Thursday, April 30, 2015

Social stitching: social networks

Stitch Together - &Stitches Even the most introverted of us can be a social stitcher. I stitch alone, at home, but I still feel part of the stitching community by using social networks. When I first started embroidery I was a regular on Craftster and it was the words of encouragement from other people there that helped me start my embroidery journey. It was through Craftster that I discovered people stitching all sorts of styles and subjects and I made friends there I am still in touch with years later.

From Craftster I started using Flickr and joining various embroidery groups and stitch-alongs there. If you are ever in need of inspiration our Flickr group is a great place to visit- and if you share your work there it might catch our eye and make it into one of our 'found on flickr' posts!

The came the Pinterest obsession! We've all been through this right?
For me Pinterest is great for inspirational ideas but it doesn't feel as 'social' as the other sites, people seem to interact less there. It's still a great resource though and people do use it to share images of their work but I don't think people comment as much as on other sites, which is a shame.

My current favourite social network site is Instagram- you will find all the &Stitches team there. Because it is so quick to upload to Instagram people tend to posts lots of stuff like in-progress shots, or photos of sketches, or pictures of their beautifully organised floss collections. It is nice to see someone's process outside of the carefully curated images on their blog! It is quite lovely when you are sitting stitching with a mug of tea and a friend posts a photo showing they are doing the exact same thing- you might not be in the same room but you are still 'stitching together'. It's super easy to find people to follow there too- there are loads of stitchers on instagram and a quick search of #embroidery or #handembroidery will bring up loads of results.

photos from the #handembroidery tag on instagram- images by @sweetlings_dream, @emillieferris, @heartstringsbyallie and @homestitchness

My tips for getting the most of social networks are:
Follow people- lots of people when you follow someone check out the people they follow and if you like what you see follow them too!
Like and comment- chatting to other people is the point right? Don't just 'lurk'
Share something of yourself- I love seeing glimpses of people's lives, I might get to know someone because of a shared love of embroidery but it's cool to find out more about them (especially when that includes a peek into their homes!)
Sign up for swaps or stitch-a-longs, some of the best things I've ever made have been for swaps, they often have a theme so it encourages you to try something new- and that's where the magic happens! Plus you will get something made just for you in return- how cool is that?

What are you stitching? Be a Social Stitcher and share in the &Stitches Flickr group!!. We'd love to see it!

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