8 Things to love about Ravelry

Knitting Tips Series: Introduction to Ravelry

Ravelry is an online knitting/crocheting community, a social-networking site for fiber enthusiasts. Whether you're new to knitting or a seasoned pro, Ravelry can help you connect, learn, and make the most of your knitting.

Here are 8 random reasons why Ravelry is so awesome:

1) Online "Brag" Book: Ever want to organize all your projects, show them off to others, keep track of what you knit when and for whom? With Ravelry, you have "My Notebook", a place to organize your projects and keep track of such details as how long it took you to make something, whether you followed the pattern word for word or deviated to suit your tastes, and the exact yarn and needles you used. Plus a picture! Or several pictures!

2) Organize your yarn and needles. And your books and patterns and future projects.

3) Get to know other knitters through the forums, through the patterns and projects, through the whole site. Knitters are really nice people, if I do say so myself. Need a place to start? Try the KnitOasis group--you know you're welcome there!

4) So many patterns! If you're looking for a pattern, say a scarf pattern that's just a shade beyond garter stitch, and you don't have a knitting book handy and you don't want to go get one, Ravelry has pages and pages of scarf patterns (and other patterns, too). Many are free and available instantly.

5) Books: If you're considering the purchase of a knitting book, but wonder if the patterns are all that great, look it up on Ravelry. See the patterns, find out what other knitters have to say about it, take the guess work out of it. This is also true of yarn, needles and knitting accessories. If it has something to do with knitting, you can bet it's been discussed on Ravelry.

6) You might not "love" this... Ravelry is like a lot of things on the internet...it can be a bit of a time sucker. You log in at 8 a.m. to look at Log Cabin blanket patterns, you look up, and suddenly it's 4:30 the next day and you're really hungry. But hey, you've gotten some amazing inspiration and done research on your hobby (even though research that is this lengthy pushes it away from "hobby" and into "obsession."). (And this is only a hypothetical example. Really.)

7) Are you ready to market your original knitting designs to others? Ravelry is just what you need. They'll walk you step by step through the process of setting up a designer account and putting your patterns before your soon-to-be adoring public. (For an example of a designer's page on Ravelry, here is my shameless plug: Designs by Tamara Goff)

8) It's free. Seriously. All this fabulous resource needs from you is a user name and log in, and you'll have a well of knitting info at your fingertips, day or night. Ready to get started? Follow this link: Ravelry sign up.