[Guild Charter graphic]

Our Charter
Signed 28 October AS XXXV

The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild
The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild is dedicated to the art of hand spinning fibers, using handspun yarns to create pieces through various methods of the textile arts, teaching the art of spinning and various techniques of using these yarns, and researching the use of fiber throughout the ages. These fiber arts include, but are not limited to, spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crochet, finger weaving, and embroidery. As we are a Guild operating within the confines of the Society for Creative Anachronism, we will keep the main focus on techniques of these arts as they were practiced before 1600. However, as spinning and the other fiber arts transcend time and place, members can explore the modern innovations in color, fibers, techniques and styles and share their knowledge and experiences with others.
We encourage our members to share their knowledge and love of the textile arts with others through a mentoring program with new spinners, teaching classes on the fiber arts, entering Arts and Sciences competitions, doing research on textile-related subjects, and producing works of textile arts. Most importantly, we encourage our members to enjoy themselves, the skills they learn, and the fellowship of their companions in pursuit of the textile arts.
The Guild is administered by a headmistress (known as the Holda) and assisted by several officers elected from the Guild membership in order to ensure that the spindle of our Guild turns smoothly. These positions are the webminister and newsletter publisher, known as the Clotho; the Secretary and record-keeper, known as the Lachesis; the Treasurer, known as the Atropos; and the Guild Librarian, known as the Minerva.
The only requirement for membership in the Guild is to have an interest in handspinning and to submit a letter of interest and intent to join to the current Holda of the Guild. The Holda will then contact the applicant to have them fill out the appropriate membership forms and assist them in learning the art of spinning. As the member learns the art of spinning and how to apply the various categories of fiber arts to the yarns they have created, there are three ranks within the Guild that the member may wish to apply for. These ranks are designed to exemplify the level of skill that members of the Guild have attained through their study. These ranks are Apprentice, Journeyman and Master, known within this Guild as Apprentice, Spider and Norn levels.
The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild also works to foster contact between its members and information exchanges through a mentoring program, annual meetings, classes and workshops, and a newsletter and e-group list. We will also work in conjunction with other Arts and Sciences groups to assist in providing the populace of the Kingdom of Atlantia with workshops, classes, demonstrations and other events designed to promote the Arts and Sciences.
Done by Our Hands this twenty-eighth day of October, A.S. XXXV, being 2000 Gregorian.
Emer ny Rilley Siobhan NicDhuinnshleibhe
Regina Atlantiae Founding Holda
And the founding members of the Knowne Whorl Spinners Guild
Aeronyn Brynna ny Flaibheartaigh Alessandra al Ruscello
Alys Montgomerie Cecily de Stafford
Etain an Cenlis Mor Kisaiya Zingara
Lydia of Aire Faucon Maderun Landimor
Margaret Samsdottir Marryn of the Black Oak Grove
Serafima Netka Sesilia the Lucky
Sine ni Dheaghaidh Susannah von Schweissguth

Charter of The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild
Founded 28 October, A.S. XXXV
Article I - Purpose

The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild is dedicated to the art of hand spinning fibers; using handspun yarns to create pieces through various methods of the textile arts; teaching the art of spinning and various techniques of using these yarns; and researching the use of fiber throughout the ages.

The definitions of methods for utilizing handspun yarns are based upon the different techniques of the fiber arts themselves.  For the purposes for this Guild, those techniques that we practice are defined as, but not limited to:

  • Spinning – the art of drawing out fibers and twisting them into thread through manipulation of a tool such as a spindle, spinning wheel, or other piece of spinning apparatus.

  • Dyeing – the art of coloring fibers, yarns or fabrics by using a liquid containing coloring matter for imparting a particular hue to a substance by either staining, pigmenting, or deposited a color on a fiber by use of a solution containing the colorant.

  • Weaving – the art of interlacing threads on some form of loom in such a fashion as to create some form of woven cloth.

  • Knitting – the art of forming fabric by interlacing yarn or thread in a sequence of connecting loops by the manipulation of knitting needles.

  • Crochet – the art of forming fabric by interlacing yarn or thread in a sequence of connecting loops by the manipulation of a hooked needle.

  • Finger Weaving - the art of interlacing threads in such a fashion as to create some form of woven cloth or braiding by manipulating yarns or threads without the use of a weaving loom.

