What do you imagine when you think of knitting? Do you think of your grandmother sitting in a rocking chair in the winter making a hat or scarf? Well, there are some members who might fit that scene at the Alberta Handicrafts Guild, but drop by on a Tuesday morning at Bow Cliff Centre and you see a very different picture. The centre is filled to the brim with 80 women who are laughing, talking, working on their crafts, sharing snacks and stories. These are vibrant, hard working women who are able to use their creativity in such beautiful and practical ways with the crafts they make.
On any given day the Guild meets, you will find women working on knitting, quilting, tatting, or embroidery. We even have some weavers and some hookers… Rug Hookers that is! They make beautiful pieces that are truly works of art! And don’t be surprised to see a group of women talking about a project, and see them taking it apart because they didn’t get it “quite right”. There is a level of pride in their work and a bit of perfectionism in this group of women, I fear.
The members are modern women who have businesses, homes, families, and they fit crafting into their busy lives. To stand in the room and watch them share their skills, their stories and their lives with each other warms the heart. And their commitment to keeping the ancient art of Handicrafts shines through their stories and their conversations. There is an honoring of the traditional, but a beautiful mix of modern and whimsical in their pieces that they see as opportunities to express their creativity.
The Alberta Handicrafts Guild members do knitting for charities such as hats & blankets for Preemie babies at the Calgary Children’s Hospital Neo-natal unit, they do Chemo Caps for Cancer patients, wheelchair lap afghans for assisted living centres. And that’s not all the Guild does for charity! The members who do quilting make placemats for Meals on Wheels clients, as well as cosmetics bags for the women at the Calgary YWCA Sheriff King Home, which is a shelter for abused women.
So if you want to try a craft, and don’t know what to make, perhaps you could do some charity knitting or quilting, so your projects can be fun and useful. You will be warmly invited by the members to share in crafts, socializing and fun!