Welcome to Syracuse Weavers Guild!
There is lingo associated with our Guild— language and things we talk about during meetings—that might be unfamiliar to you as a new member. This page of frequently asked questions explains some of the things our Guild does and that you can take part in now!
What is Thrums?
Thrums is the bi-monthly Guild newsletter and gets its name from the word for the scraps of warp threads left over after the handwoven cloth has been cut off. The newsletter has information about Guild programs, book reviews, weaving advice, and anything else members write about. All members are encouraged to contribute articles about weaving-related topics. Copies of past issues can be found on the Guild website under “Newsletter”.
What is the Guild Challenge?
Each year, the Guild presents a challenge to its members to get weavers to push in new directions, explore a concept that is new to them, and perhaps weave outside of their usual comfort zone. Topics range from color explorations or new weave structures to new fibers or inspirational themes. A presentation relating to the topic is made in the Fall by a guest speaker or Guild member to set the stage. Members are encouraged to explore the topic on their own or with others in a Guild study group. In the Spring, participants present their woven pieces and talk about what they learned. No matter what the experience level, everyone learns something that informs and inspires future projects.
What is the Guild Sample Book?
Sample books are a way to document and share weaving patterns. Guild members are encouraged to submit weaving samples with information on warp, weft, fiber, sett, threading, and treadling for the Guild Sample Book, particularly for Guild challenges. Sample cards and instructions can be accessed on the Guild website under “Library”. The SWG Sample Book is available at our monthly meetings.
What is the Guild Library?
Our Guild is fortunate to have an ample library of weaving materials—books, DVDs, and magazines—available for loan to members. They are housed at the Librarian’s house, but are readily available to members by e-mailing requests to the Librarian. The catalog can be accessed on the Guild website by clicking “Library”.
What is the White Elephant Table?
Are you looking for weaving-related resources such as books/magazines, yarns, or small equipment? The White Elephant Table is a way members can pass along items they wish to re-home by placing them on this table. Members can take what they wish by placing a donation to the Guild into the “tin” on the table. If your item doesn’t get adopted, please take it home again and consider bringing it to another meeting.
What are Study Groups?
Study groups are another way the Guild can help you expand and improve your weaving skill set. The Guild has a variable roster of study groups—long-term small bands and tapestry, short-term groups related to the Guild challenge—composed of a subset of members who want to study a certain topic in depth. The groups meet separately from our regularly scheduled meetings and have the option of meeting via Zoom. Anyone can start a study group. If you have an interest in a certain subject and want to explore it with other members, make an announcement at a meeting or via the Google Group email to see if there are others who would like to participate, and, voila, you have a study group!
What are the Guild Looms?
The Guild owns multiple looms ranging in size from inkle looms to a 12-shaft table loom to a four-shaft floor loom that can be rented by members for $2 a week. The list of available looms can be found in Thrums and on the Guild website under “Membership”. Contact the Equipment Coordinator to arrange to borrow a loom.
What are Traveling Looms?
One of the opportunities offered by the Guild is a chance to try out a weave structure or technique without setting up a loom yourself. Called “the traveling loom”, a Guild-owned table loom is prepared for members who sign up. The loom is all dressed and ready to go, with complete directions and, in some cases, the weft needed. Once the participant has completed their allotted amount, the loom is passed on to the next participant. A small fee is charged to cover the cost of materials when you sign up. Some years we have had several traveling looms out for participation.
What does a Hostess do?
Pairs of members sign up to provide light refreshments at our meetings. Prior to each meeting, they set up the table and hot water for tea and coffee. At the end of the meeting, they clean up the table and let the Refreshment Coordinator know of any supplies that need to be replenished.
What is the Annual Luncheon?
The last meeting of the year is traditionally a potluck luncheon and a chance to get together to socialize and talk weaving. Usually the luncheon is held at a member’s house, and each person brings their own place setting and a dish to share. There is no program scheduled. Following the lunch, the annual business meeting is held followed by Show and Tell and the annual towel exchange.
What is the Towel Exchange?
Handwoven towels provide endless opportunities to try different weave structures and play with colors. Each year the Guild holds a towel exchange at the annual meeting. Each member who submits a handwoven towel receives a towel from another member in exchange. Members can enter as many towels as they want and will receive the same number in return. Towels can be woven on any type of loom using the weaver’s choice of structure, fiber, size, and color.
With what groups does the Guild have memberships and affiliations?
• Handweavers Guild of America (weavespindye.org): HGA’s mission is to educate, support, and inspire the fiber art community. Copies of the magazine Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, featuring a broad spectrum of articles about the fiber arts, are in the Guild library.
• Weave a Real Peace (weavearealpeace.org): WARP’s mission is to foster a global network of enthusiasts who value the importance of textiles to grassroots economies. The newsletter includes information on weaving, spinning, and dye cooperatives from around the world.
• Halcyon Yarn (halcyonyarn.com): The Guild receives an annual check for 5% of total member sales for the past year. When placing an order with Halcyon Yarn, please mention that you are a member of the Syracuse Weavers Guild in the online Comments Box or over the phone.
• Ravelry (ravelry.com/groups/syracuse-weavers-guild) is a space for members and others to chat about weaving.
• Handwoven magazine (handwovenmagazine.com/index): This bimonthly publication of Long Thread Media is a way to connect with other weavers through projects, instruction, and inspiration to build technical skills and inspire confidence in your weaving. Search the index, then request what you need through our Guild library.