Knitting & Beer In Action…

Last night was my first adventure with having a small group of knitters meet at the local pub. The place we chose to start with was Spike’s. Spike’s has always been a comfortable place to hang out and socialize and they have a great selection of really good beers. Our family has quite a bit of history there, so in many ways Spike’s feels like home. If you click on the link to their website and look at the first anniversary staff photo from 1981, my husband Chuck is in that picture.

There were three of us in our group and after the task of choosing our beers from the list of 40 was done, we settled into some knitting and conversation. It didn’t take long for it to be clear that knitting, conversation and good beer go very well together!

We did have to be aware of potential beer and food messes that could come in contact with our projects, but we just did our best to keep things clean and eat and drink carefully. It’s also recommended to have a “pub project” and not bring that white silk lace scarf to the bar while you’re drinking stout.

Karen was working on a toe-up slipper in a beautiful gray wool. Christina was knitting a Harry Potter scarf in shadow knitting that looked something like this. The scarf is turning out pretty darn cool. And I was working on a garter stitch hat from some wool yarn I picked up at the Farmer’s Market in Madison, WI. I just love it that they sell yarn and spinning fiber at the farmer’s market!

The three of us are dark beer fans, so we had a nice selection of beer on our table. Kostritzer Schwartzbier, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel, and Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. The evening started with a Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company. Great beers, good knitting, good conversation… and a great place for it all to come together.

For most of the evening we were just in our own little group, and then a Spike’s regular came in who is also a knitter. Enthusiasm over the concept of knitting with good beer escalated and we now have another person who would love to join us on our next gathering.

The more I delve into this book project, the more the niche for the book and the need for the book become very clear. More ideas were sparked during our discussion last night about concepts that need addressing in my book, which is really helpful.

In order to explore other potential knitting bars, we’re going to have to venture out to other places around our town and neighboring cities, but we will definitely be going back to Spike’s again.

-Jenne Hiigel

4 thoughts on “Knitting & Beer In Action…

  1. I had to have a Bavarian Beer since I got the yarn in Bavaria. I don’t think this kind of pairing will always be possible. Too bad!
    But it was fun and I hope we will continue the research.


  2. That’s the very scarf that I’m knitting. What fun it was — looking forward to more pubs, more knitting and more great conversation!

  3. Tuesday night my friend Emily and I took our knitting to a new beer bar that just opened up, and it was great. They have a little bar at the front window looking out onto Monroe Street, and so we were sitting there knitting away and enjoying an Anchor Porter and Lindemans Framboise, followed by a Troubadour Blond for a couple hours. Emily was working on a pair of knit sleeves (like wrist warmers or gauntlets, but from wrist to shoulder), and I was working on a gauge swatch hat to go with my new sweater. I went back to that vendor at Saturday Farmers a couple weeks ago and bought enough for a sweater, which I can’t put down now.

    The highlight of the evening was when a guy walking by outside saw us knitting and stopped and asked very excitedly, through the window and using sign language, if I was knitting a hat. I nodded enthusiastically. Then he looked kind of embarrassed for getting so excited and resumed walking rather fast.

    I think the next step here is to make knitting at this place a regular thing.

  4. That new beer bar in Madison looks great! It would have been fun if they had been open when I was out there visiting last month, but I did enjoy going to the Weary Traveler with you.

    If we get enough people knitting in bars while drinking good beer, we could start a knitting and beer revolution. That definitely appeals to the rebel in me. 🙂


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