Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Vintage Knitting Needles and Antique Bottles

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming

Detail of 1672 sculpture, imported from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadness
 I feel like someone just punched me in the gut, I am breathless and incredibly sad. I know some of you may think this borders on melodramatic.... go ahead, judge me, because I will be guilty as charged.

35 Temple Place, Boston Ma, 617-482-4969
I was taking advantage of some Thursday afternoon downtime to run into my favorite LYS, Windsor Button, to get goodies for a yarn swap that I am participating in. I needed to get some good sock yarn, the stuff I have in stash is, well, disappointing. I was also hunting for a perfect little gift to wrap and hide in the center of the ball for the recipient to discover when she finishes her project with this yarn. As I sat on the train, I was idly checking my Twitter feed and was shocked and saddened to see Guido's Tweet that Windsor Button is going out of business after 75 years. What??????

The short story of this sad end is simply this, the lease has not been renewed. The owner of the building plans to develop the space into a restaurant. Susan and Stanly Baker, the owners of this great store, have looked to find another location, but the rents for comparable space in the city is just too high to successfully venture into a new location.
Wall of buttons, photo used with permission from KoffeeKompanions.com
So, if you have never been to this shop, you need to know that this is a Boston institution. I have seen businessmen standing at the counter, in front of the full wall of buttons, searching for a match to the one lost from a suit or overcoat. Windsor Button carries the biggest selection of buttons you can imagine. They also have notions, you know, zippers, snaps, hooks and eyes, thread and sewing boxes. They have beads and the tools you might need if you took up that craft. They have needlework and crewel supplies. They have other assorted things you would want to do crafts with your kids. And then.... there is yarn and needles and books and pattern pamphlets and knitwear samples.

Tons of sewing notions
To top that, and yes, that can be topped.... the staff in this shop is friendly, approachable and so helpful. They are patient and know their stock and will find what you need to create that project you have been drooling over. Susan, the owner with her husband is the knitting guru who quietly lends her expertise in a humble way, I have never felt condescension or judgement when asking those silly questions new knitters need to ask. I mourn the loss of this supportive, inspiring and encouraging environment. It is like home for me; I will miss just dropping in to see what is new, to pick up some treat I have earned, to get materials for my new exciting project. Oh, crapadoodle, what is a knitter to do. These LYS are such unique places, each has it's own personality and array of fiber supplies.

I have spent many pleasant hours browsing, dreaming and shopping. I need to scrutinize my stash and see just what percent of my haul is from this shop, I'm guessing at  least 40%, I will get back to you with those details.

The other great thing about Windsor Button is it was the venue that brought knitting notables into closer view for those of us frequenting the shop. I met Anne Weaver there when she did her trunk shows.  Jess and Casey Forbes, the founders of Ravelry were there in support of Gina House, a knitwear designer, doing her trunk show. Alasdair Post-Quinn brought his amazing samples of double knitting when he did the trunk show associated with his book Extreme Double Knitting.

Windsor Button also participated for the past three years in the  Red Line Yarn Crawl and offered treats, yarn tastings, and raffles. Last year, I was lucky and won basketful of Brown Sheep Nature Chunky wool that turned into my Iced Baked Beans cardigan. The funky project name? .... the colorway is called Baked Beans....

One of the 2012 Red Line Yarn Crawl door prizes.
So, I am asking you to show your support of this shop. If you have ever been a patron, maybe the veil from your wedding ensemble came from here, maybe you took a class with Jeri?  Maybe you have browsed, but were unable to choose from the vast array of colors, textures, and brands. Perhaps you benefited from the helpful assistance of the sales people when looking to replace a lost button. Come into the heart of the city and show your support as this great store has its Going Out of Business Sale.

Starting on Monday, February 11 at 10 AM, the shop will have markdowns ranging from 20-50%. The current stock of "On Sale" yarn goodies will go from 20% off to 50%. The stock in the shop will be 20% off. There are some restrictions and exclusions but the stock has to be moved out.  Please spread the word, come in and do some serious stash enhancement and let these business owners know how you feel to know they are closing.

7 comments:

  1. Oh that sucks...I've wanted to visit, but so far have not gotten there...and this weekend with a blizzard and next weekend I'm away..won't be able to...

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  2. Such a shame. We need more unique shops like this one but unfortunately we get cookie-cutter box stores.

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  3. Aw, that's to bad. As Kris^ says, we need more unique shops and it sounds like yours was perfect. I hope a ton of people come to the sale to show their support. There is ONE lys where I live, I don't know what I would do if they closed up.

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  4. I was so sad to find this out from their newsletter yesterday. Wondering if I can manage a trip up from NYC before they close. Windsor Button was such a treasure.

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  5. Say it ain't so!

    Beth P.

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  6. I remember when it only sold buttons and trim stuff. No yarn! Went there with my Mother over 50 years ago. Took my kids with me when I needed buttons for a knitted or crocheted garment made for them. Sorry they are closing. It's the end of a very special era.

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  7. I am very sad to learn Windsor Button is closing! my parents' first date was a walk to Windsor Button Shop! in the 1940's they both worked for the same company and were headed out at lunchtime. My mother saw my father and asked if he wanted to walk with her to Windsor Button Shop. He said yes! My mom has dementia now and would be so sad to learn of this.
    I think someone in Boston should have offered them space! Wouldn't the world and this city be a better place? I do not like buying yarn at the big box stores.
    I am disappointed int he humanity of the building owners and the rest of Boston! I wish I had known earlier-perhaps I will write to the Chamber of Commerce anyhow!
    So sad!
    Linda Lou

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