Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor?

Have you ever looked at your neighbors on Ravelry? Go ahead - take a look. Click the 'People' tab, then scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll see a section titled 'your neighbors: Ravelers with similar taste in patterns'. Basically, Ravelry compares your FOs/WIPs and queued projects with the rest of the member's FOs/WIPs and queued projects*. The ten people with whom you overlap the most are your neighbors.

I was interested in what projects my neighbors and I were knitting. Did we overlap on popular projects? Was there a tribe of like-minded individuals who had also knit lingerie, sea stars and tea lights? I also wanted to know a little more about my neighbors - how long had they been on Ravelry? Did they blog? How long had they been knitting?

On March 27, I recorded the following information about my neighbors:
  • Name
  • Knitting experience
  • Ravelry experience
  • Website (if any)
  • All our common FOs, WIPs and Queued projects
I then tallied how many of the common projects were common to all 10 of my neighbors (e.g., how many of my neighbors also knit a Baby Surprise Jacket?). I grouped the projects into: baby/toddler, socks, shawls/scarfs, sweaters/jackets and hats.

I also recorded the top 10 ravelry projects, as identified by the number of projects in Ravlery.

Results and Discussion

Neighbor Analysis

Figure 1. Common projects by category.
  1. My neighbors and I have, on average 13.8 years of knitting experience (+/- 4.8 years). We have all been on Ravelry since 2007, with most of us signing up in the spring/summer of that year (Ravelry launched in May of 2007 - we were early adopters!). Nine of us have blogs. Clearly, we are a group dedicated to knitting for the long haul and we rather embrace technology. We are modern women.
  2. We are sock knitters. Of the 69 common projects, 45% are socks (Figure 1). Two of those projects (Monkey and Jaywalker) appears in the top 10 list on Ravelry.
  3. We are also people who knit for small folks. Again, of the 69 common projects, 22% are tagged as baby/toddler. One project (Baby Surprise Jacket) appears in the top 10 list on Ravelry.
  4. Scarves and shawls are a close runner up to babies and toddlers (garnering 17%).
  5. The number one common pattern is... Embossed leaves by Mona Schmidt. Eight of my neighbors have knit this pattern - a lovely lace sock pattern that comes in at #39 on the top 100 in Ravelry.
  6. Coming in at a close second is the Jaywalker pattern. I find this particularly amusing since I have long since frogged my Jaywalkers. But still, I was smitten with the pattern enough at one time to cast on!
  7. In general, we are not knitters of the Ravelry top 10 (or at least, if we are, we knit different items!). Only three of our common patterns appear in the top 10. Another 5 patterns appear in the top 50.
  8. A few of my FOs/WIPs have only one neighbor. These include: Moderne Log Cabin blanket, Helleborus and Na Craga. Interestingly, these are three of my favorite knits (even if one (Na Craga) is my longest languishing WIP).
  9. There is only one adult sweater that appears in the common WIP/FO list - Sunrise Circle Jacket. I am not, by nature, a sweater knitter. Don't get me wrong - I wish I were. I've knit a few but never been happy with the result. Even the Sunrise Circle Jacket, I don't wear (not happy with how the decreases make it look like a naked watermelon). So I stick to hats, scarves, socks and shawls.
  10. One of my neighbors is knitting royalty. Yes indeed, it's none other than the Yarn Harlot herself! We have 10 common WIPs/FOs, including the Sunrise Circle Jacket, Moderne Log Cabin blanket and the BSJ.
There you have my analysis of me Ravelry neighbors. Quite a nice group, don't you think? Now go take a look at your neighbors. What are they knitting? Why are they your neighbors? And are any of your neighbors knitting lingerie?

*There's something odd going on though. Ravelry says neighbor 1 and I have 16 projects in common. However, when I click through, I see 8 FOs/WIPs in common and 2 queued projects in common, which does not sum to the 16 projects Ravelry says we have in common. There is a similar discrepancy for a few other neighbors. I am wondering if the algorithm also takes into account favorited projects.

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