I strongly believe that the creation and explosion of the internet has allowed for the recent resurgence of DIY culture. This is because the internet is a place where we can all interact, share tips, and create tools that make these sometimes scary DIY adventures not so scary. This kind of collaborative culture is especially prevalent among fiber artists. Knitters and crocheters have built a huge interactive community via the internet and have developed some useful tools along the way.
Some of the best tools include:
Ravelry–If you are an avid knitter or crocheter and you have not made an account on Ravelry, do so immediately. In making an account you gain access to an extensive catalogue of patterns of all types that can be searched much like a yarn-centric Google search engine. The best part about Ravelry is that each pattern page contains a tab called projects that showcases what other users have made with the pattern. They can then write about the process of making the project, what they modified, and what materials they used. If you complete a project from a pattern on their site, you may also contribute to this peer review process. As I have become more serious about yarn crafting, I have turned to these peer reviews and evaluations of the patterns to decide if this project was worth the time and effort it would take to make. Another helpful feature of Ravelry is the Yarn Stash section. In this section Ravelers (as they are called on the site) can upload images of yarn they have tried and write reviews.
Biscuits and Jam Stripe Generator–If you are a color lover, this little tool could not be more helpful. If a project that you are working on needs a little dash of stripy goodness, you can fix that problem here. Simply choose the approximate colors you wish to use from the palette available, choose the stripe widths you like, and the number of total rows for the project you wish to make. Then click Generate My Stripes to see your stripe pattern. If you don’t like the first generation, feel free to hit the refresh button to see another with your previous specifications still in tact. This site is also good for straight up color inspiration.
Knit Pro–Knit pro is a web application where you can upload any image and turn it into a knit or crochet graph for intarsia or stranded color-work. Simply choose the image file you wish to use, the size of the graph you would like, and what type of craft you are doing (knit, crochet, needle-point) and hit submit.
What is your favorite online tool for yarn crafting? Let me know in the comments and we shall discuss.