Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
As editor of Interweave Crochet, I am all about crochet. All day, every day. How great is that? Maybe you are just as fortunate. Maybe not.
If not, I have the next best thing for you: Close your eyes. Picture yourself in a place filled with people with hooks and yarn. People who don’t ask you if you’re knitting. People whose eyes don’t glaze over when you respond that you’re crocheting. People who don’t say “Huh, an old lady down the street used to do that.” The people in this room come up, touch your sleeve, ask what crochet stitch that is, where you got the pattern, what yarn you used. They ask if you used an inline hook to get the bullions so smooth. They might ask you if you’ve seen Lily Chin or Doris Chan or Tammy Hildebrand roaming around. Because you are that kind of person -- the kind who hangs out with Lily and Doris and Tammy, just crocheting and shootin’ the breeze.
Ok, now open your eyes and fetch your calendar (go ahead -- I’ll wait). Circle these dates: July 17-21 and October 2-6. Now dial up your Google maps. Figure out how far it is from your house to Indianapolis. Now to Charlotte. Go for whichever is closest. Then sign yourself up for the Chain Link Conference. Because you deserve to be in a room filled with crocheters who love crochet.
And, really? These people are serious fun. Don’t believe me? Check this out. (And in case you missed it there at the end, watch the video that was made at the 2010 Chain Link Conference)
You’ll learn, you’ll crochet, you’ll do nothing but breathe this great craft for three full days (and, yeah, you might have to buy a commemorative hook and a skein or two of yarn, to work on in the lobby with Doris and Tammy and Lily. Because you are that kind of person.)
I look forward to seeing you there. Let’s have a coffee and crochet a motif. Can’t wait!
p.s. If you have some swatches and spare yarn lying around looking for a home, why not whip them up into a blanket? Our friends over at Crochetville are gathering blankets and donations for Project Night Night, which is seeking handmade blankets 50” x 60” or smaller. A patchwork blanket will help you clear out your stash and help a homeless child stay warm and feel loved. Win, win!
Friday, March 22, 2013
My name is Jane Rimmer, and I’m excited about talking to you about crochet and the CGOA. Thank you to Amy, and Donna, & Crochetville for sponsoring this month-long blog tour for National Crochet Month.
This year is my 4th and final year on the CGOA Board of Directors. It’s been fun and educational working with others who have a love of crochet. Currently I am the Treasurer for the National Board. During my years on the Board, I have been involved with several committees, related to crochet education. I have served on the Event Education committee, and served as both co-chair and Board Liaison. The Event Education committee is responsible for selecting teacher and classes for the crochet portion of the Knit & Crochet Shows. The committee also selects and holds free, education programs such as “Learn to Crochet”, “Learn to Read Patterns” and “Learn Tunisian” that have been held at recent conferences. For more information on this year’s Knit & Crochet Shows, check out the website:
This year I’ve also taken on the co-chair of the Masters Program Committee, working with Susan Lowman and a great group of reviewers. The Masters Program is a correspondence course where candidates produce a portfolio of swatches and answers to questions to show that they’ve mastered the program materials. The portfolios are then reviewed by two reviews, and the candidates received a certificate and a pin when they pass the course. For more information about the Masters Program, check at the CGOA website:
I’ve also been the CGOA email correspondent for several years. This is a volunteer position not related to the Board. It involves answering questions that people pose to the CGOA. The questions can be simple to answer, such as how to make a specific stitch, or explaining a pattern abbreviation, or where to donate an antique crocheted family item; or the questions can require a little research such as substitutions for yarn used in a vintage pattern.
My committee involvement reflect my interest in continuing education I’m an avid proponent of life long learning. And I can attest that you can spend a lifetime learning new things in crochet, and there will always be something new to learn. I have been crocheting for more than 50 years. In the past few years I’ve taken classes in broomstick lace and Tunisian techniques, building on the basics that I learned in the 1960’s. I’ve learned some beading and jewelry making, Entrelac, and delta. This year I’m looking forward to learning the crocodile stitch.
In addition to continuous learning, I love teaching, both math and crochet. I have taught at Knitters’ Day Out in the Harrisburg area, and at the Hershey Public Library, and my local CGOA Chapter. Along with teaching classes and private lessons, I am an instructor on Ravelry’s Learn Crochet group. I am also a contract crocheter, and love working with some very talented designers. I am the co-founder and current President of Those (Y)arn Crocheters, the Harrisburg Chapter of the CGOA. We meet twice monthly, once at the East Shore Library in Harrisburg and once at the Hershey Public Library. We are always welcoming new members. For more information:
My designs are in Tunisian crochet, have been published in the Crochet Pattern a Day Calendar 2007, and Across the Board 2010, 2011 and 2012. Across the Board is a publication by CGOA that features designs by members of the Board of Directors. You can obtain the pattern book by joining or renewing your CGOA membership.
Don’t forget that Crochetville is helping to support Project Night Night throughout the March for National Crochet Month. Project Night Night is a non-profit that provides a tote bag of comfort items to homeless children. I’m going add this worthwhile charity to our Chapter’s list of charities for this year. Please check out Project Night Night:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
There's so much we're working on this year: the new website, increasing membership value, linking up with more chapters, putting together this year's By the Board pattern book, increasing our presence - and contests - on Facebook, and so much more. I also invite you to create your own page on crochet.org. You can link to your own website, your Etsy site, your Pinterest board and lots more. Hope to see your page up soon!
