Top Ten Reasons you should go to the Knit & Crochet Show

I see a lot of questions and conversations about whether or not a person should try to go to these shows. Yes, they’re a bit pricey. However, my first one I went to I paid for by saving spare change (I paid for classes by picking up a design job a few months prior, but to at least get there I paid for it with change). So, here’s all my reasons for why you, a crocheter, should really try to go (I’m assuming you’re a crocheter if you’re reading this…if not you’re family and y’all can either read ’cause you love me or skip on by this one…lol).

#1: It really is a balanced show. Many many shows that say they cater to crocheters, actually put us as second billing. Granted, Offinger needs to remember how the alphabet goes and put the words in the correct order, but this show is really great for crocheters. It’s the National Conference for the Crochet Guild of America (and the Knitting Guild Association, so it’s nicely equaled out). There is so much for crocheters to do! Classes, events, and even just hanging out with other crocheters.

#2: It’s a whole bunch of “our people” together. That sounds weird, I know. But unless you’re in an area where there is a huge crochet chapter, you have never seen this kind of presence. People wearing crochet everywhere! People crocheting everywhere! People knowing that what you’re wearing is crochet! It’s inspiring and dizzying and thrilling all at once. Want to swatch with that new yarn you just got but don’t have a hook? You can ask the group of people at the table next to you, chances are good someone has the right sized hook and will gladly let you borrow it for a bit.

#3: The market! Okay, before going to my first conference, I’d only been to a couple of small yarn shops. And most of them weren’t really crochet friendly. So while there was a lot of yarn, there wasn’t a lot of tools that I could use. Not so in the market at conference. Now, granted, there still is a large percentage of knitting focused tools, but I’ve watched that get better over the past two years. And it’s still better than most of the other general yarn related events (I’m looking at you, Stitches). There is yarn EVERYWHERE! There are tools and hooks and bags and shirts and so much stuff you just won’t believe. Some vendors are learning that many of us like sparklies, too, and there are beads and buttons and other shiny things.

#4: Classes. Oh, the classes you can take. Now, I’ll throw in that I’m teaching four classes at the Summer show in Minneapolis. You know, if you wanted to come and learn some stuff from me. More on that when the full class list goes live (but you can see my descriptions in a previous post). I learned so much in the classes I took my first year. Yes, they seem a bit pricey, but honestly? $70 for three hours is awesome. Especially considering the amount of information that the teachers put into the classes. And you get to meet really cool people while you’re sitting in class.

#5: Events. Last year there was a dance party sponsored by Caron yarns. I really hope they do this again as it was so much fun to hang out, chat, and party with fellow crocheters. There’s also the fashion show and dinner which is great fun. There’s the wall of Design Competition entrants (I think this year it’ll be at the North Carolina show) which is inspiring and awesome to see.

#6: Networking. If you’re a professional or an aspiring professional, then you want to be there on Wednesday. That’s Professional Development Day and I always leave it inspired and with lots of great information to help my business. Sitting and chatting with other professionals at the presentation, lunch and then the breakout sessions is fabulous. There’s also the Designer Meet and Greet which is great if you’re wanting to meet with publishers and editors. It’s the main reason I’m going to try to go to both conferences (I’m scheduled to teach all day Saturday in MN, so I won’t be able to make the meet and greet and eat lunch. I’m going to hit the meet and greet in NC).

#7: The fun! Most of my best memories from the show are not in the classes or events. It’s sitting around with my new friends and laughing and talking. It’s the jokes that carry on past the event (if you follow me and other designers on Twitter, you’ll see these pop up from time to time).

#8: Meeting designers! I had a moment of total fan girl my first year at conference. I was standing there with Doris Chan and Drew Emborsky and could barely talk. Now, of course, I can do it without freaking out (too much). ๐Ÿ™‚ But the thing I loved about conference was just how accessible the big name designers were. We don’t have a super secret room where we hang out. We’re right there on the floor with everyone else, chatting in the coffee line (which really, that’s where you can find most of us), sitting in the lounge crocheting or chatting, hanging out in the hallways. I have yet to see a designer at conference that isn’t happily chatting with anyone who comes up to them.

