Thanks for the Flamie!

We here at Interweave Crochet are super pleased to announce that we have won the Flamie for Best Crochet Magazine for 2010. This is the third year we've been honored with this award from the Crochet Liberation Front, and this year we're especially humbled that you all have selected us from among the growing choices of crochet magazines.

More about that in a moment. I want to show you our award first:

Cool, huh? The award is designed by Darlisa Riggs. I love how the yarn ball hovers over the pedestal, like the crochet hooks have elevated the yarn to new levels. Crochet is like that.

2010 was a really exciting year at Interweave Crochet. We put together some of the finest crochet designs I've ever seen. Really, the designers just keep coming up with such terrific ways to shape yarn with a hook.

Included in our innovative approaches to crochet was a special section in Fall 2010 combining crochet and knit in a single garment. Some people really liked this section. Some people really (really) didn't like this section. Some still refer to it as The Issue That Shall Not Be Named. And I really kind of hate to even bring it up, because I don't want to upset anyone again. But just to be clear: We hear you. And, as you saw with the Spring issue, if a designer sends in a really great knit/crochet combo design, we'll provide a way to make the project in all crochet.

I love that the majority of you really love what we do at Interweave Crochet. The vote was tight, and we appreciate that. It keeps us really committed to what we're doing: giving you innovative techniques, projects you want to make, and articles you want to read. We want to surprise you with crochet.

Here's another thing I love about these awards: 30,000 people voted. That's right, thirty thousand crocheters put down their hooks long enough to vote. That is stunning.

We're thrilled that several of our favorite designers were honored. Robyn Chachula won two awards: Best Commercial Video Designer Spotlight – KDTV 111 and the Maggie Wrap (This is a great explanation of symbol crochet! Super-clear and direct) and Best Designer – Children. Kristin Omdahl won three awards: Best Crochet Design for Adults (men’s and women’s fashion, plus accessories) with the gorgeous Petals Wrap Cardigan, the cover garment of her book Crochet So Fine (I have this garment on my hook right now—love it!); Best Design for Thread Projects for Dragonfly Shawl, also in Crochet So Fine, and Best Designer Women’s Wear (which is kind of like the Best Actress award in the Oscars). You can see the full list of winners here. And you can listen to the podcast of the awards, hosted by Mary Beth Temple on Getting Loopy. (I'm listening to it right now as I type. Good stuff! The Double Stitch Twins are a hoot. Kristin Omdahl will make you weep.)

And here I get to the really best part of the award for me: I was at the Flamies Live! event in Georgetown, Texas. Georgetown is the cutest town ever and filled with the nicest people. The Flamie event coincided with the Red Poppy Festival, so the downtown square was filled with booths of vendors, people gnawing on big turkey legs and small children with painted faces.

In the days before the Flamie event, I visited two of the most crochet-friendly LYSes I've ever seen: Yarnivore in San Antonio, home LYS to Linda Permann, and the knitting nest in Austin, where we had a wine and crochet party one evening. There were tables of crocheted goods in both stores. (You can read about my adventures in Yarnivore here). And because you might be feeling there's a lot of type and not many pictures, here's a picture of Linda and me at the knitting nest:

Don't you love all the crocheted flowers on Linda's sweater? She is an adornment goddess.

We had a great time crocheting at the yarn shop. The terrific seating space they have there was filled with crocheters crocheting and talking. Allison Hoffman, creator of the crocheted Conan blimp, was there with all her great amigurumi, including her brand-new Oompa-Loompa (love!). Ana Clerc, teacher of crochet and knitting, was there, trying to >just< crochet and not teach. Karen Ratto-Whooley was also taking a break from teaching—she did workshops at knitting nest all weekend, but stayed to play anyway. Julia "BikerMom" Chambers of Aberrant Crochet was there, crocheting, Tweeting, and educating crocheters about hooks.

Over the weekend, I strolled through adorable downtown Georgetown with Laurie Wheeler, Fearless Leader of the CLF. We stumbled upon Handcrafts Unlimited, a non-profit that sells the wares of local artisans 50 years and older. Doilies abounded. I fell for one that had colored motifs in the middle, but left that day without it.

The next day, though, I wandered into the same store with Karen Whooley and this time, I left with the doily.

Here's a detail of the center:

Aren't the colors great? The flowers are worked in a dyed cotton perle thread that gives the flowers depth. I love that here, in the 21st century, someone in Texas is diligently crocheting doilies. I do not know her name. I do not even know if the crocheter is a woman. But I know that this crocheter, too, is among this great community of crocheters, heralded and unheralded.

The doily has made me a little misty. But really, that's what the whole Flamie weekend was about: A celebration of crochet. And that, my friends, is the greatest award (reward?) of all. Crocheters came together, forged links, tightened chains.

Thanks to the Crochet Liberation Front for their continued dedication to crochet and their insistence on honoring excellent crochet innovations. As Laurie has said, the Crochet Liberation Front started on a whim, as a joke. It has become a force for good in the crochet world.

Now, go on. You've stayed with me long enough. Go crochet.



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