

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So, don't you all agree that it's a fabulous LYS? They're even super-crochet-friendly!

 

If you're ever in the Minneapolis area, go check them out!

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Thought you'd like to see the things I purchased either on the show floor or at the Steven Be store. Let's get the boring utilitarian things out of the way first, clips for holding project pieces together for seaming. Even though they're not very exciting, they are very, very useful, and I've been looking for these for a long time.

 

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Tinseltown metallic/acrylic ladder yarn from KFI that I'm using to make a scarf for my daughter, whom I'll be taking down to begin her freshman year at the University of Alabama this Saturday:

 

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Triana yarn by Katia that I'll be using to make a super-duper-long scarf:

 

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Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, personally autographed to me, at the book signing in Steven Be's booth:

 

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Next, a very interesting yarn. 1/8.5 Cotton Gima by Habu Textiles. A very paper-like yarn. "Gima" means "fake linen" in Japanese. It's supposed to feel stiff initially, but soften with washing. It's supposed to be dry-cleaned or hand-washed only. Here are some project ideas for it from Ravelry.

 

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Next up is some super silky, but 100% sugar cane, yarn from Araucania: Ruca Multy, in a colorway that really reminds me of the beach.

 

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Last, but not least, is Adorn Sock yarn (80% merino, 20% nylon) from Three Irish Girls in colorway Peacock. If I remember correctly, this is a custom color made just for Steven Be's shop. I'm not sure the photograph does it justice, but when you see it in real-life, it just screams "Peacock" at you. There's nothing it could possibly be but peacock colors. This yarn is gorgeously squishy, and I can't wait to make something with it. There's 430 yards of it, and I think it would be perfect for a scarf!

 

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Well, that's it! I hope you enjoyed seeing these things.

 

I wonder if we can convince Steven Be to ship half his shop off to the Greensboro conference? Actually, I think he's already committed to be at another show that week. But I sure hope we get him back at another conference in the future!

 

And if plane tickets from Huntsville to Minneapolis weren't so expensive, I might be making a special yearly trip out there. But even if you can't get there in person, if you're looking for a super-special, glitzy yarn that you can't find anywhere else: give the shop a call. They probably stock it, and they're willing to do phone orders and mail it to you!

 

Oops, I forgot one thing. This is a fabulous kit by Interlacements Yarns. They had a booth at the Knit and Crochet Show, but I actually bought the kit at the Steven Be store. It features New York 200 hand-dyed ribbon yarn by Interlacements, beautiful beads, and a knitting pattern.

 

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Go back and check out post #3, as I just uploaded another photo.

 

It's an Interlacements kits I bought with ribbon yarn and beads. I thought I was missing something I bought from Steven Be! Interlacements also had a vendor booth on the show floor, but I actually bought the kit at the Steven Be shop.

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You know what? I was so focused on showing everyone all the luscious fibers, I totally forgot to mention the wonderful staff! All the store employees, whether in the booth or at the store, simply outdid themselves in the area of customer service.

 

They were ready with a smile, offering help to find what you needed, answer any questions you may have, and then were content to simply let you browse to your heart's content.

 

At the shop, we were offered beverages immediately upon our arrival, treated to a basic tour of the shop, and made to feel like we were long-time favorite customers and friends.

 

For crocheters who have ever had a less-than-pleasant experience in a yarn store and felt it was because they were a crocheter, I can absolutely assure you this won't be the case in this store! You will definitely walk away feeling welcomed and wanted in the store, and you will definitely want to return just as quick as you can!

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Those yarns are so interesting. I've never seen any like that ladder yarn or the Triana. Are they difficult to work with? I would guess that you would need to use a very large hook; are there special patterns for these yarns? The pictures of that shop and the samples are awesome. I'd love to go to event like that someday.

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Those yarns are so interesting. I've never seen any like that ladder yarn or the Triana. Are they difficult to work with? I would guess that you would need to use a very large hook; are there special patterns for these yarns? The pictures of that shop and the samples are awesome. I'd love to go to event like that someday.

 

Well, you can't really use traditional crochet techniques with them. You could maybe do plain slip stitch, but that really makes everything really tight.

 

I think using the knooking technique, which is really just knitting with your crochet hook, works much better.

 

I will write up a pattern for using the Triana yarn, and I'm thinking of writing a pattern for making a two-color scarf with the Tinseltown sparkly yarn. It's basically the same technique either way, but there a couple other things that apply just to the two-color ladder yarn scarf.

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Maybe you'll be able to make it to the Chain Link conference next summer. It will be back in Manchester, NH the last week of June.

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Guess what? Steven Be just put up a prominent link to this review thread right on the front page of his site! And on his Press page.

 

How cool is that? :hook

 

He's definitely showing his support for crochet! Yay, Steven Be! :yay

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Maybe you'll be able to make it to the Chain Link conference next summer. It will be back in Manchester, NH the last week of June.

I'd love to attend- have to see if I can make it work . Now I have to find out about knooking; I've heard of it but never tried it.

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Amy -- the Interlacements kit -- was it knit only or did they have a crochet version? I bought several skeins of a beautiful silk that I have a project in mind for, but that scarf with the beads is exquisite! Joann

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Amy -- the Interlacements kit -- was it knit only or did they have a crochet version? I bought several skeins of a beautiful silk that I have a project in mind for, but that scarf with the beads is exquisite! Joann

 

They have a crochet version available, but I like the knitted version much better. I'm going to come up with a pattern to do something similar with knooking.

 

You can see a picture of the crocheted version on this page of the Interlacements website.

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Wow - everything is gorgeous. That is the type of yarn I like to buy when I make my scarves. I like the fancier yarns because the scarves come out so pretty

 

Looks like you have enough of projects to keep you busy for a while :cheer

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