Women’s Resource Center gets crafty

Every Wednesday at noon, people gather in the lobby of Women’s Resource Center at Portland State to chat and make crafts.

WRC refers to these crafting sessions as Crafternoons.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Kari Anne McDonald, who is the events and publicity coordinator for the WRC. “Our space is open to all genders.”

The crafting group remained a part of the WRC after it became an established department and has been meeting for over 10 years. Crafternoons is open to all PSU students and faculty.

The group also has a supply of craft supplies that have been collected or donated for attendees to use if they don’t have any.

Lori Patterson, a former PSU student and a professor of women, gender and sexuality studies, started the group with Aimee Shattuck, who is one of the founders of the WRC and the current director of Student Activities and Leadership.

However, the group has not always been called Crafternoons. When it was originally formed, it was known as Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. It was not until 2012 that the group decided to change the name to make it more welcoming to other crafters, and to keep up with the new crafting movement.

During the movement the word “craft” resonated with a lot of people, so group members wanted the name change to reflect that by including the word in the title.

“Over the past two decades, feminists have reclaimed the domestic, and crafting is part of that,” said Virginia Martin, assistant director of the WRC.

More women are returning to crafts now that it is not seen as a traditionally female hobby, which is why anyone and everyone are encouraged to attend.

Another reason for the name change was that the group was originally centered around knitting, and they decided to make it open to all kinds of crafts.

“It is not just knitting, but for anyone who wants to get in with crafts,” McDonald said.

The group meetings are also a way for students and faculty to meet new people and get to know one another.

“Crafts are a great way to get to know people in a no-pressure environment,” Martin said.

Attendees don’t have to be skilled crafters to attend, either.

“Lori is an extremely skilled knitter and a professional yarn purveyor,” said Jessica Amo, director for the WRC. “She’s taught many students how to knit, purl, cast on and off while simultaneously strategizing about course selection or navigating life issues.”