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Joining the Ravelry Party

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I am late to the party.

Technology has never been my ‘thing.’ The fact that I even know what Ravelry is is rather astonishing. Yes, I use it. I purchase patterns from it all the time. If I want to find anything I’ve made before, I look at what is in my library.

But I have never used it. Not to its full potential at any rate. Friending people? Forums? Groups? Projects and updates and stashes? What have I been missing?! (Or, perhaps as important, have I been missing anything?)

So this January I am jumping on the Ravelry bandwagon to give it a try as JourneytoHandmade. Look me up and friend me if you haven’t already! (Note to my friends who know me personally: I simply changed my old username, so we are still connected). At this precise moment there isn’t anything too exciting to see on my account, but that is all about to change.

My game plan is simple: spend a month familiarizing myself with the features, joining groups, and becoming a full blown “Raveler.” At the end of January, I’ll reflect on what I am loving and what is worth letting go.

Do you use Ravelry? Which features (if any?) are most worth using to you? Are there things that you used to use but stopped using because it took too much time and wasn’t worth it? What groups are worth joining? Are there parts of Ravelry you’ve always wanted to figure out but haven’t yet?

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8 Comments

  1. Jess

    I love the idea of putting my yarn into Ravelry so when I’m out and see a pattern, I can pull it up on my phone and see what I have! I have been hit and miss with my usage of Ravelry but when I’ve stuck with it, I really enjoyed it as a way to track my progress and organize my knitting. Can’t wait to see what you think!

    1. admin

      I hadn’t thought of that. Putting yarn in has been one part I’ve been more skeptical of, so that’s interesting.

  2. I am a Ravelry junkie. It can be quite the rabbit hole but it is also the reason that I traveled to Shetland last summer and stopped in northern England for knit night at a little shop owned by a Ravelry friend. I am trying very hard to keep up my project pages but not so good with getting my yarn stash into my notebook.

    1. admin

      You had me at “traveled to Shetland”! That’s amazing. If it can help me connect with people around the world, I’m in!

  3. Nancy Hazen

    I’ve photo inventoried my stash, and loaded the pics, info about each yarn and which bin it’s stored in. It was a bit of work, but one of the things that’s cool about getting it done has been that the website recommends yarns from my stash that might work for any pattern I look at! As I use yarn or purchase yarn I try to make sure it gets updated online. I’ve also placed WIPS or UFOS in my stash for when I’m in the mood to GET SOMETHING DONE!!

    1. admin

      That’s brilliant – I had no idea that Ravelry would give me recommendations from my stash. That alone makes me want to get my stash put in!

  4. Ahhhhh Ravelry…. there are SO many things to love and I have no idea where to begin … so this is in no specific order:

    – Stash! I list (and eventually photograph) everything so that I have a reference when I’m out shopping (esp. helpful when inspiration hit at my knit nights at a local yarn store …. it often allowed me to pull ideas from yarn I already owned vs buying more …. though not always) Another reason i like cataloging all of my stash is that I can link the yarn I already own to a pattern on my queue so I remember if I’ve committed something (it cross-links to the queue on the yarn page) before I grab it. I do a yearly (around new years normally) stash review where I make sure EVERYTHING in my cabinets is listed there. While overwhelming, it helps me get some indication of control and prevents me from buying more since I know what I have on hand.
    – Projects! I like having a record, especially for the items that I have gifted away. Also, since I am NOT a monogamous project knitter I need a place to keep my notes and it’s a concise location. It also will show favorited projects from the same pattern … so I can quickly reference other people’s project notes if there was a modification I intended to make or an inspiration picture to keep me going.
    – Friend’s Activity! You can see what those you’ve connected with are favoriting, working on, commenting on, etc. A much more uplifting feed vs. FB 😉
    – Forums! I am involved in a few related to my knitting retreats and we have daily chatter threads. Historically I also participated in many podcast forums, test knitter opportunities, learning to knit/spin groups, etc.

    I recently cleaned up my Ravelry account a bit to get rid of the clutter. I had PAGES of favorites and queued items, many from 2009, that I was NEVER going to make and so I eliminated lots of that baggage for a clean start.

    1. admin

      Wow! I’m especially loving how you have a system for “tidying up” your yarns and patterns once a year to declutter. Having more digital clutter has been one of my reasons to not be so involved in it, and it sounds like your system keeps that at bay.

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