Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Belated Bobmas!

Happy Bobmas!
No, it's not a UU holiday (per se), it's a holiday celebrating the birth of Ravelry. I was in a swap where one participant asked - should they be on Ravelry. Well, to each his/her own, but let me say here are eight things Ravelry has helped me do.
1. Make friends. I have found stitch groups in my neighborhood - some started only with Ravelers. (This is not to say that non-Ravelers can't join, it is to say that the networking provided by Ravelry allowed us to get a core group going.)
2. Find all sorts of knitting (and crocheting)sub-groups - stitching UUs, stitching readers, stitching football fans, and so on. Or even just throw something out into a more specific ether (there was a thread all about SSKs just the other day.)
3. Organize my stuff. Sure you can flash your stash on your blog (and I do - more to come). But my blog doesn't put it in this neat category where I can track how many and what dyelot and stuff like that. I can also track needle sizes and
4.Track needle sizes. It even prints out in a pretty list, shouldone need to shop for more. You can also track books.
5.Track Projects. Of course this now means all sorts of people know I am working on a lot of things. It also helps inspire me to finish some.
6. Track future projects. Oh - the queue. Let me tell you, I used to just do bookmarks. But that got nuts, so I organized the bookmarks into folders. But it is so much easier to scroll through a list with pictures than clicking each bookmark trying to find that thing I wanted to make - you know, the one with yarn?
7. Look at what other people have done with a pattern. We all know that sometimes you look at the picture that accompanies a pattern and you just don't know. There's something you like, but you hate the yarn, or the yarn color, or you can't afford that yarn or whatever. So - in the old days - you did a search and hoped you didn't just get a bunch of blog posts about people thinking of making it. But now - now, I can look through and see all these different people. People who made it with different yarn, or a different collar or who found out that there was errata or - all sorts of things.
8. Look at what other people have done with a yarn. It happens to us all. You see a skein and it calls to you. And then you get home and you look at it, and you have no idea what to do with this yarn. You've never knit lace weight or with bamboo or chunky yarn. Why did you buy it? But it's so pretty. You feel it deserves more than to just sit on a shelf (not that there's anything wrong with that). Well, thanks to Ravelry I can scroll through other people's projects and get ideas. Or do something completely different, but at least I have ideas.
So, thanks Ravelry. And thanks, Casey and Jess and Bob! You have brought me organization and community and that's just the coolest thing. (See you at Sheep and Wool!)
For local folks, the DC/MD/VA official Bobmas celebration will be next week. Keep an eye out.