Crafting a Life: Building a Crafty Online Community

9 years ago

This year, when you talk to a knitter with any kind of online presence, they mention Ravelry. I can't remember a time when an online community developed such strength and following as quickly. I've talked with a number of crafters who speak wistfully about the hope of building a similar community that might include other activities. A site like Ravelry for quilters, jewelry makers or all those paper crafts.

While I cannot suggest an exact duplicate, I have found two crafting communities for you to explore that might satisfy your community seeking: CraftStylish or CraftyNation.

A Magazine With More Online

Craft Stylish is a quarterly "special edition" magazine from Taunton Press (the same people who publish Threads magazine and number of wonderful craft books). It is also a community site that brings all the crafting knowledge of the publisher online and invited each reader to get involved.  The website provides the choice to discover which articles exist on the website, share your own projects through a photo gallery and the ability to create a profile and write your own posts for the site.

I found a number of wonderful how-to articles including Know Your Hand Sewing Needles. This article was written by Diane Gilleland, (aka Sister Diane from the Church of Craft) and will help you recognize your sharps from the straws and everything between.

The website currently running the The Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge (you have until 7/31/08 to enter).  Looking through the gallery, there are a number of creative entries already.

This site is new, and while it does not let you share stash or search for patterns like Ravelry does, there is the beginning of a sense of community building and the opportunity to blog your projects there might make it more appealling to some of us who never find the time to photograph our entire yarn inventory. 

An Internet TV Show Grows To A Community

Toni Lyn makes the web-tv show Crafty Nation and has expanded that show into an entire community.  It has just come live in beta and is growing every day.  Like CraftStylish, it offers you opportunity to blog on the site, sharing your creations, discoveries and tutorials with others. 

Because this site is so very new, there isn't a whole lot of meat on it yet, but it's got great potential.  And, look, one of the first groups started there: Twitter Knitters!

Why don't you go join, explore the site a bit and tell me what you think?

In other crafty news:

Vickie Howell is looking for crafters who'd like to Join the Craft Corps.

Debra Roby blogs her creative life at A Stitch in Time and her journey to fitness at Weight for Deb.

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