As I mentioned last week, when I travel, I look for yarn shops in each city or town that I visit. I search the internet, clicking on links from Google, Ravelry, and ones that other bloggers have posted. It is frustrating when the links don’t work and I find a “page not found” notice. Yarn shops come and go. When they go out of business, change owners, or when money is tight they let their web page expire.
This week, I am updating my post on the yarn and fabric shops in Amsterdam. I haven’t been back in awhile, but it is back on my radar.
In the fall, I was able to spend a couple of days in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I spent the first of my two days exploring the city with friends from the eastern part of the country. The second day I visited as many yarn and fabric shops as I could squeeze into the day.
My friend, Greet, and her husband, raise sheep on their farm in Eibergen, Netherlands. Although their breed of sheep is mostly used for meat, Greet has been experimenting with spinning the fleece and dyeing the yarn.
Her latest project involves using Koolaid to dye the yarn. She was having a hard time finding the drink mix in the Netherlands, so she asked me to help her out. I brought her several packages of Koolaid and traded for skeins of her yarn – what a great deal!
My friends and I spent an enjoyable day in the city. It was wonderful to see Greet, her son, daughter-in-law, and the grandson I had not yet met. After dinner, they took the train back home, while I went back to the hotel to double check my shopping route for the next day.
Stephen and Penelope
The first shop I found was the Stephen and Penelope Yarn Shop. It was quite a walk from the nearest tram stop but worth the distance. The street was a very pleasant one – like many others in Amsterdam.
The shop was deep and narrow. Its front was well lit by a large window, but the back of the shop also had good lighting. The front of the store was filled with books and projects by Stephen West – one of the store owners. I loved seeing in person the shawls I had only seen in pictures.
There was a nice selection of yarn – Cascade, Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, and Hedgehog are some that stood out to me. I purchased some HHF sock yarn – specially dyed for Stephen and Penelope. The staff person working the day I was there was especially friendly and helpful.
Since I visited, I have taken classes from Stephen West (in the States) and signed up for his newsletter. New additions to the shop include a variety of locally dyed yarns from independent (indie) dyers. In the last year or so, Stephen has also introduced his own line of yarn, West Wool. You can shop online at Stephen and Penelope.
More Morning Shopping
As I walked out of the yarn shop, I noticed a fabric shop next door. A. Boeken is a haberdashery that carries all types of fabric and accessories. The accessories section in this small store was larger and much more interesting than what we usually see in the United States.
I shopped around for a little while, but I was not looking for dress fabric, which was their specialty. I was tempted by all the accessories, but didn’t buy anything.
If you click in the link above it will take you to their website. The site is in Dutch, but my web browser translated it for me. The “Photos” link includes pictures of what is included in their stock, although you cannot order online.
I wandered around the city a bit more, enjoying the beautiful day. Then, I made my way over to the first quilt shop – Birdblocks. I had seen this shop on an earlier trip, but it was closed by the time we got there, so I was anxious to see it this time.
I am glad I was able to visit, as the store is now closed. The leftover inventory is available through Het Naaldbos, an online only shop. It is not possible to visit this shop or its replacement in person.
Just a few doors down was De Haan & Wagenmakers, a quilt shop that sells “Original Dutch Fabric.” The shop and the fabric were beautiful, but the staff was a bit preoccupied and paid little attention to me. I did pick up a little more fabric for the quilt pattern I had purchased.
The shop has a nice website and online shop. Everything is described in both Dutch and English. I look forward to giving them another try when I visit Amsterdam.
It was almost lunch time, but I wanted to find de Afstap before I ate. This beautiful yarn shop is located on a small street between the Singel and Herrengract canals – it is in a very picturesque area. I found the shop, but decided to eat lunch before I shopped and chose a cafe located on the Singel canal.
The yarn shop carries Rowan, Noro, Regia, and several other yarns; needles by Addi and ChaiGoo; and lots of books and magazines. One could spend days looking through their library. I found some beautiful Rowan silk yarn to add to my stash.
Yarn listed on the website seems to differ some from what I saw when I visited. The shop still carries a large selection of Rowan yarn, along with other Dutch and English yarns. It is possible to order online from this shop, but I would suggest a visit if you are in Amsterdam.
My final stop was at Weldraad, now called Hooks and Yarn, another yarn shop. I was a little intimidated when I entered the shop because all of the yarn is in drawers. It felt odd going through the drawers looking for yarn. The friendly store owner put me at ease, though, and I shopped like the others who were in the store.
The store carries Adriafil, Opal, Fonty, and other yarns with a specialty in organic yarns. There are several projects on display for ideas. I’d like to revisit this shop to see if more has changed than the name.
At this time, Ravelry has listings for several other shops in Amsterdam. De Vlottknot, and Pingouin look like they would be interesting to visit. In addition, there is another haberdashery I’d like to visit, Jan the Great Kleinvakman. All three of these shops have an online store.
All the shops that I visited – and those listed above – are in the central part of Amsterdam. There are other shops that are located further out. I did not have time to venture away from the center this time, but I hope to the next time I am in the Netherlands.
I had fun and was productive during my short stay in Amsterdam. Maybe next time I will be able to stay longer. Have you visited any of these shops? Have you been to other shops in the Netherlands? Leave a comment below.
Hi!! I just found this post. I’m headed to Amsterdam at the end of March, and I’m scoping out the yarn stores, trying to plan my stay there. I’ve been sort of searching the internet for some names of dutch yarn brands/dyers/vendors but I’m having trouble. I like to buy at least one skein from a “local” source when I’m in a new place. Any thoughts?
My recommendation would be to stop in at Stephen & Penelope (designer Stephen West). They carry two Dutch yarns that I am familiar with – they might have more that I don’t know about. When I was last in Amsterdam, I picked up a skein of Squirm Sock by Undercover Otter, a dyer from Amsterdam. Then, this past January, Stephen & Penelope had a booth at Vogue Knitting LIVE New York, where I bought several skeins of Undercover Otter’s Singularity. The colors are luscious. At a different booth in New York, I was able to purchase a Merino Single by Uschitita, another Dutch dyer. Stephen and Penelope carries Uschitita yarn, although it looks like it is also available at a couple places in the US and Canada.
I shopped at the other stores as listed in my post – and they had beautiful yarn, but I don’t specifically remember any Dutch yarn at those stores. Hope this helps.