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!


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