Knitters! Help!

April 12th, 2005

Casey has been very excited about this idea he had last night. It is so cute!

Anyway, it has to do with knitting so please, if you have a second, click on the thumbnail below to look at the screenshot and read his description. Let us know what you think, ok? Worth the time to develop? Would you use it? Any ideas for improvement or alterations are welcome!


Passing the mike over to Casey now. πŸ™‚

I’ve put together a screenshot and some *rough* notes on a knitting website idea. (PS – is taken. I just needed something to put in there…)

The idea is to create an encyclopedia of cool patterns (and yarn too??) and mix in blogging and other social aspects. I think that it would be nice if knitters had a place where they could share their completed creations, get help for works in progress, and get ideas for future projects. It’s also important that people can contribute to the site with very little effort by simply blogging or bookmarking. Here are the features that I’ve come up with:

The patterns

  • Complete patterns (if free) or information on where to get them
  • Easily searchable by name, type (scarf, mittens, baby) and by “tag” (see bookmarking section below)
  • Corrections, both official and from knitters
  • Photos, both official and from knitters (more below)
  • What about yarn substitutions?

Community aspect of patterns

  • Related blogs. Blogs can be automatically picked up and matched with entries via Technorati. More reliable matching can be done if knitbloggers ping the site. Even better auto-matching and tagging as done, wip, bookmarked (see below) could be done for bloggers that want to add (hidden) pattern tags to their entries.
  • Comments from knitters (on modifications, alternative yarns, whatever). A threaded discussion format that allows replies and send out email notifications would be nice for people that had questions about a pattern. Would corrections go here or somewhere more formal?
  • Photos of people’s work, uploaded or linked
  • Ratings system so that people can vote on the pattern, plus aspects such as difficulty, cost, etc etc.

Sharing and bookmarking

  • Allow people to publicly bookmark patterns they like by tagging them. By doing this, we can allow people to find new patterns by browsing tags and by looking at bookmarks of other knitters.
  • Allow users to file pattern under “todo”, “work in progress”, “completed”. Create plugins for Movable Type, etc so that bloggers can integrate their filed patterns into their blog sidebars or whatever.
  • The above information will all be public, so that a user who is browsing a pattern page can look at the people who have filed it in completed, wip, etc…
  • Some sort of recommendation system based on the above might be nice. If someone else out there often knits the same patterns as you,it would be nice to know when they’ve started (or even bookmarked) a new one.
  • It might be cool if you can opt to be notified by email when information (correction, photo, etc) is added to a pattern that you are working on.


  • Would a sister directory (much like the above) or yarn be useful? Yarn ratings, comments, blog entries, bookmarks, cross-references to patterns, etc…

95 Responses to “Knitters! Help!”

  1. Vicki Says:

    It’s freaking genious!!! Before choosing a pattern (especially one that costs $$) we could see what others thought of the clarity of instructions, any flaws, yarn substitutions or yardages, etc. And be able to see other’s completed projects and get in touch with someone for help. I’d most definitely use it!!! It’s like a kal but without the guilt of being behind etc.

    I think a yarn part would be cool, but as there’re already at least two yarn review type sites I would definitely focus on the pattern part first…just my opinion πŸ™‚

    It’s pretty too!

  2. Vicki Says:

    Ok, I was so excited I re-read it and think that it would be nice be able to search by yarns and see what people made out of it. So many times I find great yarn but don’t know what to do with it. Alright, I promise I’ll stop commenting now πŸ™‚

  3. Shannon Says:

    You’d better contact a patent attorney ASAP! Seriously.

    Great idea!

  4. Amanda Says:

    Hi there – Im a first time commenter (but avid reader for a while now). This is a simply great idea – Im pretty new to knitting and I seem to want to knit all the things people out there in knitblog land have already done and I have on occasion spent ages trying to find hints and tips on some of those pesky patterns. A centralised website for all that would be – well PERFECT. Amanda

  5. kim Says:

    Brilliant! Really, really brilliant.

  6. deb Says:

    Casey is DA MAN!!! This proposed site would be awesome!

  7. Catherine Says:

    You could probably heat your apartment just by the energy that flows from the combined brain power of Frecklegirl and her handsome sidekick. What a cool idea. Google for knitters!!

  8. Carrie Says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. I really like the idea of tagging patterns…I’m always hunting down new ones from other people’s blogs!!

    You guys are so smarty pants… when you make your millions, can I be your maid? πŸ™‚

  9. Sarah Says:

    Jessica, your boy is a GENIUS! I am so glad he uses his powers for good and not evil. I am sure you had a hand in this somewhere, too! :)Brilliant idea, I would sooooo love something like this, a sort of one-stop-shop for patterns, pattern advice, and knitting blog love. You guys rock!

