I'm returning to Spin Off after many years away. Just moved to southern CT but sadly cannot find a spinning guild or group. Can you in your experience, suggest the best way to go about starting one? I'd call myself an early intermediate spinner - though a little rusty. Not sure how to find, or even teach or drum up new enthusiasm for this art form and get a group started. Got any suggestions to attract attention? What has worked for others? Demonstrations at local fairs, etc. I suppose? Thanks much.
A friend told me when I told her I was considering starting a meet up, "build it and it will come." and really it has! If you really can't pay the fee (and it is fairly nominal: $72 for 6 months if you pay for all of it at once) you can start a yahoo group or Google group for free. But meet up is better, IMHO, it advertises to others more, the interface is very easy to use, and it looks more polished. I am asking a small fee ($5/year) to belong to my meet up, which helps defray the costs. You can have up to 3 different meet ups going for the same fee and it really has been fun for me.
One more suggestion: the Society for Creative Anachronism (www.sca.org) This is an international group of medieval enthusiasts who recreate the Middle Ages by BECOMING someone who would have lived from 1000-1600 AD. You name yourself, dress like your persona and do what a person of your chosen time and place would have done. I am a chatelaine of a noble household and (you guessed it!) I spin. I also teach, the SCA is big on classes where people volunteer to teach others about their favorite crafts and arts. As I get better, I will compete against other really first class artisans who are judged on quality, skill and historical accuracy. And did I mention? it is FUN!
Good luck on your quest.
Another thought, ask if you can put up a flyer at a few of the local yarn shops. That will get the attention of local spinners going in for fiber as well as knitters who may no someone who spins.
The ONLY difference between an accomplished spinner and a new one who feels they don't have "the touch for it", is practice and not quitting.