I love knitting. I’ve been doing it for over 50 years. It keeps me relatively sane.
I attend a number of ad hoc knitting groups, where we ‘oooh and aaah” over each other’s work, swap notes and advice, and then spend the rest of the time putting the world to rights.
But Stitch N Bitches aren’t Knitting Guilds. Guilds have specific purposes – to preserve the history of the craft, to teach it and promote it, as well as the swapping notes and advice bits that you get in SnB’s.
I joined the NSW Guild. I’m on the Executive Committee (of 9) of the NSW Guild. And yesterday, after a busy week’s work, I dragged myself out of bed to leave the house at 8 in the morning so I could spend the entire day on Guild business – first up a 2 hour Special General Meeting, followed by a Committee Meeting. Got home at 5.30.
The purpose and events of the SGM are well described here by Mary-Helen and here by Kris. How the Guild keeps such good members is purely a matter of faith on their part – that things WILL get better.
I was thinking today of things that the Guild should learn, and learn quickly, if it’s to survive:
1. We may be a bunch of volunteers but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t even ATTEMPT to run the Guild in a professional manner.
2. If someone has particular expertise that could be used, USE IT. (And in a group of nearly 600, we must have an amazing range of skills and experience)
3. We are run BY the members, FOR the members. I find incredibly depressing the belief that suggestions coming from members should be in the main ignored because to implement changes at members’ requests would imply some sort of weakness on the part of the Guild, We must stick to our guns through Hell and high water, apparently.
4. People get old and frail and DIE. Over the last couple of years, younger members have joined but we need more. AND we need to listen to them and use their skills.
5. The internet is the Guild’s friend. It’s just sitting there waiting for us to tell the world (well, knitters in NSW anyway) all about us. And we can do that AT NO COST. And finally,
6. The behaviour of little children should have ceased with childhood. Adults should be able to disagree with each other without the level of animosity shown in the Guild. Adults DON’T roll their eyes or turn their backs on someone because of some perceived slight that may have occurred years ago. They don’t support or reject ideas based purely on whether the suggestion has come from a member of their clique. Most people by the age of some of these Guild members got over that years ago.
I did get agreement to a couple of VERY slight changes yesterday and I did realise when I got involved in this that progress would be slow. I wasn’t quite realistic about how slow it would be.