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Bailey4

2015 Conference in San Diego, CA

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I was so looking forward to being able to go in 2015 in Manchester, NH.  Finally had my ducks in order.  Any idea why the relocation?  Looks like one more conference I won't be able to make.

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it seems to me that for the last few years, the plans have alternated:  one year there is 1 conference in Manchester.  the next year there are actually 2, like last year it was NC and IN.  Is there only going to be one next year?  I had seen something about CA next year and thought maybe there would also be one in the midwest (ha ha wishful thinking i guess!) or south. 

 

Are you on Ravelry? There are several groups where you can find discussion about the conferences.  

 

I know that location is a big concern for many people and if I want to go to it I have to be prepared to travel.  So far i have only made it to one in Portland OR  which was combined w/ a family vacation.   

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Bailey, unlike the Stitches events, the CGOA conference/TKGA conference/Knit and Crochet Show has never been held in only one location. Since both CGOA and TKGA are membership organizations, they try to move the show around to different areas of the country to make it easier for those who cannot travel large distances to attend.
 

There are now many different fiber-related events held all over the country (Vogue Knitting Live events, Stitches events, and many more large regional events). Having more shows in a year means vendors have to pick and choose which shows they can attend and so do attendees. We may be moving back to having just one show a year.

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find the CGOA conference return to Manchester in 2016, but a lot depends on what has already been scheduled at the hotel.
 

 


 

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For those who would have attended a conference in Manchester, NH in 2015 but don't think you'd be able to attend in San Diego, would you mind sharing your reasons? Perhaps we can brainstorm some solutions that would make it possible for you to attend. :)

 

If it's the cost of a plane ticket that's prohibitive, there are some ways to make money or save money:

 

1. Find roommates so you can split the cost of the hotel room

 

2. Have several yard sales between now and then and put the money away for the plane ticket

 

3. Make crocheted items to sell during the coming year

 

 

If there are other roadbloacks to the California location, mention them and we'll see if we can come up with other solutions for you.

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Money wasn't really the issue.  It was a perfect location for personal reasons.  We had a conflict this year that made attending an issue, but I was anxiously awaiting the chance to make it to Manchester next year, which is obviously not an option.  Hopefully if it returns to the area at some future date, I won't have a conflict then. 

 

I've looked into Stitches East and if I was a knitter it would be great, but frankly I didn't see crochet classes of interest.  Hartford would be an option for me, but I really liked the fact that the Knit & Crochet show was more than a really wonderful place to shop.  It had great options for classes, lots of chances to network with other crocheters, and from what I've read a chance to meet some of the designers I buy patterns and books from on a frequent basis.  The Stiches East website may be limited, so perhaps I'm missing something, but I haven't seen anything that begins to spark my interest in attending.  I was actually hoping it would be an prequel to going to the Knit & Crochet show next year.   I was rather disappointed when I visted the website.  I've read in the past they focus on knitters because that is where the money is and so be it.  However, as a crocheter it hardly makes it an exciting alternative, even more disappointing knowing that the Knit & Crochet show may not be an option for some time.  I've been looking into more local and regional events through the local CGOA, but again knitting and spinning seem to be the focus.  I realize people arrange around where people spend the money, but I can't help but be frustrated that when I finally finish the family commitments that prevent me from doing something I wanted to do, that it ends up moving on me.  Just another lesson that time waits for nobody.

 

For those who can attend do to the new location, enjoy.  I know this is a plus for those in other parts of the country.

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Bailey, I totally get the frustration and disappointment that the show isn't going to be where you expected in 2015. :)  If there's any way you can possibly swing it, I'm sure you would enjoy the San Diego conference, even if you came for just a few days and not the entire event, if you can't be away from home that long.

 

While XRX is really trying to include more crochet options in their Stitches events, the sad fact of the matter is that crocheters reallly are not showing up to take advantage of the classes they're offering. Official word is that most of the people taking the crochet classes are current Stitches knitting customers, not new crochet customers. I'm not sure why that is. Is it because the offered classes aren't of interest to enough crocheters? Is it because there aren't enough crochet classes of interest to make crocheters want to attend? Is it that crocheters prefer to attend the Knit and Crochet Show/CGOA conference since it is pretty much 50/50 crocheters and knitters? Is it something else?

