Although I and other writers for KnittingforCharity.org have written a little about Ravelry and Ravelry charity knitting groups, I realized that we’ve never published a post devoted solely to Ravelry. So those of you who are new to Knitting for Charity or the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter might still be unsure as to what all the fuss is about Ravelry. If this is you, never fear! I am here to explain to you exactly what Ravelry is, why you should register for it, and how to do so. And once again I have discovered that there is just too much to tell you about Ravelry to fit it into one post, so this is the first of a three-part Ravelry series. In today’s post, you’ll find out what Ravelry is. In part 2, you’ll learn about the benefits of Ravelry. And in part 3, you’ll discover the vaunted pattern library and how to join Ravelry.
What is Ravelry?
A better question might be “what ISN’T Ravelry?” Because Ravelry, for a yarn enthusiast, offers so very much. I’ve heard it called “Facebook for knitters and crocheters,” and that’s not a bad analogy, as the social aspect of Ravelry is quite real. On Ravelry you can set up your own profile page, which can include a photo, a link to your website or blog, your birthday, your location, how many years you’ve been a knitter, your favorite colors, and so on. Your profile page will also show some photos of your finished projects and any groups you belong to. Your own profile page is just the beginning. Venture outside of it and you’ll find an enormous community overflowing with knitters and crocheters. You’ll find this, first of all, through the aforementioned groups. Ravelry groups are gathering spaces of sorts in which members can talk about any kind of interest. As a “for instance,” here are some of my own groups: At Home Moms, Cleveland Knits, Harry Potter Lovers, Lion Brand Cafe, Loopalicious, Pride & Prejudice 2005 Movie Fans, Top Chef, Tulsa Knitters, and United Methodist Knitters. See a pattern? Of course you don’t. That’s the beauty of groups: they can be for just about any interest. Then there are the forums. Each group has its own forum. Then there are the forums that don’t have groups but, rather, are there for everyone to see: For the Love of Ravelry, Loose Ends, Needlework News & Events, Patterns, Techniques, Tools & Equipment, and Yarn & Fiber. SInce these are general-interest forums to all Ravelry members, they appear on everyone’s group of forums. There are other parts of Ravelry, including the Patterns library (more in Part 3), the Yarns directory (more in Part 2), and the Shop. The Shop is composed of three parts: a Ravelry Mini-Mart offering fun items that help support Ravelry; a Marketplace consisting of ads of businesses owned by Ravelry members; and Pattern Stores, which is exactly what it sounds like. So while you could call Ravelry “Facebook for knitters and crocheters,” as you can see it’s really far more than that! Stay tuned for part 2, where you’ll learn about the benefits of using Ravelry!