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Showing posts from March, 2014

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014



In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Guest Blogger: Loren ~ Ravelry Moderator Extraordinaire!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 Today it is my honor to feature my wonderful Ravelry Moderator, Loren. March is the anniversary month for my Ravelry Group Croc-Kween Designs and later today we'll be celebrating by going into the chat room to continue to enjoy each other's company. Please join us at 4:00 PM EST. Since Loren has been such a constant supporter in my group since the beginning and is an experienced moderator, I thought it would be interesting to get her perspective on volunteer job:
"I am one of the moderators for Cro-Kween Designs group on Ravelry.  I get to play “Jester” to our beloved Kween, Gwen Blakly Kinsler, and keep the “Courtesans” (group members) entertained!
I love Ravelry, where I am known as twisted1. I get to meet people from all over the world who share my interests; and I am so inspired by thelimitless creativity running throughout this crochet & knit community. I like being able to catalog my projects, and I am happy to have a place where I can le…

March is National Crochet Month ~ Spring Gardens Not Far Behind!

March 2014
Do you love to crochet? Can’t get enough? Do you say, “Just one more row” even though your eyes are bleary and it’s way past your bedtime? Shout about your love of crochet from the rooftops all this month during the annual National Crochet Month celebration of crochet! I have much to celebrate and I'm proud to let you know about my new book, The Fine Art of Crochet


You can win a copy of my book! Just sign up with your email to "follow" my blog (at the right of this blog), and let me know in the comments section that you have done so. You will then be entered into a drawing to win a copy. Deadline: March 31, at midnight. Open to U.S. residents.

I'm excited to be on the Designer Blog Tour sponsored by Crochetville again this year, and happy to be sharing today with Kate Steinke, CGOA board member and the brains behind the Buddy Program at the CGOA conferences. Kate and I share a common passion for crochet and we constantly spread the word about what we love a…

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years: Part 2 The First Chapter

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Today I  honor the very first chapter of CGOA: The Northern IL Chapter.


This year, along with CGOA, we will be celebrating a twentieth anniversary: that of our chapter! Thanks to Dana Kahan Benjamin, who I met while planning the first Chain Link conference, we had a meet-up for what was to become the first CGOA chapter in June 1994 at the Mt. Prospect, IL library. Dana insisted that we make an effort to meet other crocheters before the conference which would take place in August that same summer. She made the arrangements with the library and announced it in the paper. Together we taught the participants an introduction to free form crochet.

We were quite pleased that seventeen enthusiastic crocheters showed up. We charged $3.00 to pay for the library room and refreshments; and that day The Northern IL group was formed. Many of our chapter members have gone on to hold volunteer positions with the national organization, CGOA: Pam Oddi served as President;  Dana …

Book Review: Crochet for Dolls

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Crochet for Dolls by Nicky Epstein
I love the American Girl doll, and I even have two of my own! Of course, someday when granddaughter Chloe is a bit older, she will have her own too; and we will play with our dolls together!
I got a copy of this very fashionable doll clothes book at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago, and Vogue very generously was selling them at a deep discount. I’ve made two ensembles already and enjoyed the finished results. I did run into a couple of little glitches with the pattern instructions, but I just used my common sense and made them work.
Nicky Epstein is a very well known and popular knit designer. By her own admission in the book, she says that she is a better knitter than crocheter. She also goes on to offer that she hasn’t forgotten us crocheters and by request she has done this sister book to her Knitting for Dolls. She confirms that she believes that we (knitters and crocheters) are in a mutual “hood” (brother or sister).
I like th…

Book Review: Modern Baby Crochet by Stacey Trock

March 6, 2014 Modern Baby Crochet by Stacey Trock


I like to always have at least one baby gift on hand because nine months flies by really quickly and it is too much pressure to wait until the last minute to make a baby gift. Modern Baby Crochet is my new go-to pattern source for choosing the next gift on my to-do list! As Stacey Trock’s website indicates, she puts a fresh spin on the look of baby projects.
Stacey encourages her readers to step it up a notch when it comes to choosing colors. She says modern babies don’t need to be stuck with just pastels anymore! Focused on the hub of baby’s life, the nursery, the twenty-one designs are divided into 3 color groups: Bold & Bright, Pretty in Pastel and Naturally Neutral.

Before even getting to the projects, crocheters receive a wealth of crochet knowledge about gauge, choosing hook size and finishing techniques. Presented in a comfortable and nurturing tone, I felt like I was in the classroom actually learning from Stacey! Her anatom…