When I finally made the decision to go to the Knit and Crochet Show this year, I also decided to take the CGOA Masters of Advanced Stitches & Techniques Program. My goal was to successfully complete the program in time to get my pin at the show, and I did it! I’ve been dying to tell you all about it, but I was waiting for this picture to share with you. It was taken at the pinning ceremony, by a photographer from Narrative Images Studios.
See the girl in the front, with the brown jacket? That’s Grace Rosburg – at only 13 years old, I believe they said she’s the youngest ever to graduate this program (though I can’t seem to find a source for that anywhere)! Her Catherine Wheels skirt won the young designer category in the design competition as well.
The Masters program is definitely not for beginners, but if you’ve been crocheting for a few years, I highly recommend it. It’s a great way to learn and/or perfect some more advanced techniques. As a professional, completing the program helps show a serious commitment to the craft, and the program itself is also a great venue for networking!
It looked easy at first, but it wasn’t. I actually failed the first time. I had gone too fast, been too careless, and made some really stupid errors. I read through the critiques, and knew they were right. I was disappointed and furious with myself, and thought there was no way I’d be able to resubmit it in time for the show.
But the Masters committee had me covered. Thanks to a little encouragement from a senior reviewer, a few enlightening forum posts, and some very supportive friends, I realized I hadn’t really failed all that badly – it’s actually quite common for people not to pass on their first try. I was also told there was more than enough time to resubmit before the show. So after a week or so of the portfolio being in time out, that’s exactly what I did. And this time, I passed!
Through the review process, the forum on Ravelry, and the pinning ceremony, I made some new industry contacts and some new friends. I also really got a chance to hone some of my skills, particularly finishing techniques, which as it turns out is a weakness for me. I also got this certificate and, of course, my Masters pin!
If you’re thinking of taking the program, whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, I think it’s a great idea and well worth the money. My advice is to take it slow and really make the most of the resources that are available. Also don’t get discouraged if you don’t pass the first time! The Ravelry group is great, and everyone I spoke to on the committee is amazing. They really do want you to learn and to pass, and with their support, you can. Just don’t make the same mistake I did the first time through – they’re looking for perfection, and that’s not as easy as it looks.