The internet has really made things easier, especially in terms of collecting general knowledge into a "library" of sorts. There are good & bad sides to this -- there's the trashy novel sections where people mistake fiction for fact, and the huge trivia section where you can drown in a sea of interesting, but non practical knowledge. Then there's the reference section, where you can find EXACTLY the piece of information you need.
Ravelry is a smaller version of that collective knowledge, but highly specialized, and I have made multiple use of it finding nuggets of knowledge.
Earlier this week, I navajo plied half of the the silk merino Bonfire that I had spun previously.
And it came out gorgeous! Love. Love. Love. I'll have about 230 yards of this wonderful 3-ply sport weight yarn (once I finish the other 2 ounces).
However, I wasn't quite sure how to finish this yarn. Its a 50-50 merino silk blend; and I wasn't sure how the silk would stand up to my normal aggressive finishing (which involves alternatively dunking in hot & cold water, thwacking, whacking, snapping, and fulling). However, there is a grand collection of knowledge on Ravelry that is an amazing resource and should have the answer I need.
A quick perusal on Ravelry found a post by Abby Franquemont on this very problem! It involves only a much less aggressive finishing technique (still involving hot & cold water and simple snapping)
A) Hot water with wool wash
B) Soak skein for 20 minutes until it's saturated (or longer if needed)
C) Dunk in cool water as a rinse
D) Get out excess water
E) Snap all around the skein
F) Dry unweighted.
NOW, if Ravelry would only provide me with the definitive answer of exactly *what* I should knit with it to show off the colors to the best advantage? Unfortunately, it can only offer up potential suggestions and letting me make the final decision. That's the one thing that the collective knowledge can't do for me. :-)