This post is a translation of my very first post aimed at French or French-speaking crocheters, a lot of whom simply don’t know about Ravelry. Perhaps some English speakers also don’t know that such a website exists, and as such I felt it deserved its spot here.
The original post was first published in November 2011, on accrochet.wordpress.com.
We should start at the begining : Ravelry.
If you are a crocheter that doesn’t know about Ravelry, go there right now. I’ll wait. Or you could go after reading about it here. You will not be sorry. You may even become addicted.
First and foremost, Ravelry is a community of crocheters, knitters and other fiber artists. When I first started to crochet, Ravelry didn’t exist. There were some places on the www where people like me congregated, but they all seemed to have a very very right-wing vibe that didn’t feel right.
These places lacked a sense of complete togetheress where one could talk about anything, share anything, find, inspire and be inspired. That’s exactly what Ravelry is. The site was founded by Casey and Jess. Jess is a knitter who, like me (and based on the sheer number of Ravelers, a lot of others too) was getting frustrated by not being able to easily find the information she was looking for about yarn, patterns, designers, etc. Her man, Casey, decided to help her create a website to do just that.
Your account is totally free and allows the storage of an unlimited project, book, hook / needle, yarn, pattern list. You can keep track of your FOs, but also of you WIPs and stash. That’s just to start.
Everyone can see your creations, add them to their favorites, comment on them, integrate them with the pattern page. You can see everyone else’s creations too. You can like them, comment on them. You can see the patterns in a book & the projects made from them by other crocheters before even buying it. Same with magazines. You can compare yarns before ordering them.
Want to make something but don’t have the pattern? Look through the pattern database. 9 times out of 10, you can purchase the pattern directly on Ravelry. It may even be free, in which case you can download it immediately.
You can wait to read what other people who’ve made the item said about the pattern itself. Only purchase what fits.
Once you’re addicted to that side of things, you can join communities. Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter of Phildar yarns, or maybe you like cats too much, or conflict (yep, there’s at least one group dedicated to difficult subjects), there’s a group for you. Each publishing house and designer has at least one group.
If not, create it. Anyone can create groups – I have one. So does Tim Hortons coffee. Designers are also present and active on Ravelry .
The community is very open and I have never witnessed any ‘newbs are losers’ bullshit there. If you get stuck in a pattern, someone will help. And when you yourself create a pattern, people will want to test it for you. You can then self-publish, via Ravelry.
I’d say the only negative I can find about Ravelry is that you may find yourself surfing the many options and not get much of anything else done. You’ll log off some faraway morning, hungry, wondering how you managed to spend 8 uninterrupted days on a website that contained (almost) no nudity.
( Add me as a friend : ACCROchet)