Yarn Shopping in Boston – Windsor Button

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What could be better than a Saturday afternoon out with friends to shop for yarn?  That’s exactly how I spent this past Saturday with the girls from my knitting group, an idea that came about due to the fact that one of the girls in our group had never been to Windsor Button in Boston (funny enough, she didn’t make it.  We still love you, Paula!).  And then I thought, wouldn’t this be the start of a great series to blog about:  Yarn Shopping in Boston!

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Windsor Button is a crafting gem tucked away between Downtown Crossing and the Commons on Temple Place.  Its outside is completely unassuming and is easy to pass by if you don’t know of what kinds of odds and ends you’ll find inside.  One of the girls in my group shared that a LYS turned up its nose about it when mentioning it to her, and she assumed that the kind of yarn that Windsor Button sold was Red Heart and Caron.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Sure, at first glance, it reminds you of an old school mom-and-pop type of crafting store that don’t seem to exist anymore (thanks, Walmart).  But once you start exploring, it’s more than that: they have everything from Malabrigo and Rowan to Plymouth and Lion Brand.  I was stunned on my first trip about the selection of Twinkle Soft Chunky I found hiding in the bulky yarn section.  They also have a great assortment of craft supplies for sewing, like zippers and interfacing, along with a whole wall of trims, beading supplies, floral arrangment items, and embroidery floss.

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And it isn’t called “Windsor Button” for no reason – check out that wall of buttons!  The staff is super nice and friendly, and more than happy to pull down a box of buttons from the wall for you to paw through and find the perfect button.  One of my friends ended up finding just the right navy blue buttons with anchors for a sweater she’s currently working on.  They were also really accommodating when we asked multiple times for them to check to see if they had more of a certain color or dye lot in stock.  It’s not easy keeping up with a group of yarn-hungry girls!

Pros:

  • Great yarn selection and prices – we found Classic Elite, Noro, Brown Sheep, Crystal Palace, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Malabrigo, Katia, Berroco, Nashua Hand Knits…the list goes on and on.  
  • Wide range of needle selection – Susan Bates, Clover, and Addi Turbo (ask for them, they’re at the counter)
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff – they helped us out with opinions on which buttons to pick and advice on how much Soak solution to use for one sweater.
  • If you have other crafty interests (who doesn’t) they probably have stuff for you as well

Cons:

  • If you like cotton, you’ll have a hard time finding what you want – I found the cotton I needed for a sweater, but their selection is mostly wooly-based.  Which is a pro if you like wool!
  • It’s a little musty – but hey, they’ve been around since 1936
  • Early hours – they close at 6 PM just about each day and are closed on Sundays

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35 Temple Place 
Boston, MA 02111
617-482-4969

Taking the T:   Green or Red Line to Park Street, Orange Line to Downtown Crossing, Silver Line to Temple Place 
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3 Comments

  1. April 24, 2012 / 5:59 pm

    That looks like a fun place to browse! I'd love to check out all those buttons.

  2. April 25, 2012 / 2:05 am

    This wall full of buttons is so inspiring !!! big big sigh. I would love to spend 2-3 hours there. Thank you for sharing.

  3. April 25, 2012 / 2:13 am

    I loved Windsor Button when I used to live in Boston! In fact, I'm still knitting several things from the yarns I had bought from Windsor Button. It was the first yarn shop that I started going to, and I will always think of it as my favorite LYS. It was perfect for when I was venturing for pure wool but $4/skein was appallingly expensive for me. Their Lion Brand Wool-Ease was perfect. They gently held my hand as I tiptoed into the Debbie Bliss and Rowan yarns to the Malabrigos and Madelinetoshes. They used to have a 10% off your purchase discount if you were a student, which I took major advantage of. I have never found an LYS quite like it.

    Thanks for featuring this shop. It made my heart flutter a bit when I saw that first picture.

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