The other day, I wanted to knit a beret. So off I went to Ravelry. Ravelry is awesome when you want to start something new and want to see what's out there. I love Ravelry. But as a user-driven space, what's in Ravelry is only what someone has knit or stashed, and while it seems like EVERYTHING in the Knitiverse is in there, not everything is.
So enter Knitfinder. It's an index, developed by a professional indexer (yes, a pro--you know those indexes in the back of books?-she makes those). And it's awesome. Currently every pattern in Interweave Knits from Fall 1996 to the current issue is in there, and every issue of Knitty and all the Alice Starmore patterns. So if you have a bunch of those books and magazines and are hunting for a pattern you can search based on a number of metrics and find the patterns that match, let's say a woman's hat at 4.5 sts to the inch. Neat eh? Or if you can't remember which issue that pretty pink shrug is in, you can find it.
Thérèse, the brains behind this, is adding new patterns all the time. So it's a growing index; next up are Rowan, Twist Collective and EZ/Schoolhouse Press!
She's also providing book reviews on her Knitfinder Blog. And in that review there's a link to a full list of patterns in the book with sizing, gauge, yarn used and short design notes. Very helpful for deciding what goes into your knitting library AND finding those patterns after those books are on the shelf.
There are also resource pages providing links to techniques and yarn how-to's and lace and knitting history--kind of like an index of the internet for knitters. The PhD me likes indexes--they're easier than having a billion bookmarks and they point to some great places I've never ventured.
Some parts of Knitfinder are for subscribers only, but at $14.95 a year it's a great deal. I've been poking around on the site for a few months now and love how it's quick and easy to search, is a clean site with minimal graphics (so it's great on my iPhone) and there are nifty design notes for each pattern telling you what techniques are used (like lace or colourwork) and the construction of the garment (knit flat, raglan sleeves, top down etc). And, there's a Ravelry link button that takes you straight to the Ravelry pattern page , so you can see pattern photos and knit-up versions, read other knitters' comments, or add the pattern to your Ravelry queue or favorites. That closes the circle perfectly!
Wanna have a peek?
Thérèse is offering you fine readers a free 1 week subscription to poke around Knitfinder. You can use it until November 17th.