Spinzilla: Growing Spinners since 2013

CD spindle and loom stickers designed by Joan Sheridan, three time Spinzilla team host and past SWG leadership team member.

CD spindle and loom stickers designed by Joan Sheridan, a three time Spinzilla team host and past SWG leadership team member.

If you are reading this chances are that you are wild about the fiber arts. You are also are likely to remember the first time you held a spindle and spun your very own yarn or the first time you threw the shuttle and woven on a loom. Thanks to Spinzilla spinners thousands of students have the opportunity to experience this thrill, too.

As of the 2014–2015 program year, there are 3,000 active student participants in NeedleArts Mentoring Program (NAMP). These students work with an adult mentor to learn knitting, crochet, stitching, and now thanks to Spinzilla, spinning and weaving. In the last program year NAMP has added 24 new spinning or weaving programs in addition to the 16 that started during the previous school year. In total, 656 new spinners and weavers have experienced the excitement of learning to spin or weave through NAMP.

Students participate in the Magnolia Spinzilla classroom challenge organized by Susan Plack host and catain of Team San Diego County Spinners.

Students participate in the Magnolia Spinzilla classroom challenge organized by Susan Plack host and catain of Team San Diego County Spinners.

Students participate in the new NAMP spinning and weaving program using equipment, fiber, and yarn provided by NAMP and funded by Spinzilla spinner registration fees. Spinners each pay $10.00 to be a part of the Spinzilla fun, and 100% of the proceeds are donated to NAMP, specifically to provide interested NAMP programs with spinning and weaving equipment and fiber. TNNA even picks up the credit card fees so every penny from the Spinzilla registration fee goes to create the spinners and weavers of tomorrow.

Spinzilla 2015 is off to another cracking start, thanks to the many efforts of the amazing planning committee. Andrea, Constance, and the Lizs—Liz (Gipson), and Liz (Good) have been working tirelessly year-round to provide a quality event. A lot of discussion and contemplation goes on behind the scenes to ensure Spinzilla continues to provide value to all who participate – whether it’s spinners, team hosts, or sponsors. Ideas are always filtered through the lens of the core values of providing opportunities for spinners to increase their skills, raising awareness of handspinning in the fiber arts community and the world at large, and growing new spinners and weavers by raising funds for the NAMP.

As you increase your skills during Spinzilla week, and spin yards and miles of yarn, and eventually knit, crochet, or weave with these handspun yarns, remember the new spinners that you are helping grow! We, and the new batch of spinners and weavers, thank you!

Rita Petteys
Spinning and Weaving Group Leadership Team and NAMP Board Member

P.S. There is still plenty of time to register for Spinzilla 2015! There is a team that needs you and your registration fee goes to a great cause.

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