A Yarn Adventure in Washington, D.C.

Last week I hopped on the train and took an exciting business trip to Washington, D.C. as my alter ego, Rock That Gem, to present an Instagram workshop to the D.C. GIA Alumni Chapter. I have only been to D.C. twice in my life, the most recent trip being 10+ years ago, so I was looking forward to getting reacquainted with this historic city. 

My new tradition, which I am thoroughly enjoying (and highly recommend!) is to find the nearest yarn shop as soon as I land in a new city. It's a happiness-inducing, instantly comforting action. I get to be with my fiber people! And the neighborhood is usually cute-as-can-be, because where else would a yarn shop grow its roots?

After arriving at Union Station, I made the overly eager decision to walk the 2.5 miles to Looped Yarn Works in the 87 degree heat (it was 58 degrees and raining that morning when I left NYC). Next time I'll just take a cab, but it was good to walk after sitting for so long. The trek made the destination all the sweeter when I came upon Dupont Circle, a beautiful hip neighborhood, and the yarn shop I had been looking forward to for so long! Tucked upstairs on the second floor of a little building on the main street, I was sure I had found my new yarn home as soon as I saw this vintage knitting pattern framed on the wall before the front door:


The layout of the shop is similar to the spacious parlor floor of a Brooklyn brownstone, with a big window and cozy fireplace in the front facing the street and a nice quiet room in the back, and a sweet hallway connecting them where the register and yarn tools live. A taste of home already! 

The first yarn I spotted was this eye-catching Loopy Mango Merino No. 5 in Key Lime:

Loopy Mango used to have an awesome store here in SoHo a few years back before it sadly closed. It was always fun to stop in and scope out their gorgeous chunky yarns. I miss getting that local yarn fix! I have worked with their big popular yarn before -- a few years ago when my Mom was sick I knitted her the Nantucket Throw in Russian Red and it worked up in just a few hours. I didn't take this turquoise yarn home, but I'm going to keep it in mind for when the right project presents itself.

Making my way around the room, this was the next pretty skein to call my name, Manos del Uraguay Maxima in Marie Antionette:

My absolute favorite color combination in this world is pink and grey. No wonder this yarn popped out! I was familiar with Manos del Uraguay's incredibly soft yarn from a yarn shop in Cape Cod last summer, and I actually made their Augusta Shawl during that vacation. I would have taken this one home, but I didn't have a project in mind for it, and it would be such a specifically unique color spread when worked up. Another one to remember!

Moving to the back room, this pile of The Fiber Seed Sprout Worsted in Mayflowers made me smile with their sprightly depiction of the spring flora just outside the window!

On the other side of the room, this whole shelf of brightly speckled Q'ing Fibre in Big Merino DK was begging me to take it home:

But in the end, it was this trio of Shiny Happy Cotton from Wool and the Gang that made it's way into my heart (and my luggage):

The colors pop so perfectly for summer, and they gave me an idea for a tweak to a tank top I'm designing. They are a soft pima cotton, and I can't wait to work them up!

I couldn't believe how instantly at home I felt at Looped, and I can't wait to stop by again on my next trip. So tell me, have you ever been to this yarn shop? Worked with these yarns? Which one was your fave? I would love to hear, yarn lover!