The benefits of belonging to a guild

Orange, burgundy, variegated and yellow yarns knitted into squares and laid out on a table

The benefits of belonging to a guild

If there's one regret I have at Canadian Guild of Knitters, it's that we can't all get together to meet.

Tonight I spent time with fellow members of the Severn Muskoka Knitting Guild. As I drove home, I pondered the fun we have, the energy level in the room, and the good we do.

Four knitters working on one piece of knitting, which is growing from the centre out.

Ever tried a knitting bee? They're a lot of fun, and it doesn't take long for the work to expand!

In fact, we have so much fun at guild, we rarely stop to take photos (even though I have my iPad at most meetings!)  This photo was taken ten years ago. It's four of us having a "knitting bee", knitting on the same piece.

Guilds educate: One of the primary purposes of a guild, historically, was to provide education in a trade. (Yes, there were knitting guilds, and they date back to the Middle Ages. And, they were for men only!) Attending a knitting conference in 2001 cracked my knitting world open! I took two days of classes with an instructor from New Zealand, and got connected with a group in my area. The Severn Muskoka Guild holds one or two full-day events a year so we can gather for workshops on topics ranging from dyeing to designing!

Guild share information: We have a program at every meeting, and earlier this year, we've done programs about navigating Ravelry and steeking. These programs are given by members who know about a technique. Tonight, our program was about fringes.

Guilds provide social time: When I first started knitting, it was in the company of my Grandma. After she passed, I knitted pretty well alone until 2001, when I attended my first knitting gathering.

Some people don't have much of a social life, for one reason or another -- it could be a demanding job, or being a new mom, or just not getting out much in the winter time. Belonging to a guild provides a welcome opportunity to gush about something we all have in common!

Guilds do good work: Our group only has about 14 members, but we have knitted hats and socks for the homeless, and for the bazaar at a church where we used to meet.

If you have the chance, start a local knitting group. It is sure to enrich your life and expand your knitting horizons!

 

 

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