Yesterday I met a knitter friend for a stroll through the city of Utrecht and hand over the Tour de Fleece price she choose: the pyramid bag I sewed. We had a blast!
We started off with coffee and pie at the Koekfabriek:
They specifically employ mentally challenged people at their bakery, that’s located close to the café:
pic by Koekfabriek.
The pies an cookies are of very high quality. Hey, they’re starting a Koekfabriek in Breda too! In “hartje Ginniken”. Another city that needs exploring with a knitter.
Then we went across the street to the local yarn shop Sticks & Cups where I bought some salmiak yarn:
Sticks & Cups Sockstravagance, 400 m fingering but quite fluffy, felt more like sportsweight.
They had this weird yarn, it feels like a x-mas tree:
The lady said it was for making scrubs but my mind was already on an ’80s sweater for a pregnant lady: big piece of this on your tummy, preventing people from touching you.
Next to the LYS is a cat shop!
Jacq is a cat lover too and we had a blast. The owner at Mermaidy told us there will be a cat café opening soon in Utrecht! We need to come back.
Then we walked under the Dom, which has a book store and they have a special section with Frisian books. Bookstore Steven Sterk:
pics by E. Dronkert and by Indebuurt
It reads: “No must-you listen!”. Frisian is just stirred up English.
We had also visited the haberdashery Ria’s fournituren at the Zakkendragerssteeg where I got some nice hooks and bars for all the skirts I will be sewing, someday, soon.
pic by douglas johnston
We strolled through the city, along the old canals with all their little weird shops and along the more quiet streets with their old buildings and hidden gardens.
In one little shop, Loeksgood at the Oude Gracht, we had a peek and then I ended up buying two coats for windy and rainy days:
A purple and a raspberry one with a hood. These are “soft shells” which is a new term to me. It’s wind proof and water proof and you can just scrunch them up in a bag or sit on them and they still function. I’m so old fashioned, I emerge from a time where these were called “in-between-season-jackets” and you couldn’t scrunch them up because the waterproff layer would crack and disintegrate. You couldn’t wear a bag strap on your shoulder either because the that layer would falter and you end up with wet shoulder.
My, how time’s have changed, the future is here! Never mind I didn’t get my hoover board, good functional light weight jackets are here!
Just to show how backwards I’ve been, this is the second time I’m learning about “soft shells” this week. On Thursday I learned about soft shell tacos:
pic by In de Buurt.
New food bar fifty-fifty in Den Bosch.
I learned I like them, soft shell tacos!
(I also learned these soft shells are entirely different from soft shell crabs, which I learned about earlier this year when my husband bought those instead of regular fancy crab for me to make salad with.)(which I failed at.)
(Please tell me I’ve now been educated about all the soft shell things that have emerged in the past decade. It’s a theme I would gladly not peruse any further.)
Utrecht is full of old houses with wonderful facades (lots of Art Nouveau!) and secret passages and gardens. A very green city.
pic by Jasha
At the canals the trees are planted on the lower quays, making you walk amongst the bulk of the tree at street level now. How smart is that:
pic by JTWS85
pic by David Spender
pic by Snapshots of The Past
And they love their canals too. They are currently digging up a canal they had previously filled to make way for cars to travel along the city centre fast. Nowadays they are of the opinion cars should travel to the centre and then park. If you want to bypass the centre there’s no need for you to do that in close proximity of the centre.
This map highlights the old, 12 century waterway, which laid all around the inner city as a protective measure. Last century they got it in their head to fill it all up and make a highway of it. Luckily they only did that small piece on the left:
Dutch Wiki about the plans.
Nowadays they are digging that part up again. The whole waterway has greenery on both sides, it’s like a park. It’s called a “singel”.
(From north to south you see the smaller, light blue line, that’s the Oude Gracht. Those are canals, they don’t have the soft earth shoulders.)
Along one of the canals we found a piece of technology:
We messed around with it, making the camera turn this way and that. But us, even though being both engineers, were too high on pie and wool fumes to realize what it actually is.
It’s a device to measure changes in the height of the wall, possibly caused by the construction on the other side. Duh. Don’t play with it.
We walked around the south part of the inner city. Here the Miffy museum is located, its artist Dick Bruna having been a well know inhabitant of the city until his death earlier this year.
In the south there’s also the observatory Sonnenborgh and lots of greens along the water/ the singel.
pic by Kars Alfrink
We ended our city trip at the old botanical garden:
pic by Universiteitsmuseum
We had a stroll through the garden and more tea and knitted on our projects.
I knitted on this:
Buttercup by Heidi Kirrmaier in the silk cotton yarn I bought last week in The Hague.
Just as we were leaving the Hortus I found a new addition for my collection of large, tall, ceramic-y tea mugs:
It’s a Danish design, by Galzone. It’s huge!
It was a LOVELY day! 😀
and I spend more money than I’d ever thought but hey, wool and jackets and large mugs are important to have.
The amount of greenery and the many peaceful spots of the city of Utrecht have me thrilled. So many places where there was no noise. Just birds chirping. If you ever visit the city, do take a canal adjacent to the Oude Gracht or walk along the outer parts of the Oude Gracht, in the north or south. It’s only the middle that is busy and noisy. Which, to be honest, certainly has a charm of its own and must be seen too. Lots of chocolates to be had there.