On July 15th, 2017, 100+ crochet and knitting superstars descended on the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, CA, and it was more glorious than any of us would have expected.
As makers, connecting online, particularly through social media, is at the core of our process. We make things, then we share things. That's how it goes. But when you have an opportunity to truly connect with the people behind your favorite accounts, to remove the screens that separate you, you pack up your yarn, make a playlist heavily laden with Despacito, and drive 7.5 hours to your neighbor to the north.
Now, if you don't know what Our Maker Life is, here's a brief education: Launched by the lovely Jewell of @NorthKnits in 2016, OML is "a knit and crochet movement for makers, by makers." They bring us all together by running an insanely successful Instagram page where they repost makers from around the world using the hashtag #ourmakerlife. It's an endless source of inspiration and has helped me find some of my favorite new accounts.
Aside from the IG page, they've now hosted 2 meetups for the OML fan club. The first was last year in NYC. I wasn't able to go, and was super bummed to missed meeting some of my faves like @TwoOfWands and @TheHookNook. So, when I heard they would be taking the party to Toronto, I started my "OML or Bust" savings jar. I bought my ticket on the first day they were available, found a road buddy (Amy of @Sticks_and_Stitches) and began the nerve-racking process of getting my passport. (Buy me a juice box sometime and I'll tell you a funny story about that!)
Fast forward to the actual event. Mind = BLOWN! The venue was fabulous, the city was buzzing, and walking into a room full of so much talent is exhilarating. The best part, of course, is finally having a real conversation with people you've been virtually drooling over for ages.
But, to be honest, the best part of the entire experience was how much love and respect was flowing through that room. Between all the googly eyes and fangirling, there was no space for ego. Every person was on the same plane, excited to see each other, and ready to learn and connect. Ask anyone who went, it was the highlight of the summer.
Right center: Ashley from @AshleyErikaDesigns (who is just as stunning in person as she is online)
From top left, clockwise: My new yarn bestie and fellow pottymouth Chantal from @Knitatude, the OML Dream Team, Brittany from @bhooked, and (from left) Chantal, Kristen from @GoodKnitKisses, Brittany, and Sarah from @repeatcrafterme.
And the party would not be complete without everyone taking a little something from TL Yarn Crafts home with them. I was honored to include Crafty Badges as part of the EPIC swag bag that each OML attendee got. Here are a few IG snaps of my badges in the wild (top: @ohmyknit; center: @coziknots and @knitterei; bottom: @la.reserve.design and @whiteowlcrochetco).
My greatest appreciation to the OML team and every sweet soul I met that wonderful weekend. I can't wait to see you all next year.