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!

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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.

CGOA 2013 Peoples’ Choice

The winner of the CGOA 2013 Design Competition $100 Peoples’ Choice Award, sponsored by Karen Whooley/KRW Knitwear designs, as voted by attendees at the CGOA Conference, Charlotte/Concord, NC, is

Sparkling Shells Evening Shawl, designed by Susmita Mullick:

“This “sparkling shells evening shawl” is designed by Susmita Mullick. It is a light and lacey shawl done in Lion Brand Vanna Glamour yarn in a platinum with diamond color shading. The design features diagonal shells which are interconnected with a slip stitch on both sides of the shawl. This sparkling shells evening shawl is perfect for holiday gifts or to wear on gala occasions.”

Sparkling Shells by Susmita Mullick

Sparkling Shells by Susmita Mullick

CGOA 2013 Design Competition Results

CGOA 2013 Design Competition Results, as announced during the Awards Ceremony at the CGOA conference in Charlotte, NC, 3 October 2013:

In the category Accessories, sponsored by WEBS, America’s Yarn Store:

Honorable Mention

Fiji Flowers on Flowers (61), designed by Linda Dean

Fiji Flowers on Flowers by Linda Dean

Fiji Flowers on Flowers by Linda Dean

$100 Third Prize

Josephine’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcape (86), designed by Maxine Pike:

Josephine's Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Maxine Pike

Josephine’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Maxine Pike

$200 Second Prize

Windowpane Wrap (19), designed by April Garwood:

Windowpane Wrap by April Garwood

Windowpane Wrap by April Garwood

$300 First Prize

Dragon Wing (1), designed by Joyce Lewis:

Dragon Wing by Joyce Lewis

Dragon Wing by Joyce Lewis

Dragon Wing is also the winner of this year’s $200 Technical Merit Award, sponsored by Designing Vashti, for outstanding, fresh use of Tunisian crochet techniques.

In the category Afghans and Home Décor, sponsored by Red Heart:

Honorable Mention

Granny’s Tree of Love (42) designed by Deborah Bagley:

Granny's Tree of Love by Deborah Bagley

Granny’s Tree of Love by Deborah Bagley

$100 Third Prize

Alpine Lodge (88), designed by Sue Solakian:

Alpine Lodge by Sue Solakian

Alpine Lodge by Sue Solakian

$200 Second Prize

Octie: Flower to Octagon Blanket (70), designed by Jessie Rayot:

Octie Flower to Octagon by Jessie Rayot

Octie Flower to Octagon by Jessie Rayot

$300 First Prize

Simple Pleasures (24), designed by Julia Bryant from Canada:

Simple Pleasures by Julia Bryant

Simple Pleasures by Julia Bryant

In the category Small Accessories, sponsored by Tulip Company, manufacturers of Etimo cushion grip crochet hooks:

Honorable Mention

Rainbow Crochet Carryall (100), designed by Cynthia Fiebig:

Rainbow Crochet Carryall by Cynthia Fiebig

Rainbow Crochet Carryall by Cynthia Fiebig

$100 Third Prize

Is That A Platypus Scarf? (74), designed by Laurinda Reddig:

Is That A Playpus Scarf by Laurinda Reddig

Is That A Playpus Scarf by Laurinda Reddig

$200 Second Prize

Purple Cascade (56), designed by Jean DeMouy:

Purple Cascade by Jean DeMouy

Purple Cascade by Jean DeMouy

$300 First Prize

Fair Isle Love Beanie (2), designed by Deja Jetmir:

Fair Isle Love Beanie by Deja Jetmir

Fair Isle Love Beanie by Deja Jetmir

In the category Thread Crochet, sponsored by Boye and The Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky:

Honorable Mention

Rendezvous (9), designed by Kathryn White

Rendezvous by Kathryn White

Rendezvous by Kathryn White

$100 Third Prize

Rose Ensemble (20), designed by Kathie Earle:

Rose Ensemble by Kathie Earle

Rose Ensemble by Kathie Earle

$200 Second Prize

Calcutta Doily (8), designed by Kathryn White:

Calcutta Doily by Kathryn White

Calcutta Doily by Kathryn White

$300 First Prize

Princess of Circles (25), designed by Carol Booth:

Princess of Circles by Carol Booth

Princess of Circles by Carol Booth

In the category Fashion, sponsored by Interweave Crochet:

Honorable Mention

Summer Lace Dress (94), designed by Janelle Ponte:

Summer Lace Dress by Janelle Ponte

Summer Lace Dress by Janelle Ponte

$100 Third Prize

Frilly Summer Cardigan (13), designed by Susan Walsh, from Australia!

