CGOA Conference 2019 Events
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2019 Chain Link Conference Overview


Our 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 ...). In addition, CGOA is offering its Master Crochet the CGOA Way AND its Professional Development Day – The Business of Crochet, both on Wednesday, July 10

CGOA is proud that the Craft Yarn Council is hosting its Certified Instructor Program in conjunction with the 2019 Chain Link Conference, beginning on Sunday morning, July 14, through Monday afternoon, July 15, at our conference hotel.


Shop 'til you drop in our Boutique Yarn Marketplace – 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! Check here to see the latest list of exhibitors.


CGOA Design Competition Display

Visit the 2019 CGOA Design Competition display in The Armory Ballroom. The winners will be announced at the Excellence in Crochet awards on Friday evening. Don’t forget to cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award. Winners will be announced at the Banquet and Fashion Show on Saturday evening.

Yarn Bomb

In honor of CGOA’s 25th anniversary, the hotel entrance and lobby, the classroom entrance areas and the front restaurant lounge will be decorated with all shapes, colors and sizes of crocheted pieces – a special “Yarn Bomb” designed and installed by Jennifer Ryan of Celtic Knot Crochet. You’ll be able to sit among the crocheted artwork as you work on your latest project and visit with friends.


CGOA Member Table

We can give you a virtual tour of the revamped website - we want to be sure you know how to get to the Quarterly CAL that is new for 2019. Andee Graves will be demonstrating finger exercises you NEED to keep your hands in tip top shape to avoid injuries while you're racing to finish that big project! Use our swift and ball winder to "cake" the yarn you bought in the market place - we know you want to be able to start on that new project NOW.Learn more about volunteer opportunities within the organization - you don't have to commit to huge chunks of time but it does take a village to bring you all of your benefits. Take your commemorative photo of the 25th anniversary Chain-link with your friends with our fun anniversary props.And last but not least, buy your raffle tickets at the CGOA member table for the amazing prize - the T-Spin Tunisian Hook Set from Chiaogoo ($135 retail value) and the multi-colored tote bag made and donated by Susan Sullivan ($350 retail value - yes, wait until you see it!). The drawing will be held at 5:30pm on Saturday and tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Come on - we can't wait to see you there!

Crochet Lounge 

The Lounge on the first floor, 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 be open on Thursday, 12pm - 6pm, Friday and Saturday, 8am - 5pm. 

Crochet Samplers Curated by Nancy Nehring – The Boutique Marketplace

A display of antique crochet samplers from the collections of CGOA members. A sampler is a collection of swatches in book or roll form used to remember favorite patterns. Each is unique reflecting trends in crochet and the tastes of the crocheter during the time it was created. The display will be in the Marketplace (Armory Ballroom).

The Designer Showcase Raffle – The Boutique Marketplace

Tickets will be sold all week to win these one-of-a-kind baskets featuring items from some of our favorite designers. Tickets are selling for $10 a sheet with 26 useable tickets. Drawing will be Saturday outside Pemigewasset 5:30 – 6:00 pm. Must be present to win.


Wednesday, July 10 Events


Manchester Mardi Gras - Pemigewasset – Ticket Required

Join emcee Jenny King, Aussie’s designer extraordinaire and one of our talented teachers at this year’s conference, for lots of fun, fellowship, crafting, desserts, dancing, drawings, and more. Come in your crochet finery in Mardi Gras colors (green, purple, and gold) to kick off this amazing conference. Be sure to BYOH (Bring Your Own Hook). Wednesday 7-9pm.


Thursday, July 11 Events

CGOA Business Meeting: 6:15pm – 7:00pm @ Pemigwasset

Come to the Annual Business Meeting to learn about the state of the association and meet the Board of Directors and Celtic team. There is no fee – all members are welcome.


Shopping Preview in the Boutique Yarn Marketplace: 7:00pm-9:00pm @ Pemigwasset

Be there Thursday evening when booths open EXCLUSIVELY for member attendees. Get the first chance to look and start buying.


