My new favorite knitting site is Ravelry. I know it isn’t new, but this summer I really started using it and seeing some of the huge potential! Look at this screen shot or my Ravelry library- it’s beautiful… and, so simple! I love it that adding a book is as simple as clicking “add book” and typing in the name or author. The website takes care of adding the pictures and organizing the books on the shelves. It was very fun to add all my books and magazines, and now, I believe I can even search my books for patterns. I haven’t found it to be completely reliable at finding every mitten pattern, for example, but it does seem to do a good job of at least pulling up some patterns from my books for me. I need to play with it some more to make sure I can’t be doing my search better.
I also love the ability to inventory all of my knitting needles and crochet hooks on Ravelry. That makes it so I can always look up whether I have a given needle at home, even if I’m nowhere near home. In theory that means I will never buy duplicate needles again! The reality, though, is that for that to happen, I actually need a program that provides the right size needle for me from my inventory when I’m in a yarn store. You know how you get a new project when you’re out of town and you want to start right away, so you think “oh, I could probably use another set of size 6 needles anyway…” Well, that’s how I end up with three sets of size 6 needles- I’m not sure even Ravelry’s excellence in inventory can save me from myself on that one, but maybe seeing that I already own three pairs will make me think twice!
Anyway, besides the needle and book organization Ravelry provides, what it is really best at is providing an unbelievable collection of patterns and resources (both people and products) for the knitting and crocheting community. I am continually amazed by everything that is on there. I can search for a pattern for pretty much anything and find it! So far the only pattern I have been unable to find exactly is a Philadelphia Eagles sweater for my pug…that’s pretty specific, so I’m not going to hold it against them. However, I should say that if I put it on the Ravelry site that I wanted one, I bet someone would either point me to a pattern or create one for me! There are thousands of knitters on there who are willing, able, and cheery helpers. Last thing on the community… it also allows you to be “friends” with others. What that means for me is that I can share knitting highs and lows with my sister-in-law in Ithaca, as well as with my knitter friends right here in town. Very fun. Ravelry is an awesome site and definitely worth the time to check out. Now, someone get going on the app! Please.