Whilst in Amsterdam last weekend, there were two shops on my 'must visit' list. The first was Stephen & Penelope, a yarn shop owned by Stephen West. It's a lovely shop, packed with colourful skeins of yarn. Loads of Madeline Tosh and Malabrigo, as well as Hedgehog Fibres, Titus, Jamieson's and much more. Also displayed are Stephen's amazing shawls. They aren't especially my cup of tea, I think my tastes in knitwear are more conservative, but it was certainly interesting to see them and admire his creativity. There was a new book there too all about Brioche knitting which I was tempted by. The samples on display were stunning. It was a real test of my resolve to leave yarnless, although I did buy a needle sizer as the numbers are rubbing off the one in my knitting bag.
The second shop was Knopenwinkel, a button shop that I have walked past many times, but never when it's been open! There is an enormous wooden button hanging outside as a shop sign - a button lost from a giant's shirt I reckon!
The door handles are buttons too and the 'open' and 'closed' sign is made of tiny shell buttons.
Inside you are spoilt for choice and I reckon it would be nigh on impossible not to find a button to match any project. I didn't actually go prepared with any yarn/knitted swatches but will make sure that I do next time we're in Amsterdam.
I liked the quirky attention to detail on some of the display cabinets too. At first glance, it looks like someone has left a card of buttons on the top. But on closer inspection, you realise it's a trompe-l'oeil and the buttons have been painted! All the coloured buttons at the front of the photo aren't real!
As you leave, you can admire the painted glass over the door - buttons of course!
Both these shops are definitely worth a look if you find yourself in Amsterdam. Do let me know if you ever visit them. xxx