Yarn bombing on a bicycle

Best Reasons to Attend a Crochet Guild (CGOA) Crochet Conference

I learned to love the magic of a crochet conference when I attended the CGOA Knit & Crochet Show in Mission Valley, California. Though I was a first-timer, I adjusted to the high-energy atmosphere of the event and quickly made new friends and connections with fellow enthusiasts.

The networking events were incredibly enjoyable as people from diverse backgrounds congregated to share their passion for crocheting. The show reminded me why I have always considered crocheting to be a lifelong hobby, and I left feeling immensely inspired and energized.

The CGOA conference in San Diego brought me closer to the heart of why I love to crochet.

My Journey to the CGOA Conference

My mother taught me to crochet the chain, single crochet, and double crochet stitches. I don’t recall her teaching me how to read a pattern, but somewhere through the years, I have figured out the stitches in text patterns with the many crochet abbreviations and can work my way through a symbol pattern if needed.

Free Form Crochet

When I was younger, I would often peruse crochet pattern books or craft magazines and begin crocheting. My results were occasionally triumphant, but other times, not so much. I had a tendency to do things my own way, which I casually referred to as the “just did whatever I wanted” approach.

On the other hand, there were moments when I found inspiration and started crocheting without a specific plan in mind – an immensely satisfying technique I called the “make it up as I go” method.

After attending the CGOA conference and seminars, I now know that both represent an official crochet method known as Free Form Crochet.

The website for the International Free Form Crochet Guild provides the proof. This form of crochet is such a beautiful flow of creative energy. The fashion show in San Diego included some fabulous artistry apparel and accessories using freeform crochet techniques.

Yarn Bombing

During my teenage years, I developed an interest in creating crocheted flowers. To add a touch of creativity to my bedroom, I connected these flowers with green yarn, which I used to represent the stems and leaves.

The result was a beautiful flower garden that I wrapped around the iron bedstead located at the end of my bed. It’s quite amazing to think that this technique, known as yarn bombing, is something I experimented with more than 40 years ago.

Tapestry Crochet

Counted cross-stitch embroidery was very popular during my college years. For hours at a time, I would make little X stitches on fabric mesh using embroidery thread and a needle. I had a butterfly design on a cross-stitch embroidery pattern and eventually figured out how to convert it to colors for crochet using single crochet. Once the colors were determined, I crocheted a fabric design and created a pillow.

I was pretty happy with the butterfly pillow, so I gave it to my sister as a gift to match the blue and yellow decor of her bedroom.

These photo-type designs are known as graph pattern crochet, tapestry crochet, or charted crochet.

Sometimes, the term “Intarsia Crochet” is used in reference to these, but my understanding is that intarsia creates a pattern on the back of the fabric, and either side of the fabric can be displayed. The charted patterns that I made created a stringy, knotty mess on the back of the fabric, so no, those were not intarsia.

Ready to take your crochet projects to the next level? Download your free Crochet Project Tracker with the helpful instructions document. Then, embark on a journey of creativity, organization, and endless crafting joy – your yarn-filled adventures await!

CGOA Conference Insights

I learned several new stitches during the CGOA crochet conference classes, thanks to the many wonderful teachers and helpful classmates.

My favorite new stitch is the hdc2tog for decreasing stitches at the end of a row. To learn more about this interesting stitch technique, take a look at the Stitch Finder on Lion Brand’s website.

The CGOA 2015 conference was a success for the event planners and me personally. The event was well organized and had both educational and fun activities each day. The networking time was rewarding, and I connected with so many crafting enthusiasts in the short three days.

Reasons to Attend a Crochet Guild Event Near You:

Educational Crochet Activities

A crochet event is a great opportunity to learn new stitches and techniques from experienced instructors. You can enjoy classes on various topics, like thread crochet, freeform crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, lace work, and more.

Networking at the Crochet Seminars

At the CGOA conference in San Diego, I met fellow crocheters from all around the world. Let’s talk about crochet and make new friends.

What better place to stock up on yarn, needles, and other supplies? Vendors specializing in crochet-related products will have their products on display for you to explore and purchase.

Crochet Conference - CGOA in California

Trends on Display at the Crochet Conference

Discover the latest trends in crocheting by attending fashion shows and lectures from industry professionals. You can even learn about upcoming projects that are sure to capture the attention of the crochet world.


You will be surrounded by others who share a passion for crocheting. That kind of energy is motivating and sure to jump-start your creative juices. It’s always inspiring to watch others create beautiful works of art with just yarn and a hook! The fashion shows are energetic and fun to experience.

Fashion Show at the Crochet Conference

Shopping at Crochet Events

New product lines are often launched at industry events. The bonus for attendees is the ability to ask questions and talk to suppliers directly. I spent time with vendors and discovered some essential tools for crochet during my time on the vendor floor.

My brain is still buzzing with creative ideas from this crochet event. It’s time for a yarn crawl to add more yarn to my stash collection!

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