This time last month I had just returned from San Diego, where I had attended the Knit and Crochet Show, an annual convention put on jointly by The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) and the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). It was the first time that I had gone to this show, and it was a wondrous experience. Also a bit strange because I had been asked to join the Master Hand Knitting Committee a few weeks before the conference, so I found myself in the position of being a newbie with backstage access. Several times I answered the call to help the event staff prepare for one of the events, having no idea what to expect since I had never seen it before. It turned out to be a great way to get to know my fellow committee members.
So what, exactly, happened at this knitting convention? The first day was devoted to the Master Hand Knitting Program. There were different tracks for different audiences, ranging from people who are thinking about entering to people who are working on one of the three levels to graduates. Committee members made presentations on subjects ranging from the basic (gauge, yarn selection, blocking, cast ons and bind offs) to the advanced (using spreadsheets to size patterns and getting designs published). People who are working in the program were encouraged to bring their swatches for informal evaluations from committee members. I spent most of my time that day watching this, which was great training for my upcoming committee work.
The next three days were filled with classes, shopping in the marketplace, fashion shows, and meeting new friends.
On Friday morning, I received my Master Knitter pin, along with most of the people who had achieved this status since the convention last year (sadly, a few of the graduates couldn’t make it). The day ended with a yarn tasting event. The theme was Fiber Fiesta, and amid the piñatas, maracas, nachos, and sombreros, each person collected 40 tiny balls of yarn that had been hand wound by dedicated committee members. While we sampled the yarns, we watched a fashion show featuring many of them. The evening ended with each person receiving a bag of several full skeins from the very generous sponsors.
Here’s a photo of all the loot I came home with. Some of it came from the yarn tasting and some of it was acquired from the delightful vendors in the marketplace. My only regret was that I didn’t have enough money to buy things from all of them.
I will write about the classes I took in my next post.
To sum up the experience, I will say that, thanks to the hard work of the committee members and event staff, it was a great success. I made many new friends, learned much and had lots of fun. It was actually a little hard to exit the knitting bubble and return to real life when it was all over.