Just before I went holiday last month, I got my invite through to join Ravelry as a beta tester.
For those of you who’ve not come across Ravelry, it’s a new web application for the knitting and crocheting community. Features include being about to keep track of projects past, present and future, track what’s in your stash, chat to other knitters/crocheters in groups and forums, find new patterns and yarn, view other people’s projects and link your own blog posts in.
It’s currently in beta – which means it’s largely operational but there are still bugs and quirks to be worked out and users are asked to submit bugs for fixing as they come across them, as well as provide their own suggestions for new features. Whilst in beta, the site owners, Casey and Jess, are limiting the number of users who can join.
I’ve been holding off from blogging about it until I’d given it a good go however I’ve used it quite a bit over the past few days, so I guess it’s now time to pen my thoughts on it.
At first I wasn’t sure just how useful it would be for me. I already write about my knitting exploits in my blog, why would I need to log them all on Ravelry too?
And I have to say it took me a while to “get in to” it.
I added a project but as I didn’t have a Flickr account I couldn’t add a photo to it. More photo uploading facilities will be available when the site goes live but you need to use a Flickr account at the moment. I was reluctant to sign up to yet another web app – I seem to have so many logins for various sites on the Internet I’m getting a bit fed up with it. But after adding another couple of projects and some yarn stash I was sad that I had no nice photos for them. So I set up my Flickr account. What I hadn’t realised was that you can use your Yahoo! login for Flickr – which meant as I already had that, I didn’t need to register my details again. Now that I have some photos against my projects and yarn, I’m much happier and I think that’s what’s finally got me into it.
This shot shows my projects page. Where I log what I’m working on and its status, i.e. WIP, hibernating, or finished. Against each project I can choose the pattern I’m using if it’s in the Ravelry database (if not I can add it), see who else is working on the same project, log the yarn that I’m using, marks out of 5 for both the pattern and yarn, photos of the work and even associate particular blog posts about the project.
I started to browse the database of patterns, downloaded a cute baby bootie one, browsed other people’s projects, found a couple of knitting friends and volunteered as a pattern editor. This means that I can edit the details of a pattern to ensure that it is correct and can be found properly by other members. I also added a couple of patterns that weren’t in the database.
Other members seem very friendly and I had a nice online chat with one person. There are all sorts of forums and groups you can join – groups for knitters interested in all sorts of other things too apart from knitting and special interest knitting groups, e.g. one for people who particularly like making afghans and blankets, forums to chat about “how to do” something, or discuss particular yarns or patterns.
I now find myself logging in everyday!
You can add yourself to the list and await an invite to join if you’d like to, but I reckon it won’t be too long before it opens to everyone.