Alexandria, VA

Danielle Romanetti, owner of Alexandria yarn store fibre space (1319 Prince Street), is ready for the colder weather.

Even as the store celebrated its ten year anniversary, it faced an unusually difficult summer, with Metro closures and unseasonable warmth leaving business hanging by a thread, so to speak. But now, she’s hopeful that the recent dip into sweater weather heralds the return to wool season.

“Coming off of the Metro closure we needed things to pick up,” Romanetti said. “The end of September and early October was not what it should have been. It was 95 degrees. You bring in a fall inventory then it’s 95 degrees, which is not the most helpful thing ever. I’m hoping things are getting better since this is the kick-off of the fall season.”

With new activities and events lined up for the next couple of months, Romanetti said her store is ready to bounce back.

First up is Slow Fashion October, a celebration tonight (Wednesday) from 5-8 p.m. spanning three local stores: fibre space, Threadleaf, and Stitch Sew Shop. The celebration is focused on clothes that endure for more than just a season.

“It’s about investing money in pieces that are long-lasting and not really a quick disposable item,” Romanetti said. “Investing in the longer-lasting items over time, so our three shops are doing that to help everyone make their own sustainable clothing.”

At fibre space, the focus is on a new breed-and-ranch specific yarn, which Romanetti said is a big deal in the yarn world. It’s yarn sourced from one specific ranch and breed of sheep, which is unusual given that the United States doesn’t have a particularly strong wool market.

Each of the stores is planning to have a special gift with each purchase. Romanetti said any purchase over $50 at fibre space comes with a lanolin bath bomb — a wax secreted from wool-bearing animals that is frequently used in moisturizing products.

“It’s about trying to celebrate all of the ways in which wool and sheep contribute to our livelihoods,” Romanetti said, adding that she’s also excited for a new unique, hand-dyed yarn coming to the store in November.

“It’s a yarn that has two plies, each of a different color,” Romanetti. “It’s dyed in the wool, then plied after that into a two-ply [line].”

The launch party for the unique yarn is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Outside of the events, fibre space regularly hosts classes for knitting and crocheting, ranging from beginners to advanced levels.

“If you knit, you know we exist,” Romanetti said. “We have the knitters, but we need to make more knitters.”

Romanetti said the classes help get people who haven’t tried knitting involved in a new hobby and offers people a chance to meet others outside of their usual social circles.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet people,” Romanetti said. “You see people you might no overlap with, like people who are teachers and people who are federal employees. People who are not part of your social structure.”

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