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CGOA Conference 2017

July 26-29, 2017

Chicago, Illinois

The CGOA Conference is the event for crochet! Inspiring crochet teachers, top-notch crochet classes, fun crochet activities and the community of crochet lovers like you.


Wednesday, July 26
Registration 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
CGOA Master's Day 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
CGOA Professional Workshop 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Classes 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday, July 27
Registration 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Classes 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Red Heart Crochet Lounge 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
CGOA Member Business Meeting 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Market/Shopping Preview 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, July 28
Registration 7:30 am  - 6:00 pm
Buddy Breakfast 7:30 am - 8:50 am
Classes 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Market/Shopping Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Excellence in Crochet Awards Evening 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Red Heart Crochet Lounge 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, July 29
Registration 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Classes 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Market/Shopping Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
How to Start a Chapter Meet Up 7:00 am -   8:30 am
Designer Meet & Greet 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
CGOA Grand Finale Fashion Show & Banquet 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Red Heart Crochet Lounge 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Ongoing Events


PhotoOur Conference instructors are world-renowned experts in their fields – take a class at the CGOA Conference to learn a new technique or renew your love of crochet. We have classes for the novice through the seasoned crocheter – make the most of your conference experience by taking a class (or two, or three ...)


Shop 'til you drop in our exhibitors' booths – overflowing with the products to add pizzazz to your projects! Find fibers, yarns, tools, patterns, kits, books, CDs, threads, buttons ... if it's crochet-related you'll find it on the show floor! CGOA members get in for FREE!

Demos & Book Signings

Our Market Place will be action-packed in 2017. Be inspired by out-of-the-box Demos or have your favorite book personally signed by the author. Watch for more details as they unfold – we’ve got some cool tricks up our sleeve to make this year’s Conference the most memorable yet!

CGOA Design Competition Display

Visit the 2017 CGOA Design Competition display and cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award. The winner will be announced at the Excellence in Crochet Celebration/Awards event on Friday evening. For information about entering, see the CGOA Design Competition Information page.

Red Heart Crochet Lounge @ Marlborough Second Floor  

The Lounge will be open throughout the Conference – a great spot to sit and crochet, catch-up with old friends or get to know someone new! The Lounge will open at 10 am on Thursday, July 27. It is located on the second floor in the Marlborough Room.

Buddy Program and Breakfast

First time Chain Link attendees are paired with seasoned conference-goers in an effort to make the newbies feel welcomed and involved, as well as give the mentors a chance to share all of the wisdom and knowledge they have gathered. Sign up to participate in the free Buddy Program during registration. Another perk of the Program is that you will receive a crocheted pin upon check-in at the CGOA desk. Be sure to wear your pin throughout the conference so that other newbies/mentors can identify you. There will also be a Buddy Program Breakfast at 7:30am on Friday morning (bring your breakfast & socialize). See you there!

Ball Winding Station

The Northern Illinois Chapter will sponsor a DIY ball-winding station near the CGOA membership booth. Bring those new hanks and leave ready to start your projects.

Wednesday, July 26

CGOA Masters' Day Program @ Gallery Ballroom First Floor

(Note that you have the option to take morning, afternoon or BOTH)

Morning: 9 am - 12 pm

Afternoon: 2 pm - 5 pm

Are you currently enrolled in, or would like to learn about, the CGOA Masters program? Or do you simply want to take your crochet skills to the next level? Join us for a half or full day of learning, specifically targeted to enhance your crochet skills necessary for the CGOA Masters program. Topics covered will include: organizing your Masters portfolio, gauge, yarn overs, smooth joining, finishing techniques, reading your stitches, foundation stitches, and more. We’ll also be reviewing swatches to demonstrate how to review your own work and we’ll explain what we’re looking for in the portfolio reviews. Enrollment in the program is not necessary to attend.

Morning Session Will Cover:
Information and skills specific to the CGOA Masters program, including introduction to the program, meeting the reviewers, organizing your notebook, reviewing swatches and more.

Afternoon Session Will Cover:
Enhancing your crochet skills, master-level techniques for finishing and joining, knowing your stitches, and more.

Supplies to bring: Worsted weight yarn and crochet hooks. Current enrollees may bring up to three swatches for an onsite informal review.

Homework: Write down your questions for the CGOA Masters co-chairs and portfolio reviewers. Make any swatches from the program that you’d like to have reviewed onsite (limit of three).

CGOA Professional Workshop @ Barrington Second Floor

Wednesday, July 26th, 9 am - 4 pm

Professional Development Day - New Approaches for Your Crochet Business

Are you an experienced crochet professional or want to turn your hobby into a business? Join other CGOA Professionals and aspiring professionals for a day filled with new ideas for creative opportunities and technologies that can expand your business. We will start the morning with topics that can be applied to all businesses, then network with other professionals over lunch (on your own), followed by a panel of experts who will lead breakout sessions so you can choose the topics most useful for you.

Presentations Will Include:

What Do You Do? Icebreaker to answer that question for you and your business and get to know your fellow professionals.

Taxes and Licenses – The basics you should know and what you should be doing, with Financial Adviser and Crochet Designer Nirmal Khalsa.

