Rounding Up the CGOA Posse

May Day!  Au secours ! H-E-L-P!

The CGOA 2016 Chain Link Conference in Charleston, South Carolina is less than two weeks away and I am hoping for a miracle… namely you, the posse.  On the evening of Friday, July 15th, during my induction into the CGOA Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame I want forego the same-old same-old powerpoint presentation slide show retrospective of my design career and focus on what really matters. You.  The Posse.  The reason I do what I do.

Toward that end, I am asking… begging… anyone who is planning to attend the conference and the awards night on Friday to please come prepared to participate.  Bring with you or wear anything of my designs that you have crocheted and be ready to share the love on stage. Anytime before the ceremony, please stop by the DesigningVashti market booth #203 and let me know you’re on board for the fun.  For everyone who braves the crowd and stands with me on stage I have a special treat as a thank-you, a new, exclusive DesigningVashti Lotus mini pattern kit.

Bow Tie

Thank you all for your support.  With a lot of help from my friends we shall make it a night to remember.

Crochet Hall of Fame

It is with ineffable pleasure and pride that I share this announcement. The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)  and has just bestowed upon me that organization’s highest honor, induction into the CGOA Jean Leinhauser Hall of Fame.


My initial reaction to the news is one of disbelief.  I should not think myself worthy and, however disingenuous it sounds, I truly am shocked and surprised to have been voted in.  Ah, but my next and more abiding reaction is most telling.  I regard the Hall of Fame award as the icing… no, wait… it’s merely the dusting of gold sprinkles on top of the icing on the cake, the chocolate cake that represents my association with the CGOA.  Of course it is wonderful, astonishing to have my work recognized in so public a way. But it all pales compared to the immeasurable personal rewards I have already received over the years through guild membership and participation.  In other words, for twelve years I have been gorging on CGOA cake and my head is not about to be turned by a few new glittery bits on top.

Would my life and career be the same today had I not joined CGOA? Don’t think so.  I’d still have chosen to pursue crochet designing.  But my experiences through 16 conferences — being welcomed into this vital community, meeting others who speak the language of crochet with as much fluency and reverence as I do, bonding with the crocheters who would become my best friends — showed me that I do not design in a vacuum.  Sharing my craft with this crew of talented, creative, slightly mad, often rowdy but always loving crocheters reminds me why I do what I do and keeps me honest.

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I never enjoy talking about myself and am finding it difficult to produce my presentation/acceptance speech for the formal induction ceremony, to be held during the 2016 CGOA Conference at North Charleston, SC, July 13-16. But, hey, I’ve got some time here to mess with it.  And ready or not, to all who plan on attending the conference, I want to see you on Friday evening for the festivities.  And if you’ve crocheted for yourself anything I’ve designed, please bring or wear it that evening and share the pride along with me.

Tulip Etimo Crochet Hook Source

Logo 100p is now your source for Tulip Brand crochet hooks, sets and accessories.  Vashti’s new store shelf, Crochet Hooks & More, is loaded with the stuff we love.

Searching for an elusive single Etimo cushion grip hook, like the US Size K/10.5 (6.5mm), or the smaller sizes to fill out your set, or steel hooks? We’ve got ’em here.

Tulip Etimo Crochet Hooks

Thinking about a special gift for a crocheting friend, or more likely, a treat for yourself? Consider this incredible array of hook sets, classic and special edition.

11 Cute Tulip Crochet Hook Sets offers free domestic shipping of crochet hooks, along with Vashti’s prompt and geeky attention to your needs.  Coming soon… adorable, colorful Tulip stitch markers!  Be sure to check back often as we add more cool stuff for your consideration and more than possible purchase!

The Other San Diego Con: CGOA Crochet Conference

In the aftermath of the titanic Comic-Con, San Diego is bracing for a gathering of a completely different nature. The Crochet Guild of America 2015 Conference arrives at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego next week, running July 22 through 25, with nary a zombie, Wookie or superhero in sight, but plenty of geeks to be sure, brandishing not lightsabers but crochet hooks (although you might spot a sonic screwdriver or two if you look hard enough). We’re there for the yarn, the classes, the special events and the camaraderie; on all counts I am planning to participate.

