Crochet Design Competition: And the winners are….

CGOA 2014 Design Competition Winner List

With each year’s Design Competition, we are reminded of the crochet love and the depth of talent that abounds and abides in the membership of the Guild. The brilliant designs in this year’s field of entries made me gasp, laugh, cry (in a good way) and quite a few made me enormously envious… like, why couldn’t I have designed that envious. But most of all, working with these entries makes me feel proud to be a crocheter.

I’d like to introduce this year’s judges, who had the impossible task of choosing tonight’s winners:

Jenny King, Susan Lowman, Karen Manthey

Thanks to our magnificent sponsors, we have a gang of cash prizes. Please let them know we appreciate their generous support:

Gwen Blakley Kinsler

Boye, and the Crochet Dude

Cari Clement

Creative Yarn Source

Designing Vashti

Interweave

Mainly Crochet

Red Heart

Tulip Company

WEBS, America’s Yarn Store

Category: Fashion, sponsored by Interweave Crochet

Honorable Mention: “Seashell Dress”; designed by Linda Jefferies

Seashell Dress, designed by Linda Jefferies

Seashell Dress, designed by Linda Jefferies

Honorable Mention: “The Claudia Sweater”; designed by Susan Walsh

Claudia Sweater, designed by Susan Walsh

Claudia Sweater, designed by Susan Walsh

Third Prize $100: “Purple Majestic Vest”; designed by Maxine Pike

Purple Majestic Vest, designed by Maxine Pike

Purple Majestic Vest, designed by Maxine Pike

Second Prize $200: “Fantasy Skirt”; designed by Kathryn White

Fantasy Skirt, designed by Kathryn White

Fantasy Skirt, designed by Kathryn White

First Prize $300: “Peach Stack”; designed by Annette Hynes

Peach Stack, designed by Annette Hynes

Peach Stack, designed by Annette Hynes

 

Category: Accessories, sponsored by WEBS, Americas Yarn Store

Honorable Mention: “Reversible Rabbits”; designed by Hazel Furst

Reversible Rabbits Scarf, designed by Hazel Furst

Reversible Rabbits Scarf, designed by Hazel Furst

Honorable Mention: “Waterfall Collar Necklace”; designed by Jessie Rayot

Waterfall Collar, designed by Jessie Rayot

Waterfall Collar, designed by Jessie Rayot

Honorable Mention: “Riviera Shawlette”; designed by Kathryn White

Riviera Shawlette, designed by Kathryn White

Riviera Shawlette, designed by Kathryn White

Third Prize $100: “Pearls”; designed by Jean DeMouy

Pearls, designed by Jean DeMouy

Pearls, designed by Jean DeMouy

Second Prize $200: “Crimson Fiesta Shawl”; designed by Theresa Kehrer

Crimson Fiesta, designed by Theresa Kehrer

Crimson Fiesta, designed by Theresa Kehrer

First Prize $300: “Fall Leaves Wrap”; designed by Jessie Rayot

Fall Leaves Wrap, designed by Jessie Rayot

Fall Leaves Wrap, designed by Jessie Rayot

 

Category: Afghans and Home Decor, sponsored by Red Heart

Honorable Mention: “Summer Breeze”; designed by Rena Watson

Summer Breeze, designed by Rena Watson

Summer Breeze, designed by Rena Watson

Third Prize $100: “A Soldier’s Christmas”; designed by Deborah Bagley

A Soldier's Christmas, designed by Deborah Bagley

A Soldier’s Christmas, designed by Deborah Bagley

Second Prize $200: “Around the World and Back”; designed by Annette Hynes

Designed by Annette Hynes

Designed by Annette Hynes

First Prize $300: “Star Bright Cot Blanket”; designed by Joan Peate

Star Bright, designed by Joan Peate

Star Bright, designed by Joan Peate

 

Category: Thread Crochet, sponsored by Boye and the Crochet Dude

Third Prize $100: “Flutter”; designed by Rose Ramirez

Flutter, designed by Rose Ramirez

Flutter, designed by Rose Ramirez

Second Prize $200: “Pretty Pathways Doily”; designed by Joyce Geisler

Pretty Pathways, designed by Joyce Geisler

Pretty Pathways, designed by Joyce Geisler

First Prize $300: “Secret Garden”; designed by Kathryn White

Secret Garden, designed by Kathryn White

Secret Garden, designed by Kathryn White

Category: Artistic Expression, sponsored by Tulip Company, makers of exceptional tools including Etimo cushion grip crochet hooks

Third Prize $100: “The Deadly Dragon”; designed by Rachel Schuster

The Deadly Dragon, designed by Rachel Schuster

The Deadly Dragon, designed by Rachel Schuster

Second Prize $200: “Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree”; designed by Donna Childs

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

First Prize $300: “Backyard Visitors”; designed by Sachiko Adams

Backyard Visitors, designed by Sachiko Adams

Backyard Visitors, designed by Sachiko Adams

Special Award for Technical Merit, sponsored by Designing Vashti, the online crochet pattern boutique.

