We are now at the one-year mark for COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing, toilet paper shortages, and mask wearing. Pandemic fatigue is real and we are all doing our best to stay healthy and cope with the hand we've been dealt. One of the hardest parts of social distancing is that humans are inherently communal and our mental health can quickly decline without companionship. We are also resilient and we will get through this challenge.
Knitters are our favorite community and staying connected is important. If you are desperately missing the comradery of your knitting friends, it is time to host your own digital knitting party. Follow these simple steps and you will soon be reunited with your knitting friends.
With so many platforms from which to choose, it can be confusing to know which one will be best for your digital knitting party. Here are a few of our favorites with some pros and cons so that you can make the best choice for you.
Zoom. The leading conferencing tool available, Zoom has several advantages. Zoom allows for virtual interaction for restricted conferences, allowing you to limit your digital knitting party to people you know. It also allows for the knitting party to be recorded and played back later in the event that some knitters were unable to attend live. The other big advantage is that it can be used on any device including laptops, smart phones, and tablets. The knitting party will be limited to 40 minutes with Zoom unless you pay a subscriber fee.
Facebook Rooms. Video-calling through Facebook Messenger was previously limited to 8 people. However, with the rise in demand for video conferencing, Facebook created Messenger Rooms. The new platform allows up to 50 people to conference for an unlimited time period. The only downside is that everyone in your knitting group will need to have a Facebook profile to participate.
GoToMeeting. One of the highest quality video conferencing platforms with the largest suite of features, GoToMeeting is a great choice if you decide to host regular knitting parties. The host needs a paid subscription, which starts at $12/month, but invited parties do not need subscriptions. The number of people who join the conference is unlimited and the the 24/7 support is phenomenal.
Google Meet. A free service offered as part of the Google suite of products, Google Meet is a great choice for an online knitting party. Users will need to have a Google account and can easily log in using an email invite. The functionality is pretty basic, but it allows friends to video conference while knitting and enjoying a beverage. Google Meet does not allow the conference to be recorded, but if that isn't important to you, this will suit you fine.
If your digital knitting party will be working on the same project, here are some things to consider when selecting the project:
Once you have selected the perfect project, send out the pattern and materials list to everyone at least one week in advance.
Meeting a friend for coffee or tea seems so foreign now. Encourage everyone to prepare their favorite beverage for the digital knitting party. Send out an email with a few clever beverage recipes. Some ideas for beverages are sangria, chai tea, or hot espresso. Extra credit for fancy mugs or glasses.
Laugh, cry, share- express all of the emotions with your special knitting friends. Life can be stressful. This is your time to have fun with your knitting community while doing what you love. Enjoy these precious moments- they are so meaningful during this time of strife.
Before the digital knitting party ends, schedule the next one and ask everyone to invite another fellow knitter. Live, love, knit, repeat!
Do you have any digital knitting party tips or steps that we missed? If so, let us know in the comments.