How to Start Your Own Crochet Guild

By Emilee Gettle – 5 Comments

Years ago crafting as a group was a way of life. Women gathered from rural areas to share gossip, laughter and tears while creating something useful together. They made gifts for family, quilts to raffle, and in wartimes needed items for servicemen. It encouraged creativity and gave these ladies an excuse to slow down and do something with their hands other than cleaning or preparing the next meal. These quilting bees or sewing circles were the highlight of the week as old friends gathered and new friends were made. It’s a great thing to reinstate if you don’t have a fiber arts guild in your area. Here are a few pointers on how to get one started!

Who, What, Where & When
Remember those questions in elementary school? Well they apply when forming your own guild.

Decide WHO will be attending and tailor your meetings to satisfy the needs of each member. If you have friends with young children try to find a suitable place for your meetings where they can play and not get in trouble constantly. There is nothing that ruins a fun outing for a mom than having her child be tempted to hunt for things forbidden. Offer refreshments during your meetings. Invite each member to bring a cookie tray or other snack. The guild could provide the drinks.

WHAT will your group’s focus be? As a crafter it is quite easy to dabble in many mediums. Your crochet guild might have offshoots in time which include knitting, spinning, felting and weaving. Write your focus down and your future goals. When others join your group you might need to revisit this and tailor it to your new fiber friends. However, try to maintain your original focus as much as possible so you don’t become disillusioned if your group mushrooms into something bigger than you expected.

WHERE will your meetings be held? You could host the meeting in your home. However if advertising your home address feels rather uncomfortable look into using the church basement, community center, or library meeting room. If you have a yarn shop in your area, they might host your guild meeting too! (If small children are coming, the yarn shop might serve as too big of a temptation. Just think of what a tangled mess the wall of yarn could become!)

WHEN will your meetings be held? Most guilds meet once a month or once every two weeks. This will of course be a personal choice and revolve around who might be attending and their home, family or work schedules. The meeting schedule is up to you too! You could have guest speakers or you could just offer a meeting place where everyone works on their individual projects together.

Things to Consider:
Most guilds have member dues which go towards building rental, advertising, purchasing refreshments, and other hidden costs. Your unique situation will play into how much dues will be and if they are necessary. However, don’t think you won’t run into expenses in time. It’s best to think ahead instead of charitably carrying a bill for the whole group.

Advertise!
Be sure and let the public know about your group so it can grow and thrive! Post notices on community bulletin boards, at your local craft or yarn shop, and maybe in the community announcement section of your newspaper or local radio station.

Guild events and more continued next week…

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5 Comments

  1. tennyemaye says:

    Thanks for the advice! This is very useful. I have a “guild” of both knitters and crocheters who get together once a month. Last year was our first year, and we ended up making scarves for the nursing home. Its been a lot of fun! And these tips will help this year. Thanks!

  2. Sara says:

    This is a lovely idea, and I have several friends who crochet and craft.

  3. Gaz says:

    If there’s not a lot of crafters in your area, or if you’re shy about meeting in person or just too busy, joining an Etsy Team is a great alternative. I belong to the CreateCrochet Team (http://team.etsy.com/viewteam.php?id=520) and there’s a blog, a Facebook page, a monthly thread in the Etsy forums and weekly chats that you can use to share new listings, sales, promotions, ask questions and talk about your day. Every month we have a challenge theme that gets the creative juices working. It’s usually either a holiday, season, or color theme. We also often plan to have promotions in our shop at the same time. It helps all team members cross-promote each other and get more views on your shop as well as share selling tips, new patterns, and more.
    I also used to go over my friend’s house every Tuesday for what we called “Stitch n Bitch” (long before Stitch Nation came out with the books) where she’d knit and I crocheted and we’d get some dinner, watch movies, and it was easier to stay motivated and get stuff done because our minds wouldn’t wander as much as when we’re alone, plus we’d try to race each other (which wasn’t fair because I would make amigurumi and she would make 8-foot long Harry Potter house color scarves). Sometimes our 3rd friend who also knit would join. We had to put an end to Stitch n Bitch when she moved about 80 miles away, and the other friend works long hours. So I rely on the Etsy team for the most support nowadays.

  4. Bethintx1 says:

    There are a fine group of ladies that meet at our local community & senior center. We make items for local charities like Hospice, RSVP (Nursing homes, Children’s & VA hospitals) and the local chapter of The American Red Cross. There is even a large donated yarn stash we can use to make such items. Our only rule is that if you use the yarn in our donated stash, it must go to charity and not for personal use. I have a friend who lives in a retirement apartment community and they are starting their own group… another friend has a group going at our church.

  5. [...] week we discussed how to start your own crochet guild. Now that you’ve got the basics underway let’s delve a little deeper into fun events [...]

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