Member Update: Marlene R.

Several weeks ago, Helen sent out an update email asking a few questions to our members. A few have been kind enough to respond and Marlene has agreed to let us share her answers.

What have you been doing these past months or recently? 

In the past few months, I’ve been sewing—A LOT of sewing! I’ve been on a healthier eating regime since October 1st of last year and as a result I have lost over 40 pounds. None of my former wardrobe fits! The side benefit is that I get to sew/buy a new one. 

For the past month or more I have been designing and knitting VERY tiny clothing for a micro doll. This is using size 000-000 knitting needles and one single strand from 6 strand embroidery floss. Most of the work is now done in preparation for releasing an e-book pattern set. The target market will be very limited, but the patterns are eagerly awaited by that group. 

Very recently I received the long awaited EEW6, a newly designed e-spinner and I’m having great fun with that. The sewing that needs to be done is gobbling up much of my time though. Once the sewing is complete then there shall be more spinning. 

Would you be willing to share via guild email, Facebook, guild web page?

I’m willing to share any guild related projects via email, the little Facebook group, or the guild webpage, but I get busy and forget. I do have my own blog where I post most of my creative endeavours, but they are not all spinning and weaving related. 

What have you missed about the Guild or not missed?

I’ve really missed the Christmas Craft Fair, not for the selling so much, but for the mental/emotional kick off to the Christmas season and the opportunity to visit other creative type booths. It’s also good to have a place/time to unload some of our past projects to clear the way for new ones! Without this two things are bound to happen. Either we end up buried in our own projects leaving no room to actually create, or we stop creating altogether lacking enthusiasm and space. 

I miss Show and Tell. I love seeing the work of our guild members, those new, and those well-seasoned, for always one good idea seems to spawn another. I love seeing the enthusiasm that accompanies a project that turned out well. When projects are “fails”, or less than lovely, I even like hearing about how they went wrong, lessons learned, and hearing suggestions on how to overcome or avoid them in future projects. Strangely enough, I most loved seeing the non-spinning and weaving off-shoots of some of our members. So much talent!

I miss the yearly Spin-in. The opportunity to meet with fellow spinners from all over, to shop for more fibre/tools, and the fun Silent Auction. 

I miss the opportunity to pop in to the guild’s weekly spinning afternoons and to see Jude’s fibre and have an opportunity to pick up more fodder for the wheel.

I miss the art shows we have participated in in the past. What a great opportunity to showcase the art behind spinning and weaving. 

The one thing I do not miss is the strained relationships between some members of the guild. I’m very much an introvert and have empathic tendencies. Contention, both out in the open and the not-so-subtle background whisperings, causes me great anxiety, whether or not I am the target. We need to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Do you find social media helpful? i.e. Facebook, or our guild webpage? If not how might we come together again or at least connect with you? 

I use social media a great deal, just not as much in association with the guild. I am a moderator on a Saori weaving forum on Ravelry and as such must check in daily there. I also participate in the EEW group (Electric Eel Wheel) on Ravelry and on Facebook. I belong to numerous sewing groups and doll groups on Facebook as well. It keeps me busy and about as connected as an introvert needs. 

And if you find social media helpful how can we as a guild expand or make more use of that?

If more members were signed up to the Facebook group, where interaction is easy, it would be more successful. We could have photo-post Show and Tell there. But I know that not everyone is comfortable with Facebook or Ravelry, so I don’t know what the solution is.

We could use the Facebook group and/or the guild webpage to post links to helpful videos or tutorials. 

I’m very happy to have visitors to my blog—especially if they take the time to comment since that’s the only way I know that they’ve been there! Some of our guild members visit via the link I post on my Facebook page and then comment on Facebook rather than the blog—that’s welcome too!

Any other comments or suggestions?

Kudos to our presidency for their efforts to keep us “together while apart” in these difficult times!


Marlene Randall