Get Hooked!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kudos to Amy and Donna for this cross-country crochet tour….it’s been amazing.

I’m lucky because I work in the yarn industry. I live crocheting and knitting 24/7. I sometimes point to my work and my natural aversion to “regular” group meetings as the reason I never joined my local guild sooner. Then I had an epiphany or you could say I got “hooked” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) when the Craft Yarn Council, my employer, organized the first Knit-Out & Crochet events in New York City in the late 1990s. I reached out to area guild presidents asking for volunteers to help us teach crochet basics. The response from the guilds was amazing and that’s when I first got to meet so many of the members of the New York City Crochet Guild

I confess the other reason I hesitated joining the guild was that while I love to crochet and knit and have since I taught myself as a kid I’m happy stitching moderately easy to easy intermediate projects. I don’t aspire to tackle complicated projects so I assumed I’d be laughed out of any guild because I wasn’t creating drop-dead gorgeous projects. Of course I was wrong. I came to realize everyone is at a different level, has a different interest and there are no crochet police lurking at the meetings! It didn’t matter what I crocheted so much as I shared a love of crochet and fiber, which I certainly did.  What is most appealing about the guild meetings is that they are just plain fun. There’s lots of cheering when members show off projects during Show and Tell…and lots of laughs that come with sharing.

Then my involvement with the Warm Up America Foundation brought me to CGOA national and I’m currently a Board member, another epiphany. Hopefully, many of you have heard about this national charity ( where crocheters and knitters volunteer to create afghans for people in need.  I set up a booth to promote the charity at the Knit and Crochet Show, which hosts both CGOA and TKGA conferences. Of course, seeing the displays of new yarns at the marketplace was great but it was meeting the crocheters from around the country that made the trip so worthwhile. Then there were the classes, informal get- togethers and fashion show that rounded out an amazing weekend.

Ok, I confess I’m probably not going to tackle any expert projects any time soon, but I took away so many ideas from the show that I could incorporate into my own level of projects. Seeing first hand how other crocheters, as well as the industry’s top designers, are using all the interesting new fibers and colors with basic stitches, was inspiring. I’d urge every crochet enthusiast to try to get to a national conference---there are two a year and they rotate around the country—but if you can’t, check out your local guild or start your own. I promise, you’ll get hooked too!

Mary Colucci

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