By Charlotte Sturm and Esther Hidalgo, Host Committee Members
Unleash your creativity while in DC with a visit to one of these amazing locally owned craft stores or art spaces. Shop with purpose and a project in mind, or wander the aisles or galleries in search of inspiration.
Looped Yarn Works
Tucked away on the second floor of 1732 Connecticut Avenue NW in Dupont Circle, Looped is the closest yarn shop to the official SAA conference hotel. It’s a completely charming setting, with a bright and airy front room that offers a cozy seating area for those who may want to craft with others or get started on their new project immediately after purchasing its components. The hallway and back room are stocked full of items which knitters and crocheters will find irresistable. Looped offers a wide variety of gorgeous and functional yarn, plenty of notions, fabulous and funky accessories, and diverse publications. The yarn menu is impressive, featuring familiar brands like Cascadian, Berrocco, and Rowan, while also offering a wide array of less familiar brands, like Quince & Co., Wool and the Gang, Loopy Mango, and Qing Fibre.
During SAA, the Knit Doctor is in on August 18 at 1 pm to help with any tricky knitting bits you may be struggling with. There is a $10 fee for this class, but pre-registration is not required. While away an hour or an afternoon (we won’t tell) browsing the store, working on your latest yarn object with fellow crafters, and contemplating all the things yet to be made.
FibreSpace may be the best known yarn store in the DMV and is well worth the trip. Located a short walk from the King Street Metro Station in Alexandria Virginia, FibreSpace is two amazing, at times perhaps overwhelming, floors of yarn, patterns and books, notions, and gadgets and tools which support knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving. The unusual mannequins found throughout the store feature finished objects and complement the outerspace theme of the shop. FibreSpace specializes in unique yarns and fibers from hand dyed, independent, local, and U.S.-made sources. Some of the many brands on offer include Neighborhood Fiber Company, The Fiberists, Woolfolk, Miss Babs, Manos del Uruguay, Spincycle Yarns, Shepherd’s Wool, Brooklyn Tweed, and Hedgehog Fibres. If the names aren’t intriguing enough, the vibrant color palettes of solids, ombres, variegated, and hand painted yarns will surely draw you in.
FibreSpace, like all good yarn shops, offers classes for beginners and more advanced crafters, but most are necessarily multi-week events. During SAA week, visiting crafters are in luck! FibreSpace has several one-day classes, offering instructions on crocheting a cowl, knitting a beanie hat, or weaving a scarf or table runner.
The Lemon Collective
Lemon Collective is a free-form workshop, learning and art space “founded by three DC hardcore crafters.” The space is located in the Park View neighborhood of DC. Workshops and events are hosted by a range of artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. You might wish to take multiple peeks at their August course calendar for updates and last minute offerings, including Indigo Dye Day, Painting the Universe: A Watercolor Workshop, and Bring Your Own Embroidery.
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
The Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, located in Hyattsville MD, offers workshops in printmaking, letterpress, paper making, screen printing, and book arts. They also provides gallery space for exhibitions. Pyramid’s August classes do not coincide with SAA week, which is perhaps for the best. There will be a new exhibition by lithographer Kathryn Polk in August. Titled The Innate Thread, Polk’s work explores women’s activities in daily life, considering the past and the present. A trip to Pyramid Atlantic for art appreciation and inspiration should be in your future.
These four stores and studios and their events barely scratch the surface of DC’s creative opportunities. This recent article shows how mad DC residents are for artistic expression. While you’re in the nation’s capitol, join in the fun and see where it leads you.