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I Had to Work All Weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2011
Most people who talk about having to work the weekend conclude a huge groooan! Not me, no complaints! Lucky me, in my work this weekend I was surrounded by crocheters, eager crochet students, yarn, hooks and patterns plus lots of inspiration that will sustain me for months to come!

You guessed it, I am talking about the Stitches Midwest event sponsored by XRX and held in Schaumburg from Thursday to Sunday. I taught 4 crochet classes in the Market Sessions
Irish Crochet on Steroids!

Basic Bead-Crochet Scissor Fob

No-Rules Crochet: Freeform Method

The Posh Post Stitch
In honor of the crochet classes being offered, I yarn-bombed a rock in my local park on Tuesday before it all got started to celebrate!
Yarn bombing beautifies our environment rather than destroying it!

I was among a small but esteemed group of crochet teachers offering classes: Edie Eckman and Ginger Smith.

Boy, was I impressed by my students! They were enthusiastic learners and a lot of fun. What nice people!
Gwen and Lisa(acmespaceship) in No-Rules Class

XRX really knows how to treat their teachers and truly made me feel so welcome! We were treated to lunch early on Thursday and then moved on to the student luncheon where we did some last minute promotion of our classes. That night at our very short teachers' meeting, we were presented with our checks, even before we began to teach! From there, we were invited to attend the launch party of Jean Frost's new book and we were gifted a copy! The next night at the student banquet, we were presented with incredible gift bags chock full of products from the marketplace vendors!
Teachers' Gift Bag!

Wow, what inspiration for future designs!The printing of my classes materials was beautiful and there was always someone checking on me to see if I needed anything in class! Thank you, thank you XRX for the opportunity to teach crochet at this event!

Thank you also to Xendra2 whose post on Crochet Liberation Front (CLF) has brought a fresh new awareness about crocheters and their shopping and class-taking habits! Thank you also, Laura, for taking my No-Rules class!

Xnedra2 in No-Rules class with Gwen

It was also great to have some Ravlery friends in my classes and to run into them in the marketplace.

Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) had an updated presence in the marketplace this year, with the additional assistance from the Northern IL Chapter of CGOA. Our Executive Director, Penny, has consistently represented our organization and we were delighted to expand our booth this year with the generous support of XRX once again. We welcomed national President, Amy Swenson and board Secretary Karen Whooley.

Penny, Karen, Gwen, Amy

Not only did our chapter members staff the CGOA booth,

Gwen, Amy (Chapter Pres) & Ann

they were also staffing the Warm Up America booth for the Craft Yarn Council.
Sindy & Gail from NIC

We welcomed crocheters from all over the midwest and of course tried to encourage and support them in all things crochet. We gave demos, encouraged them to take classes and took their applications for membership in CGOA! Top-notch designers/authors did book signings in our booth throughout the weekend: Lily Chin, Edie Eckman, Myra Wood and Kristen Omdahl. Many thanks to all the chapter members who gave of their time and talent to hold their hooks high for not only CGOA, but for all crocheters at this event!

Again, thanks to Xnedra2 and crocheters nationwide who got in on the discussion on the Ravelry Stitches Midwest group, XRX management, BenjaminXRX, bent over backwards to make crocheters feel welcomed throughout the event.
Gwen & Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX
There was a special 3-page spread in the showbook where crochet-friendly vendors were listed. This made it really easy to find the products and the welcome they were seeking. Benjamin also hosted a "Crochet Gathering" which was advertised in the showbook. This very special group of Ravelers and Industry professionals met for discussion and then walked the show floor together on Sunday to visit vendors and to talk about what crocheters enjoyed seeing and what more we would like to see. We were welcomed with open arms by them all. The crochet-friendly vendors, crochet demos and crochet book signings are way to numerous to mention
The group with Susan Moraca of Kollage Yarns. Thank you, Susan, for the Hip to Be Square crochet hooks you gave to each of us!

A Chat in the Fine Points booth.
"Crochet Rocks" sign front and center in the Fiesta Yarns booth.

So that's the is not work when you are doing what you love! I want to hear from all my followers who were at Stitches Midwest. What did you like about it? Pass the word; encourage more crocheters to come next year for classes and shopping. PASS THE WORD about my blog, please!



Karen said…
Gwen - I just want to extend another thank you for your hospitality this weekend! I cannot tell you how much both Amy and I appreciated it!
CrochetBlogger said…
The entire thing looks like so much fun!
Janice said…
Wow! That looked like as much fun as it was!

I really enjoyed your cables class and staffing the CGOA both was way more enjoyable than I expected. It's a great excuse to talk to people and get excited about crochet.

And the vendors . . . amazing stuff. Good thing I was booked up at the booth since I spent a ton of money in the little time I had to look around. If I was able to take my time browsing I'd probably be flat broke now.

It makes me want to go to NC for Chain Link now.
Anonymous said…
I am lovin' the yarn bombing! Gabli
JennyPennyPoppy said…
Neat crochet bombing & I like your crocheted flower and scissor fob as well.

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