Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hooks to Heal: Participants Wanted for a New Health Survey!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kathryn Vercillo well known as the #crochetblogger at Crochet Concupiscense is fast becoming the expert when it comes to the health benefits of crochet as she studies to become a psychologist. Her book Crochet Saved My Life has been reviewed positively across many media site. If you happened to miss it, I hope you will look back and read my review.

Kathryn has now launched a new crochet health survey  to study how crochet heals people. This is a 27-question survery (mostly multiple choice) designed to gather detailed information about the physical and mental health issues that are helped through crochet work and to what degree the craft is helpful.

In her book Kathryn shares her own story of crocheting to heal from chronic depression. She also interviews two dozen other women who share their stories of hooking to heal. In addition, she aggregates the available research into crafting to heal.

Several formal studies have been conducted that show crochet to be healing. The new study is designed to add to the available information on this topic. One unique thing about it is that the study focuses specifically on crochet as opposed to lumping it in with other crafts. Another unique feature is that it goes beyond asking the question “does crochet help?” (because we know that it does) and explores how it helps, to what extent and for what symptoms.

Kathryn Vercillo will do an in-depth analysis of the results of this study. She will use that information to publish a full report on the health benefits of crafting. She will also use the information in future publications and it will serve as the foundation for continued research into this important topic.

A survey like this has the potential to lead to a number of benefits including:

  •        Credibility to get crochet into more settings including hospitals, recovery centers, in-patient therapy groups, prisons and schools
  •          Information that can be given to doctors and therapists to help them understand how crochet can heal
  •          Help for individuals who want to learn how crochet can help them heal
  •          Lays the groundwork for additional research opportunities into the topic
You can help support the craft of crochet by contributing your response to this new survey. The survey is available here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 7: The Pattern Line

Monday, June 16, 2014

Since I am still basking in the glow of my chapter's 20th anniversary party on June 14, I will include a few photos from the event. Our committee, chaired by Barb Collister and including me and Dorothy Hansen, worked for about a year planning this event to celebrate the very first CGOA and our members. The 3 of us on the committee attended the very first chapter meeting in June 1994.

The Celebration Committee
Our guest artist, Pate Conaway

 An array of the unusual materials with which Pate crochets!

Members enjoying each other's company

I created a rather amateurish video the best I could during the party and it will be posted to the CGOA website sometime after the conference in Manchester, July 24-27. We hope you will enjoy hearing the voices of some of those who were there at the very beginning!

Now, on to the CGOA Pattern Line we go! Back in 2000, Jackie Young designed the very first pattern for the line, Crochet Socks. They are as timely today as they were then and a great tool to learn to make basic socks.

2000-Crocheted Socks by Jackie Young
Jackie conceived the idea and was instrumental in making the line a success. Back then, there was not nearly the profusion of upscale fashionable crochet patterns, and there was demand for such items. Where better then the Crochet Guild to find talented designers who could bring exciting fashions to the market?

Jackie recruited the designers; some of whom donated their designs to the line. She also formated the final documents and even did photography. At the time, volunteers were staffing booths at consumer and trade shows such as Stitches and The National Needlework Association. Wemade the patterns available for sale at wholesale prices for local yarn stores.

Nancy Brown, who served as President of CGOA from 2000-2001, worked closely with Jackie and she developed a yarn line for CGOA called CGOA Presents. Many of the patterns in the line used those yarns and were supplied to the designers. However, the patterns are written generically, so today crocheters can choose their own yarns.

Here are some highlights from the CGOA Pattern line; you will recognize the names of some of today's top designers! So, if you are in the market for fashionable crochet patterns, go to the link above and order yourself a pattern to celebrate 20 years of CGOA!

2002-Fiesta Shawl by BJ Licko Keel, a member of my CGOA chapter, Northern IL Chapter
2003-The Fling by Gwen Blakley Kinsler. Modeled with her daughter, Bethany.

