The knitting community has become firmly entrenched online in the last few years. In fact, I really believe that the revival of yarny crafts such as knitting is in no small part due to the fact that knitters can now socialise and exchange patterns and skills online.
Social networks play an important role in the knitting community online. Today we’re looking at Pinterest and it’s use for knitters.
As part of this post, I’m introducing a new Knitting Community Pinboard, that you can be part of too! If you want to be added, please just leave a comment below.
What is Pinterest
Actually, I’d imagine that pinterest doesn’t really require an introduction here, but in the unlikely event that I might have caught someone that doesn’t know, Pinterest is like an online corkboard. You can save images that link back to websites. Pinterest only began in 2009, opening up for the public (though still, at that point, by invitation only) in 2010. It’s been the fastest growing social network in recent years: mid 2013, the website apparently had around 70 million users.
If you’re not already on Pinterest, you can sign up on the website’s home page.
Crafty eye candy
Pinterest is all about the visual experience. This makes it very suitable for sharing crafts and art. Knitting projects and patterns fall neatly into this category. You can show off your own projects to the world, or look at other people’s work to find new patterns to knit.
Ideas and inspiration is really what’s it’s all about when it comes to Pinterest. You can follow other knitters and soon wonderful knitting projects will start popping up on your screen. It’s easy to find people to follow. Check your favourite bloggers and designers. Chances are, they’re already pinning away, and most will have a pinterest link displayed prominently on their website: mine can be found in either sidebar, or you can click here to visit my profile. Of course, you’re more than welcome to follow me: if you leave a comment with your Pinterest profile below, I’d be more than happy to follow back. I always love discovering interesting new people on Pinterest.
Of course, you can also start pinning your own images. Pinterest is a great way of keeping track of patterns that you want to knit. By using different boards you can organise everything neatly into categories. For example, I pin almost all knit related things that catch my eye to my main knitting & crochet board. From there, however, I tend to repin into appropriate categories. For example, I have a Sock Knitting board, a Lace Knitting board, and a Cable Knitting board. This way it’s easy to browse and find content related to particular interests again.
I also dabble in designing a bit, and Pinterest is brilliant for keeping track of design ideas. I pin images with colour schemes that appeal, or stitch patterns that I fancy. For this purpose, secret boards come in very handy. Partially because I don’t want people to see just yet what I’m working on, partially because that way I can pin scanned images from books without having to worried about copyright. I create a board per design project, and use it as a visual notebook to keep track of where I’m going with my project.
If you’re a knitting blogger, Pinterest is an extremely valuable tool on drawing interest to your posts. In fact, this very blog gets the majority of its traffic through Pinterest. Crafters are visual people, we like looking at pretty patterns and skeins of yarn, so a nice picture shared with our Pinterest followers is a great way to get your blog to an interested audience.
Pinterest community boards
One of the best features of Pinterest are the group or community boards. Most pinboards are private, but you can invite other pinterest users to be able to pin to your boards as well. I love Pinterest group boards. Yes, you do get a lot of bloggers promoting their work, which some people might see as a downside. I actually think it’s great. As long as the board is moderated to keep out spam, you get knitters sharing their best work and their interesting knit related stories: a brilliant way of discovering content. I contribute to some, but follow more. In my experience, some of the best pins can be found on these boards, so they’re great for browsing.
Some community boards of interest to knitters:
And introducing, the shiny new Knitter’s Handbook community pinboard. I’ve found that there’s not that many knitting specific group group pinterest boards; most of them incorporate a number of crafts. So let’s build a community of knitters! If you want to be added, please leave a comment below with a link to your Pinterest profile.