Sunday, 29 January 2012

Knitting in the nation's capital

I lived in DC (well, Northern Virginia really, but close enough) before I moved to the UK. But that was a time Before Knitting (BK), so I had never familiarised myself with the area's yarn shops. So when we made our biannual visit over New Year's, yarn shops were high on my itinerary.

But first, the obligatory visit to the Mall for a
dose of museums and  marble monuments.


Top of the list was Fibre Space, in Old Town Alexandria, which is also in Northern Virginia rather than DC, but again, close enough. I had forgotten to bring the details, but was able to find free wifi on the Mall, and quickly found the address on my iTouch. Then came the effort of explaining to my Dad's new SatNav, which we were kindly testing out for him, where exactly we wanted to go. For some reason it couldn't find the street, so we made it take us to a random location in Alexandria. From this point it was suddenly able to find the exact address, and off we went. (There was a map in the car, but we've become used to being disorganised and taking twice as long to accomplish anything by relying on the latest technology.)

At least Fibre Space was worth the effort. It is a bright and cheery shop with friendly, helpful staff, a wide range of yarns, and a computer you can use to search Ravelry. I particularly liked that they arrange their yarns by weight.

Fun and funky Fibre Space

I picked up a few yarns I haven't seen in UK yarn shops - a lovely berry-bright SweetGeorgia Yarns sport weight and two skeins of gorgeously soft mauve Fibre Company Road to China Light (also a sport weight).

This is one of my absolute favourite colourways for winter
(when a little bit of brightness is essential)

Mauve is a new colour direction for me - just so I don't get stuck in a rut.
Road to China is a luscious baby alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere blend.
A few days later we went to Dupont Circle to check out Looped Yarn Works. Unfortunately, I spent too long in my favourite consignment shop Secondi (where I bought a brown coat - just an excuse to knit more accessories, really), and we showed up at the yarn shop 15 minutes before they closed early for New Year's Eve. I just had time to pick up a skein of Cascade Yarns Eco Duo (undyed baby alpaca and merino), matching buttons and a project bag. Probably for the best - I would have a much more manageable stash if I restricted my yarn purchases to one souvenir skein per shop. But who can do that?