(Warning – long post ahead!)
Jonathan and I have just got back from an absolutely fantastic week-and-a-bit in Holland. You’re not going to get any photos of the holiday itself, I’m afraid, because I hardly took any. Jonathan takes arty photos of buildings, but getting him in front of a lens is like pulling teeth and when it came to it I decided that I’d rather just enjoy the experience fully in the present rather than always trying to be capturing it for later.
If you’re interested, we went via car and ferry (Harwich – Hoek v Holland) and our rough itinerary was as follows: Delft, dunes south of Schenveningen, Amsterdam, Gouda, Antwerp, cycling in Midden-Delftland, Delft again briefly, Utrecht, Kinderdijk. Monster. Harwich. The A14.
So yes. We fitted quite a lot in to a relatively small space of time.
This is what I bought that may be of interest to you lot (or as Jonathan suggested for the title of this post “Oooo, look, I went on holiday and increased my stash”):
The August edition of Knipmode. Well c’mon, I was in Holland. It’s kind of compulsory. That said, I have a feeling that this issue may have come out while we were there, because I flicked through a different (presumably July) issue in the supermarket (!!) at the start of the week and was left completely uninspired. August’s issue has several patterns that I like in it, however, and I shall do a separate post on those at some point. I did also eye up August’s Burda, and chalked it down for a maybe-when-I’m-back-in-the-UK purchase.
Yarn! Namely a Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and a coordinating ball of cream 4-ply which are totally going into the Ravelry queue as a prospective Dreambird. These were both bought from de Afstap in Amsterdam, mere moments after I had discovered to my dismay that Big Shoe is closed on Mondays (I had trekked across the city with an increasingly grumbly hip to go there specially after a recommendation from a sales assistant elsewhere*). Finding such a lovely yarn shop 100m down was my consolation prize, and whilst they sold mostly Rowan, I was incredibly excited to find my first in-the-flesh Zauberball.
Fabric. Oh yes. Fabric. I was very restrained and only came back with three pieces. This might have been more, had I not been in Utrecht on the wrong day for their fabric market.
So anyway, L-R above we have:
- 2m of poly chiffon. Yes, you read that correctly – poly chiffon. I have probably taken leave of my senses having been too scared to even handle chiffon before, never mind sew with it, but could you have left that beauty in the shop? Hmmm? Each one of those black centres has a tiny silver dot in the middle. €7.95/m from one of the shops on Albert Cuypmarkt.
- 1m of burnout cotton – same sort of weight as a nice quilting cotton. I love the pattern, the warmth of the cream colour, and hello, burnout cotton?! €8.95/m from the same shop. Possibly I should have pressed these fabrics before taking photos? Whatever.
- 1m of viscose jersey. This was expensive fabric by my standards at €15.95/m (from Stoffenhuis Anja in Gouda) but I just loved it too much to leave behind. I also picked up a couple of 3m of bias binding in navy and cream respectively ‘cos well, it’s probably a useful thing to have knocking about and at €1.25 for 3m I didn’t feel I could complain.
What really struck me was the apparent omnipresence of sewing in the Netherlands. Even towns which didn’t have an obvious fabric shop had haberdashers stuffed to the gills with threads, trims, ribbons, buttons…
As mentioned above, both Burda and Knipmode were standard features on every magazine rack I saw. One supermarket I was browsing in also sold a Simplicity pattern magazine – sort of in the style of the two aforementioned and offering a handful of patterns that I recognised as having already been published in paper format by either Simplicity itself or New Look.
Maybe the grass is greener. Who knows? Either way, it was a wonderful, wonderful holiday, and not just for the purchases. I shall leave you with a few parting shots:
*It turns out that I even have big feet in Holland. Most UK women’s shoes stop at a 41/UK7. Most Dutch women’s shoes stop at a 42/UK8. I need a 43/UK9. I find the lack of larger shoes in Holland rather odd, given that the average height there is distinctly greater than in most other places and for once I didn’t feel out of place in this regard – or not so much, anyway. My quest for awesome shoes was ultimately successful, however – at the end of the week I bought a pair of these beauties whilst in Utrecht.