Crafting Online Spaces: Identity and Materiality. An Interview with Hannah Bellwoar | by Amber Buck & Hannah Bellwoar
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Collaboration: Knitalongs & Nerd Wars

Like other online communities, Ravelry features activities that work to connect group members through collective action and social activity. Here, Hannah describes knitalongs on Ravelry as activities that allow her to develop as a knitter, share resources with other knitters, and participate in the Ravelry community. One particular knitalong activity she participates in, Nerd Wars, connects her knitting interest to popular culture artifacts. This activity, Hannah notes, allows her to participate in an invention and composition strategy similar to the kind of work she did as a literature major in her undergraduate study.

In this image from her Nerd Wars group page, Hannah describes how her project fits the partcular knitalong challenge she is participating in:

Screenshot from Ravelry of one of Hannah's blog posts, showcasing how one of the projects Hannah is working on and how it fits within a particular challenge, through which creators make projects centered around a particular theme.

This creative activity allows Hannah to connect her work to not only her other interests, but other types of literate activity as well. Hannah even receives advice and ideas on her teaching through these activities, which continue through her work in different aspects of her life. In this video, Hannah discusses the role of knitalongs, and Nerd Wars in particular, on her social, knitting, and literacy practices. Knitalongs and similar social and competitive activities on Ravelry can be seen as networked literate activity. They not only allowed Hannah to develop her social connections with other knitters, but also to reinforce her identity as a knitter and a writer.

Read the transcript for this video here.