If you are a fiber person (be that knitting, spinning, crochet, weaving, or dyeing) and you have not signed up for Ravelry, stop reading my post and go to the site and request an invitation now! Seriously!
Why are you still here? Go now! You will not regret it.
Good, that was easy.
Here is my story about why I love Ravelry. First off, I love being able to track my projects and it is so dang convenient to do it using the Project notebook. I can find patterns, record my library, track my stash, share pictures about my various projects and see what other people are doing. What sealed the deal was the day I started musing about knitting a cardigan for summer.
I wanted to make something using Knit Picks Shine Sport and I started searching through the projects on Ravelry to see what other people were making with this yarn, cause you can do that! I found Arietta by Barbara Gregory. Loved the design, loved the colors, and it used the yarn I wanted so off to Knit Picks I went to order the yarn. Shoot, 2 of the colors were no longer offered so I looked at possible color substitutions. Hey, the designer, Barbara, is on Ravelry too so I sent her a note asking her what she would recommend instead of Sand and Cloud since Knit Picks had discontinued them. She responded and said that she would recommend choosing a whole new color pallet. ::sigh:: She also referred me to a really nice article that she wrote for Knitty that explains how she organizes colors for her designs. It was really informative.
If I was buying yarn in a store I think it would be easier to grab hanks and throw them together to see how they mix and match, but trying to do that online was a bit daunting. Instead I decided to search through people's stash to see if anyone had extra skeins of Shine Sport in the colors I needed and would they be willing to sell? Another feature in Ravelry! I found someone who had 2 skeins of Cloud and G2 was kind enough to use her Pay Pal account to order them for me. I found someone else who had 3 skeins of Sand and despite writing her twice I never got a response. Out of the blue I received an e-mail from Barbara who asked if I had managed to find the two colors and if I hadn't she was happy to sell me what she had left over in her stash. WOW!
I now have 1 skein of Cloud and 3 skeins of Sand headed my way from Canada and I will have all of the yarn I need to knit this design. All because of Ravelry!
Thanks Casey and Jess for dreaming this up and making it a reality!