I’ve been a guild member for two years. I’ve wanted to be a guild member for much longer but didn’t live near a fibre guild. I also had no idea how to connect with others who might like to share their love of fibery things. Once I moved to a city, I decided I would definitely seek out and join the local guild. Guilds sounded like such a great idea – a group of fibre enthusiasts getting together regularly to do fibre-related things. What could be better?
Ours is the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild.
Some of our members do one or the other; some do both, some do neither. When I joined, I was a
frustrated spinner wannabe, more a knitter and spinning spectator. I was looking for some inspiration to get me over my beginner angst and actually into the world of spinning. (It worked, in case you were
When talking to guild members, many say they joined because they were looking for fellowship with other creative people, those with a tendency towards the fibre arts. It’s nice to be around fibre friends. Sometimes, people who don’t spin or weave don’t really understand why we get excited talking about warp and weft, twist and ply, colour and texture. In a guild, we can come to a meeting or an event and be among those who don’t think we’re crazy for wanting to dye fibre/fabric in the sun or spin 20
kilometres of yarn to weave a cloak. Well, not too crazy, anyway.
Others say they come to guild meetings for inspiration. Each month we have a show and tell
portion where members share what they’ve been working on. The favourite part of the evenings for many, it’s easy to get creative fires burning when seeing what is lighting up the world of other
enthusiasts. I decided to learn how to knit lace after seeing the amazing lace work of knitters in our
Our guild also has a program portion of the evenings when members share resources, teach techniques and theory, provide insight into methods, discuss new interests, or present recent individual learning experiences. We also have guest speakers make presentations in their areas of expertise. Talk about getting motivated in new ways!
We also do things outside our meetings.
Dye days can be a lot of fun, as well as a great way to learn from fellow members. We can experiment with different materials, and share what we know
about colour. A pilgrimage to the city’s annual artists market to demonstrate and promote our guild is a great spring outing, and a chance to talk to others about what we do. A monthly project night, open to all fibre enthusiasts whether in the guild or not, lets us share our knowledge and passion with those just getting started. We get to discuss different aspects of our interests, interact casually without disrupting a
meeting, and explore new avenues of fibre and creativity. There is also the excuse to celebrate together at a Christmas potluck and the June year-end
Another exhilarating highlight in the guild calendar is our annual fall sale. This event rouses us to organize ourselves, support each other, and promote our guild in completely different ways. We open our proverbial doors to the public, welcoming them in to see what we do. It’s also a wonderful focus for fashioning unique, one-of-a-kind items for sale. For many, it takes our designing to a whole new level, seeking to be original and beautiful in exciting ways. I know I’ve spent a lot of time planning, making and talking about the sale this summer.
So what does a guild ask of you in return for all the fun, fellowship and inspiration? Being a member of our guild takes as much commitment as a person feels they can give. If you want to come to monthly meetings, see what everyone is working on, maybe stay for some tea and program, then welcome. If you want to volunteer to organize an event or sit on the executive, then welcome. If you want to teach
a program, sharing what you know about your craft, then welcome. Whatever you bring to guild, the guild will welcome you and appreciate
In the end, no matter our reasons for joining, staying or contributing, coming together to build great relationships and create wondrous handmade items is really the point of any guild. If you look at life in the same way, building great relationships and creating wondrous things applies everywhere. So seek out inspiration and fellowship wherever you can find it because,
according to C.S. Lewis, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”