Ravelry. Who doesn’t love Ravelry? Anyone who has visited or has joined Ravelry raves about this online community.
As defined, “Ravelry is a community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters”, a site I have been on for over ten years now. It has a growing number of functions, many more than I utilize and many more than I probably realize. From designers to browsers, this site can work for anyone. The site’s database is perfect for surfing whether for yarn or for patterns, the concept of community is forever growing and allows people to join groups, participate in forums, and make friendships around common interests/happenings etc. ‘Hearting’ favorites is a bookmarking system that pretty much is a part of all social media sites. This site is so popular for the people that belong, it is oftentimes discussed how difficult it is to find the balance between the actual time spent on knitting (or crocheting) and the time spent on Ravelry.
I remember first surfing the site which quickly led to its community. I joined some groups, became active in threads and challenges such as HERE, and HERE. I’ve met knitters and most recently participated in a zoom session, all of whom are about to knit the same garment.
Then I began to organize my finished objects by uploading photos and writing short notes about each one. It was easy and allowed me to see progress of my knitting life. Then came the queue function. Utilizing the queue is attractive as it holds future project ideas. It is inspiring to browse possibilities you’ve chosen for yourself as well as a time saver holding key information such as pattern’s resource, yarn required, and tagged with others who have knitted the garment.
It is the yarn stash and/or fiber stash function that has always confused me. The methodologies for posting one’s yarns is the same as posting a project. Upload a photo, like seen below, and add some info about the yarn. Again, simple. I have yet to meet a crafter of any kind that does not have a yarn and/or fiber stash and I am no exception.
With this function, there are options: for sale, all used up, in progress, in stash, and will trade or sell. Of course, it is easy to understand why people would post their yarns from their stash for the purpose of selling or trading. But I’ve always wondered why anyone would post yarn that is all used up, or in progress, or gifted. I remain in the dark about that.
I have brought this concept of posting yarn stash to local knitters. Mainly, discussing with them the advantage of doing so. From a lawyer’s point of view, “to have a record of value if there is a house disaster ie. fire, weather damage.” Another response, “because I cannot get to it easily. (storage unit, storage space in apartment building.)” And, another, “because I may change my mind and sell a bundle or two and it’s easier with the yarn already posted.” None of these reasons really motivated me to utilize this tool.
It has always been my routine to hold particular yarn bundles for specific projects. I have noticed however, that in recent years, I have become more willing to take the bundles of yarn projected for one garment and utilize that yarn for another. Maybe, my growing flexibility is due to life change from employment to retirement and so my wardrobe needs have changed. Maybe, due to age appropriateness of garments I thought I would wear but now finding another style more becoming, or simply my taste in fashion is changing.
In being more open-minded, perhaps late to the game, or considering my stash much like a yarn store, full of possibilities, rather than appointed for a particular project, these thoughts have caused me to pull out my yarn, re-calculate its yardage, and study its qualities for recent projects. Where this sounds like a good thing, and it is, it was also time consuming. And, Murphy’s Law, the yarn I wanted to study was always in the yarn bin at the bottom of the pile. After moving bins for the ump-teenth time, it was then when I had my ah-ha moment.
If I had my yarn stash posted, with color, dye lot, and yardage, I would know what I owned and what might work for a particular pattern in a wink of an eye.
So, back to the concept of time management and a purpose for posting my yarn online. I knew I would be taking the next few days to post my entire stash in the appropriate organizational space allotted on the site.
So, as to whether to post your yarn stash or not remains an individual decision. Let me just say having an electronic page of my stash and having taken the time to utilize this tool that has always been there but not understood by me, has proven itself the time saving measure I had hoped, and is much more in alignment with my new way of thinking regarding all things yarnie.