A Woolly Weekend with the Weavers Guild of St. Louis

The Weavers’ Guild of St. Louis welcomes many creative souls into its ranks. Knitters, spinners, weavers, embroiderers, and multimedia artists gather to share their passion for fiber. Traditional weavers guilds often expand their focus to include a wider range of fiber artists today (including handspinners), allowing all to learn from one another. What have you learned from fellow yarn lovers? Where do our interests overlap and where do we diverge?

A woolly workshop at the St. Louis Regional Arts Center.

A woolly workshop at the St. Louis Regional Arts Center.

I just spent a wonderful weekend teaching for my St. Louis fiber friends, leading one workshop on handmade Dorset Buttons and another on the wide world of wool. With such a range of wools easily accessible to us today, we can choose different types of fleeces and use their unique characteristics to best use. While we can learn much of this online and in books, fiber folks love learning with their fingertips. For our workshop, I laid a long wooly buffet of washed locks from ten breeds: Icelandic to Leicester, Dorset to Merino. We spun many samples, but we also put our yarns to the test. Knitters worked on swatches while weavers made small woven works. The diversity of skill within a guild such as this allows everyone to experience new things and to learn from one another.

Left: Amy is an incredibly talented weaver. She enjoys expanding her understanding of textiles through spinning and knitting. Right: Maureen sampled her handspun Coopworth using a Zoom Loom and gathered a crowd interested to see her technique.

Left: Amy is an incredibly talented weaver. She enjoys expanding her understanding of textiles through spinning and knitting. Right: Maureen sampled her handspun Coopworth using a Zoom Loom and gathered a crowd interested to see her technique.

From fiber guilds to casual groups of crafting friends, being a part of a creative community can be greatly rewarding. The inspiration and crafty cross-pollination that can happen in these gatherings give us opportunities to grow as artists and as people. If you have not connected with a group, check out the Spinning Guilds Directory.

To learn more about joining a spinning or weaving guild, see articles by Debbie Held and Lyssa Newport in Spin Off Spring 2017.

—Kate


Learn more about spinning wool in these resources!

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