In part 1 of our Ravelry series, you learned what, exactly, Ravelry is. Now let’s find out what Ravelry can do for you as a knitter! Get excited, because you’re about to find out just how much Ravelry can benefit your knitting life.
Why Should I Use Ravelry?
You should use Ravelry for several possible reasons. If you long for more community with fellow knitters, and lack that community locally, Ravelry is a great way to get involved. The Groups and Forums are what earn Ravelry that “Facebook”-like designation, and they deserve it. Ravelry is an especially great resource for charity knitters in this way, because many knitting charities have a Ravelry presence. For many knitting charities, Ravelry is their only online presence! That’s how great an impact Ravelry has made in the online world of knitting. The group format of Ravelry makes it ideal for charity knitting, because every group comes equipped with several parts. These parts include:
So you can see how a knitting charity would find Ravelry an appealing place to park their group online; the Group function offers just about everything necessary for an online presence without requiring a knowledge of setting up a website. Another great reason to use Ravelry is to keep your knitting life organized. It has just about all the tools you could ask to do just that. You can upload photos of your knitting projects, keep track of your yarn stash, inventory your knitting needles, and even maintain a “queue” of knitting patterns you would like to knit someday. Your projects can be connected to the Ravelry pattern library, so that others can see your project as an example of a particular pattern. A third reason to use Ravelry is its terrific Yarn directory. The yarn directory is one that I haven’t discussed much here or in the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter, but I use it all the time. Not as much as the pattern browser, but it’s definitely Ravelry’s second-most-used feature for me. There are a few ways in which I use the yarn directory. One, I use it when I’m trying to decide whether I should order a certain kind of yarn online. The Yarn directory has a search function, and if I’m consider a specific yarn purchase, I’ll search for the yarn and take a look at the comments. Ravelry members tend to be extremely honest about the yarns they use, and the comments sections can be quite enlightening. Another reason I use it is if I was given a ball of yarn, or I bought it on impulse (especially if it was on sale!), and I need ideas on how to use it. You can search for a yarn, click “pattern ideas,” and see the patterns others have used for the yarn in question. Finally, I often use the yarn directory if I’m planning to use a pattern but want to use a different yarn than the pattern suggests. I’ll look up the yarn the pattern suggests and find out the yarn weight and yardage per skein or ball. Then I can find a yarn of similar weight and buy enough to match the yardage of the yarn suggested. I’m sure that I have touched on only a few of the possible ways one can use Ravelry. But these are some of the ways that most knitters will likely appreciate. Of course, I’m skipping the most obvious reason – the pattern library! But only for today. Have no fear – tune in for the final part of this series, where I’ll cover the pattern library (and its wonderful browser) extensively. Then you’ll be ready to join the fun on Ravelry yourself!