#9: Fellowship. Last year when I went to conference I was close to quitting. I was tired, I was overworked, and I wasn’t sure this is what I wanted to do anymore. Let’s be honest, being a designer is sometimes very lonely work. But getting to hang out with my fellow crocheters gave me that boost I needed. It gave me inspiration and confidence and support. Which is why I think it’s great for everyone, not just designers.

#10: Support the shows! This is something I strongly believe in. If you want crochet magazines to stay in publication, support them. If you want crochet shows to stay, support them. The more we show our presence, the more we show what we want, the more shows will accept and support crochet (still looking at you, Stitches). The overall numbers support us, but sometimes there needs to be action behind the numbers.

I do hope you’ll try to make a Knit and Crochet Show. At least once. I honestly believe it’s an experience every crocheter should have. This year there will be two. The summer show is July 28-30 in Minneapolis, MN. The fall show is September 23-25 in Greensboro, NC. You can find more information about the shows here at their website.

I’m going to be teaching at Chain Link!

Finally, I can announce my big announcement!

I’m going to be teaching three classes this summer at Chain Link (aka the Knit and Crochet Show) in Manchester, NH, July 8-10th.

Here’s what I’ll be teaching (with links to the descriptions on the K&C page):

T102C-Ami, Ama, the little Crocheted Toys! (Crochet) This class will be Thursday AM from 9am to noon. If you’ve ever wanted to make those cute little amigurumi and wondered how to get started, then take this class! We’ll go over the basic tools, the various types, how to read symbol only ami charts, and how to design and make your own. It’ll be lots of fun so come on out!

F212C-Broomstick Lace Cloth (Crochet) This class will be Friday PM from 2pm-5pm. This class is based on my Broomstick Lace Cloth pattern and will be a great intro to broomstick lace. We’ll be doing the project in class and depending on how quick you crochet (and catch on), you could have a finished project by the end!

S308C-Everything You Wanted To Know About Felting, But Were Afraid To Ask (Crochet) This class will be all day Saturday. I’m the most excited about this class. If you’ve ever been intimidated by felting, come take this class. We’ll be felting in class! We’ll also go over different stitch patterns and how they are affected by felting. We’ll also explore color and how it affects the felting process.

I’m extremely excited about this opportunity to teach and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone up at Chain Link!!!! I hope you’ll make plans to be there, too!

Guild meeting

(I know I owe a longer post, but that will have to wait. Still neck deep in deadlines and projects and am popping up to quickly post this).

South Hillsborough County Crochet guild will have their first meeting this Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Brandon, FL, from noon to 1:30pm. If you’re in the area and have been longing for a CGOA local chapter, come on out! We’ll be talking about our ideas for the chapter, filling out the official paperwork, and discussing a more permanent location.

If you need more info, we can be found on Ravelry and Yahoo Groups.

A real post with pictures will happen soon. I promise. I can’t promise when, but soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Announcements!

Sorry for the lack of postings, I’ve been super busy with projects that I couldn’t show you. Those are done and today I’m resting from crochet (but not from everything else). I can’t wait to tell you about what I’ve been working on, but that will have to wait. Sorry. But y’all should be used to that by now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Announcement #1

My big announcement is something that I’ve been thinking about for well over a year. I finally decided after coming home from Chain Link that I needed to just bite the bullet and do it.

I want to start a chapter for the Crochet Guild of America. So, to help get excitement building, I’ve started a Yahoo group and a Ravelry group for the South Hillsborough County Crochet guild. The name may change once we have our first meeting, but for now that seemed to work. I chose southern hillsborough county to be able to reach out to Pinellas and Manatee counties as well. Well, that and it’s close to me and to at least get started, I need it nearby.

The first meeting will be Saturday, October 3rd from 12-1:30p. The location will be announced on both groups once it’s confirmed. My goals for the chapter are to do local charity work, demos, and education (both within the group and to others).