For the first time ever, Vashti Braha (the boss) and I will be exhibiting at the Knit & Crochet Show, the open-to-the-public market that runs concurrently with CGOA-Con. Come to booth number 109 and experience DesigningVashti Lotus yarn (previously available only on-line), plus limited edition Treat yarn, for purchase in skeins or packaged in ready-to-go kits with special edition kit patterns. Right next door in booth number 111, Tulip Company (Etimo cushion grip hooks!) returns to the market, with the latest in exceptional crocheting and knitting tools and accessories.

Throughout the show, Vashti and I and our DesigningVashti booth slaves… uh, volunteers… Linda Dean and Kristin Lynn, and the Tulip Company team of Kazue and Kang will be in the house to chat, answer your questions, give demonstrations of crochet techniques and, yes, hand over the yarn, tools and kits. I’m especially pleased to invite women of all sizes and body types to my fitting lab, an opportunity to see, handle and try on garment samples of my independent designs, patterns available exclusively at Brand new this season is DJC: Lotus Lattice, a seamless crochet top in 13 sizes, all of which will be on display.

Also at the Knit & Crochet Show (market admission required), you can be in the audience for our 20-minute demonstrations on the market stage. I’ll be demystifying Top-down Seamless Construction featuring the Lotus Lattice on Friday, 24 July at 11:00 am; Vashti will delve into her Fresh Twist on the Friendship Bracelet, Saturday, 25 July at 12:30.

For registered CGOA Conference attendees, if your language is geek-speak, then join Vashti … with me sort of hovering and backing her up… for the session Get Your Geek On, Wednesday 9:00 to noon (ticket required). Keep your eyes on the prize as the 2015 Design Competition winners are announced during the Excellence in Crochet event, Friday evening. And once again I will be producing the CGOA Fashion Show (emceed by Ellen Gormley, editor of Crochet! Magazine and my chocolate cake buddy) following our wrap-up dinner on Saturday night (ticket required), where I hope to drag all my friends onto the runway to strut the latest crochet fashions.

So … CGOA attendees and San Diego area visitors alike … I hope to see you there to share the excitement and crochet joy. In case you haven’t guessed, I’ll be the one with the sonic screwdriver!

Launching My Crochet for WEBS: The Designer in Residence Experience

Logo DiRWEBS, America’s Yarn Store. WEBS, my Yarn Store. They opened wide their doors and their hearts to me and I stumbled in. Kid in a candy store, only I emerge not with a face smeared with chocolate and pockets crammed with Jelly Babies, but with an entire catalog of WEBS Valley Yarns to feed my crochet design engine. I can only assume/hope that Kathy Elkins and Sara Delaney (WEBS owner and marketing coordinator, respectively) know what they’re doing, inviting me to serve as their crochet designer-in-residence for 2015. Although they are majorly supportive of crochet, appreciative of my work, and tell me anything goes, I fully understand that this means anything within reason.

Spoiled for yarn choice and reeling from the responsibility, I have no idea what this year’s six designs will bring, except for #1, obviously, because it is launching right now. New this season to the Valley Yarns Superwash family, Superwash Bulky lends itself perfectly to a super-exploded lace stole with a shawl collar.

Shawl Collar Stole back Shawl Collar Stole front

I forget who first described it as meltingly soft. Anyone who has wrapped this baby around the shoulders does not want to take it off. Truth be told, I enjoyed the lush softness of the piece while I was creating the sample; this from a crocheter who has allergies, among them wool. Thick yarn, big hook, zero finishing, quick work, nearly instant gratification. The pattern is available as a printed copy or digital download here. Sara has already blogged about the launch, the program and leaked my answers to a few designer questions on the WEBS blog here.

What comes next depends mostly on how the yarns speak to me. I will definitely be playing with two Valley yarns I have come to know and love: Goshen, my go-to non-wool worsted weight favorite, and Charlemont, a sock weight beauty.

Doris Chan DiR FebruaryIf you have any thoughts about how I should fill in those question marks, I’d enjoy hearing about them and might even pay attention. Visit the Valley Yarns pages at WEBS to peruse the materials I have at my disposal, and let me know if there’s something specific (within reason!) you’d like to see in crochet design by leaving a reply to this blog. And please follow here as my year-long Designer in Residence adventure unfolds.