We delight in inspiring people to try new things, learn new skills, experiment with colour, and find the joy in making things with yarn and fibre. We are art school dropouts, dance nerds, and life long crafters. We were the children who overdid the glitter in art class, and made everyone a friendship bracelet. We believe wholeheartedly in crafting for crafting’s sake, in making things slowly and thoughtfully; but equally, in consuming new skills at a rate of knots because your soul has been set aflame by a creative spark.
Stephen & Penelope is that friend who wants you to come over with your crochet project and watch a movie with a hot cup of cocoa. We invite you to join us in this wonderful world of making and sharing crafty things with friends and co-conspirators. Let people tell you that what you made is beautiful. Let yourself be proud of the beautiful object you made. There is always something new to learn and share with others in craft.
If you can't make it to us, find your treasures here on our website and we'll deliver our world to you.
I'm Stephen West AKA Westknits. I moved to Amsterdam when I was 21 years old with a suitcase filled with yarn and an excitement to study dance at the arts school. I didn’t know anybody here when I moved to Europe from Illinois, but I soon met Malia as she was busy carving out a crafty corner in the heart of Amsterdam. It was so exciting to witness the beginnings of Penelope Craft and later become involved with the growth of the shop.
Malia has always impressed me with her work ethic and “let’s make it happen” attitude, leading the way toward what would later evolve into Stephen & Penelope. Our creative lives have always been intertwined as we offered our different skill sets and interests into each other’s projects, which exploded into a collaborative concoction of yarny goodness.
I love designing, teaching, performing, and presenting my colourful patterns and knit alongs each year, but behind every project is Malia’s thoughtful and guiding support. I hope you feel that same spirit of creative inspiration and support as you participate in our knit alongs, experience our online shop, or visit the store in person.
I'm Malia Mae Joseph, sometimes referred to as Penelope. I am the founder of Penelope Craft Boutique that was to eventually become Stephen & Penelope.
I met Stephen at a pop-up shop I hosted when Penelope was only an online store. Stephen was early in his design journey and had moved to Amsterdam to study choreography at the Theatre School. Stephen was young and infinitely creative. I was 14 years older than him, and a mother of a 6 year old. I said to him at the time "Stephen, you will find your people here! This city is full of young creatives and I just know you will have a great big circle of friends very soon."
When Penelope Craft Boutique opened its doors on a side street in central Amsterdam, Stephen was the first one there. He came to every craft night. Soon Stephen was there all the time, and we were making plans and working to host his second Mystery Knit Along. Suddenly I realised that Stephen had already found his people.
Today, Stephen and I are the creative energy behind Stephen & Penelope. We have so much fun dreaming up ideas and bringing them to fruition. I'm also a designer when I can fit it in!