Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Guild Quest

This past Monday night Liesl and I headed to Dayton, OH for a meeting of the Dayton Knitting Guild. You would be correct if you asked "But don't you live in Cincinnati?" However, Cincinnati does not have a knitting guild, per se. It has a Weaver's Guild, but I've gotten mixed reviews and the yearly dues are more expensive than I'm used to. Also, it's hard to make it to a meeting if the organization's website isn't current. (This critique applies to a lot of organizations, the Dayton guild included, by the way.) But L & I met some of the Dayton guild's membership on Saturday at A Wool Gathering, and it sounded worthwhile to try.

First let me explain, though, that I have been spoiled by my membership in the St. Louis Knitters Guild. It is an organization of over 300 members (last I knew) and since it meets one Saturday afternoon a month, everyone meets at one time, to the tune of 70 - 100 people. They follow Robert's Rules (sortof), they are organized, they have charity opportunities like you wouldn't believe, and an incredible lending library (for free!) They are often well-educated and up-to-date in the knitting world, and frankly, I wouldn't be where I am today knitting-wise if it weren't for them. They don't know how good they have it.

Now, for some reason in these parts the fact that a lot of knitters are not yet retired (younger than 60 and knitting? Gasp!) and can't make it to day meetings (and that you would want them at your meeting) hasn't quite caught on. Both the Dayton and Cincinnati Weaver's Guilds meet at two different times. The Cincinnati guild alternates between day and night each month, and the Dayton guild has two separate meetings, on weekdays. When on Saturday I was told that the Dayton guild has over 300 members, I didn't consider that a lot of them wouldn't be at the meeting I went to, since I have to go to the night meeting. After attending I got the feeling that the day meeting is where all the action is. We were told that vendors come to the meetings, but none were to be found. Also, the group was small enough that we went around the room and everyone shared their name and what they were working on or had finished lately. I'm sorry, but I just wasn't that interested. In St. Louis, those who had something they'd like to share did, and the rest of us ooo-ed and aaah-ed appropriately. It was short and sweet. We covered the high spots.

On the other hand, it sounded like they were able to pull in some serious teachers and have very good workshops. Their quarterly newsletter was full of information. And the dues are only $12 per year! I plan on joining, but I don't plan on attending every meeting. It's a long drive to say "My name is Beth, I'm from Cincinnati, I am knitting a sock."

So where does that leave me? Still looking for what I had in St. Louis, that's where. What to do? What to do?

I re-visited the Cincinnati Weaver's Guild website, and lo and behold, it's been updated. The next meeting I can make it to is in October, and I fully intend to go. They must have a certain number of knitters because some of the upcoming workshops are about knitting.'s the big plan: If a ton of knitters join the Weaver's Guild, it'll be what I'm looking for. If the Weaver's Guild has a lot of knitters, it'll have a lot of knitting information, and provide workshops for knitters, and etc. I really do think it's a better plan than starting a new knitting guild. The Weaver's Guild has their own building. They have a library. They have spinning and weaving equipment for rent. Seriously, how cool is that?

So now what? Any local readers have any advice for me? Am I stepping on toes of people I don't even know? How do I get a bunch of knitters to join the Weavers Guild?

Are you with me?

Are you with me?

ps. The Pomotamus socks are done. I didn't bother taking a new picture. The second one looks like the first one.


MsLindz said...

When I went to Knitter's Connection, I met a group of ladies that are part of the Middletown, OH Knitter's guild. They apparently don't have a website, but here is the information I have found on them. I also have the information from one of the ladies who's part of it and I'm sure I can get more information from her if you'd like.

The Knitting Connection
Middletown, OH 45042
Contact: Debbie Roney
We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Middletown Library. Knit-ins are held at the library on Saturdays throughout the year. We are a large and very active group. Annual dues are $15.00 which includes a monthly newsletter. Feel free to join our fun.