  • Embroidery – the art of embellishing or forming decorative designs on an item by manipulating a needle or some other sort of embroidery tool.

Note: As we are a Guild operating within the confines of the Society of Creative Anachronism, we will keep the main focus on techniques of these arts as they were practiced before 1600. However, as spinning and the other fiber arts transcend time and place, members are more than encouraged to explore the modern innovations in color, fibers, techniques and styles and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

Article II - Membership
The only requirement for membership in the Guild is to have an interest in handspinning and to submit a letter of interest and intent to join to the current Holda (headmistress) of the Guild. The Holda will then contact the applicant to have them fill out the appropriate membership forms and assist them in learning the art of spinning or determining their appropriate skill level.
As the member learns the art of spinning and how to apply the various categories of fiber arts to the yarns they have created, there are three ranks within the Guild that the member may wish to apply for. These ranks are designed to exemplify the level of skill that members of the Guild have attained through their study. These ranks are Apprentice, Journeyman and Master, known within this Guild as Apprentice, Spider and Norn levels. The qualifications and application process for these ranks are as follows:
Apprentice: Applicants to the Apprentice position will own a dropspindle or other spinning apparatus that will allow them to create yarn. They must be current members of the Guild and have submitted a letter of intent to join to the current headmistress and have filled out the appropriate registration forms. The applicant will submit to the Holda of the Guild or their sponsor within the Guild three skeins of yarn they have spun of at least one ounce of fiber each, and a short writeup detailing the fiber spun, the manner it was spun in, and a sample of the fiber prior to spinning. The skeins to be submitted are as follows:
    • One skein, single ply, spun thicker
    • One skein, single ply, spun thinner
    • One skein, plied in any manner or thickness.
Apprentices are expected to study the art of spinning and any techniques of fiber arts that they wish. An apprentice is free to call upon any guild member for assistance in learning the fiber arts, and are encouraged to enter Arts & Sciences competitions. All apprentices are allowed to participate in a mentor program with other members of the Guild at Spider level or higher. Apprentice submission forms in MS Word (25K) and PDF (7K).
Spider: Applicants to the Spider position should have fulfilled the requirements of Apprentice, and submit the following ten 1-2 ounce skeins with accompanying short writeup on fibers, methodology and samples to a panel of three judges of Spider or Norn status within the Guild. The skeins to be submitted are as follows:
    • One skein spun on a dropspindle (any fiber, uniform thickness or ply)
    • One skein spun on a spinning wheel (any fiber, uniform thickness or ply)
    • Two wool skeins, spun in different uniform thicknesses (worsted, any ply)
    • Two wool skeins, spun in different uniform thicknesses (woolen, any ply)
    • Two skeins of one other type of fiber, spun in different uniform thicknesses (any ply)
    • One skein of a uniform 3-ply (any fiber)
One additional skein must be submitted in the form of a small finished project of at least 4” x 6” size using any fiber art technique as outlined, but not limited to, the fiber arts techniques outlined in the body of this charter. In addition, any one of the woolen skeins must be processed from the raw wool, cleaned and carded by the spinner before spinning, and any one of the skeins must be dyed with a natural dye. The applicant will be admitted to the rank of Spider if the members of the judging panel determine that the samples display an adequate knowledge of the techniques of handspinning and the chosen form of fiber art included within the submission. Spider submission forms in MS Word (35K) and PDF (10K).
