My Top 5 Reasons To Use Ravelry

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The other day I was dicussing Ravelry with a new knitter. She wasn’t sure about it and couldn’t figure things out so we went to my Ravelry page and I showed her what I use Ravelry for. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten this question and I figure there might be others who are also pondering over the same subject. To help out I therefore give you:

My Top 5 Reasons To Use Ravelry
or rather, the main reasons why I use Ravelry. If you have other suggestions, please leave a comment, and if you don’t like my reasons, it’s of course totally up to you what you want, or don’t want, to use Ravelry for.

1. To search for patterns. Through Ravelry I have found amazing patterns that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. I knit my first English pattern in 2009, I joined Ravelry in 2010 and since then I almost exclusively knit patterns in English that I find on Ravelry. That’s not because I think other patterns are bad or something, it’s just that I’m lazy and Ravelry has such a variety of patterns that I usually don’t find the need to search elsewhere.  The advantages of Ravelry as you pattern source is actually worth a list of it’s own but it short, you can modify your search and add whatever parameter you like, whether it’s what garment you want, what age it’s for, what yarn weight or needle size you want, if you want lace or cables or how much yarn you have available for the project. You can see what other knitters thought about the pattern and how their’s turned out and what yarn has been used for this pattern and how that worked out.

2. To keep track of my projects. I love statistics almost to a fault. I like to know exactly how many times I’ve run 5 k in a month or a year, how fast I went each time, how my progress is and which date, what time during the day and if that affected my time. It’s the same with knitting. I want to know exactly how many shawls I’ve knit in a year, what needles I used and what yarn, which patterns and so on. Since I give away a lot of what I make, and I make about 50 projects each year, it would be impossible to keep it all in my head. I can’t even remember half of the projects I made before joining Ravelry. Thanks to my project pages and the notes I put there, I can go back to a UFO and see what I was doing, what size and what mods I’ve done and if there is something else I should think about. I can find leftover yarn in my stash without ball bands and I remember which project I used it for and I can go back to Ravelry and find more information about it. I can look up what color the cardigan was that I made for my niece two Christmases ago and what pattern I used so I don’t make the same one again and I can make sure I don’t give my father-in-law hats two years in row.

3. To find yarn for a project. This question is split in two but it all begins with the yarn. I might want to know what yarn from a certain company has the right weight for a pattern I’ve found or I might have a yarn I like and I want to know what patterns works for that yarn. Ravelry to the rescue.

4. To can keep track of all my pattern books and to store patterns. I can also easily search through all my pattern books instead of looking through them one by one. I can favorite patterns I just happen upon and like but don’t have time to knit right then and there and then I can find them later. Also, when I look at what pattern would work with a certain yarn, Ravelry knows what among my favorites would work and suggests those first. Also, if a pattern that I’ve bought through Ravelry is updated, I get a new version straight into my Ravelry library. I can also find information on erata.

5. To get support with tricky patterns and to talk to other people who are obsessed like the same thing as I do. When I made the Princess Shawl I got some great help to find good needles for example, and I’ve since helped others who have questions about that particular shawl. I learned French knitting terms, I found my Yarn Club through Ravelry and much, much more.

That’s in short why I love Ravelry and why I use it so much. It really helps me with every aspect of my knitting and allows me to be part of something bigger, to bond with knitters on the other side of the globe and to find yarn and yarn stores and patterns and designers that I would never have so much as Heard of without Ravelry. I think that’s pretty cool, actually.