The yarn movement has crept back in to the hands of creative fiber artists all over the world. This fiber that comes from our furry friends the sheep is the center of creativity as knitters knit socks, shirts, and penis cozzies.

I too am a knitter. I’ve sat in knitting circles for hours on Sundays focusing on making socks and then coming home to stalk the pages of the Knitty website.

When I first learned to knit I had notebooks all over the house. Like many knitters we may get bored with our current patterns and what’s on the needles (otn), so there will be several projects started and picked up at our desire. I had over 15 notebooks filled with patterns and pattern ideas. They started to collect dust and I didn’t want to become a hoarder, so I got rid of the notebooks and only kept patterns that I REALLY thought I would use in the near future. Needless to say, the notebooks collected dust and I really didn’t want to go through them in order to find patterns.

Ravelry to the rescue! It’s a great place to organize your personal knitting information, including what projects you’re working on, what yarn is in your stash, what needles and hooks you have (which you can print out and take with you to the store so you don’t overbuy pairs of size 0 DPNs [double pointed needles] like I have done; if there is such a thing as overbuying size 0 DPNs), which books you own and what projects you want to work on next. It’s the digital world of knitting organization!

I remember Ravelry in its infancy in 2007 in beta mode. My knitting buddy, Beth, told me to join the site. I was skeptical because of its lack of “prettiness”, but joined anyway. After all, I was a knitter and wanted to feel inspired when I visited the site. Like a newborn calf, the site wobbled forward and gained its mark in the hearts of fiber artists. Since then I’ve been able to find patterns on demand – even a rare Native American  pattern that I was intent on finding. A fellow knitter had the pattern and tips.

I speak about knitters because I am one, but the site is for all “fiber artists.” Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content on the website is driven by fiber artists. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world.

Lastly, Ravelry facilitates micro-business, allowing crafters to sell their patterns or yarns. Both large and small scale businesses are able to advertise on the site. The site has been also used by some for market research. So many benefit from the social network on both sides that it continues to thrive and has become a common thread for many. Pun intended.

What are you creating right now? How has Ravelry helped you?