an outing to de afstap

I decided that since we had a long day yesterday that I would take today to go by myself to Amsterdam. Erik agreed and off I went. I went to the train station in Haarlem, bought myself a ticket and set off. I thought it was a good sign that my yarn expedition began with a sighting of Dutch sheep, even though I wouldn't be buying any yarn made from them. Also, as you can see, I kind of have a thing about wind turbines. They fascinate me for some reason. Some of these ones were really close to the train track too.

sheep!wind turbineswind turbine

I had written down directions to de Asftap, a yarn store that I had heard was fairly Rowan-centric, and then from de Afstap to de Kinderboekwinkel, a children's bookstore to buy books for a friend as well as for Stefan and Niels. I was afraid that I'd need to whip out the map I brought regularly but it was surprisingly straightforward to get there. I felt like less of a tourist than most of the people I saw! Although I did stop to take some rather touristy pictures.

herengrachtde westerkerk

On my way there I saw a sign that said, "homomonument." I felt a bit like Beavis and Butthead thinking, "heh, they said homo." Then, of course, I found it and it's a lovely peaceful monument to the gays and lesbians killed during World War II.  Shame on me for being so childish! The tip of the triangle in the water, which is the point of a larger triangle made of three – I only got pictures of two of them – points at the Anne Frank house.


I had gotten it into my head that de Afstap was this huge Rowan mecca. It did have a lot of Rowan but it wasn't all that big. What I ended up buying will be no surprise to anyone who knows my knitting habits. (Hey, it was about 30% off of the full US price!)

de afstapall seasons cotton

I was walking toward the bookstore when I passed an adorable little shop called The Egg Mercantile. The stuff in their window enticed me, so I went in. They had a lot of lovely stuff, including some melamine dishes on sale that I'm now wishing I had gotten. I did get a gift which they wrapped up in typical Dutch fashion. I love how the Dutch stores wrap gifts. I was surprised to find that the had a small selection of yarn in the back, Manos. Too bad I can't knit with it because that stuff is beautiful. They also have a very cute sheep mobile that I almost bought until I saw that it came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It seemed silly to pay European prices for something made in the US. It was cute, though!

manos in the egg mercantilesheep!i love the way dutch stores wrap things for you

My last shopping stop was de Kinderboekwinkel where I got several books that a friend of mine asked me to find for her son as well as a few lovely books for Stefan and Niels. I was feeling guilty about spending to much on all those books but then Erik's other offered to pay for them as a gift for the boys. Yay for Oma! I don't have a picture of the pile of books, just of the store.

The last stop was to get lunch, a spinach, cheese, bacon and tomato pancake from a cafe on Rozengracht. Yum! It was nice to walk around alone and have some downtime. Yarn and new books are always fun too!

Here I am enjoying my time to myself. Please excuse the messy hair.


Oh, and since this post was pretty light on the knitting content, here is a picture of my most recent work in progress: another pair of Woven Ridges socks, this time for my nephew Sven. I decided to use the same pattern he saw me knitting when he was so fascinated by my sock knitting. This time I'm knitting them two at a time so I can hopefully finish them up by Saturday when we are going to see him again, I think for the last time this trip? Wish me luck!

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heads and toes

I finished my dream swatch headwrap last Wednesday. I had to block it to try to get it to curl less and we went away for a bit but, of course, that doesn't work very well and it still curls a bit. I don't think you can tell when it is on, though.

finished headwrapknitting "finished object" "dream swatch headwrap" sonata "wendy bernard"

We spent a couple of days in the woods with Erik's brother and had a long drive to get there and back, so I got almost a whole sock knit. It's Wovn Ridges from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

My nephew was fascinated by the process of sock knitting so I measured his feet and am going to knit him a pair. I have a ball of Panda Cotton to use but I haven't picked a pattern yet.

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yarn souvenirs

I hit a "handwork"shop today: v.d. Raad Kleinvak on Spaarnwouderstraat in Haarlem. For a shop that isn't just about yarn, I thought they had a decent selection, and quite a lot of non-wool yarns! I got some Scheepjes cotton/acrylic yarn that was on sale and in cute colors and then a variety of cottons to make some animals for Erik's brother's kids. I guess it's not really a souvenir if I don't intend to take it home, right?

scheepjes cannesscheepjes cannesonline sandymarkoma larrapunto boucle colorpunto boucle color

I was doing a bit of swatching with some Elann Sonata Print that I brought with me. None of the stitch patterns were working in that yarn so I decided to try knitting a Dream Swatch Headwrap instead. I think it's working out beautifully! I just hope it's long enough.

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airplane crochet and the quest for dutch yarn

I opted to crochet on the a irplane rather than knit. I kept hearing horror stories about kntting being confiscated, plus crochet is easier to stop in the middle. I made most of a totally utilitarian dishcloth, I only needed to look up how to do crab stitch once we got here.

dishcloth I made on the plane

I also started the Stitch Diva Studios Broomstick Lace Jacket. I didn't get very far, it was hard to see in the airplane light. It's a bit bigger now.

the beginning of my broomstick lace

Yesterday I located two stores that sell yarn in Haarlem, but neither was open. One will be open tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have something to report!

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operation washcloth

I was possessed by the washcloth urge on Sunday, as I often seem to be. I crocheted two of the Practically Hyperbolic Dishcloth while at Boba, and promptly gave them to Anabel for her girls. The wee one was interested in it while I was making it so I thought it might entertain her while Anabel got to knit. That worked for a few minutes. (Ravelry Project Details)

wiggly washcloths 1 and 2wiggly wash cloth 3another wiggly washcloth

Then yesterday I made a broomstick lace dishcloth. I have the Crochet Broomstick Lace Jacket pattern and I had no idea how to do broomstick lace, so I figured this would be good practice. I was pleasantly surprised by how the colors stacked up in the lace. (Ravelry Project Details)

broomstick lace washclothclose up

I have to say, that's a pretty cool technique. I look forward to trying it in the jacket. It's super fast too, of course.

The fourth hyperbolic dishcloth finished that ball of Sugar n Cream and I went eagerly to my Ravelry stash page to delete it and reduce my stash yardage. I hadn't entered it. Don't you hate when that happens?

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