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
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
So that's the story...work 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!