Every yarn shop in Amsterdam is run by expert knitting aficionados who are always happy to give their customers extensive advice. You can take a pattern to the store and they will advise you what yarn is your best choice and what needles to use. They can assist you with selecting a pattern that is suited to your skills and if you get stuck, most of them are willing to take a look at your project and put you back on track.
This store features a wide variety of materials for all types of handicraft and needlework. They have a large number of workshops on offer, of which several are tailored to children. It is also an option to enroll in private lessons by the owner. The store has a large stock of affordable yarns that are of a nice quality nevertheless, as they choose to be accessible for the beginning knitter. In addition there is a supply of hand-dyed merino wool in beautiful colours.
Weldraad specializes in natural yarns, for example wool reinforced with bamboo. There are all sorts of gorgeous types of wool on their shelves and they are showcasing large knitting samples for each type of yarn.
Especially nice is the possibility to bring your unused stock, which they will sell in the shop. My favourite among their yarns is the Hundertwasser – Die Straße zum Sozialismus, mainly because of its name! In the fall of 2013 you can enroll here for knitting & crocheting classes and several other workshops.
Oude Leliestraat 12
This is one of the oldest woolshops in Amsterdam which can be seen from their overwhelming collection. The number of knitting books and yarns is enormous. The store is also filled with sumptuous home-knit garments: sweaters, shawls and wraps. Some of those are made from the luxurious yarns that are the trademark of this store: super fluffy ultra-light soft wools. A bit on the expensive side, but if you are going to knit something beautiful, you might as well… The Afstap currently has no courses planned, but they did in the past and may offer them again later .
Penelope Craft is also a store with natural yarns only in their collection. They are featuring a range of great yarns with for example a cashmere and silk mix and baby alpaca. Or a yarn with the pretty name Crazy Zauberball Tauchstation. Beautiful yarns with corresponding prices. The site is in English only, so suitable for non-Dutch speaking Amsterdam residents. Each first Saturday of the month Penelope organizes workshops for beginners.
Bos en Lommerweg 226
Wool boutique ‘Sylvia’ is a store with handicraft materials located in the Bos & Lommer area. The selection varies from wool and notions (haberdashery) to paper, embroidery yarns & patterns and magazines and books with knitting patterns. Their site is not quite finished yet, so you need to visit the store to find out what type of yarns they have on offer exactly.
De Vlotte Knot (The Smooth Skein)
The Schellingwouderdijk is not in a shopping area and you will have to make a bit of a detour to get there, but it is a lovely bike ride anyway. From what can be seen on the website their collection seems to cover a wide variety of yarns.
Their workshops “Fair Isle knitting” sound very interesting and they are for free when you purchase knitting yarns for a minimum amount of € 25.- The shawl featured in the picture has been made with this technique, but most Fair Isle patterns are more traditional. These workshops will be held this coming fall (2013).
Het Kleine Winkeltje
6566 DB Millingen aan de Rijn (near Nijmegen)
The “Little Store” has been in existence since 1891 and might very well be the only yarn shop featuring a history page on its website. Not only are they selling the yarns of my youth (Durable-unsurpassed) for very moderate prices, they are also offering delightful old-fashioned underwear and pyjamas. The website’s guest book is fun to read, filled as it is with grateful thankyou’s from people who finally found the perfect pyjamas for their old mother.
They quantum-leapt into the present and are now selling everything online as well, which is fortunate since Millingen is located all the way East near the German border.
The Textielfabrique sells yarns and fabrics that are both ecological and fair-trade. Such as the yarn shown in the picture here, which they obtained from a Uruguayan non-profit run by women – Manos del Uruguay – that buys its yarns from cooperatives and independent artisans.
The Textielfabrique site is also very interesting because it gives a lot of background information about sustainable production processes and ecological certification.