Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crochet Soiree`

This group is the home of the original Crochet Soiree`.  Peter started this in his home and it evolved into this chapter of CGOA.
That said, we have our soiree` quarterly and this was the first one in our new meeting place, Piedmont Yarn and Apparel.
We discussed Stitches a little and what we learned from that experience.  Several members turned in their squares for Steve's afghan.
We had a special guest, Julie Curry, who is the head of the Creative Home Arts dept at the San Mateo County Fair. She told us what options we had for a table or booth to promote crochet during the fair. We can be there as much or as little as we wish.  She encouraged all of us to participate in some way, entering competition, volunteering to display entered items, etc.  She also explained why sometimes we find our entries inside out and upside down.  Crocheters are not volunteering to help with the displays.  Quilters don't know.
We also discussed participation in Oakland's first Fiber and Textile Festival in June.
This month, afghans led the way in show and tell. Anita, Linda, Mattie, Cay, Kris, and Tom all had an afghan to show off. Peter is working on an aran sweater with incredible cable work on it. Cay also had a new vest of her own design.  Cookie is making some very small bears, inspired by the Mother Bear Project.
After our rollicking gift exchange, we wandered down the street to enjoy Chinese food.

Project Linus 3/9/10

No one in the group made the meeting this month. It was a day meeting. But, never fear! Cay met up with Alice on Wednesday, and gave her the afghans we had for them. Without further ado, here are the pictures.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cay out of the Booth

My mind is still reeling with ideas I got at Stitches West this past weekend.  I ran into a lady wearing a lovely knitted vest.  I asked if I could take her pic so I can try to recreate it in crochet.  She was thrilled to do so.  And I had just bought what I think will be the perfect yarn for this project from Newtons Yarns.  See!  A meant to be.
I chatted with another wonderful creative lady who developed a clever accessory called Yarn Pull-Eze and will be sold exclusively at Jimmy Beans Wool starting April 1.  How exciting is that?  We've all had great ideas, but this lady followed thru.
I was gifted 3 hanks of Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino by Merilyn of FoxyKnits.  I think I would like to make myself a shrug type wrap with this.  I'm sure I don't have enuf yarn, so am thinking of using a solid color of Baby Ull to fill it out.  Of course, looking for the perfect pattern.
I bought a wonderful wooden shawl pin, just becuz.  I've always wanted one, but I'm not a big shawl wearer.  I can't locate the receipt right this minute to tell you where I got it, but I loved her take on her shawl pins. You've just spent countless hours working up a shawl in wonderful yarn and the only thing anyone notices is the shawl pin you are wearing.  How wrong is that?  Her pins are subtle works of art.
My favorite part of the weekend, however, was the time I spent in the booth with other members of our little group.  Some of these folks I don't know that well, and I feel I know them a little better.

Tom at Stitches West

I purchased the crochet bear kit from the Mother Bear Project It came with the pattern, a Chiao Goo bamboo G-hook, and three colors of yarn for making the bear.

I had a good time at Stitches West. I found some nice washable wool yarn in more sophisticated shades of yellow, orange, and red for another Aztec Sun round ripple afghan. On Friday morning I was at the Warm Up America! booth. I was really surprised at how many people came to the booth and how quickly we sold out of tote bags. We probably could have easily sold 200-300 bags. On Friday afternoon I had a sock knitting class that was very informative. On Sunday I had an all-day class on set-in sleeve construction. Although the class was a knitting class a lot of the information would be useful when designing a crochet sweater. I also bought some DK weight and some fingering weight yarn to make some vests for myself. I think I'll try to use the fingering weight yarn for a crochet vest.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cookie on Stitches

I went to Stitches for 3 days. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I took 3 market classes, one each day.  The first one was double knit, the 2nd one was lace knitting and the 3rd one was called Knit one row below.  I purchased a loom in a tube and a book on how to make some of the project using this loom.  I purchased some yarns for my 3 classes and a couple of knitting needles I didn't have.  I can't remember getting anything else.

I only made one rectangle for the Linus Foundation.

I had a lot of fun.


Kris's first Stitches West

I had a great time at Stitches West. It was my first time going. I was overwhelmed by all the yarn and accessories available. It was fun sitting in the booth talking to people about WUA.

I was able to sit in on one of the demonstrations about adding beads to your knit and crochet projects which I thought was interesting.

As I was leaving, they had a couple of alpacas out front which was fun to pet. It reminded me of our visit to the alpaca farm.

All in all, I had a great experience at my first Stitches West.

