Ravelry, the self described "place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration" has done so much for the fiber lovers of the world. Captivating movements, like last year's Pussyhat project, or the 2012 Ravelympics controversy attest to the passion and power of our community. In just 10 years Ravelry has grown to over 7 million members worldwide, 7000+ yarn stores, 117,000 descriptions of current and discontinued yarns, and over 700,000 patterns. And yet there are drawbacks.
So when is too much, too much? Browsing patterns on Ravelry, Pinterest (which almost always leads back to Ravelry), or Google can lead a crafter down a rabbit hole that can take hours away from your crafting time. Isn't it better to BE knitting than to be thinking about knitting? (or crochet, I always use the terms interchangeably).
It can be a daunting task choosing the right pattern for the beautiful yarn you have purchased. A major problem with Ravelry's system is a knitter's ability to evaluate the pattern before purchasing. Sure, the patterns are rated by people who have used it but there is no set system for determining the difficulty level. There can be notes from both the designer and people who have used the pattern but without personally knowing them you still need to take their advice with a grain of salt. It does get easier if several people have made comments about a particular pattern but again, it is still very subjective. So, how do you choose between two patterns that are very similar to each other? Is a $7 pattern really worth that much more than a free one?
Wendy, Ronny, and I are curating a collection of patterns for the shop that are well written, perusable, and graded for difficulty by a clear, set standard that we have established. These groups of patterns will be available to browse in various bundles, including all shop samples, on our Ravelry page and in our pattern nook at the shop. All patterns printed and sleeved by Stash will include a $1 fee in addition to the Ravelry price. We strongly believe in paying designers for their work and we do not make free copies of paid patterns. We will also be stocking various printed patterns from popular designers such as Drea Renee Knits, Tin Can Knits, and Westknits. These patterns also include a download code so you can add them to your Ravelry library.
This will be an ongoing project as exciting new designs are posted on Ravelry.