I (still) Love Ravelry

Cassie over at the Mario Scarf blog is wondering what the point of Ravelry is and I’ve heard others voice the same sort of questions. I’m not sure if I’m more organized or if Ravelry changed my life, but I certainly enjoy using it. So, rather than commenting on her blog directly, I thought I’d post here about why I love Ravelry and what I do with it (and encourage others to do the same).

Although Ravelry is also a good way to see what others say of their experiences with certain yarns or patterns, I can’t say that I’ve ever decided to (or not to) buy a yarn or do a pattern based on what someone has said in a Ravelry forum. Frankly, I find the groups and forums to be a huge time suck and I try not too spend much time in there. It’s all to easy to kill an entire morning or afternoon day in the forums. The last thing I need is to spend that much time and energy debating knitting vs. crochet or the merits of various yarn weights or the finer points of copyright law. And I don’t want to get sucked into discussions of politics or different TV shows/movies/books or get into any “big issues” debates. Blah! But, even if there were no Ravelry forums, I would still be using it.

I often use Ravelry to find patterns for yarns I have in my stash, but that have never had a clear destiny (I tend to buy yarn because it called my name and is smooshy/soft/brightly colored). So, I go into “yarns” and see what others have knitted with it. Or, if I’m looking around for another project to cast on (likely because I am bored with my current projects), I spend entirely too much some time browsing “patterns”.

I try to keep my queue organized with projects that I REALLY am going to do. For those projects I love and fantasize that maybe I’ll do some day, I use favorites. While I only have listed a few of my yarns under “stash”, I do document each of my projects. I like to have a record of items I’ve knitted since much of what I do is given as gifts. I’ve found that I really do enjoy going back and reminiscing about projects I’ve done and thinking about where they are now.

You’re not less of a “hard-core” knitter if you don’t use Ravelry or are just not that into it. You’re just not that kind of knitter. And that’s okay. Knitters come in all flavors.

Any other Ravelers out there? Do you still like it? Blog about your experience and link back to Cassie (and me if you want)!

10 thoughts on “I (still) Love Ravelry

  1. I will say I really like what you do with the Yarns section. I buy yarn like you do and with the best of intentions. But stuff does start to pile up when I forget why I bought it. I had a bad habit of throwing away labels so hopefully when I go through my stash I’ll remember what each yarn is so I can give it a project.

    I see myself more of a “off the cuff” kind of knitter rather than someone who can discuss/analyze the semantics of it. Sure I appreciate a good pattern, but like you said, debating about knit vs. crochet and stuff like that is petty.

    The other thing I really like about Ravelry after playing with it this afternoon is the groups. I really like seeing what other people are working on. Makes me jealous and inspired at the same time.

    Thank you for taking the time to elaborate on Ravelry. I’m going to explore the site’s features more tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear what others have to say about it.

  2. I agree with you about the forums… not just the fine points of copyright law but also any thread with dozens or hundreds of hits. That’s just too much work to read it all. But I still love Ravelry too.

  3. I still love Ravelry, but I don’t use the forums as much as I once did. In part, though, this is because I do less knitting and less thinking about knitting over the summer. Who knows what colder weather will bring?

  4. Oi! The forums are the worst kind of time suck… and yet I still manage to peek in almost every day. But I’m getting better… hopefully I can manage a glass a day instead of getting sopping drunk every time and wondering what happened to all that time I was supposed to have!

    Patterns, Yarns – THE BEST. Love them. Spend too much time there too. :D

  5. I love being able to see what other people have made or are making. I can what patterns look like with different yarns, hear how they worked out, etc. It’s really helpful to me, and even if it weren’t, just looking at all the beautiful pictures is wonderful!

  6. I love Ravelry because I can be sparked by what other people are making. I still come up with ideas on my own, but they can grow bigger and more beautiful by the inspiration. I’ve never been big on the forums because I don’t have that kind of time and interest. I do blog much less though. I used my blog as a way for me to prove to myself that I wasn’t just passing time, that something was different for my being here. Using Ravelry, I can see the projects I’ve made (and see all the ones I’ve started and not finished) and I like that. But best of all, Ravelry introduced me to you!

  7. hello – i just noticed this post when i looked at posts tagged with ‘ravelry’ on wordpress, and i wanted to say that you are so right on with this. i only recently signed up, but i was instantly hooked. i love being able to see what yarns other people use in their projects and how it worked out for them. for me, that alone would be reason enough to keep coming back. but add endless amazing patterns and lovely people, and basically all of my free internet time goes to ravelry!

  8. Once I figured out the “magic” of Ravelry I don’t know what I would have done without it. I use it for finding patterns, seeing what other people have done with the yarn I have, and read the forums daily. That is a real time suck, but I’ve done that on blogs, Knitters Review and sometimes the Knitty Coffeeshop before. It’s just great to have such a helpful database out there in case you need it.

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