2005-Mesh Mini Jacket by Rosalie Johnson, a member of my local CGOA chapter ~

2005-Two-Way Sweater Shrug by Marty Miller who served as CGOA President from 2009-2011

2005-Criss-Cross Shrug by KJ Hay. KJ is a very busy tech editor for magazines today.
2005- Chain Link Capelet & Purse by Vashti Braha who designs, blogs and teaches at Chain Link Conferernce
Jacket with Freeform Appliques by Margaret Hubert. Margaret is an author, designer, and frequent teacher at Chain Link Conferences.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CGOA Celebrates 20 years ~ Part 6 B: Where Are They Now?

Thursday, June 5, 2014
CGOA Celebrates 20 Years, Part B: Where Are They Now?

So many had so much to say about why they love CGOA and what their long-time membership has meant to them, that I divided the post into 2 parts. Enjoy Part B.

Sylvia Landman is the author of Crafting for Dollars which she published in 1996. Packed ful of useful information, her book is still relevant today. Sylvia attended the very first conference and now be found on Ravelry. More recently she has published books on quilting, such as Quilting for Fun and Profit in 1999.
Chunghie Lee
Chunghi Lee hails from Seoul, Korea and attended the first Chain Link conference. At the time, she was a Rhodes Scholar Exchange student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her exquisite crochet art was in the juried exhibit that weekend in 1994.

Chunghie Lee: Woman with Wig
A well-known Korean fiber artist, Chunghie has been invited to lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design as well as internationally about Korea’s wrapping cloth tradition (Bojagi). In 2010 she authored the book, Bojagi and Beyond.

Carol Moore at Fiber Arts Cafe
Carol Moore

Anyone who has ever met Carol at a CGOA conference does not forget her due to her ebullient laugh and warm embrace! She describes her feelings, "CGOA has always meant a lot to me. It was my first organized introduction to the life of crochet. I was hired to do the CGOA newsletter, Chain Link; while working on it,  I developed a full volunteer staff. Because CGOA is a national organization, I had reporters across the U.S., some of which wrote on-going column topics. 
Later I volunteered with  Nancy Nearing on production and implementation of the original Masters in Crochet program. I then served as a judge, as well. I also served as Chair of the Education Committee, directing volunteers to choose the educational components of our conferences.
Since 2011, Carol has owned the Fiber Arts Cafe where she offers many techniques such as crochet, knitting, cross stitch, needlepoint and embroidery. 

Delma Myers
Delma Myers traveled all the way from Alaska to Chicago to attend the very first Chain Link conference in 1994 and has consequently attended each and every summer conference for twenty years. She has also attended two regional conferences  Looking back on all those conferences, Delma says, “I have had so much joy and have gained so much knowledge from attending the CGOA conferences; they have been a highpoint in my crochet life. “

A lifelong needleworker, Delma taught herself to crochet, inspired by a granny square that a cousin left behind during a move!  Her five kids grew up surrounded with lots of crochet items and Delma was surrounded by all the crochet magazines she could find. Crochet overshadowed all the other fiber arts for her. She recalls, “When news of the first conference reached me, I was ecstatic; what a unforgettable experience Chicago was!  I met people whose names I recognized from the crochet publications.  The classes were phenomenal and whetted my appetite for more crochet knowledge.

Having lived in Alaska for 42 years, Delma still only tolerates winter in order to get to the incredible summers in which the sun shines 20 hours a day. "I have a standing rule not to take any trips outside of Alaska in the summer," Delma explains; "but Chain Link is the exception to that rule!"

A proud charter member of CGOA, Delma is enjoying retirement and recently became a great-grandmother! She does still continue to design crochet patterns. "Going to the conferences gave me the confidence to try my hand at designing. But more important is the opportunity to spend a week each year submerged in crochet with people who are as hooked as I am!  I now have crochet friends from across the US, Canada, England and Australia.

I personally want to THANK YOU, Gwen, for having the vision and the willingness to spend the countless hours to start this organization! Even though the name includes 'of America,' it really is an international organization that appreciates crochet not just as a craft but also as art." 

Jean Ness
Jean Ness  attended her first Chain Link conference in 1996 in Irvine, California.  She has attended a total of 18 and missed 2 because of travels to Ireland. Jean and her husband, who always comes along to conferencesto explore the local speed skating ice rinks, have also enjoyed mini-vacations after attending the conferences. “We have gotten to see more of the county than we would have otherwise,” she says. 