 

I do know that Jenny King is teaching at Stitches Midwest and several of her classes have sold out. She's been invited back to teach at Stitches West and the follow-on 2-day intensive workshop, Stitches Etc. She likely would have been invited to teach at Stitches East, but those teachers were selected prior to seeing the registration results of her classes at Midwest.

 

I really hope that Jenny will end up being one of the regular crochet teachers for Stitches, since I think she's a really big draw and make help get more crocheters attending and taking classes. The more the crochet classes fill up, the more crochet classes Stitches will offer.

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If it comes back to New England I will go, if not then it wasn't meant to be I guess.  As I said before I hope it benefits others who were not able to go before.  Perhaps for those closer to CA this will be their chance.  I am disappointed, but not much I can do about it.

 

I only found out about Stitches recently and thought it would be interesting to attend Stitches East.  At first I was excited the location was not unreasonable and I looked forward to being able to take some classes and enjoy the experience.  Then I went to the website.  What a disappointment.  While crocheters are being encouraged to attend, I can't understand why.  It doesn't seem to have any focus for crocheters and while Hartford isn't a plane trip, it still doesn't seem worth the trip if the focus is soley knitting.  I see nothing wrong with knitters having events for themselves, but why kid us into thinking there is any reason for us to attend? 

 

I constantly hear that I'm supposed to work harder to get people to want my business and it's getting old.  I do understand if you offer courses and nobody shows up that you stop offering them.  I don't expect any business to take a loss just to suit me.  I just find it frustrating that we are encouraged to attend events that really have no interest in us being there with the hope that by showing up and spending money they may eventually reward us by providing us with something we want. 

 

Sorry, but if they want me to travel to their event, spend my money and time then it isn't going to be to waste time hoping that just by showing up eventually they "might" offer something of interest to crocheters.  I have other interests and hobbies that I don't have to beg to meet my interests and my money goes there first.  Those vendors are quite happy to provide much more encouragement for me to show up to their events and provide me with activities that I find interesting without expecting me to prove I'm worthy of their interests.

 

My suggestion is if they want more crocheters perhaps they should work to find out what crocheters want and then market the offerings to crochet groups in the area.  With the availability of free social media outlets to market these events perhaps it is time to work the market to get people more interested in these events. I found out recently that a crochet group I'm hoping to join at the end of the month hires a bus to attend a crochet friendly fiber event in the fall, so obviously there is an interest and a willingness to organize and spend money if the event is worth the time to attend.  Perhaps the key is more reach out to the communities to find out what they will spend money on, not trying to tell them what they should spend money on.

Edited by Bailey4

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Bailey, I do not think it's fair at all to say that XRX and Stitches do not want crocheters at their events. They DO want them there. They did spend a good bit of time talking with crocheters about the types of classes they would want to take.

Since the classes Stitches is offering at East are not of interest to you, can you let me know what classes would be of interest? I'll be happy to pass that information along to Benjamin.

For those unfamiliar with Stitches, here's a list of the crochet classes available at Stitches East this year in October:

 

Actual Crochet Classes

 

Fabulous Free Form Knit/Crochet with Margaret Hubert (6 hours)

 

Around the Corner Crochet Borders with Edie Eckman

 

Glorious Grannies with Margaret Hubert

 

Basic Crochet, Just for Lefties with Gwen Bortner

 

Creative Crochet Charting with Amy Gunderson (6 hour class)

 

 

Crochet-Related Classes

 

Intro to Color with Laura Bryant (she has lots of info just for crocheters, since crochet uses multi-colored yarns differently than knitting does)

 

Perfect Pairs: Contrast and Coordinate with Laura Bryant

 

Intentional Patterning with Hand-Dyed Yarns with Laura Bryant (again, with info specfic to crochet) (6 hour class)

 

Hobby to Profession: Becoming a Designer with Marly Bird

 

Knocking Off a Garment with LIly Chin

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I don't think anyone at Stitches has the attitude that any crocheter should show up and take whatever crochet classes are on offer, even if the classes are not of interest to that particular crocheter. They are trying to come up with a selection of classes that will appeal to as many crocheters as possible.

 

We also need to remember that since crochet classes are relatively new, they have to start by appealing to as many crocheters as possible. This means focusing on beginning and intermediate level classes. They can't give as much focus to advanced level classes yet, since that pool of crocheters is much, much smaller in any geographical area. They have to help build the number of advanced crocheters by offering classes to help less-advanced crocheters develop their skills.

