I blame Genuine of The Lumpy Sweater. There I was, minding my own business and enjoying her writing, when she made reference to a sweater that had the effect of looking as though you’d wrapped crime scene tape around your breasts. I just had to see that sweater. Only I couldn’t. It was a pattern on Ravelry, and you have to be a member to access it. Ok, I thought, I’ll sign up. It’s a knit and crochet community, so I’d be interested in signing up anyway. Then I saw the waiting list.
Almost 7000 strong. <gulp>
I bit the bullet and put my name on the waiting list. I figured it would be a week, maybe a couple of weeks, before I got to see that sweater pattern, and I could wait that long.
What I didn’t count on was the evil conspiracy to remind me of what I was missing. Suddenly, a website I’d never heard of before was on everyone’s lips (or, in the case of the internet, fingers). Every other post I read on the Knitter’s Review forum seemed to reference Ravelry. Other knitting blogs referred readers to Ravelry. Then I found Ravelry mentioned in two of the knitting magazines I’d just purchased. In less than a week, I was coming to the sad realization that where Ravelry was concerned, I was the kid in high school who played the French horn in the marching band and wasn’t invited to any of the cool parties.
(Actually, I was the kid in high school who played the French horn (although the instrument you march with is the mellophone) in the marching band, and in my high school the marching band was cool. Bad analogy.)
If that wasn’t bad enough, one of the magazine columns about Ravelry really fleshed out for me what I’d be getting into…once I was in. It’s not just a message board forum where people talk about knitting. It’s not just a place to post patterns. It’s all that and a way to keep track of every single knitting and crochet item you own. Like that yarn you just bought on a whim but never worked with before. Want to know how it knits up? Need ideas on what to make with it? You can click on the yarn and get linked to projects made with it, and comments from people who’ve used it. Everything entered on Ravelry gets cross-referenced.
The more I read about it, the more I absolutely had to have it. Inner magpie has gone high tech–where she only responded to shiny things before, now it’s websites, and she wants, wants, wants! Who wouldn’t? Free flow of ideas and information, an open community of people with common interests, generous people, sharing people…it’s like Woodstock, if Woodstock had been about knitting. And didn’t have any music. Or drugs. Or mud. And had taken place on the internet.
Ok, so it’s not like Woodstock. Bad analogy day here.
But it still sounds ultra-cool. And I still want it. Fortunately, Ravelry comes equipped with a page that lets you check where you currently are in line (although I laughed myself silly at the title: “Patiently awaiting your invite?” Yeah, right. That’s why I’ve clicked on “look me up!” at least three times a day since March 19). As of March 28, 2:17 PM CST, I am…1367 in line! Nine days to move through about 5500 people means I should get that much anticipated invite in, say, 3 days (probably not counting the weekend–these people need to eat and sleep sometime). Woo hoo! So to the 4742 people behind me, hang in there! It’ll be worth the wait.
At least I think it will. All the cool people say so.