The Crocus Country Fibre Arts Guild began in 1998 as the Nanton Spinners and Weavers Guild with four members. It started with a display in the local library. Monthly meetings were held in the Nanton Quality of Life Foundation meeting room. The name was changed to Crocus Country Fibre Arts Guild in 2012 to accommodate members who demonstrated skills in other areas, knitting, crocheting, felting and dyeing.
The Guild has maintained a membership of about twenty, but we now meet in members' homes the second Saturday of each month. Our membership includes the area from Red Deer to Lethbridge. Our members include a master spinner, a sommelier, business owners, full time workers, retirees, teachers and farmers. We have a new member this year from Scotland. She is taking a year off from her Fine Arts & Textile degree and joined our Guild to learn to spin and weave. All help to nurture each other and foster an environment of fellowship and enthusiasm.
Our Guild has hosted two Provincial Conferences on behalf of the Handweavers Spinners and Dyers of Alberta, in 2006 and 2012, both in High River and both very successful. We also started a Members Spinning Retreat - the first in 2013, just before the 'great flood'. The second was held in 2015 with great support and enthusiasm by the members. Our next retreat will be held in May, again in Caroline.
Our latest venture has been skyping and communicating with Guilds in Scotland. In January 2015 we made a presentation to their AGM, via skype, which was very successful and resulted in a scarf exchange. The scarves crossed the Atlantic at the same time and each Guild has received 23 handwoven, handspun, knitted, crocheted or felted scarves based on a landscape theme.
We continue to have spontaneous spinning and dyeing days, as well as workshops throughout the year.
We started weaving Guild projects during the last two years. The first was lace weave tea towels and the second was placemats in warp faced weave based on a water colour by Jock Goodall. The Guild looms are housed at Christa's so each member wove their project while visiting with Christa. Our third Guild weaving project is double weave pickup book marks from the May June 1992 issue of Handwoven. Instead of dressing the loom at Christa's, we are trying a "have loom will travel" system so each member can weave their two bookmarks in the comfort of their own home. The loom is currently being used by Penny. Pictures will be posted when the bookmarks are done.