Perhaps you are a savvy internet buyer and familiar with all the places independent designers are selling their work. But, many of us makers have relied on one place to browse and buy patterns. Many are asking where are we going now? Well, there is no one place to do all the things a certain site provided. But, there are many sites where we can browse and discover the next project that will help bust our stash - or add to it.
Designers on The Fiber Indy List have chosen different solutions to selling their work. Some have shopping carts on their websites making it easy to visit their site, add to your cart and check out. Some have chosen to utilize Etsy*, Lovecraft* and Payhip. It can feel overwhelming when trying to navigate the wide ocean of the internet. One of the reasons The Fiber Indy List was created was to give a central place to find new, or at least new to you, designers.
Which place to go to when you want to "window shop" the pretty things made with pretty string? Where can you browse a browse a wide variety of future projects? If a designer is on Payhip and Lovecraft which link should you click on? In this blog post I'll discuss the three most common platforms on The Fiber Indy List: Payhip, Etsy, and Lovecrafts.
*Indicates an affiliate link. As an affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases. Affiliate links helps support The Fiber Indy List, Knits Where It's At, and all things Carrie Craftgeek. Thank you!
For more details please visit the FAQ
Unlike sites discussed later - Lovecrafts and Etsy - Payhip is an e-commerce platform for designers, writers, and creators to set up an individual shop. Designers will either have their own sales page hosted by payhip or integrate Payhip with their website. Payhip does not have a centralized site for makers to visit and browse all the future projects. But, that is part of the reason The Fiber Indy List exists, to provide a central place for you find new designers.
Payhip pages are refreshingly minimal. It begins with a designer's description followed by a gallery of photos of patterns for sale. Click on a photo of something catching your eye and you land on product page with all the details. And if you fall in love with a designer's catalogue, you can hit the follow button to sign up for updates sent directly to your inbox. (Shameless plug: Too many designer's you love? Too many emails? That's why we now have The Fiber Happenings on the TFIL main page)
On The Fiber Indy List you will also see Gumroad. For makers Gumroad is very similar to Payhip.
As hipsters took over the world, and non-crafters came to appreciate all the unique homemade things, Etsy arrived allowing artists, artisans and designers to set up online shops. Etsy has evolved into a large marketplace where people not only sell their finished work, but patterns and craft supplies. Not only can you find patterns, you can discover independent dyers and spinners.
Etsy is a good place for a little "window shopping" Whatever itch you want to scratch, whether it's trying out macrame for the first time or looking for your holiday gift projects, you'll find something special.
Lovecrafts is a UK based company that started as Loveknitting. And then it added Lovecrochet. And now it's Lovecrafts. If you have fond memory of shopping on Craftsy - rumors are it's coming back - Lovecrafts.com will feel familiar. Like Craftsy it aims to be one stop shop to learn, browse and buy. (No video classes like Craftsy. But, it does provide guides and articles.)
Lovecrafts has a large number of pattens to look through including free patterns. Makers can join the site and as of this blog post receive 15% off their first time purchase. When you sign up you can tell Lovecrafts what crafts you are interested in. Your member page will feed patterns, articles, and other member's FOB based on your answers. If you like to one stop shop, after putting a pattern in your cart, you can put some yarn in as well.
Lovecrafts does have community pages*. Members can upload pictures of finished objects, and when looking at patterns you can see what other makers have created. Or if you just want to browse other people's FOB's, you can go to the community pages to see all the pretty things. Unfortunately the community uploads do not provide detailed project information like yarn use, needles etc. But, who doesn't like to look at all the pretty objects?
One other issue with the Community pages is they can be a little tricky to find. You have to navigate to the menu bar for each craft - Knitting*, Crochet*, etc - and you will find "Community. =
The above are a sample of platforms to find designers, and they all serve their purpose. Personally what I find exciting s is we are not tied to any one place whose interface we may or may not love. We have the freedom to choose the experience we want when it comes to looking for patterns and finding our favorite designers. My goal with TFIL is to provide a resource to help navigate these new opportunities.
