While the weather forecast was not up to par, crochet shined brightly at the 98th Connecticut Sheep & Wool Fiber Festival!
We awoke very early in the morning and arrived at the Tolland Agricultural Center located in Vernon, CT, in record time. Upon our arrival we learned that there was already a group of people waiting for us to teach them crochet! So while HHCC members Grace, Ritu and I set up the booth, we had member Elaine start the lessons. (She's going for her Crochet Teaching Certification)
We had several types of crochet on exhibit: a felted bag, freeform crochet, a beaded bikini top, a shawl featuring yarn Ritu had spun herself, several Tunisian crochet pieces, and some other items. Our focus was on using natural fibers, and projects that were not what one would consider to be "grandma's crochet." It worked! Some of the comments we received were:
"Wow, this is nothing like what I thought crochet was! I thought it was all doilies and granny squares -- these items are amazing!" (note: we did not have one doily or granny square on display!)
"This looks like knitting; are you sure it's not knitted?" (note: it was Tunisian!)
" I thought crochet was for grannies only; I had no idea you could do these sorts of projects with crochet!" (note: the story about the grannies making undergarments in Europe was told, along with the story about the designer making a chair out of doilies and selling if for $40,000 -- this also helped change the opinion about what "grannies" are crocheting!)
Other fun included meeting members from various online groups I am a member of, as well as shopping and going for an Oxen hay ride. I treated myself to some silk hankies from "A Touch of Twist" and a new wooden crochet hook from "Grafton Fibers." Of course I couldn't resist playing with my new "finds" so I started crocheting with the raw silk -- unspun! This drew interest from people visiting our booth/demo area and so I did an impromptu demonstration; afterwards many rushed back to the silk hankie vendor so they could buy enough supplies to try the technique themselves! LOL
It was indeed a great day -- we taught many how to crochet, and we changed many people's ideas of what crochet is, or could be! We met many wonderful people, and we do hope that we'll be able to repeat this fantastic experience next year!