A few days ago, I read this thought-provoking article at the Opinions Pages on the New York Times’ website entitled “A Young Reader Asks: Is There an Elitist Oligarchy in the Underworld of Knitters?”
A hooker (to you non-yarnies: a crocheter, not a Lady of the Evening) writes in and gives her four cents in regard to the pattern demographics on Ravelry. When I say “four cents,” I mean that the amount of analyzing and computing that this senior in high school does shows that she is either A.) extremely passionate about crocheting patterns, B.) too smart for her own good and should immediately head for med or actuary school, C.) has waaaaaaaay too much time on her hands, or D.) a combination of any or all of the above.
She not only analyzes Rav, but looks at the demographics of a few different crochet sites. She notes that “A young person, like myself, can just sort of tell that a site like Crochet Pattern Central was made by someone over 50, and that’s a turn-off.” That’s pretty ageist IMO, and I would argue that the site suffers from a lack of design aesthetic update rather than being built and maintained by an altercocker. The earliest entry I could find for CPC was back in December of 2003; you know, when Geocities and Tripod dominated the free website scene (pre-Blogger, of course).
Some of her more notable observations were that there were very few patterns given a “poor” rating on Rav, there are nearly 3x the number of knitting patterns vs. crochet patterns, and that most knitting and crocheting patterns were listed with a difficult level of 2:
While her observations aren’t going to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, they do raise some interesting considerations in regard to pattern sites in general and Ravelry. Do be sure to check out the comments as well, which give a little more insight to Sarah’s thoughts and Rav in general.