Worth a Routine Change

Settling back into a routine can be a bit of a challenge, but teaching at the Crochet Guild of America annual Chainlink conference is really worth the change of schedule.

This is my second year teaching at CGOA, and this year went by faster than I thought possible. I blinked and it was over.

I spent the last week of July just outside of Chicago sharing my love of crochet with other like-minded individuals. I taught 4 classes, and as there are so many great crochet instructors I vary my topics to help set me apart. This event I taught Needle Felting Applique, Converting Knitting to Crochet, Variations of Broomstick Lace and Things that the Pattern Assumes you Know. I feel like every class I teach is a test; Can I share everything in a manner that everyone will understand? Am I giving the students what they need/want/deserve/expect?

In a respect I think I gain just as much as my students from a good class, which I think each of these were. I get inspired by the work they do and the questions they ask. It helps me explore things in a different way, and I hope that helps me grow as a teacher.

This was the first conference since 2004 that the CGOA did a conference alone. In the recent past CGOA partnered with The Knitting Guild Association for the Knit & Crochet Show, this year the knitting association decided to try something different and CGOA decided to proceed on its own. As a result the show was a bit smaller but this allowed it to have everything much more inclusive, with all the class rooms in the hotel. So no trekking to a large convention center. I could leave my class room and join groups of crocheters working on their latest projects in the lobby. It was really nice.

I also had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make a couple of new ones. It is like a battery being recharged, but recharged while it is being completely run to empty. I enjoy this show and look forward to next year in Portland, OR.

 

Teaching Crochet In Chicago!

If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be a crochet designer, published in several well-known magazines worldwide, I would have thought you were crazy. Then if you added to that, that I would be teaching on the National Stage at conferences, I would have asked for you to check what was in your water. I never would have seen this is the future journey that I would have been on. After all I was working in a support position for social works in cafe of the elderly. I found my job rewarding, knowing that I was making a daily difference in the lives of people in my community.

Well, changes in the structure of my job, as well as the needs of my young kids helped me envision a new path. I still have to pinch myself at times to realize that I really have accomplished these things, and that I am teaching again this year at the Crochet Guild of America’s annual Chainlink Conference, this year July 26-29, 2017 in Chicago.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Needle Felt crochet motifs on fabric

I am teaching some classes you may not have expected. I am teaching how to Needle Felt your motifs directly onto fabric, allowing you to take your crochet into an entirely new direction with no sewing required! Barbed needles are great tools that can be used to create some fabulous projects, but using it with crochet is a direction that you may not have explored, until now.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Convert It! Learn how to crochet your favorite knitting pattern

I am also teaching Convert It! This is a class that will overload you with information about how to take your favorite knit design and recreate it in crochet. Learn what drives you to choose your pattern, and then understand how to dismantle it and put it together for the exact look you want, while learning and understanding the basic differences between knitting and crochet and how to use the strength and weakness of each to complement each other.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

What the Pattern Does Not Say

What the Pattern Does Not Tell You covers all the things that designers, writers, and publishers assume you already know. There are many simple things that can get overlooked in the writing, but can really make a complete difference in the outcome of your success. Don’t let the lack of this information hold your crochet back.

While teaching Re-Invented Broomstick Lace, I have learned so much myself. People have an idea of the basics of Broomstick lace, but there are so many possibilities. This class offers inspiration in how to use this stitch to create stunning fabrics that will leave everyone asking how you did that. It can be your secret, and hopefully you will get inspired to invent even more new approaches to this lace technique.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Re-Invented Broomstick Lace

It will be a fun couple of days in Chicago, and if you can join me it would be great to see you. I don’t know what crazy adventure I will be on in the next couple of years, but I have learned, NEVER, rule out anything!

Bringing Home From Conference

ScannedImage I managed to bring a little of the annual CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference home with me. I have many memories, and learned much, but then there were the prizes and giveaways.

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Night of Jazz Wrap 2nd Place Accessories in the CGOA 2016 Design Competition

I entered the CGOA Design Competition and took 2nd Place in the Accessories Category with my Night of Jazz Wrap. (See all the winners on a slide show here) The Wrap was inspired by a pattern I found for curtain trimming in a Needleworks publication from the 1920’s. I used two skeins of Designing Vashti Lotus yarn in Red Rose color and accented it with #6 Czech beads from Bead Biz, it is essentially crochet rings that are join as you go. Then they are bordered and have centers inserted in the rings, and tassels added. I always seem to design items for this contest that are hard to display, but come alive when worn. This was re-affirmed to me after the winners were announced, I had one of the judges approach me and express that no one was sure about it until they had a model put it on, then they knew it was a winner. I hope to have this pattern available sometime next year, so that I can share the enjoyment of the creation more.

