Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This CGOA Conference Broke the Mold!!

Have returned from Manchester NH to report that Chain Link 2008 (a.k.a. Knit and Crochet Show) was like no other conference ever!

pictured: Yvonne Tate (bklynvonne) handing out Ravelry buttons

Here's a list of firsts:
- CGOA's Design Contest was a great success! 115 high caliber entries means oh yes, we'll be doing this again. Thanks to Treva McCain for all of her hard work to make it happen.
- We had a record number of door prizes. For PD Day alone, every attendee (about 145) won at least 1 door prize. PD Day was the best ever so I'll have to blog more about that. (Pictured: Myra Wood and Jennifer Hansen in foreground; behind them, Robyn Chachula, presenters Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss, and at the podium, Jane Schwartz and Drew Emborsky.)

- In addition to creating this year's PD Day, Drew took over the job of emceeing the fashion show from the illustrious Lily Chin this year. (Drew, your Italian bespoke emcee jacket was spectacular.) He did a wonderful job, which freed up Lily to do some fabulous modeling on the runway.

- New 30-minute afternoon fashion show in the Market--therefore Drew's managing and emceeing of it is an automatic first, plus, Tammy Hildebrand agreed to model!

- Another fashion show first is the pre-show training generously provided by ex-model Melanie Mays. Another first I guess is that I didn't enter any of my own designs in the fashion show(s) this time. I modeled other people's, such as Annette Stewart's fun flouncy miniskirt (a contest entry).
- One other fashion show first is the way everyone just cleared out after the show on Saturday night. We didn't even have our usual post-show design lab!
- New CGOA Director Lorraine Lucas is a guild member-at-large, so the hobbyist members who are not in the business of selling yarn or designs now have a representative on the board. I found out that Lorraine is just the person you want to spend hours in a coffeehouse with before getting drenched by torrential rains on the way back to the conference. Wish I had a photo of that.

- Some other first-time attendees besides Lorraine: Carrie Sullivan, Amy Shelton (Crochetville admin), Renee Barnes (CrochetRenee'), Kimberly McAlindin, Jerry Rigdon, Jack Blumenthal, and Jess and Casey of Ravelry. New-to-me at the conference were Kim Guzman, Kristen TenDyke, and Gloria Tracy! New-to-many (but a sweet reunion for me) was Jenny King! In fact, we had the highest number of pre-registered attendees ever.

- We added a Committee Meet & Greet to the Members' Annual Meeting, and many chairpersons instantly found new volunteers for their committee this way.

- The Thursday night Market preview was hoppin'!! I think it was a good move to have Mary Beth Temple doing her live Getting Loopy podcast from the show floor right at the entrance so that no one could miss it. Her daughter "LL" was the perfect assistant. I want to thank the dozens of attendees who were happy to call in to the podcast and talk with MBT for a few minutes. They were less shy than I was! I'm told it made for a record download.

Read about the conference at these blogs:
I especially enjoyed the conference entries at Fire Lizard Studios, which is a blog I haven't seen before.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Our New Designer-Published Book

Before I leave for the big exciting national CGOA conference thatIwouldn'tmissfortheworld I'm proud to officially announce a new kind of crochet pattern book.

NINETEEN designers rode the publishing rapids together and survived the adventure! We've learned what it's like to put together an instant-download e-book as a group, get a website for it, get it reviewed, and choose the topic for our next one. Many of us will meet up again at the conference this week so who knows what will come of that!

We call our group "Straight From Today's Designers", or SFTDonline.com.

For the book I did a "Barbed Wire Belt" in silver Jelly Yarn. I was able to include a story about the design because I'm one of the publishers. Feels good!

Don't miss Tammy Hildebrand's daughter modeling her belt!

JD Wolfe of Craft Gossip reviewed it here and Lime & Violet reviewed it here. So far, these contributors have blogged it: Angela Best of La Vonne's Knot Just Knits, Doris Chan, Robyn Chachula, Noreen Crone Findlay, Lisa Gentry, Pam Gillette of Knotty Generation, Kim Guzman of Kimane Designs, Amie Hirtes of Nexstitch,Margaret Hubert, and Marty Miller.