Boston Yarn Crawl (Newbury Yarns, Mind’s Eye Yarns, Gather Here)

I’m at a conference in Providence, RI for the week. I was surprised to find that there are no yarn stores in Providence – it seems like the perfect place for one since it’s near the Rhode Island School of Design, and the downtown area has tons of other independent clothing/art/home stores. Fortunately, I had a free afternoon, so I took the train into Boston. I spent a few hours taking myself on a mini yarn crawl, and then I got dinner with a friend before heading back to Providence.

Boston is a special city for me because I lived there for four years while I was attending college. I was also living there when I first learned how to crochet, although I didn’t learn how to knit until I moved to California. I got a bunch of great yarn and a few other items  on my crawl – I had to stand on a chair to get a reasonable picture of them all in my hotel room, but I wanted to share what I got along with the shops I visited!

Boston Yarn Crawl Yarn

The very first yarn store I ever went to was Newbury Yarns, and, fittingly, it was the first stop on my crawl. It’s moved locations since I left Boston (from the Back Bay’s Newbury Street to Downtown Crossing), and I think it’s suffering a little from the move. The store used to be a little more bustling and friendly, although it’s possible I just caught it on a bad day.

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I was able to pick up some local sock yarns: the store’s own brand Newbury Yarns New England Sock in a reddish-brown color (1) and DIPS merino/cashmere/nylon fingering in a blue-purple variegated color (2). I had trouble finding much about these yarns from the internet or their labels – they weren’t even on Ravelry. They were also kind of expensive, but I wanted to support the store, so I got them anyways. And I like the colors. They’ll make nice socks (sock knitting is going to be my new thing – more on that in a later post).

Next, I took the red line from Downtown Crossing to Porter Square in Cambridge. I had never been to Mind’s Eye Yarns before, although it’s existed for many years and is right outside of the Porter Square T stop. And it was amazing! The owner is really nice and curates a great collection of yarn.

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I got the most amazing sock yarn by Araucanía Yarns: their handpainted Huasco Sock in the Guacamayo colorway (3). The owner said she had just gotten it in the day before! I almost bought a sweater quantity, but then I decided that I have too many unused sweater quantities, so I’ll just have some beautiful socks. Or maybe it’ll be details in a shawl or sweater. I’ve been looking for new project bags, and I found a perfect sock size one made by local crafter Stitched by Jessalu (4). It’s so bright and happy and has cute elephants. I also got a skein of Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity 20 merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn in the Petite Fleur colorway (5).

My last stop was Gather Here – a sewing/yarn/craft store in Inman Square in Cambridge. I had also been to this store before it moved to it’s new location. The new space is huge! There’s tons of space for classes. I especially loved that they had a display of many local yarns.

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I bought a skein from an indie dyed brand called Skeinny Dipping. I really like the name, and the yarn is beautiful. I got the Cannonball Sock yarn in the Space Pants colorway (more socks!!). But then I found this amazing yarn by Air de Lune, and I couldn’t stick to my single-skeins-only rule anymore… The 3 skeins are from the “Walden Pond Contemplation”. There’s Ricochet, Brindille, and Mousse (7). They’re all so beautiful that I couldn’t decide which one I wanted, and they all sort of go together, so I just got one of each. I’m thinking I’ll make a shawl or cardigan with them. I love them so much! I also picked up issues 18, 19, 20, and 22 of Pom Pom Quarterly magazine (8) – I’m trying to collect all of the issues. I hope all of the things I got fit into my luggage on the way back to the West Coast!

The one yarn store I missed that I really wanted to go to (not to mention all the ones that were further out in Boston suburbs) was Uncommon Yarn in Brookline. It was a little out of the way for the amount of time that I had, but I know that one of my friends who lives in Boston  has bought yarn for me as a gift there before, so I’ll make sure to check it out next time I’m nearby.

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