Heretofore, I have remained silent on my blog about Ravelry. I didn't want to get all nerdy talking about yarn and web communities centered on yarn, but I have to do a little bragging. Sure, I can be a little sheepish admitting that I'm a part of a knitting and crocheting community, a la Facebook or MySpace. For non-crafters, it sounds unnecessary. But it's useful for someone like me: I learn about all kinds of new patterns, search by yarn to see what others have made with what's on my shelf, check for addendums when patterns were found to contain mistakes, organize future projects in my queue instead of bookmarking them haphazardly, and see that all my needles and hooks are cataloged in a simple chart. Convinced, yet?
But my favorite part occurred over the Christmas season. There I am, working hard on some Jaywalker socks earmarked for myself. I've finished the first, almost halfway through the second. Then I realize it. I am going to run out of yarn. I'm not actually sure how it happened, but it was a new pattern, and apparently the technique was more of a yarn hog than I anticipated. O cruel world! I'm not sure I can appropriately convey the devastation of that moment for you non-crafters. I was in denial, trying to delay the inevitable realization, counting how many color repeats of my yarn remained, comparing that to the finished sock to see how close I could get. Not close enough. And then I shoved it in my luggage for the duration of the trip, trying to put it out of mind. The hours that I spent on knitting, possibly wasted. It deserved the dark time-out.
So there I was, trying to decide what my next move was ... only undertaken when I happened upon those chance moments where I was actually strong enough to face my options. Buy another skein? The yarn is no longer being sold. Rip out the first one, shorten the foot and try to salvage enough yarn to finish the second? Yikes, I've never had to rip back once I've bound off, and I wasn't convinced that I'd gain enough; I'd hate to go through this experience twice. When my self-striping yarn ends, should I just use a solid? That last one especially would be a bitter pill for this perfectionist to swallow and would show the world that I messed up somewhere along the way. The socks would probably never see the light of day, given that last solution.
But in the midst of my low spirits, I somehow remembered there is Ravelry. On Ravelry, you can catalog your stash (or 'excess yarn'). When you upload your stash, you can mark it as 'will trade or sell' if you're wanting to unload it. So in my brilliance, I did a little yarn search.
Lo and behold, there it was. Hundreds of unused skeins in my color, several marked to be sold. Imagine my excitement when I contacted the first one who had specified a price, quite reasonable. She still had the yarn, and at one point even offered to send it to me for only the cost of shipping. Admittedly, I couldn't let her do that, since she was saving my project here. And even with shipping, I was still ahead than if I had found it being sold in a store. Information was exchanged, money switched hands. And I distracted myself with a new project.
Friday afternoon, when I returned home from work, it had arrived.
Yes, Ravelry did indeed save the day.