  10. Anne Marie Says:

    I think it’s a great idea! Especially having a way to see who has knit a pattern, what they thought about it, and any modifications or corrections they made. I like the idea of having an ‘events’ section too. Is there a way to have a bloglines-like update type thing for patterns you tag?
    You’re the coolest people ever. EVER.

  11. Casey Says:

    *Of course* there should be feeds (for Bloglines or whatever) for everything! That way you you can subscribe to each others bookmarked patterns, updates in patterns you are watching, maybe a “most popular” feed with the popular works in progress or something. hah. Carrie – I don’t know about our millions. I think this idea is missing the “make millions” part but that’s okay. Getting on the good side of a legion of cute girls is a nice perk πŸ˜‰

  12. bluepoppy Says:

    I know I’m coming to this late but THE. BOY. IS. A. GENIUS! GEEEeeeeeeeeNEEEEEEEEEus.

    Brilliant– be sure to protect it etc so you reap all the rewards of your amazingness . . .

  13. Maya Says:

    I just need to say double-ditto on all previous comments. I tend to bookmark patterns, which becomes an unorganized, whirly mess, and I end up rarely making any of them due to said whirly mess. For all of knitting-kind, you should get this to the public.

    Really, I’m speachless. Just imagine me cheering and making other congratulatory noises in your direction.

  14. Kellee Says:

    Wow! That’s fantastic! Where do we sign up?

  15. Louise Says:

    This would be awesome! I love knitting, but don’t have a ‘knitting blog’ per se, so I often feel out of the loop (hm, is that a pun?). This would be an AWESOME tool to have on hand.

    Also, I just wanted to say hi, and I’m okay, and thank you for your concern, you sweetheart πŸ™‚

  16. Louise Says:

    Oh, and one of the above comments made me just HAVE to ask:

    Casey, do you use your powers for good, or for awesome?

    Yep, I’m done with the commenting now, promise.

  17. Jenni Says:

    This would be a novel and amazing addition to the on-line knitting resources out there. An endless, digital stitch ‘n’ bitch. Woot! Can’t wait to join!

  18. Stacey Says:

    Casey + Jessica= SMARTEST COUPLE EVER πŸ™‚

    Love it. Do it. Please.

  19. Lara Says:

    Considering how I’m always lurking on Knit-alongs of patterns I like to see how the FOs turn out, I THINK YOU GOT SOM’N THERE KIDDO! werd!

  20. Jenny Says:

    I like it. I love it. I want some more of it.

  21. Casey Says:

    I like the events idea too. I think that I’ll try and build it off of’s already-very-cool events platform – they provide a way for developers to do this. Upcoming has features like email invites, friends only events vs. public, marking events as attending/thinking about it, tagging, RSS feeds… PS – If you live in a largish city, check out

  22. The Feminist Mafia Says:

    I LOVE it! I never use the suggested yarn in a pattern and constantly hunt around on knitblogs to see what other people are using. But to have it all in one place would be fantastic. Brilliant!

  23. Jen S. Says:

    I think this is a great idea! I’m a little confused about how people’s blogs tie into it, but I’m a little slow. I still don’t use bloglines and I get confused easily.

    But all in all I think it’s a great idea and I’d definitely sign up for it!!!

  24. Lisa-Marie Says:

    I’m not a knitter, but I think this is a fantastic idea!

  25. kat Says:

    Can’t wait to see the progress on the site – awesome idea guys!

  26. Amy Says:

    Hi there. I was just thinking about this site today and wondered if anything if ever came of your cool idea…

  27. ** frecklegirl ** » Blog Archive » Almost May- sheesh! Says:

    […] What else? Well, our time has pretty much been sucked up by this project. To give you a hint, take a look at this post. (It is way better than that original concept too!) […]

  28. Melissa Says:

    Sounds really cool!

  29. Sherry Says:

    I love the idea!! I think it would be a much needed all-in-one place. The only thing I would prefer is that the pictures for the projects be on the site, too. I think its an awesome idea!!!

  30. Shelley (Pink House) Says:

    Very cool! So is this to knitting patterns, that Knitter’s Review is to yarn? Except it involves more than one person’s input?

    This is an interesting concept because I agree, often when you’re thinking about knitting up a pattern you’d like to first see photos and talk to people who have already done the pattern. AND likewise, when you’re knitting a particular pattern and run into a problem (like I did when I knit the Lopi Fair Isle Cardi) you would like to converse/ask questions from someone who’s already made it and see what they did. In my case what I did was google the name of the pattern and see if it came up on anyone’s blog and then I read their blog and notes, and then emailed them with questions. But having that all in one place makes much more sense!

