I recently had the opportunity to attend the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH. It was really great to get the chance to meet our customers in person to hear first-hand how much you enjoy our products and our service. The highlight of the week for me was the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Professional Development Day that Lion Brand sponsored. Hearing all of the successful designers and teachers share their knowledge with the others in the room was really wonderful, and I picked up (and shared!) quite a few great tips and tricks during the breakout sessions in the afternoon.
There were three sessions, and I really had a tough time choosing where to spend the afternoon! I sat down first in Edie Eckman's group (Edie was the host of our Hexagon Afghan Crochet-Along), where I learned all about preparing for the pattern publication process. Since I deal with the patterns after they've already been chosen, edited, and published, it was very refreshing and insightful to see what designers (and publishers!) go through during this process. I followed Edie's session up with the always fabulous Lily Chin, who gave our brains a great creative workout by having us find design inspiration in our surroundings. I finished up with Karen Klemp's session on handling teaching challenges, which gave me some really great new ways to think about helping customers with pattern questions.
My biggest take-away, though, was seeing the camaraderie and sharing that was going on throughout the day. Kristin Omdahl and Lily Chin had started the day with an unvarnished snapshot of what it's like to be a full-time crochet professional. It's not easy, and this is a group of people in direct competition with each other for publisher and student dollars. In spite of that, not once did I see anyone hesitate to answer a question or give out detailed information -- everyone was clearly invested in helping everyone else in whatever way they could. I know first hand how rewarding it is to pass on the knowledge I have, since I get to do that with our customers every day, and it was wonderful to see that there is a whole community of designers and teachers out there who clearly feel the same way.
Want to learn more about working in the yarn industry? Come to a future Professional Development Day, and also listen to our radio-style podcast, YarnCraft, episode 21: Sharing Your Designs with Others for more about publishing your designs or episode 70: Tips & Tricks on Teaching Beginner & Advanced Knitting & Crochet Skills for more on teaching.