Handmade: Enjoy favorite pastimes at Stitch N' Pitch

Jocelynn Brown
The Detroit News
  • Attendees encouraged to bring mittens to game
  • Charity event started in Seattle, came to Detroit in 2007
  • Mittens go into the hands that need them most — in this case, the Michigan Veterans Foundation

Hundreds of knitters, crocheters and other needle arts enthusiasts will be at the Detroit Tigers' last regular season home game on Sept. 28 when "Stitch N' Pitch" returns to Comerica Park for the seventh time.

Mittens for Detroit and the Black Sheep Knitting Guild (BSKG) are co-sponsors of this much-anticipated stitch-together, which was first held at Comerica Park in 2007, just two years after it began in Seattle, Washington, at a Mariners game. Yarn shops across the country learned of the event and began hosting one at their local ball park. (Stitch N' Pitch events throughout the country are not necessarily held on the same day.)

What exactly is "Stitch N' Pitch?" Troy resident Charli Osborne, who serves on the BSKG Stitch N' Pitch committee, says, "It's a chance for fiber lovers of all types, including knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, and other stitchers, to get together in a shared environment of camaraderie and watch our beloved Detroit Tigers while doing so.

"It's (a) great outreach for the general public to see that those handcrafts, generally handed down person to person, are still alive and thriving. It's also a wonderful opportunity for the Black Sheep Knitting Guild to partner with Mittens for Detroit to help get mittens into the hands that need them most — in this case, the Michigan Veterans Foundation."

Wendy Shepherd, who lives in Clawson and serves as executive director of Mittens for Detroit, describes it as "a fun event that's held nationally at major and minor league ballparks to promote the good old pastimes of knitting, crocheting and stitching. Some people bring embroidery and other kinds of handiwork."

Attendees for next week's event at Comerica Park are encouraged to bring a pair of new mittens or gloves to be donated to the Michigan Veterans Foundation in Detroit. "They're one of our agencies, and we have a hard time getting men's mittens, and as it turns out, Stitch N' Pitch has given hats to the Michigan Veterans Foundation (in the past)," says Shepherd, who calls the gathering a "mitten-raiser," and adds, "every pair donated will earn the giver a chance at a very cool prize."

And in case you're not a fan of baseball, you can still plan on having a grand time at "the old ballgame." Shepherd says, "A lot of people like to sit and talk at baseball games. Everyone will be in the company of someone who likes to knit and stitch. It's like coming to a big meet-up."

But whether you're a baseball fan or not, don't forget to "root, root, root for the home team" between stitches as the Tigers take on the the Minnesota Twins. (Go Tigers!)

Tickets to Stitch N' Pitch are $31, which includes a souvenir T-shirt, but you'll have to buy your own peanuts and Cracker Jack, and any other refreshments.

To purchase tickets, go to tigers.com/stitch or call Michelle Fields at Comerica Park at (313) 471-2221. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more. The game is set to begin at 1:08 p.m. and gates open at 11 a.m. Comerica Park is at 2100 Woodward in downtown Detroit.

Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or jbrown@detroitnews.com. For more news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts.