Reason to Join a Local CGOA Chapter #5: Field Trips!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Post by Stacy Vaka of Crochet Kitten.

Welcome back to my blog series on what it's like to join a local CGOA chapter! I joined the Prince William County chapter of CGOA back in January, and I've been writing about what the experience has been like. You can find links to the whole series on this post.

This month I had the opportunity to take part in one of the benefits I've been looking most forward to since I heard the year's agenda laid out in January, and that was a crochet field trip! In the past, my particular chapter has talked of making group trips to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Knit & Crochet Show (and indeed, two of our members attended the Knit & Crochet Show this year and gave us the insider details at this month's guild meeting), but the field trip I partook in this month was to Bonita Yarns in Essex, Maryland to meet and have a workshop with Lianka Azulay, inventor of the crocodile stitch.

Lianka with her mother Rachel's adorable pup.

One of the fun things about visiting a crochet designer in her own element was having the opportunity to see the designer's own crochet handiwork in person. We've all seen the crocodile stitch dragon and mermaid patterns (even I'm guilty of these obvious applications with my Sirens of Atlantis and Angel Wings patterns), but Lianka's abilities speak to more versatility than that. Did you know crocodile stitch could be this beautiful?

Most crochet designers would be content with having created one revolutionary new stitch pattern, but Lianka has shown that she is not about to stop innovating. The purpose of our little field trip was to attend a workshop she was giving on how to make her 3D Embossed Garden Handbag, which features yet another stitch pattern she designed called embossed leaves.

The pattern takes advantage of front- and back-post stitches as well as concepts borrowed from short-row shaping to create this heavily textured effect. Like the granny square, once the concept is mastered, one could continue the leaf pattern into infinity to make a project as large or as small as one wishes. Lianka said she was inspired to create this pattern by a similar stitch pattern in knitting.

But the field trip was about more than just learning a new crochet technique. It was fun having the opportunity to get to know Lianka and her mother Rachel a little bit (Rachel cooked us a delicious Brazilian lunch, and is so witty I would go back just to hear her talk). And it was also fun having the chance to get to know my own local guild members a little better.

Left to Right: Myself, Rachel, Lianka, and fellow guild members Dawn Harrison & Michelle Livingston

I would like to once again thank Lianka and Rachel for the kindness they showed us during our visit, and for offering to come visit our guild later this year. We're looking forward to seeing you again!

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