Roundup


Week of Discussion: Day Five – Techniques (one of the main Ravelry Boards)

This week I am featuring the best of the Ravelry discussion boards. Each day I highlight a particular group, forum, or topic that I personally find either interesting, informative, inspiring, or just plain cool! Be sure to log in to your Ravelry account to be able to view boards/threads! (It is free to sign up and well worth it if you ask me!)

Day One: Gorgeous Gradients

Day Two: Yarn (one of the main Ravelry forums)

Day Three: Lovin’ the Freebies!

Day Four: Selfish Knitters & Crocheters


Day Five – Techniques (one of the main Ravelry boards)

I learned about the "Bubble Wrap" stitch from a random post on the Techniques board!

I learned about the “Bubble Wrap” stitch from a random post on the Techniques board!

I saved this board for last because, for me, this board is pretty spectacularly useful. If you follow only one board on Ravelry, this should be it. I have learned more about knitting from this one discussion board than anything else on the internet. There are a couple specific threads that are particularly treasure trove-y in terms of valuable tips and information, but the real value in this discussion board is due to the fact that there are questions of all sorts constantly being asked (and answered). Everything from “How should I block this awkwardly shaped item?” to “Something messed up, can you help me figure out where I went wrong?” to “Can you identify this stitch pattern?”. Perhaps a weird way of putting it, but I have learned a tremendous amount from everyone else’s questions, concerns, mistakes, and problems. I read pretty much every thread in that board, even if the question being posed isn’t at all related to the type of knitting I do, because I think the more I know, the more ways of solving all types of problems I’m aware of, the better knitter I will be. (It bares saying that, like the Yarn forum, this is one of the main Ravelry boards and is therefore pretty closely moderated. To me this is good because it keeps the posts on-topic and not filled with unhelpful, uninformative chatter, resulting in a concentrated board of informative awesomeness.)

The piece de resistance is the Personal Tips and Resources thread. It isn’t a place to ask questions, but rather to post about the tips, shortcuts, tools, and solutions you came across (or invented) that you personally find helpful, and maybe it will help someone else. As I make this post there is over 5,700 posts in that thread, and I have read every single one of them. It took me a long time (obviously) but I did, and holy hannah have I taken a lot away from it. I love that sometimes someone will post their tip and other people will come in and confirm it, or (more interestingly) disagree and then explain why that doesn’t work for them.


 

There are tons of other discussion boards and groups on Ravelry, covering every topic and interest, so definitely browse around. I guarantee you’ll find at least a few that suit you! I have a number of honourable mention groups that I could have posted about (like the Fans of Wolle’s Color Changing Cotton group and the Harry Potter Lovers group) so maybe someday I’ll revisit this, but really the point I wanted to make is that the Ravelry discussion boards are hugely powerful, valuable, and worthwhile, and I encourage everyone to participate. 🙂

 

There ends the week of discussion. It was fun doing this theme week of sorts, but I look forward to getting back to normal posts next week.


Week of Discussion: Day Four – Selfish Knitters

This week I am featuring the best of the Ravelry discussion boards. Each day I highlight a particular group, forum, or topic that I personally find either interesting, informative, inspiring, or just plain cool! Be sure to log in to your Ravelry account to be able to view boards/threads! (It is free to sign up and well worth it if you ask me!)

Day One: Gorgeous Gradients

Day Two: Yarn (one of the main Ravelry forums)

Day Three: Lovin’ the Freebies!


Day Four – Selfish Knitters & Crocheters

This hat is one of the very few occasions where I agreed to knit something for another person after they made a specific request. I still wasn’t super comfortable with the whole thing since I feel like the finished item was pretty imperfect, but I think he appreciated it…

This group was a bit of a godsend for me. As I have posted in the past, I have a real problem knitting things for other people, in part because I never think it is good enough, but also because I can’t bare to part with something I spent so many hours working on. I also always worry that whoever I knit something for won’t appreciate the item as much as I think they should based upon how much work I put into it. My list of knit-worthy people is pretty short, let me tell you, and for a while I was feeling fairly guilty over this, but then I found this group and it was like, “Man, it isn’t just me! These people really get how I feel!”.

I get that a lot of people would probably find this group offensive or rude or just wrong, but to me this isn’t a negative forum. It isn’t about never knitting for anyone else, but rather making the choice to only knit for people who you know will appreciate and use what you have made for them. It is also giving yourself permission to decline a request, as well as providing various scripts for doing so politely but clearly.

 

Good thread to check out:

  • What are we selfishly knitting for ourselves today? – Yes, another thread where people post pictures of their projects. I really like this, though, because people are generally really excited about the projects and really looking forward to the finished project.

Week Of Discussion: Day Three – Lovin’ the Freebies!

This week I am featuring the best of the Ravelry discussion boards. Each day I highlight a particular group, forum, or topic that I personally find either interesting, informative, inspiring, or just plain cool! Be sure to log in to your Ravelry account to be able to view boards/threads! (It is free to sign up and well worth it if you ask me!)

Day One: Gorgeous Gradients

Day Two: Yarn (one of the main Ravelry forums)


Day Three: Lovin’ the Freebies!

