Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration.
Founded in May 2007, Ravelry is the brainchild of husband and wife team Casey and Jessica Forbes. Their idea was to create a web presence for all fiber artists. In Jessica's own words: “ Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, … see full wiki
On November 5, 2009, knitters and fiber-lovers from all over the world watched eagerly as the Ravelry stats page "counted up" toward the half-million-member mark. One of the many forums was keeping vigil with a festive, Times-Square-on-New-Years-Eve running commentary.
At last the numbers flipped over to that magic 500,000 and it seems that the member who tripped that wire was a new knitter from Portland, Maine. She was barraged with welcome messages from around the world.
So what's the appeal of this website, and how did it happen to "go viral" since its launch to beta in May 2007? Knitters want access to the best materials they can afford, and Ravelry offers information on the innovative new fibers and stunning color creations available from anywhere in the world. If you have one ball of precious qiviut--the underwool of the Arctic musk ox--and don't know what to do with it, look it up on Ravelry to find all the projects posted by members, along with their pictures and notes. Or search for patterns written specifically for that brand of yarn. Or search the forums for references, or ask your question there. Need a half-ball of a discontinued yarn in a specific dye lot to finish your project? If it exists, you'll find it on Ravelry.
Want patterns, either free or to buy with Paypal? if it's anywhere on the internet, it's on Ravelry too. The popular knit blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot, posted a pattern last month and already 431 Ravelers have listed it as a WIP (work in progress) on their accounts. A popular shawl pattern by designer Kate Gilbert, the Clapotis, was first published online in 2004 and Ravelry has over 13,000 members' Clapotis projects listed.
Got something fiber-related to sell? A pattern, or hand-dyed yarn, perhaps? List it here and knitters will beat a path to your door.
Ravelry is a one-stop shop for anyone interested in fiber arts. Congratulations to Casey and Jessica Forbes for creating such a great website, and on the half-million-member milestone.