I’ve become a serial guild joiner.
I go to the monthly in-person meetings of the Warped Weavers (and some virtual casual meetings during the week when I’m free) about 30-40 north of where I live but I also joined the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild after meeting them at a festival. They are a large guild based about an hour and 15 minutes away in the next state and have a lot of programs (virtual) and do things like sheep to shawl at the PA Farm Show and the potholder contest. I wish I could have gone to that this year but it’s a little far and I couldn’t figure out how to handle it with Covid. It’s too cold to eat outdoors in January and I’m not doing indoor activities unmasked. They also have digital subscriptions to some magazines we can access. Their activities are on Thursday evenings which is not my preference but they also record them for YouTube which is handy.
I thought two was enough but then in early January I noticed that Mary Zicafoose was teaching an ikat class with the Handweavers of Bucks County, PA. That’s about 2 1/2 hrs from me but that was the closest she was coming to me for all of 2023. I got the last spot and joined their guild. Then just a couple weeks later Mary Zicafoose canceled the class. I’m glad I didn’t book a hotel yet!
I’m really disappointed, she is doing a class at the MAFA conference but it’s only for 20 people and doesn’t have the indigo component. I’m not sure if I want to go to the conference anyway because when I contacted them it seems like food might be an issue (it’s in a college cafeteria that doesn’t allow take out) and there are only a few single rooms available. I don’t feel comfortable bunking with strangers during Covid.
The Bucks County Guild said they would refund my deposit for the class and my membership fee but I told them I will stay a member. It’s their 75th anniversary and their fall show sounds fun. I watched a program they had with Cally Booker and attended their meeting and it was a lot of fun. For $35/year, why not? I looked at their past programming and I’m sure they might do something else in the future I might be interested in. It’s not that horrible of a drive especially since we aren’t doing much travel during Covid and haven’t for the past nearly three years. They seem to meet at 10 am on Wednesdays (I haven’t gotten all the details yet, I am so new) virtually which seems like a tricky time for a lot of people but perfect for me.
It’s funny because I really haven’t joined a club outside of school since I was a girl scout in elementary school but I am enjoying it. The introduction of virtual programming really has been a boon for these groups! Hosting a talk remotely from Scotland, weave-alongs, and attending meetings and parties from afar make them so much more accessible and interesting. I feel like I’m learning so much and meeting people with fairly low commitment and time.