At the ripe old age of 13, my mother taught me to knit. Not a hip hobby at the time, but I absolutely loved it. Growing up, my mother made a lot of our clothes, and always gave away hand-knitted hats and scarves as Christmas gifts, which became all the rage among my friends in college. Following in my mother’s footsteps, my love for knitting eventually turned into a love for sewing, and (gasp!) cross-stitching. My husband’s late grandmother, Mary Muench, most recently introduced me to my latest passion – crocheting.
While it may seem on the surface a strange choice of hobbies, I’m actually not alone! Pittsburgh has an incredibly active movement of young crafters who not only share their talents through classes and markets, but also get together regularly to sit around, talk, and work on their projects together. (Check out the Pittsburgh Craft Collective, and you’ll get the idea.) While this may seem like an old fashioned quilting bee this modern version, now commonly known as the “stitch and bitch” has given new life to good old fashioned hobbies, and the results are pretty amazing. While old standby projects such as quilts, hats, mittens and aprons are still made, add to that list crocheted zombies, and ninjas…
To see this new era of crafting at its finest, make sure to check out the SouthSide Works Exposed market this weekend, July 10-12. It promises to be an amazing mix of a music festival, artist’s market, and sidewalk sales … but most of all a celebration of art in life. The setting for the event is in and around the Town Square of SouthSide Works. More than 70 local artists and craftspeople will be selling their amazing wares including ceramics, paintings, jewelry, clothing and more.
The SouthSide Works Exposed market is just one of many events hosted by Pittsburgh’s “I Made It!” nomadic markets, which travel from site to site bringing new crafts to communities throughout the city. Another highlight on the indie craft fair circuit is the annual “Handmade Arcade” traditionally hosted in November, just in time for your holiday shopping needs. Who wouldn’t want a yellow gingham apron featuring a squid holding a mixing bowl? (Featured crafter is Pittsburgh’s own Cleo Dee who boasts “blood, guts and craft.”)
Before you throw away those old knitting patterns, head out to the SouthSide Works Exposed Market this weekend and see the incredible things people are creating right here in our fair city of Pittsburgh. You’ll never look at yarn the same way again.