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.


  1. You did a great job with the run-down. You really made me want to be there.

  2. Hey Vashti! Thanks for the "shout out" and I also want to thank you for being so kind to a newbie! Everyone shoud know what a sweetheart you are!!!

  3. As I recall, one of the reasons we skipped the design-lab was the sign they posted (one on each door) at the entrance to JD's, the only bar on site, essentially warning that the management would tolerate no more than six people per party. I suspect we brought this on ourselves. A gang of us (13? 15?) trooped over there for dinner after helping set up the salon for PDD on Tuesday. The restriction went up the day after. That just about killed any chance of a crochet swap, which demands group involvment and much table hopping. And the usual rowdiness. Too bad.

  4. Wow, thanks for the shoutout to Fire Lizard Studios! I don't think I met you last week, but I hope I do next time! What a great conference!



Each comment is like a pretty bead in a necklace. Please add one!