My favorite thing about Ravelry is the yarn listing. One of my biggest challengs (craftwise, anyway) is what to knit with my 49 miles of yarn (and before you ask, yes, I totally added yarn to the stash since the great yarn catalouging….in my defense, I made most of it). The Ravelry yarn listings really help me get pattern ideas for what I have.
When I heard about Yarndex over at Craft magazine, I thought I’d give it a spin to see if it compared in any way – after all they list 5,000 yarns (to date). While I was impressed with the amount of information available for the available yarns, I wasn’t necessarily impressed with the execution. It seems like Yarndex could be doing a lot more with what they have.
- I really like the details about the yarn, like “date released,” the fiber content, availability and care (especially the care stuff – I *never* keep my yarn labels after I’m finished with them).
- The write up at the beginning of each listing gave me a decent idea of what to use the yarn for (if I didn’t already have it)
- The full shade cards and the archive of past shade cards is a great feature.
- I like the ability to find yarns by gauge and/or recommended needle size.
- The lack of brands – at my count, they only had somewhere around 160 brands of yarn, with very few of even the big indies, like Blue Moon. For someone like me who loves buying from smaller suppliers, this is a downside – particularly because all the stuff in my “like” section, I’d love to see for these guys.
- Not enough patterns. I realize this is a sister site to YarnMarket.com but I feel like they could at least post links to larger “free” patterns online – like to those on the actual websites of the yarn companies. It seems like all the available patterns they show are the ones available for sale on Yarn Market.
- Too little user input. I joined the site thinking that I would see more and be able to do more, but once I was signed in I realized all I could do was review the yarn and create a list of favorites. Now, yarn reviewing is great – and very helpful – but Yarndex could be doing so much more with their user base – including letting users add or recommend yarn, recommend patterns and places to buy. In addition, Yarndex appears to be in conjunction with a lot of the yarn companies, which would make it the perfect place for consumers to share their thoughts about yarn lines, what they’d like to see and even submit patterns for yarn companies.
Right now, I’d give Yarndex a C+/B-, if only for the things they do right. If they want to grow as a yarn resource, particularly should Ravelry ever “open up” to the public or should someone else come along who does, they really need to look toward their users for additional content.