Getting to Know You - Jenny Brigham!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Welcome to the new series "Getting To Know You" on the blog. This is an opportunity for our members to share a little bit about themselves, and for us to learn more about each other and continue the family feel after leaving the annual conference. Although we may crochet by ourselves in our own homes, we are not alone in our love of crochet, and we have more in common than we realize. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we will all learn something new about each other and the art of crochet! This month, enjoy getting to know...

Jenny Brigham

Fort Collins, CO

How did you learn to crochet and when?
Both my mother and my grandmother did a number of crafty things such as knitting, crocheting, embroidery, sewing, and quilting. They taught me to do all of them, but crochet is the one that really stuck with me. It wasn’t until college that I really got going on making blankets and scarves, so I’ve been actively crocheting for about 30 years now.

Do you crochet with your left hand or right hand and how do you hold your hook? 
I’m right-handed and I hold my hook like a knife. I’ve tried to do the pencil hold but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

What is your favorite hook? 
I don’t have a favorite hook, though I’m partial to wooden hooks. I’ve been trying out some of the ergonomic hooks but haven’t found a favorite one yet. I do prefer the tapered hooks rather than the inline hooks.

What is your favorite yarn? 
I crochet with just about every type and size of yarn, though I don’t much care for using the bulkier yarns. My favorite is lace weight alpaca and alpaca blends. I also enjoy doing thread crochet.

What is your favorite crochet stitch, and why?
It’s easier to tell you what my least favorite crochet stitch is….Catherine wheels. For some reason I struggle to get them correct.

Do you prefer a written pattern, a chart, or both, and why?
My preference is a written pattern, though I find charts very handy for the more complex sections of a pattern. It’s so helpful to be able to visualize how something is supposed to look.

What is your favorite item to make and why? 
I enjoy making all sorts of different things; blankets, stuffed animals, doilies, shawls, tablecloths, cowls, scarves, cat beds, ponchos, towels, etc. Probably my favorite project I’ve ever made was the first stuffed animal I made for one of my grandsons. It’s a stuffed orangutan that we named Otis.

Who do you crochet for? 
I crochet mostly for my friends and family, for charity, and occasionally for myself.

How long have you been a CGOA member, and what is a fond memory from a CGOA Conference? 
I’ve been a member of CGOA for 3 years. My first CGOA conference was in 2014 in Manchester, NH. What a wonderful introduction to CGOA it was! I took classes from Susan Lowman and Jenny King, and I met so many other wonderful people. It was the 20th anniversary celebration that year and I won one of the large door prize gift bags at the banquet. It was stuffed full of patterns, yarn, and fiber wash. The very best part of that conference though was being matched up with a Buddy. My buddy was Susanna Tobias. We hit it off and are now close friends.

Do you belong to a local CGOA chapter in your area? 
There wasn’t a CGOA chapter near to where I live so I started one. The Crochet Guild of Northern Colorado came into being in January 2016. We have about 20 people who participate regularly. We have a monthly meeting, usually on a Saturday or Sunday, when we talk about guild business, plans for charity projects, show off our completed projects, help each other, and share ideas. We also have evening get-togethers once or twice a month that we call Crochet & Chats. Those are casual evenings at a local coffee shop, restaurant, or library.

Earlier in the year we made and donated 50 scarves to a yarn bombing. It was a “pop-up” art installation that the town of Windsor, CO did for Arbor Day. We made scarves that were displayed on trees along the main street of Windsor. The scarves were then donated to local homeless shelters.

For World Wide Knit (and Crochet) in Public Day in June we spent the morning crocheting at a local coffee shop.

At our July meeting we had our first yarn swap that we called “Christmas in July.” Everyone left with new-to-them yarn to play with.

Our current charity project is making teddy bear loveys (part blanket, part stuffed animal) for an organization called Life for the Innocent. They work with kids in Southeast Asia who have been impacted by human trafficking. Life for the Innocent currently has about 700 kids in foster homes and they have asked for teddy bear loveys as Christmas gifts. One of our guild members works with Life for the Innocent so she connected us with the organization. Our chapter has committed to making 100 loveys by November 1. We’re about half way there!

I’ve always known that crocheters were kind and giving people, and starting a local chapter of the CGOA has proven it once again. The people in our group are so supportive of each other. We have members of all skill levels and interests so there’s no end to the number of conversations and ideas that get shared. A few of my favorite things about our guild are:

·       *  Motivate each other to try new things
·       *  Share crocheting tips and tricks
·        * Share information on stores, sales, fiber festivals, workshops, etc.
·        * Share yarn for making charity projects
·        * Discussions on pros and cons of different types of fiber, stitch markers, hooks, websites, blogs, etc.
·        * Have someone who understands to commiserate with when you’ve had to unravel a large project
·        * Have someone to celebrate with when you complete a big project!

Each meeting is like getting together with old friends, even though I’ve know them all less than a year.

What are your crochet goals for the future?: 
I just recently earned my CGOA Masters of Advanced Stitches & Techniques, and am now starting on the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Crochet Instructors program. I have also started doing some contract crocheting, and hope to branch out into tech editing patterns.

My biggest goal though, is to get busy on all of the projects that I have patterns and yarn for, but just haven’t started yet!

Thank you for sharing with us Jenny, it's been fun "getting to know you"!

Stay connected with Jenny and her CGOA chapter:

Become a CGOA member today, click HERE to join.

Have a great day!


Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Carolyn Calderon
If you would like to be a featured member, please contact her HERE.

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