Frilly Summer Cardigan by Susan Walsh

Frilly Summer Cardigan by Susan Walsh

$200 Second Prize

Connemara Beauty (51), designed by Jennifer Ryan:

Connemara Beauty by Jennifer Ryan

Connemara Beauty by Jennifer Ryan

$300 First Prize

Afternoon Tea (6), designed by Kathryn White:

Afternoon Tea by Kathryn White

Afternoon Tea by Kathryn White

And in the category Artistic Expressions, sponsored by Jenny King Designs:

Honorable Mention

Meeting Mr. Tumnus by the Lamp in Narnia (41), designed by Deborah Bagley:

Meeting Mr. Tumnus by the Lamp in Narnia

$100 Third Prize

Owl Sit With You (43), designed by Deborah Bagley:

Owl Sit With You Bean Bag Chair by Deborah Bagley

Owl Sit With You Bean Bag Chair by Deborah Bagley

$200 Second Prize

Philomena (96), designed by Kate Buckner:

Philomena by Kate Buckner

Philomena by Kate Buckner

$300 First Prize

Summer Visitors (63), designed by Sachiko Adams:

Summer Visitors by Sachiko Adams

Summer Visitors by Sachiko Adams

Summer Visitors is also the winner of the $100 Founders Prize, sponsored by CGOA founder Gwen Blakley Kinsler;

And finally, the $1,000 Grand Prize sponsored by Crochetville and MainlyCrochet.com:

Mille Fleurs Dress (32), designed by Dot Drake:

Mille Fleurs Dress by Dot Drake

Mille Fleurs Dress by Dot Drake

One last prize, the Peoples’ Choice Award,is still to be decided by popular vote during the course of the conference; winner to be announced on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, enjoy a slideshow of the entire competition, all images provided by Doris Chan.

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CGOA Design Competition: Going Pro

Whether you’re an entrant ready to go pro… or so not interested… the annual CGOA Design Competition is for many the gateway to publication.  Let me be clear.  The competition is open to all members, amateur hobbyists and professional designers alike; the event is about celebrating creativity and excellence in crochet, and not about publication. It is a fact that we don’t require written patterns. However, when such a collection of outstanding crochet goes on display at our event and on-line, certain entries are bound to catch the attention of magazine editors hungry for fresh meat… uh, great designs. The prize winners in the Fashions and Accessories categories are the particular targets, with some designs getting sold and snatched right off the exhibit.

So, if you are a professional designer, or hope to become one, or think that you kinda sorta might be able to write a pattern (especially since they’re paying you!), you could find yourself among the ranks of our past winners who have gone on to further fame and glory: publication.  Here’s a look at some of our 2012 crossover hits.

Designed by Tammy Hildebrand, her Mystique top, 2012 First Prize winner in the Fashion category, morphed into the published design, Bloomsbury, featured on the cover of Interweave Crochet, Spring 2013.

65 MystiqueTammy HildebrandIWCSpring13Bloomsbury Top

Designed by Jennifer Ryan, the Glendalough Shrug, winner of the 2012 second prize in the Fashion category, got a makeover to become Kerry, as seen in the Spring 2013 issue of Crochet! Magazine.

49 Glendalough ShrugJennifer RyanKerry Shrug

Designed by Kathryn White, winner of the 2012 first prize in the Accessories category, Knots of Love shawl became Love is a Rose, featured on the cover of Interweave Crochet Summer 2013.

29 Knots of LoveIWCSummer13Love is a RoseLove is a Rose detail

Designed by Linda Dean, Vineyard at Dawn, winner of the 2012 second prize in the Accessories category, appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Crochet! Magazine.

44 Vineyard at DawnLinda DeanVineyard at Dawn

Designed by Diana Toni, The Whirlwind, 2012 third prize winner in the category Fanciful Fashion, also graced the pages of the Spring 2013 issue of Crochet! Magazine.

62 WhirlwindDiana ToniWhirlwind

I am now preparing the 2013 Design Competition to be held next week at the CGOA Fall Conference in Charlotte, NC. Winners will be announced here following the official Awards Ceremony, Thursday evening 3 October.  Keep a close eye on the results, and watch for some talented winners and their brilliant designs to pop up in our favorite crochet magazines in the coming seasons.  Best of luck to all!