There are a lot of very cool things about Ravelry... far too many to mention in this blog post. However, I am especially thrilled with it this week.
First, I decided on what I want my next couple of projects to be (free patterns found on Ravelry). Not feeling entirely comfortable with substituting yarn yet, I wanted to use the yarn recommended in the pattern. I looked for it at my LYS, and then online, only to discover that it had been discontinued. I turned to Ravelry, and a quick search led me to a fellow Raveler who just so happened to have several skeins (in a perfect color!) in her stash for sell or trade. I sent her a message, and almost immediately received a response which included an email address for payment. I sent the payment online, and now my yarn is on its way. Excellent.
Next, I've been borrowing a mini-circular needle for Fetching. After using the mini-circs, I can't imagine going to dpns, so I started looking for a set of my own. Once again... discontinued! And once again... it is Ravelry (and kind and generous fellow Ravelers) to the rescue. I posted an ISO thread and before the end of the day had Clover Plastic Mini-Circular Needles in three different sizes on their way to me. Excellent.
Is there an online community that can help me with my other long-running searches? Anyone out there know where I can find a size 5, wide width, work appropriate shoe sans Velcro and pink hearts? Maybe a slinky black sweater dress that might accommodate a smaller bust without having to add layers underneath? Oh... wait... Ravelry (and a few more years of knitting experience) might be able to help with that second one! Excellent.