  31. Dorothy B Says:

    Love it! Maybe a “how to use this site” page would be helpful too for those of us who are a little slow with the technology aspect of things.

  32. Dencigo Says:

    I am xrumer, where is my topic?!
    Its only a testing πŸ˜‰

  33. Dencigo Says:

    Hello here…
    I’m XRumer, where is my beer?!
    It is only a test :)))

  34. Rhonda Says:

    Happy Bobmas! I love Ravelry and I’m on it all day long. Thanks so much for your time and effort.

  35. Kim Says:

    Many happy returns on your first Bobmas! May this be the first of many!

    I, too, am a huge fan of Ravelry – I’m always checking for new patterns and stashbusting ideas. My husband is quite perturbed though because my stash has grown exponentially since I joined… oh well, too bad for him! LOL

    Keep up the great work!

  36. MissMouse (Pam) Says:

    Fantastic idea – I like everything about it especialy the community, when you are ready you could kick it up a notch and add a live chat – perhaps with an expert teaching. We did this on Wet Canvas when it first started and it was very well accepted. WC is now one of the largest and best sites for artists check it out if you like. We started it like R and it grew and grew πŸ™‚

  37. jaybee Says:

    Fantastic idea!! Especially the suggestion about a live chat. You guys are awesome.

  38. DixieHellcat Says:

    Happy Bobmas!! I celebrated by becoming a Ravelraiser. Didn’t have cupcakes, but I have some yummy pumpkin muffins at home, if that will do. hehe!

  39. cat Says:

    This is a great idea! Like a giant community of reviews and the potential for so many points of view! Super duper!

  40. Debbie D Says:

    Happy Bobmas. I love this site and everything you all do. You’re just amazing.

  41. Chelsea Says:

    Happy Bobmas, each and every one. πŸ™‚ Thanks for bringing us a whole new love and appreciation for what we do. Really, truly, sincerely – thank you. πŸ™‚

  42. osmia Says:

    Happy 1st ever Bobmas !! πŸ™‚

  43. okinawaotter Says:

    Good morning from Okinawa! Happy Bobmas to one and all, and to all a good knit! (sorry in advance LMAO!)

  44. AndasKnits Says:

    what was life like before Ravelry?????

    Happy Bobmas

  45. quiteneil Says:

    Happy Bobmas! Oh, I can’t imagine my knitting life without Ravelry–you all are amazing!

  46. eyesofblue Says:

    This idea is sort of how I use Ravelry. I look up patterns I want to make, see how many are being made and what yarn people use, the modifications, etc. So this is another way of doing the same thing?

  47. CTJen Says:

    Thank BOB for Ravelry! You guys have changed the Knitting world forever and I feel so honored to be a part of it. Here’s to many many more years of happy Raveling. **SMOOCH**

  48. GiftedPurl Says:

    Just finished posting pictures of last night’s Ravelry Anniversary party on my flickr account. They are tagged “Bobmas” I hope you enjoy the pics! Thank you for giving us such a wonderful networking site! Is there any way we can post these pictures on our group page other than calling them a stitched project?

    Happy anniversary and Thanks again!

  49. Strickmamsell Says:

    This is THE perfect concept. It looks like a cedar of Lebanon upside down. Starting with the broad stem of a basic pattern, it grows out into hundreds of branches, thousands of twigs and needles – i.e. thousands of informative facts and examples.
    It would save a lot of time (only to spend that “saved” time on yet more Ravelry…) to get a quick, yet comprehensive overview of a future project or of a project in progress. The substitute yarn option would be very welcome too, as many lovely yarns from the US are either not available outside the US or only at considerable cost (postage, customs.
    Have a lawyer look at your concept before you proceed now that the news is out! It is so ingenious it just screams for copycats.
    Keep going! And congratulations to Bobday!

  50. notajediknitter Says:

    HAPPY BELATED BOBMAS!!! (someone had to be late, guess it was me…)!! Keep up the great work you guys, my life would be so boring without Ravelry (wait, there was life before Ravelry?)

  51. Sally Says:

    I know it’s a great idea because it’s coming from you guys and you have a great track record. But, I need a little help understanding whether this fits into ravelry or is a completely separate site. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the resources on ravelry about other people’s experience with patterns and it’s helping me tremendously. Is this concept within ravelry or totally separate?

