I must have to say that the internet experience of the new milleniums' first decade is one of the things that I have found the most useful and am the most thankful for. It's been a hugh difficult adjustment these last several years not being able to hop in the car and go drive to other towns to go do my shopping... especially since the town I live being only 6 blocks wide & a mile long is surrounded by corn fields for like 10-15 miles in any direction with no taxi cabs or bus service, no library... and well, virtually no nothing but peaceful quietness ~ other towns is where all the shopping is. LOL It must have been incredibly frustrating, depressing and boring to be a shut-in back in the old'n days. But now what with Ravelry, Etsy.com, Amazon.com and Ebay what more could a person ask for!
Here's where I like to spend time looking at lovely work and learning how things will look in certain yarns/colors.. I find this a great way to window shop b4 I go and buy project necessities.
Lace Knitting Ring ~ such awesome & talented knitters!
Ravelry ~ now this is a right gi-hugic knitting group folks!
As of december 2009 ravelry's newsletter said they calculated that there exists 277,000 knitting and crochet projects on Ravelry have been made from the 7,000 free patterns and 13,000 for-sale patterns that have been published on Rav! AND that 98.7% of the money from those sales have gone to the designers of those patterns themselves. Now that's pride of support. Their newsletter also says that during busy times of day, people buy 4 patterns every minute using the Ravelry pattern sales service, and with about 50 new patterns available as Ravelry downloads each day, it's clear that this support is going to keep on growing!
And a person can do Pattern gifting too! Personally I like this idea better than walmart gift cards ;)
all a person has to do is look for the little gift icon on the pattern page, just underneath the "buy it now" and "add to cart" links.
And talk about groups... this is just as great as surfing by rings to find a knitters friendship. You can find people in your city, your state, by topic of interest, by craft and you can even look for events. It's really the coolest thing!