Spiders are expected to assist in the instruction of apprentices, to assist in judging work submitted to the Guild for membership, and to promote interest in the art of handspinning. All spiders are encouraged to pursue studies of the fiber arts techniques, to write for the Guild newsletter and web page and to enter their creations in the Arts and Sciences Competitions.
Norn: Applicants to the position of Norn will have fulfilled all requirements for Apprentice and Spider status within the Guild and will have been a member of the Guild for at least one year. Applicants will be proficient in handspinning different fibers on different spinning apparatus, will be able to crate examples of at least three forms of fiber arts utilizing handspun yarns and can produce an excellent piece in one of them.
The candidate will have taught within the Society, acted as a mentor to at least one member of the Guild, and served the Guild as a judge in assessing applicants for Apprentice and Spider levels. The applicant will submit to a panel of three judges of Spider or Norn status the following 1-2 ounce skeins with appropriate writeup & documentation for each of the following:
    Spinning:
    • Cotton, two different uniform thickness, any ply (two skeins)
    • Cotton, 3-ply yarn
    • Flax, wet spun, uniform thickness, any ply
    • Flax, dry spun, uniform thickness, any ply
    • Flax, 3-ply yarn
    • Silk, spun from caps or noil, any thickness or ply  (may be textured)
    • Silk, spun from top, any thickness or ply
    • Silk, 3-ply yarn
    • One “exotic” fiber not mentioned above, any ply or thickness (including, but not limited to, llama, alpaca, dog, camel, cashmere, ramie, rabbit, etc.)
    • Any two fibers blended together for textured yarn on handcards, combs or a carder (any ply or thickness)
    Dyeing:
    • Submit examples of dyeing with at least three natural dyes using at least two mordants or techniques per dye. (minimum 7 skeins, including one of the original undyed fiber)
    Projects:
    • Submit two small projects at least 4” x 6” size using any two of the fiber art techniques as outlined, but not limited to, the techniques outlined in the body of this charter. Submit one major project in any one of the fiber art techniques (different than the ones used for the smaller projects) that demonstrates the applicants excellence in one of the fiber arts forms. (Can be of the same art form as the entry for Spider rank, but not the same piece.)
A Norn will assist the Holda of the Guild in teaching and coordinating spinning activities for the Guild, judging submitted work within the Guild, enter at least one A&S competition within the Society each year they are active within the Society, and mentor to other members of the Guild. Norns are highly encouraged to do research in the fiber arts and share their findings with members of the Guild, and to submit articles to the Guild newsletter and other publications on spinning and the fiber arts. Norn submission forms in MS Word (45K) and PDF (10K).
(Note: It is also suggested, but not required that a member of Norn rank also be experienced in using modern chemical dyes and be familiar with spinning techniques that involve blending fiber for color and texture as well as plying techniques to produce textured, “modern” yarns).
Article III – Administration
In addition to rank, there are several positions of authority within the Guild to assist with the administration of the Guild. (Note: At the time of its inception the, The Knowne Whorl Spinning Guild will only have officers in the positions of Holda, Clotho and Lachesis. As the guild continues to grow in size, the other two positions will be added as needed.)
These positions are as follows:
  • Holda: The Holda is the headmistress of the Guild. She is responsible for organizing Guild activities, teaching classes within the Guild, and coordinating help for apprentices and administering the mentor program within the Guild. The Holda is responsible for the selection of members to panels to judge submissions for the ranks in the Guild, and must serve as one of the judges to evaluate entries for a member to attain Norn status. The Holda is also responsible for coordinating the election of new Guild administrators, or appointing a member of the Guild to administer such elections in the event that it would cause a conflict of interest. The Holda will also be responsible for or delegate the responsibility of creating badges for members of the Guild. The Holda must be of the Norn rank.

