My name is Ginell Cooper. I have been creating crochet videos since March of 2020. When the pandemic hit and everything shut down, I immediately saw the effects on my friends. The thought of being in isolation made them scared, lonely, bored and emotional. I was not happy with the situation, but I must admit I was a little excited about the downtime. I would finally have the time to tackle all those crochet projects I wanted to do. Then I realized, crochet and crafting have always been my happy place. It's my escape when things get crazy and I need a quiet bubble where I can hide from the overwhelming influences of the outside world and 2020 was very much that. So I thought, what if I could teach that to my friends? Nurturing your own mental health during times of crisis (or really anytime) is very important. Maybe I could help others. So I offered it up to anyone who was interested and about 10 of them were, so I started a group on Facebook called Ginell's Quarantine Crochet and started making videos with my little GoPro. I knew a lot about crochet, but very little about creating tutorials. I figured my friends would love me even if I did it wrong so I just jumped in and figured we would "fail forward" together.
The first project was meant to teach every basic about crochet in one big project and it was to be a sampler blanket. The concept was that I would teach basic techniques, one square at a time and at the end we would join all the squares together and not only will my friends have learned all the basic of crochet, but they would have a wonderful first completed piece. We called it The Quarantine Blanket. If you click on the name it will take you to the entire playlist on my channel. There are 12 videos total and boy are they rough. Remember, I was just trying to give my friends a social outlet, so I chit chat a LOT and I had no idea how to do angles and lighting, but I had an audience of 10... really like 3... so it was all good, right? I had no idea what was to come.
It took 6 weeks... possibly the fastest blanket I have ever made. I wasn't even putting the videos on YouTube yet, it was all on my Facebook group. There was talk of things getting back to normal in that period so I thought this might be the only project we ever do together, but in the back of my mind I knew that it could be a while before "normal" was a thing again. So I made a couple more beginner videos. Then during my birthday weekend in Lincoln City, Oregon, my husband and I quarantined ourselves into a beautiful hotel room on the beach with a hot tub on the deck for 2 nights and I decided to upload everything to YouTube and start getting organized. It still seemed pretty silly, because I had like 3 or 4 subscribers ... all of them family, but I figured it would be a good place to store them and have easy access to share them.
And then IT happened!
I was seeing images all over my crochet groups and Pinterest of a pocket shawl and it was being pinned like crazy. I looked at it and thought... it's just a long rectangle, with two squares and some fringe. Not only could I make it pretty easily, but I was SURE I could teach it to my beginners too. So that's what I did. It sat on my channel for a few weeks and had a few views from my friends here and there, but honestly most of them were still trying to figure out my previous two videos:
Then came the crazy!
Suddenly the Pocket Shawl video started getting 100 views a day and I was like WHAT?! Who's watching this? Then it was 1000 views a day! The video was uploaded at the end of June and by the end of September it had over 60,000 views and I had all the qualifications I needed to monetize my channel. I feel like I should end that sentence with a lot of !!!! but really it was more like !!??!*? because I still had no idea what I was doing. In that time, I had uploaded 7 more project videos so mentally I had already moved on from the Pocket Shawl, but it had made itself the headliner.
Then I had a hater. Yep... on a CROCHET VIDEO. She basically said "I don't mean to be rude, but you talk too much" I was surprised how many people jumped in to defend me. All were complete strangers. One even responded to her that saying "I don't mean to be rude" before you are rude doesn't mean you weren't and then she said "Next time you should start with 'I don't mean to be rich but...'" That one literally made me laugh out loud. My subscribers were telling me how much they love my video because it was like having coffee with a friend, that they play it in the background while they are working on other things. That made me so happy and I decided then that while I may learn to make my videos more concise, I will never eliminate the social aspect of it. Hopefully when you watch my videos, it will ALWAYS feel like you are hanging out with a friend.
Since then I have made over 100 videos! And I have so many ideas for more projects! Below is a smattering of some of the projects I have taught over the past 2 years.
You can see all the videos on my channel
The latest thing on my channel is my One Minute Videos.
The concept is teaching people to crochet one stitch or technique, one minute at a time. You can binge watch all of them, or just the ones you need for whatever project or interest you have at that moment. They have been very popular. Below are a few of the most popular ones, just click on the link below to get to the entire playlist.
Learn to crochet one minute at a time!
So what's next? This blog! I have made it my goal to put my current and future videos in written pattern form. This is a huge undertaking for me because I don't write things down, I just wing it. It's not completely uninformed, I do a lot of research first, but then I just do it. I am a visual learner so videos have always been better for me. However, I recognize that many people are better with the written word. It would be great to be able to offer both and that is my goal for this year. So stay tuned, the blogs will start to trickle in and maybe eventually I will look at this and just think WOW. Which is what I do when I look at my YouTube Channel now.
I have discovered and become obsessed with planned pooling, which is when you take a skein of variegated yarn and magically make it into a cool pattern. That is the video I was working on when I made this first blog post and here is a link to it!
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