I have to admit it: I’m a magaholic.
I’ve always known I had a problem.
It’s difficult to avoid – though I manage to do so most of the time, except when I’m trying to make the house look as though someone normal lives here. Mind you, I’ve not resorted to hiding them under the bed, like a teenage boy with porn, or one of my friends with old copies of Interweave.
No, my Interweaves are loud and proud, heaped on top of my Designer Knittings and out on the bookshelves just below my academic books on archaeology.
(My shelving system is not really a system as such, just a series of clumps.)
But Ravelry has made me realise how big my problem is, and all I would like to say is this: I’m adding knitting magazines to the list of things I’m not allowed to buy at Wonderwool Wales.
I’m researching a couple of things at the moment and, as is perfectly normal when a freelancer is working from home, I have been defrosting the fridge / replacing the grouting on some tiles / baking bread / clearing out the hellhole that is the under stairs storage / sorting out stuff. And in the time-honoured spirit of such work avoidance regimes I came upon the much improved ‘library’ feature on Ravelry.
I joined Rav ages ago – in case anyone doesn’t know, it’s a sort of Facebook for knitters, but that makes it sound terrible and it is so much better than the vile FB – when it was still beta testing, and I think I was member 325,000 or something like it. There are now over 2 million Ravellers, and the value of Rav to anyone working with yarn has increased along with this growth. Particularly useful are those databases which underpin the pattern and yarn areas of the site.
And now the library sections which each member can use (or not, of course) have improved as well. You simply enter the books or magazines you own, they ping up in your virtual library – linked, of course, to the databases – and, and this is the true wonderfulness of the whole thing, you can then search through your stuff. Without covering the entire house in magazines and books and adding to – or indeed incurring – any hand or wrist injuries.
Forklifts, in short, are no longer needed.
So when you are in search of the pattern for that nice brown cable cardigan for which you bought some lovely alpaca/wool mix at Wonderwool in 2010, but when you can’t remember for the life of you who designed it, what it was called, whether it was in a magazine or book, whether you even owned it or just borrowed it from a friend – I’m sure this isn’t just me – you just search your virtual library, using appropriate filters (in this case, I knew the weight of the yarn, or I thought I did). No more giant heap on the floor. No more being sidetracked by interesting articles – oh, right, I knew there was a downside.
But on the plus side, I’ve got it. It’s Norah Gaughan’s Nantucket Jacket from the winter 2006 Interweave (and it wasn’t really a brown brown, of course, so I’d probably have whizzed past it in the actual mag). I’m anticipating being able to cable soon, you see.
(image courtesy of Interweave)
How long, I wonder, would that have taken without Ravelry? Mind you, if I had resorted to the making-the-living-room-uninhabitable-for-hours approach, I would have found a fascinating piece on ganseys, something on dorset buttons and a neater method for doing buttonholes.
Guess I’d better get the mags out, then.
(And I’m keeping my vintage stuff in the real world – most of the fun is in the flicking through. Knitted knickers? I’m not sure even Ravelry is ready for them.)