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.

logo_webs-main

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!

 

Invitation to Design Crochet

CGOA20thAnniversaryLogoThe Crochet Guild of America continues to celebrate and reward excellence in crochet design, as we invite you to participate in the CGOA 2014 Design Competition.  Please download the official information package here and find out what our membership already knows: this is the only competition of its kind and is an amazing showcase for our craft.  This is my sixth year of involvement with the competition and I am so proud that each event brings more and greater prestige not just to crochet and to the competition itself, but also to the participants and the award-winning designers we honor.

Perhaps you saw the back page of the Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet, and marveled at the little face staring out at you.

Crochet Bandit

Marcy Smith, editor of Interweave Crochet, President of CGOA Board of Directors and one of our competition judges last year, was so entranced with this entry, Summer Visitors, that she asked winning designer Sachiko Adams for permission to feature her work in a magazine piece. YAY, Sachiko!Summer Visitors

Of course there’s more at stake here than pride, crochet glory and a gang of prize ribbons. Thanks to generous grants from our magnificent sponsors we have thousands of dollars in cash awards, sweet indeed. Please join me in acknowledging and appreciating these supporters of crochet and CGOA, including to date:

Cari Clement

Crochetville

Interweave Crochet

Gwen Blakley-Kinsler

MainlyCrochet

Red Heart

WEBS, America’s Yarn Store

The competition is open to CGOA members; deadline for entries is July 1, 2014.  Judging and exhibition of entries will be held during the CGOA Conference, 23-27 July in Manchester, New Hampshire. If you’re up for the challenge, please visit the CGOA website at crochet.org to become a member and then get ready to show me your crochet!

Tammy and Me: CFFs (Crochet Friends Forever)

Who’da thunk it?  My CFF Tammy Hildebrand has just published her beautiful new book, Crochet Wraps Every Which Way. I believe mine is the final stop on the book’s blog tour, the trail of which you can backtrack by visiting Tammy’s Facebook page, Hot Lava Crochet.

Tammy Hildebrand's new book!

Tammy Hildebrand’s new book!

Others have written reviews and extolled the wonderfulness of Tammy’s bouquet of designs.  I can only sit here stunned.  HOKEY SMOKES!  Ten years ago when we first met, we could only have imagined this happening in our wildest dreams.

I kept running into Tammy (and I do mean literally) at a Crochet Guild of America conference, summer 2004 in Manchester, New Hampshire. This was my first CGOA event and I was a wannabe professional crochet designer there to meet like-minded people and forge a network, so I was going full tilt, dashing around and blithely bumping into… well… everyone.  The first days I was there I ran over Tammy a number of times wandering through the hotel lobby, piling into and out of the elevator.  We had a little mutual admiration thing going on, trading comments and compliments about each others crochet wear. Back then Tammy seemed a shy thing, hanging back from the crowds and commotion, hesitant about public speaking, avoiding any glare of attention on herself. Her husband George, the gallant gentleman, was ever at her side, carrying the huge bags of yarn Tammy had collected from the show floor market, lending his steady calm support and encouragement.  GOD, he really believed in her and wanted so much for her to realize her potential as a crochet designer, even if Tammy was reluctant to put herself forward.

Being complete newbies to the design game, we both jumped at the chance to worship at the feet of crochet legends Rita Weiss and the late Jean Leinhauser, who were on site scouting talent for their latest publishing ventures.  Tammy, not realizing that the two crazy ladies were holding court, like queen bees, smack in the center of the hive of activity in the hotel lobby, had missed her appointment and was anxiously looking around for a clue as to what she should do.  I found her there at the edge of the crowd and offered to share my own appointment with Rita and Jean.  From there we became buddies.

I don’t remember exactly when she started calling me her “little buddy”.  Oddly, geekily, it makes me think of the Skipper and Gilligan (“…a three hour tour…”). Through the years we have shared our crochet lives as best we can, long distance by phone and e-mail, meeting once or twice each year at CGOA events. Tammy, once too painfully shy to be coaxed into the limelight or onto the catwalk, would go on to serve on the CGOA board of directors (she was just elected Vice President!), chair the Professional Development committee, became one of my go-to models for fashion shows and the Design Competition parades, where she now enthusiastically models her own award winning designs and anything else we throw on her!  Tammy blossomed, not into a delicate flower, but one of those Steel Magnolias, now in charge of her destiny and enjoying life to the fullest.

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It was to Tammy I turned in 2005 when I desperately needed help to finish samples for my first book, Amazing Crochet Lace.  She put her own work on hold and crocheted the Allegheny Moon Mobius and the huge Pistachio Parfait Ruana.  And now in 2014 I am thrilled that Tammy asked me to contribute a comment for the back cover of her book and to participate in this blog tour.  Again I ask, who’da thunk it?

I am bursting with pride and happiness for her and can’t say enough about Crochet Wraps Every Which Way.  Please see for yourself with this wonderful Look Book created by her publisher, Stackpole, and join me in congratulating Tammy on her success.