So, if you’re in the area, please join us! I look forward to meeting new people. ๐Ÿ™‚

Announcement #2

I’ll be teaching a demo in amigurumi at the Sarasota Fiber-In on Saturday, September 19. I’ll be teaching from 10:30-11:30a. If you’re in the area, come on out and help support crochet! There will be a lot of other demos as well as vendors. Check out the website for more info. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

Okay, that’s all from me for now. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope to have more info to share with you soon.

Lots of things

Two afghans are now on their way via UPS to the yarn company. That’s right, they’re DONE! Whew. Shipped a week before the due date, they’ll be there by Thursday. Such a relief to have them done. My contact just wrote and loved the pictures I sent her of them. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wanna see?

Granted, my contact got much wider shots than that! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was going to go to the fitness center at our community center but the migraine I’ve been dealing with all weekend is trying to come back. So instead I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing to prepare for tonight.

That’s right, tonight’s the night! Tune in at 9pm EST to Getting Loopy to hear about my journey as a new designer. For anyone who’s been interested in learning how to get started, what does it take to do this full time, etc, tune in tonight! Should be a lot of fun.

My family has agreed to go to Stitch ‘n’ Pitch with us! And my brother, being the speedy guy he is, already got our tickets. So, three days before I go to conference, I’ll be at the Rays/Royals game. ๐Ÿ™‚ Should be a lot of fun. I think my mom will enjoy being able to knit while she watches the game. I just hope that Daddy and Sean don’t feel too out of place. This will be John’s first SnP, too (he wasn’t sure he was going to go, but now he has a ticket, so he has to!).

Did you know that this year is the 15th anniversary of the CGOA? Well, it is! And there’s a logo design contest for the commemorative pins that will be for sale at the conference. And I’ve come up with an idea. I just need to sketch it a bit nicer and then scan and upload. That may be what I work on the rest of the day.

Now that the afghans are done I will get back to work on my design contest entry and items for Chainlink. Lots to do. I’m almost done with my blue sparkly top. I have it sewn together and just need to do the straps and the edgings.

Well, I’m done for now. I hope you all tune in tonight to the Getting Loopy show! If you’re unable to, that same link should take you to the archived show after tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trying to stay on schedule

I have a lovely white board in my studio that currently has a schedule for prepping for Chainlink. And I’m sorta on track. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not worried, I had worked into the schedule the chance that I got sidetracked. And the only things I’m behind on are clothes for me to wear.

I am nearly done with my entry into the CGOA Design Contest. I have to rip back my morning’s work on the top edging because I just don’t like it. Ah, the joys of being a perfectionist. No worries, it won’t take me long to get back to that point. Then I’ll move on to the finishing on the back, and then all I have left to do is the Irish Crochet embellishments for the front. Nope, no pictures until after July 15th. It’s not that I don’t trust people, but I don’t trust people. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once the deadline for entry has passed, I’ll post pictures both here and in Ravelry.

After I finish that project (hopefully today), then I will be working on a garment design to wear to Chainlink for the Designer Meet & Greet. I’ve got most of the math done for it, I just had a hiccup in it last week when I was working on it and need to redo that. It should only take me a couple of days or so to work on.

Once those are done, then I’ll be working on sketches and swatches to take with me. I have a ton of ideas to sketch out and put into my presentation book. I’m hoping to have a very full binder when I leave and a very empty binder when I return. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also have one more submission to get put together and out the door before I leave. But I’ve got a bit before that’s due and I can likely do it as an email submission.

Now, for things I’m making for myself to wear while up there? Yeah, I’ve got 1 out of 3 done. But, I’m about 14 rows away from finishing the back on my sparkle top. Then it’s just the straps and assembly and edgings. It might actually get done this week. The third one I’ve just started, but I’m hoping to get it done in a couple of weeks.

So, I might be a bit behind, but I’m doing okay. Pictures soon, at least of those things I can show. I don’t know if I’m going to show my garment design or not. I might give a great closeup just in case an editor buys it off my back while I’m there! ๐Ÿ™‚ But the sparkle top will get an updated photo soon.

