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KALs, CALs, SpALs, and WALs in the Era of Covid

Prior to 2020, while some Knit/Crochet/Spin/Weave-alongs were conducted virtually, through Ravelry or other social media venues, but the majority took place in person, typically at a store or a coffeeshop, someone's living room, the library, etc. The covid-19 pandemic has unalterably changed the fact of the -alongs, however, and now, most K/C/Sp/WALs take place wholly in virtual formats. While the online format of the -alongs can be frustrating for some as they don't have the quirky features of in-person -alongs where you can bum a stitch marker off of someone if you accidentally left yours at home or you can ask someone to demonstrate a tricky part of the pattern for you, many of us have found our people over the past year--people we might not have otherwise had a chance to meet or interact with without the virtual nature of the -alongs of 2020 and 2021. To be completely transparent, I really enjoy the virtual -along. As a shop owner, it gives me a chance to truly participate and actually be present when I'm on the group page in a way that I wouldn't have been able to in person where so many other things and people require my attention. It has also given me the space to truly appreciate the photos of someone's work, to luxuriate in funny memes that are shared, to have the space and the time to participate on my own terms, in my own time, which, more often than not, is well outside of shop hours. And, in the past year, I have found my people--the ones who understand my yarnie proclivities and preferences, who share world views that complement my own--because we've had the time to get to know one another better with more time to actually share with one another. These wonderful friends are people I may have smiled at or nodded to or shared pleasantries with pre-covid but have now become foundational to my place in the world (and I hope you know who you are if you are reading this!!). And because I found these amazing people through a virtual K/C/Sp/WAL, I encourage all of you to check out some of the virtual -alongs out there. The shop's Sit and Stitch group on Facebook is a lot of fun, and we do have Amy's 2nd annual Virtual Sock Knit-along starting on May 1, which I *highly* recommend. Who knows. You may end up meeting some great new people.

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