How to stay connected to your craft community from home

Whenever there's a crisis - the crafting community comes together! Here's some fab way you can interact with fellow crafters without leaving your home!

Find-your-online-craft-community

Corona virus (or Covid-19) is now affecting us all, and is proving to be a challenge for many individuals and businesses. Whether you’re self-isolating, social-distancing, in quarantine to reduce risk, or having to stay at home to look after the kids – it can quickly start to feel like a lonely and scary world.

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Fortunately, when it comes to a crisis, the crafting community steps up! Many makers, designers, bloggers and companies are doing what they can to help in these difficult days. Be it free patterns, make-alongs, discounts, podcasts, online courses and live videos, there’s loads of ways that you can still interact with fellow crafters even if you can’t leave the house.

Before we get started though, and most importantly, look after yourself! If you’re feeling unwell, be sure to check out your countries recommended advice (in the UK see the NHS website). Keep in contact with your loved ones, just an email, text or phone call can really help those who are alone. Isolation can also be a contributing factor to depression and other mental health problems. If you’re struggling then remember that there is help out there, try talking to a friend of family member, but if you feel like you can’t do that or need more help then you can find advice and someone to talk to via the Mind and Samaritans websites.

So, now that we’ve got the important stuff out of the way, let’s get started!

Instagram hashtags to follow

#crochetersofinstagram #knittersofinstagram #crossstitchersofinstagram #sewersofinstagram #papercraftersofinstagram #quiltersofinstagram

Exploring Instagram is a great way of finding fellow crafters, especially if you’re obsessed with one craft in particular! The hashtags above are just a few of our favourites, where you’ll find a wide range of people sharing their current projects – great for a bit of inspiration.

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#Makersgonnamake

The #makersgonnamake is a fab all-round crafty hashtag. There really are no restrictions on this one, you’ll find everything from ceramics to painting to woodwork and so much more – if you make it, you’ll find it here!

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#AmiguruMay

If you’re an amigurumi maker (or a fan of those who are), then you’ll definitely want to check out the #AmiguruMay Instagram challenge. Everyday through May amigurumi makers are encouraged to post every day using the daily subject prompts as inspiration for their posts. The challenge was started by super-star amigurumi designer Ilaria Caliri, and is a great way to not only see some amazing amigurumi but also to learn more about the designers behind these cute creations.

#makelemonademal

If you like the sound of #marchmeetthemaker, and wished you’d got involved earlier, then maybe you’ll like the #makelemonademal. This new make-along has been started by @crochet_circle_podcast to give makers a space to come together to share their crafty makes through these tough times.

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Lovecrafts – #Togetherwemake

Lovecrafts have started the new #togetherwemake hashtag to enable crafters to support and inspire each other and share their crafty makes. Lovecrafts also have loads of free patterns and resources available on their website, so it’s a great place to find some inspiration.

Me Made May is coming

If you love to make clothes, the upccoming extra time at home may help to boost your sewing time, so why not join in with this year’s #MeMadeMay2020 community challenge? This instagram challenge started by Zoe from What do you Know? sees sewists of all abilities come together and pledge to up their skills and share their makes throughout the month of may on Instagram, with the hashtag #memademay

You can find out more about this fab instagram challenge here!

Me Made May

Online community activities and projects

GBSB fan group

If you love to sew, check out Simply Sewing’s Great British Sewing Bee fans group and chat to fellow fans when the new series airs next month. The group also share their latest projects and swap tips for their dressmaking at home as well as discussing each week’s unfolding events in the on screen sewing room

You can find the GBSB Facebook fan group here!

iKnit7 Virtual yarn extravaganza

The owners of some of our favourite yarn shops from across the UK have come together to bring you a virtual yarn extravaganza from the 25th – 31st May. Al you have to do is sign up to the special newsletter to unlock access to discount codes, free gifts, exclusive patterns and more! Plus if you shop from three or more of the stores taking part during the week and you will be in for a chance to win an incredible prize. You can find out all the details here, and if you want to know more about the stores taking part check out the video below.

SearchPress Author Tutorials and workshops

SearchPress are the publishers behind many of our favourite craft books, and are bringing you some fab free events by some of their popular authors. In May you can join Graeme Booth for a watercolour tutorial, Monica Russels sock knitting workshop and a crochet tutorial by Lynne Rowe. All the events are being held on Facebook live or Zoom, and you can find all of the details here.

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Yarnspirations – #Letsstitchtogether on Facebook live

Yarnspirations are hosting special online stitch circles, special lessons, a Stitch-A-Long, community Q&A, and much, much more on their facebook page, including facebook live videos.

You can find out more and details on how to get involved here!

UKHKA virtual knitting groups.

