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