I love Ravelry

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There are loads of free knitting and crochet patterns available on various sites in the internet. Now, if there was also free yarn, we’d be talking. However, that’s unlikely to happen any time soon, so, it’s just patterns for now.

I’m all for sharing resources and not paying for anything unless you really have to. But you need to be careful because some free things have hidden costs – usually your data. One site that I absolutely love and have never found to be intrusive or aggravating or dishonest in any way is www.ravelry.com  This great site not only has free (as well as paid for) patterns, but it also helps you find yarn information and shows you what other knitters have made using the patterns you’re interested in or the yarn. You can browse it as a guest or can register giving just an email address and a user name – no other info required. The usernames that members of the site have come up with can be hilarious and very inventive. Unsurprisingly though, there are quite a few that have the word ‘knitter’ in them, such as ‘knitter’, ‘knitter-1’, ‘knitter-40’, ‘knitter -90’ – get it?  Then there’s ‘knitter-critter’, ‘jolly-knitter’ but so far, there’s no ‘killer-knitter’ so, if you fancy it, you’d better get on there and register 🙂

What’s the most unusual username you’ve come across on Ravelry?

Apart from patterns and yarns there are also groups that you can join such as the one we have : Knitting Friends in the Park. Not all of the 18 members are people we know or who have joined us in the pavilion where we meet; some are virtual members or just people who are interested in what we get up to – they won’t find out much as we’re not very active on this forum. Other groups are based on yarn stores – there’s one for our nearest store in Reddish – Knit2 Tog; there are also groups based on designers or particular patterns and techniques; there are even some based on interests other than knitting or crochet, for example. Radio 4, Hogwarts, maths, cooking, charities, music etc etc.  Groups vary in how active or inactive they are as this very much depends on the members. You can post messages to the groups, ask questions, receive helpful advice and information, or just chat and make friends. Just be aware that the posts are public and any member of Ravelry can see them so it’s a good idea to restrict the amount of personal information you put in your messages. And, if you’re interested in something, like fly-fishing for example, and there isn’t a group already set up, you can start one yourself. You may find members  from all around the globe joining you in your interests.

I’ve spent many a pleasant hour (or two or three!) browsing around all that Ravelry has to offer. When I first became a Ravelry member I joined a pen-pal group, wrote to a few fellow knitters for a while, and ended up corresponding with one lovely lady from the USA for more than 5 years – by mail, not on the site. We are great friends; although we’ve never met we get on like a house on fire and she’s even coming to visit me next year.

I can’t thank Ravelry enough for the pleasure it has given me over the years and recommend that you take a look for yourself. But beware, you’ll soon become hooked!

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