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The Evolution of a Banana and a Community

Monday, March 7, 2011
One year ago today, I started a "Designer Fan Page" on Ravelry: Cro-Kween Designs.

Today we are having a virtual party all day, with games (first one in progress NOW), food, all kinds of Courtly craziness from the Kween's Minions and some surprises! The party will culminate in the Chat Room with the Kween starting at 3 pacific time. Join in if you can, with Royal questions or anything crochet-related for the Kween!
What started with just a member or two (hummywinger being one of the first!) has

grown to 426 as of today. We like parties here and every time we reach another 100 members, we celebrate and the Kween gives a prize!
One of our first Crochet-Alongs (CAL)at Cro-Kween Designs has been a very successful Freeform Crochet CAL. We call it "Freeform Fun & Frivolity" and in the able hands of Twisted1 and Lupa we have definitely had fun and we have been challenged by the weekly insrtuctions which allows us to create a crochet motif or segment to be added to our creation. We post photos of our progress on the thread

and chat about the steps, challenges and fun, plus all kinds of other silly chat by the Minions! It is unbelievable to see the vast variety that each and every freeform CAL participant comes up with. Their individual creativity and personality shines through in a myriad of ways from identical instructions presented to them! Amazing to see their projects grow!

Along the way, an international community has grown.

I have members in the group from 35 countries, last count. Our language of choice is English, but we accept any language and do our best to communicate and share with everyone. The creativity in the group is amazing and the passion for crochet is even more amazing!! We have threads where we post crochet-sightings and the Courtisans come up with some doozies! We also have a thread for yarn bombings and emanation is our most prolific bomber and she is real good at finding interesting bombings around the world too.

I have fabulous moderators who I consider to be "friends" even though we have never met face to face: twisted1, lupa and melbav, plus hummywinger who is not an official moderator but flutters around often and is so generous with her advice! They keep the excitement going and are always coming up with new ideas and ways to celebrate crochet and to learn from each other! There are some fascinating characters in the group and the further they push the crochet envelope, the more I love them. It has grown
to be a loving, fun and respectful community
where I check in each day to see what kind of crochet-excitement has been brewing. With members from the other side of the world, you never know what might have developed overnight!

Our latest CAL was just finished last week, "Embellished Purse CAL" under the able leadership of melbav. Today in our chat room, we will be announcing the winners in the three categories: "Fit for a Kween", "Crown Jewels" and "Jester." We had two judges and they said it was a very difficult task among all this talent to make a decision, but they got it done. There is a threaed with photos of all the entrants on the group.

Like the banana,

there has been a slow evolution of growth, beauty, sweetness and color and SO MUCH MORE!! Thank you Royal Courtisans for a wonderful year, for being YOU and for all your creativity, excitement and passion for crochet and for the fun and respect you've shown the Kween. I love you all and hope you enjoy this day and our virtual party!

My Week in Pictures:
Worked out at the Curves-like gym
Attended a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Party celebrating the 50th Anniversary of JFK signing the papers to innaugurate the Peace Corps. Even got our picture in the local paper!
Went yarn and fabric shopping in Guadalajara with Sheila and Allende. Crocheted flowers for sale.
Stitch 'n Bitch no matter where you go!
Really cheap little rolls of acrylic yarn, about $1.00 per ball for those who can't afford any more than that at a time!
Watched my orange tree and hibiscus bloom.
Taught another bead-crochet class with Maggie and Carmen.
Checked out the saturday activities on the plaza. Listened to the band and had some greasy "sopes."
Had Sunday brunch at La Parilla Loca on the boardwalk at Lake Chapala in the town of Chapala, a short bus ride from our town of Ajijic.

Watched a Mardi Gras parade in Chapala.


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