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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.