Jean has this to say about her long-time membership in the Guild: “To say that CGOA is important in my life is an understatement.  It has opened up a whole new world of crocheting for me as I am somewhat addicted to it.  I have met some really nice people and have made close friends in Ireland because of this hobby.  I have been going to Ireland each year since 1994 when I read about Maire Treaner’s Summer School sessions on Clones Lace in Victoria magazine. However, it was through the CGOA sponsored trip to Ireland and Wales in 2000 that I met Kathie Earle who has become a very good friend. Don and I plan to return there this year to celebrate 20 years with Kathie and her husband.

Nancy Nehring
Nancy Nehring was making important contributions to the world of crochet even before the advent of the Crochet Guild with her books. She has taught at fifteen CGOA conferences and presented the Keynote Speech in 2005, a transcript of which can be found on her website.

In 2001, Nancy co-founded the CGOA Hook Collectors' interest group and she maintains a lovely collection of each CGOA commemorative hooks on her website. Nancy served as the Co-Chair of the CGOA Education committee during 2002 and coordinated the selection of teachers for the Chain Link crochet conference. 

As for her experience with CGOA all these years, Nancy says, "Over the years, CGOA has promoted high-end crochet. Without CGOA, I don't think crochet garments would have taken their place next to knit garments. Crochet would still be afghans and potholders."
Pam Oddi
Pam Oddi is one of two people (with Delma Myers) who have attended all twenty Chain Link Crochet conferences. She is a charter member of CGOA and has served as both Vice President and President of the organization. She also created our very first website and was the Webmaster for 10 years!

"I'm amazingly proud of what CGOA has accomplished in the past 20 years. There is no talk of crochet being 'dying art' anymore. Crochet is everywhere! We have only scratched the surface of the potential of crochet!
I've remained active on the local level, with the Northern Illinois Chapter of CGOA.   For the past two years, I have led the Chapter Study Group which meets weekly at a local Barnes & Noble.   The study group's goal is to devote time to the study of particular crochet techniques, but it has grown to be much more.  Chapter members get to know each other better; members who miss a monthly chapter meeting can drop in to visit friends; it's a do-it-in-public event; it's a great excuse to get out of the house, and it's something to look forward to in the middle of the work week.   We learn a lot, and we have a lot of fun also."

Annie Potter with Deborah Hamburg & Gwen
Annie Potter attended the first conference in 1994 and gave a slide presentation about her amazing travels in search of crochet which are featured in her incredibly beautiful book, A Living Mystery: The International Art and History of Crochet. It is truly a treasure in my crochet book collection!

Annie is a prolific crochet designer who started Annie’s Attic in 1974, a family business, with just a small ad in Woman’s Day magazine. The overwhelming response to that ad led to great success for Annie for over 20 years. In 1997 she sold the business to DRG which recently re-branded its products under the name AnniesAlthough semi-retired, Miss Annie continues to create new designs and patterns with the same love for the craft and standards as she always has, and remains the primary creative force behind Annie Potter Presents. Today, management of the day-to-day business operations remains a family affair.

Linda Sauter (1947-2011) was an active member of the Spokane, Washington chapter of CGOA and loved crochet books. She took over the CGOA library, from our first Librarian Kate Coburn and treated it as it was her own. When a debilitating and deadly illness changed her life, Linda was saddened to have to give up the library. Named in her honor before her death, it is now The Linda Sauter CGOA Library. Unfortunately, the library has been discontinued due to lack of use by CGOA members.
Pauline Turner

Pauline Turner: Hailing from Morecombe, England, Pauline is a master crocheter and author of many crochet books.Thanks to Joan Davis, Pauline attended the very first Chain Link Crochet Conference in 1994 and taught a 3-day Post conference workshop. She developed the distance learning course, International Diploma in Crochet, from which I graduated in 1997. Details on this ultimate achievement and most highly sought qualification in the field of crochet is available on Pauline’s site.  

Pauline has more recently established the International School of Awareness where she offers workshops that “harvest the good things in life, both spiritual and physical.”