If you're a fan of knitting blogs and podcasts, you've probably at least vaguely heard of Ravelry. When I first heard about it, I didn't really know what it was or why I should want to be there.
But now that I've made it through the waiting list and into the wild world of Ravelry, I understand what everyone was talking about. Here's what all the fuss is about.
Ravelry is an online community for knitters, crocheters and other fiber fans. It was launched in beta in 2007, and it's fair to say it took the knitting world by storm.
A combination of a social networking site, a place to share information about patterns and yarn, a forum and a place to keep records about your stash, your needle collection, your current projects and more, it has quickly become the must-join site and every knitter's favorite time black hole.
Raverly allows knitters to connect into groups organized around geographic location, hobbies other than knitting, charity giving, goals such as knitting a sweater each month, even groups surrounding a favorite yarn, favorite stitch or crafters who work while on public transportation.
You can see what projects other people are making (with links to patterns that are free), what kinds of yarns are most popular (on needles or in stashes)and people's favorite patterns and finished objects.
Even if you're not into the community aspect of the site, 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 buy three pairs of size 3 DPNs like I have done), which books you own and what projects you want to work on next.
If you've always had trouble keeping your knitting stuff organized (or connecting with other knitters because you just don't know any locally), Raverly is one site that can help you out.
Unfortunately as of this writing the site is still in beta and a limited number of knitters are being invited to join. Still, the waiting list is much shorter than it was over the summer, and the folks that run the site are talking about taking it out of beta soon.