By Meagan Winker, Staff Writer
More and more University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students are showing
up every Monday night at Stitch & Bitch, a club for anyone who likes knitting and
The club members have noticed a higher attendance as of late. “It’s really blossomed
since last semester,” said Katrina Smith, a junior at UMF who has been involved with the
club for three years. “Like, we used to have six people and now we have at least twelve.
We’ve got some people who drop by once in awhile too.”
Junior and transfer student Jay LaPerriere said, “I knew like two people who crocheted
in my whole previous school…but then you come here and it’s like wow! There’s twenty
The club, according to Sarah Otley, a founding member, student, and library staff
member, formed in the spring semester of 2008. Originally, there were two knitting
clubs on campus that were, Otley said, on the same day at the same time but in different
locations. “We merged our two groups because it was stupid to have two clubs at the
same time,” she said.
The club got its name from the popular knitting and crocheting book series of the
identical name. “Because we had guys in the group we went with Stitch and Bitch and
also because those book were coming out at the time so it was really popular then and
we all had them,” said Otley. She also mentioned that the books are available in Mantor
LaPerriere also said of the slogan for which the club was named, “It’s been around
since the forties. It’s kind of an edgy phrase for knitting clubs.”
Otley called it “the club that isn’t a club” because it is not funded by Student Senate
and the members want to maintain an informal atmosphere that isn’t bogged down by
recording minutes, said Otley.
Both Smith and Otley said new people are always welcome. “We know there are
people on campus who knit and it’s kind of a closet hobby but it doesn’t have to be,” said
“Boys and girls. It’s not just a girly thing,” Kaitlyn Bowie, a junior at UMF, added.
Club members look forward to getting together and to relax by knitting or crocheting.
“It is super zen. You’re focusing on your work and you’re not doing anything else,” said
Otley agreed. “It’s good stress relief,” she said. The knitting club is also willing to
teach new people how to knit or crochet, so long as they bring their own supplies, said
At least three or four people a semester say things like, “I really wanna do this but I
don’t know how,” said LaPerriere. “And at least two people will be like, ‘Here! Take my
hook. Take my yarn. I will teach you.’”
As for current projects, everyone had something to work on. Bowie is making a quilt
from different knitted squares. Otley is crocheting a little yeti, as well as making a
blanket, she said. Smith said, “I’m crocheting a bunch of mini turtles.”
Working on projects side by side is what the club is all about. “Getting together is a
motivational thing to get things done,” said Otley. “And you get inspired by what other
peoples’ projects are.”
For knitting resources for students who know how to knit or want to learn, the club
members suggested the Student Resource Depot for good deals on yarn and Pins and
Needles, an embroidery store on Main Street. “They’re really nice there. If you tell them
you’re starting up, they will help walk you through like what size needles to start with,
like what kind of yarn to use. They’re super helpful,” said Bowie.
The club meets every Monday at 7PM in room 322 in the Education Center