Recently I was reminded about how important it is to find your 'Tribe', to be part of something that is 'YOU', with people who have similar interests and beliefs and to feel as though you belong.
I attended the Australian Crochet Guild Conference at the beginning of June. In the lead up I had booked in to complete my Crochet Teacher Certification, some classes and was asked to be on a couple of panels. I was super excited to spend time with other crocheters and yarn enthusiasts and chat about all things Yarn Me Calm! What I didn't expect was that I would not only get the opportunity to meet some phenomenal humans but that I would meet someone who I have been chatting with since Yarn Me Calm first opened.
This gorgeous human made contact with me after seeing one of my posts about being in Sydney and asked if we could catch up at the Conference. I was looking forward to meeting with her and chatting about all things crochet and yarn. What I wasn't expecting was seeing her joy at chatting to others about crochet, her work, her designs and some of her life experience.
Watching her be accepted, embraced and included was a poignant reminder to me about how important it is to find your tribe and how often many of us take this for granted!
There is something about that sense of belonging and acceptance that allows us to be included and be our authentic selves that nurtures our internal sense of self, identity and well being.
Tribe (Noun) ~ a group of persons with a common character, occupation, or interest ~ Merriam Webster Dictionary.
We all strive to belong and feel accepted, did you know that our brains function more effectively when we are connected to others? Many of us possess an innate need to be part of a tribe based on our prehistoric need for safety in numbers to protect us from danger. The sharing of resources and knowledge helped to survive the dangers that were faced.
Social connection promotes happiness, being with others that understand you, have shared interests and encourage you can increase the release of feel-good hormones (oxytocin and seratonin) in the brain and increase your overall well-being physically and mentally.
One of the first steps in Finding Your Tribe is to identify what it is you're interested in....well we all have that sorted don't we!!!
- Yarn - of course!
And any other yarny type pursuits!
Next you need to be able to locate those humans that you want to connect with! Here is a list of guilds (you can find local groups by contacting your guild or searching Facebook or Google), this is definitely not an exhaustive list so if I have missed any please let me know!
Crochet Guild Australia
The CGA formed at the end of 2019 and covers crocheters across Australia. The Guild's goal is to inspire, teach and connect crocheters in Australia and build the Australian crochet community.
Queensland Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists
The QSWFA hosts a variety of groups for all fibre crafts across QLD - including knitting and crochet. The Guild has been operating for over 50 years and is an excellent resource and point of connection.
Handweaver's, Spinner's and Dyer's Guild of Western Australia
The Guild is an enthusiastic and talented group of people dedicated to providing learning and exhibition opportunities and promoting and sharing our skills with the wider community. Our members regularly attend festivals, open days and fairs and are keen to involve the public in what we do.
Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania
The Tasmanian Guild aims to bring together everyone who practises textile and fibre crafts for their mutual benefit, for the advancement of their crafts and discussions, demonstrations and exhibition.
Canberra Spinners & Weavers
Canberra Spinners and Weavers brings together people interested in spinning, weaving and related activities.
NSW Knitters Guild
The Knitters' Guild is a not-for-profit organisation promoting and encouraging the skills of Knitting and Crochet amongst its members and the wider community.
Hand Weavers & Spinners Guild of NSW
The Guild's objective is "to bring together, for their mutual benefit, people who practise any of the arts of hand weaving, spinning and associated crafts; to foster and encourage the crafts by instruction, discussion and exhibition of work".
Handweavers & Spinners Guild of VIC
This Guild is very active in facilitating learning opportunities for hand weavers and spinners. You're encouraged to visit the Guild meeting to get to know other members and, of course, join yourself!
Machine Knitters Association of VIC
The Machine Knitters Association of Victoria (MKAV) represents many Machine Knitting Clubs throughout Victoria. If you need assistance or wish to meet other machine knitters for inspiration, check for Clubs near you or contact one of the Committee Members.
Handknit & Crochet Guild of VIC
Handspinners & Weavers Guild of SA
Handknitters Guild of SA
Founded in 1987, the Handknitters Guild of South Australia Inc is an association of knitters representing the interests of knitting within the general community, who provide education for people learning and mastering the craft of knitting and encourage high standards in knitting.
If you struggle to get out and about for whatever reason, there are also many online options! Look for online groups or contact your local Guild for some ideas, you might just need to create one in your area!
There are soooo many options around, both online and face to face that you can join and be a part of so that you can surround yourself with like-minded people and engage in activities that soothe or inspire your soul.
In finding your tribe, you'll be on the path of adventure and spontaneity. This means trying a bunch of things that are out of your comfort zone. Have you ever caught up with other people with similar interests and you find yourself wanting to try something that they have talked about? I did that recently when I was chatting to someone and they mentioned planned pooling in crochet....before you know it I was booked in for a planned pooling class with Vicky Ledwy during the Conference!
I was so lucky to meet with so many amazing humans, expanding my tribe, giving me a sense of belonging and inspiring me to create. I feel so lucky at being able to attend the conference, knowing that not everyone has these opportunities! Chatting about out of home care and trauma with the beautiful Jenny, hugs from the sensational Petra, seeing Lidia's beautiful work, Harlene's sense of style, Jenny K's generous spirit, Lynley's lovely calming nature, Cindy's inclusivity and humour and so many more!
Your tribe members are people who accept you just as you are. They support you, provide you with a sense of community and encourage you to pursue your dreams.
Hopefully you are inspired to go and find your tribe! If you have any other groups or guilds that you would like to include here please let me know! Also feel free to share them in Yarn Me Calm Community or tag #yarnmecalm on Instagram!
Take care and enjoy.