Well a few years ago, Jessica, a newer knitter had been crabbing to Casey, her partner, long enough about how difficult it was to find yarns, patterns, advice, information when it came to a new knitting project. So, with the approach to a problem that I love - they decided to do something about it! They created Ravelry. It is the most amazing meshing of practical use and technology I may have ever seen. You can find community if you want that, you can find information on patterns and yarns, you can find a place to show off your projects, you can even find a place to get that elusive yarn or project book that you are just dying to have (or need to finish a vest for your husband for Oktoberfest - hypothetically of course! ;))
What I love most about the project that Jessica birthed in Ravelry is that it is truly for the users...the owners commit to this site always being free. They are always open to feedback and modifications that the users ask for. They have provided a jumping off place for people to continue to mold the tool into what they need, all while building an environment of consistency, respect and creativity. The proof is in the pudding - Ravelry users buy up merchandise like nobody's business; we all end up getting the pins that we can wear around advertising our Ravelry user ID; and most impressive, when Ravelry started a small fund raising drive, more donations really, the community raised enough money to pay off all the debt that starting up Ravelry had demanded. The users have spoken, and they love Ravelry. I think it is changing the way that we who knit, crochet or whatever approach our projects. And we have Jessica to thank.
Today, when I am beyond thrilled at how quickly I was able to get my hands on some yarn that has been discontinued for years just by putting out one little tiny forum post, I truly am reflecting on how thankful I am for Jessica, for Casey and for their project that is Ravelry.