Blogtober 2022. How to never run out of pattern ideas - and it does not involve Rav. Accessibility and inclusivity pattern websites.
Blogotber 2022 - How to never run out of pattern ideas - and it does not involve Rav. Accessibility and inclusivity pattern websites.
On this last day of October, I could tell you a horror story. It involves a popular website and the make-over of said website creating accessibility issues that were totally brushed under the carpet, ignoring hundreds of user’s feedback. Ever heard of this?
Well, to say the least, it was not Ravelry’s best moment (I am not linking to the website for obvious reasons). I stood with the team when they took a stand against white supremacist (because, no, knitting should not ignore politics – even knitters live in the world and should do all they can to be good allies). But I was flabbergasted when they changed the website layout and decided to totally ignore the feedback given by visitors having health issues due to the modifications, like migraines, for days. Suddenly, these users were unable to access their account, their library and the database of patterns stored on the site.
I am lucky enough to not suffer side effects while visiting the site. But surely, if someone came to me and told me my website was causing adverse effects on their health, I would try to fix it – I want people to be able to browse my shop, read my blog, enjoy my photos, right?
It was not the case with Rav. They ignored all feedback, downplayed it and decided to stick with their new design. Ok, then. In solidarity, I decided to boycott the site. And started to look elsewhere to browse knitting and crochet patterns.
At first I turned to the big’uns: LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet at the time, it has then been merged into LoveCrafts. Albeit less intuitive and organised than Rav, the database is impressive. There are lots of free and paid patterns, lots of designers and plenty of choice. You can even order the yarn if you feel so inclined, all in one place.
Dedicated to all needle crafts, LoveCrafts now offers embroidery patterns, kits, yarn, haberdashery and lots of patterns.
The navigation is easy, with lots of options to narrow your search. You can also create an account and save patterns in a library.
I came across Ribblr when they opened in 2019. It was designed as a new inclusive platform offering knitting and crochet patterns. On this platform, the principle is the simple: you can save patterns in your library. All the patterns follow a template and are easy to upload, with all the details you need to make the project. The designer has to upload all the information needed to fill the template – you always know the needle / hook size, gauge, yarn type, etc... And you are not left in the dark with half of the info you need like it could have been the case on Rav.
And one day I got a notification that my website had been added to something called Yarn Database. I had not heard of that one!
Set up after the Rav disaster, this website is a treasure trove of patterns, designers, tech editors, yarn dyers, spinning dyers and accessory makers. Inclusive, with a simple design, the search options are endless, with plenty of filters to find what you are looking for and narrow it down by country, craft, yarn type, technique and more.
You can create an account and save all your favourite in one place. It links to designers, dyers and makers own websites so you can browse their work and place an order if you feel like it.
There is even an option to generate random suggestions to discover new people or patterns. It does not link to Rav to avoid bad surprises for the sensitive readers. It even lists designers providing accessible patterns.
I still haven't come around to reading every page on this site! I love just browsing, it is fantastic for inspiration.
If you have suggestions for more inclusive, accessible websites storing patterns and designs, feel free to share in the comments!
This post is part of the Blogtober 2022 serie. Read more about it here: Blogtober 2022 the One Creative Cat way
You might also like: