Skip to main content

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.


Our current logo
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 Kahan Benjamin was the first Treasure and Lori Zalewski and Cindy Cooper served as well. Barb Sizemore was the first Nominations Chair and BJ Licko Keel served as Membership Chair as did Marge Scensny; Marge also served on the Education  and Pattern Line Committees. Many, many of our members have also served on the planning committees for the 3 Chain Link Conferences we hosted: 1994, 1997, and 2003.

Present at the first chapter meeting and still members of the chapter after twenty years, Barb Collister, Dorothy Hansen and I comprise the 20th anniversary planning committee and we are currently planning a bang-up chapter party to celebrate our chapter's twenty years on June 14, 2014. The committee held a logo design contest and the winner of our new logo will be announced next month at our April meeting. We'll celebrate with a cake, games and prizes as well as a surprise crochet visitor!

Since it is National Crochet Month, here's more about our 8th Annual Crochet Buffet which will take place on March 22, 2014 from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Rolling Meadows, IL library where we now meet regularly. It is open to the public each year and is our way of celebrating. Our buffet "dishes" up a "taste" of the various techniques of crochet. Members with special crochet technique interests volunteer to set up their display and to demonstrate their particular technique. It is a "feast" for the eyes" and a "smorgasbord" for the senses!

Crochet for Charity
Crochet Toys
This year fashion, Irish crochet, toys, food, free form, charity crochet, and thread crochet will be represented and on display. The exhibit is open to the public and it is our way of showing our best crochet and letting potential new members know about the works of our chapter.

Here's a sampling from my display, Crochet Food:
Bacon & Eggs
Hamburger & Fries
Dish of Candy
Chocolate/Coconut Cake
Cupcake

Have you ever crocheted food items? Let me know in the comments section here on the blog.

Our chapter has grown and grown and we hover around seventy members. Our mission is education and we strive to have an educational component at each meeting except March. We have officers and a well-established schedule of activities each month. Included here are examples of past crochet lessons at our meetings from 2013:
January: Annual yarn exchange; plan the schedule of classes for each meeting. Members request techniques they want to learn and other members with know-how volunteer to teach.
February: Free form crochet
March: Crochet Buffet to celebrate National Crochet Month: Open to the Public
April: Diagonal Box Stitch
May: Double-ended crochet
June: Cables
July: Bead crochet and attend the Chain Link Conference; work at booth at Irish Fest

Gwen at Irish Fest Crochet Booth
August: Miser's purses; Chapter Challenge; assemble squares to give blankets to Warm Up America (WUA); assist WUA at Stitches Midwest; assist CGOA at Stitches Midwest
September: Tunisian wrist warmers
October: Socks; annual weekend retreat
November: Snowflakes; annual Pattern exchange; in cooperation with 2 other IL chapters, staff a booth at Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago
December: Education, holiday party

Are you a member of a CGOA chapter? Tell me some of the special activities your chapter does. If you are not a chapter member, why not start one in your own neighborhood. It's a great way to celebrate crochet!

Comments

Wonderful post Gwen. Looking forward to 20th anniversary celebration.

Margaret
Stephanie B. said…
Yes I have crocheted food but only cupcakes. I gave a couple of them to a local cupcake chop in town and they displayed them it was very cool. I have several at home. I love them and they make great pin cushions too.
Thanks Margaret and @handmadebystephanie. I hope to see you both in Manchester.

Love your cupcakes in the cupcake shop Stephanie! No worries about getting stale or calories!

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…

Craft vs. Fine Art: How is Crochet Blurring the Lines

I was awakening to the world of crochet in 1972,a time of immense artistic expression through fiber arts; and crochet was not the “ugly stepchild” at the time. In fact, Ferne Cone Gellar who I admire as a successful fiber artist said in “Knitting: The Stepchild of the Fiber Arts?” (Fibercraft Newsletter 1978), “Has knitting been slighted among the areas of the fiber arts? The very word ‘knitting’ evokes images of the little old lady in tennis shoes. Over the years, I’ve learned to ignore all those jokes.” Cone Gellar went on to publish Crazy Crocheting in 1981 and encouraged her readers to create more than bedspreads, providing ideas such as “things to play with or to display on a shelf or hang on a wall.” A photo of single crochet from bread wrappers served as inspiration. 

In 1972 in her book, Creating Art from Fibers & Fabrics, Dona Meilach wrote:
“Why are fibers and fabrics becoming increasingly appealing to artists? Most artists agree that because the materials are so varied, t…