Fiber Arts Guild keeps crafting traditions alive in Carter County

Library Clerk Charlee Workman first formed the group as the Crochet Club, calmly enjoying the art of crochet and learning new techniques from one another.

Two and a half years later, the group has grown so much, she decided to rename the organization into a guild.

“People were checking out books about crochet and sewing, and so we started a club,” Workman said.

The guild meets every Monday at 5:30 p.m. They do not limit themselves to crochet these days, working instead on any kind of handcrafting techniques, including sewing, knitting and much more.

“One lady brings in quilts and works on those, and one gentleman knits,” she said. “Anything to do with the hands, we know how to do.”

The guild is not just about learning the crafts, however.

Workman said they are working to preserve centuries of tradition that stem straight from the original settlers of the region.

“This is the heritage of the Appalachians,” she said. “These traditions need to be kept alive.”

Workman said she is currently working to finish a quilt her grandmother started, saying this kind of tradition was worth preserving.

She talked about how she has made stuffed animals for each of her grandchildren.

“Some of them still hold on to theirs, all these years later,” she said.

Workman said those interested in participating do not have to bring their own supplies. Attendees can simply stop by at any point during their two-hour meetings and see what they enjoy working on while they are there.

Out of the multitude of possible crafts, Workman said her favorite was still crochet.

“You can do anything with crochet,” she said. “You can make scarves, hats, toys, covers, anything.”

For those who want to bring their own supplies, however, Workman said almost all of them are available at the local Walmart for affordable prices.

She said she hopes the younger generation will take notice of the guild and its efforts to keep these traditions alive in the new year.

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