Sometimes life takes strange twists and turn. On my honeymoon many years ago I came across a crochet magazine that featured a contest winning afghan entitled "Stained Glass Window". It was absolutely beautiful! At that time, I was still a novice as far as crochet goes. Yet I showed that magazine to my husband and said "I am going to win a contest like that someday!" It didn't matter that he pointed out my skill level wasn't anywhere near what was required to make that afghan, let alone enter and win a contest.
Fast forward several years. Crochet was my constant companion by this time. Browsing the web, I came across the annual Herrschner's Afghan Contest. I took a tremendous leap of faith, as the afghan had to be completed in 6 weeks. Feeling creative that day, I decided to take the plunge and send in an entry form. While that was waiting in the mailbox for the postman, I made a sketch on graph paper and browsed my numerous stitch directories until something jumped out at me. I chose offset clusters as they reminded me of bubbles. Due to the time constraints, this afghan went EVERYWHERE with me. I'd complete a stitch or two at stop lights while driving, a row or two on breaks at work, etc. Somehow I managed to finish it. By this time I had received the entry instructions, which I must have read a dozen times to make sure everything was done right. I sent it priority mail and tracked its progress with bated breathe, hoping it would arrive in time. It did.
The next several weeks seemed to last an eternity, wondering what the judges thought. Finally, I received a congratulations letter in the mail, notifying me that my afghan "Seahorse Social" was awarded honorable mention.
This experience opened up a whole new world for me. I realized I had to learn a thing or two about the world of crochet design. I did not receive a lot of money but I did gain some notoriety. I would meet people who would tell me that they had either seen or ordered my design from Herrschner's. Unfortunately, at the time I could not devote myself to full time crochet designing, as much as I would have liked to.
Perhaps this year I will enter again - afghans are due July 15th.