Saturday, January 07, 2006

An American Abroad

Apologies for having been such a negligent blogger! I was knitting up a storm all of December, making Christams gifts, all of which I neglected to photograph before giving them to their intended recipients. So this month, I'll be trotting around asking people to allow me to photograph their scarves, purses, and other misc knitted items ... hopefully, permission will be granted and photos will follow.

I've just spent the day yarn shopping in London with two new friends from the Knitty board, Carolyn and Charlotte (yes, I only hang out with people whose names start with C) -- we went to the Liberty and John Lewis sales (very disappointing), then headed up to Loop in Islington, where I bought some fab yarn (in green, of course) for a scarf for -- drumroll, please -- myself! Yes, I think I may actually soon knit something for ME, not as a gift for someone else. Thanks to Ben & Justine for the Loop gift certificate, which was put to good use today.

Earlier in the week, my husband took me off to Belgium for a surprise trip for my birthday, to a lovely medieval city called Bruges (or Brugge, locally). I highly recommend a visit to Bruges, particularly in the warmer months when one can take a barge trip on the canals or rent a bicycle and ride around (very bike-friendly place, everyone was riding even in the cold weather). On a cold January day, we were very happy to sit in cafes and eat croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwiches) and belgium waffles and sip cappucino (me) and Belgian beer (Alan). Bruges is known for its lace-makers, and I found some lovely lace items to buy. But the MOST exciting thing was wandering along a side street one afternoon and finding a yarn shop (!), Het Wolhuis (The Wool House, I believe, in Flemish). It was mostly a tapestry and embroidery shop, but there was also a huge selection of Katia yarns from Spain and Scheepjes yarns from Holland. The proprietor, Michelle Fraipont, was wearing a beautiful pullover she had knit in a lovely soft Katia yarn, and when I admired it she ran in the back, through a door and into her kitchen, and came back with a scarf in a twisted cable and lace pattern that she's making from the same yarn. I love those knitterly moments of shared joy in the craft! There doesn't seem to be a website, but if you find yourself in Bruges, the address is:

Het Wolhuis
Predikherenstraat 13 (becomes Dijver Straat further along)
8000 Brugge

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