Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bling Night at the Conference

Good Morning Everyone

This year the Crochet Guild of America was celebrating their 15th anniversary, which equals Crystal. Dee, started a movement to celebrate the anniversary with a "bang", er, I mean a "bling". We were all encouraged to wear our bling to the fashion show and banquet. You needed blinders as you entered the room.

Molly, from Crochet Texas was celebrating her birthday that night, and her friends presented her with a lovely cake (also delicious). That's Jerry R, from Crochet Texas, with me. Love your birthday hat Molly!

All the finalist in the "Who's the blingiest contest" line up on stage. And the winners are----------Joan D, Jill H, and Me!!!!!!

Enjoy your day


Monday, August 17, 2009

My sweater in fashion show

Good Monday Morning Everyone.

I forgot my camera the night of the Fashion Show, and the walk back to the hotel from the conference center, after teaching all day, was just too much to even think about. I was relying on friends to send me pics.

My friend, Jen R, came through for me. The stage area was dark, and taking photos was not easy, but Jen's look great. Myra Wood is wearing my sweater and it looks fabulous on her. The pattern for the sweater will be available in my new book, THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET, which will be out by years end, and is already available for pre-order on

The sweater is made entirely with Plymouth yarns, mainly Baby Alpaca with Silk, , embellishments are Royal Bamboo, King George, Yardley and Imperiale. Can be made without embellishments if you prefer.

I am teaching this morning, which is shaping up to be another hot sunny day in my part of the world. Summer is finally here!

Have a great day,


Saturday, August 15, 2009


I received a comment when I posted this photo, identifying the models - They are:
Myra Wood, Kang Hyo Min, Kazue Ohara, and Kimberly McAlindin.

Kang Hyo Min and Kazue Ohara are from Tulip Company

They all looked stunning.



Sorry that it has taken me a whole week to get conference photos posted, but recovery from a conference takes me a while.

The first photo is one more of Renee's Grand Prize Winning Dress. Renee was my student last year, so needless to say I am very proud of her. The second photo is a group from my last class of the week. We are still smiling and having fun. The other photos are from my Intermeshing Crochet Class. The student's were so happy that they "got it". So much fun to watch their progress. Also shown are Free Form Crochet and Knitting in Combination. The fun of this class is to see all the different interpretations of the homework. Patchwork Knitting class was really fun, and students were on a roll, trying different methods and having a ball. Sensational Slip Stitches was my last class on Sunday afternoon. I was tired and so were the students. Fortunately it was my smallest class, so we had fun and some really "one on one" teaching. I forgot to take pictures in a few of my classes, one class (Finishing like a pro) had 25 students. We managed, but several students thought the class was too large and I agreed with them. If we do it again, I will do half as many students.

Another glitch, in my Entrelac Knitting class, my booklet had a page missing. We got through it, and I have since sent my student's the missing information, never the less, I felt bad about it. Such are the highs and lows of a conference teacher.
All in all I think that most of my students felt that they learned a lot and had fun.

Everyone at the conference had their picture taken with the Buffalos in the lobby of the conference center. I could not leave without doing the same, so Mr Dee did the honors and took my picture.

Others will be sending me photos from the conference, so as I receive them, I will post them.

I am fully back on schedule, working away on my newest book, while still doing some minor tech editing on my recently finished book, THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET, which is already available for pre order on amazon. Working on back to back books is challenging, but I love having so much to do, keeps me sane.

Have a great weekend, it is shaping up to be the best one of the summer in our part of the world, enjoy.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The CGOA Crochet Contest at the conference

Good Morning All,

I am slowly getting caught up on my "to-do" list after being away for 7 days.

One of the high lights of the conference was the Crochet Guild of America Crochet Contest. I was able to take some photos of the winners in the fashion category.
They were all stunning. Renee Barnes won the grand prize for her white dress, which was a vision in lace and free form. Renee took my free form workshop last year, and I think that I created a monster. She beat out my entry, which received an honorable mention, way to go Renee. Renee was not able to be at the conference, but I was able to speak to her afterward, and she was just bubbling over with enthusiasm and joy that her entry had won.

Here is a list of winners from Doris Chan, there is one name missing, which I will
add when I get it.

