Happy National Crochet Month from CGOA President, Susan Sullivan

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

As the new President of the CGOA Board, I want to share a little of my background and why crochet is important to me.

I’ve always been passionate about handwork. Needlepoint, embroidery, and sewing were early interests. My mother-in-law taught me how to crochet not long after I married into the Sullivan family. I still use my Boye crochet hooks from the set I bought at Wal-mart in Berryville, Arkansas in 1973! That Christmas, everyone on my list (well, the gals), received a shawl made from a pattern in Family Circle magazine with Dazzleaire yarn. I continued honing my skills on baby afghans for family and friends and like most crocheters I gave almost everything away but here is the first afghan I ever made. It is a pattern from a Columbia-Minerva book, Teach Yourself to Crochet, and as you can see it was made in those 70s signature colors; avocado, harvest gold, and orange. I was so intrigued by the square turned on point inside the circle, inside the outer square!

I was majoring in art in college and as I explored new art forms, crochet patiently waited for me to return. The pottery studio became my new home and consumed all of my creative energy.

Fast forward to 1988 and it was time for this mother of a one-year-old son to go back to work. I joined Leisure Arts as a technical writer for surface stitchery and crafts.  In 1995, I took over as managing editor of all crochet and knit publications with 17 technical editors for the various leaftlets, books, and one crochet magazine. Over the next 19 years, while I was still involved in all of the other categories, crochet was my favorite. The most treasured part of my job was working with designers across the industry. I soon realized how much I loved dreaming and planning with these amazingly talented women and men to bring great designs to life. 

In 2014, due to changes in the company, I found myself contemplating my next adventure and am excited to be continuing in the industry I love. I've formed my own consulting firm and am humbled by the opportunities before me. I count being on and leading the board of CGOA as one of those opportunities for which I am very grateful.

While CGOA offers so many fun and educational programs to its members, I think it's so very important to recognize the role it plays in providing crochet designers a platform to further their professional goals. The Crochet Professional and Crochet Associate Professional recognition programs are unique in our industry. There are significant qualification requirements to receive these titles which helps the designer grow and strengthens the level of professionalism in the industry. In my previous role in publishing, the CGOA conferences allowed me to meet with numerous designers under one roof. This is good for the publisher as well as budding and seasoned designers.

Whether you are new to crochet and just want to make your first baby afghan, dreaming of your name on your first book, or have been in the "biz" for decades...

When you think CROCHET, think CGOA!

All my best,

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