Andy's Take on Stitches West

Well One of the Highlights of my Stitches West was spending time at the Warm Up America Booth.I did get to talk to a lot of people in my breaks around the huge mall. One of the People was Karin Skacel, the owner of Skacel Company and there is some new Skacel Crochet Hooks on the works.I also got to chat with the Founder of Malabrigo yarns and they have come out with a superwash worsted way yarn, I was fortunate to receive a skein to test it myself. I also got the opportunity to give Toot's Le Blac another one of my hats for display with they yarns. Yarn has no distinction whether is crochet , knit or weaved, but I believe that the CGOA could have had a bigger say in the classes that were offered, if they offer to give classes that people could attend. I do not know the details of that, but is all on the Guild. If the Guild would have been able to recruit more people we could have promote more the Crochet part of Stitches West, I
believe Stitches West Would have been a 25 /75 crochet knit Event more than a 1 percent crochet. It is in my experience as a Tapestry Crochet Artisan I promote the Art of Crochet. More and more people need to look at their crochet as art, because it is.  Let's see if in the future we can have more impact on events like this one, but if The CGOA does not motivate crocheters to participate is not going to happen.  Knitters are very enthusiastic for whatever reason, but we can be very enthusiastic as well.  We need to find ways of using yarns in a more creative way in crochet.  As a matter of fact I know we do our part at the Men Who Crochet CGOA Chapter to promote crocheting beyond the basics.

As crocheters we need to get our mindset out of wherever it is and promote crochet.  The attitude to have is HOW CAN I turn this event into a promotion for Crochet.  Don't wait for people to make it easy for you to Crochet, make crochet a priority.  Whatever fiber you use whether is acrylic, superwash merino, angora or plain twine, we need to make every opportunity a Crochet Moment.  Do not try to compete with knitting; instead promote crochet as an Art, because it is.  Even a simple Granny square is a work of art, only you can make the difference, nobody else is going to. 

We are hoping to have a more influential venue in the fiber community by participating in the creative process and making a show in the field.  I hope that all of you get to follow our blog.  We also need to have some guidelines from the CGOA for our blog, I do not know if there is such a thing.  We may also want to review,  yarns, hooks, and interview crocheters that have come to our attention.  Anyway enough for today, but remember that we can only have a presence if we show them we are here.

You can see Andy's crafts at

Stitches West

Wow! What a weekend of total sensory overload! Our guild chapter manned the Warm Up America booth at Stitches West. We had a great time, met lots of really nice folks and had plenty of time for classes and shopping.
The Warm Up America booth was in the first aisle amidst very good company, The Lace Knitters Guild, CGOA, TKGA, The Embroiders Guild, WUA, then the Foxyknits booth finished off the aisle.
Peter and Cay arrived around 3:30 on Thursday evening to find Tom already in the booth. He wasn't even on Thursday's schedule. We opened the boxes from WUA and found one afghan for display, some squares for assembly, brochures and some Vanna's Choice yarn to work with. We had a long table and 2 straight back chairs. We requested an easel for our poster and a couple more chairs. Thursday was a market preview for folks signed up for classes over the weekend, so it was a short evening.
Friday morning, Peter and Cay arrived with a small folding table and a laundry rack to use as a quilt rack. We hung the completed afghan on the laundry rack and used the small table for the overflow for squares and yarn. By the time Cay & Peter arrived, Tom had already scoped out the blocks and had planned a layout for assembling what we had to start. People dropped by all day picking up brochures and buying the special bags and dropping off more blocks.. We were completely sold out of the bags before noon! How great is that? When we told them to pull the bag from the fashion show, they told us we had sold more bags in the first half day than any other Stitches event had for their whole weekend. We had 50 and could probably have sold 200. Maybe next year. Tom and Andy were our folks taking turns in the booth Friday..
Kris arrived bright and early on Saturday for her turn in the booth. By noon on Saturday, we were completely out of the brochures that were provided by WUA. So, we asked for 200 copies. We must be good! We ran out of both bags and brochures less than half way thru the weekend. Audrey and Kitty relieved Kris in the booth mid-day and we continued to spread the word. Andy was back at Stitches with some friends and popped in and out during the day as did Cookie, who was taking market session classes.
Marikka had everything under control Sunday morning when Cay arrived. Tom popped in and out a couple of times during the breaks in his all day class. People were fascinated with the method of joining that Marikka was using, so she demo'd her method as she passed out literature on WUA. Audrey came back in the afternoon and stayed until the final bell!
Recap: we sold all 50 tote bags. We passed out probably 400 brochures. We assembled one complete ghan and most of a second. Very productive weekend, both for Warm Up America, and Men Who Crochet.