The good and the bad of Ravelry

The advantages of Ravelry scarcely need to be mentioned, ranging as they do from the practicalities of organising one’s own knitting life, to the exchange of ideas and advice, to the social creation of new communities.

I used to think there was only one disadvantage of Ravelry, and for now I hope it is only hypothetical – that Ravelry might kill diversity rather than encourage it. That it could become a monopoly through the very enthusiasm of its users, leading to the downfall of a thriving world of the knitting blog. Even other well-established online communities such as Craftster and Knitty are threatened by the popularity of Ravelry.

There are those who think that doesn’t matter…me, I will miss the more creative, expansive nature of the blog. I will miss not being able to go to Knitty for advice, Craftster to see what’s being made. I want Ravelry to be part of my knitting world, not all of it. I don’t fancy any sort of monopoly.

But now I see there is another major issue Ravelry has to answer for: it accentuates a problem of which the internet is already at the root – taking people away from doing things. Most recently I came across Knit, knit, knit’s confession

To quote her:

Hi my name is Sonia, I’m a Ravelry addict. It has been 2 hours since being on Ravelry, it’s taking over my knitting life.

I stayed off Ravelry for just one night this week. Just to see if I could do it. I was pleasantly surprised with myself, I went straight back on the following morning, and nothing had happened, I didn’t miss any thing. But god, imagine if I had…

Various people echoed agreement.

Gee whiz, children. Pl-ee-zzzzz-e. Ravelry is just a facilitator. It is supposed to encourage you to knit, not discourage you.

To spend all your time on Ravelry is as dismal as to spend it in front of the TV – no, worse – at least you could knit then.

Don’t get me wrong, I use Ravelry every day, and contribute here and there, but it is always for specific reasons. I would never be on Ravelry in preference to knitting.

My name is cathyc and I have a confession to make. I don’t know everything that is going on at Ravelry. But I knit a lot.

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One thought on “The good and the bad of Ravelry

  1. I still knit a lot… and seriously, I don’t want an iPhone (that was Damian’s idea) simply because I want to knit for an hour on my way to work, rather than looking at ravelry… see I c-h-o-o-s-e to knit!

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