The Other Side of 50 Feb. 2013

The Hangtown Fibers Guild helps keep the mind active

By From page OSF2 | February 27, 2013

Although the Hangtown Fibers Guild is open to members of any age, this volunteer organization is a great way for people in El Dorado County who are over the age of 50 to keep their minds and lives active.

With membership between 80 to 100 people, the Hangtown Fibers Guild offers something for everyone.

Members’ interests and specialties span a wide range of topics from people who raise animals such as sheep, llama or angora bunnies, those who spin fiber into yarn, to people big into weaving, knitting, crocheting, basket making and dyeing fiber either by chemical or natural products.

The guild hosts monthly meetings, programs, workshops, hang-outs, picnics and camping trips.

Many events are closed to only members of the guild but the monthly business meetings and several of the specified group meetings, as well as the (free) fiber spinning group offered at the Placerville Senior Center, are all open to the public.

“It’s a great way for a lot of different people to get together in different ways,” Linda Dean, a member of the guild, said of the many gatherings the guild has to offer.

For many, learning and growing continues past the school-age years. Whether the world of fiber and fiber spinning is familiar or new, Dean said that a person can be introduced to something new every day and still not be able to absorb everything there is to know about this art-form.

“It’s also a good way for people over 50 to keep their minds active as well as meet a bunch of different and interesting people from all walks of life, so it really is a nice opportunity,” she said.

The guild is very active in the community which allows for members to remain connected to and involved in the various events around El Dorado County.

The guild is involved with the El Dorado County Fair, the Christmas in Coloma celebration and many other events, festivals and historical interpretations in the community.

Dean said that those in the community, especially anyone over the age of 50, are encouraged to come to the monthly group meetings if they have any interest in what the guild does or if they wish to become involved in any way.

There are yearly membership dues of $25 and membership also allows for access to more specialized classes, groups and outings that the guild puts together.

These standard business meetings take place on the third Thursday of every month and are held at the Hangtown Grange on Smith Flat Road in Placerville.

The Hangtown Fibers Guild caters to those who have passion and a desire to continue enriching their lives through learning, with no constraints to age.

Their motto states that “As a Guild [they] teach and inspire, share knowledge and camaraderie, enjoy potlucks and family picnics, schedule and take field trips and workshops, form and make new friendships, have fiber studies and impart [their] skill, love and knowledge about each and every one of [their] crafts.”

Rachael A. McCoy

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