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
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!