As regular readers know, I spent last week at the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, New Hampshire - celebrating 20 years of the Crochet Guild of America, and learning lots of great crochet things! So I thought I'd share some of that with all of you! Beware.... there are a LOT of photos!
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One thing I learned before the actual Knit and Crochet Show even began, is just how super friendly crocheters are in person - even the "big names." I met Susan Lowman, Amy Shelton from Crochetville (and saw her amazing crown in person!), Kathryn White, Tammy Hildebrand, and Linda Dean at a dinner Tuesday night - and lots of others too! Including my Buddy, Laura!
Do you see the crochet butterfly on my badge in the photo above? That meant that I was a "Newbie" - someone attending her first Knit and Crochet Show. So when I registered, I signed up for a buddy - and was super lucky to get assigned to Laura! Laura is launching a new venture - Crochet Vacations. Doesn't that sound fantastic? It's still in it's infancy, and looking for YOUR feedback and ideas and thoughts - so be sure to click through and share your ideas. I know you all have some great ones. She was a fantastic Buddy too - and I gifted her an Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf at the end of the show. I think she likes it!
Another thing I saw right away was all the amazing yarn bombing! It was all coordinated and lead by the super sweet and talented Jennifer E Ryan of Celtic Knot Crochet, and sponsored by Red Heart Yarn. It was so neat to see it all over the hotel! I helped a little bit in my downtime, and Jennifer was fantastic to meet and chat with. And I *love* her designs! The yarn bombs were inside, outside, and all over! I got just a few pics.
Once the classes began and conference officially started, the freebies and swag started! When I registered, I got a goody bag from Lion Brand, and when I took my first session, I got a free skein and tote bag from Red Heart as well. More yarny goodies from both were handed out throughout the conference (and more tote bags than you could shake a stick at).
One thing I'm not sharing is that first skein of Red Heart yarn I got - you'll have to wait until Friday's free pattern, because it will feature a one skein project with that very same skein of yarn! It was too fun to resist - I started it that same day. I also didn't get a shot of the cupcake I got from Queen CityCupcakes, but they're worth a visit if you're ever in Manchester - soooo yummy!
And I purchased the CGOA commemorative hook too... I couldn't resist! Isn't it lovely? It's a size J, 6mm, and I used it to make Friday's free crochet pattern!
I was lucky to have great teachers/group leaders for each class and session I attended, including Amy Shelton, Vashti Braha, Doris Chan, Lily Chin, Marty Miller, Karen Klemp, and my dear friend Kim Guzman!
Kim got separated from her luggage... including all her crochet supplies and props and teaching materials... and still managed to teach a fantastic class with humor and grace. And she gave me another hook that's a prized possession - my first double ended hook! Time to learn a new technique!
I did make a few purchases in the Marketplace of course. I picked up some fun flax yarn from Fibra Natura - I've never played with flax before and am looking forward to trying it. And I also got a fun owl shawl pin - that might pop up on some future design photos!
I also bought two books - one is a Japanese stitch dictionary. All charts! Expensive but I'm very excited to own it, and have had several inspirational moments already. The other is by the amazing Lily Chin - and signed! I took her class on tips and hints, and if you weren't there (or even if you were) I *highly* recommend this book. You can purchase it on Amazon HERE - right now it's an absolute steal!
I also did a free Make and Take session with Laurinda Reddig, who blogs at ReCrochetions and has three fantastic books out - this focused on the most basic technique from her latest, Reversible Color Crochet: A New Technique! So great and fun - she's a great teacher. Her vest is another example of what you can do with this technique, and completely reversible!
One of the big highlights of the Knit and Crochet Show is the design competition. There were some amazing projects! And cake!
And my friend and fellow blogger/designer Jessie Rayot, of Jessie At Home, had TWO prize winning entries, both in the accessories category! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.
You can see all of her current designs on Ravelry HERE, including the winner of the CGOA Accessories category, the Fall Leaves Wrap, which is now available for purchase! It's on a special sale now - grab it while you can!
I visited the Lion Brand booth... and got to touch some amazing and exciting new yarns!
And the Red Heart/Crochetville booth, which included the In Love with Color Throw by Jessie!
Saturday night was the big CGOA banquet and fashion show, and while I tried to take lots of photos, my camera skills do much better when people are standing still. For a better look at the designs, take a look at the slideshow on Doris Chan's site.
Still, I got a couple great shots after the show. Check out Jessie and her girls (the girls are wearing Jessie's designs, and Jessie is wearing a crochet top that will be free on her site soon)! So cute, if getting a little sleepy at that point in the evening.
I was thrilled to meet Jessie in person - and her two little girls! We've known each other online for quite a while, and I've shared many of her pattern links here on Moogly.
And the cake was crocheted - yes, that's crochet! - by Carlotta Craig. I know we'll be seeing more from her in the future!
I also got a chance to quickly meet Samantha Nerove, who wrote a fantastic article titled "Combat Crochet" in the Summer 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet. It is an amazing, touching, and inspirational story - read it if you can (it's available on Amazon HERE if you missed that edition). It was an honor to meet her - and photograph her wearing this exquisite vintage crochet dress! It was breathtaking!
Overall, it was an amazing trip, and one I'll never forget. I got to meet people from Red Heart, Lion Brand, Interweave Crochet, Crochet!, Craftsy, and tons of designers and crocheters. Everyone was amazing. I wasn't ready to go home, but "real life" pulled me back.
I had a 3 hour layover in Chicago on the way home... which got an hour and a half longer when the plane needed unscheduled maintenance. But it meant I got to take a much needed long walk and snap some photos of the best sites to see in O'Hare!
So... see you next year in San Diego?
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