Finally I am sneaking in time to enter a blog post! For the past couple of months I have been occupied with work and found myself feeling detached to everything else. Sure, I managed to make it to special guild meetings (courtesy of Guido Stein and the Common Cod Fiber Guild), knitting SNBs/circles, and conferences (Stitches East with the awesome Ravelry Helpers). However there are little bombs inside my head that want to explode. I am wrestling with them during my daily drive, and sometimes hourly at home.
Every year I make resolutions and then immediately break them. They all fall in the same line: weight loss, driving more at work, turning WIPs into FOs, fixing up the house, volunteering more charity work, saving money, and then blogging about it all. Last year of 2008 was full of surprises — both good and bad. I hope to make 2009 a bouquet of sweetness whenever possible. Doing so may involve in closing off harmful relationships (all are muggle ones) to my psyche. If these old ties were true friends, they would understand. For now I shall sharpen my skates and sprint across my icy network as fast as I can. I may even bunny dance during my run!
In the knitting realms, Ravelry has definitely kept my attention — and the attention of over two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) members. Though the membership seems small, Ravelry made its debut to a very select handful on April 11th, 2007 and has skyrocketed membership like a “hockey stick” in a graph. The niche of “internet crafting” is amazing to behold, and Ravelry caters worldwide primarily to knitters and crocheters who are also spinners, sewers, weavers, and jewelers. The site can be very overwhelming to those not familiar with forums, but the information and social networking aspect can be harnessed into powerful business connections.
- A few examples are presented in the following:
1. All members are given a Notebook to track their projects, yarn stash, needles/hooks, library, friends, and other items. The organizational aspect helps leash each member’s tigers of piles.
2. Local yarn shop owners on Ravelry have found that when customers come into their shop and are fuzzy on pattern material details (“I think the pattern’s name is ‘Wavy Wimple’ but I am not sure.”), the LYSO can go online and look up the pattern and suggest the yarn and tools necessary to make it.
3. For events like Rhinebeck S&W, TNNA, and Maryland S&W, vast information including what vendors to check out, which hotels to stay/avoid, where to find the best eateries, and when the meet ups occur were communicated in specific forums.
4. Designers have the ability to create their own shop in which members can browse their patterns and decide to buy/download after seeing how other folks did in following them. There are future works that will allow Dyers and Spinners the same ability.
5. Specific guilds, groups, and shops can communicate with their friends, members, and/or customers. Kate, the president of Massachusetts MetroWest Knitting Guild’s group posts messages about upcoming meetings and sponsored events. The “Cuppa Tea?” group brings folks from all over the world to profess their love of tea types and where to find them. The “Ocean State Crafters” group discusses items like where to shop or local events. Gina’s Mosaic Yarn Shop Maniacs host various knit-alongs, list classes, and updates on their fellow members.
These lines of communication have networked folks around the world together. Digesting all of this information is a constant work of art, but I love it. Adventurous stories to come soon — I promise!! Meanwhile, please note the other social webs that I live and feel free to include me. Now, I leave you some of Richie’s chocolate cake with white vanilla “almost buttercream” frosting… Bunny hugs! =:8