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Stitch ‘n Bitch Finally Comes to Rome

23 Oct

The day has been long awaited—but finally, finally, knitters in Rome no longer have to hide at home! The “knitting revolution” has touched down in Rome thanks to a small group of brave women who have formed what I believe is the first ever official Stitch ‘n Bitch group here in Rome.

Stitch ‘n Bitch, you say? What’s that? And is that there a bad word? Not anymore!

As far as I know, the first SnB group was formed by Debbie Stoller in New York, who went on to write a series of knitting books of the same name. Knitters in a town or city pick a designated place and time where they meet regularly to knit together and chat. I’m thinking it’s like the modern-day version of a quilting bee or something.

There is an entire website for SnB in the UK, as well as a page for the Chicago group that lists groups around the US and the world.

Well, if you read my post about knitting here in Rome, then you know that knitting is reserved pretty much for the grannies. It’s not too trendy ’round these parts, especially for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. You won’t see anyone knitting on public transport, or pretty much anywhere in public, for that matter. Despite that, I always wondered if it would be possible to get a knitting group going here in Rome.

About a month ago, I had had about enough of the wondering. I had gotten back into knitting pretty hard core (currently divided among 10 needles: two different socks and the sleeve for a jacket, plus a set of fair-isle mittens in the planning stages to match my hat), but bitching to myself wasn’t as fun as it used to be. I needed some fellow stitchers. So I sent out a bit of an all-call on a couple expat forums to see if anyone might be as crazy as me. I got nine responses in two days, and had a little group ready to go.

Then about a day later, I received an email telling me that an actual Stitch ‘n Bitch group had just been formed that week (synchronicity, anyone?) by an Australian expat, that was meeting in my neighborhood. Bingo! I got in touch with her and we combined forces to create the only public knitting circle I know of here in the Eternal City.

Oh, yes, people, we do get the double-takes. It’s all good though. We have a lovely little spot where we meet called The Good Caffè, which defines itself as a “small luxury bar.”

I’d say that’s a pretty apt description. Despite the fact that they are located close to John Cabot University (with all due respect, read: Animal House), they have managed to maintain a very cozy, laid-back and elegant wine bar feel. Not so for another bar I saw on my walk over, which at about 7:30 pm was just hanging out a huge professionally printed signboard that read, big and bold: €2 shots.

God bless the little wine bars like Good who haven’t fallen prey to the debauched masses.

But I digress. So, mille mille grazie to Andrea and the rest of the great staff at the Good, for giving us a better than good place to knit to our hearts’ content. One evening a week they let us take over the back room, complete with street lamps and plush green velvet chairs and couches, to lounge, drink, and chat. And knit, of course.

The only time we get the puzzled glances is when people have to walk by us to go to the restroom.

Here’s a little action shot for you:

Our group has about 15 or 20 members I think, but the nice thing is that it’s totally flexible so people can come when they want, no obligation. Now that it’s off the ground, it’s pretty independent and there’s no hierarchy or anything. Some of the more experienced knitters are teaching beginners and getting them well on their way to their first scarves. I’ve now officially taught two people how to knit…so fun!

All the group’s projects are in progress now, so no FOs (finished objects) yet to post, but there is definitely enough expertise to go around. One member of our group, who actually found us through a comment she left about knitting on my blog, knits for her lucky husband who gets to wear incredible creations like this and this. It’s wonderful when beginners and advanced knitters can get together and share knowledge.

Last but not least, one other great thing about the Good is that they sponsor artists and musicians by displaying their artwork, holding inaugurations and staging concerts. In just the last two weeks of October they have two artist/photographer inaugurations and two concerts. This place is a fantastic little find, tucked in one of the rare quiet corners of the busy side of Trastevere. Highly recommended for a glass of wine while you’re strolling the cobblestone alleys.

Good Food Drink and Wireless Via San Dorotea 8/9, Trastevere

Stitch ‘n Bitch: for more info, email me.

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26 Responses to “Stitch ‘n Bitch Finally Comes to Rome”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy October 23, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    Wow, that looks like a fun group! I need to get going on my (non-existent) stitching and the other…Yasmina started to show me how but I was busy making hummus… 😦

  2. Isabelle October 23, 2007 at 1:10 pm #

    I’m definitely coming next week !!!! It will give me the energy to start working on this little coat for my godson 😉

  3. SWT October 23, 2007 at 2:07 pm #

    I’ll have to wait until my kids are a bit older to get away and join your group! Can’t wait to see some of your FO’s!

  4. nyc/caribbean ragazza October 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    I haven’t knitted anything in years, I think I forgot how…your group looks fun.

    I love that bar. It has a great, chill vibe. The night I was there the DJ was playing some fantastic music and we sat outside. I didn’t know it was so close to the University. I didn’t see any students.

  5. Eryn October 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    looks like so much fun, quality girl time! glad that you’re knitting group took off!

  6. finnyknits October 23, 2007 at 6:39 pm #

    You’re a pioneer! I’d bet that in a few years (months even?) there’ll be SNB groups all over the city. Maybe the bars will be bitching knitters rather than drunken students!

    Ok, I’ll keep my hopes realistic.

    Maybe I’ll bring some knitting with me if my time there falls during one of the knitting sessions :0) Knitters of the world unite.

  7. Kelli October 23, 2007 at 11:14 pm #

    Ah! That is so awesome. And I can’t wait to see photos of what you are working on. Yahoo!!

