This post was first written in 2016 about the upcoming Chain Link Conference for that year (July 13-16, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina). I updated it September 4, 2019. Check the CGOA homepage to find out about all future conferences.
The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) hosts and boasts the longest run of annual crochet conferences in the USA. It’s pretty amazing what the CGOA has accomplished! Not only that, teachers have often been flown in from other countries for the event.
The event is called Chain Link. The first one was held in 1994. Sometimes there has been a single national-scale event; other times a regional Chain Link is held in addition to a national one. For a time, CGOA and TKGA (the national knitting guild) even held their events jointly.
Here’s what I do to stay current on last minute changes, meet-ups, and other late-breaking news as each year’s CGOA conference gets closer.
Great News Sources for CGOA Members
Chain Link, the Member Newsletter
If you’re already a CGOA member, look for the members’ Chain Link newsletter that is inserted in the center of your complimentary issue of Crochet! Magazine. Look especially for the autumn issue of the magazine; back in 2016 when I wrote this, mine arrived June 20, a month before the conference.
In fact, that’s what gave me the idea for this blog post. I noticed that whenever I’m getting ready for the big crochet conference of the year and a Crochet! issue arrives, I drop everything and turn first to the member newsletter.
The President’s Letter
The President’s Letter on page 1 of the newsletter always mentions special event preparations and highlights. This year (2016), Susan Sullivan talked about:
- $5000+ design competition cash prizes
- A photo booth, crochet lounge, and other event features
- Yarn bombing in Charleston!
I learned of the 2016 pineapple theme on page 6. I’m not sure if every conference has had its own theme, so this is fun to think about. For example, what if I get to the conference and everyone’s wearing some kind of pineapple lace thing but me? I don’t crochet lace pineapples very often. I think about crocheting a small one to pin to my conference badge. Or maybe gather a string of small ones into a flower shape?
Pictured below are the event themes for more recent Chain Link conferences. From 2017 on, CGOA’s conferences went back to being a stand alone event. (CGOA’s then-management company owned TKGA until 2017.)
Yahoo Groups for CGOA Conference Talk
Good Conference News Sources for Everyone
If I were not yet a CGOA member, here’s how I’d stay well informed (and inspired!) in the month leading up to the big conference:
- I’d check in periodically with the CGOA Ravelry Group. See especially the Charleston 2016 thread. It’s a great way to learn from crocheters who live in and around Charleston, and from CGOA members who have attended several conferences. Board members pop in to answer questions there. I’ve been finding out about restaurants and yarn shops to visit in Charleston and which classes people are thinking of taking.
- I’d check in periodically at the conference area of CGOA’s website.
- I’d “like” CGOA’s Facebook page and get notifications when the page updates.
- I’d Search “#CGOA” (with the # hashtag) in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I find interesting stuff this way. Try #crochetconference too. This is how I found out that some folks driving to the conference are going to yarn bomb their car with crochet. I’ll be driving up this time too. Fun to know that I might spot crochet on the freeway! Or be spotted!
[I would join before the CGOA conference happens because the conference classes cost less for members.]