YouTube. Where to start.
I have this weird tendency to fixate on new hobbies. Honestly, it sometimes feels like my life is just a series of obsessions that meander through a wild wood full of experiences and knowledge.
Before the new year, I’d been making an effort to update the blog, scheduling posts, and keeping the content running. It was a little…book-heavy, but I was trying to find ways to work in my other interests on the side. Talk about knitting or crafting books instead of fiction? That works!
Still book-heavy, but you work with what you’ve got.
Enter the YouTube
Because I had a bit of time left unspoken-for, I figured I’d try streaming on Twitch. I threw myself into it with my usual manic abandon, watching all the videos on what to do and what to expect.
“You should start a YouTube channel to support your streaming!” they cried, and I rejoiced – I would finally be using my college education.
So I went down the rabbit-hole of online gaming channels and promptly hit a brick wall. I’ll spare the technicalities, but essentially it boils down to the fact that my primary computer is a Mac. You can game on a Mac, but recording that gameplay can be problematic. Thus, I was limited to perhaps two games that I could play somewhat reliably, and only if I rebooted to a Windows partition….look, I said it was technical.
This is the reel that never ends
I actually enjoy editing. I didn’t have much experience with the flatbed film editor in college (I think it was a Steenbeck?), but I got in some time with the video edit suite. I liked using Premiere in the technical course I took afterwards, and I’m brushing up a lot of those old skills.
However, when you’re a gaming channel, the edits never end. If you think about it, a person who runs their own YouTube channel is not only the on-air talent, but also the writer, director, producer, editor, graphic designer, and marketing agent. You have to know what people will click on, and how to present it. We talk down our noses about ‘clickbait’, but to be perfectly truthful, there’s a reason it exists. There are people whose income literally depends on your inability to resist clicking that title.
And when you’re trying to get people to click on the 3 or more videos you produce per week? It’s sink or swim time.
Burnout and a new direction
The husbeast brought a nasty cold home from the office sometime in February. I’m prone to bronchitis, so I endured a few weeks worth of coughing while I tried to decide what I wanted to do. Whatever it was, I didn’t want to go back to the endless grind of editing video game footage.
“Screw it,” I said. “I want to knit a sock.”
So I did. I finished off the socks I failed to finish for Yule (Dad. Very big feet), then I found another sock I’d started in November or December and finished that pair as well.
It hit me that I wanted to vlog about knitting. Knitting, crochet, sewing…I want to vlog about the crafting lifestyle. Most of the knitting channels I’ve seen on YouTube have been geared more toward a tutorial, or podcast format. There’s a person centred on the screen, either demonstrating a technique or showing off their completed work.
I want to show the process
If you’ve seen Bernadette Banner, Morgan Donner, or Rachel Maksy’s videos, you’ll know what I mean.
I’ve been watching vintage fashion come and go since the late 90’s, if not longer. I’ve collected 1950s patterns I can’t yet fit into. I’ve built corsets and even made my own 16th Century gown once upon a time. I like the concept of Historybounding, and considered building my own everyday corset because it’s a good, solid, foundation garment.
You know what I haven’t really seen? A similar YouTube channel from the point of view of a sewer and maker who is also a knitter.
I want to see that sweater-girl look with a sweater actually knit by hand. I’d like to see vintage mittens and snow bonnets. As odd as it seems to say it, I’d like to see a vintage 70’s outfit, bell-bottoms and all…with a crocheted poncho.
I’m not about to knit a pair of hose, because, well….that’s far too much work for a pair of tights, but I’d like to see a bit of hand-crocheted edging make it onto a neckline or sleeve cap. Would a Victorian-inspired outfit take longer to make if it had a knitted shawl or mufatees? Probably. Would it be worth it?
I want to delve into the Mary Maxim back catalogue, as problematic as it might be, and knit a Cowichan-inspired “curling sweater”. Is it cultural appropriation? Very likely. I’m not going to deny that. It’s also a very important touchstone of my formative years growing up in Canada with a grandmother who knit. These are issues and history I could very happily discuss on YouTube.
So that leads me to the end result:
Rebranding my YouTube channel
It’s not really a rebrand. It’s…more a redirection. I kept the name Stringchronicity right from the very beginning. The gaming videos are still there, if for nothing more than reference.
I uploaded my first crafting lifestyle vlog on Sunday. You know what I’m making? Socks. Yes, I’m sure you guessed that. I also demonstrated lever knitting, as it’s the technique I use when I knit, and the lever knitting video I uploaded last year has enjoyed some minor popularity.
The best part is that I feel engaged with my subject matter. I have footage for two more videos that I’m assembling right now, and I really hope that my enjoyment with both subjects is relatable to others.
If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been up to, you can head over to my YouTube channel or just check out the video below. New videos will have their own blog posts when they appear. I’m having fun putting them together and I can’t wait to share them with everyone else!