Sunday, 14 November 2010

1 million ravelers

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

But it's much more than that.  Its creators have no plans to charge to be a Ravelry member! "We want it to be an inclusive community- not just for those who can pay for it." And 'inclusive' extends beyond the knitting and the yarn.

The Ravelry groups of which I am a 'member' are a source of support and friendship in ways that would have been impossible before the advent of internet social networking. Some members meet regularly in 'real life' (my Friday knitting group for example.) Those who can't, take part in 'swaps', offer practical advice and information, put together comfort blankets - much the same as our ancestors did in their communities in the days before modern communications.

An on-line community, like one grounded off-line, is held together by the feelings of togetherness and connectedness that confer a sense of belonging (Foster, 1997).

I find it remarkable that 1 million (and rising)  people are connected through Ravelry - brought together by the love of an ancient craft.
Knitting groups have always been examples of  “social capital” in action: they promote the flow of information, provide mutual aid to members, and bridge social and age gaps. (Knitted Together - Sara E. Wilson)
I, (and I'm not alone) am celebrating the 1 millionth member of Ravelry by raising a cup of tea -  and knitting.