Friday, July 12 Events

Buddy Program and Breakfast – The Penstock

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 from 7:30am-8:50am on Friday morning in the Hale room. You can purchase breakfast at The Daily Brew or The Current Kitchen & Bar and bring your plate to the Hale room.

Fastest Fingers: 12:30pm – The Boutique Marketplace

Compete all in fun against fellow crocheters for the title of Fastest Fingers of Chain Link Manchester 2019. Fun is sure to be had, cheer your friends on. Anyone can compete, practice now. Contestants will be granted a spot on a first come first serve basis with a maximum of 30 contestants. Hooks, yarn and pattern will be provided. The preliminary contest begins at 12:30pm on Friday, July 12 and will last 15 minutes. Judges will make sure the swatch is made to pattern and count the number of stitches completed in it to verify the top 5 finalists. The finalists will compete on Saturday at 12:30pm in the The Boutique Marketplace.

Excellence in Crochet Awards Evening: 6:15pm-7:30pm @ Pemigewasset

Spend your Friday night celebrating the inspiring art of crochet. Learn the winners of the Chapter Challenge and Design Competition, applaud those hard-working crocheters who have earned their Masters Pins and Certificates, hear guest speaker Gwen Blakley Kinsley, and walk away with a gift from the Sharing and Caring gift exchange.

Speaker Gwen Blakley Kinsley

We are also pleased to announce a very special speaker, Gwen Blakley Kinsley. Gwen is the founder of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) and a proud Lifetime Member, as well as a past president. In 2014, she was inducted into the CGOA/Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame. She a CGOA professional member and a crochet designer. She especially likes to design accessories and really enjoys writing about the needle arts. She is an author of several books on crochet and featured in many periodicals. She has a passion for crochet, not a day goes by that she doesn’t spend some time hooking, or at very least, thinking about a stitch or two.

Sharing and Caring Gift Exchange - Pemigewasset

Our Sharing and Caring crochet gift exchange will be held at the Chain Link Conference again this year. We will handle this like last year to ensure each participant gets 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. The “Sharing and Caring” gift exchange will be held on Friday night immediately following the Excellence in Crochet awards and Masters pinning ceremony. Bring your wrapped sharing and caring gift on Friday night. Volunteers will be on hand to collect the gifts. Hand your gift to a volunteer and receive a numbered ticket. We will call numbers so that those who arrived first will get the first chance to select a gift. We will continue until all numbers are called. Then the fun begins!  We will open our gifts, show the lovely crocheted items, and 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. There is no charge to attend the Excellence in Crochet event.

Friday Night Singalong  - Pemigewasset

Join the dynamic duo of Bonnie Barker and Jennifer Ryan for a fun filled evening of songs, skits, and surprises. Bring your raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize. Friday, 8:30-10:00pm.


Saturday, July 13 Events

Editorial Meet & Greet: 10:30am-1:30pm - Hale Room

As we have in the past, the Editorial Meet & Greet will be held Saturday starting at 10:30am and ending at 1:30pm. If you haven’t attended conference before, this is a very unique opportunity to sit down with Editors and Design Directors to show your work and possibly form a business relationship. This event is open to designers, technical editors, and contract crocheters.


Participating Companies in 2019 CGOA Editorial Meet & Greet

We have four companies participating this year. Spinrite (includes Red Heart, Bernat, Patons, Lily and Caron yarn brands) Leisure Arts, Annie’s and Simply Crochet Magazine. We are so excited to provide you with a profile of each company participating in the Editorial Meet & Greet at the 2019 Chain Link Conference in Manchester. This is a unique opportunity for you to show your work (design, technical editing and contract crochet) to nationally and internationally respected company representatives for the purpose of forming business relationships. Each company completed a questionnaire providing us with information that is presented below to assist you in preparing for meetings with them.