Technical Merit Award goes to Jennifer Ryan, designer of Celtic Coral Charm and Feileacan Shawl

Celtic Coral Charm, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Celtic Coral Charm, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Feileacan Shawl, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Feileacan Shawl, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Anniversary Award $100, sponsored by Gwen Blakley Kinsler

“Backyard Visitors”; Sachiko Adams

Peoples’ Choice Award $100, sponsored by Cari Clement

“Chrysler Art Deco Jewelry Set”; designed by Shari White

Chrysler Art Deco Set, designed by Shari White

Chrysler Art Deco Set, designed by Shari White

$1000 Grand Prize, sponsored by Creative Yarn Source and Mainly Crochet

“Nicky’s Caribbean Adventure”; designed by Dot Drake

Nicky's Caribbean Adventure, designed by Dot Drake

Nicky’s Caribbean Adventure, designed by Dot Drake

 

 

Crochet BOLOs

Can you tell I watch too many police procedurals on the tube?  Be on the lookout for this crochet stuff in the coming week: 1)  the unveiling of CGOA 2014 Design Competition winners, 2) a side-trip to a crochet happy place, and 3) a lucky do-over.

CGOA20thAnniversaryLogo

1) I’ve been involved with the CGOA Design Competition since 2009; for 2014, the year of the guild’s 20th anniversary, I am producing the event. This means that ALL of the entries are currently in my house, having been photographed, bagged, tagged and otherwise prepped for judging, and are now ready for transportation to the CGOA Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire.  This means I get to tetris all of it into my car (a big, fat car) at the crack of dawn tomorrow (22nd July) and drive a few hundred miles without being able to see out the back windshield. Oh, what we won’t do for love of our craft!

But mine is not actually the hardest part.  This year’s judges, Jenny King, Susan Lowman and Karen Manthey, have the most difficult task of choosing winners.  Wouldn’t want to be them.  Nope.  You see, I have been handling and processing entries for nearly a month and I have seen crochet designs that made me gasp, laugh, cry (in a good way), and made me seriously envious.  The why-can’t-I-design-like-that sort of envious.  Therefore I know all too well how impossible it’s going to be for the judges to decide.  No worries.  I’ll withhold food and drinks from them until they come up with the right answers. :-)

During the Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening, say around 6 pm eastern, while we are announcing the prizes on site, I’ll be posting the winners list here on this blog, along with images of all the designs. So, there’s your first BOLO.

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2) On my way back from Manchester on Monday the 28th, I’m scheduling a little side-trip to visit my friends at WEBS, America’s Yarn Store.  My car will still be tetris-ed to the roof with Design Competition stuff, but if I work it just right there should be a bit of room for new yarn.  If you’re in the area, Northampton MA, look for me around midday.  But do not, I repeat, DO NOT drive or park your car anywhere near mine, as I still won’t be seeing out of my back windshield!  So be on the lookout for me…. REALLY!

July 30, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern

July 30, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern

3) It’s not often that we are offered a do-over. My Interweave live webinar, Chainless Foundations, was so popular the first time around that I’m presenting it live again, Wednesday, 30th July at 1:00 pm eastern. Preregister here.  I love a do-over.  It gives me the chance to do it… well… better.  Address all those little things that embarrass and annoy you about the way you talk.  The tiresome strings of run-on sentences.  Losing your train of thought and not being able to get back on the rails.  Umming too often. You know what I mean.  I can’t promise that this time will be any different.  My brain and my mouth are still the same.  But there’s always hope.  At least it gives you the opportunity to join in the live event in case you missed it. I will be on the lookout for you in the audience then!

 

Crochet Curmudgeon Revealed

It isn’t often that I am interviewed.  Since becoming a professional crochet designer I’ve been grilled by the best, asked the most penetrating and difficult questions, and have answered as honestly and sincerely as possible.  Most interviews focus on my craft and the crochet techniques I champion. Some are just great opportunities to brag on… I mean, promote… my books, current published designs and whatever I’m working on at the time.  All of them take the form of Q&A, where they send me a list of questions and I send back my answers, and for the most part my words are presented as written, perhaps edited for length.  Don’t blame them.  I do tend to ramble on.

