An Introduction to Ravelry

This summer I was quite surprised by the number of customers in my store who did not know about ravelry.com. I realize that many of you who knit or crochet will know all about it, but for anyone who doesn’t,

today I’m going to sing their praises. 😀

For anyone who knits or crochets, ravelry.com is a website where you can find patterns for free or to purchase for any knit or crochet project you could imagine.

Looking for inspiration?

Looking for a cardigan pattern for fingering weight yarn? You name it; you’ll find it on ravelry. But that isn’t all. Ravelry is a community of knitters and crocheters as well. It is home to many, many groups of every sort of focus in the knit and crochet world. There are regional groups from all over the world too.

Looking for a group of like-minded yarn lovers?

If you can’t find them on ravelry, I’d be very surprised. But if you don’t, you can start a group yourself.

It’s free to sign up and it’s worth taking the time. I just looked and at this moment, there are 481,523 knitting patterns and 267,311 crochet patterns on the site. A search for free patterns brings up a total of 132,338 knit patterns and 98,313 crochet patterns. By the time I finish writing this blog post there will be even more since designers are posting new patterns all the time.

Does that many patterns sound overwhelming to you?

It would be, if not for the excellent filters to narrow your search. Click on “patterns” in the top left corner of the home screen. Next, look for the search bar and simply click on the “search” button. This will bring you to the search filter screen.

detective-bob

Notice along the left side of the page. You can take a moment and select the filters you want. For example, I personally prefer there to be a photograph of the patterns I search. The first thing I do is select “has photo? yes”. You can then choose knit, crochet, machine or loom knitting. Or, you can click on the button below to exclude options.

Next you can decide whether you want a free pattern or if you are willing to look at those that you have to pay for and details about that. You can pick what type of project, garments or crafts and attributes. Attributes covers specifics about what techniques are used in the pattern. For instance, are you looking for colour work? follow the filter options to narrow down through 7 options for various colour work techniques!

You don’t have to choose any of these if you don’t want to; it will just give you more results in your search.

By the time you specify the gender or size, the type of yarn, the amount of meterage and the difficulty level, you will have eliminated a whole lot of the almost three-quarter million patterns on the site. Suddenly it’s not so overwhelming any more. Or you can simply type what you are looking for into the search box and click search. For example, you could type: “baby sweater with cables” or “lace socks” or “bulky hat”.

Do you know the name of a designer you love? Put their name in there and bring up everything they have posted.

Above the search filters is a row of different categories you can search: patterns, projects, designers, sources, yarns, stash, fiber, brands and so on. If you select one of these it changes the nature of your search. Looking for a friend? Pop their ravelry name into the people search to find them.

As you collect patterns, you can store them in your library. This is handy and allows you to access your patterns from any computer or device as long as you are connected to the internet. As you complete projects, there is a place where you can post the details of what you made too.

If you see patterns that you like, you can “favourite” them. This is a way of bookmarking them so that you can find them again later.

Trust me, if you don’t make a note of the ones you like, it can be challenging to find them again.

You can always remove them from your favourites later if you end up buying or downloading the pattern.

If you haven’t checked ravelry out, I encourage you to do so. Just be warned, like Instagram or Pinterest, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole only to discover that what felt like 10 minutes of searching was actually 2 hours!  …just sayin’. 🙂

Happy Searching!

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