Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chain Link 2011

The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) held its national conference (Chain Link) in Minneapolis MN last week. Each day was so awesome, it's hard to decide where to start . . .

Wednesday was Professional Development Day. The morning speakers were Ellen Gormley of Go Crochet!, Margaret Hubert, and Vickie Howell.

Ellen's speech was about the characteristics that make a project a showstopper or a project maker. A showstopper is a project that makes you go "WOW!" when you see it; it reaches from the pages of the book or magazine and grabs you. A project maker is one that people will make over and over; one that is their go-to project. It is the type of project that makes the crocheter feel successful.

I thought it was interesting that Ellen said that not all showstoppers are project makers. At first thought, all designers probably want that showstopper, that pattern that will possibly grace the cover. But, having a pattern that is a project maker is just as important.  From the feedback I've received, my Adirondack Socks is just that kind of pattern.  They are not complex, yet there are some stitches that make them interesting.  They also look great in any type of varigated or self-striping yarn.

Margaret Hubert's speech was about what it takes to survive in the crochet publishing world.  She certainly should know because she has been designing since 1975.  Margaret gave us 7 things that were most important for survival. Many centered around quality: quality of ideas, quality of proposals and finished products, and quality of the written patterns. She also advised us to be flexible and pro-active, but the final piece of advice fits Margaret to a T -- be nice. 

Vickie Howell was the last speaker of the morning and she wowed us all with her knowledge and tips for using social media.  My head was swimming with all the ideas that she gave me! I must say that my roommate and awesome designer, April Garwood, taught me how to use Twitter before we left on Saturday night.

Tidbits:  both April and Ellen have give-aways on their websites, so click on the links above and register to win.

More about the conference later . . . .

1 comment:

April Garwood said...

Yay! My computer finally let me see it! Thanks for posting a link to my site - and for the compliment! I am personally way impressed that you design socks - seems complicated to me. Love ya! :)