Sunday, 30 March 2014

Amsterdam yarn stores

We took a city break in Amsterdam a few weekends ago. The main purpose of the trip was to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, see old friends, and visit the recently reopened Rijksmuseum, but of course yarn shopping was also high on my list of activities.

Penelope Craft

Our first port of call was Penelope Craft at 117 Kerkstraat. Upon entering we were greeted with the sight of a crochet covered bicycle, quite appropriate in this city of bikes.

Penelope Craft carries some of my favourite Danish yarns: Holst Garn supersoft wool and BC Garn (as well as other favourites: Cascade, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Quince and Co). I couldn't resist some BC Garn laceweight silk in my new colour obsession, grey and mustard. But being in Amsterdam, I was particularly interested in discovering Dutch yarns.

Unfortunately, the offerings are not as plentiful as in Denmark. There was a selection of locally hand dyed fingering weight yarn, but I went for some natural undyed sheep breed yarn instead - organic and sustainable Gotland lambswool raised in the Dutch province of Brabant, and the native Dutch breed Texelse Schapenwol from the island of Texel. It is a lovely woolly wool, but the sheep is mainly known for its meat - we had enjoyed a delicious meal of it the night before - so I was delighted to find a versatile (and local) sheep breed.

De Afstap

After a pleasant and scenic stroll north along the canals we arrived at De Afstap on 12 Oude Leliestraat. Upon entering we were greeted with more Danish knits - the shop's loft is filled with Christel Seyfarth garments.

I was very tempted to get one of the brightly patterned shawl kits, but they are quite expensive, and we decided we better save our money for some Delftware instead. De Afstap carries a very wide range of yarn - a big selection of Rowan, plus Noro, Lotus, ITO, Araucania, Mirasol, Regia, etc. I didn't buy a skein of the Swedish Mora Redgarn lace - I figured I could leave that until we visit Sweden. But I did buy some Belgian Bart & Francis undyed quivit/silk.

All in all I was quite pleased with my discoveries. It is nice to find a few new yarns, but my stash still needs to recover from Shetland, and really doesn't need a massive influx of yarn at the moment.

In keeping with the Dutch theme, as a souvenir I picked up a kit containing the Fiesten mitts pattern from Penelope Craft. Nothing says Amsterdam like a bike.