A Rusticating Retreat on Ravelry!

A Rusticating Retreat on Ravelry!
In the spirit of community support, many of us are choosing – or have been chosen – to, ahem, rusticate rather than spend time with others during the present circumstances. We have our knitting to keep us company, but its hard not to feel isolated. For this reason, now is a great time to visit Ravelry and see what’s there!

For those who haven’t yet visited, Ravelry is a site that works as an enormous clearinghouse for all things knitting and crochet related. While one can browse as a visitor, it’s definitely worth the slight hassle of opening an account – its as simple as registering your email address, getting a Ravelry name, and setting a password. From there, one has access to all of the site – and there’s a great deal there.

All of the major designers, and most of the less well known people, have accounts on the site, and there’s an extensive database of patterns, including information of where to find them and how to purchase. In most cases, the latter involves a click that takes one to the Ravelry store. Beyond sales, the database also includes links to photos of finished and ongoing projects. In other words, you can see how popular the pattern is, how other knitters have rated it, and what their projects look like! This is especially useful if one is trying to decide between two patterns for the next project, or if one wants some guidance about yarn substitution.

Beyond the pattern database, there are links to many, many of the designers. Have a question? You can send it via Ravelry messaging. In my experience, most creatives are friendly and personable, and will be glad to answer questions or offer advice. It’s the next best thing to attending a conference!
Ravelry offers a second database, this one pertaining to fiber. Have a question about a particular yarn? Look it up. You’ll find both information and links to available skeins. By this I mean stores, but also individuals who have said item in their stash. In many cases, this information includes the number of skeins, whether the person is willing to sell or trade, and the contact information. If you’re frantically trying to find a particular dye lot, that information is often available as well.

I’ve saved the best for last… the groups. There are myriad groups of people who “meet” via message board. Some of these are particular to a designer, others to a type of knitting, and still others connecting local groups. For example, I am currently a member of Budd’s Buds (for designer Ann Budd), Sock Knitters, Malabrigo Junkies, and Small Shawl Knitting. I can thus connect with virtual friends in Australia, post questions about particular patterns, and join in KALs. Because we can again post photos, I get to see the WIPs and FOs of other knitters as well as get advice or simply chat online.

While Ravelry isn’t going to replace one’s Local Yarn Shop, it is an amazing resource for knitters and a great way to feel less isolated as we socially distance or shelter in place. I’m DrBrown there – feel free to friend me!

Note: I am a member of Ravelry. I am not affiliated with any of the designers or yarn companies there. Rusticating Retreat on Ravelry

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