While you'll soon be able to "meet" all your board members from their upcoming profiles on crochet.org, I thought I'd give you a bit of my own background. I learned to knit at the age of 8 from my mom, an avid knitter, but I'm a self-taught crocheter, having picked it up while in college, thanks to all the inspiring crochet of the 60's. My degree (from UMass) is in Textiles, but from the Fashion and Marketing/business standpoint. Yes, I'm probably more of an entrepreneur than anything, as I've only worked for other companies for maybe 3 or 4 years after graduating from college until I sold my last business, Bond America, and joined Caron International as their Creative Director back in 2003. Late 2011 Caron was sold to Spinrite (Bernat, Patons) in Canada and I became the Editor of two new magazines: Knit 1-2-3 and, of course, Crochet 1-2-3. Some of my other experience includes owning a fabric/yarn store in the 70's, a freelance knit and crochet design business in the 80's and a yarn and knitting machine store in the 80's. When I'm not crocheting or knitting, I love spending time with my daughter, her husband and their two kids, who live just down the street. I'm also a gym rat every weekday morning, an avid beader (bead crochet, embroidery, kumihimo), gardener and traveler. In 2003 I founded Rwanda Knits, a non-profit that has helped women in Rwanda earn a living through knitting (and crochet). The 150+ women now have a knitting center and run a self-sustaining independent business.
My passion for crochet stems from the nature of the needleart itself: free - and fabulous. While, yes, there are rules and there are patterns and there are charts, there's just one hook and one stitch - and with them you can go wherever you want. It's the passion of crocheters and the talent of the amazing designers, most of them professional members of CGOA, who have really inspired me. (I even learned to do Tunisian entrelac, finally master Doris Chan's foundation stitches and, at a conference, learned to do Darla Fanton's reversible bead crochet.) The skill of the tech editors, without whom there would be no accurate patterns anywhere, is totally amazing. And the teachers, both professional and the rest of us who teach whoever is willing to learn, who keep skills growing. However, it's all of you, the CGOA family, who make all of us work as hard - and have as much fun - as we do. And it's you who we need to hear from: ideas, suggestions, criticisms, questions, expectations met and unmet - whatever's on your mind you'd like us all to hear - and act on.
As President, I hope to see the organization through some significant, positive changes this year which include a plan for bringing on many more members, increasing membership benefits to all members, building the crochet.org website, working to make conferences the best they can be, launching a scholarship program, supporting Susan and Jane while they make the Masters Program grow and develop, involving more CGOA chapters being spearheaded by Mary and Jack, helping contribute to Tammy's amazing social media projects, working with Marcy on making that website run like clockwork and working with Karen Knies, our Executive Director, to make CGOA the best it can be. Yes, it takes time - but we have the will - and the skill - to make it a reality.
And a thanks to the duo at Crochetville for making this tour possible!
- Cari Clement
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I'd like to thank Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka of Crochetville for hosting this exciting blog tour in celebration of National Crochet Month! I have enjoyed reading all the posts each day this month. You can find the complete list here in case you missed any of them.
Please join us in supporting Project Night Night which is an organization that provides homeless children with a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal -- all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. You can find all the details here.
For those of you that don't know me, I am Tammy Hildebrand and I am thrilled to be serving as your Vice President this year. Having previously served as CGOA's mentor coordinator and the professional development chairperson, I'd like to take this opportunity to share some of the great benefits CGOA has to offer.
Did you know the Crochet Guild offers a mentoring program at no additional charge other than the cost of membership? We've got professional members ready to help you achieve your goals whether you're working towards a career in technical editing, contract crocheting, teaching, and of course designing. You must already be actively pursuing your goals on your own but if you qualify, our mentor coordinator will place you with an established professional to work with one-on-one for up to two years!
Currently in development is a brand new online teaching group. Some of your favorite conference teachers will share their experience and knowledge on topics such as how to propose and prepare classes, creating handouts for your students, how to gauge your time, material fees and so on. This is not a class on teaching so you must already have some teaching experience.
And speaking of the conference, we will be in Indianapolis, IN July 17-21 for our summer show and in Charlotte, NC October 2 - 6 for our fall conference. Read about all the exciting events and classes planned for the annual Knit and Crochet Show. One of my favorite events is Professional Development Day, also known as PDD. This is a daylong event that kicks off the conference first thing Wednesday morning. Each year we have a different theme, various speakers and topics, and interesting formats to help you increase your knowledge about what it takes to be a professional.
Also at our conferences we hold a "Designer Meet and Greet" with editors and publishers from your favorite magazines and yarn companies. This is such a unique opportunity to have actual face time to show your designs to the publishers. It is not uncommon to sell a design right off your back! Where else could you do something like that? So what are you waiting for? Stop by our website to learn more and you too could be a member of the Crochet Guild of America!
Be sure to pop over to This is Crochet, our other stop on the tour today. Turquoiz Blue is one of our professional members that designs beautiful fashion, accessories and home decor. Be sure to check out her Fleurette Scarf, a clever piece done in Tunisian Knit Stitch that I think is so pretty.
You can find me on my blog at Hot Lava Crochet and also on Facebook at Hot Lava Crochet. I hope I will see many of you at an upcoming conference. Please be sure to come up and introduce yourself!
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Author: Kathryn Vercillo
Author: Betty Barnden
Professional and Associate members of the CGOA are participating in the blog tour. There are an unprecedented 50+ blog participants in the tour.
From the website:
You will get a special surprise at each stop along the blog tour. You might pick up a free pattern created just for this event. Maybe you’ll get a sneak peek at a designer’s crochet studio. Maybe you’ll find a stitch or technique tutorial. You might even get a chance to learn some fascinating crochet history.
This tour is our way of saying thank you to crocheters everywhere for supporting the crochet community with your purchases of individual patterns, books, magazines, crochet hooks and tools, yarn, and thread. We hope you enjoy what we have to share with you this month!
The Tour is supporting Project Night Night, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children.
Join these CGOA members as we celebrate our own special month. Visit the website here for more information and links to all the participating blogs. What a party! Enjoy!