 

If anyone has ideas on what you think would be a better mix of crochet classes for Stitches to offer, please let me know your ideas. In fact, I think I'm going over to the Crochet Happenings and Events folder and creating a discussion topic just for that. Come on over and check it out.

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Amy I don't want to have an argument, but honestly I don't see how they've made a huge effort to reach to the maximum number of people with those offerings.  In all fairness if you have limited classes to offer to beginners and intermediate level crocheters you'd put a priority on a class for left handed crochet?  If I had extra space to fill sure, but if I really wanted to encourage more crochet participants to spend money and take classes, then this wouldn't be my list of classes. 

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Bailey, I don't want to have an argument either. We both just have our own opinions about what Stitches is doing, and we're both looking at it from a different perspective.

I'm sure Stitches has a very good reason for offering a beginning class for left-handed crocheters. If they couldn't fill that class at least as well as they fill other crochet classes, they wouldn't be offering it. It seems to be a staple at many of their recent shows, and I honestly don't think it's being used as a filler. Classes for lefties are difficult to find, and it's very easy to pull enough lefties together to fill a class when there are tens of thousands of interested knitters/crocheters attending an event.

 

I understand you're upset/disappointed with the class offerings at Stitches East this year because they don't meet your needs and if you believe they don't meet the needs of many other crocheters as well. If you can provide me with a list of classes that you would have taken if they had been offered, I'll be happy to pass that information along.
 

The crochet classes provided at a specific conference depend on the class proposals submitted by teachers who are able to attend that show. There are quite a few different classes being offered at Stitches West. Would any of these classes have been more appealing to you?

CROCHET CLASSES:

Diamond Style with Jenny King

 

Mix It Up with Miters by Jenny King

 

Bavarian to Go with Jenny King

 

Master Solomon's Knot with Jenny King

 

Tempting Tunisian (intro) with Ginger Luters

 

Double-Ended Tunisian with Ginger Luters

 

Advanced Tunisian with Ginger Luters

 

Single Crochet Entrelac with Marly Bird



I will admit that while Stitches is trying to meet the needs of crocheters, they are nowhere near the point that they will be able to split classes 50/50 amongst crocheters and knitters the way the Knit and Crochet Show/CGOA conference/TKGA conference is able to do. For the widest variety of crochet classes, you just cannot beat the Knit and Crochet Show. Although even there, you'll find more beginning/intermediate classes than truly advanced classes. :)

 

But the best way for anyone to change the list of classes offered by a Stitches event is to provide them with input on the classes you'd prefer to see and explain why you think those classes would be better than the ones they're currently offering. I'm more than happy to compile information from our  members and send it on to Benjamin (CEO of XRX) and Mavis (who works with selecting teachers and classes).

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Having more time to review what I read when I looked into the conference I went back and looked at the class descriptions.

Bailey, I do not think it's fair at all to say that XRX and Stitches do not want crocheters at their events. They DO want them there. They did spend a good bit of time talking with crocheters about the types of classes they would want to take.

Since the classes Stitches is offering at East are not of interest to you, can you let me know what classes would be of interest? I'll be happy to pass that information along to Benjamin.

For those unfamiliar with Stitches, here's a list of the crochet classes available at Stitches East this year in October:

 

Actual Crochet Classes

 

Fabulous Free Form Knit/Crochet with Margaret Hubert (6 hours)  Combines Knit and Crochet techniques to make a purse.  Great if you do both.  Seems possible if you only knit not much worth if you don't knit.  You asked us to be honest about what we would spend money on.  I'm not likely to spend  $160 for a 6hr class that is focused on a primarily knit project with a decorative crochet finish.  I have several of Ms. Huberts books and would enjoy and event with a meet and greet to discuss her designs.  However, this class is designed for knitters who could get by without the crochet to finish the project it just won't be as pretty.  It would require a crocheter to pretty much create their own bag to make it without knitting based on the course description.  I'm sure in 6 hours there is a focus on the Free Form technique, but if the focus is on knitting, I'd rather continue to read about it until I can find someone who teaches a class that does focus crocheters who want to learn more.  

 

Around the Corner Crochet Borders with Edie Eckman  Another person I'd love to meet and I have her book on this topic.  It's wonderful.  However, she did a great job with her book and while I can think of a few questions to ask, I really can't see enough material to last me 3 hours.  Her book explained what I really wanted to learn.  I didn't find myself confused by iagrams or trying to figure out where the hook goes or why my stitches look nothing like the ones in the book as I have with other things I've tried to learn on my own. 

