Friday I, and several of my knitting buddies, went to the Ahoy in Rotterdam for the Handwerkbeurs. This beurs (fair, show, convention of sorts with stands set up for each company selling goods) is held twice a year, once in Rotterdam and once in Zwolle. This was my first time going to Rotterdam.
I had also signed up for the class with Nicky Epstein (the woman in purple above). Man this woman has some energy! She was talking and moving a mile a minute the whole time. Several times she was asked to slow down since the Dutch women couldn’t follow her shotgun English. And luckily Brent (from the Utrecht SnB group) agreed to translate. The photo above shows my favorite of her designs that she showed us. I like the fact that it is architectural and not typical of knitting patterns.
What did I learn? Not a lot actually. I did learn (or rather reconfirm) that nearly everything I want to learn about knitting I can learn from a book. That’s how I learned to knit, and until two years ago I had never taken a class in my life. The only reason I continue taking classes is to meet the designers and find out their story. THAT is interesting to me. How do they feel about their craft? What gets them excited enough to continue doing what they do? What are their lives like? Frankly the only technique I’ve learned from a class, and really needed a class to learn, was brioche knitting. A brioche class from Nancy Marchant is worth every penny.
I didn’t buy much at the beurs itself. Why would I when I have a house full of yarn? I did buy yarn from the “Belgian Boys” Bart and Francis. They have the most unique yarn anywhere. I bought 100g of 100% soft silk, undyed, that I can’t wait to try dyeing! It’s really beautiful stuff. I also bought some glow in the dark thread from them. That could be fun in the winter.
I also bought buttons. Lots of buttons. “Henk” (Ravelry name) showed me the button stand and that was all that was needed to get me filling up a basket of lovelies to buy. What will I do with them? I don’t know. But they were too nice to pass up. It’s hard to find good buttons in this country so when you do, don’t pass them up!
My best purchase, and one I’m very excited about, is my new floor lamp! I bought a daylight lamp that makes big light for working under or just sitting under. I think this will have a double advantage – I’ll have good light for knitting during the long dark winter AND I’ll have a daylight lamp to sit under every day to help with my SADD. It’s already so dark here! The sun doesn’t come up until after 8 and it’s dark before 6pm. It’s only mid-October. Soon I’ll be going to work and coming home in the dark. I’m so curious to see if this lamp makes a difference to my panic stricken feeling deep in the winter (“I have to get out of here!” feeling).
In general I was a little disappointed in the Rotterdam version of the Handwerkbeurs. It was too quiet. There wasn’t a good buzz in the place. I don’t think the sellers did as well as they do in Zwolle. The one thing that was better than Zwolle was that there were no classes in the middle of the floor with teachers trying to teach over the noise and busyness of a fair. That’s really a silly way to organize a class!
And that was Rotterdam. Tot Zwolle!