*As a Lovecrafts affiliate I may earn from qualifying purchases. Clicking on these links helps support my bog and YouTube Channel.
Rule 1: Know Where Your Purls Bumps Are Going
When grafting you enter into each stitch twice:
1st to Prep as if to Knit or Purl
2nd to Work as if to Knit or Purl
To know how to prep the stitch you first have to understand how you need to work the stitch.
What distinguishes a purl stitch from a knit stitch is whether the purl bump is pushed toward you when knitting or away from you:
Knit stitches push the purl bump away from you to the back of the fabric
Purl stitches push the purl bump toward you to the front of the fabric.
When live stitches are sitting on the needle they are in a neutral position. But, knitting into those live stitches, the purl bump gets pushed either to the right side of the fabric or the wrong side of the fabric. The same is true when grafting. So, the first question to ask yourself is which side of the fabric will the purl bumps be when I complete the graft?
On garter stitch the pattern goes, purl bumps, knit bumps, purl bumps. On needle one and two, there were purl bumps underneath the needle which meant I needed a row of knit stitches between them. This meant that I needed the purl bumps on both needles to go to the wrong side of the fabric.
Rule 2: Know What You're Looking At
It's important to remember if, like me, you hold the needles parallel to each other with right sides facing, the the side of the fabric facing you on Needle 1 and Needle 2 will be different. So, how you enter the stitches on Needle 1 will be different than Needle 2.
Rule 3: Prep Opposite What You Work
Remember each stitch is entered into twice.
1st to Prep as if to Knit or Purl
2nd to Work as if to Knit or Purl
Step 2 is what will eventually push your purl bump to the side of the fabric you want. But, before you can work the stitch as if to Purl or Knit and take the stitch off the needle, you need to prep the stitch. When you prep opposite of what you work. So it's either
Prep as if to Knit
Work as if to Purl
Work as if to Purl
Prep as it to Knit
Once you know which of the two you will do for an individual stitch you're ready to start grafting.
Note: When prepping the stitch you leave the stitch on the needle. Stitches come off the needle when working the stitch.
Rule 4: Prep before you Work
Starting the Graft can look tricky, but if your remember Rule 4 you'll always know how to start. When starting a Graft there are no prepped stitches. So you will need to prep the first stitch on Needle 1 and Needle 2 to get started.
Rule 5: Know the Grafting Dance
Rule 6: Ending the Graft you must prep, working is optional
When grafting every stitch will need to be prepped. But, the last stitch on Needle 1 & 2 do not necessarily have to be worked. It's up to you whether you want to:
- Only prep the last sttich
- Prep and Work 1 stitch while leaving the other stitch only Prepped
- Prep and Work Both stitches
I hope this helps you understand how to think your way through grafting. If you have any questions please comment either here or on the YouTube Channel. Or join me every Sunday at 11:00 am Pacific for Knit Tea Live!
There was some shenanigans happening on Fiber Twitter, and I cannot believe I have to say this, but it needs to be said clearly: Neo-Nazis, racists, anti-LGBTQ, antisemitism, and other bigotries are not welcome on The Fiber Indy List.
Since Raverly has unravelled failing to live up to its own values of inclusivity the question keeps getting asked: where are we all going to go? Some projects have popped up. Most notably on Instagram Fiber.Club has formed. So far they appear well intentioned, although it will take some time for them to get their site off the ground. Time will tell if they will be the inclusive alternative to Raverly so many want to see come out of this mess.
Now, this is not the first time people have rushed to create alternatives to Ravelry after a controversy. Last year when Raverly banned MAGA a couple of start ups tried to enter the fray and give a home to Trump supporters who felt called out. Those efforts appear to have crashed and burned, and I won't give them air here. Let the MAGA-rly sites be forgotten like Red Heart Sashay.
But, something happened today that reminds us that we have to be careful as a new crop of Raverly alternatives enter the field.
What happened on Twitter
On June 28, @ElizabettaCarrarra tweeted.
On August 2 Elisabetta tweeted a roadmap for Beta Testing and a name for her site: Yarn Room.
Based on these two tweets it appears Yarn Room is a legitimate enterprise and well intentioned.
