I think we are all resigned to the fact that we will not be getting together for a good while now so decisive action has been taken by the committee regarding plans for our Zoom meetings going forward. Following a survey of members opinions, we have decided to continue holding our monthly meetings on the third Saturday of each month and maintaining the balance of a speaker one month and general discussion and show and tell the next. In addition, we are also holding weekly meetings on a Wednesday night which will focus on more specific topics. So far, quite a few members have hosted a talk and the response has been extremely positive. This meeting format will be reviewed at the end of the year.
It seems that the new trend is ‘challenges’ with members undertaking specific projects with a theme via the Online Guild as well as challenges set by our members. For this years Christmas meeting the challenge is to produce a scarf that will be worn and shown at the meeting and it seems some members are well underway with this.
Our upcoming meeting topics include; spinning a fine yarn, natural dyeing, weaving software, using your hand-spun, blended fibres and spinning equipment. Feel free to join us with any questions, comments or suggestions as these themed meetings have yielded some very interesting, inspirational and educational discussions.
At August’s Zoom meeting we were joined by Dr John Parkinson of ‘It is Not Over Until It Is Over’ (IINOUIIO) to give us an update on his wool textile recycling (shoddy) business. ‘Shoddy’ is basically the result of shredding unwanted wool items to produce fibres that can be spun or felted in to new items and was very popular during the war as a way of producing low cost items. John has now re-visited the idea due to an increase in demand for recycled and sustainable materials. He visited our guild back in February to give out samples of shoddy for our members to take away and experiment with and give feedback on the results. Check out his website for more information http://www.iinouiio.com.
Several members have been looking in to the issue of diversity and how we can make our meetings more accessible to all. Areas covered include accessibility, accommodating the needs of people with various disabilities, access for children and those with potential childcare needs and investigating potential barriers to minorities such as men, LGBT and people from other ethnicities and religious backgrounds. Again, we welcome feedback from anyone who may have ideas as to how we can improve on any of these areas.
Of course we have not forgotten that this year (the year that cannot be mentioned) is our 60th anniversary and we are determined to celebrate somehow. Members have been working on the ‘Dot’s Diamonds’ pattern for the anniversary diamond themed piece and Dot is now in the stages of putting it all together……watch this space.
As ever, there was an array of members creations with many people taking advantage of the extra time on their hands and pushing their creative boundaries.
As it appears that meetings cannot re-commence any time soon we are welcoming ideas for our monthly Zoom meetings from members. The Bradford Guild have invited York members to join their Zoom meetings and to contact their chair on the e-mail address in the newsletter.
So, as yet, there is no sign of us being able to resume meetings any time soon, however, the Zoom meetings have continued, for monthly meetings, the Wednesday evening study group and for committee meetings. A Zoom meeting and group e-mails are being used by the weaving and dyeing groups to keep members in touch too. The embracing of social media and technology is amazing and is playing a big part in keeping people in touch and enabling the sharing of ideas and creations.
For our July meeting Cherry Hardy kindly gave us a sneak preview of her full talk on different styles of Sari’s from India, with information on the materials used, the construction as well as the different occasions that various styles would be worn.
Members are still being encouraged to produce items with a diamond theme for our 60th Anniversary exhibition …… which is now looking like it will be a 61st anniversary instead, but hey ho, better late than never.
We are now also able to offer set days where equipment and books can be borrowed from the museum, this is by prior arrangement and with social distancing rules in place (of course).
Finally …… we cannot ignore this completely accidental pile of fleece which has an uncanny resemblance to the wig of a well known president… you’re welcome.
Thank you for visiting our website and I hope you are keeping well in strange times.
All physical meetings of the guild are postponed at present but we are trying to keep actively engaged with members. Meetings will resume once it is considered safe to do so.
Crafts have been shown to be positive for our mental well-being and in lock-down have been a great boon for many. As a guild we are continuing with virtual meetings and study groups. The newsletter will be monthly for now to keep people in touch (from bimonthly).
If you are interested in guild activities or wish to contact us about any matters relating to spinning, weaving, dying or fibre related please email us. We remain busy behind the scenes and welcome communication with all.
2020 is our 60th anniversary year, we had hoped to celebrate in style but the party and exhibition have been postponed. We will keep you posted on new dates for the exhibition once we can start planning again.