Amsterdam is a city of contradictions.People from all over the world come to theRed Light District, Dam Square, and the Leidseplein to party their faces off, but if you venture just a few blocks past the main drag, you can take a peaceful walk along tree-lined canals.
Egg Mercantile is located in one of these quiet neighborhoods, only five minutes walk from Dam Square.More of a gift shop than a yarn shop, they carry a good selection of Manos del Uruguay yarns, some bamboo Brittany needles, and that’s about it as far as the knitter is concerned.
However, their funky items like recycled paper notebooks, lunch-box handbags, and hip jewelry make it well-worth the visit.The atmosphere is really friendly, and since the Dutch seem to speak even better English than most Americans, it was very easy for the two men working there to direct us to a full scale LYS right down the street, which they were more than happy to do.
Open 10:30 - 6:30 Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, Sunday from 12:00 - 5:00 and closed Tuesdays.
de Afstap - Oude Leliestraat 12, Amsterdam - +31 20 6231445
Only two minutes walk from the Raadhuis and Dam Square, there’s really no reason to miss de Afstap if you’re yarn shopping in Amsterdam.Both from our own eyes and from the locals we talked to, it is without a doubt the best shop for knitting in the city.
The majority of the store is dedicated to knitting with just a small section for cross-stitch upstairs.They specialize in Rowan yarns, and have plenty to choose from with tweeds, chenille, cotton, and some really interesting “glimmer prints” that we’d never seen before.They also had a massive selection of books, a full range of Addi needles, and some soft Regia sock yarn.
The owner told us that Dutch yarn didn’t exist (which didn’t turn out to be true, more on that later), but other than that slight disappointment, the shop was very classy and definitely worth a visit. Our only word of warning is to visit the fancy chocolate shop across the street, “Puccini”, before you go in, so you can touch the yarns and not worry about getting yelled at.
Jan... de Grote Kleinvakman - Albert Cuypstraat 203 - +31 20 6738247
Jan... is another place the locals enjoy, though their selection of yarn pales in comparison to their attention to sewing and other crafts.We love outdoor markets, and the knitting section is kept outside in a tent as part of the Albert Cuypmarkt, the largest one in Amsterdam (open every day).
This is where we finally found our Dutch yarn - YAY!Most of their stock was made up of fingering weight yarns from Lammy, and while they weren’t mind-blowing-ly amazing, we were pretty excited to confirm their existence.
We suggest you start at the East end of the market (closer to Jan...) and work your way West.That’ll leave you only a fifteen minute walk from the absolutely gorgeous (and massive) Vondelpark where you can sit and knit, or people watch, and easily spend a few hours if the weather’s nice.
Our last stop was at Handmade Heaven, another shop that doesn’t specialize in yarn, but has a nice little selection, and a really friendly vibe should you find ourself on that side of town.They are located on the South side of Oosterpark (not nearly as big as Vondelpark, but still worth a visit) and also just a ten minute walk from the Artis Zoo.
Here they had a little bit more of a hodgepodge approach than the other stores which all focused on one or two brands.This shop’s stock didn’t come near representing a complete line of anything, but they had a small assortment of Austermann, Katia, and Phildar yarns.
They have materials for a variety of handcrafts, and even a large workspace for people looking for a quiet place to work on their projects.The owner, who was very nice, and very curious about our travel blog project, was sitting there teaching some teenagers sewing techniques when we arrived, and the whole shop had a very casual and friendly ambience.
Yarn, chocolate, open air markets and parks made for Knitting in Public. A perfect combination.