Shira Blumenthal of Lion Brand Yarn holds up her New York sign.
Lion Brand Yarn went for a record in the world of online events Thursday, hosting their first #StitchAroundTheWorld livestream. The online craft gathering was billed as their “Biggest virtual crafting event ever.”
Makers joined the event on Zoom, or tuned in to Lion Brand’s Facebook Live channel to watch the livestream, which featured special guests from Lion Brand’s roster of collaborators. Knitters, crocheters, and fiber crafters from around the globe were invited to join in, and encouraged to create a paper sign to call out their location.
By 12:50 EST, the 710 participants were holding up the names of cities that stretched from San Francisco to Johannesburg and beyond. Host Shira Blumenthal (Brand Ambassador for Lion Brand) shared her hopes for the event. “In this heightened time of isolation, #StitchAroundTheWorld will act as a fun, unifying and calming display of creativity, which will cross borders, oceans and time zones.”
Vanna White greets crafters in the Lion Brand livestream.
Participating crafters during the #StitchAroundTheWorld event.
The conversational livestream, led by Blumenthal, featured special guests popping in to encourage the audience. First up was Vanna White, television personality and spokesperson for the Vanna’s Choice yarn collection manufactured by Lion Brand. White spoke warmly of her love of crochet, and the craft community. “Lion Brand is part of my family,” said White. “All of us who are enjoying this wonderful craft: we’re family too.”
The theme of community and togetherness was woven throughout the event. The subtext — craft can bring us together while we’re safer staying apart — was a theme in most of the guest’s short appearances. Jon Giswold, host of Knit in the Pit, and Josh Bennett, host of KNIT@NITE both shared their support of Blumenthal’s craft initiative Hat Not Hate. Other guests included Cecelia Nelson-Hurt of Creative Ceci, Merion Willis from Love Crafts, Shani Herrmann, and Alexandra Tavel of Two of Wands.
Each guest chatted with Blumenthal about different facets of her craft campaigns, including the inspiration for #StitchAroundTheWorld. Asked what might be the future for the initiative, Blumenthal answered: perhaps a live event in New York.
The nearly two-hour event was punctuated with a flash of the gallery grid of participants’ live streams. Many were actively working on knit or crochet projects. “You’re not alone at home,” Blumenthal said during the broadcast. “We have a string that binds us all together. Crafting is what brings us together.”
Community Manager and Outreach Coordinator
Erin is our Community Manager and Outreach Coordinator. Erin is the textile designer and artist behind the home décor company, Cotton & Flax. She licenses her surface designs for fabric, home décor, stationery, and other clients. She’s also a teacher, writer, and enthusiastic advocate for small creative business owners. She lives in San Diego, California.