Stitch ‘n B*tch group unravels stress with craft and camaraderie

Mend and moan
The Hendersonville-based Stitch ‘n B*tch group is part therapy session, part crafting hour.

Let’s face it: The holidays bring a sleigh full of things to gripe about. From the annual untangling of twinkling lights to the Herculean task of pleasing overbearing in-laws, the Yuletide season is fraught with festive feats. Fortunately, there is a space in Hendersonville where creative folk can decompress while knitting a scarf or two: the Stitch ‘n B*tch club. 

“We support each other through the tough stuff,” co-founder Alicia Borga says of the offbeat organization. 

Based out of Continuum Art in downtown, the group invites fiber artists to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew in a communal setting. “We are a gathering of all ages, backgrounds, interests, and experience levels,” says Borga. (All genders are welcome as well.) “We bring our finished projects to celebrate and our problem projects for help.” 

Of course, true to the group’s tongue-in-cheek moniker, every meeting also includes a bit of muttering and moaning about the woes of potty training toddlers, coping with belligerent bosses, cooking healthy dinners that please the whole family, and other hurdles of everyday existence. 

But, as Borga is quick to point out, “We talk about books, shows, and movies as much as we b*tch about life and work. It’s just such a fun, chill group. We laugh so much.” 

Though the Hendersonville Stitch ‘n B*tch club was established last spring, fiber arts groups are nothing new. In medieval times, knitting guilds were established to regulate and protect the craft. These guilds provided a space for artisans to exchange knowledge, showcase their skills, and create a sense of community.

Knitting groups are nothing new. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Later, during World War I and II, relief organizations such as the American Red Cross began organizing nationwide knitting campaigns to increase the production of socks, scarves, and other essentials for soldiers fighting in Europe. According to Anne L. Macdonald’s 1988 text, No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting, it was during this time that the phrase “stitch and b*tch” was coined. 

As she writes: “In Akron, Ohio, twelve young women, who moved in with parents or in-laws when husbands went overseas, gave their elders a free night once a week (so to speak, since they parked their children there!) to attend ‘Stitch and B*tch Club’ meetings. Loaded with sewing and knitting, stuffed on supposedly ‘light refreshments’ provided by the evening’s hostess, voicing opinions on everything from parenting to politics and exchanging news from each war zone represented.” 

And so, the Stitch ‘n B*tch club was born. In the decades since, more than 1,500 Stitch ‘n B*tch groups have been established across the world. The concept became even more popular in the early 2000s when author Debbie Stoller released Stitch ‘n B*tch: The Knitter’s Handbook. That’s where Borga first learned of the quirky club. 

“Back then, there wasn’t YouTube to learn from, and this was the best illustrated [knitting] book I could find,” she says.

The Stitch ‘n B*tch group invites fiber artists to craft in a communal setting.

However, it took a global pandemic and the prodding of friend and Continuum Art owner Katie Montes for Borga to establish her very own knitting group. 

“Our club started in the spring of 2022 when Katie asked Debbie Garland and me to co-host a group so that people could come, learn, and enjoy,” says Borga. “We were both thrilled with the idea. It was the first group event many of us had done since quarantine.” 

Today, the Hendersonville Stitch and B*tch club meets every other Tuesday evening at 6:30pm. Attendees normally grab a beer from neighboring Oklawaha Brewing Company and then begin embroidering baby blankets or knitting winter socks as they chat about their day. The vibe is casual and convivial. But there is also the sense that the gathering is a lifeline for busy parents, stressed professionals, and everyone else who is just trying to get through the week. 

“Groups like this are so important because we need creative space in our hectic, stressful lives,” says Borga. “We need community outside of our homes and workplaces where we gather for the joy of it.” 

The Hendersonville Stitch ‘n B*tch group will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 6:30pm at Continuum Art (147C 1st Ave. East, Hendersonville). The group is free and open to all adults 18 years or older. To learn more, call 828-435-3300 or visit

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