You Can Do It!

As part of  National Crochet Month I thought it would be very appropriate to talk about something very dear to my heart as an active member of the CGOA: The CGOA Design Competition.

Last year was the first year that I played a major role in the Design Competition. Shari White and I were asked by Doris Chan at the 2011  Greensboro, NC show to step in as Co-chairs for 2012 with an eye toward Doris reducing her involvement (or more rightly, maintaining her sanity, Shari and I are still scratching our heads about how much Doris had been doing on her own).

It has been a wonderful experience as well as very educational. One of the things that I have learnt is how hard we can all be on ourselves.  Lots of folks seem to be afraid to enter the Design Competition because they feel they can’t compete with professional designers.

Well, I’m here to set the record straight. You can do it! If you want to enter the Design Competition do it. Even if you don’t win your entry will be on display with all the other entries at the Charlotte, NC Knit & Crochet Show this October.

One thing to keep in mind, many of our winners are not professional designers.  In fact most of them just love crochet. And even the professionals enjoy entering the competition because it gives them a chance to design something without the limitations that are often in place when designing for publication.

The main point of the Design Competition is to show the public the incredible things that can be made with crochet. And that leaves room for non-professionals to shine right beside professionals.

In some ways the amateurs have an advantage. Most of us full-time professional designers have a pretty crowded schedule as far as crochet time goes. Amateurs can put all their attention on that stellar piece they plan to enter in the competition.

My 2009 Entry
Time to Dance Evening Bag
My 2009 Entry

Speaking as a professional I can tell you that we are nothing extra special. I know I put my pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. I may have talent, but that isn’t because I’m a professional designer, that is just the luck of the draw.  But talent isn’t everything,  determination to see a project thru to completion is most important.

Some of our winners became professionals by entering the Design Competition. Before their first time in the competition they hadn’t sold any designs, maybe hadn’t even thought to try. But entering a piece that was their original work got the attention of an editor or creative director. Heck, some of the folks that became designers because of entering the competition didn’t even win a prize.

Alpaca Hug Neck CozyMy 2010 Entry
Alpaca Hug Neck Cozy
My 2010 Entry

Even if you aren’t interested in being a professional designer you still have a good chance of winning one of our many cash prizes.  You don’t need to write a pattern for your entry.  You just need to be a current member of the CGOA,  your entry must be your original design and primarily crocheted. The deadline for entries is September 6, 2013.

We have 6 judging categories this year:

  1. Fashion: garments fitted to the body, including sweaters, tops, jackets, skirts, gowns and dresses.
  2. Accessories: larger fashion accessories not fitted to the body, including wraps, shawls, and capes.
  3. Small Accessories: anything small scale, socks, scarves, cowls, hats, bags, belts and jewelry.
  4. Afghans and Home Decor: any and all afghans, throws, blankets and bed or sofa covers and any décor items not in thread.
  5. Thread Crochet: anything made with crochet thread or lace/fine weight yarns, including doilies, baby items, garments and accessories.
  6. Artistic Expressions: designs more artistic rather than functional in nature, including free-form and mixed media pieces, hangings, sculpture, wearable art, amigurumi and novelty items.

You can find out further information about the Design Competition online at the CGOA website (, at the CGOA Now blog (, or the CGOA Design Competition Facebook page. The Information Package can be reached thru links at the CGOA website.

Now it’s time to get out your yarn and hooks and create something spectacular to share with the rest of us. You can do it!

One thought on “You Can Do It!

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