Other than that, things are going well here. We might hear this week regarding John’s current job and if he’ll be staying there past the temporary gig. Fingers crossed and good thoughts welcomed! Okay, back to work for me! Have a great day!

All registered and ready to go!

I have FINALLY registered for the Summer CGOA conference in Buffalo in August!

We (Margarita and I) will be arriving on Tuesday (8/4) mid-afternoon and will be staying in the main hotel. So if anyone else is going and getting in that time, buzz me and we’ll maybe set up a dinner or something!

Wednesday morning (8/5) I’ll be heading over to Professional Development Day. I’m really looking forward to this because the thrust of the round table discussion will be finding balance and making money at what I love. I’m really excited about finally meeting my colleagues in person. I was mentioning to my mentee last night in email that I think that’s why it’s so hard for me sometimes to see myself always as a professional designer. I’m isolated and haven’t met my colleagues yet. I think once that happens it’ll be a bit better.

Anyway, I’m currently swamped on Wednesday. I already have a dinner appointment and working meeting for that night.

Thursday morning (8/6) I’ll be in Fine Shaping in Stitch Patterning. I’m really excited about this, too. I’ve taken a class with Lily Chin before and she’s a fantastic teacher. Since this topic was the main thing I had issues with during my pattern grading class, I think this will be a great help for my design career.

Thursday afternoon I’ll likely be sitting somewhere with my laptop transcribing all my notes before I forget what I wrote down. ๐Ÿ™‚ In other words, I don’t have a class.

Thursday night is the CGOA Design Contest award presentation. I’m working on something right now to enter and am really looking forward to seeing how I do. More on that later if it works out for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday (8/7) I’ll be taking an all day class: Crocheting Sweaters from the Top Down again, by Lily Chin. This one will also be good for my design career because I really want to start designing garments, but I hate seaming. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’m really looking forward to that one.

Friday night we have the CGOA Annual Member meeting. Having never been to one, I’m looking forward to that. After that, who knows what will be going on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday (8/8) I have no classes, but I do have the Designer Meet & Greet (another reason I really wanted to go to conference). Then that night is the fashion show and dinner. I will say that I will be entering a design that will be published just before conference (so I can’t tell you what it is yet) and I’m going to go ahead and be the model for it if they’ll have room for me to enter it (Margarita isn’t going to let me not model it). So, there will likely be pictures of that.

Nothing going on that Sunday (8/9) other than us traveling back to Florida.

Can you tell I’m excited? ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope to have a post for you sometime by this weekend with pictures of other things being worked on. That’s all from here. We’re getting a really good thunderstorm (which we desperately needed) right now so I’m getting off the computer.

This week has flown by!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve updated. Sorry about that. Really.

But, I can show you some pictures!

Those would be my latest pair of socks. I learned an important lesson while making these. Namely, one should always write down what one has done to “personalize” a pattern because one never knows how long it will take to get to the second sock. Good thing I can read my own crochet. Two months went by between sock #1 and sock #2.

That’s a doily slouchy hat. It started as a “quick” project for instant gratification. And then I put it down and got busy and it took me another couple of weeks to get back to it. Story of my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and here’s my latest WIP:

That’s the beginning of the Cap Sleeve Top from Crochet That Fits. It’s being made in sparkly blue Lion Brand Vanna’s Glamour. It’s the first garment I’m making for conference. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got a few other in mind, I just have to find time.

Speaking of conference, registration opened today. Have I registered? Nope. Waiting on some income to come in so I can pay for the classes I want to take and all that. Fingers crossed the classes I want don’t sell out! And no, putting on a credit card is not an option right now. We’ve been working hard to pay bills down and I don’t want to add to that by putting the trip on plastic. So, I’ll wait. I should be able to pay for everything I need when my next bit of income comes in.

Anyway, on the slate for this week is finishing up some designs for submission (including my first “real” garment) and a design for self-publication. I also need to write an article and submit it as well. And do one final look at the taxes before sending them off.

