Spinning Guilds share their craft at county fairs


Donna Towell helping 4-H members learn to spin. Wisconsin Spindle and Dyepot Guild.
Spinning demonstrations at the county fair. Wisconsin Spindle and Dyepot Guild.
Learning to spin llama. Wisconsin Spindle and Dyepot Guild.

What was your first handspinning experience? Many people are inspired to learn to spin after seeing a demonstration at a museum, festival, or fair. I remember Deb Menz sharing the story at SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) of her first brush with the spinning world. As Deb and her husband watched a spinning demo, he said that "her eyes just lit up." They both knew that spinning would become an important part of her artistic pursuits.


Guilds are often instrumental in organizing and perpetuating fiber arts demonstrations. These events not only help future fiber artists connect with our community, but help us remain present in the larger community. Members of the Wisconsin Spindle and Dyepot Guild have been demonstrating at the Waukesha County Fair for the last four years. Prior to their move to the Waukesha Fair, they demonstrated at the Wisconsin State Fair for many years. The guild has regular monthly meetings in addition to its demonstration activities. Guild members recently shared their craft with a Girl Scout group at a local French immersion school.


Each August, the Twist O' Wool Guild exhibits and demonstrates fiber arts at the Addison County Field Days throughout the five-day event. Guild members create a rotating display of handspun yarn and woven, knitted, and crochet pieces that utilize handspun yarns. Demonstrations vary day to day and include carding, weaving, spinning, and dyeing. The Addison County Field Days is the largest agricultural fair in Vermont and has hosted the Twist O' Wool Guild since 1980. 

Weaving demonstration at Addison County Field Days. Twist O' Wool Guild.
Twist O' Wool Guild members share their skills each August in Vermont. 
Learning to spin at Addison County Field Days. Twist O' Wool Guild.



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