Wednesday at the Conference
Wednesday was Professional Development Day, many professionals in the CGOA share their knowledge and experience with associate professionals, and new professionals. As I'm waiting for the registration booth to open, a woman comes up to me and says "I saw my design coming down the hall." So my response was "Then, you must be Tammy Hildebrand. I love your design!" We chatted about the design, and I was brave enough to tell her of my dilemma, and how I had rearranged the panels. She seemed pleased with my adaptation.
At registration I picked up my name badge holder, it was a clear plastic holder that pinned to your clothes and since I was wearing the new Ring Around the Posie top in bamboo I wasn't pinning anything to it. I was glad that I had brought along the blue canvas holder given out at earlier conferences. I wasn't at any of those, but had picked up the holder for $2 at the 2005 conference in King of Prussia. This holder has lots of space above your name tag to stick CGOA pins, and on the back it has pockets to hold business cards and several pens, this is extremely handy all week.
I also picked up the "goody bag" for being one of the early registrations. This bag was supplied by Coats and Clark and included: stacks of pages of specific yarns with a color card and yarn specs., booklets of Crochet Threads, TLC Yarns, Red Heart Yarns, The Yarn Collection booklet from Herrschners, a skein of Red Heart Soft in a pretty blue, a skein of Designer Sport yarn colors by Candi Jensen (I got a pretty Blush Rose), a skein of Creme de la Creme worsted weight cotton in Scarlet, and a skein of Lustersheen in Medium blue. I haven't used Lustersheen since the late 1960's, but I worked up a couple swatches for a Friday class and was really impressed. I'll need to make something with this yarn. The goody bag also included a bookmark and a booklet on the Red Dress Project which educates women about heart disease, a set of knitting needles and a Tunisian hook.
I forgot that I had to pick up the Commemorative hook at the registration booth and no one mentioned it, so I had to go back later in the day and pick it up. This year's hook was handmade by Brian of "Brainsbarn". This is a beautiful handcarved wooden hook with a blue bead with flowers. It's engraved simply CGOA '08, and it's a size H (I think).
As we entered the room for the Professional Development Day (PDD) we were given our PDD "goody bags". These bags were provided by Lion Brand Yarn and stated with a huge tote bag, this will hold your largest WIP! Again we got stacks of free patterns, and booklets with different yarns, a Lion Brand crochet hook, the book Just Bags: 30 Patterns to knit and crochet by Staphanie Klose and Cathy Maguire, and a bag of 3 skeins of Vanna's Choice in Sapphire. Now, I will admit that I haven't been impressed by the Vanna's Choice when I saw it in stores, the colors seemed dull, however, we were asked to work up some afghan squares to Heartmade Blessings while we listened to the speakers. I found the yarn to be squishy soft and worked up nicely. I'd seriously consider this for a quality afghan if I can find colors that I like.
The morning session was lead by Rita Weiss and Jean Leinhauser, aka Creative Partners. These women have decades of experience in needlework design, editing, and publishing. And, together they're probably the two funniest crocheters you'll ever meet. Their topic was getting published, and Rita had conducted a mail survey of dozens of publishing companies. Several of the topics covered were: your audience or market, your vision of your book, agent or not, ISBN #s and bar codes, print on demand and self publishing.
During a break Dee said "I've got a job for you. You'll be perfect for it." That was intriguing!
Then we had a PDD luncheon with a talk given by Amy Shelton of Crochetville, about how Crochetville can benefit professionals in all aspects of crochet. The lunch was fabulous, really a full dinner buffet!
In the afternoon, there was time for three breakout sessions, and we had a choice of about 10 different topics. I started with Book Proposal 101, which I thought would be a great lead up to Thursday's three-hour class on self publishing. This was lead by Mary Beth Temple of Getting Loopy, a podcast about crochet. Next I went to Contract Crocheting, I attended a similar breakout in 2006, so I don't know that I got much out of this, but it was lead by Susan Lowman and Doris Chan. Doris is a fabulous designer, I've bought her two latest books, and have a large list of "to do projects" from them. Doris is also on my "Top Ten Funny Crocheters" list. The lst session I sat in on was Designing for Publication with Edie Eckman, of The Crochet Answer Book.
Thoughout the day there were breaks to pull numbers for door prizes. The prizes were donated by crochet professionals and included books, yarn, subscriptions to magazines, etc. and I think everyone got a prize. I won the book "The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs:500 Classic and Original Patterns" by Linda Schapper. I've never even flipped through this book at a store, so I have a brand new book to explore. This is a 2007 edition of a book first published in 1985. It includes a photo of each stitch pattern, written instructions, and a chart using international symbols.
All in all, a full business day of getting your head stuffed with good ideas, tips, inspiration, and knowledge from the experienced professionals in the CGOA.