Some favourite websites

I thought it might be interesting to tell you about a few blogs and other sites that I like and look at a lot.
Ravelry has to be at the top of the list. It’s a treasure trove of discussions, advice, information, friendship and of course patterns (both knit and crochet; the pattern database is huge and very searchable). Under the name ‘maryinnz’ I mostly hang out in the discussion groups. You’ll often find me in ‘Antique Spinning Wheels’ and ‘Working Wheels’, but also in some of the specialised ones for different makes of wheel, or ones like ‘Historic Spinning’, or ‘The Sciences of Spinning’. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from the experts on Ravelry!
You have to join but it’s free, and there aren’t security worries. You can publicly reveal as much or as little about yourself as you want. Currently there are nearly 8 million members.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog is always entertaining, usually informative, often funny, and sometimes deeply touching. She’s a Canadian author and teacher about all things knitting (and some spinning).
Kate is a knitwear designer who lives in a beautiful spot in Scotland. Her husband Tom just happens to be a wonderful photographer so her posts are always lovely to look at as well as to read. Her designs embody a sense of place and of tradition. The story of how she has rebuilt her life (and her knitting) after a stroke at the age of 36 is fascinating and inspiring.
This one contains serious studies of the history of knitting. It can be highly entertaining too, like the  post earlier this year about shepherds in the French Basque country who used to watch over their flocks while knitting – and standing on stilts!
Google Scholar is a useful tool for researchers – this is its New Zealand interface but you’ll find it in other countries too. It will search for and bring up academic papers on any subject you can think of, and if you are specific with your keywords you won’t get too much other stuff. There are no ads. I’ve used it a lot for subjects like spinning in prehistoric times.
The only drawback is that a lot of the articles it finds have to be paid for, but there’s usually an abstract so you can get a general idea.

For sheer entertainment, here are three (oops, four) Youtube videos I love – and who cares that they are actually advertising.

First, a brilliantly animated (and amazingly accurate) history of spinning, all made of wool!

A house that knits itself to keep warm –

How on earth did they do that? Find out here:

This last one was made back in 2000, and it has almost nothing to do with yarn or spinning, but I can’t leave it out:

The story of how it was made is at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s