Rise of the Twitch Cross Stitcher, Part 3

KWarning on Twitch cross stitching Eevees (source: twitch)

Cross Stitch Twitch is a unique concept that’s really starting to develop fast. We’ve gone into common misconceptions during the first post, and we’ve spoken to some of the most influential vbloggers in our second post on Twitch cross stitch. But now we get to speak to the mother of cross stitch Twitch; the first ever cross stitch streamer Sirithre, or Siri for short.

Unlike a lot of our other Twitch streamers, Siri couldn’t see other users, and instead has a totally different way into the Twitch space. Video games.

While adding my list of games to backloggery.com I realized just how horrible I am about actually finishing games. This is mainly due to spending too much time playing MMOs.
Thus, my new year’s resolution for 2014 was to quit playing MMOs, and to work on my backlog of games. So I started streaming so I’d still get the social interaction of MMOs to encourage me to stick to this plan.

And that’s where we start with the cross stitch.

I was actually quite literally the first cross stitch streamer on twitch. Creative wasn’t even announced yet, it had been quietly added to the directory without mention and only had a handful of digital artists at the time. Most still streamed their art under the game categories.
I started a project November 2014 to make (late) Christmas presents for some of my favorite Twitch broadcasters with the plan to give it to them as a gift in person at PAX South. Since I was stitching their channel emotes as gifts I decided to stream them. This brought them and their communities into my stream and sometimes I would get hundreds and thousands of viewers where my gaming would have only brought in 20-30 at the time.

Sirithre on her non-cosplay days (source: Sirithre)
Sirithre on her non-cosplay days (source: Sirithre)

Most were interested in what Cross stitch even was, how I knew where to stitch, etc. Stitchers came in excited they hadnt seen it before, wanted to know how I made my patterns, what plastic canvas was, how I made my patterns, etc. Soon I built up a following of stitchers who enjoyed ‘stitch and bitch’ type scenarios and wanted to work on their own projects while watching the stream.

A fairly surprising start, especially as there was no marketing involved at all to begin with, apparently cross stitchers just so happen to be a video gaming lot…
But this is where suddenly I got it. It’s not about watching others, about being part of something, it’s about having that one place for cross stitchers to call home. Sure there are forums, comment sections on websites, Twitter and other social media, but there’s nothing like speaking to people real time about the thing you enjoy.
Back in the 90s we had AIM chat rooms, now we have a modern twist where you can see something being made in front of you, pick up on the small tricks of others…
There are reading groups, knitting circles, and now there is Twitch cross stitch.

I’d once again love to say thank you to all the Twitch streamers I’ve spoken to and you can find all of them over at TwitchStitch, where there are over 80 streamers and counting. However if you’re unsure where to start, I’d suggest Sirithre, kwarning, MouzlyGamez, ArmoredHearts & EmzOLV.

Rise of the Twitch Cross Stitcher, Part 2

Twitch Logo Cross Stitch by emzolv (source: emzolv.wordpress.com)

Was week I wrote a post about the rise of the Twitch cross stitcher, however its clear that vblogging cross stitch is a new thing, and the only way to get the inside scoop is from the streamers themselves. So, without further adue, we hear from the horses mouth!

In my initial post I spoke about the purpose of streaming. Its not clear from the outset what would make someone stream cross stitching, especially on a vblogging platform. So, what made you start streaming?

EmzOLV I originally started live streaming because I used to write for a games blog which I created. I found that alongside the articles I was doing for that, I could do playthroughs of indie and retro games and it would all fit together nicely. Unfortunately I haven’t had time for the blog and it’s very competitive and easy to get lost in the Twitch world with video games. I was intrigued by cross stitching streams because I knew of one person who did it (Sirithre) and I had been working in my personal time on a giant version of Yoshi Island SNES start screen. It all seemed to come together with me jumping in and giving it a go, getting really comfortable within Twitch Creative and then just continuing to do it.

Twitch Logo Cross Stitch by emzolv (source: emzolv.wordpress.com)
Twitch Logo Cross Stitch by emzolv (source: emzolv.wordpress.com)

Why do you stream instead of make videos?

KWarning It’s all about the live chat for me. There is nothing that compares to the live interaction. I get feedback on patterns and I am able to help viewers with their project by having the ability to reply to them immediately. I have also opened up a discord room to be able to have the same interaction with my viewers while my channel is not live.

Cross stitch twitch is a bit of a new phenomenon, why do you think it’s become so popular when other social media has failed to unite the stitching community?

ArmoredHearts Cross Stitch on Twitch is immediate, it’s a community that is building out of the love of the art. Whether in the making or the appreciating and collecting. Posting photos of works in progress or finished items is fun. Watching someone create and chatting about experiences, methods and tools of the craft is what builds a kind of camaraderie among Creative streamers. We relate and learn from others and that makes our experiences have more value and grow.

MotoRuxin Cross stitch is one of those things that lots of people do, but it’s hard to actually meet this people as we are so spread out and diverse. With the Creative section on Twitch, they have essentially created for us an online sewing circle with resources for new or longtime stitcher as well as those with no cross stitch experience. Some people just appreciate the art, and it absolutely fills me with pride when I have viewers praise my work and hope so badly to win one of my giveaways.

If I was a betting man I would think that we’ll see a lot more streamers on Twitch soon, cross stitching away.

I’d just like to say thanks to kwarning, MouzlyGamez, ArmoredHearts, MotoRuxin & EmzOLV from TwitchStitch for being part of the post!
Next week: the mother of Twitch cross stitch

Rise of the Twitch Cross Stitcher

Twitch Logo Cross Stitch by emzolv (source: emzolv.wordpress.com)

A few weeks ago I posted a blog entitled “is cross stitch dead?”, and summarized that it had instead changed. One way it’s changed is the vblogging phenomenon known as Twitch.

Twitch is a video website that streams live videos, and was set up primarily for video games. Video games have long been seen on YouTube, and the competitive gaming of Asia is coming over to the USA and Europe, however its quickly become something more, with videos popping up on all types of content. However cross stitch isn’t a competitive sport, and there are a frankly astoundingly small amount of videos on YouTube, so why has this change happened, and why is it getting a backing?

Twitch is a unique site. At first glance you could mistake it for some type of voyeuristic site where pretty women talk to the camera, however in reality its a 50/50 split in gender, and most don’t even show their faces. Instead you just see the screen on the person you’re watching, complete with their audio feed. That’s it. So when cross stitch started to get streamed you have to ask, why bother? There’s no screen sharing, as a streamer you can’t see them, you can’t hear them, they can’t pick the music, they can’t change anything. It’s just a window into the world of one person.

KWarning on Twitch cross stitching Eevees (source: twitch)
KWarning on Twitch cross stitching Eevees (source: twitch)

In reality, Twitch has pretty much everything on it. Most notably they accepted streams of people eating (I don’t get it either). However most of these sub-genres have a key element. Almost all of them are solo activities. The games streamed are all single player, the eating never happens in groups. You aren’t so much getting a snapshot into the life of someone, but they are having a one on one conversation with you, personally, whilst also having them with 200 other people. And yes, its really that popular. And that’s the draw.

Cross stitch is very insular, its the type of thing you can watch the TV at the same time, listen to music, chat with friends on instant messenger. So why not add someone else into the picture, doing the same thing you are. You can ask questions about their projects, yours, or go off topic totally. Its a friend you have the other side of the world.

I’ve watched a few streams, I often find my way onto streams of prop making, and I have indeed spent time with cross stitchers, however not once have I felt it was a waste of time. I was able to be part of a group, enjoying my hobby, whilst in the comfort of my own home, stitching away on my project. So I’m all for cross stitchers hanging out together, even if its online.

But there is one thing that makes all this slightly weirder; it wasn’t Twitch’s decision. Sure, they’ve gone with it, even making a group just for stitchers, however one day someone decided to stream themselves stitching, and it went from there. This happened months ago, but despite that the popularity of these videos exceeds most youtube videos on any topic, let alone cross stitch. Evidently there is a need here that cross stitchers themselves have identified.

Next week I ask three prominent twitch cross stitchers, kwarning, MouzlyGamez, ArmoredHearts & EmzOLV (LINKS) from TwitchStitch why they do it, what they get from it, and why they think it’s become so popular. And after that we speak to the mother of Twitch cross stitch; Sirithre.