Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Latest Obsession

I could have used the alternate title, "Where I've Been Wasting My Time," ... except the time is not really wasted. I finally joined If you're a knitter or crocheter and you actually like spending time on your computer, you need to join this community. Go to the site and request an invitation. They are letting only about 1000 people in per day, so that they don't put too much stress on their systems. If you sign up now, you'll get an invitation in less than a week.

The site is mind-boggling, and you're hearing this from someone who is not unfamiliar with large on-line communities. There are over 200,000 participants. Who'd have thunk there would be that many knitters/crocheters with computer access in the world? Knitting was such a solitary activity for me for decades. I never minded this much, but I'd had no idea so many people loved this hobby. I was astounded the first time I went to the K-W Knitters Guild about a decade ago, as I entered a large room packed with knitters of all ages (and not the "dozen little old ladies" Todd anticipated I'd see), but I thought this was just because I live in a particularly fibre-friendly city. That might still be true, but clearly there are knitters lurking everywhere.

So back to ravelry. It's like Facebook, but even better. There's the social networking aspect, including a multitude of groups. I joined some (e.g. fans of Philosophers Wool yarns and designs) and was simply intrigued by others (e.g. "Hockey Knit in Canada"). The main attraction for me, however, is the extensive database. You get easy, visual ways to record all your projects, stash, tools, books and to keep track of projects/yarns you'd like to have in the future. You then put the information about projects and yarns into the main database. The result is that, with the pooled information, you have access to photos and details about thousands of patterns (many of them free) and yarns. So if I enter "Needful Yarns London Tweed" into the search box, I can find a dozen ideas, with pictures, of what I can do with the stash that I'd bought last week.

On ravelry, one of the largest groups, with over 2000 members, is one celebrating geekdom. They raise the unnecessary question, "Are ravelers inherently geeky?" Here are people who spend hours on the computer, enjoy "social" on-line interaction with total strangers and are obsessed with meticulously cataloguing every yarn, needle and pattern in their possession. Um, yeah, I guess we're geeks. If you knit or crochet, please join and be my friend on ravelry. My account name is paulinaknits there.


Julia said...

mom, thunk isn't a word!

Jill said...

Alright, alright, I requested an invitation. Maybe I'll find some knitters in Singapore.