My sock yarn blanket is one of my favourite freebies to date!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against paying for patterns. I will drop a fair amount of money on a pattern if it is truly what I’m looking for, and the patterns I have paid for so far were for the most part not inexpensive but each has been worth it. HOWEVER! I do loves me a free pattern, and this group shares that sentiment. Great resource for finding free patterns, as well as seeing what people have done without a pattern at all (ie. they designed it themselves). The group isn’t about casting a negative light on those designs that DO cost money, but rather highlighting some of the really great patterns that are free. (I personally have created and released some free patterns, in case you’re curious!)

Some particular threads worth checking out:

  • I designed it myself! – It isn’t about free patterns, but rather what people have done without using any sort of a pattern they got from someone/somewhere else. In that sense it is a “freebie”, and I love seeing the types of things people have come up with on their own. It helps to reinforce the feeling that it can be worth trying to design something yourself, that you don’t always have to rely on someone else to design it for you!
  • Forever Free 2015 (along with this previous thread) – The place where people post about new free patterns they have found, as well as a place for designers to advertise their new free pattern.
  • Finished Freebies – If you’ve been paying attention you’ve probably noticed by now that I really like the threads where it is more or less a wall of pictures people have posted of their finished items. This is another one of those, but I personally find it nice knowing that every one of the finished items was a free pattern.

Week of Discussion: Day Two – Yarn (one of the main Ravelry forums)

This week I am featuring the best of the Ravelry discussion boards. Each day I highlight a particular group, forum, or topic that I personally find either interesting, informative, inspiring, or just plain cool! Be sure to log in to your Ravelry account to be able to view boards/threads! (It is free to sign up and well worth it if you ask me!)

Day One: Gorgeous Gradients


 

Day Two: Yarn (One of the main Ravelry forums)

Have a question that is even slightly relating to yarn? This is the place to go! The topics in this forum are so all encompasing, going from “What is the best wool/nylon ration for socks?” to “Does anyone know what this yarn is made of?” to “The colours in my fair isle have bled! Help!”. You can get suggestions for what yarn would work best with a particular project you wish to make, the best ways of handling difficult/hard to work with yarns (mohair, I’m looking at you!), or try to find a few balls of your favourite discontinued yarn!

The only caveat to keep in mind is that this IS one of the main Ravelry boards, and therefore is pretty closely moderated. This means that digressions and wanderings way off topic aren’t kosher, but to me this isn’t a bad thing.

BirthdaySprinklesHatSlider

An example of acrylic awesomeness – my birthday sprinkles ski bonnet! And yes, I did post this to that thread. 🙂

  • Best Examples Of Acrylic Awesomeness– It is exactly what you think it is… pages and pages of amazing projects people have made using acrylic yarn! In a hobby that (unfortunately) sometimes suffers from yarn snobbery, this post does a great job of showing that less expensive acrylic yarns can still make amazing things. It is a pretty active thread, and with almost 15,000 posts there is a ton of eye candy to bask in!
  • Blocking – Before and After – Not sure if blocking your finished garment is worth the effort? Think blocking is only necessary for lace? Take a gander at this thread and I’m guessing you’ll soon be convinced that blocking is pretty important and powerful! I have had so many “Holy crap!” reactions to posts in this thread, simply because the difference between an unblocked and blocked project can be so huge! And not just for lacework, either!
  • Non-Dishcloth kitchen cotton masterpieces – Similar to the acrylic thread, this thread will convince you that kitchen cotton is good for a whole lot more than just dishcloths, and (like the acrylic thread) it is a solid reminder that wool isn’t the end all be all fiber.
  • Examples of Pooling – Good and bad– I had no idea what pooling even WAS before stumbling upon this thread, and sweet mercy, it is a crazy crazy time. This thread is sometimes pretty hilarious, but also really mind-boggling, especially when it comes to people making patterns by INTENTIONALLY pooling.

Week of Discussion: Day one – Gorgeous Gradients

Ah, Ravelry! Yes, there is a metric ton of patterns (which I spend way too much time browsing), but the discussion boards/groups are really where Ravelry turns it up to eleven. What an incredible resource! I can say with total certainty that I would not be half the knitter I am were it not for all the help and information found on Ravelry, but the boards are so so much more than just knitting help. There is a real feeling of community and “We’re all in this together” on those boards which I just love. And then there is the base level awesomeness of seeing other people’s amazing work.

So today I wanted to highlight some of my favourite groups, discussion boards, and even specific posts that I personally really enjoy, featuring one a day all week long. Obviously it would make sense for you to join Ravelry in order to see and participate in these boards, but the membership is free and I see no idea why you wouldn’t want to!


 

Day One: Gorgeous Gradients

Step 4: Rinse and dry the yarn

My DIY Gradient Yarn

This board is all about colour gradients, both in terms of gradient yarns but also gradient finished objects. It is very much a welcoming group, and a lot (maybe most) members seem to have been directly sought out and recruited by the moderator when they saw that they had a gradient knit! That is how I found this group. Lots of inspiration, ideas, and eye candy. And even pattern suggestions that show off the gradient!

There are some particular threads on that forum that I keep an eye on:

This forum has lots more to offer, and is a great place for anyone in love with gradient knits!