08 June 2014

yarn travels: Amsterdam

Yes that's right, its another one of my 'yarn travels' posts. Me and a friend went to Amsterdam for a long weekend, and he was good enough to accompany me in checking out some of the local yarn shops.

Our first stop was at 'De Afstap' in the Jordaan area of the city. 

This is a very nice wool shop, mostly rowan wool available here but still an interesting and pretty good selection. There's also an upstairs area too where they had some sale wool (but more about the upstairs area below).

They also have a large selection of books and patterns (and a lot are in English too from what I could see). 

Also the lady in the shop seemed really nice and willing to help (always a good thing!). Upstairs you had a bit of a gallery/exhibition area as well as a sale section of wool.

When we visited they had an exhibition of knitwear by a designer called 'Christel Seyfarth'. Her work is very interesting and colourful, and it was really nice to be able to get up close and see all he detail of the stitching.

So after our visit to 'De Afstap' (well, after we made a quick pancake stop!), we made a trip to another wool shop on my list. I have been to Amsterdam before, when me and my wife went on our honeymoon to Berlin we stopped here for a few days and went to some of the wool shops (this was before I started my blog though). Quite a few of the shops on my list were from my previous visit.

Unfortunately times have changed, and since my last visit not one but two wool shops have closed down. 'Penelope Craft' in the Southern Canal Belt area has closed and turned into some sort of recruitment agency. This really disappointed me as I'd never managed to actually go there before, it used to have erratic opening hours and not be open on certain days.

As well as this, 'Handmade Heaven' in the Oosterpark area has also closed down. This really sucks as I have been there before and it was amazing! They may have relocated to somewhere else as there were some posters in the window of the empty shop, but unfortunately for me they were all written in Dutch so I can't be sure. 

So there was only one other place to check out. 'Jan De Grote Kleinvakman' is on Albert Cuypstraat (the street with a big daytime market, and an amazing Turkish restaurant called Bazaar).

During the day while the market is on they have the wool on a stall outside the shop. There's an interesting mix of yarns but they are at the cheaper end of the scale, mostly acrylics and stuff, but in my opinion that's not a bad thing. Inside the shop it is more of a general haberdashery, so its not so much a specialist wool shop, just a place to pick up your crafty bit and bobs.

Oh yeah, and this isn't strictly related to yarn travels, but we also went to the 'Katten Kabinet'......which is a cat museum, with lots of old images and objects involving cats. There I saw this poster that combines my two favourite things, wool and cats!!!

So that's my yarn travelling adventure across Amsterdam. Somewhat disappointing that there weren't more wool shops though. It seems Amsterdam may be home to a lot of hookers, just not the type that deal with wool!

Either way I still had a brilliant time, and two wool shops is better than none!


  1. wow Christel's knitwork is beautiful:
    seems that wool shops are fast becoming a dying breed, but we fight to keep them alive!
    love your travels posts :-)

  2. Penelope has reopened as Stephen and Penelope. Be of good cheer: it's thriving. She connected with designer Stephen West.