Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Ravelry Tornado

Let me explain this mess, shall I?

I've been setting up my "notebook" on Ravelry, a knitting and crocheting website I mentioned in an earlier post. You have spots for your "projects"...WIP's (works in progress), finished items, and even projects that have gone into hibernation. You also have a place to list your "stash", that is, all those juicy bits of yarn you have lying around the house. You take pictures of your yarn and/or projects, add those pics to flickr, then add them in the appropriate place in your notebook. In this way, your knitting life is more organized, and you have about 70,000 people who can potentially ohhh and ahhhh (lets assume their not gagging for ego's sake) at your work.

You also have a practically unlimited source of yarn info, links to patterns using this yarn, free patterns, for sale patterns, where its sold info, yarn swaps or sales, knitting forums for advice, sharing, help, or counseling. The possibilities are almost infinite. I'm gushing, I know, but it's a deserved gush.

Let me give you a for instance. Say I bought some Yarn Brand X on sale on Ebay. No pattern, no helpful shop attendant. Just me and Yarn Brand X. Normally, the standoff is on! In my previous life (BR...before Ravelry) I would be at the mercy of google, and the chance of me finding a pattern I was interested in, even for a price, in the same hemisphere as I'm in, was slim to none.

Now, I go to Ravelry. I add the yarn to my online "stash", and I automatically get links to all the other nearly 70,000 Ravelry members who have that yarn in their stash, or who have finished, or are working on, something in that yarn. It will tell me where to get the pattern, (and many, many are FREE) and I can see, usually, a picture of the actual finished product made by actual knitters, and often modeled by the actual knitter or real life recipient. NOT a picture of some size 00 model with something professionally done draped over her lithe figure. See what I'm getting at here???

Ok, now, about that mess. See, in order to photograph and get the info off of the yarn, I have to actually find it first. Also, Ravelry actually has a spot for you to tell where it's stored. I've been giving that a pretty good guess up until today.

So, in the interest of organisation, I pulled out all of the decent yarn and my 2 hibernating projects (a sweater I started for my son back, I think, in June, and my hubby's vest, which only needs trimming). To do this, I needed to clear out the chest completely. It had some tablecloths, sheets and the like in there, which were either bagged for the shed, or relocated to linen closet, where they should have been in the first place. I also had a stack of fabric I had bought here and there, mostly for Western Action costumes, but some for work pants. I decided to give the fabric half of the chest.

The only thing I didn't drag out was the three big black garbage bags full of bits and pieces that my girlfriend at work gave me here while back. They are crammed safely under the guest room bed, and most of that is unidentifiable. Those, I think, I'll save for another day.

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