Dora's Crochet Corner: Crochet Guild of America 2012 Design Winners

For the past few years, the Crochet Guild of America has held a design contest, with numerous categories people can enter to win.  The designs are displayed at one of the CGOA's annual conferences, and then posted on the web for all to admire.  I was so blown away by this year's First Prize winners that I want to share them here, and talk about the creativity that went into them.  To see all the winners (and there are many more beauties!), and larger versions of these photos, visit Doris Chan's blog here:

Grand Prize
Reversible Rowan Tree Vest by Laurinda Reddig
This remarkable design is a real vision, inspired by the designer's wish to remember her daughter Rowan.  She writes about her creation in detail here, and it's well worth a look.  Reversible intarsia and cables are two techniques that Laurinda has invented, and both are featured in this piece.  A memorable piece of crochet art!

Category: Accessories
Knots of Love Shawl, by Kathryn White
I've known of Kathryn White's work for a long time -- her color work doilies are fantastic!  Earlier this year I met Kathryn at TNNA and learned she was moving into designing fashion. As expected, the transition was flawless:  this shawl is equally as exquisite and delicate. I particularly admire the use of Love Knots (a/k/a Solomon's Knot) in this design, as it's a beautiful, but mysteriously neglected, stitch.  Brava Kathryn!

Category: Afghans
The Princess and the Pea, by Michele Wilcox
Yes, an afghan that tells a story!  How imaginative and fun!!  The details in this afghan are amazing, from the little princess with her granny square blanket and  curly locks, to the little green pea near the bottom, and layers of bedding displaying clever stitching and color work. 

Category: Fashion
Mystique by Tammy Hildebrand
Tammy is one of the leading crochet fashion designers, whose work can be seen in many magazines.  Its always beautifully made, wearable and fun, and this winning design is exemplary. Tammy has created a smashing top that draws on Irish Crochet, but updates it with a modern eye.  I love how unique this design is, and yet quite accessible to make.

Category: Jewelry
NC Necklace by Karen C.K. Ballard
More rampant creativity is on display in the jewelry category.  This super design has stones set inside thread crochet flowers and leaves.  I don't know how she did it, but the results are stupendous!  A real statement piece of jewelry, showing the endless possibilities of crochet. 

Category: Thread Crochet
Charm Blouse by Natalia Kononova
The Russian/Ukrainian world has had a long and intense relationship with the needle arts, and many fine designers from this area are working in the US today.  One of the remarkable new crochet styles that has emerged there drawing, again, from Irish Crochet, has motifs placed on a "ground", or open background.  This design is a very fine example, of particular interest because of the contrast between oversized flowers and the delicate, irregular ground -- is the background crochet?  I couldn't tell from the photos, but it sure is a gorgeous piece!

Category: Fanciful Fashion 
Summer Dreams Bolero by Dot Drake
Another reinterpretation of Irish Crochet, this time incorporating color work and padded cord. Irish Crochet was invented in the mid-19th century but reached its zenith around 1910 - 20.  To mimic Venetian laces made at the time, crochet thread was "padded" by working over several threads at a time, to make parts of the design more prominent.  A similar idea is used here and adds a touch of whimsy to this adorable piece.  Dot also won an award for technical excellence for her work here.

Category: Artistic Expression
Ageless Elegance Gatetop Purse by Kathryn White
Another marvelous piece by Kathryn, featuring intricate embroidery-like decoration in metallic silver. Absolutely stunning!

Thanks for reading and checking out this year's amazing winners!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

 Dora Ohrenstein is an author, designer and writer whose most recent book is Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments that Really Fit.  Her website  is a great source for articles, interviews and techniques, and where she teaches online crochet classes.

Pssst! Here are the giveaway winners from last week thanks to! Remember we have 5 winners so here goes:

1) Commenter 79- AngelRoseLite, who said, "They have such fabulous kits! I would love to make their Raindrop Bag first."

2) Commenter 60- Linda, who said, "My personal favorite is the shaelyn shawl that I knit last year with Their tracie yarn. I love the look and texture and can't wait for cool weather to wear it. 
The pattern I like the most from Imperials website is the swing cardi. I can see myself wearing that to work almost every day."

3) Commenter 91- Ani, who said, "Totally digging that cable and plaid poncho! Super fun. And I was digging the pencil roving throw."

4) Commenter 21- Sandra, who said, "Love the swing cardi and the thrum slippers!"

5) Commenter 42- Lorraine Carter, who said, "I have knit the essential sweater dress and I have the raindrop purse in my to do next pile. I think that the swing cardigan just might be the next Imperial Ranch project to do, it is so beautiful."

Congrats to our five winners! Thanks to everyone who entered and to Imperial Yarns for donating the kits and roving! Winners, please e-mail me asap at: and I will ship your prizes to you!

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Doris Chan


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