I've written about The Linky Ladies before as a part of the Charity Idea OUTpost on link parties. What exactly is a link party? A link party is where pattern designers gather links to some of the best patterns online, gather them in one place and share! It gives crochet designers, new and long time, a free showcase for their best work chosen by their fellow knitters and crocheters. In the case of "The Linky Ladies" the five most popular designs are chosen from those featured with the hashtag #Linkyladies.
The Linky Ladies include Jennifer Pionk of A Crocheted Simplicity, Crystal of Crystalized Designs , Maria Bittner of Pattern Paradise, Heidi of SnApPy ToTs, and Carolyn of The Purple Poncho. These designers are some of the hippest, hottest, most prolific designers on the web. Of course, because I not only blog about Indie designers but am also consumer of the patterns designed by these 5 amazing ladies. Each of them willing to put aside their independence to provide us with five great patterns Bi-weekly! All of the patterns chosen will be featured on all 5 social media pages of The Linky Ladies so that's 5 times the exposure for these patterns ! How cool is that? I really do love the fiber arts community.
Separately each of these ladies is a crochet/knit star on their own. Band them together and they create a supernova of crochet/knit power. They really bring the wider community of fiber artists together, get them focused on sharing their favorite patterns. Really lovely. These unifying regular events online get the juices flowing for all crocheters and knitters but also spur on designers to keep at their superb work. When you see great designers who bring all fiber artists together! These community connections are one of the reasons why fiber artists can mount such rapid responses to catastrophic events like natural disasters.
Maria Bittner is a long time crocheter and knitter. As I've said in a previous post, I've followed her career for years. It wasn't until I started blogging that I realized just exactly how genuinely committed she is to the crochet and knitting world. She writes and designs yes, but she is also a social networking maven, and an amazing business woman. Maria Bitter takes time to acknowledge people who follow her pages, answers questions, thanks people who compliment her patterns and has crochet-a-longs to encourage a sense of togetherness. It is interesting to me that Maria Bittner and I started out basically knitting blankets as gifts through which our business evolved. Her commitment to the fiber arts community is seen in many ways at Pattern Paradise.
Jennifer Pionk is the proprietress of A Crocheted Simplicity. A beautiful corner of the crocheterverse. Jennifer has no less than 228 designs on Ravelry! That's a lot of talent. Her commitment to creating a community through fiber arts is seen in her Facebook group which is 9,768 persons strong! Designers such as Jennifer Pionk try to create drama free, supportive groups about knitting and crocheting. Focusing on what we are able to do as a community and sharing the love of beautiful arts is really encouraging. There are so many that need a place to just engage with other fiber artists and have a great time doing so. We're really so fortunate to have great designers who are also community leaders. Jennifer Pionk 's designs range from 18" doll patterns to beautiful openwork.
Crystal Bucholz is the designing mind behind Crystalized Designs. There's no question that she's a rising star in our fibery sky. Young, compared to my 51 years, Crystal Bucholz is not only an indie designer but is also published in a few publications. She's a busy mom and wife who is a social media maven. She takes the time to reply to people who post to her Facebook page and most definitely encourages comments on her various pages. Crystal also has a blog site introducing her family, being very honest about her life as a mom. The honesty is refreshing. :)
Snappy Tots is one of the most fun sites on the interweb. You know I love to knit and crochet for kids with COLOR. Heidi Yates designs fantabulous, colorful, projects for everyone! She's also a social networking queen being on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook (with nearly 50,000 likes!) and Ravelry,
I'm sure I missed a few platforms. Heidi Yates has a Facebook group for drama free interaction with other Snappy Tots fans! (I'm going to join!) Snappy Tots has a bit of a different feel to it because it is whimsical, and leans more towards patterns designed for kids. Of course I'm drawn to that in my line of fiber arts :). The individual groups on the various social networking sites are all joined by The Linky Ladies Community Link Parties. Between Snappy Tots "Totally Snappy" Facebook group and the facebook group created by A Crocheted Simplicity there are 13,245 people in 2 communities potentially sharing the 5 patterns voted on bi-weekly. That's COOL! The energy shared by 5 ladies is really contagious.
The genius at The Purple Poncho is Carolyn Calderon. Her classic and classy part of the crochet world is engaging and I am sure that is why people love her designs. She has almost 12, 000 likes on facebook she's also a member of Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube . Maria Bittner, and Carolyn Calderon co-admin a group on Facebook along with Harlee Wentworth entitled Crochet Playground. Right there is the power of two of The Linky Ladies in ONE group. There are nearly 40, 000 members in this group. Add to it the numbers from the other two groups run by Snappy Tots and A Crocheted Simplicity, you have over 50,000 people linked together. How amazing. These knit and crochet communities have the power to absolutely make a difference in the world! I think Carolyn Calderon and Maria Bittner make a perfect team. Their long time involvement in crocheting and knitting, connection to the fiber arts community, their drive to create genuinely beautiful and functional pieces is palpable.
Why is it so important to talk about Community in the Fiber Arts world? I'll tell you. I'm blessed to be administrator of 2 fiber arts related charity groups, Bangwe Babies Mission (Malawi) and Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative. If it were not for big communities of wonderful fiber artist spearheaded by people like Carolyn Calderon, Maria Bittner, Heidi Yates, Crystal Bucholz, and Jennifer Pionk I wouldn't have anything to offer those who so desperately need help. These 5 ladies just by creating a community link party gather people with skill together and that creates a potential force of thousands who can and will do the world so much good. Bangwe Babies Mission and Northern Adirondack Hats for Hope Initiative are groups less than a year old on Facebook but already we (my co-admins and I) have loyal people who are not afraid to dig deep. It's amazing. So thank you to these "Linky Ladies" and many other fiber arts community leaders for all you do to create connection!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.