Memories of the 2012 CGOA Conference in Manchester, NH

I returned home last Monday, July 2nd, from the CGOA Chain Link Conference in Manchester, NH. It was a blast!!! I taught 6 classes and met a lot of really nice crocheters, knitters and tatters there. If you have the chance to attend the conference, I recommend that you go. You won’t be disappointed!

My plane took off from Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport, heading to Manchester on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The flight made a scheduled stop in Denver, then continued on straight to Manchester from Denver. That morning, I remembered that a designer friend of mine, Andee Graves, lives in Colorado. I was wondering what flight Andee might be taking, so I watched for her when the new passengers came onto the plane in Denver. To my surprise and delight, Andee got on the plane!!! After I got her attention, we sat next to each other and talked the whole way to Manchester, which made the time pass a lot faster!

The first day of the conference was Wednesday, when I attended Professional Development Day (PDD for short). It was a day packed with information for crochet professionals or aspiring crochet professionals. At PDD, I learned more about designing, tech editing, self-publishing, using social media, teaching and producing crochet videos. These and many more topics were presented by other crochet professionals there. KJ Hay’s presentation about tech editing was hilarious and very creative! Instead of reading the information she wanted to present, she made a little “skit” out of it, complete with her bunny slippers! It was a riot! I’ll be presenting the topic of “Contract Crocheting” at PDD in Reno in September. It should be a lot of fun.

Kathryn White at PDD

Terry Kehrer at PDD

At PDD, I sat at a table with Kathryn White, Michele Maks, Theresa Kehrer, Joyce Bragg and Karen Ballard. Here are photos of 3 of them:

Michele Maks at PDD

Then on Wednesday night, I taught my first class at the conference: Symbol Crochet. All the students were eager to learn and did very well in class. It was a little difficult to teach a class after a full day of PDD because I’m a morning person, not a night person! But I persevered and was able to think straight, must to my surprise and delight! I must have been running on adrenaline!

On Thursday morning, I taught my Faux Tatted Necklace class from my pattern with the same name. Here’s a photo of the necklace:

Faux Tatted Necklace


Carlotta and her necklace

Kim and her bracelet

And here are some of the happy students with their necklaces (or bracelets) in progress:




Victoria and me

There was also a mother and daughter in that class. This is the daughter and me:


I was amazed and extremely surprised that one of the students in that class had taught herself to crochet the night before! She was still learning how to hold the hook and thread, but she was patient and persistent and she did great!!!

I had Thursday afternoon off from teaching, so I spent it with one of my mentees, Theresa Kehrer. On Thursday night, they held the Design Contest Awards. Here’s a photo of the center of the display with all the entries, located on the show floor (Note: Not all the entries are shown in this photo, just the ones in the center of the display):

Design Competition Display

I entered my new shawl pattern that I made in the continuous crochet motifs method (I blogged about it on May 19), but I didn’t get a prize for it.  Here is a photo of that shawl:

Byzantine Shawl in Design Contest

All of the black around the large red and orange motifs is done with one strand (actually 2 strands because I needed to use 2 balls of black yarn) so there are only 4 ends of black yarn to weave in when you’re done crocheting the shawl instead of 128! I’m thinking about designing an edging for this shawl before I publish the pattern. I think it needs a little something extra. It’s too bad I didn’t add an edging before entering it in the contest. Oh well! Better luck next year!

Kathryn White, who is a good friend of mine, won 4 prizes in the contest! She took first and third places in the Accessories category, third place in the Thread category and first place in the Artistic Expression category! Her designs (and all the winners’ designs) are amazing! You can view the winners here on Doris Chan’s blog: You can see all the entries in the Design Contest here: Enjoy the eye candy!!!

After the Design Contest Awards came the shopping floor preview, which is always a lot of fun! Who doesn’t love looking at and touching beautiful yarns?

I went to the Dance Party for a little while after that, but left in plenty of time to get a good night’s sleep so I could think straight the next morning to teach classes again! It’s important to me to be my best and think as clearly as I can when I’m teaching. I owe that to my students. And that doesn’t include staying up until the wee hours of the morning!!!

Whenever I have to travel to the East Coast for the CGOA Conference, I start adjusting my internal clock 2 weeks before the conference so I don’t have to try to adjust to the 3 hour time difference in one night! It works great! Over the course of the 2 weeks, I was able to eventually go to bed and get up in the morning 2-3 hours early before I left for the conference, so I was already used to East Coast time when I got there!

On Friday, I taught my Beginning and Intermediate Bruges Lace classes. Both of these classes went well and the students enjoyed learning how to form several styles of Bruges Lace tapes, how to curve them, join them to each other (and to motifs) and loop the tapes over themselves. It was a great day!

That night, the CGOA Annual Member Meeting took place. Normally, I sit with the other members in the audience, but this time I sat at the head table with the CGOA Board members. I had to keep the secret for weeks of me filling a vacancy on the Board: Karen Whooley is leaving the Board due to family matters. This is the first time I’ve been on the CGOA Board in the 10 years that I’ve been a CGOA member. I’m looking forward to giving back to CGOA and helping to improve the CGOA Masters Program (I’m the new liaison to the new Masters Committee: Jane Rimmer and Carol Moore are taking the places of Karen Whooley and Kathleen Sams as co-chairs of the Masters Committee).

On Saturday, I attended my first CGOA Board meeting bright and early at 7AM with the other Board members (I’m glad that I’m a morning person!). However, I had to leave the Board meeting early in order to teach my Shuttle Tatting class all day! Every one of the 11 students in the class learned to shuttle tat at various skill levels. It’s not exactly an easy thing to learn, but they were all patient and persistent students! I’m very proud of every one of them! I can’t wait to see what they create in shuttle tatting!

The Fashion Show and Dinner was held on Saturday night. I modeled in the Fashion Show and pinned a Masters Pin on one of my mentees, Carlotta Craig. Here we are in the pinning ceremony:

Pinning Carlotta!

It was a wonderful night and it was hard to say goodbye to many friends at the conference, as many people leave that night or the following morning. I saw Karen Manthey, Bobbie Matela, Carol Alexander, Kathleen Sams and many, many more friends and colleagues at the dinner and conference. Here is a photo of me at the Fashion Show (in the center) with 2 of my mentees: Theresa Kehrer (on the left) and Shari White (on the right):



Terry, Shari and Me



I taught my last class, Writing Crochet Patterns, on Sunday morning. The students in this class were all very eager to learn more about writing crochet patterns and improving their pattern writing skills! Many of them were newer or beginning designers. I look forward to seeing their design careers grow!


After having lunch with Jane Rimmer and Carol Moore on Sunday afternoon, I walked into the show floor and found myself volunteering to help take down the Red Heart/Crochetville booth. It was a lot of fun! I received many skeins of free yarn and crochet thread for my efforts!!! Normally I wouldn’t accept so much yarn at a conference because I’d have to find a way to get it home! But I knew I had extra space in my second suitcase because I gave out so many handouts in my classes and that space was now vacant to fill with yarn on the way home!!! Thank you very much, Kathleen! I will use the yarn for some crochet designs as soon as I find some extra time to make them! Here’s a photo of Andee Graves wrapping up the boxes on the pallets with plastic/shrink wrap before the driver took them away:

Andee wrapping boxes

All in all, I had a wonderful time at the conference and I’m looking forward to teaching 6 more classes at the CGOA Chain Link Conference in Reno in September! I’d better get to work and prepare those classes before time slips away! It’ll be here before I know it!!!


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