Top 6 Favorite Things about the CGOA Knit and Crochet Show 2013

My sister and I attended the Knit and Crochet Show in Charlotte, NC last week which is sponsored and/or organized by the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Wow, what an experience. This was our first time attending such an event. Here were 6 of our favorite things about the show:

1: Design Competition

The CGOA has an annual design competition that is open to all of its members. And since friendly competition inspires us, we couldn’t resist entering 4 crocheted items.

deborah's entries

Congrats to Deborah for taking 3rd place in the Artistic Expressions category with her owl bean bag chair. And for receiving honorable mention in both the afghans category (granny square blanket) and artistic expressions category (lamp and faun outfit).

twins-with-doris-chan

The photo’s not great, but Doris is!

The event was organized/directed by Doris Chan. We tip our hats to her for making it a seamless and enjoyable event to participate in. Organizing 100 entries is a big task. And we are beyond thankful for her efforts.

Photos of all the entries and the winners can be seen at dorischancrochet.com.

2. The CGOA Dinner & Fashion Show

We were particularly moved by Rita Weiss’s acceptance speech as the newest inductee into the Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame. She is truly a gifted writer and hearing about her advocacy of crochet was inspiring.

Margaret and Rita

Rita Weiss (right) with Margaret Hubert

One humorous highlight in Rita’s speech was hearing her describe the different between crochet and knitting to a former boss as being a matter of working with one pencil vs. two. I’ve never heard it described quite like that. Her speech inspired us to want to pick up a pencil and crochet (or at least, write down a pattern or two).

The Dinner ended with a beautiful fashion show of crocheted (and knitted) pieces created by CGOA members. The diversity was splendid and included elegant wraps, intimate apparel and cozy afghans.

A special thank you to Marcy Smith for MCing the event and making us chuckle a time or two with her creative interpretation of the hand written descriptions of the fashions.

3. The Friendships and Comradery

Being a shy pair, the friendliness and encouragement everyone showed toward each other came as a bit of a surprise. And a pleasant one! It’s exactly what we’ve been needing and longing for…to be among people who understand and love being crochet designers.

The support and encouragement that CGOA members share with each other is, in a word, heartwarming. I arrived underestimating its value, but left understanding how priceless it is.

We met several well known designers and lots of lesser known ones.

Lilly Chin called us out in one meeting for not wearing a crocheted items at the event…but she was mistaken because we sported our “Twin 1” and “Twin 2” bags (inspired by The Cat in the Hat) with us everywhere we went. We love the spunk that this Queen of self promotion has.

twiins-with-mickey

Love that hat, Mikey!

Mikey from The Crochet Crowd was a lot of fun to chat with. The King of video impressed us with his business savvy. If he’s ever speaking at a crochet show…I definitely want to attend!

Twins-with-Margaret-Hubert

Forgive the crazy eyes! Dana apparently needs more sleep!

We stopped Margaret Hubert in the hall to rave about her sweaters…not realizing that we were talking to the Goddesss of free form. Her work is breathtaking and she is super sweet.

4. A Buddy for Newbies

Being newbies, we requested to have a buddy at the show, someone who could answer questions and show us the ropes. We thoroughly enjoyed our buddy group. We enjoyed lots of laughs and many pleasant conversations about crochet. We love these ladies and look forward to meeting up with them at future shows! Thanks, Nirmal, for taking care of us. It was great hanging out with you Barabara.

show-buddies

Awesome buddy group: Barabara, Nirmal and us.

A big hug goes to Kate Steinke for coordinating the buddy groups. She is a ball of energy full of laughs and encouragement. Such a doll.

5. Knowledgable Instructors

We took a few classes while at the event. The instructors blew us away with their knowledge of their craft. The samples they brought that showcased the techniques we learned was impressive.

dana-with-jennifer-hansen

Jennifer’s designs are definitely beyond the basics!

A big thank you to Jennifer Hansen (Craftsy Instructor I’ve blogged about in the past), Vashti Braha, Karen Klemp and Dora Ohrenstein for sharing your passion with us!

6. Editor Meet and Greet

It was a treat to meet and chat with several magazine and book editors. We shared some of designs and learned a bit more about their submission process. We so appreciated that they took the time to attend the show to meet us newbies! Thank you Leisure Arts, Red Heart, Crochet! and Interweave Crochet!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

A special thank you to all the sponsors of the show. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting several people from Lion Brand, Red Heart, Annie’s and Crochetville, as well as the goodies we got from several other companies.

I’m not quite sure who to thank for all the behind the scenes work. There were a myriad of volunteers who helped create a smooth and delightful experience. Thank you all for everything you did.

 

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Comments

  1. You are Sisters?!!
    I really enjoyed meeting you at the show! Hope to see you again soon!

    • yarnitect says:

      Sandy,

      We sooo enjoyed hanging out with you at the show. What a blast. Do let us know if you’re attending future events. At this point we don’t think we’re going next year…but maybe we’ll change our mind the closer the event gets. =)

      Dana

  2. Will you be publishing the pattern for the Owl Bean Bag Chair? If so, where?

    • yarnitect says:

      Hi Rachael,
      We are planning on publishing the owl bean bag chair as a pattern. We are considering publishing it as a printed book. We’ll keep you posted.
      Dana

    • The owl bean bag pattern is available on the website, Ravelry and Esty.