But I worry.  I often worry that something I say could be taken out of context and misunderstood.  I really worry that instead of presenting myself as a competent, innovative but quirky crochet designer I come off sounding like a total geeky, odd-ball curmudgeon (which I am, but who needs to know that?). It’s the rare interview where the questions are put to me in such a way that both personalities are revealed, and published in such a way that I am not embarrassed to let people read it.

VY14_1 23.inddWEBS Summer 2014 Catalog

This brings me to the most recent Q&A I did for WEBS, America’s Yarn Store, for the feature in the Summer 2014 catalog, WEBS <3 Doris Chan.  I love them back, too!  My only tiny and in no way critical issue with the interview is the altered interpretation of that list in the right-hand sidebar.  In the original Q&A, I was asked to list My Five Favorite Things.  If the question had been what are my five must-haves (as published), I would have curbed my normal impulses and limited the list to crochet/craft related objects of desire. But no. Instead I allowed a couple of my geekiest and gooey-sticky-soft-centered answers to sneak onto the page.

Tardis T

So, although I love this interview and deeply appreciate WEBS, Kathy Elkins and Sara Delaney for allowing me the honor, you can understand my wanting to correct the impression that I am a total EEEDIOT.  Yes, baby animals are my favorite things.  I will fall apart playing with a litter of puppies or baby bunnies.  But are they MUST-HAVES?  I don’t actually have any baby animals here at the moment.  Besides, you get them, you feed them, they grow.  You no longer have baby animals, you have monster animals.  Just saying.

I have never been to the WEBS ginormous warehouse of a store in Northampton, Massachusetts.  It’s about time, don’tcha think?  So on my way back from the CGOA 2014 Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire I plan to make the short side trip and visit WEBS for the first time.  If you’re in the area and want to see my face light up with joy and yarn-overload, please come, Monday 28 July, late morning, if I get my butt in gear and leave the conference venue early enough.

Introducing DJC Lotus Bolero: Crochet Conference Ready

She’s small, but makes a big impression.  Meet the new crochet design from my independent pattern line DJC Designs — DJC Lotus Bolero, a seamless, sleeveless vest for girls and adults.

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Lotus Bolero was chosen to be the first of my crochet designs in support of DesigningVashti Lotus yarn (a previous post about Lotus here) because it is a perfect showcase for all the qualities of Lotus.  The bolero itself isn’t particularly trendy or different.  It’s a classic silhouette, boxy, with clean, uncluttered lines and conservative fit and coverage.  What transforms this simple little layering piece into an absolute stunner is the Lotus fabric. No photography can adequately convey the experience.  Although the stitches appear crisp, the fabric they make has a meltingly touchable texture and is supremely comfortable, so lightweight yet densely fluid, silky and smooth, with a luscious drape. Even in dim home lighting, Lotus is softly luminous, as if it is glowing from inside.  Take it outdoors in sunlight and it blazes.

I kinda love how Lotus Bolero works well over grown-up clothes like camisoles and tank dresses (where it hides all the jiggly bits!), but also looks cool over my collection of fan-girl T-shirts!  I could so wear a number of the sample sizes, because you can choose how you want your bolero to fit and whether you want to close the fronts or leave them nonchalantly loose.  Also, I am amazed that it takes just one big cake of Lotus to make the two smallest girl sizes; two cakes for sizes girl 29/L through adult 38/M; three cakes for the rest of the range up to 53/3XL.

I have another motive for bringing out DJC Lotus Bolero at this time.  Many of my crochet friends are already getting ready for the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference in July.  For us it’s now about what new stuff will we make in time to show off in Manchester.  The crochet-for-conference phenomenon is similar to holiday crochet marathoning, except totally self-centered.  The happiest outcome is to finish something for yourself that is a practical garment for conference wear.  Ideally it is a lightweight layer that’s so gorgeous you’ll be the center of attention from across the crowded hotel lobby, is packable, airy enough for summer in New Hampshire, yet will provide some comfort in potentially drafty classrooms, can go dressy or casual, and since it is already the beginning of June, it has to fly off the hook in days. May I suggest Lotus Bolero?

Lotus yarn and the downloadable pattern are available exclusively at DesigningVashti.com, ready now for your inspection.  Although I went with a palette of paler, spring-y and neutral colors for the current bolero samples, there are deeper hues of Lotus and even black if you want.Lotus_Color_Chipsc9face1a301e

Hey, if you’re coming to the conference, look for me and Vashti to hold a geeky fitting lab, where we’ll have all the Lotus Bolero samples for you to try on.  I can’t wait to show you how they fit real women of all sizes.  And if you’ve crocheted one of your own, don’t be shy, get in my face and show me!