2009 CGOA Design Contest Winners
Grand Prize ($1000 from Coats & Clark)
“Crochet Confection Evening Gown”, designed by Renee Barnes
Peoples’ Choice
“Wedding Gown”, designed by Paula Bennett

First Prize ($300 from Coats & Clark) “Flamenco Dancer Dress”, Patricia Williams
Second Prize ($200 from the Boye Needle Company) “Ocean Fiesta Dress”, Andrea Graciarena
Third Prize ($100 from DRG’s Crochet Magazine) “Sophisticated Spring”, Paula Bennett
Honorable Mention
Baby Dress Set by Carol Carlile
Short-sleeved Jacket with shawl collar by Margaret Hubert
Wedding Dress by Paula Bennett
Double-breasted Jacket by Mary Jane Hall
Bruges Lacy Dress by Hyacinth Thomas
Corset Top by Tracie Barrett
Playing the Angles Cardigan by Deborah Burger

CATEGORY: Home Decor
First Prize ($300 from Coats & Clark) Doily by Ferosa Harold
Second Prize ($200 from Interweave Crochet) Freeform Pillow by Shelby Lynn Allaho
Third Prize ($100 from DRG’s Crochet Magazine) Victori Africana Footstool by Rhonda Davis
Honorable Mention
Tamara’s Trail Throw by Tamara Gonzales
Avalon Doily by Kathryn White
Irish Lace Mat by Kathie Earle Doily by Ferosa Harold

CATEGORY: Accessories
First Prize ($300 from Coats & Clark) Spring Handbag by Jerry Rigdon, freeform bag
Second Prize ($200 from Boye) Black and White Headpiece and bag by Kathie Earle, DMC cotton #80
Third Prize ($100 from DRG’s Crochet Magazine) Butterfly Necklace by Sonja Hood, done in wire and glass
Honorable Mention
Evening Clutch Bag by Diane Moyer Silk,
Silver and Lace Purse by Julia Bryan
Beaded Evening Bag by Sonja Hood
Freeform Hat with Earflaps by Leslie Nelle-Urinyi

CATEGORY: Crochet as Art
First Prize ($300 from Coats & Clark) Heartrock Hotel by Gwen Blakley Kinsler
Second Prize ($200 from Interweave Crochet) The Harvest by Carol Ventura
Third Prize ($100 from Martingale & Co) Pop Top Bowl by Denise Royal
Honorable Mention
Crochet on a Rock with a Twist of Lime, Gwen Blakley Kinsler
Crochet Cabernet, Andera Van Benschoten
Prayer Flags by Martha Furman Kosro

That's Rita Weiss, president of CGOA, presenting the awards,with Bobbie Matela. Sorry, I do not know the names of all the models, but that's Myra Wood on the left, wearing the stunning Sophisticated Spring gown, by Paula Bennett.

Have a great day everyone, still more conference news to come, have to get back to work now.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The workshops begin

Good Morning All,

It is raining again, but a good day to tackle some of the stuff on my to-do list.

Professional Development Day was Wednesday. A very nice turnout attended. After the morning sessions, I attended Myra Wood's session on Self Publishing. Myra has successfully published 2 books and they are really great (Creative Crochet Lace and Knitted Lace).

My workshops began on Thursday morning with Double Sided Crochet. I was teaching a few of the nicest (in my opinion) double sided stitches. The most popular one of all being the double sided shell stitch. I had a beautiful blanket made in this stitch and Wednesday night realized that I forgot to pack it. I was so upset, even though I had some smaller samples to show the class. Someone suggested that I start a new blanket, so I did. We had received some Lion Brand Yarn in our goodie bags so I was using it to begin my blanket. By the end of the day, some friends were donating their yarn to the cause. By Thursday morning, I had quite a lot done and enough to show the class. The pink blanket was done by my student Carol D, who took my workshop a few months ago.

Janet B., Ella E., Marcine M., Diane M., Jeanette N., and KJH, shown in the photo are all happy campers showing off their class work.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Buffalo Conference

Good Morning Everyone,

Just about recovered from the conference, not all unpacked as yet, but almost.