 

Glorious Grannies with Margaret Hubert "Learn to make traditional Granny Squares and as many variations as time allows. We will cover different sewing methods, the invisible joining method, and many uses for this time honored technique." 

 

You asked us what we'd be willing to pay for in classes and I will say honestly mastering the Granny was one of the least challenging and best covered techniques in crocheting for me.  Just about everyone I knew who crocheted showed me how to make one when I was learning for free.  I have taught several people myself since learning as it is a good way to practice.  For all I know this might very well sell out, but if I was looking for techniques to try to entice even beginning crocheters to spend money to learn, I wouldn't charge them for the Granny.   If you wanted to teach knitters and others to crochet, why not just offer a beginners crochet class?   Learning the Granny could be embedded in a 6hr beginners class that covered the basics.  
 

 

Basic Crochet, Just for Lefties with Gwen Bortner If you want to entice knitters and other non-crocheters  to crochet why not offer a basic class open to all?

 

Creative Crochet Charting with Amy Gunderson (6 hour class) For those who design this might be something that would draw them to the conference.  As someone who doesn't write patterns I have no idea how easy/challenging it is to learn this information as I've never tried.

 

 

Crochet-Related Classes

Intro to Color with Laura Bryant (she has lots of info just for crocheters, since crochet uses multi-colored yarns differently than knitting does)

Class Description:  "Color brings life and excitement to our knitting, yet many knitters feel uncertain about how to approach it. "  Perhaps you can apply it, but it seems highly focused on people who knit. 

 

 

 

Perfect Pairs: Contrast and Coordinate with Laura Bryant  All the directions relate to knitted supplies no mention of crochet

 

Intentional Patterning with Hand-Dyed Yarns with Laura Bryant (again, with info specfic to crochet) (6 hour class)  Again while the class has a hook all the supplies are knitting related no mention of what to bring if you are going to crochet which doesn't indicate it is specifically crochet friendly.

 

Hobby to Profession: Becoming a Designer with Marly Bird  Sounds like a interesting class if you want to become a designer and it is geared to both.

 

Knocking Off a Garment with LIly Chin  She actually does list crochet as an option, but again when listing what you need, she speaks about knitting terms, nothing about what you need to do as a crocheter.

Again I have no issue with a conference that is focused on knitters.  If that's where they make their money so be it.  However, if you want complain people won't come when you offer crochet classes at these events, perhaps this is why.  I have no issue paying for a class with a great instructor when it is focused on what I want to learn.  They should be paid for their skill and experience.  I'm not going to pay for a class where I have to work around the fact that the primary focus of the class is knitters and I have to adapt.  There are plenty of other ways to spend my money.

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Bailey, I don't want to have an argument either. We both just have our own opinions about what Stitches is doing, and we're both looking at it from a different perspective.

 

I'm sure Stitches has a very good reason for offering a beginning class for left-handed crocheters. If they couldn't fill that class at least as well as they fill other crochet classes, they wouldn't be offering it. It seems to be a staple at many of their recent shows, and I honestly don't think it's being used as a filler. Classes for lefties are difficult to find, and it's very easy to pull enough lefties together to fill a class when there are tens of thousands of interested knitters/crocheters attending an event.

 

I understand you're upset/disappointed with the class offerings at Stitches East this year because they don't meet your needs and if you believe they don't meet the needs of many other crocheters as well. If you can provide me with a list of classes that you would have taken if they had been offered, I'll be happy to pass that information along.

 

The crochet classes provided at a specific conference depend on the class proposals submitted by teachers who are able to attend that show. There are quite a few different classes being offered at Stitches West. Would any of these classes have been more appealing to you?

 

CROCHET CLASSES:

 

Diamond Style with Jenny King

 

Mix It Up with Miters by Jenny King

 

Bavarian to Go with Jenny King

 

Master Solomon's Knot with Jenny King

 

Tempting Tunisian (intro) with Ginger Luters

 

Double-Ended Tunisian with Ginger Luters

 

Advanced Tunisian with Ginger Luters

 

Single Crochet Entrelac with Marly Bird

 

 

I will admit that while Stitches is trying to meet the needs of crocheters, they are nowhere near the point that they will be able to split classes 50/50 amongst crocheters and knitters the way the Knit and Crochet Show/CGOA conference/TKGA conference is able to do. For the widest variety of crochet classes, you just cannot beat the Knit and Crochet Show. Although even there, you'll find more beginning/intermediate classes than truly advanced classes. :)

 

But the best way for anyone to change the list of classes offered by a Stitches event is to provide them with input on the classes you'd prefer to see and explain why you think those classes would be better than the ones they're currently offering. I'm more than happy to compile information from our  members and send it on to Benjamin (CEO of XRX) and Mavis (who works with selecting teachers and classes).

