Friday, July 8, 2011

Melanie is a Master Crocheter!

One of our very own chapter members, Melanie, has completed all requirements for the Master's Certificate.  She will be attending the banquet at this month's CGOA convention to receive her certificate. 

Melanie graciously took the time to answer some questions about her experience.  Perhaps she will inspire some of you to enter the program. 
Who taught you to crochet?

I learned to crochet in college – not a college course, but at an arts and crafts store.  (And I’m sure the first thing we made were granny squares.  It was the ‘70’s after all!)

How long have you been crocheting?

I’ve been crocheting 37 years.

What led you to the Master certificate program?  (Did you know someone else who did it?  You just happened upon it on a website?)

I happened upon the Master’s program on the CGOA website.

Why did you enter the program?  What were your goals?

I entered the program because it intrigued me.  I wanted to see if I could do it. 
A little side note:  When I told my husband about it he said, “What do you get for doing this?”  I said, “A certificate and the satisfaction of knowing I can do it.”    He said, “A certificate?!  That’s all you get is a certificate?”  I said, “What did you get for your two Master’s degrees?”  There was no response! 

One of my carpoolers said, “Oh that will be great for your obituary!  “She was a Master of Crochet…..”  What a laugh!  In the end, it’s the satisfaction – isn’t that the way it is with life itself?

What was the most difficult thing involved in doing the program?  What was the easiest?

The program scared me right off because the first two swatches were challenging and I didn’t know how to do them!!  I don’t have my portfolio with me and I did them a year ago so I can’t tell you exactly why they were challenging.  The swatches were variations on the base single crochet row and questions as to the differences. 

The easiest part of the program was probably the swatches I knew how to do.  This is a trick because I thought I knew how to do them but then you realize that someone is going to actually take your swatch out of the sheet protector, count your stitches and see that you actually did each swatch correctly.  (This answers the question below.)  Let’s take the example of the picot swatch.  I hate doing picots, but I only had to do 4 of them.  I did this swatch several times to make sure my picots were perfect.  In trying to be so careful, I neglected to be careful with the directions and had to redo the swatch!!  I was supposed to have 4 single crochet on either end of the swatch and I didn’t.  That was a foolish mistake. 

Just an FYI:  there were 48 swatches.  Of course you don’t submit the first swatch you make; you make it and remake it and sometimes when you’re weaving in your ends, you don’t do it as nicely as you could so you redo your swatch again!   After I submitted my portfolio, I would see stitches and techniques in books and think, “Why wasn’t this in the Master’s program?”  And then I’d be thankful it wasn’t!

I think they did a good job of choosing the various stitches and techniques.  Also, I had 3 months to complete my portfolio.  They had an overwhelming response to the program and only 17 reviewers.  My portfolio sat on the corner of my desk for 9 months before I was instructed to ship it.  Now you have a year to complete the program and I think that’s too long.  It was good to have a 3 month time limit.

What surprised you most about the process?

(Answered above)  What surprised me about the program was that someone was actually going to take out each swatch and study it!!  After I got my portfolio back I was pleasantly surprised that there were typed comments to each swatch!  The reviewers have a month to review a portfolio and they take a lot of time and consideration doing it.  Also, my reviewer was in email contact with me.  Somehow or another, that surprised me!  And I’m quite excited because she is going to be at the Chain Link Conference and asked if I would like to sit with her at the banquet.  I guess this is a partial answer to the question below:  I’m gaining a new friend. 

Name one thing that you have taken away from this experience?  (or two or three)

I have a newfound sense of satisfaction.  I think it has also changed my work a little bit too.  I’m more apt to rip back instead of letting a little mistake go….and say to myself, “Is this the work of a Master Crocheter?”.    And of course, there’s always the line for my obituary! 
Oh, and a new friend – my reviewer – in California.  (As my husband said, “Oh no!  You’d have to make a new friend in California!”)

Any advice for the rest of us?

If you have the slightest inkling to do it – go for it!!  Be calm.  Be confident.