Black Cloister Pints and Purls

Fiber artists and crafters gather on the first Monday of each month at the Black Cloister Brewing Company's taproom, located in downtown Toledo.

Deb knits, and I have been crocheting since early 2014. We attended the first two Pints and Purls nights in February and March 2016.

In February, fiber fans swamped the place with over 50 people knitting, crocheting, and needle felting. We arrived around 7:20 p.m., and we left around 10:00 p.m.

We sat at the bar. Deb helped a friend re-learn knitting. I crocheted a small, mobius scarf, using local alpaca yarn.1 (Image of my finished scarf)

For grub, I went a couple buildings down at M'Osteria and ordered their hand-tossed Margherita pizza, which is one of my favorite pizzas in the Toledo area.

For the April event, a Toledo Blade reporter attended, and a story was published about a week later.

Excerpts from the Blade article:

It’s the first Monday of the month at Black Cloister Brewing Co. in downtown Toledo. The beer is flowing in the taproom, the regulars chitchat, and everything seems business as usual until about 6:30 p.m.

Little by little, women of all ages, armed with personalized bags, trickle in. Some alone, some in groups. Then in a flash, it’s needles out. They begin working streams of yarn into the project at hand, and the bar’s atmosphere is lifted by another wave of socializing.

The women (and the occasional man) are at the downtown brewery’s needlework event Pints and Purls: Knit One, Drink Two.

The craft is stepping out of its kitschy past. No longer is it a pastime solely for grandmas in rocking chairs creating tissue-box covers or predictable booties for little Sally.

The “cool” craft is also at the center of social events, whether at a bar, someone’s home, or otherwise. Crocheting and knitting are “hot” in modern arts, as documented by the film Yarn.

There are several reasons for the boom in knitting and crocheting. Mary Colucci, co-executive director of the Craft Yarn Council, said retailers the group is in contact with, such as the national Michaels craft stores and independent yarn shops, say more people across multiple generations are discovering the benefits of the craft.

A major influence is the growth in do-it-yourself projects, especially among Millennials, Ms. Colucci said.

“Making” is an important part of their lives. A handmade item is not only fun to make, it is also cherished for its character.

Making something should be an important part of all lives, regardless of age. I believe that everyone should have at least one hobby where they make something.


  1. I bought the dark yarn and the medium grey yarn from the Natural Fiber and Yarn Company, located in Grand Rapids, Ohio. Their store and their fiber mill are located downtown. The store owner maintains some of her alpacas on a farm near Ashland, Ohio, and some reside on her property near Grand Rapids. In December 2015, I was able to view the operation within the mill. I like watching how things get made. I bought the warm brown yarn from Crafty Needle Yarns and Threads, located in Elmore, Ohio. This alpaca farmer resides in the Woodville, Ohio area. The three yarns were on the small side, approximately sport or fine sport, number 2. I kept the crocheting simple, using only a single crochet stitch. ↩