Kathleen’s Favorites on the Web: Ravelry

Ravelry is a sort of Facebook for knitters. You can post your projects with pictures and details, keep track of your needle collection and the books in your knitting library, keep your queue of projects to knit, develop a wishlist of projects, connect with friends, and on and on.

One of my favorite features is the Groups/Forum section. You can join groups you're interested in (one of my guilty pleasures is the super-fun Nerdy Knitters group) and communicate with these like-minded folks via the forum feature. It's a great way to spend some free time.

I think the real power of Ravelry is in its database. If you're wondering how a certain pattern looks when knit, put the pattern name in the "Pattern" search and you'll see every version of that pattern that members have uploaded, including photos, yarn used, needles used, and sometimes really helpful comments about the knitting experience.

Same goes for a certain yarn—put in the yarn's name, hit search, and voila, you'll see every pattern users have posted that uses that yarn!

Ravelry founders Jess and Casey's French Bulldog Bob is the Ravelry mascot. You can see him bouncing around all over the site. So cute!

From Ravelry's website:

"Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content here is all user-driven; we as a community make the site what it is. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about your projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world in our forums."

The user-driven content is really what makes Ravelry special. I've posted about 80 percent of my finished objects since becoming a member in October of 2007, and I spend a little time on Ravelry almost every day.

Sometimes A LOT of time. I hear knitters saying all the time how many hours they spend on Ravelry—you really can get sucked down the rabbit hole! For example, I went on Ravelry today to look up a yarn to see if I wanted to use it in an upcoming project; I just wanted to see what the suggested gauge was. Forty-five minutes later, I remembered that's what I wanted to check, so I finally looked it up!

I got sidetracked looking at a sweater knitting pattern, then one certain member's version of that pattern, then all of that member's projects, then some yarn that that member used in one of her projects, then back to the original reason I got on the site in the first place: the suggested gauge for Classic Elite Posh! I had a great time.

I love knitting sweaters, and there are so many sweater knitting patterns that I want to knit; I can check them out on Ravelry to see how they fit people and see which yarns work best. There are tons of free patterns on Ravelry, too!

My Ravelry name is Kathcub, so look me up and be my friend!


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