Handmade: Stitch with Southeast Michigan Crochet Guild
Are you someone who was once hooked on crocheting but somehow life came between you and your love for the intricate needlework? Well, if you’d like to rekindle that passion, why not join a crocheting group where you’ll be surrounded by others who share your enthusiasm?
One of few such groups here in Michigan is the Southeast Michigan Crochet Guild, which meets every third Sunday of the month from 2-4 p.m. at City Knits (26050 Crocker) in Harrison Township. Detroiter Susan Nozibele Kelsey-Brewton, one of the founding members, said the group came together in January of 2010 “to promote crocheting, and to bring people together in this region who had a passion for crocheting.
“We’re affiliated with the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), so through that organization, we are the first official (crocheting) guild in Michigan,” informed Kelsey-Brewton, who’s been instructing crocheting classes at City Knits since 2007. However, she said, the guild is “not part of City Knits,” (but) a lot of people in the guild live in that area.”
Crocheting since the age of 5, Kelsey-Brewton said unlike knitters, crocheters often work alone. “A lot of people crochet, but they don’t come together like knitters, but I’m starting to see more crocheting projects online. People might crochet and don’t have a pattern, (so) I think that has a lot to do with it.”
As guild chairperson, she said, “We’re really trying to get our name out there,” and membership is open to anyone interested in crocheting, or wanting to learn how, and “it’s not exclusive to women.” Right now, the guild only has “about 12 active members,” and they range in age from roughly 30-70-something. “We want to reach out and connect with more crochet groups and individuals in terms of increasing our membership.”
Each meeting begins with business and is followed by a group activity. At a recent meeting, members turned in about 20 chemo projects — caps and shawls — which they donated last month to the Karmanos Cancer Center.
Kelsey-Brewton said, “We always have at least one charity project that we all do, and we have demonstrations on how to do other projects, or you can work on whatever you want. We’ve done Goodfellows dolls the past three or four years, and we’re working on a blanket to donate to the Michigan Lupus Foundation.” The blanket will consist of colorful granny squares made by each of the members.
The guild sometimes highlights local crocheters by having them do demonstrations at their meetings. But, one of their goals is to start bringing in well-known crochet artists from outside Michigan, and another is to attend a national crochet conference, sometime this year.
To raise funds for such activities and to further promote their efforts, Kelsey-Brewton said, “We plan to sell T-shirts and we’ll be looking into some other advertising and fund-raising things. Before now, we haven’t worked on fundraising. It was (more) about developing our skills and craft.”
Membership fee is $5 for each of the 11 months they meet during the year ($55 total), or $35 if paid-in-full. Kelsey-Brewton said, “The first month is free so people can come and decide if they want to be part of the group.”
Assisting with guild activities are Vice President Nancy Carter of Shelby Township, Acting Secretary Laura Nixon of Clinton Township and Treasurer Debbie Fulgenzi of Fraiser. Past group outings have included going to yarn festivals, a yarn crawl to several shops in the area, and a crochet in public event which, this year, will coincide with Worldwide Knit in Public Day.
Detroit News Columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/DetroitNewsHandmade.
Contact the Southeast Michigan Crochet Guild at (313) 231-8722, or on Facebook and Ravelry. Email: email@example.com.