Monthly meetings (usually held on the second Saturday of the month, from 1:30 to 4:30 PM, check Meetings for schedule) begin with business and announcements of interest to crocheters. We do “Show and Tell” where everyone has a chance to show their newest creations to the group. This is followed by an educational program where we increase our knowledge about crochet. Our meetings are also an excellent chance to ask any questions that you have about any aspect of crocheting. And if you like to help less experienced crocheters, this is the place where opportunity abounds.
The chapter demonstrates the art of crochet at various locations as part of its mission to educate the public about crochet.
The Northern Illinois Chapter includes crochet study groups dedicated to helping members improve their crochet by working in small groups. Each group chooses a project which is challenging to members and expands their base of crochet knowledge. Study groups are open to Northern Illinois Chapter members only.
Members enjoy field trips to yarn and bead stores in the Chicagoland area. Invigorating crochet retreats are also offered. Past retreats have taken place in scenic areas of Michigan and Wisconsin, and most recently in Oregon IL.
The Northern Illinois Chapter also provide opportunities to demonstrate skills for various groups at schools, festivals and historical museums. Chapter members also crochet blankets and crochet edgings on fleece blankets for Project Linus. Crocheted preemie hats and crocheted prayer squares are also donated to Northwest Community Hospital.
Members crochet 7-inch by 9-inch afghan squares for Warm Up America! which aids the homeless and the Red Cross. More information on Warm Up America! is available from the Warm Up America! website: http://www.warmupamerica.com/. Donations to Warm Up America! may be mailed directly to: Warm Up America!/CGOA-1, Craft Yarn Council of America, PO Box 9, Gastonia, NC 28053-0009.
In 2021, NICGOA donated 286 crocheted items to Children’s Home + Aid, a charity that serves needy children in the Chicago area. Items donated included 205 scarves, 47 hats, 7 pairs of mittens, 4 cowls, 4 pairs of mittens, and 10 baby blankets. The 205 scarves included 162 of the scarves crocheted as part of the 2020 national CGOA Chapter Challenge.
National Chapter Challenge
The annual Chapter Challenge encourages members to showcase their creativity through crochet. NICGOA won first place in the national CGOA Chapter Challenge for 2021. Twenty-one of our members crocheted 5,629 hearts that we donated to more than 15 charities. View slideshow.
Charities that received hearts include: Kenneth Young Center Meals on Wheels, Clearbrook Center, Friendship Village, Generations at Oakton, Rainbow Hospice, Buddy Foundation, Save A Pet, Barb’s Precious Animal Rescue, Lambs Farm, Manor Care Nursing Home, Sunrise Senior Living of Schaumburg, Charter Senior Living of poplar Creek, North Shore Healthcare Hospice.
In 2020, NICGOA came in fourth place in the national CGOA Chapter Challenge. Twenty-one of our members participated, and crocheted 264 scarves that were donated to local charities. In 2018, our chapter participated in national CGOA’s chapter challenge to crochet chemo caps for cancer patients.
National CGOA Chain Link Conference
Our chapter hosted the national CGOA Conference in 1994, 1997, 2003. and 2017.