If there’s one thing we know about knitters, it’s that we’ll always ALWAYS find a way to keep knitting - in good times and bad, at knit night and in quarantine. As long as we have our sticks and string - and each other - we have what we need to keep going.
As a completely remote team here at Bellish, we’ve crafted our days to work together in meaningful ways even if we’re not in the same room (and truthfully, we seldom are). This week as we’ve watched the world rapidly change from hour to hour, we’ve realized that some of our favorite resources for keeping our team together (and keeping everyone knitting) might work really well for you, too.
If you want to check in on your favorite knitters with a personal message that goes the extra mile, or host your own virtual knit night, or put together a knitalong with your yarn shop, or just have more resources for staying connected, we’d like to share a few of our favorite tools for keeping close in spirit when we can’t be close in person.
We have no affiliation with any of these resources and share them only because we hope they’ll help you maintain the important connections with your community that will make these hard times a little easier. All of these resources have a free level for basic users, and that level will be more than enough to give you the ability to connect in ways that matter.
- Marco Polo. This one is our favorite for when you want to do more than just send a message. Maybe you want to show & tell the story of how your puppy raced through the house with your knitting, or share your latest knitting conundrum and get advice. Sometimes a story needs all the facial expressions and flailing arms to go with it, right? Marco Polo is for Android and iPhone and it works like a video walkie-talkie. Our favorite part is that you can send a video message whenever you want, and your friend/s can watch it when it works for them. (It might feel like you’re having a video chat with yourself at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly.)
- Zoom. If you’re missing knit night (as we all are at the moment), then you might check out Zoom. It was designed for meetings, but it’s a free resource that works just as well to bring your friends together to video chat in real time. Just schedule a “meeting” with Zoom and send the meeting link to your friends so they can join you. We love using Zoom to come together all at once in the same virtual space. It’s so nice to see everyone knitting together and chatting on one screen; it’s almost as good as the real thing.
- Slack. Host your own knitalong with this useful project management tool! It’s a great place to have group conversations, post pictures and chat about specific topics in an organized way. If you’re trying to stay connected and videos aren’t an easy option, Slack can be a great resource (and they have a free mobile app, as well).
- Whatsapp. Here’s another tool we love for staying in touch with friends. Whatsapp is an easy way to communicate by phone, even without a data plan. You can text, send voice messages and make calls with wifi. Create a Whatsapp group for your knitting circle so everyone can message as a group and stay in touch (no matter how far apart you might be). It’s a free app and it’s available for both Android and iPhone
- Bellish. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve worked hard to build a knitting tool that is free and easy to use - and what’s more, you get to create the sweater style you want to knit for the yarn you have on hand. We want to help you spend less time searching for the right pattern so you can start knitting NOW. Having a creative outlet is more important than ever, and we’re committed to bringing you resources to help you stay inspired and knit on - through thick and thin. And if you know someone who might need a little cheerful inspiration, design a virtual sweater for them with our free app, take a screenshot and share it with them.
We know that many of you are waiting patiently for our Android version to be available - we hear you. Bellish for Android is currently in beta testing and we hope to have it ready for our Android users soon. There are lots of fun things in store and we can’t wait to show you what we’re up to.
Stay connected, friends. We’ll get through this.