  8. sandi @ the whistlestop cafe October 26, 2007 at 3:26 am #

    Yea! Does this mean that there may be some great knitting shops in Rome? Keep us up to date.
    I can stay busy forever with a ball of yarn and two sticks. Stitch and bitch =D

  9. Stefanie October 26, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi! Random lurker who subs to your feed on Google reader but — Wow! I just moved to Rome in the beginning of September and, yeah, I’ve definitely been given odd looks as I take the 30 min bus ride to catch up on knitting. Definitely emailing you for more info. (I love the Good Cafe, too — my sister goes to AUR so I’ve spent a few afternoons there on the internet while waiting for her to get out. Such a cool place)

    Finding yarn stores here? I’m at a loss (well save the one I stumbled across while walking around my neighborhood, but I’ve only asked there (in vain) for certain embroidery floss so I’m still quite clueless about knitting supplies here.

  10. Mary October 27, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    Shelley,

    Have you all heard about the new website for knitters called Ravelry? There are thousands of members already from all over the world, with many more on the waiting list. It’s new so you have to sign up and wait your turn to be able to join – they’ve been overwhelmed with people wanting to join. But once you get in you can find tons of info on yarn, find patterns, see what projects others are working on, talk to other knitters etc. etc. Check it out here http://www.ravelry.com/about.

    Mary
    (who would love to come back to Rome to visit but who is knitting away outside of Seattle)

    P.S. In case you haven’t explored the knitting world on the web, there are all kinds of knitting blogs out there – and podcasts too which I download into my iTunes and then listen to while I’m knitting.

  11. Shelley, At Home in Rome October 28, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    Mary: Thanks so much for all the info! A friend of mine tipped me off to Ravelry a couple weeks ago, and I’m on the waiting list… seems very popular so I’m patiently waiting! What are your favorite knitting blogs?

  12. Julia November 8, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    Actually, knitting in Italy has been hip for a few years thanks to “Pina” from Radio Deejay. Go look at their website and hook up with one of the Rome groups: http://www.do-knit-yourself.com/

  13. Lizzie Wright January 22, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    hi! I’m a knitter from Colorado and have knit in groups in Costa Rica (i know sounds ironic) as well. i am just in rome for a few weeks and i’m looking for a group to knit with! it sounds like you have a wonderful group!! i would love to know when you meet so i can join for at least a couple of weeks. thanks!!

    Lizzie

  14. Lizzie Wright January 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Hey again!

    Found a quaint yarn shop on Via Mastro Giorgio 37b.

    there’s a sign over the door that says Merceria.

    They were nice and helped me find what i needed with my limited italian. They didn’t have a ton of options but the options they had were really lovely yarns.

    Lizzie

  15. for debtfree February 21, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    debtfree for debtfree states

  16. alessandra May 9, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    i love the stitch n’ bitch books! kudos on getting involved in a knitting group while abroad, and i totally believe in serendipity. i’m studying for a year in Bologna this next year and your blog is giving me a lot of insight so GRAZIE!

  17. Sue Scriven January 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi,
    I’m going to be visiting Trastevere this winter and wondered if there are any really nice yarn shops nearby. I’ve never been to Italy, so I have no idea where to look or what to expect.

    Thanks for any help or suggestions.
    Sue

  18. Susan February 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi
    I am going to Rome in two weeks time. Can you suggest any good yarn shops?
    Best wishes
    Susan

  19. Martine March 25, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    Hello – I’ll be in Rome next week and I’d LOVE to visit your Stitch’n’Bitch group (e parlo italiano se e importante) as I’ll be missing mine here in Perth Western Australia. (I do random knitting, crochet felting and more recently needle felting)

    Is it possible to come? If I can I’ll pack a project to bring.

    thank you,
    Martine

  20. ella April 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Is the group still together?? Im moving to rome from wales next week, and would LOVE some company in my knitting!!
    when does the group meet?
    how grateful I am to you for changing my idea of life in rome! thankyou!

  21. Karen September 8, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Another person wondering if the group still meets, and if I’d be welcome for a one-time drop in. I’ll be there in the beginning of December.

  22. Laurie September 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Hello. I’m thrilled to find you, I’ve been knitting my way across Italy and am winding down in Trastevere. Where do you recommend I shop for yarn. I only have tomorrow to shop. I belong to a knitters group in the Island of Kauai , Hawaii I am a beginner and am loving it, our groups ages range from 85-10 yes old. Hope to hear from you ! Aloha, Laurie. Loved your websight! Wish I could visit!

  23. Adriana January 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi does this group still meet? I’ve just arrived in Rome and it would be great to learn more knitting stuff off other ex-pats!

  24. Adriana January 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    If anyone wants to meet up for a knitting group in Rome don’t hesitate to contact me on adrianacmwilliams@gmail.com I’d be really happy to do something. I speak English and Italian fluently so language isn’t an issue 🙂

  25. Helene Kendall November 8, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Hi
    Am in Rome for 3 months and like knitting. Is the knitting group still going? Thanks Helene

  26. ganderlord December 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Hey, i just want to say, as an italian student going to john cabot university that your remarks stated about our school are both offensive and untrue. we all study very hard and obtain international degrees. i myself am interning at the US embassy so tell me how animal house that is. how about you let us, from John cabot be the ambassadors and international businessmen and you continue sewing!

    li mortacci tua!

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