Happy Clappy Crochet

Celebrating Crochet with a Positive Spin

Crochet at SMW Part 2

**Warning – the following post has lots of pictures, so please view on an appropriate device**

Last week I posted on the professional designs that were shown during the Vendor & Sponsor Fashion Show that took place on Friday night at Stitches Midwest. This post is going to be about the Student Banquet, which takes place on Saturday night.

The Student Banquet is probably my favorite event at Stitches. It is the last big event for the weekend, a bunch of prizes are given out, and everyone has lots of fun. What makes the Student Banquet special is the fashion show, because it is all volunteer models showing off the amazing things they have created.

This year at the Student Banquet, a total of 49 items were modeled. Today, with the permission of XRX, Inc. to use their pictures, I will share the 10 crocheted items that were shown.

Lily 1  Lily 2

This is a bonus to start us all off 😉 Every year, the amazing Lily Chin wears a new item that she created. This year, since this event quickly followed the CGOA conference, Lily wore the same outfit to both events, but I am not complaining. Lily created the pineapple dress using Tunisian crochet stitches, and crocheted the leaves that form the neckline. Just stunning work from the newest inductee into the Crochet Designer Hall of Fame.

Now, presented without comment because their skills speak for themselves, here are the Crocheters at Stitches Midwest.

Kate 1  Kate 2

Cro Top 1  Cro top 2

MaryAnn 1  MaryAnn 2

Ood 1

Vest 2  Vest 1

Island cro 1  Island cro 2

Roberta 1  Roberta 2

Roberta 3  Roberta 4

 

I am in awe of these ladies, sharing the amazing work they do with crochet. It was fabulous to get to see these pieces in person, and I’m happy to share them here with you.

Have a good week!

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Crochet at Stitches Midwest 2016 – Part 1

I’m home from an amazing weekend at Stitches Midwest, and I need to share the love. I plan to do this over a couple blog posts, so I hope you will check them all out.

Today, I want to focus on the Friday night Fashion Show.  There were 70 amazing garments in the show, but the three I want to focus on are the crochet garments. Please note that all the pictures I am sharing are property of XRX, Inc., and they are shared with permission.

The first is Whirlpool, designed by Michele Harlass in Makimo and Mousou by FIBERLADY.

Fiberlady 1  Fiberlady 2

When the model turned around, the OOHHS filled the room. This was just a stunning example of what you can create with crochet.

Next up is the Icarus Shawl, designed by Tracey McCorkle and Sharon Wagner, using Legacy Lace from Brown Sheep and CRYSALETTS.

Crystaletts 1 Crystaletts 3

I love adding bling and beads to my crochet work, and it was used to great effect in this shawl. Crysaletts was also a new sponsor this year, and the ladies in the booth were a ton of fun to hang out with. After seeing this shawl, I had to go buy some bling for myself. I’ll share the goodies in another post.

The final crochet piece was Twisted Minstrel, designed by Michelle Stead in Arial Evolution from Twisted Fiber Arts. The designer is also the wonderful person behind MICHELLE’S ASSORTMENT, where you can find amazing shawl pins.

Michelle 2

While these are the only true crochet pieces in the fashion show, I saw many knit pieces that could have a crochet counterpart, especially the garments created with mitered squares or chevron stitches. Just because something is in one technique doesn’t mean you couldn’t adapt it to another for your own use.

If you would like to see more photos from the Friday Fashion Show which took place at Stitches Midwest, and you are on Facebook, please go to https://www.facebook.com/KnittingUniverse/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1231800546832983

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5 Years On – Stitches Midwest

Five years ago this month, I started a bit of a rant on a Ravelry group that ended up bringing about some change. That rant had to to with the lack of crochet classes being available at Stitches Midwest in 2011. I won’t go into the whole story here, but if you are interested, you can follow this link to learn more.

I was able to take a crochet class at Stitches Midwest in 2011 – it was offered as a one-hour market session. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but when you account for planning logistics, it was a pretty quick response to offer any kind of crochet class just 4 months after the initial topic had started. Since 2011, there have been a minimum of 10 (true) crochet and crochet-friendly (classes for both knitters and crocheters) offered at each session of Stitches Midwest. For August 2016, there are 13 crochet and crochet friendly classes being offered.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, it is an anniversary of sorts. I had the opportunity to talk with Tammy Burke when she was guest hosting the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird about a month ago. My call comes in at the 24:18 mark. During the call, I encourage crocheters to take a class this year. I’m quite passionate about it. This anniversary had me thinking about that call, and I decided to check how much I’ve practiced what I preached.

I logged into the XRX website and checked how many classes I’ve taken since 2011. So far, the total stands at 19 – one 1-hour market class, seventeen 3-hour classes, and one 6-hour class. My total will grow by the end of this year, with another crochet class that will be taken at Stitches Midwest in August as well as 15 hours of classes at Camp Stitches in November.

So, 5 years on, and I owe some thanks. First to Benjamin Levisay of XRX for not only asking for feedback on improving crochet outreach for Stitches events, but actually following through on many of the suggestions. Second, I want to thank the other posters in the Ravelry thread where the conversation started who took the time to give reasoned and constructive feedback to Benjamin. We helped start a big change that is still going, and I thank you all for that. I’d like to thank the teachers who have offered crochet classes over the past 5 years. I know that the classes may not have been as full as you may have liked, but it meant the world to me to be able to take classes from the likes of Kristin Omdahl, Myra Wood, Edie Eckman, Marly Bird, Jenny King, and Marty Miller. I’d like to thank the teachers who adapted knitting classes so that they were crochet friendly as well – Laura Bryant has done much of this over the past 5 years. I’d like to thank the sponsors and vendors who have helped to make the event more crochet friendly, offering crochet tools and books in their booths, as well as showcasing crocheted items in their booths and in the fashion shows.

Finally, I want to thank the crocheters themselves who have attended the Stitches events over the past 5 years. You’ve taken classes with me, enjoyed the PJ party, and showed off your amazing handiwork during the Saturday Student Banquet. Our attendance numbers are growing, and we are even starting to fill classes to the point that they are sold out. This post wouldn’t be possible without your support of taking crochet classes when they are offered and attending national shows. I thank you deeply, and I hope to see many of you in Schaumburg in August. For those of you on the fence, there is still time to sign up for classes. Check out the list and see if something strikes your fancy. Come to the Student Banquet and show the room the wonderful things you make with your hook. I really do hope to see you in August!

 

Please Note: Neither Benjamin or anyone associated with XRX had any idea I was going to post this. I am not being paid by XRX to promote Stitches events. I just realized today, during a conversation with a friend, that I had been taking crochet classes at national events for 5 years, and that is what prompted this post.

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