Today, we’re featuring a guest post by Jenny O’Neill, combining her expertise in librarianship and knitting to pass on some clever advice on finding patterns. You can read more from her at her blog, Crafty Tails (worth your time just for the dog photography, though there’s so much more!)
One of my favourite pastimes is browsing patterns on Ravelry. Recently I was indulging in this hobby and researching patterns for my first ever adult garment when I spotted a new feature. I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s a new to Ravelry feature, but itâ€™s new to me. When viewing Carol Fellerâ€™s Contemporary Irish Knits book, under the buying options I spotted a â€˜search your local librariesâ€™ link.
As a librarian I was intrigued and excited to see Ravelry teaming up with local libraries. To me this is a genius idea. Sometimes you only want one pattern from a book or simply want to have a flick through before buying the whole book. And sometimes stretched budgets simply donâ€™t have enough room in them to justify buying yet another book. This is exactly why libraries exist â€“ to give everyone equal access to information and education and knitting patterns.
Clicking the link on Ravelry brings you to the WorldCat entry for Contemporary Irish Knits. WorldCat essentially aggregates library catalogues from around the world, allowing you to search the collections of around the world. Searching for Contemporary Irish Knits in Ireland returns just one result â€“ the library in Trinity College Dublin.
But a similar search on BorrowBooks.ie reveals that there are copies available in public libraries in Cork, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Offaly, Westmeath, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin City and Kilkenny. South Dublin even have an ebook copy available. BorrowBooks.ie is a service that allows you to search across the Irish public libraries’ online catalogues. If you are already a member of an Irish public library service you can request that a book from (almost) any library in the country be sent to your local library via a service known as inter-library loans. Cool, right?
If you are not a member of your local library then why not? You can find a full list on the Ask About Ireland website. Think of all the money you can save on knitting books that you can then spend on more yarn. See? Genius!