Up-To-The-Minute Traditions

Turkey Day was all as it should be, from introducing the oldest nephew to the joys of squishing stuffing, to cuddling thecruising twins.

But Black Friday is a holiday all to itself.

I like me a Black Friday adventure. Jared got me into it, back before we were dating, when I was still in full-fledged denial about being madly in love with him, but found myself inexplicably agreeing to any suggestion he had for an outing. It’s a ritual: find a main event, get up in the duodenum of dawn and wait outside in the cold, shop madly for twenty minutes, then go out for bagels, fill out mail-in rebates, and take a nap. This year, I had a hankering for some early morning retail therapy, but we don’t need/can’t afford any new electronics or house appliances. So I searched the internet on Thanksgiving for yarn stores having good Black Friday sales.

The winner: Fibre Space, a relatively new store in old town Alexandria that I keep hearing about and meaning to visit, which offered 30% off to anyone who made it in the doors between 6 and 8 a.m.

It took getting up at 4, but we made it down there at 6 on the dot. Already the line was stretched around the corner. The line was very slow moving; since fire code prevented them from having more than 45 people in the shop at once, we could only enter one at a time as others left. It was a near thing; we still had to wait in the cold for an hour and a half. (Clever me checked out the weather before we left, and seeing that the highs were in the low 60s for our whole trip, I didn’t pack a coat. Didn’t think about what the temperature would be before the sun came up, since the last time I was up before the sun was an attack of pre-paper insomnia. Let’s just say a sweater, cowl, gauntlets, hat, and cotton socks from Target were not cutting it.)

Oh, but when we made it in, was it ever worth it. This store is after my own heart; new, and very on-trend with what’s being knit right now. They stock mostly solids and semi-solids, which I desperately love; the whole store is actually sorted by weight; and they have a good bit of spinning stuff. The Ikea-shelf-lined walls were bursting with every color, with a very significant selection of local yarns, indie yarns, and the sort of yarns you keep reading about in the columns of knitting magazines. It’s sort of a backwards thing, being on-trend with an ancient, traditional, and wildly varied craft like knitting. But as someone who is perpetually 3 years behind in fashion (or more, I’m just now warming to the leggings-under-a-dress thing), it feels pretty good to be up-to-date on, well, anything, ever, so I’m savoring the moment.

Case in point: Fibre Space is one of the lucky little stores to carry the new yarns designed by Jared Flood: Shelter and Loft. I’ve been coveting these for ages on color alone, having to take it on faith that the worsted-spun quality is as awesome and gushy-soft as the advertising describes. And boy-o, they did not disappoint.

Thank God for the MIP – Marriage Insurance Policy – otherwise known as the independent spending budget. The two tops on the left are a merino/tencel/silk from Miss Babs and a merino number from Pigeonwood. I’ve given up all logic or planning when it comes to stashing spinning fiber; I just walk through a display and wait for something appear in my arms because I’ve compulsively grabbed it. If I get to the end of the shopping trip and can’t bear to put it down, it comes home with me. The cushy salmon-colored fingering-weight on the right is some shepherd’s wool that was on wicked sale and is wicked soft.

The score, the big splurge, was 9 skeins of Shelter in “Long Johns.” This will be my reward yarn at the end of the semester; the hope of casting on a new sweater will motivate me through the next three weeks of madness. Not my GPA, not a degree, not the unflappable desire for academic excellence – 1260 yards of burgundy-tweed worsted-spun two-ply from New England. That’s what’s going to keep me going. There’s a joke in there somewhere about outstanding moral fiber, but I’ve been up since 4. You’ll have to find it yourself.

6 thoughts on “Up-To-The-Minute Traditions

  1. I’m so glad you got to Fibre Space! It’s my LYS of choice when I actually visit one. I have a stash (of not the greatest fiber) I am trying to knit down before I splurge for all the good stuff!


  2. “full-fledged denial about being madly in love with him, but found myself inexplicably agreeing to any suggestion he had for an outing.”

    I totally had this phase with Brandon… bahahahaha. I’m glad we came to our senses…


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