OH NO, OH NO, OH NO. Not the case at all. This morning we all found out that Yarn Room is just another MAGA-rly looking to make a home for people who were kicked out of Raverly in 2019.
A twitter dialogue read in WTF
Twitter: Okay...This is one of those statement that on the surface seems okay. But, flags went up and a couple of people asked Elisabetta how she planned to handle harassment on Yarn Room.
Twitter: Wait, what? Like some patterns are blatantly political. You wouldn't let patterns with Nazi symbols on them. Like duh.
What? No. IT'S NAZIS!
BANNING NAZIES IS TIMELESS LIKE SHETLAND LACE!
IT'S A FOREVER MOOD!
Yes that did happen...
These screenshots are just a sample of Elisabetta defending why inclusivity requires accepting neo-Nazis onto her platform to sell their wares. Rarely have I seen a start up burn down it's brand so quickly.
Yes I have to say it explicitly
2020 has taught me many things. One big lesson is never assume that sharing a passion for knitting means we share anything else. And it does not mean I have to make space for you. And unfortunately this means that we all have to be a little skeptical when new projects launch. People don't always reveal themselves as quickly or blatantly as @ElisabettaCarrarra77. But, people generally do and taking a wait and see attitude is not a bad thing.
So, I'm going to say it clearly, so there's no doubt: The Indy Fiber List is not the home for bigotry and Nazis. I'm human. I will make mistakes along the way. But, I will do my best to keep my endeavors in line with my values. I will not include designers on The Fiber Indy List who take part in Yarn Room specifically, but any site that makes space for racism, and does it in the name of inclusivity is not a site I want associated with me.
Thank you for listening,
Happy Health and Happy Knitting
What has come of this world?
Many fiber crafters are being thrown back to a long forgotten world: life without Ravelry. In this first few months of Year One in the AR (After Ravelry) many of us are floundering about trying to find new solutions to old problems: tracking our stash, inventorying our tools, keeping notes on our projects, organizing photos... you get the idea. There is in this world people are working to create alternative sites to Raverly, but that will take time. Meanwhile, there are squishy packages arriving and that yarn ain't going to inventory itself.
Today's blog post I'm going to give some open source and/or free resources to help you organize your life outside NuRav.
Check back this blog for updates. I'll be adding to the list as I become aware of new resources. I have a new option under Notebooks: Trello.
First Some Backstory
If you have been following the Unravelling Ravelry Saga you know the once beloved yarnie website monopolized the fiber craft space with it's notebook functions to inventory stash, tools, track projects and of course, the giant pattern database. But, they released NuRav which has been an utter debacle with reports of it triggering migraines, vertigo, eyestrain, and yes seizures.
Until this week the most charitable description for Ravelry's response has been .... tepid. The unvarnished truth it has been gaslighting and ableist. But, this week the mask has completely fallen with the appearance of form letters from Ravelry:
People are abandoning hope that Ravelry will do the right thing and are either deleting their account, or leaving a skeleton behind as they walk away.
Thursday, July 20 Jessica, co-founder of Raverly, emerged from the shadows with a statement (this link takes you to the OFFSITE Raverly blog and does not contain NuRav formatting) I will probably write a separate blog post about it. Let's just say, your milage may vary and I'm personally taking a wait and see attitude. In the meantime, the list of resources
I have not used or tried many of these resources. My own organizational systems are a bit more analogue...Unusual for me to be honest. But, I hope for those who need it, you find this helpful. If you want to skip to different sections I provide a menu at the beginning of each section.
Victoria was the first person I saw on twitter who started an alternative database for herself. Airtable is a web based database and it has free membership options. This takes stash inventory up a level from spreadsheets and it may feel more intimidating. But, Victoria has offered a blank base (Airtable talk for a database) to help new users get started.
If you need to download your patterns off of Raverly before walking away, this Chrome extension is a good option. I've used it myself. I did not find it intuitive, but I was able to figure it out and it works. Evanita Montalvo has a video tutorial on how to use this. The YouTube has screen recordings of OldRav. Please be sure to like her video if you watch it.
