In Praise of Ravelry

Ravelry – an inclusive home for makers and fibre artists.

Since I wrote this Ravelry have announced their ban on any content that supports the Trump administration and its openly white supremacist stance. It’s difficult to argue against this view when Fox news agrees that the hate movement identifies with the President. Ravelry’s statement is astonishing for a US based business and one that has shown up the big boys of social media – twitter etc. It is getting a lot of online abuse at the moment that will hopefully die down so that they can continue with their inclusive and supportive work for all makers.

It makes the rest of this post a bit trivial but hopefully, you can go now and enjoy Ravelry in all it’s rainbow colours.

I often wonder if there are any other online communities that have a site so pivotal to their development and continuing success as Ravelry. It is the go-to site for all fibre artists, that is anyone who creates stuff using thread, yarn, or fibre of some sort. It is home for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers and dyers and probably a few other crafts as well.

It all startedin 2007 in beta as an online curation tool to share blog posts, patterns and experiences. Most people will use it simply as a place to research and buy patterns. One of the advantages of ravelry is that you can see a particular pattern created and worn by someone like you. It also provides groups focused on one particular subject. I have a small group for test knitters. There are also groups to discuss bigger subjects. Discussion radar is a feature that allows you to see each forum post as it arrives on the site. As I write this, there are comments about the right time to plant potatoes, happy first day of summer (21st June?), along with the more focussed discussions on colours. yarn and various techniques.

Another slightly voueurish feature giving you an insight into what other ravellers are doing is the projects radar. This shows an image as each finished object is posted onto the site. On a quiet Friday morning in the UK with only 2824 ravellers online – it’s amazing the speed at which they appear.

For those interested in where people are, they provide a handy map too.

Ravelers Online

Ravelry now boasts more than 8.5 million members but only a fraction of those are online at any one time. If you use the site to find patterns, you may only visit once in a couple of months. Whether you are a ravelry lurker, an active commenter or simply use it for inspiration, it is a wonderful site and a delight for all of use with a slight (significant) wool obsession.

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