Students find stress relief in stitching

The name ‘Stitch ‘n Bitch’ is a way to reclaim undervalued “women’s work.”
MU students stitch together Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, at the Women’s Center in the MU Student Center. The Stitch ‘n Bitch event is held by the Women’s Center every Wednesday.

For students who easily get tied up in the stresses of college life, from classes to tests to projects, the Women’s Center hosts a program called Stitch ‘n Bitch.

The program, held from 4-6 p.m. every Wednesday, provides students with an opportunity to cope with their stress by learning how to crochet and meet new people.

Sophomore Brittani Savage, co-coordinator of Stitch ‘n Bitch, teaches students how to knit and crochet. Before, she said she didn’t know how to do either and learned through this program.

“I started out as a regular Women’s Center employee and now I help run Stitch ‘n Bitch,” Savage said. “I really like the idea of teaching someone something that is a dying art. It’s cool to make something with your hands and be able to say you made it.”

The event offers different projects to make while knitting and crocheting. They recently added friendship bracelets to the program as a part of the Love Your Body Week event held in October.

Two friends, freshmen Erin Farmer and Jamie Seibert, said they started attending Stitch ‘n Bitch this semester.

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit and crochet, so this is the perfect place to do it,” Farmer said. “I’ve never done it before, but they taught us what we should do. I’m starting to understand what I’m doing now, so it’s very calming.”

This event also provides Seibert with a place to relax and get away from the stress of college.

“It’s a fun atmosphere,” Seibert said. “It’s very calm and inclusive. It’s one of my favorite things to come to during the week.”

Stitch ‘n Bitch is not exclusive to MU. The name Stitch ‘n Bitch was a slang term referring to social knitting groups since World War II.

In 2003, Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook was published as an instructional knitting book. Since then, knitting clubs of the same name have emerged all over the world.

The name itself is a way to reclaim undervalued “women’s work,” according to the Women’s Center website.

Savage said she hopes this activity helps people take time to themselves and deal with problems they may be dealing with.

“You’ll find people that come in here to let some steam off, but once they start getting into their projects they calm down and forget what they came here to bitch about,” she said. “It’s a good activity to get you centered and zone you out if you’re really anxious about something. It’s a nice way to take some time for yourself.”

On average, anywhere from 10 to 25 people attend the event, Savage said.

No matter what your level of knitting or crocheting skill, all are welcome to work on or start a new project. The event is open-house style, meaning students can come and go as they please.

Farmer said she encourages other students to attend to meet new people and learn a new skill.

“I like being around different people that I wouldn’t run into just being in class,” she said. “Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what you’re doing. The people here know what they’re doing so you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. It’s really rewarding.”

Savage said she hopes this has a positive impact on the people who attend and this activity continues to spread.

“I hope it creates a whole new world of crafty people that can pick up anything because sometimes crocheting and knitting is pretty hard to pick up depending on who you are,” she said. “If you can pick up this, you can pick up pretty much anything. I hope this helps boost people’s self-esteem.”

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