We adore Ravelry at the store! And not just for buying patterns - it also has info on yarn, designers, and much more. In fact, it holds such a vast array of knowledge that it can seem hard to navigate, so we have put together a verrrry quick tutorial for you of some of Ravelry's most-used and most-helpful features.
First and foremost, Ravelry is about patterns. Both knit AND crochet (as well as some weaving and spinning and needle felting and macrame and other crafts, too)! Given the sheer number of patterns the Ravelry database contains, it can be daunting to try and find what you're looking for. We recommend using the Advanced Search feature to help whittle down the number of patterns you're wading through.
- First and most obvious, you can pick Knit or Crochet.
- Just want a free pattern? You can search for those alone.
- If you are a visual person, you can just look through only patterns with a picture of the finished project.
- Sometimes you either have a preference of what weight of yarn you want to use OR you are trying to find a pattern for stash yarn. It's very helpful to filter patterns by yarn size!
- In the same vein, you can also cut down patterns by the amount of yardage you have.
- Looking for a one color pattern? Stripes? You can choose those, too.
- Next, and perhaps most obvious of all, you can filter by what you are trying to make and then often specify sub-types within that. Sweater? Cardigan? Adult size? Cables? All possible!
- For many of us, filtering by the difficulty rating can be a godsend. Want a quick and super easy pattern? You can search by that! Take it with a grain of salt though, since not everyone finds a given technique the same difficulty level.
A little known part of Ravelry, you can find A LOT of information about yarn here.
- At Twisted, we use it most at the store when a customer is looking for an equivalent yarn to what the pattern specifies. You can look up almost any yarn and find out its weight and other qualities to help you find a good substitution.
- In the same vein, a yarn search will tell you the yardage of the original yarn in the pattern so you can more easily figure out how much yardage (rather than just the number of skeins) you need.
- Did you know people put their stashes in Ravelry? And sometimes they are willing to sell it? If you are looking for one more skein of something in a specific dye lot, it can be a miraculous resource!
- Want to know which LYS sells a specific yarn in your area? You can find that out on Ravelry, too.
- At the bottom of sections like "Fiber Type" you can specify whether your search is "and" or "or". Are you looking for silk AND merino or silk OR merino? Big difference.
Other Advanced Searches
You can also search projects, designers, sources, stash, fiber, LYS, brands, people, groups, events, and forums. Just select the option you want from the top bar.
YOUR NOTEBOOK AND LIBRARY
Your own little corner of Ravelry, there is so much that can be useful here!
- In addition to uploading their stash information, wise users also keep a record of their needles and hooks. Then you always know what you have at home!
- If you have bought a pattern via Ravelry or the Ravelry LYS In Store Sales Program, it not only shows up in your library but you will get updates on that pattern in the future. That can be anything from errata notes to updates on new sizes and yarn weights.
- Track and upload pictures of your projects! It's such a great way to show off all of your hard work, as well as leave notes to jog your memory for next time and help other users decide what to make and how to make it.
- Track patterns you plan to knit with favorites and queue.
- Are you a budding designer? Add patterns you create for free or for sale under your contributions.
WITHIN AN INDIVIDUAL PATTERN
- This shows you all a pattern's vital stats, and is where you can purchase it.
- Hands down one of our favorite features within each pattern entry is the Projects tab. You can see pictures of final projects from other people who have made the pattern. SO HELPFUL when trying to pick colors and see what it looks like on all body types and ages!
- Having a problem with a pattern? You can check for Errata or see if anyone has left information about any problems they had making the project.
- Finally, if all else fails on figuring out an issue, you can contact the designer.
We hope that's a helpful overview of some of Ravelry's many features!