  52. Debbie Says:

    If you aren’t a knitter, you are missing an enormous opportunity, my friend!

    This is so simply, elegantly and brilliantly conceived, I agree with a prior comment: CALL A PATENT ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY!

    May the knitting gods bless you with many thousands of days on earth!

  53. Blogs » Happy Bobmas! Says:

    […] Bobmas is the anniversary of Ravelry’s conception. The holiday was first discovered by rewselene, Ravelry street team / pep-squadder extraordinaire. (Rewselene has been off-Ravelry for a little while. Laurie: we’re all thinking of you and we hope that you are well. ) […]

  54. Cynthia Says:

    I’d use it!!

  55. Nancy Miller Says:

    WoW! All those comments and not one negative–so it must be a fantastic idea–I say Yes Yes Yes and thank you.

  56. Leslie Says:

    WOW! What a terrific idea. Sign me up as soon as you get it rolling. And whoever said find a good patent attorney was right. Do it Monday morning!

  57. Kandiland Says:

    I would love something like this. I have yarn I would love to see what others have made from the same type and such. Just sounds like a neat idea.

  58. Beth Says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea,being able to share our creations, get ideas from other people on particular patterns perhaps.I just love the idea.
    Sign me up when ready

  59. Sanhita Kar (Rufarocrafty) Says:

    This is a bright spark of idea!! A fantabulous one!! Before starting to knit a pattern I’ll be sure of the parameters and know what all precautions I need to take before I stumble to find it out!! And all in one place!! Great idea!! Casey, may you be struck by such bright sparks often!! :-))
    Hope soon it would be extended to Crocheters too!!

  60. FishKnits Says:

    It’s a great idea but…yep, there’s a “but” – I do all of this already on Ravelry. Not sure how it fits in. By the way, I think Ravelry is right up there with ice cream πŸ™‚ You guys are awesome!

  61. Sandee Says:

    I think it sounds AWESOME! You should totally do this. I would join and recommend it to all my friends too.

  62. TaraVegas Says:

    I really don’t see how this would be much different than what is available through Ravelry.

  63. Théonie Says:

    It’s a great idea, happy Bobmas !

  64. Dudimus Says:

    I think this is the most hilarious thread I have ever read in my life!

  65. wishfulknitting Says:

    You people are pure genius! It looks awesome. I personally have difficulty following threads on specific patterns, so that part would be helpful for me. Additionally, I always crave more comments from individual knitters, so maybe folks would be more apt to leave notes along the way, if only for added interest, if the format were so easy. Really, genius.

  66. frecklegirl jess Says:

    Hey commenters!

    So… this blog post is explaining what we were thinking back in 2005 about starting what later became Ravelry.

    This is not a new website idea…

    Kay? πŸ™‚

  67. Violentlyserene Says:

    To all of you commenting that this would be any different from Ravelry, you are absolutely correct. This is the post that got Ravelry started. The site Jess is talking about IS Ravelry.

  68. michele Says:

    These comments are too funny. I used to work for an education magazine that had published since 1891. We ran a column entitled “Reprise” in which we reprinted excerpts from old articles and editorials. It was an amusing way to show that the core issues and concerns of educators were evergreen and cyclical. Even though the column was introduced each time with a paragraph explaining its deal, and the original pub date was cited, we would invariably get letters from readers expressing outrage that we would dare question whether pregnant teachers should be allowed in the classroom, or some other atrocity we were accused of promoting.

    Bottom line: “readers” don’t always read.

    Keep being wonderful. Ravelry is the best!

  69. j. Says:

    Wait, wait! is this the part where somebody needs to caution that it might be too late to secure patent protection because the idea is out there already?

    I’m going to republish an announcement about a cashmere lawsuit just to get people riled up again.

  70. Gwen Says:

    I’m pretty sure people are just joking around for Bobmas. πŸ™‚

  71. Renoah Says:

    OMG you would TOTALLY be INFRINGING on Ravelry’s COPYRIGHT! I hope Casey and Jess SUE your PANTS OFF!!!!!!1!!eleven!!!!1bacon

  72. Robin Says:

    Hahaha, commenters, you guys are hilarious “how is this different from Ravelry” I almost peed my pants. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  73. Donna Docks Says:

    I agree with ALL of the above…and I say “sign me up as well”!

  74. ketseke Says:

    happy bobmas – from this seed of an idea
    + I learned to spin from Rav,
    + retake up knitting after a decades long hiatus,
    + collaborate from Oz with a friend in Scotland from sheepsback to a scarf, and
    + am about to be Ravved to the hilt at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show for the first time
    so thank you both so much for ravelry…

  75. Rocky Moreno Says:

    I would love it and can’t wait to participate!