The Fiber Indy List
This is my baby. It's a centralized directory of Designers providing accessible e-commerce solutions for people who cannot or do not want to use Ravelry. This is a work in progress so more designers will be added (I have some in the queue right now) and I'm hoping to add other functions. But, it can be a jumping off point to discover new ways to discover patterns and subscribing to anDesigner's newsletter shows you support their efforts in being inclusive and accessible.
Have you heard of a thing called blogs?
"Hey, Carrie weebly is in your url. " Yes, this is the web hosting site I use for my blog and the FTIL. I chose Weebly because it was free and I liked the ability to have a homepage, blog page, etc. The design interface is fairly intuitive and it requires no coding knowledge to get a spiffy looking website and/or blog. Unlike some other blogging sites (Blogger I'm looking at you) I can easily arrange blocks of material to get layouts that feel more like a newsletter and less like an inline blog post.
This platform isn't as well known as Wordpress so the widgets are more limited and the easy integrations with MailChimp is non existent. (It's actually not hard to do, but if you're not used to copying and pasting html into places it can be intimidating) But, if I can afford to upgrade to a paid plan, it is less expensive than comparable sites I've seen, ie Wordpress. And, if you have aspirations of building your own e-commerce site, membership, or whatever Weebly has those tools with paid plans.
The Weebly Signup link is a referral code and I will receive credits with Weebly to help pay for additional features.
Ah old faithful. Free. Easy. Powered by Google. Blogger comes included with any Google account. What's not to like?
Blogger is definitely a good option if you want something straightforward and no fuss. But, if you're like me and in High School was in charge of laying out your High School newspaper, for which you won awards, Blogger is kind of limiting. (That's not a humblebrag. That's just bragging. And you are free to judge me for bragging about my High School accomplishments. I'm fine with it.)
I never heard of Dreamwidth until Romi Hill tweeted about them. Like Raverly, Dreamwidth is rebuilding their code, their look, and ran into accessibility problems. The response was like a 100 times better. I haven't dug into it but they describe themselves as a blog/journal for creative people. It sounds a lot like Livejournal but for creators. So, not only can you blog, you can connect with others who are into the same thing you are.
The World's most popular website builder. How do I know? They have it in big honking letters on their homepage. Wordpress is an industry leader. I can't speak to how well all their tools and widgets work or how intuitive it is. But, being the big site on the intertubes does come with privileges. Widgets are designed to work with their API (Am I using that abbreviation correctly? I have no idea. I'm that person who knows how to use the tools, but now how the tools work) and sites like Mailchimp offer easy integrations.
Blogs not your thing? Do you like pinboards and notecards? Trello may be the project management option for you. A mutual follow on twitter pointed me to Trello and operates like a virtual storyboard or inspiration board. Getting started looking at blank blocks can feel overwhelming. No problem. Trello has free Templates to help you get started organizing ideas, brainstorms, tracking projects, taking photos, etc.
In Summary: holding out my hat
Do you know it's only been two days since I drank a couple glasses of wine and started to build"The Indy List?" Well it has been, and the response has been so positive from designs and crafters alike. I am so glad I am able to put together this resource for people.
Many of you have generously tipped me while I started building this list. I want you to know where those tips are going toward and why.
Because of my experience on YouTube, I knew at some point "The Indy List" would require a need that that love and effort cannot fulfill.
And, sure enough, it has. When I started this blog on Weebly it was because I hated Blogger. In High School I was the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper. Anyone who reads my tweets knows I didn't earn that position with proofreading. Nope. My skill was writing and layout. (I want to put text and photos where I want them, damn it!) Weebly gave me that ability with their free website builder. No coding skills needed. Perfect.
Before AdSense is set up, I will have to commit to upgrading my site to a paid plan. Switching to a paid plan will not only get a unique domain name, it will help me add better searchability to the "The Indy List."
Thanks to your generosity, I am 29% of the way to getting the paid plan fully funded for the year. I am so incredibly grateful to all of you. And I am working to live up to the faith you have placed in me to get this done, and get this done well.
