If you are a crocheter, knitter, spinner, weaver or other type of yarncrafter, you may have heard of Ravelry. It's a free web site for crocheters and knitters, created and administered by crocheters and knitters.
Ravelry is a great place to find like-minded yarn crafters from all over the world but it is much, much more than a social network. I highly recommend Ravelry as a powerful management tool and source of 'yarny' information, inspiration and fun too.
One day, during an Olympic year, some Ravelry members (fondly referred to as 'Ravellers') decided to establish their own (yarn)sporting event which became the "Ravellenic Games".
What are the Ravellenic Games?
Further to my previous post about moving "Out of the Crochet Comfort Zone", the goal of the Ravellenic Games is to 'support participants to expand their knitting and crochet horizons'.
Participating members of Ravelry become 'Ravletes' who set themselves yarncrafting challenges and, if they meet the challenges, they can claim 'medals' and 'laurels' for their achievements. They are not tangible medals, just a bit of fun and recognition for successful participants.
Ravletes can earn virtual 'medals' in various events such as 'Afghan Marathon', 'Hat Dash', 'Shawl Sailing', 'Sock-put', 'Synchronised Spinning' and 'WIPs Wrestling', to name a few. 'Laurels' are extra recognition for special techniques such as cables, beading, Tunisian crochet etc.
The challenges must be started and completed during the period of the summer sporting games to qualify.
How do I join in?
All Ravelry members are welcome to participate. Ravelry membership is free.
Much of the online action takes place in message forums and the Ravellenic Games 2016 Group which is administered entirely by volunteer moderators.
Ravletes are a friendly bunch of good sports who are happy to answer any questions you may have. Rules and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are also addressed in the group forums.
Ravletes can play as individuals or as part of a team. Register your enrolment in the event forums, choose your project challenges and tag those projects with a special Ravellenics tag and the event name and any laurels for which you are striving. If you are part of a team, add a team tag as well. It's as simple as that: tag, tag, tag! Tags allow Moderators and Team Captains to 'see' and verify your performance.
Wait for the starting gun which will coincide with the official opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games and then go, go, go! Hook those crochet projects, start click-clacking those knitting needles!
As you complete your project, cross the finishing line for your event by sharing the finished project with fellow Ravletes. This is a great way to see what other Ravletes are doing, and a source of inspiration and fellowship. If you meet your challenge, you will be awarded with the right to display the medal and any laurels on your Ravelry Profile page.
My Ravelry user name ('Ravatar') is 'Jodiebodie'. On the Jodiebodie profile page you will see that I earned medals in 'Scarf Hockey' and 'Home Stuff Hammerthrow' in 2012, playing for Team Mexico (captained by Caissa McClinton of Art, Like Bread).
It was so much fun, I have decided to participate either within or without a team in 2016. Teams are a great way to make friends with similar interests such as fandoms, geography, types of project or technique and interest groups.
It can be less overwhelming to chat with fewer people in a team instead of everyone in a general Ravellenics discussion thread. Team Captains can organise mini competitions and prizes to motivate team members and award laurels for specific achievements peculiar to their team interests.
Sometimes teams are competitive and I'm sure there will be a leaderboard somewhere for those teams but most people are in it for the fun, friendship and personal challenge.
Would you be interested in forming a Lupey Loops team one year?
While the world is watching the world summer sports competition on television, Ravletes everywhere will be revving up their productivity in the yarn sports!
I hope I will see you there! Meanwhile I need to go and warm-up by choosing my projects and doing some training to get my crochet techniques up to speed!
Links & References
Art, Like Bread, blog by Caissa McClinton: http://www.artlikebread.com/
Jodiebodie Ravelry profile: http://www.ravelry.com/people/Jodiebodie
Lupey Loops, "Out of the Crochet Comfort Zone", July 2016: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/out-of-crochet-comfort-zone.html
Ravellenic Games 2016: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-games-2016
Laurel Categories: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-games-2016/pages/Ravellenics-2016-Laurel-Categories
Medal Categories: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-games-2016/pages/Ravellenics-2016-Medal-Categories
Tagging Tutorial: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-games-2016/pages/Tagging-Tutorial
Teams FAQ: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-games-2016/pages/Teams-FAQ-4