  76. Rocky Moreno Says:

    I love the idea and would love to participate! Will it be linked to Rav as well? It would be awesome to have one solid reliable place for patterns and knitting help and community. Heck you could even working possible free training offered by members via uploaded youtube video.

  77. Dudimus Says:

    Maybe they should lock this, ’cause people still don’t get it.

  78. Joyce Says:

    I Love the idea…count me in!!!

  79. Layla Says:

    wow! sounds brilliant!! especially having a place where you can discuss yarn substitutions – in the UK it’s often difficult to find substitutions for some US yarns & this would be SOOOO helpful!! great idea!

  80. Suzy Says:

    This “idea” of yours has been a God-Send for me! I’ve tried to learn to knit before, and Ravelry was one of the biggest aids I found that finally helped me to be successful.

    The world of yarns is far more complex (to me) than the world of fabrics I’ve “come from”. I would shop for yarns I liked (like I do fabrics) but then not know what to do with them. Now, I can’t get on Ravelry without surfing for at least 45 minutes. I love poking around getting different ideas for the yarns I like, and also for projects I’d like to try.

    Thank you. THANK YOU for this magnificent idea that you had and even more so for MAKING IT HAPPEN! I owe you all my yarn and needles (which has become a sizable amount in a very short time!)

  81. jen c Says:

    happy really belated bobmas! ravelry has been, for me, a huge inspriration into the fibre arts. i’ve done way more with knitting then i ever thought i would, i’ve leave to weave, learned a TONNE about fibre, used yarn i never thought i would and have generally just had a ball.

    plus, i get to weird non-knitters out in bars with my ravelry tshirts (“where my stitches at” being the crowd favourite). πŸ™‚

    thanks so much for doing this!

  82. Two Hands Says:

    This is so super hilarious! People don’t realize they are looking at Ravelry-in-Embryo!


  83. Betty Mudd Says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  84. lindy Says:

    rav is just the best!! congrats guys, and many more years cheers πŸ™‚

  85. Flatlined Says:

    You have won so hard at making this happen it’s not even funny. Ravelry is far and away my favourite place on the Internet (and I go a LOT of places). Happy belated Bobmas πŸ™‚

  86. Vera Nadine Says:

    So proud of your success! From small moments of inspiration are the truest and greatest gifts of life born. Many happy returns on Bobmas to you both!

  87. Anne C Says:

    Great Idea! I’ll use it!

  88. Suzanne Filbey Says:


    I really feel like you are part of my extended family now — my “friend in a box”.
    I know that wherever I am… in the world…I can log into any computer, at any time, and know that someone will be there ready to listen, give advice, or just indulge my need for a fiber fix!

    Thank you, for the innumerable hours I’m sure you both have spent making the world a better place for those with sticks and hooks. Does this mean you now get to take a vacation and maybe do some knitting????

  89. Marion Wilhelm Says:

    Long live Ravelry, ya’ll!

  90. DeeDee Says:

    Hurray for Ravelry and its pre-term pic is wonderful I love looking at those things and thinking how will they turn out. But we dont have to ask do we? We know its a success!!

    Keep on hooking everyone!


  91. melistress Says:

    You guys rock! Seriously. Thank you so much for Ravelry. I have made many great online friends there and the site is a huge wealth of information for those of us stitchers out there. It has become my online home away from home. Really cool to see its humble beginnings on this post.

  92. dawnk777 Says:

    I LOVE Ravelry! Thanks for coming up with such a great site for knitters!

    Happy Bobmas!

  93. Vicky Parks Says:

    Happy Bobmas, indeed! I simply cannot imagine my life without knitting and, therefore, without Ravelry. Every now and again (and believe me, it is less and less frequent) I run across a knitter who is not on Ravelry. I say, in shock: “What, you love knitting and you aren’t on Ravelry? Do you live in a cave?” Ravelry always has and continues to exceed all expectations. All of the wonderful people, all of the great knitting, all of the patient help, all of the intelligence and goodwill that go into the site – wow! You all are blessed indeed with the creation of this fabulous community tool. Rah!

  94. Sandee Says:

    So any progress on the new idea yet? I love looking on line at knitting stuff.

  95. Janet Says:

    Before I knit any pattern I get free (legally) or purchase I type the pattern title in Ravelry to see what the other Rav members have to say. Their experience has saved me froggin many times. One cloche hat I knit came out perfect after many other members made corrective or “be aware” comments. I think having a site for this very thing is most fabulous! – Thanks for doing so much thinking!