In Praise of Ravelry

I treat my Ravelry queue a bit like a knitting reference library. If I like a piece, it goes in the queue, even if chances are that I’ll never knit it. It’s more a source of ideas and inspiration than a task list—which is a good thing, since I’m currently at 16 pages of queued items!

Now that I’ve mastered the whole tag business, I can search my queue when I’m thinking of a particular kind of project. A cowl, say? I do a tag search and up pop 35 different patterns. When I’m choosing a new piece of meeting knitting, I may just skim them to find one that’s reasonably attractive and that won’t command my whole attention. But when I’m in a designing mood, I love sifting through them, comparing different elements. Over the head or neck only or down onto the shoulders? Lacy stitches or tailored or scrunchy? Ring or moebius? I can think about combining elements of different patterns or just puzzle how I might rework one bit that doesn’t satisfy me.

What’s wonderful about Ravelry is that there’s no other place where I can gather together quantities of possibility like these. I might leaf through knitting magazines and find a handful of cowls. I might find another one or two in one of the One-Skein Wonder books. But 35 possibilities? Thirty-five possibilities each of which includes at least one design element that I’m attracted to? That takes Ravelry!

That said, what are some of my favorite cowls from Ravelry?

There’s Yarnageddon’s Susie, with its flattering shape and interesting texture.

There’s the simple, versatile Tonsil Toaster from Wool in Hand.
Tonsil Toaster

There’s Breean Elyse’s generous and ruffly Keep me Warm Cowl.

There’s Judy Gibson’s Leaf Lace Alpaca Hood, which gets my vote for “prettiest.”
Leaf Lace Alpaca Hood

Mimi Hill’s Promenade Scarf is tailored enough that it would work for a man or a woman.

Now, what if we used a drawstring, a la Tonsil Toaster, but mixed it with something lacy like the Leaf Lace Hood, and perhaps increased the fullness at the bottom in the manner of Keep Me Warm? Oh, how I love Ravelry for making questions like these possible!

P.S. Keep those Pangea photos coming! I’ll publish another gallery post next week.

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