Company: Spinrite Yarns (includes Red Heart, Bernat, Patons, Lily and Caron)

Type of business: Yarn Manufacturer

Representative: Gayle Bunn, Creative Design Manager

Where will designs appear: Website


   Original designs: Yes

   Technical editing: Yes

   Pattern testing: No

Types of Designs: All types of projects

Skill level: All except advanced

Single or collection: Single

Additional information: We have an in-house design staff and require a small amount of freelance design support. Besides designers, we are always looking for people who are skilled pattern translators (French and Spanish). Also, people who are skilled crochet diagram illustrators are also in demand. We would also be interested in meeting technical editors who are skilled in both crochet and knit pattern editing.                                                     


Company: Leisure Arts, Inc.

Type of business: Publishing

Representative: Tona Jolly, Editorial Publication Director

Where will designs appear: Publications and website


   Original designs: Yes

   Technical editing: Yes

   Pattern testing: No

Types of designs: All types including garments, accessories and home décor

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate…some advanced

Single or collection: Collections

Additional information: Submission guidelines can be found at


Company: Annie’s

Type of business: Publishing

Representative: Jackie Daugherty, Crochet Editor

Where will designs appear: Publications, website, pattern books, online instructional videos


   Original designs: Yes

   Technical editing: Yes

   Pattern testing: Yes (contract crocheters)

Types of designs: garments, accessories, home décor, baby, child (garments and toys)

Skill level: Easy to Intermediate

Single or collection: Both

Additional information: None


Company: Immediate Media (Simply Crochet Magazine)

Type of business: Publishing

Representative: Sara Huntington, Commissioning Editor

Where will designs appear: Simply Crochet Magazine, print and digital


   Original designs: Yes

   Technical editing: Yes

   Pattern testing: Yes

Types of designs: All types of designs considered

Skill level: All skill levels considered

Single or collection: Single designs

Additional information:

1) Read the magazine and familiarize yourself with the style, content and different sections.

a) Style – It is important that what you pitch to the Editor matches the style of the magazine. This means choosing designs and colour choices to reflect Simply Crochet’s modern, stylish look.

b) Content – Make yourself aware of the different types of projects that appear in each issue – it may help you identify where your best chances of gaining a commission may be. Pitching 5 different shawl designs may be less successful than pitching a broader range of options including other accessories, homewares and baby items.

c) Different Sections – A knowledge of different sections within the magazine will impress a commissioning Editor. If you target these sections specifically with ideas, it will set you apart from the majority of other designers.

Remember – An Editor wants to know that you are keen to work for THEIR title and have researched and understand the publication. An “I want to get published (but don’t really mind where)” approach will be less impressive.

2) Presenting your ideas

Do not feel you have to produce a ready-made sample to show. In fact, this is not always what a commissioning editor is looking for as they are likely to tweak designs and change yarns to suit the issue they are working on. What they need to see is a good representation of inspiration in some kind of mood board, construction and style shown in a well-executed sketch and stitch pattern in the form of a swatch or photograph of a swatch. Please see the attached for some examples of excellent design submission documents to help you.

Remember, the more ideas you submit, the more likely are your chances of gaining a commission.

3) Be creative – Try to bear in mind that the commissioning Editors will get shown ideas for shawls and blankets, etc., every day. If you want your design to get noticed then you will need to show something creative and original and prove that you can execute it well and to deadline.

4) Technical ability – You must make clear the extent of your pattern writing experience and whether or not you have grading knowledge. If possible, provide evidence.

5) Your expectations – British magazines will rarely commission something on the spot and it is unlikely that you will be able to “sell” a design to an Editor at the conference simply because this is not the way the British system of commissioning works. The commissioning Editor will be on the lookout for new and original talent as well as technical expertise and designers who specialize in specific areas of crochet. They will be looking to understand and familiarize themselves with your style and body of work with a view to developing an ongoing working relationship. Your job in the meet and greet is to convince them that you are a person whose creative designs and commitment would make the basis of just such a relationship.

Banquet and Fashion Show: 6:30pm–9:00pm @ Pemigwasset – Ticket Required

The Grand Finale Fashion Show and Banquet is a celebratory event where old friends and new ones come together one last time to honor the newest inductee to the Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame, applaud the amazing fashion show entries and enjoy conference time well spent. 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 good meal and being inspired by amazing fashions.


Click here for a printable form