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and as I walked into the hotel, the first person that I saw was Molly Andries from Crochet Texas (I am an honorary member of the group) and it was so good to see Molly. When I taught at the Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Fest, Molly hosted me after the event, and she ran me ragged taking me all over the area. If you ask Molly, she will swear that it was me who ran her ragged :-). Crochet Texas is celebrating their anniversary and they invited me to join them for a celebratory dinner the next night. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera that night (it happened a lot) so I am waiting for some pictures from others in the group. They presented me with a lovely crochet hook, featuring the Yellow Rose of Texas, literally bringing me to tears. My pictures do not do justice to the beautifully hand crafted hook, made by Brian of Braines Barn Hooks

As I walked into the lobby, I looked across the room and saw two familiar faces holding up their badges, pointing and literally grinning at me. Of course it was Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss holding up their "OLD BROADS RULE" pins. Jean and Rita presented me with my pin last year, inviting me into their very exclusive club, only 3 members at present. I forget all the rules, but all others are OBITS - (Old Broads in Training). What a great way to start the conference.

Wednesday was Professional Development Day, and I always enjoy that day
tremendously. Quite a few years ago, I was the keynote speaker at PDD day, and I can still feel the glow of getting up there and speaking to all those eager faces. I love seeing the enthusiasm of new designers with all their ideas ready to explode out of them. The energy in the room is infectious.

Thursday began my teaching schedule, and I'll continue with individual posts about that.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Good Morning Everyone,

Home from the conference, happy but so tired.
I arrived home last night after an uneventful drive home.
We stopped and stretched often, weather was great, no
traffic, all in all a long but ok trip.

I have not unpacked and my camera is still in my bags, but I did want
to share one thing with you before I start blogging about the conference
(maybe later on). About a month ago I saw a little ad on face book and
I clicked on it and found the most amazing site about hand painted
clogs. Well I was looking for some comfortable shoes to wear to
the conference and these appealed to me. After reading for a short
time I discovered that you could design your own. I called the
company, and before long I was working with their artist and
creating my own personal clogs. I love, love, love them! Not only
were they the hit of the conference, but they are so comfortable I could
not take them off. I actually wore them on my way to the Fashion
show and banquet and put on my "heels" at the door :-)

Since I teach both knitting and crochet classes, my clogs had to
show both knitting needles and a crochet hook. I think that I drove
Lisa, the artist, a little nutty with my requests for color etc, but
she was such a pleasure to work with and I was truly thrilled
with the results.

I have no affiliation with this company at all, just a very happy, satisfied
customer with happy feet. I taught 7 workshops, standing the most
part of every day that I was there, and felt terrific. Thanks Curtis and Shawna
and Lisa for a great product and great service.

They are

Have a great day


Monday, August 3, 2009


Good Evening Everyone,

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle. I haven't read the book yet (too busy this week getting ready for the conference) but a friend read it and said she really enjoyed it.

Ann did a book signing and reading for us at our local book store, and it was a really enjoyable evening.

First photo, me and Ann, second photo Ann Reading an excerpt from the book for us. Third photo, Marie and Frances get their books signed.

When I get back from the conference, I will have lots to report, and maybe will
have even read the book by then.

Have a good night


Saturday, August 1, 2009

More on Lion Brand

Happy Saturday Everyone,

While I was at the Lion Brand Studio last Sunday, I met Maritza. Maritza told me about her Mom, Julia, who is an avid crocheter. Mom is in her eighties and has lost sight in one eye.

I asked Maritza if she would would share
Julia's story with us. I received this e-mail and the photos with Maritza's permission to share them with you.

Hello, Margaret. It was a pleasure to meet you last Sunday. I'll bet your free-form class was a big hit. When we talked I offered to send you a photo of the quilt my mom made out of Vanna's Choice yarn. This was the second quilt she made (with several bags in between) after she lost the vision in her right eye last year. She was very discouraged when she first suffered the loss of her vision, thinking she wouldn't be able to knit or crochet again. You can see she didn't stay discouraged for very long. She picked up her life-long love of yarn with a small bag, then another bag, then two quilts, the latest of which is enclosed. She will turn 85 in September and continues to find joy and challenge in her knitting and crocheting. Presently, she's making a market bag blending two complimentary yarns. She follows all her patterns by sight, never having learned American instructions. I continue to be impressed with her creativity and courage - qualities I've seen in her my whole life.

Thanks again for your encouraging words. Best of luck with your designs - I will be checking them out myself.

Way to go Julia, continue creating such beautiful things. That's Maritza in the last photo. Thanks for sharing with us Maritza.

Have a great day