Blogging and Social Media - How to use them in your business whether you blog or not, with Crochet Blogger and Influencer Tamara Kelly of Moogly.

Meet the Speakers Panel - Hear from experienced Crochet Professionals about their own creative approaches to their businesses as well as how they work with traditional methods of selling their work.

Break Out Sessions - Hear more from each of the speakers to learn about how you can apply their new approaches to your own business. Attend up to 4 breakout sessions on a variety of topics ranging from how to submit to magazines and yarn companies, teaching through videos and events, selling your patterns online and through kits, and more.

Thursday, July 27

CGOA Business Meeting: 6:15 pm - 7 pm @ Gallery Ballroom First Floor

Come to the Annual Business Meeting to hear updates from your Board of Directors. Please note the ever popular "Gift Exchange" will be held on Friday at the Excellence in Crochet event. There is no fee to attend.

Shopping Preview in the Market Place Open: 7 pm - 9 pm @ Abricot Ballroom

Lion Brand is the sponsor of our wonderful exclusive Market! Be there Thursday evening when booths open EXCLUSIVELY for Conference registrants. Get the first chance to look and start buying (and exhibitors MAY be offering some Thursday-only deals – watch for more information to be posted!). You can check out the list of exhibitors to see who's coming and what they’re bringing for you to buy!

For additional fun we will have a Photo Booth also sponsored by Lion Brand during the Market preview. Grab your friends and pose for your conference keepsake photo compliments of Lion Brand.

Friday, July 28

Excellence in Crochet Awards Evening: 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm @ Stanford Room Second Floor

Spend your Friday night celebrating the inspiring art of crochet. Learn the winners of the CGOA Design Competition, and applaud those hard-working crocheters who have earned their Master Pins and Certificates and walk away with a gift from the Sharing and Caring gift exchange.

We are also pleased to announce a special presentation by Mr. Gilbert Witte, founder of the Tennyson Library of Crochet. Mr. Witte's presentation is titled Knot Forgotten a story of the Tennyson Library of Crochet collection at the University of Illinois Library Urbana / Champaign. An avid collector, Mr. Witte had over 8,000 pieces in his personal collection and that necessitated the creation of the library.

Our Sharing and Caring crochet gift exchange will be a little bit different this year to ensure each participant who brings a gift will get a gift and can thank the giver in person. To participate, crochet an item that you would like to receive yourself as a gift, with a materials cost of no more than $15. Wrap the gift and include your name, contact information and email inside the packaging so that the recipient will be able to thank you. Bring your wrapped sharing and caring gift on Friday night. Volunteers will be on hand to collect your gift and in return you will receive a numbered ticket. We will call numbers in order until all the gifts are gone. Then the fun begins when we open our gifts and show the lovely crocheted items. The maker can introduce themselves and tell us about the item they crocheted. It is a great way to meet other crocheters and get inspired by their creations.

This no-cost event will wrap-up in plenty of time to grab dinner with friends afterward.

Saturday, July 29

How to Start a Chapter Meet Up: 7:00 am - 8:30 am

Come and meet members for the Northern Illinois Chapter to discuss how to start your own chapter.  A short presentation will be given followed by Q&A. Sharing of ideas are welcome.

Location: Cafe restaurant. Bring your own breakfast/coffee.

This will also be the location for CGOA Cyber Chapter meet up.

Designer Meet & Greet: 10:30 am - 1:30 pm @ Gallery Ballroom First Floor

Interested in becoming a designer?

Come to Meet & Greet and meet with publishing and yarn company representatives.

Bring photos of your original work, swatches of stitches used, a sketch if needed and a brief description of your project. Have a short resume to leave behind with your full name, email address and phone number. Meetings are limited to 15 minutes each. Being prepared will help give everyone interested a chance.

Fashion ShowCGOA Grand Finale Fashion Show & Banquet: 6:30 pm - 9 pm @ Gallery Ballroom First Floor

Fashions, food and door prizes make Saturday evening the highlight of the CGOA Conference. Applaud CGOA member fashions, see the winner of the 2017 CGOA Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame Award and win a prize to take home! Again this year, we'll have RESERVED seating at the banquet – taking all of the stress out of finding a table (instructions for selecting your table will be sent before the Conference). The only things on your agenda will be relaxing with great friends, enjoying a mouth-watering meal and being inspired by amazing fashions!

Submitting Entries to the CGOA Member Fashion Show
Please use this form to enter a garment in the CGOA Member Fashion Show held Saturday evening July 29. there is no fee for individual CGOA members to enter. You must attend the conference to enter; no mail in items will be accepted. Limit: TWO garments or ONE ensemble per person.
Make two copies of each form (one garment per form – must be easily readable):
  1. Attach one copy to your garment and bring to the registration desk no later than 4 pm on Thursday, July 27.
  2. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself.
Please plan to pick up your garment at the end of the banquet on Saturday evening.
 How to keep your garment from being rejected: Garments without forms or with unreadable forms will be rejected. Garment description must be complete. Garments without sewn in labels will be rejected (each garment must have a sewn in label identifying who to return it to). Forms and garments need to be turned in on time. You must attend the conference.