My Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVE the CGOA Conferences...


As my plane begins its bumpy descent around the latest of summer thunderheads, I am reflecting on the glorious time….yes, GLORIOUS time at this year’s CGOA Conference in Portland, Oregon, and I don’t use this word lightly. If you’ve never attended a crochet event like this before, I encourage you to mark your calendar for next year’s event which will be held in Manchester, NH from July 10-13. You won’t be disappointed! I’ve been able to attend a number of these since my first conference in 2011, and I always come away encouraged and full of new ideas!


Here are my top 10 reasons in descending order, of why I go and why I can’t wait for the next one:


10. Pulling away from my normal routine and traveling to a new place… This year the conference was held in Portland, Oregon, a state that I had never visited before. It was amazing flying in from the east and seeing the beautiful sights such as Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens in the distance in the next state over. I was also able to add a short visit with my aunt and uncle who live in the beautiful state of Arizona!

9. The 2019 CGOA Crochet Design Contest… It is always inspiring to see the entries that other crochets design for this contest. The contest is open to everyone and significant monetary prizes are awarded to the winners. Even if you are not able to travel to a conference, you are welcome to enter this contest for a change to win one of these prizes!


8. CGOA Annual Meeting… If you don’t like boring meetings, don’t worry, this isn’t one of them! This year’s meeting, faithfully led by Linda Dean, moved right along with much laughter and enjoyment. You will be quickly caught up on on the business for the year and see the vision cast for the future. This is also when we get to find out the destination for the next year’s conference!


7. Shopping in the Yarn Market… You never know what new goodies are just around the corner at the yarn market, and this year was no different! I got to meet new vendors selling unique products that I had never seen before. I found a new gradient yarn supplier who dyes yarn that allows you to create your own endless choice of colors. I alway enjoy looking at mugs with yarn sayings, and don’t forget your free shopping bags!


6. Free Yarn Samples and Yarn Tasting… You really never know where and when yarn samples will show up! This year the first 200 attendees to The Excellence in Crochet Meeting received a bag FULL of samples from participating yarn companies! I had so much in may bag that I literally couldn’t pack it all in my luggage and had to share with others who had more space. I trust that these skeins got good homes and will soon be blessing another!


5. Meeting Your Favorite Crochet Authors & Designers… This year I was able to get my signed copy of One Piece Knits by Margaret Hubert! It is always wonderful to speak with this little lady who just happens to be a GIANT in the fiber world - of both crochet & knit! Whenever she speaks, I do all I can to listen so I can learn from the best! I also had the joy of meeting and talking with Marly Bird of Red Heart Yarns. If you don’t know who this lady is yet, you need to! She is just as wonderful in real life as she appears in her Red Heart Yarn videos!


4. Fastest Fingers Crochet Contest… This was the first time I have experienced this at a conference, and I’m happy to say that I actually won! It was a lot of fun to participate both in the first and then the final round. At the rate my heart was beating for the finals, I can say in all truthfulness that I now know how crocheting can become an aerobic sport! You can check out the entire video here:


3. Crochet Classes… As always, there were many different and interesting crochet classes offered, some in 3 hour formats, and others all day (6 hours). This was my very first time to teach on a national level and I had blast! I taught 12 hours of classes, all on how to crochet cables (of course), and loved, loved, loved doing it! I was astounded at the level of proficiency of many of the students which allowed me to cover all the material in my syllabus. We even had a bit of fun with silly fiber songs and free giveaways on the hourly breaks to keep the blood circulating!

(Photo courtesy of CGOA) 

2. CGOA Banquet & Fashion Show… This was the first time in several years that I wasn’t volunteering behind the scenes and was able to watch the fashion show after being served a delicious 3 course meal. We listened to a fastening lecture by Pauline Turner, this year’s inductee into the CGOA Hall of Fame. After that it was a parade of beautiful and unique crochet designs up and down the runway! This is always fun filled as the audience oohs and ahs at these, and occasionally cheers with some special enthusiastic real-life models! If you do attend a conference, you are very much welcome to participate as a model…and models of all sizes are welcome and needed!


1. Making and Rekindling Crochet Friendships from Around the Country and the World!!! I saved the best for last. Words are inadequate to describe the love that goes around to everyone at these events! I hope to see you there next year!



