Today we’re talking about the online aspect of the fiber world – for a long time, you probably learned to craft from people you knew, but the online world is making things easier to learn and more accessible.
Ravelry.com is the most common and most used online fiber network. It is a pattern and yarn database, and includes groups, forums, and a notebook for all of your patterns, projects, and notes. Signing up is free, so go sign up now!
Tools included on Ravelry include:
- Pattern Database
- You can use an advanced search to filter a pattern to your exact parameters – find the perfect pattern for your yarn, or the perfect yarn for your pattern!
- Use pattern pages to see other people’s projects, modifications, what yarns people used, and even contact the designer if you need help.
- Yarn Database
- Personal Notebook – you get out of this what you put into it! Use your notebook to its best advantage. This will only appear for you after you make an account.
- Projects; use this to compile all of your in progress projects and finished objects.
- Stash; record all of the yarn that you have, colorways, yardage, etc.
- Queue; keep a list of the patterns that you’re planning to knit next.
- Library; record all of your print media, including books, pattern collections, purchased patterns, and PDFs.
- Favorites; save patterns that you like and might want to knit in the future.
- Friends; keep all of your favorite knitters in one place, so that you can see what they’re working on.
- Groups and Events; join discussion groups and find fiber events in your area.
- Needles and Hooks; record all of your needle and hook sizes so that you don’t end up buying multiples of the same needle.
- Messages; send and receive messages from other Ravellers.
- Purchases; automatically records any patterns that you purchase through Ravelry.
- Ravelry Groups; you have to seek out and join Ravelry groups, but you can find all sorts of groups with lots of people who share your interests, and even find people who are in your geographic area!
- The Ravelry Forums
- Patterns; discuss patterns and ask questions of other knitters.
- Techniques; questions and discussion about specific techniques in knitting or crochet.
- Yarn & Fiber; questions and discussion about yarns and fibers, or for recommendations.
- For the Love of Ravelry; questions about to how use portions of Ravelry, or suggestions for improvement.
- Needlework News & Events; fiber festivals, charity drives, articles, interesting things happening in the world of yarn.
- Tools & Equipment; questions and recommendations about tools, needles, spinning wheels, and lots more.
- Loose Ends; everything else!
I briefly mentioned some awesome precise spinning tools – those are made by Hipstrings, and her fiber, yarn, tools, and everything else is lovely.
The internet is a vast place, but here are a few other places that we recommend:
YouTube. You can learn how to knit, spin, or crochet, from tons of awesome videos. If you’re a visual learner, YouTube is awesome! You can find tons of techniques. The drawback is that you need to know what to search for.
Craftsy. You often have to pay for content, but Craftsy classes tend to be well put together, and they often go on sale or have coupons. Craftsy is not specific to fiber crafts, but can be a great place to learn more advanced techniques. (I mention an Amy Herzog book here – that is Knit to Flatter, and is totally worth the money!)
TECHKnitter. *The* place to go when you’d like to learn a knitting technique! Incredibly detailed diagrams and descriptions of knitting techniques. She will help you turn HOME made into HAND made. The post I mentioned is: Mysteries of Knitting Part 1 – A tale of heads and arms, or: “why does stockinette curl but ribbing doesn’t?”
KnittingHelp. A great resource for beginners, with videos and helpful stitch definitions. This site can also help give you the words for your techniques, so that you have an easier time searching on other resources such as YouTube.
Podcasts! There are tons of knitting and crochet podcasts out there, for enjoyment as well as edification. We listen to many, including The Knitmore Girls, Yarniacs, Transient Wool Merchants, and Prairie Girls Knit & Spin. Most podcasts will have a Ravelry group or website where you can engage with your favorite podcasts. They can be great for learning techniques, keeping up with trends, and engaging with other crafters.
See you next time we go Behind the Wool!