Old Town Alexandria and fibre space

January 17, 2012 § 4 Comments

Two weekends ago I started off the new year right: I went to a yarn shop and I managed not to buy any yarn (well, kind of, as the fiber I bought can also be knit up if desired). As it was such a lovely day out (sunny, not too cold, and not too windy), I took the metro down so I could knit on the train, and then walk around Old Town.

Typically when I go to fibre space I end up driving because someone wants to come along (like my sister and my mom in November, or my mom in December so we could buy a gift certificate for a friend who knits), but this time I wasn’t in a rush; in fact, I rather relished getting out of the house and just enjoying the Metro ride — when it’s not crowded it really is a lovely ride, especially on the yellow line going across the Potomac River.

Fortunately I learned that the shop isn’t too far down King Street in Old Town Alexandria from the station, and that as always, Old Town is extremely charming and beautiful, with brick sidewalks and buildings, cute little boutiques, and plenty of historical details on the buildings.

The store itself is one of my favorites because they carry a lot of indie dyers; while I am not averse to ordering yarn online (that’s an understatement for certain!), sometimes it is nice to see the yarn in person and feel inspired. However, this time my purpose was to pick up my special order of Soak wash in citrus, so I steered clear of the sock yarn wall, my usual downfall. Sadly, you’ll just have to admire the worsted wall and extrapolate from there: shown below are The Neighborhood Fiber Co., Dragonfly Fibers, and a few more. They’ve also got a large selection of patterns, so I did get a few Brooklyn Tweed patterns, as well as The Best of Knitscene and some needles I needed.

If you’re ever in the greater DC area, I highly recommend stopping by; in addition to many indie dyers’ yarns they also carry many yarns and fibers made in America, often with American wool, and sometimes if you’re lucky you can meet the shop dog, an adorable Italian Greyhound who loves cupcakes (no, he’s not really supposed to have any, but when I was at fibre space a while ago for a book signing, he did manage to lick the frosting off a cupcake!) and being the center of attention.

The store is crochet- and spin-friendly, and about the only things they don’t carry are weaving supplies, so no looms or anything like that (no wheels either, though they carry spindles). However, the staff is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly; the prices are reasonable; and the selection is well-thought-out and beautifully arranged.

In addition to the yarn store, Old Town offers a wide variety of other diversions, including bars, restaurants, small bookstores, bead stores, vintage boutiques, and more, plus all the old architectural details you’d expect in a town that was well-established before the American Revolution.

I’m hoping that in May when my friends come down for a visit we can also spend some time visiting some of the local boutiques and historical attractions, including the church George Washington attended, the Torpedo Factory, and even a bit further afield (about another ten miles south?), Mount Vernon, Washington’s home.

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§ 4 Responses to Old Town Alexandria and fibre space

  • meg says:

    A few years ago my in-laws took us around Alexandria, VA and we had great fun. It must have been right before Christmas, and Fibre Space closed early so that was a no-go. But we went to the Torpedo Factory, walked around to see the great architecture, and had lunch at Gadby’s Tavern. Glad you got your Soak!

    • k.m. says:

      Oh yeah, your in-laws live (relatively) close by. We’ll definitely go to fibre space, and if you liked Gadsby’s Tavern maybe we could take Jesse and Chelsea too? I haven’t been in years but I did get to chat with Benjamin Franklin last time 🙂

  • Beth says:

    Ohhh, this makes me want to visit. That was a day for memories.

    • k.m. says:

      You should! I think this area is great for tourists, there’s so much to do no matter your interests. We’ve got loads of museums, many of them free, with topics ranging from space exploration to modern art to history and beyond. Plus, the White House (to which I’ve embarrassingly never been), the Washington Monument (erm, ditto!), National Cathedral, the Library of Congress, my personal favorite the Folger Shakespeare Library, and that’s just in downtown DC or close by. And the zoo! With pandas!

      Alexandria and other nearby areas offer lots of cool things to do too. But maybe I’m biased, I’ve lived here nearly all my life 🙂

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