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Ravelry is like Facebook for knitters* but better.

Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration.

according to the founders, Jessica and Casey Forbes**

So Ravelry is an organizational tool and social networking website for the fibre arts. And indeed, there’s a gigantic database of cross-referenced patterns, yarns and projects so you can find the perfect pullover for that wonderful wool you bought on impulse. If you’re looking for a beginner’s hat or a baby jacket, you can find that too. Lusting after some lace? Click a few filters and check out the projects – your needles will be flying in no time.

But Ravelry is more than just a database – it’s a fount of wisdom; thanks to the many forums where Ravelers from around the world contribute their knowledge, experience and opinions (!) on everything knitterly and more. There are tons of helpful hints, places to show off your finished projects and links to shops and ‘how-to’ film clips. Ravelry also facilitates micro-businesses for crafters who sell patterns or special yarn.

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to “like” patterns, projects and forum links by putting them in the favourites list or adding them to the queue. So while I only have 80 items (that I am seriously considering making) in my queue, my list of favourites is nearing the 900 mark.

So what are the drawbacks? The time spent oohing and aahing over other people’s projects could have been time spent working on my own.

*and crocheters, spinners and weavers          **http://www.ravelry.com/about