Readers Say

24 crafting stores and groups you should visit, according to readers

Plus, a map of every reader-recommended shop.

A wall of yarn at a new yarn/crafting store, Boston Fiber Company.
A wall of yarn at crafting store, Boston Fiber Company. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff)

Fiber crafts like knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, needlepoint, and quilting are reaching new levels of popularity. In Greater Boston, that increase in popularity has also meant a rise in fabric sellers eager to meet the need. 

We asked readers what they love about crafting and what communities they’ve joined to share in that love. The most popular crafting hobby among 153 the readers polled was knitting, at 51% of the vote, followed by crocheting, with 27%. No matter the medium, readers said the joy of crafting was in the ability to create something new and beautiful from scratch.  


“It’s a means of expression, of creation, and it’s really nice to feel like I’m making progress in a tangible way,” said Esther H. from Lincoln, who said her favorite craft was knitting. 

Many readers also said they turn to crafting as a way to better their mental health. Karen from Beverly said her grandmother taught her to knit when she was little, but it wasn’t until years later that the hobby stuck. 

“I picked it up years later as a way to calm my anxiety after 9/11 in New York City. There isn’t a day since that I don’t knit or craft,” she said. “It’s magical. Take a skein of yarn and knitting needles and transform it into something wearable. A work of art. My grandmother taught me when I was little and it did not take.”

What's your favorite crafting hobby?
Needle point

The pandemic has also proven to be a boon for crafting hobbies. Many readers told us that they picked up or rediscovered their hobbies during the first wave of lockdowns. Now that the world has largely opened back up, these crafters are still going strong. 


“During the pandemic, I discovered European crochet and Scheepjes yarns and fell in love with my craft all over again,” Annie from Cambridge shared. “I made gorgeous and soft blankets for friends living alone during the shutdown, wanting to send them something like a hug. I made toys for my kids based on their favorite video games. I made colorful decorations for my home like mandalas and garlands. Although I’ve been crocheting for 30 years, the craft was never more important to me as a reprieve and sanity saver than during the stresses of the shutdown.” readers have twice named local craft stores as some of the best small businesses in Greater Boston, first with Gather Here in 2021 and again with Boston Fiber Company in 2022. When it comes to choosing a favorite crafting shop, readers emphasized the community that many of these local businesses foster through classes, lessons, and casual crafting circles. 

Below you’ll see what readers had to say about their top three most recommended shops in Greater Boston, as well as a map and listing of every store mentioned by our readers. 

Gather Here (1343 Cambridge St., Cambridge)

“Hands down, Gather Here in Cambridge. They go above and beyond for their customers. They have wonderful classes in a big range of crafting and fiber arts. They are one of the few stores that respect the health of all their customers by still asking people to mask. They are truly welcoming to all.” — Victoria W., Cambridge

Hammer & Stain (multiple locations)

“Fabulous crafting workshops with a large variety of offerings such as resin art trays and resin wood projects, customized themed wooden signs, home craft kits, etc. Private parties, children’s birthday parties, and summer camps for kids are offered. A fun, creative vibe!” — Cathy A.

Stitch House Dorchester (846 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester)

“Love this place and the people who work there! They have great yarn, offer wonderful and diverse classes, and the staff is warm, welcoming, talented, and extremely helpful in every way!” — Susan D., Milton

A 🧶 means that this location also offers group crafting sessions or classes.