Many Ways to Offer Support
- Visit this "Indy Site" regularly for updates to the list and check out the Designers work. Ultimately I was inspired to star this project to connect Indy Designers and Crafters looking for each other outside of Ravelry.
- Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Currently my videos focus on my love of knitting offering my tips, tricks, opinion and preferences, and every Sunday I Livestream at 11:00 am PDT to talk about ... you guessed it knitting.
- Subscribe to my Newsletter. The sign up form is at the bottom of every page of the site. When you do I will send you a free knitting pattern and you will receive occasional updates on what's happening with all things Carrie CraftGeek.
- Favorite and shop my Etsy Shop. Currently I am selling handmade Fashion Facemasks, but I do want to start offering original handmade jewelry as well.
- Follow me on all my social media:
So, I was sitting Sunday night thinking about my livestream and someone asked if there was any other platform like Ravelry. And honestly there is not. One of the innovations Ravelry brought to the online fiber universe was a centrally located database of patterns and sales. However, with recent accessibility issues that center is not holding.
This is a simple directory listing designers, their links, and short blurb by me. My goal is to make this list accessible and help designs and makers find each other outside of Ravelry. No designer is paying me. I am doing this to support designers who are standing with the disability community, often at cost to themselves. It's truly a labor of love. If you would like to leave me a tip to help support this effort, it would be greatly appreciated.
And of course...show your support by subscribing to my Youtube Channel!
A THIRD Survey for NuRav
I took the "readability" survey. If you have any concerns about the site causing you harm be warned the whole thing is pretty much screenshots. And it's looking at some really subtle differences between contrast and line spacing. 1/x https://t.co/noNKJDiEv1— Carrie CraftGeek (@knitswhereitsat) July 8, 2020
Update on Ravelry
It's been quite the ride lately in the Knitting and Crafting world. But, that's 2020. (Remember when we thought the biggest Stories of the year would be impeachment, Australian Wild Fires, and Murder Hornets? Ahhh simpler times)
My latest video is up and yes it's about Ravelry again. I promise I'm not become a Ravelry commentary channel. But, there were things that needed to be said about Ravelry's latest blog post regarding NuRav. (Accessible google doc) One thing that's tough about doing commentary video is a lot of times things I said get lost in the edit. Or things I should 've said never got said. So, couple of things I wish I had in the video but did not.
Know better, Do Better
Hey all y'all,
Since the Ravelry accessibility debacle occurred , I have learned some of the ways I posted craft recipes on this site goes against WGAC guidelines. (Link here to learn more about this). While I work on my making this material accessible I have removed them from the site. If you'd like a free PDF download of any of the craft recipes please click here. (Or on any o the images, or the button below)
Update on the Ravelry Accessibility Debacle
Now, let's talk more about Ravelry. I shot another KNITTING SECRETS REVEALED Video yesterday and an update on the Ravelry situation. If you have not watched the Knit Tea where I discuss the situation, head on over. And make sure you subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Hit the Notification Bell so you will be updated when it goes live!
Ravelry has recently posted an update about the NuRav (nickname for the New Ravelry look) and say Ravelry has taken some steps to address their accessibility issues. I will link to their offsite blog post if you'd like to read it, but be warned it is in the NuRav format. (Someone put up a link to the update on a google doc. But, I forgot to copy the link. If I find it I will give an update)
As for the post itself, in my opinion, it leaves a lot to be desired. I go into detail on this in the upcoming video, but, in short I find it minimizing and ableist. And believe me it gives me no pleasure to write this about Ravelry.
Although my personal use of Ravelry has always been love/hate, I've always held the site itself and the team behind it in high regard. Ravelry has played an important, vital role in the Fiber community. There would be a huge void left behind if Ravelry were to go down. I want Ravelry to succeed. Truly. But, in order for it to thrive, Ravelry needs to get over whatever issues are holding them back and fix their problems.
Again I want Ravelry to succeed. I want us all to be able to enjoy and use the site.
Thank you for reading and as Always Happy Knitting!
I'm Carrie CraftGeek. I've been knitting for 20 years and crafting my whole life. I love to share my passion with the world!