On a table topped with open National Geographic magazines, folder paper cards and glitter sat a drink. A bramble-and-blueberry honey concoction dubbed Blue’s Clues, to be exact. Bloomington resident Rose Smith paused from her knitting and took a small sip.
Cardinal Spirits’ monthly Stitch and Bitch event took over the north section of the bar Monday evening. This month’s theme was Valentine’s Day. Bloomington residents were invited to come make valentines while sipping a drink from Cardinal’s newest menu, Cabin Fever.
Stitch and Bitch takes place the first Monday every month, holidays permitting. Because Cardinal was closed the first Monday in January due to the day being New Year’s Day, this was the year’s first Stitch and Bitch. The event was started a little over a year ago by Allison Zook, Cardinal’s event director, and Jessica Quirk, the wife of one of Cardinal’s co-founders.
“We call it Stitch and Bitch, but also it’s craft night,” Zook said.
Zook wanted to do a community craft at every Stitch and Bitch to welcome the public. She said she makes it easy by having materials out for everyone who attends to use. This month Zook’s idea was to make valentines. There were stickers, colored pencils, pre-folded cards and more laid out for guests to make the valentines. Zook also printed out postcards associated with the women’s march to be mailed to politicians.
“Not to leave out our fine folks in Washington,” Zook said. “They need special valentines, too.”
Each month is different in terms of how many people show up. Some months they will be packed, and for others only a few show up, Zook said. Cardinal also has regulars, including Bloomington resident Rose Smith, who comes back month after month.
Smith sat with her cocktail, Dem Rude Boys, on the table as she attempted to knit. After taking a lesson last year, she said she’s been trying to knit the same scarf for the past eight months.
“Every time I get it started, my daughter pulls the string out, and so I have to start over,” Smith said.
Smith also works on other crafts during the event. She says she sometimes knits, colors or just likes to sit and chat with everyone else.
“Rose puts the bitch in Stitch and Bitch,” Zook said with a laugh.
For others like Bloomington resident Abby Bowen, it was the first time at Stitch and Bitch. Bowen said she heard about the event from her mom, who pushed her to do more things around Bloomington. After Bowen’s roommate moved out a couple months ago, she finally pushed herself to attend the event.
“I’m gonna stitch and drink at home, so I might as well stitch and drink somewhere else,” Bowen said.
“And meet new people,” Zook shouted in the background.
Zook encourages people to come and join in on the crafting and inviting atmosphere that Stitch and Bitch brings. She said it’s a good event to come to alone.
“Everybody chats, and it’s a real easy situation,” Zook said.