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With my purchase of raffle tickets I won the set of Furl Odyssey Hooks with bowl & stand. I won the Knitter Pride Interchangable Crochet hooks as a door prize at the CGOA Banquet

The CGOA was very successful in securing great door prizes and giveaways for the conference, they even offered 2 goody bag nights with bags stuffed with yarns, books, and notions. There were so many more people in attendance then expected that the goody bags ran out early and I neglected bring home any of their content. However I did purchase tickets for an entire set of Furls Odyssey Hooks, with holder and bowl. I was completely surprised when my ticket was drawn, so now I get to enjoy a great new set of hooks, in addition to the Knitters Pride set of Tunisian Crochet hooks that I won as a door prize at the banquet dinner.

I did do a little shopping at the Market Place, Compression Support Socks and a Massage Pillow, both of which I put to immediate use on my swollen feet, but the pillow has become a family favorite at home, and I think it now belongs to my husband.

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On the buggy tour…so many flowering trees.

After my board meeting on Sunday after the conference, my friend Karen McKenna, took me to downtown Charleston to see some sights. It was nice drizzling weather, I was happy for this as it meant that it was cooler than the typical day which I had experienced as hot and muggy. We took a buggy ride and learned a little more of the city’s history. I had to focus to understand the accent of our guide and some of the terms used in conversation, but found everything quite interesting. Every tree seemed to have flowers and everything was green, 2 traits I do not see much at home in California, especially in July. We stopped at a little bistro where I actually had fried green tomatoes and grits that I found quite tasty. It was a very enjoyable day and I am grateful that I actually got to see some of the local charm of places I visit.

I could easily take day by day of the conference and write several posts about the happening, the people I met and the adventures I had, but I should probably begin focusing on the next adventure.

Ready for National Teaching- Chainlink 2016

ScannedImageI am not sure where the month has gone. I have been working on making sure I have everything in place for my first opportunity to teach at a national conference.

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Samples for Re-Invented Broomstick Lace July 14, 2016 Charelston, SC

In just 2 short weeks I will be teaching at the Knit & Crochet Show as part of the Crochet Guild of America’s annual Chainlink Conference, in Charleston, SC (July 13-16, 2016). I have 4 classes, and will be teaching a variety of topics, some techniques like beads and broomstick lace, as well subject knowledge like understanding patterns & yarn.

It is a little amazing how different teaching at these events are then the weekly teaching I have been doing for years. To begin with the class size is at least double, if not triple what I usually have. I hope that I can still bring a personal feel that my local students have come to expect, as well as having that class feel like they are learning together. It is a unique balance.

Another of the many differences is ensuring that I have all the materials I need. In smaller settings, I can usually step out and pick up anything in my local yarn store to illustrate my point, if a question is asked. At this conference I will be in a hotel conference room, I will not have an opportunity to improvise. So the last couple of weeks have been focused on writing and re-writing handouts, creating stacks of materials, and attempting to foresee questions.

I think I may have it dialed in, or at least I am close. I have yarn samples, stitch samples, beads, handouts, and tools all set in stacks, as I ensure that the checklists I have created cover every aspect of the class. It is a new adventure and I hope that I am up for the challenge, I will have to post next month how everything turns out…stay tuned.

Sweet Memories with Sato Sugar Shawl

ScannedImageI have some fond memories of my latest design.

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Original version in blue, published in cream.

Sato Sugar Shawl originally entered the world at a fashion show in San Diego, at the annual Crochet Guild of America Chainlink (or otherwise referred to as the Knit & Crochet Show). I had created it from 1 skein of a new yarn from Lisa Souza Dyeworks, Aurora, and seriously just finished it on my way to the show. I hadn’t even formally given it a name or anything.

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Sato Sugar Shawl, photo courtesy of Annie’s

I was encouraged to enter it in the annual members fashion show that happens at the banquet dinner. I agreed to model it, as I was already assisting in modeling other items for the show. I was hastily writing up its description in the back of the staging area, to be read by Ellen Gormley, editor of Crochet! Magazine. Not only was I attempting to put together a nice write up that I would have to walk on stage with, but I also had to make sure that Ellen could actually read my hand writing, which is no small feat.

I was getting input, ideas, and guidance from a wide variety of people that were modeling as well, with designer Vashti Braha giving me some excellent “romance” for the description. One of the things that struck me was a comment that Vashti made about how she had never seen the Love Knot stitch used in the way I had in this wrap. That took me back a little, as Vashti teaches classes on the Love Knot, she has researched its many ways of being made, when it was historically used and such, so to hear her mention that it was completely new to her caught me a little off guard, in a good way.

Summer2016_Crochet!Later that night Ellen pulled me aside and said “submit it, I want it”, and the Sato Sugar Wrap made its way to the pages of Crochet! Magazine for the current Spring 2016 issue. Only the yarn and color were changed for the publication, everything else remains true to the original, I think it worked up nicely in the Berroco Folio Luxe.

It is always fun to see me designs newly released, they often have some story and memory with them, maybe not as all-encompassing as this one, but still they all have stories. Much like each gift I have created over the years, the memories that I have of choosing the yarn or the pattern for “so-and-so for that event and such”. The release time is often a while after I created it, so seeing the latest issue of a magazine can transport me back in time a little, bringing up memories and fostering new ideas.