Check out some of these fiber related sites that we’ve found to be helpful resources.
|The Spinning and Weaving Association (SWA)|
|The Spinning and Weaving Association is a trade organization that invites membership from the general public. I was fortunate enough to become involved nearly from the beginning and now serve on the board. It was formed to encourage and promote spinning and weaving to the general public and retailers. It has become a very synergistic group that strongly supports HGAs “Spinning & Weaving Week” in October of each year. Watch for big things to happen because of SWA and its vibrant communicating membership. Visit their website for a great listing of teachers and educational opportunities.|
|Handweavers Guild of America (HGA)www.weavespindye.org
|I’ve been a member of the Handweavers Guild of America since I took up weaving. I firmly believe in supporting the organizations that support us, whether it be in business or in art. HGA publishes a quarterly magazine, Spindle Shuttle & Dyepot, that is a bit “artsy,” but offers a fresh weaving perspective. They also have learning groups for spinning, weaving, dyeing, and basketmaking, in addition to sponsoring a national certification program through which you can earn a “Certificate of Excellence” in each of these topics. HGA sponsors a biannual international conference and expo called Convergence that features truly world-class instructors and lecturers. Check their website for registration information early in year: 2010, 2012, etc.|
|The National Needlearts Association (TNNA)www.tnna.org
|The National Needlearts Association is the trade organization for knitting, needlework & fiber shops. They hold tradeshows where we go to learn about the latest in our industry. We’ve been a member since 2001, and have been fortunate enough to teach spinning and weaving to yarn shop owners at their major conferences.|
|The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA)www.tkga.com
|The Knitting Guild Association is perhaps best known to most knitters because of its magazine, Cast-On. TKGA is also a learning organization promoting knitting through guild and individual memberships. They sponsor correspondence classes that teach knitting basics and topical subjects such as Mosaic Knitting, which I completed and can recommend, and the Master Knitters program, which I am two-thirds of the way through. Lots of work, but I’ve learned so much.|
|Crochet Guild of America (CGA)www.crochet.org|
|I truthfully don’t know much about the Crochet Guild of America, but its goals are similar to TKGA with a learning and certification bent. If you are a crocheter, you will likely find this a good organization to belong to.|
|Craft Yarn Council of Americawww.yarnstandards.com|
|This website lists the “yarn standards” for fiber folks. Go here for needle and hook sizes and conversions, standard garment sizes, difficulty levels, yarn weights, and much more. Interesting for the designer and the consumer.|
Weavers will find the traditional square graph paper helpful, knitters and crocheters the asymmetrical graph paper. Either way, this is better than running to the store when it is the middle of the night and you need to chart your brainstorm!
|Michigan League of Handweavers (MLH)www.mlhguild.org|
|Handweaving has a long and strong tradition in Michigan and it continues with the Michigan League of Handweavers. The League brings together the guilds and weaving individuals from around the state. They sponsor a nationally respected weaving conference with classes on the off years of HGA’s Convergence.|
Learn about the breeds of sheep and the type of wool each provides. I bet you didn’t know there were so many different types of sheep! A great resource for fiberists and potential shepherds.
Publishers of Spin-Off and Handwoven magazines, and many great fiber books. How-to tips, instructions for beginners, list of guilds, events listing, and other fiber resources. Additionally, Interweave Press is host to the annual spinning event, SOAR. I have attended SOAR as a participant and mentor. I always leave both exhausted and excited about everything I have learned.
|Stonehedge Fiber Millwww.stonehedgefibermill.com|
|This is where we send raw fiber to be processed. They do lovely blends and can even make yarn from your own fiber animals. The best part is, they plan to remain small and devoted to their farm so you know the fiber you send in is the fiber you get back|
|Visit the studio of Holly Shaltz and read her tutorials for fiber handling. Holly was my first (and only) dye teacher. Her tutorials are thoughtful and helpful.|