Monday, August 13, 2012

Chapter Camaraderie; Chapter Contributions

Monday, August 13, 2012 My long-awaited "Preservation Art: A Vintage Motif Freeform Necklace" and accompanying article: "Irish Crochet: The Original Freeform Crochet" has appeared in Crochet Traditions magazine. Published by the folks at Piecework magazine, this is a yearly publication. It has grown in content this year, it's second. Here is the necklace I created:
It has been so hectic lately that I had to check the calendar to be sure of today's date!Summer is traditionally very busy crochet-wise for me and for my Northern IL chapter of CGOA. We have earned the reputation of being a very capable and willing chapter here in the Chicago land area, so we are called upon to help out at shows and events. Each year in July, we are invited to demonstrate Irish crochet at the Arlington Heights Irish Fest. We bring a display of fine old and new Irish lace and we work on Irish crochet projects so visitors can learn a little bit about it.
We also meet people who want to learn to crochet so we invite them to our chapter and we hear many tales of relatives who crochet and treasures they've left behind.I can remember reading about the fest in the paper for the first time and thinking, "Hmmm, we should be there with our crochet." At that time, 13 years ago, it felt a little bit like I had to beg to convince them that it was a good idea. Now, however, they even give us a stipend which goes into our chapter treasury. Keep up the good work chapter members; I guess our charm and skills have proven to be genuine once again Still in an Irish state-of-mind, our chapter was privileged to sponsor a workshop with Irish crochet teacher, Maire Treanor, from Clones Ireland! It was two days of inspiration and crocheting in the Irish style. She is a delightful person and her display of authentic Irish crochet was incredible!
! We made a lasting impression with our CGOA booth at Stitches Midwest this year!
The bread & butter; the life blood; the big kahuna; the real thing: the passionate volunteers of CGOA! We had some great crochet samples on display; we helped a few people with crochet questions and hopefully impressed them with our crochet demos and gained a few new chapter members in the process! We thank the CGOA board members who were there to support us! Each year, little by little, this show is becoming more and more crochet-friendly. It doesn't hurt that crochet is so popular and fashionable right now! Vendors are waking up to the value of having products for crocheters in addition to yarn. More products; more sales! It is just logic. Stitches staff makes a huge contribution to crocheters! They print all the vendors who offer crochet-centric products in the centerfold of the show booklet. It makes it so convenient to find them and shop with them. I used that directory to go around to most of these vendors and to thank them on behalf of CGOA and crocheters for being so crochet-friendly. They are really appreciative of the recognition and I also got a big hug from one vendor. I urge all crocheters to do the same next time. We've become to go-to staff people for the Warm Up America (WUA) booth at Stitches Midwest. Sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council, they reserve the booth and send the materials and we provide the yarn power to explain the WUA program and collect squares and blankets during the weekend show. This year was no exception and we gathered a ton of squares and blankets which we will distribute to worthwhile charities in this area. This year we were also promoting "I Love Yarn Day" which is sponsored by CYC. Mark you calendars; it will take place on October 12, 2012. Gather some friends to share your love of yarn by crocheting in public, creating an "I Love Yarn Day" badge or participating in any of the numerous ideas offered on their website: You will see my face on the home page and a link to a pattern for a badge. For those of you reading here who might be a member of a CGOA chapter, let me clarify something which is apparently a misunderstanding. "CGOA" stands for Crochet Guild of America.
CGOA is the large supportive "umbrella" over the sub-groups or chapters. Our by-laws clearly state that when a chapter affiliates with CGOA they are asked to use "chapter of CGOA in the name of their group. There were no crochet groups (chapters) meeting regularly before CGOA was founded in 1994 for the express purpose of promoting crochet and education people about crochet. CGOA suggests but does not require local chapter members to join the national organization. So, therefore, anyone who has not paid their $35.00 national dues cannot call themselves a guild member because they are not--they are a chapter member. This may seem like a trivial matter to some, but I expect only those who pay their national dues in support of the cause to have the privilege of calling themselves guild members!