In the club
My invitation to Ravelry, the awesome knitting/crochet organization and social networking tool, came today. I’ve been diligently adding my finished projects and works-in-progress, and have yet to get to the stash or queue sections (yarns and projects waiting to be knitted).
I have to admit that I feel like a member of the insiders, like I got into the speakeasy. Other than the few people who read this blog, and the few knitblogs on which I’m a regular commenter, I’m not exactly integrated into the knitting community. Signing up on Ravelry is a debutante ball, a coming-out party, an introduction into knitting society.
Is it important to me? Well, I lay awake last night for about 45 minutes coming up with and rejecting Ravelry screen names. My usual donnadb? Unpronounceable and uniformative — I wouldn’t want to be addressed as “Donnadb” in the forums or in private messages. Something knitting-related? It would feel like posing; I haven’t been a knitizen long enough. How about a mention of my degrees or position, via “doc” or “prof” something? I don’t want to come off as a tweedy academic, much less seem to be lording it over my unpedigreed but much more knowledgeable neighbors.
Today after I actually got the invite, I spent another fifteen minutes staring at the little message on the screen warning me to pick a name I can live with, because I won’t be able to change it. Good Lord, I didn’t need any more pressure. Finally I went with the name of my favorite fictional character*, risking geek ghettoization in a group of people whose respect I want more desperately than I could have ever imagined.
I hadn’t been building my profile for more than a couple of hours before a Ravelrian sent me a note commending my choice of name, and adding me as a friend. My first Fraveliend! And naturally she’s got a blog that’s much funnier than mine, and just look at that list of projects, and … well, I’m a newbie, and I’m just lucky that the tradition among internet crafters is to indulge the fumbling n00bs. I hope I don’t embarrass myself too terribly with the natives. In a few months I’ll be tolerantly bemused at the flood of crafters who pile onto Ravelry after it emerges from beta, reminiscing about the good old days when it was just me and 7000 of my closest, invited friends.