Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Art of an Old Fashioned Get-together

When I was a child, my Grandmother would take me with her all over the Napa Valley to visit lady friends for tea and conversation. Sometimes it was just one or two of them, other times a whole group. Quite often as the women would be sitting around chatting, and sipping their tea, they would knit, crochet or needlepoint. I was fortunate to learn at a young age, beautiful crafts, and also was given the chance to take part in what is now a bit antiquated tradition of get-togethers. Something that is beginning to be a lost art these days, as technology makes it so much easier for us to all communicate with a push of a button.

Typically when I meet up with my friends, it often happens in a bar or coffee shop, there are distractions and as much as I love the cultural vibe of it all, it often lacks the comfort of the kitchens I spent many a day in as a child. Am I the only one to remember the trivet with the saying: “Of all the places to host my guests, they seem to love my kitchen best!” ??

So what does knitting and conversation have to do with wine?

Answer: “Stitch Bitch and Wine.” or SBW for short.

The concept of SBW has been around for years. There are groups like this all over the country, the world in fact. The group that I “SBW” with, are mostly wine industry folk, with a few of our friends who have strayed into the group over the past few years. It’s a night, once a month, we come together and we do well, just that. We come to stitch, chat and drink (ok, and nibble on fabulous snacks we all bring). We laugh together, share stories of our lives both personal and professional, and trade recipes and helpful advice with our stitching projects.

Though SBW, I have made valuable contacts professionally, and most importantly beautiful friendships. We’ve consoled one another’s losses, and cheered on each others accomplishments, and done more than our share of laughing -- at a stitch project gone awry or a hilarious tale of life. Looking at a scarf or a hat that I have made, I can recount the stories and fabulous wines that were shared during each items construction. My inner-winery connections have been woven into the fabric of my life, stitch by stitch. Each person, as each stitch an intricate part of the projects at hand, to look around the group, you would wonder how exactly we have assembled or what it is that we have in common. Much like our projects we vary from young to old, shy to extroverted, knitters to crochet-ers, hospitality staff to grape growers and all the combinations in between.

This year, I have taken over the reigns of hosting the monthly get-togethers, and although my home kitchen is far too small to encompass the ever growing group, I am lucky enough to be able to host us in the salon of my work, well lit, spacious work areas, and a fantastic commercial kitchen for ‘the important things’ (i.e. the food and the wine).

So, if you are in the Healdsburg area, and are interested in taking part in our group, we meet typically on the first Monday of every month, from about 6 to 9 in the evening, and you don’t even need to know how to stitch! (There are plenty of people to get you started, just bring some yarn and some needles, and we’ll help you figure it out!) We all bring a bottle of fantastic wine and a snack to share. (Sometimes there is a theme, other times, it’s what ever your favorite is)

For details, and a proper invite, you can email me at


goooooood girl said...

your blog is feel good......

samantha said...

thank you! That is what I am trying for! :0)