the Ravelry factor

Ravelry … it’s a knitting cataloguer’s dream.

Or should that be a cataloguing knitter’s dream?  Whichever.

I enjoy knitting immensely, and rely upon it as a stress-reliever, a time-filler, an ice-breaker – I would be bereft without a project (or three or four) to focus on and to revel in.

However, it occurred to me today that a distinct part of my current enjoyment in knitting (and I have had a couple of periods when I didn’t knit much, particularly when the kids were little) is the pleasure I get from tracking, sorting, and documenting stash, projects, etc. on Ravelry.  There are probably days when I spend more time futzing around in Ravelry than I do actually knitting.  Obviously, the sense of community is a big draw – but that’s also what draws me to librarianship in general, and certainly to cataloguing.  You only have to scan the daily postings from the AUTOCAT listserv to appreciate the collegial and supportive nature of those who practise the art of cataloguing (ignore the spelling, if you can — in my worldview, blogging is an international phenomenon, so I spell as I was taught as a child.  I’m a pretty good multi-cultural speller when I need to be. ;)).

Ravelry has the most extraordinary sense of community … people who’ve never met in person (and who really don’t know much about each other) agree to meet up “in real life” at conferences, knit-in-public events, stitch and bitch nights, on college campuses ….  They help each other with problems knitting-related and not.  Ravelry groups such as the Ravelibrarians offer support for job-hunting, bad days at work, procedural and philosophical dilemmas … there is no limit to what can be addressed and supported via the site.

I find the parallels between the two fascinating, and I’m so grateful to be a member of both communities.