Who wants beaches and cocktails when you can spend your holiday getting lost in the backstreets of an unknown town hunting down textiles and yarn shops? Just got back from an amazing week in Bruges where I managed to locate three decent yarn shops and avoided buying a lace doily. Not even one. Doilies are ridiculous and useless and oh why am I fighting it, I’m now desperate to knit some.
Top of the list was Stikkestek (Walweinstraat 3) which had the biggest and best selection. I didn’t find any Belgian yarn (and only saw 5 sheep the entire week) but this shop had a really lovely selection of cottons and light summer yarns. Came out with an armful of colourful Katia yarn and could happily move into this shop. Gorgeous.
Second favourite was Veritas, a chain of accessory stores which stock everything a girl might need – scarves, hats, sunglasses, tights and yarn! Lots of yarn! I wish we had Veritas in the UK. The entire top floor of the Veritas on Steenstraat was a haberdashery and craft space. (Brilliantly they have a video of the Bruge Veritas store on Youtube so you can see for yourself!) My bargain buy was little balls of brightly coloured cotton yarn for â‚¬2.50 each which I’m turning into this holiday souvenir cushion:
(The pattern is Attic24’s hexagon how-to)
Little balls of cotton were even cheaper at Scharlaeken (Philipstockstraat 5) although I was less excited by their selection. If you’re into embroidery then this shop should be on your list as they had lots of kits. The other good embroidery shop was the Handwerkhuisje (Katelijnestraat 23). Both these shops had fairly comprehensive stock of embroidery goodies, including booklets about this history of fine needlework in Bruges.
My favourite museum, from a textile perspective, was the folk museum, the Bruggemuseum Volkskunde, which contained a lace exhibition and lots of little recreations of shops from the past, including a tailor’s, clogmaker’s and vintage fashion in a seamstress’s workshop. The museum was not disimilar to London’s Geffrye Museum and had the same facinating charm.
I thought Bruges was one of the nicest places I’ve ever visited in my entire life. But then they have people weaving in the street…
…and lace patterns on their railings, so what’s not to love?