Help with the Chevrons & Diamonds Throw: Row Chart

In order to help those who are following along with the crochet along on my Bonnie Bay Crochet YouTube channel, I've compiled a list of Rows 31-198 so that you can check off your progress as you go, and know which rows of the corresponding charts that you will need. 

For those of you who would be interested in joining us, the introduction video to this CAL can be found here.   

You can download the free pattern, courtesy of Red Heart Yarns here.

Here is the chart of rows that you will need for Row 31 and onward:



Now Available: WINNING AT THE FAIR: Bringing Home a Ribbon in Crochet!


I'm so very happy to share this little book with you all! This has been an idea I've had brewing for a long, long time. Inside this easy, quick read of only 54 pages are many proven tips for how to enter your local county and/or state fair, compete well, and bring home a ribbon!

I share my personal crochet competition experiences that span 4 decades. I also take you step by step through an official judging form so that you know what the judges are looking for when evaluating your crochet entry. 

If you want to begin the process of entering your crocheted items into the fair, or perhaps take your results to the next level, then this book is for you!

This photo was taken the last year I competed in our county fair and had the joy of sharing the Champion Table with my daughter and her award winning crochet entry! The Fair experience offers so much family fun, memories to be made, and personal growing experiences for all ages. 


New Offerings: Personalized/Autographed Copies and a New Book!

I am happy to let everyone know that I am now offering personalized/autographed copies of my 3 books, Cable Crochet Made Easy (2017), Celtic Cable Crochet (2016), and Contemporary Celtic Crochet (2014) on my etsy page. I am offering these only to US residents due to the cost of shipping. If you live outside the US you can order these where you live far cheaper than the cost of me shipping it to you. (You can always contact me privately at if you would still like to arrange a special shipment outside the US.)

These can make excellent gifts for your crochet friends for that special occasion. There is only a modest $5 charge added to the price of the book to cover my costs of shipping and handling.

...and a NEW BOOK! 


I am also excited to share with you about my latest book due this July... Winning at the Fair: Bringing Home a Ribbon in Crochet! I've been thinking about this project for many years and can't wait to share with you what I can to help motivate you to take the next step and enter your lovely crochet projects into your local county or state fair! This little book is full of personal stories and practical tips of how to prepare and enter award-winning crochet entries plus a whole lot more! This book is available for pre-order and will be available by July 9, 2018 - just in time for this fall's fairs!



Self-Striping Projects: Accessories for you & your baby!

Coming soon!!! Self-Striping Projects: Accessories for you & your baby! by Bonnie Barker

Published by Leisure Arts, #7336, US $9.99/CAN $11.99

I am so thrilled to share this latest Leisure Arts crochet leaflet with you! Every design is made using self-striping yarn that now comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It was so much fun to make each of these designs because of all the wonderful color. I found my self wanting "just one more row" so I could get to that new color change on the skein!


You'll find many practical items to crochet that can be used all year long, like this Cabled Backpack. The pattern even includes directions for an optional lining so you can add a colorful interior to make this even more useful! I've personally used this style of a crocheted backpack for travels many, many times. I love how it allows me to have my hands free, especially when shopping or using my camera to photograph new places.



You'll also find two new baby blanket patterns: Rainbow Baby Blanket (above) and Sweet Baby Blanket (below). It seems I always have another baby blanket to make for the precious new life being born to my friends in my church, and it gives me so much joy to do this! Both of these blankets crochet up quickly. The Sweet Baby Blanket is also very easy to crochet with the repeated arch shell pattern.



There is also Cap & Cowl Set, and a Celtic Weave Cowl for the colder months of the year.



And last, but not least, are two lovely options to chase away the chilly air, whether that be indoor air-conditioning or an early fall. The Shoulder Wrap is fun to wear and can be worn a couple of different ways: with top ribbing up or folded down. It can also become a large cowl!



The second option of staying warm is a Poncho, which is also one of my favorite things to wear! This poncho is easy to crochet and features the Arrow & Basket Weave stitches.



Should you ever have need of stitch support, you can always go to my Bonnie Bay Crochet YouTube Channel where I have all of these stitches available for free in both right and left-handed versions to help you in your crochet journey. If you haven't already, please hit that little red "SUBSCRIBE" button on this site so you won't miss anything new that I post each week.

The winners of our recent give-away are Christine Pich and Tina Hauri. Congratulations ladies!