  • Clotho: The Clotho is the Webminister of the Guild. She is responsible for the coordination and administration of the Guild web page, any electronic newsletters, and any mass e-mailings to Guild members. She is also responsible for selecting a moderator for any discussions on any newsgroups that might develop on the web page and distributing e-mail inquiries about the Guild to the Guild Secretary. The Clotho must be of the Apprentice rank or higher within the Guild.

  • Lachesis: The Lachesis is the Secretary of the Guild. She is responsible for maintaining the database of the Guild membership, notifying Guild membership of activities of the Guild through newsletter or through mailings. The Lachesis is responsible for keeping records of a member’s status within the Guild and tracking a members progress through entries in A&S entries and awards given. The Lachesis must be of the Apprentice rank or higher within the Guild.

  • Atropos: The Atropos is the Treasurer of the Guild. She is responsible for administering finances for the Guild, including but not limited to: working with all members of the Guild to collect dues, reimburse the appropriate persons for the cost of mailings, supplies etc. for all Guild functions. The Atropos must be of the Apprentice rank or higher within the Guild and have the ability to be a legal signatory on a checking account.

  • Minerva: The Minerva is the Librarian of the Guild. She is responsible for holding the collection of printed reference materials and community equipment of the Guild. She is to maintain a collection in printed form of all Guild newsletters and publications, and is responsible for working with the other administrators of the Guild to coordinate purchases of new books or equipment for the Guild. The Minerva is also responsible for helping members of the Guild in their search for documentation and references for various projects, and making copies of any such documentation for those members. In the event that the Minerva steps down from her position, she is strongly encouraged to make or obtain copies of any personal books she was allowing to be used as a resource for the Guild library so that the Guild will not lose that resource. The Minerva must be of the Apprentice rank or higher within the Guild, and have the facilities to store the Guild collection of literature and equipment.

  • In the event any members of the administration must step down from their position, they are to submit their suggestion(s) for successors to the Holda, who will coordinate the transfer of duties to the new administrator though the appropriate channels. In the event that the Holda must designate a successor, the Lachesis will assist the Holda in transferring her duties to her successor.
    As the Guild grows, the Holda has the authority to assign deputies to help administer the functions of the Guild within the different regions of Atlantia. In the even that one of the administrators feels the need to take a deputy, she is to submit her request to the Holda who will assist her in finding and training a deputy to fulfil the position. All deputies are to submit quarterly reports to the Holda on the progress of the members in their area.
    Article IV – Newsletter
    At such time as it is deemed necessary by the Holda to publish a regular newsletter in order to keep all member so the Guild informed as to the Guild’s activities, she will coordinate the publication of such newsletter with the Lachesis. The Guild membership will be polled at such time to determine if the newsletter should be monthly or quarterly, being mindful that they are responsible for contributing to the content of the newsletter.
    The Lachesis shall determine the cost of publication and distribution of the newsletter, and shall work with the Holda and Atropos to inform the Guild membership. The Lachesis shall publish the newsletter and distribute it to subscribing members, and the Atropos will collect the subscription fees for the newsletter.
    Article V – Guild Meetings
    The Guild will normally meet on a specific day and time as to be voted on by the registered membership. The location of the meetings will be subject to change, depending on the type of activity planned and the locations available. As members of the Guild are located far and wide throughout the fair realm of Atlantia, an effort should be made to hold at least one annual meeting with at least one class or workshop at a rotating location so all members of the Guild will have an opportunity to attend. If it will not inconvenience the Autocrat, this meeting may take place at any Kingdom-level SCA event.
    If at all convenient, one member of the administration should make an effort to be present at a local fighter practice on a regular basis in order to assist guild members with any problems and to educate newcomers on the art of handspinning and the function of the Guild.
    Article VI – Service To The Queen
    As Her Majesty is the patroness of the Arts & Sciences in the Kingdom of Atlantia, the Guild would like to honor Her as such. The Holda shall be responsible for working with the members of the Guild to decide on an appropriate gift to create for Her Majesty and assigning the task of creating that gift to a member of the Guild (in the event that she does not make it herself). The Lachesis shall be responsible for keeping records as to which member creates the pouch for each Queen.
    Article VII – Workshop And Classes Policies
    Unless otherwise stated, registered members will have first priority on attendance to any guild workshop or class. Any non-registered members will be allowed to sign up, space permitting, two weeks prior to the event date. In the event that workshops become filled, a waiting list will be formed. In the event that an opening becomes available, registered members will have the first opportunity to attend the classes or workshops. For classes specifically designed for apprentices or newcomers, priority on attendance will be given to these apprentices and newcomers as Guild members will be assisting at these classes.
    The cost of each workshop or class for members and non-members will be determined on a per-event basis by the instructor. Unless stated otherwise, all fees are to be paid directly to the instructor of each class or workshop.
    Article VIII – Amendments To The Charter
    Any member of the Guild who would like to make a proposal or suggestion which would require a vote by the administration or registered membership should submit a written proposal to all members of the administration at least two weeks prior to their presentation at a monthly meeting.
    Any proposed amendments to these by-laws will be presented and discussed at one of the Guilds monthly meetings, as well as posted on the web page or included in the newsletter. Voting on any changes will take place at the following monthly meeting, as long as 51% of the registered membership is present. Acceptance of any amendments will require approval by a two-thirds majority vote of membership present at the meeting.
    In the event that two successive meetings do not produce enough of a majority to hold the voting, the Lachesis will be responsible for polling the registered membership of the guild. As all members of the guild will receive notice of the voting, all votes must be received back to the Lachesis no later than one month’s time from the date that the polling was mailed. As in an in-person vote on acceptance of any changes, acceptance of any amendments will require approval by a two-thirds majority vote of the registered membership.

    return to the main index