Stitch DC doesn't feel like your grandmother's knitting store. From the dance-y music on the stereo to the modern, light pine shelves piled high with funky yarns in vibrant colors, the store aims to appeal to knitters of all ages with its warm and homey atmosphere that encourages "sit and stay a spell." Big windows provide plenty of light, a comfortable sitting area has room for a few knitters or crocheters, and a quiet patio provides outdoor seating in nice weather for classes or solo stitching.
A lifelong knitter, owner Marie Connolly decided to open Stitch DC when the "right timing and right space" came along. "I'd always thought I'd have a store," she said. In June 2004, the right space was in the Capitol Hill's Barracks Row neighborhood; a Georgetown location opened in February 2005.
Stitch DC aims to be a resource for all types of knitters. "Right now [knitting] is more popular," Connolly says. "Lots of new people are doing it, which is fabulous." But she adds that knitting veterans will also be able to find new things and new fibers to try, from such brands as Lobster Pot Cashmeres, Hubboo Textiles (which features knitting materials like linen, stainless steel and paper), Rowan, Karabella, Debbie Bliss, Blue Sky Alpaca, Sirdar and Maggi's Irish. Skeins range in price from $7 to $55.
Group classes for beginners and experienced knitters are available, as are private knitting lessons. Prices vary by length of session -- four two-hour classes usually run $95, and private lessons are $35 an hour. See Stitch DC's Web site for schedules and prices.
Both stores host events. The Georgetown shop stays open until 9 the third Thursday of every month for "Late Night," when knitters can come out to "knit and nosh." The third Sunday of the month in Capitol Hill, crafters can come in from 3 to 5 p.m. for social knitting, to show off projects or to get help. The Capitol Hill store hosts workshops with different designers once a month. Stitch DC also lends its space for charity: Churches come in to knit prayer shawls and the store helps coordinate charity events for Washington's yearly Knit Out on the National Mall.
The store's welcoming attitude doesn't stop with people. Customers can bring pets as well. Connolly's policy on kids and dogs: "As long as they don't take anything or leave anything!"
-- Meg McEvoy (August 2005)