Reinventing.

This weekend, we had the unadulterated pleasure of hosting Stephen West and StevenBe at Loops, as part of the Stephen & Steven Tour 2014.It was beyond inspiring, beyond creative, beyond FUN.

Stephen West and Steven Be take a spin in the Loopsmobile

Stephen West and Steven Be take a spin in the Loopsmobile

The unexpected pairing of PH and V turns out to be the most brilliant collaboration to hit the knitting world in, well, ever.  Stephen West, master of shawls, with a soft-spoken lovability and wisdom many decades beyond his 26 years.  And StevenBe, owner of the uber-eclectic Yarn Garage in Minneapolis, with his 24/7 drive, boundless creativity and pure energy of a 20-something.  Stephen is originally from Tulsa, so they may have come to see PH.  But they stayed, transfixed and transformed, for the mixology, fiber artistry, inspiration and energy that only V and PH could produce together.

PH and V with Nancy of Lavishea lotion bar fame.

PH and V with Nancy of Lavishea lotion bar fame.

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The classroom was packed for every workshop!

Laura came all the way to San Diego to attend the workshops!

Laura came all the way to San Diego to attend the workshops!

StevenBe inspires the crowd as PH looks on.

StevenBe inspires the crowd as PH looks on.

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Stephen West works with a customer to help her mix fibers and colors outside of her comfort zone to make a unique creation.

Stephen West works with a customer to help her mix fibers and colors outside of her comfort zone to make a unique creation.

 

A quiet moment in the playroom.

A quiet moment in the playroom.

StevenBe and I talked a lot about how important it is, as creative people and fiber artists, to always be reinventing yourself.  We mused about how we are both always dreaming of the next store we might create – how we would display the yarn, create areas for knitting community, and design the space to inspire.  The timing was perfect because, after months of analysis and introspection,  we have decided to close our Utica location effective this weekend.

At first this was a tough decision, since it was our flagship store.  I will always remember knitting a cashmere scarf for the late Walt Helmerich, beloved owner of Utica Square, and dropping it off on a Christmas Eve almost 10 years ago, along with a letter imploring him to let me open Loops in Utica Square.  I got the lease offer the day after New Year’s and had just a few short months to learn retail and open!

But times change, and as a creative person, I need to keep moving forward.  Our South location has developed a wonderful following and it has the aesthetic that reflects our modern sensibility.  All of the Loops Troops that you love will still be a Loops South (henceforth known simply as Loops!).  And we have an exciting development in the works…a new, larger space located in between the Utica and South locations, easily accessible to all.  More on this in the weeks to come.  Meanwhile, please visit us at 83rd and Memorial, and on loopsknitting.com, where all of our luscious fibers, beautiful models and fun, fabulous staff have united in one place!  I truly could not be more inspired, enthused and excited to share our next reinvention with you.

Big love and happy knitting,

Shelley and the Loops Troops

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P.S. For a video of Stephen West showing his favorite way to style a Stephen West shawl, plus a chance to win some of the exclusive Stephen & Steven Tour yarn, visit our Facebook page.

 

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