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Friday, April 26, 2013

My Friday Contest (and some Crochet History)

A window display in Perry's department store in Gilmer, Tx, circa 1956.
Photo credit: "Growing Up Gilmer" Facebook Page. 
Back in the 30's,  40's and 50's, there was an annual National Crochet Contest (it was not held for 6 years during WWII, due to  shortages of crochet cotton). It was sponsored by a group called the  National Crochet Bureau, and thousands of crocheters entered each year. There were special divisions for teenage girls, women over 65, and a division for men. To qualify for entry in the contest, each item had to have already won a blue ribbon at a state or local fair. There were categories for tablecloths, bedspreads, luncheon sets, doilies and scarves, chair sets, household accessories, hats and bags, and edgings or insertions (I believe the categories changed somewhat over the years.)
The winners received cash prizes, and an all-expense paid trip to New York City, where they appeared on a radio program and were given a tour of the city. 
I found several newspaper articles about the contest by doing a Google search for 'National Crochet Contest', and I found this article from the Talking Crochet Newsletter about the very first contest:
The picture above was taken in my home town of Gilmer, Texas in 1956, a year before I was born. It shows a display in the window of Perry's department store which features posters advertising the national contest. Don't you wish it was in color so we could get a better look at all of that thread? I miss Perry's, which closed down several years ago; I bought my first balls of crochet thread there back in the 70's!

But,  it is Friday, so how about a contest? I will give one person their choice of any PDF pattern on my site, bellacrochet.com. 

I will select the winner at random, and send out the patterns in the morning (Saturday.) I will post the name of the winner here, so be sure to check back in the morning to see if you won. 

Also, if you post anonymously, please be sure I have a way to identify you (at least give your first name or a nick name in your comment; I have no way of knowing who is posting.)
To enter, just leave a comment answering this question:
Have you ever won a crochet contest?

This contest is now closed. 
Please check back next Friday for my weekly contest.

29 comments:

Faith said...

It's sad that those wonderful old stores closed down, each with a personality and charm all their own. In our town Cleveland Oh, they had Higbees, & May Co. Higbees has been turned into a Casino. They had wonderful Christmas displays intheir windows, sparkly glass chandeliers, and those wonderful old glass display cases.Nice memories...I've not ever won in a crochet contest, although I have considered a few times, entering in the County Fair...

Pam S said...

I love old photo's like this. I remember the 5 & Dime Stores, and the 88cent stores, now long gone.

If you consider the County Fair as a contest, yes, I have entered on won many a Blue Ribbons. I have also been awarded, Most Points Rosette, Judges Choice Rosette and Superintendents Rosette, my goal now is the People Choice Rosette.

Charlotte Huffman said...

I entered an afghan in the county fair one year and was disappointed that it didn't even place. I was amazed at the "senior citizen crochet" that won. I love making projects that challenge me.

agd509 said...

I've never entered a crochet contest before, so I've never won one either. I feel like I am finally at a point where my crochet is nice enough that I would feel confident entering a contest. I guess I should find one to enter! :)

Anonymous said...

I have never entered a contest before but would love to enter the local county fair in September

Anonymous said...

rebeccakilby

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I adore this photo. I so wish we had something like this now a days.

I'd love to walk into a yarn shop and see a display like this.

Blessings always

Sheryl Hendricks said...

I love the history lesson. Thank you so much for passing that along to us. I have never entered a contest. But, I'm thinking maybe I will try it. Thanks again for the inspiration Ann.

Vikki Hooks said...

I can see myself sitting right in the middle of the display. No I have never entered any of my things in a contest. Maybe I should do the county fair thing, I don't want my stuff judged, I just want people to enjoy them. And I don't take rejection well. The only crochet contest I have ever won was here!! Have a great weekend

Diane said...

Haven't ever won a crochet contest.

Danette said...

Hello Ann!
I have never won a crochet contest but how FUN would that be?!! I would certainly enter if I could. I love the picture of all the balls of crochet thread in the window. Even in black and white it just makes me feel good all over :)))
I love your beautiful blog and your gorgeous crochet creations on your Etsy Shop!
Have a lovely weekend,
Danette

Anonymous said...

I have never participated in any crochet competition , so I've never won anything.marid88

Snowcatcher said...

I'm not trying to enter the contest (although I love your patterns!). I just want to thank you for a beautiful piece of history and for linking to the Talking Crochet story. I'd somehow missed that. I remember when we could buy a ball of thread for less than a quarter. Oh, how I miss those days!

Debbie said...

Nope, never won a crochet contest, but I remember those kind of stores. I used to spend a lot of time when I was a kid, drooling over those displays of thread! Have a good weekend, Ann!

Sarah said...

I haven't had anywhere to enter a contest but it would be a fun thing to start back up. Wouldn't that be fun? Like a local coffee shop but for crocheters? :) Have a good day!

Sarah

K4Spice said...

HI! I hav been grocheting for only a few years (lifelong knitter tho!) and I am still not very good! But I entered some items once in he local Rural Federation Show (that's Scotland's Womens Institute). One was "crochet Christmas decoration" so I made an amigurumi Angel, she got a 6th place! And the other was "Crochet Article" so i made a big halloween pumpkin, which got a third!!!
Just now I am busy making stuff for the next Federation Show...A coffee&Cream cake and a bunch of daffodils!! Wish me luck!

Beva said...

My doily was third in one contest but it wasn't crochet contest (all handmade technics were allowed).

Amrita said...

How I love these old pictures.. makes me a little nostalgic. My Mom (an avid knitter) has a few old pictures of her home town and the little stores there and that's what this picture reminded me of.
I have never won any Crochet contest.. at least not yet :)
Today might change that..

I have been crocheting and knitting for 7 years and my work is appreciated a lot. I wanted to enter local fairs, since we moved a lot I could not go for them, this time I am hoping I can.

Layne Madsen said...

I've not entered a crochet contest so I obviously have never won. I guess I just have never felt confident enough in my crochet work to take such a step even though others are amazed & enthralled by the things I create. Some of my own design and many created from the patterns of wonderful designers! Maybe one day I will... :-)

more said...

Hello Ann

no...no...no...no...no...no...no...
never won one, have not entered one
because I do not know of any.


Jena

Sherri said...

Ive thought about it over the years but have had negative experience with them too much politics. But maybe one day Ill enter I might not win tho but it would be fun.

Mindy said...

Fun history and great picture!

No, I've never won a crochet contest...I don't think I'm good enough to enter! =D But I love it enough to keep doing it anyway. Thanks for the chance to win!

Shari said...

I had forgotten about it until I read your blog post, but yes when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I won a ribbon for a hat that I crocheted. I can't remember exactly what the category was. It was a contest for Girl Scouts and was for all kinds of crafts.

Gramma Rita said...

No, I haven't...but then again, I haven't entered either. LOL My family has told me countless times I should enter stuff in the county fair, but so far I haven't done so.

CaraLouise said...

I have not ever entered a contest, so I have never won... but I am contemplating entering several of my grandmother's vintage doilies in the local fair this year.

jonamc said...

Always seem to read the magazine after the contest is over.

Anonymous said...

No I have never won a crochet competition. I don't think my work would be of show standard :( Kaylene

Gina Foster said...

No, I have never known about them or entered one.

Gina Foster
MRSGLFOSTER@AOL.COM

dragonswing said...

I have won many times at the county fairs---even got Best of Show 3 times!!! Won BOS last year with your hummingbird doily pattern.Love your patterns!!