As well as starting the #yarnshoplove campaign (which you can find more about here) to support our local yarn shops during these difficult times, the UK hand knitting association is also running regular virtual knitting groups. You can join in the fun each week using zoom video chat, and they’ve even started live Q&A sessions with knitting and crochet experts. You can find out all the dates and info over on their Instagram page.

Each month UK Hand Knitting also gives away £200 worth of yarn, and their latest competition includes a fab fundraising initiative. All people have to do is make a donation of £2 in aid of NHS Charities Together before 31st May to be in with a chance of winning a bundle of Sirdar Happy yarn and patterns. The winner will be chosen at random on 1st June, and you can make your donation to enter here.

Sew A Softie FB group – if you like to make toys for kids

Trixie Symmonds has been doing some brilliant work to get children sewing by bringing the global sewing community together to offer free easy toy sewing patterns to share with your children for several years. Check out the FB page to find free patterns and resources from the community. She’s also hosting a global kids sewing party next Tuesday for anyone looking for ideas to keep kids entertained next week!

Find the Sew a Softie Facebook group here!

Quilting fans – take the Free Motion Quilting challenge

Angela Walters hosts the popular FB group where quilt fans come together to join in and quilt along with regular group challenges. Her next series of free video challenges and tutorials is set to start on 10th April and can be found here!

You can also chat to others as you quilt along on the Facebook group here

NB: You will need a bit of experience at quilting for this one – it’s probs not for beginners

Cross Stitchers Freebies FB group!

Treat yourself to a community page where you get free patterns (yep sounds good, eh?)

Here on team Gathered we love this FB group – members share a selection of free cross stitch patterns – a great way to discover new things to stitch and chat to fellow stitchers if you can’t get out to your local craft shop in person in the weeks to come

Find the Cross Stitchers Freebie Facebook group here

Toocutetoquit – Instagram live mini rainbow craft-along

We found this super-cute rainbow make by @toocutetoquit, and it was just so cute we had to share it! Zoe will be sharing a video of how to make it on her instagram live (and saving it for later if you miss it), so head on over and check it out!

View this post on Instagram

UPDATE: Kit giveaway is now closed but head to my stories for links to where to buy supplies ☺️We are living in worrying times – as a freelancer whose main income is teaching workshops, I’m more than a little stressed about it all, but trying to see the bright side and find ways I can potentially help others. So with that in mind I’m going to host a little craft-a-long session to make these mini rainbows. If you’d like to join in, pop me a DM with your postal address (UK only I’m afraid) and I’ll send you some supplies. I’d also love if you can share one of my posts over in your stories. If you have the supplies and want to join in, I’ll be doing the craft-a-long next Wednesday evening from 6pm, but I’ll save the video so you can watch at any time! Things may be scary but at least we still have crafts.. (Please note I have about 20 kits so if I get more people than this I’ll pick names out of a hat just to be fair!)

A post shared by Zoe (@toocutetoquit) on

Wool & The Gang Stitch Tutorials

If you’ve got some time on your hands and fancy learning some new crochet and knitting stitches, then head on over to the WoolandtheGang instagram account – each day at 5pm GMT they’ll be sharing a new stitch technique on their instagram stories!

Yorkshire Yarnfest live digital yarn show!

With many yarn shows being cancelled due to the Corona virus, Yorkshireyarnfest has come up with a genius idea – an online yarn show! Over this weekend you can tune in to their Instagram live stories to see 15 minute slots from their vendors (which will also include special discounts). It’s an amazing idea and a great way to support indie dyers – we strongly recommend you check this out!

Podcasts

If you’re feeling a little lonely and fancy seeing a friendly face (or hearing a lovely voice), then podcasts are for you! Here are just some of our favourites.

Arne & Carlos

This knitting duo may be under quarantine due to coronavirus, but that’s not going to stop their love of knitting! They’ve just started a daily quarantine knitting podcast which you can find below or head to their youtube page here.

Love to Sew

Love to Sew is one of the gathered teams favourite podcasts, but as well as sewing Caroline also covers knitting and crochet. Check out her video below and head to her youtube channel here.

Zeens & Roger Podcast

Here’s one for the crocheters – Rosina is a regular designer for Simply Crochet and Mollie Makes magazines, and we love her crochet podcasts and finding out all about what she’s up to! Find her youtube channel here! 

Very Serious Crafts

We love this multi-craft podcast by these 3 lovely ladies. This one’s an audio podcast, so make yourself a nice cuppa, plug in your headphones and enjoy! Find all of their episodes here.

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If you’re looking for more sewing podcasts, you can find our list of 8 of the best sewing podcasts here.

Finally… something to make you smile!