Obviously depending on the schedule and if they could be coordinated I'd have probably taken some combo of 4 of these and been one very satisfied customer:

 

Tempting Tunisian (intro) with Ginger Luters

 

Double-Ended Tunisian with Ginger Luters

 

Mix It Up with Miters by Jenny King

 

Bavarian to Go with Jenny King

 

Single Crochet Entrelac with Marly Bird

 

More than that and I probably couldn't process all the info I learned and practiced the techniques to actually get much from it.

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If your looking for a local CGOA chapter I found the one in my state looking here.

How does one find out about the meetings?  I would be interested in attending but I don't know where to go to get the information.

Edited by Bailey4

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Amy, if you are going to communicate w/the Stitches folks about this issue, would you PLEASE ask them to be sure the class descriptions convey the crochet content accurately!  

 

About a year ago there was a conversation on Ravelry about classes where this came up, and Laura Bryant posted to talk about all the preparation she did for the crochet content in a specific color class. Based on her post (and her reputation as a teacher and designer) I'm sure the color classes would be very good for crocheting. But the class description on the Stitches site had a hook icon as the only indicator, and that really makes the crochet-ness look like an afterthought, the kind of thing we've all seen in books where there are pages of knit info and then a chirpy "with a little imagination and diligence, you can adapt this to crochet too, tra la la!" which is...well, i'll just say it's not helpful.  The class description for Laura's classes, as Bailey notes , still do not actually use the word crochet!   I think it is really sad that any teacher would go to the trouble to research their topic from the crochet point of view, but potential attendees have no way to know this!  Sorry, Stitches, but we want to see more than a hook icon, please TELL us about the crochet content.  

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Bailey, I also was scratching my head about the Lily Chin class on knocking Off a Garment---it specifically says you have to bring graph paper with squares the same size as your knit sts.   I'm not sure where exactly knitters are supposed to obtain that, but I can't even imagine what graph paper with units the size of crochet sts would look like?  (which stitch? sc? dc? tr?)   Seems like a big omission to have a required item for one craft and not even mention what the other craft should use.  

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There are several online places where you can create graph paper with any size square you want. For the purpose of this particular class, to make it as easy as possible on yourself to learn the basic techniques, I would make a swatch of single crochet with the yarn I'd be using and make my graph paper the size of my sc stitch.
 

That class would be about reproducing the shapes of the pieces in the garment you're trying to knock off, and how to figure out where to increase/decrease to achieve that shaping. How many increases or decreases per row, how many increase/decrease rows and how many plain rows to place in between them, etc.

It's easier to learn that concept with the smallest stitch.

Laura Bryant is also a crocheter, so she has developed a lot of material for the crocheters in her classes. I will definitely pass along word to the people at Stitches that they need to improve their class descriptions with a paragraph on exactly how those classes are tailored to meet the different needs of crocheters.

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How does one find out about the meetings?  I would be interested in attending but I don't know where to go to get the information.

 

Lynn, do you mean local chapter meetings or the big conferences themselves?

 

Local CGOA chapter meeting info (including info on a cyber chapter in case there's no group near you)

 

CGOA conference/Knit and Crochet Show information (San Diego, July 22-26, 2015; a different location every year)

 

STITCHES conference information (Santa Clara, CA in February; Nashville, TN in April; Schaumburg, IL in August; Hartford, CT in October; same locations every year)

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As far as classes go, there will always be some people who have been very successful at teaching themselves pretty much anything that ever wanted to learn about crochet from books and online sources. These people may find that they get more out of spending their conference money on new books, yarn, tools, etc. rather than spending it on classes.

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 I will definitely pass along word to the people at Stitches that they need to improve their class descriptions with a paragraph on exactly how those classes are tailored to meet the different needs of crocheters.

 

A paragraph would be wonderful!  Heck, if they would just use the word crochet in the class descriptions it would help!  

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