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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Online community activities and projects
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
NB: You will need a bit of experience at quilting for this one – it’s probs not for beginners
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
We found this super-cute rainbow make by @toocutecrafting, 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!
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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!
If you're looking for more craft projects to do virtually with your creative pals then we have loads! Check out our free daily craft patterns and our five minute crafts round-up which includes 48 makes.
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.