Clarke, Ben--Spinzilla flipped

The original artwork for the Spinzilla logo drawn by Ben Clarke

A year ago Constance Hall and Liz Gipson were sitting on Constance’s backwood’s porch the day before The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) 2012 summer trade show was to start. What could the Spinning and Weaving Group (SWG) do to make some noise?

That conversation was taken to SWG’s meeting and ideas were bandied about. Claudia Segal agreed to chair a committee to explore the concept and Spinzilla was born. There are many, many others who played a role in making this event come to life and our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who said, “yeah, I can do that.” You can see the list of current committee members here. Scroll to “Who is organizing Spinzilla.”

Spinning a ton of yarn was a fun idea in itself, but it needed purpose. We wanted to spin for a reason. For years, various businesses within SWG had fielded requests from educators for fiber and equipment to teach spinning. There were more requests than any one business could manage and before the formerly independent Spinning and Weaving Association merged with TNNA there wasn’t really a mechanism to field these requests.

The Needle Arts Mentoring Program

It was after the merger that we learned about The Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP), a project of the Helping Hands Foundation. The mission of NAMP is to create community partnerships that promote and encourage relationships between adults and youth, fostering curiosity, creativity and a feeling of achievement through the teaching of needle arts. Educators—school teachers, after school programs, 4-H clubs, and the like—may request a small package of needle arts supplies to support their programs.

The Spinzilla registration fee of $10 will go to NAMP. The money will be used to provide CD spindles, fiber, and a how-to brochure to educators who request them, to support the administration work it takes to manage the program, and to advertise their availability. Our goal would be to have the spinning component fully up and running in the fall.  Stay tuned for more details about how to request materials.

Spinzilla is a perfect vehicle to ensure that we can foster the spinners of tomorrow today. Thanks so much for being a part of it. We hope you will spin your heart out for your team, for yourself, and for the spinners of tomorrow.

Rita Petteys, Spinzilla Chair

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