Knit Me a New Heart

My knitting heart is officially broken.  My favorite local yarn shop (acronym LYS) is closing.  The owner is retiring, and rather than sell the shop and its merchandise, she’s closing the store towards the end of August.  I. Am. Devastated.

There are two local yarn shops I semi-routinely visit, fibre space in Old Town Alexandria  and Uniquities in Vienna, VA.  fibre space is young and hip (you can tell because its name is all lower case), neat and spacious, and closer to my home on the outskirts of Old Town.  It specializes in locally-sourced yarns, very high end, and very expensive.  And you must pay for street parking, if you can find a spot. (This is, after all, Old Town.)

Uniquities is further away, but it boasts free parking, and stocks many well-known high-end yarns.  (Think Rowan, Noro, Tahki Stacey Charles, you get the idea.)  It doesn’t have one inch of wasted space.  And I love it!  So guess which store is closing.  Yep, Uniquities.

I first went to Uniquities when I picked up my knitting needles for the third time, around the turn of the millennium.  I’d bought Knitting the Easy Way, a book which not only refreshed my knitting knowledge, but also included several patterns I wanted to try.  The owner helped me navigate the shop and provided me with the exact yarn called for in a couple pieces—the amazingly soft Berroco Plush (to make a baby kimono for my great-niece Lauren, more on that later) and a variegated cotton yarn for an eyeglasses case, in the exact colorway I wanted.  She also helped me choose some excellent substitutes for a couple other projects, a baby stroller blanket. and “possum” hats, so called because the yarn used was 80% merino wool and 20% possum.  I made two of the latter.  One I gave to a dear friend who’d been diagnosed with brain cancer (she has since passed away, after a valiant struggle) and the other to my great-nephew Matthew (Lauren’s brother).

More recently, I bought yarn to make a sweater for a Knitting Daily knit-along (acronym KAL, who knew knitting had so many acronyms!).  Once again, the owner helped me choose just the right yarn (in a slightly different colorway, but with which I am most pleased).  Most recently (i.e., yesterday), I stopped by to see what was still available.  I came away with some cotton yarn to knit an interesting tee-shirt, more cotton yarn to crochet a market bag, novelty yarn to make a scarf and a couple of cowls, and some teeny-tiny double pointed needles (US size 1.5) to make an “eye-cord” to hold my glasses, which I am forever misplacing.

Which project will I make first?  I don’t know.  First I have to finish my “shawl in a ball.”  I’m nearly done, but it’s so damn hot*, I haven’t been of a mind to pick it up lately.

*How hot is it?  Yesterday (when I was out and about) was “much more comfortable” than the day before because of reduced humidity.  The heat index today was was “only 100 degrees” according to the radio station.   Gah!  (Today plans to be like the day before yesterday, so… yay?  Not!)

Photos © fibre space and Uniquities

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6 thoughts on “Knit Me a New Heart

  1. Natalie J. Damschroder says:

    I feel your pain! It’s always our favorites we seem to lose. I felt the same way about our local bagel shop, which made bagels unlike anything you can get anywhere else.

    I also hear you about the heat. We have a heat advisory today for indices 105-110. We were down your way (Williamsburg, actually) a couple of weeks ago, and when I came home, the temps were about the same but it was SO much more comfortable! And now we’re back to it…

    It’s okay. Won’t last forever! And I’m one of the lucky ones who can stay in the AC.

    • Gail says:

      I should make a list of all the grocery items I’ve enjoyed over the years that have been discontinued. The most recent is Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante funghi (mushroom) frozen pizza. It’s my favorite and it hasn’t been in stock the last few times I’ve look for it. (But several of the other flavors are quite tasty, too.)

      The heat! I can stay in the a/c for the most part, too. But my condo is on the top floor; the living area (including kitchen) faces west, and has a high ceiling. So it can get mighty uncomfortable in the afternoon & evenings. But as you say, this too shall pass.

  2. pelagia5 says:

    I can imagine how sad you are… I just discovered a lovely crafts shop on a weekend trip hours of driving away, and now I am bummed that there are no such shops around where I live :S

    • Gail says:

      I hate it when that happens! Perhaps the craft store is online and you can shop there. It’s not ideal, but at least you’d be supporting them.

  3. Laura says:

    Oh my, when I saw your post in the Reader, I just had to click over to your blog. That’s sad. I hate to lose any local business, especially a yarn shop.

    • Gail says:

      Well, at least in this case it’s a “good” thing, with the owner retiring, and not “going out of business.” But still, it’s sad for me. 😦

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