Have a great week everyone!

A justified day off

Today is mine and John’s two year anniversary. So we both took today off and drove down to Naples, FL (about a 2.5 hour drive) and visited the Naples Museum of Art before going to dinner at McCormick’s and Schmick’s (a wonderful seafood place we had gift cards for from Christmas). The day was wonderful and the food was fantastic. I’m still full. I’ll have some cool pictures tomorrow (when I made the reservation I noted it was our anniversary and they had our menus printed with “Happy Anniversary” on them).

In other actual, crochet-related news, I’m currently finishing up a design to submit to the next Crochet Liberation Front book. I may keep shush shush about this one until I hear if the pattern will be taken and then I will likely post preview pics. I’m thrilled with it and can’t wait to show you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and also, Margarita and I now have our airline tickets and hotel reserved for the fall CGOA conference! So excited! It’s real now! We’ll be there from Tuesday night to Sunday afternoon. And we’ll be in the host hotel. Can’t wait! I need to get one project done by then ’cause the leaflet I’m going to be in will be out about a month before the conference and I want to wear my own version. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I’ll be finishing up that and working on a few other things to send for submissions. Sorry for the lack of posting, but there hasn’t been much that I can write about. Now it’s time for bed. Busy day tomorrow!

It’s been a whirlwind week!

Here’s what my week has been like: work, work, eat lunch, work, work, feed the animals, work, work, sleep, work, work, work.

๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday was my birthday and also the Tampa Bay Crochet meeting. I met up with Margarita for dinner and ate way too much. When we left there, we went to her car so she could get her crochet bag and she came out with a HUGE balloon and a bag. The balloon plays the Chicken Dance song. Yeah. More on that in a bit. The bag held cupcakes. We didn’t eat any at the meeting because SOMEONE didn’t let me know that maybe I shouldn’t stuff my face with yummy cinnamon rolls. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The meeting was productive. I’m now almost done with the top part of Josalynne’s dress. I finished the front that day and have the big part of the back done. Now, when I will work on it again is completely up in the air. ๐Ÿ™‚ See above with the work thing.

Margarita thought it’d be great fun to tap the balloon while the coffee house was busy so EVERYONE could hear the Chicken Dance. Joyous. And it’s apparently very sensitive as it went off three times in the van on the way home. It’s now hiding in my studio to protect it from the cats. And yes, I checked to make sure that it wouldn’t smack into anything when the a/c kicked on. I played it over the phone for John last night. He did not find it amusing. I came out of the studio and Katrinka was standing there looking at the door with the strangest look on her face.

Today will be a half day of work. I’ve spent the morning doing the bulk of the housecleaning and baking a cake. Yes, I make my own birthday cakes. ๐Ÿ™‚ No, not from scratch. I’m not Kelli. LOL. Cake mix all the way here! Vacuuming and dusting can wait until tomorrow thanks to having 2 cats and a dog. They don’t like it when I de-fur everything, so they’ll just put more down. Tomorrow evening is my birthday party! I can’t wait, it should be a good turnout.

So now that all that’s done I’ll be getting back to work. Yesterday was a bit frustrating because my tension was off from the day before. And yes, it was VERY noticeable. So I did the right thing and ripped back 2.5 hours of work. I did get caught back up last night and am almost done with that part of the project.

Oh, and the announcement has been made! CGOA Chainlink will be August 5-9, 2009 in Buffalo, NY. Margarita is THRILLED since she’s from that area. So now she’s planning on how to keep herself occupied while I’m at Professional Development Day on Wednesday. I can’t wait. It’s now on my calendar. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, now I have to grab some lunch and get back to work. I likely won’t be on to post again until Sunday night or Monday morning. John comes home tonight and then all day tomorrow will be the party prep and the party. And since it will likely be a good party, Sunday will be spent recuperating. ๐Ÿ™‚ And then John heads back up north Sunday evening.

Have a good weekend, everyone!!

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