If you haven’t already read them, STOP…go back 🙂
Crochet Basics – Tools
Crochet Basics – Yarn Weights Demystified (and how to read a yarn label)
Crochet Basics – You’re Speaking a Different Language (aka Abbreviations)
We’ve already talked about the tools you knew you needed to MAKE all the things. Hooks, yarn, needles, scissors, etc. Check that post out here, if you haven’t already!
Today we’re going to talk about the tools you didn’t know you needed. Well, tool. Website really. Okay, we’re just talking about Ravelry. But you can do SO MUCH here that it feels like it’s more than one tool!
Ravelry is an online pattern library and fiber community. Are you ready to dive in?
You can search for patterns by craft (knit, crochet, or both).
Once you search, you can apply about a million filters to narrow down the results and find EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Look at the left side and scroll down to see all the options.
When you click on a pattern, you’ll see a screen like the one below. You’ll see pictures that the designer uploaded, details about the materials needed/recommended to make the project and links to buy it if it’s not free. You can see yarn ideas from others who have made the project if you’re looking for alternatives to use. The projects tab will show you others who have started or finished the project, and you can take a look at their project pages – these will show their photos, what yarns they used, and any notes they might have added about the pattern/project. The queues tab shows who has added it to their queue, although they may not have started the pattern. You can click on the comments tab to see what others have said about the pattern. There may be an additional tab labeled forum posts where it will list different forum posts it’s been mentioned/linked in. The editing tab just shows any time the designer has made changes to the pattern page.
In the upper right you see some different options. Now, before I go into these, remember that this is YOUR space and you can use Ravelry however you want. I’m going to go through how I (try) to use it and how I see others use it.
- Save in Favorites – these are projects you want work on some day, want to remember, just think are pretty. I like to think of this sort of like Pinterest – anything I think is pretty gets saved in my favorites. In your favorites page you can create pattern bundles to put like things together – sort of like making Pinterest boards.
- Add to Queue – these are projects you intend to make soon. When you’ve finished a project and are looking for your next make, you go to your queue.
- Hook It! Project – this is where you’re actually starting the project. You can keep notes, take photos, keep track of your progress, etc.
- Add to Library – this is a place to keep track of patterns you own. When you purchase patterns through Ravelry, they’ll be added here automatically. You can also add books that you own here, and then when you’re searching for patterns you can search one place – if there’s a pattern in a book you own, it will come up when you search your library and you can pull that book off your shelf and grab the pattern.
- Share This – When you click on share this, you’ll get a little pop-up with different ways you can share a specific pattern.
You can search by yarns instead. So, you’ve got a stash of yarn and you don’t know what to make with it. Click on “yarns” at the top, and you can search by the yarn you’re looking for. A page will come up with the different types of that yarn, and then you can narrow it down to the specific one you’re looking for. In this example I searched for Caron Simply Soft, because I know I have a bunch of this in my own stash. The search page comes up with stripes, solids, bites, paints…I clicked on solids. You’ll see details about the yarn, and along the top are a million other things you can find about the yarn. Kidding…sort of.
- Colorways – what colors are available in this yarn?
- Photos – well, photos, LOL. Photos people have taken of the yarn – this isn’t the most exciting tab here.
- Buying Options – this isn’t my favorite tab, either. There are *some* places listed here where you can buy the yarn, but it’s certainly not the best list you can find.
- Stashes – you can keep track of your yarn stash on Ravelry, and when you place your stash on there it becomes searchable. When you add yarn to your stash on here, you can also put in whether you’re willing to sell or trade that yarn. So, when you look at the stashes containing this yarn, you’ll see if that person is willing to sell or trade it – if you need more of a colorway, this is a good place to find it. Especially for yarns/colors no longer sold in stores, or just not easily available for you.
- Pattern Ideas – pretty self explanatory…here are patterns that may work well with this yarn. THIS is where you want to be if you’re looking for a way to use up your stashed yarn. You can filter by yardage, type of project, etc.
- Projects – these are projects people are currently working on using this yarn.
- Comments – again, pretty self explanatory…comments about this yarn.
- Editing – you don’t really need this tab, but it will show you all the changes made to this page.
Here you can connect with other makers. You can add people as friends, see what projects they’re working on, follow designers, find people who have similar pattern interests as you.
Okay, I’ll admit this isn’t my area of expertise on Ravelry. BUT, it is a great resource. You can join groups and become part of the discussion. You’ll find a lot of crochet-along/knit-along groups on here where everyone is working on the same project at the same time, some designers create groups here for their specific patterns, you can find pattern tester groups, groups specific to a region/city. I encourage you to look around in here and find some places to connect.
STOP…TAKE A BATHROOM BREAK…GRAB A SNACK AND SOME
Okay, let’s continue. (I told you it could do a lot, and that it would feel like more than one tool!)
This is YOUR space on Ravelry. Get to know it, decorate it how you want, get cozy here. A lot of this is repeating info above.
*Pause – I will say that I encounter some problems with these links from time to time. For instance, in writing this blog post I can’t click on the projects link under here and get to the page…an error message comes up. But, later today or tomorrow, that link might work.*
- Projects – here you will find anything you’ve saved as a project you’re working on. This is where your active projects are kept and you can update the progress and pictures.
- Stash – upload pictures of the yarns in your stash, along with the yarn details and how much of it you have. Remember to mark whether you’re willing to trade or sell it!
- Queue – here’s where you find all the patterns you’ve added to your queue, and where you can go to find the next project you want to work on.
- Favorites – all the patterns you’ve favorited are here, and you can view them either as individual patterns, or as bundles if you’ve put them into bundles. Remember, this is sort of like your Ravelry Pinterest page.
- Friends – anyone you’ve added as a friend is here and you can view their recent activity and quickly navigate to their pages from here.
- Groups & Events – if you’ve joined groups, they’ll all be listed here. You can also click on the events tab on this page and see if there are any events you’ve got coming up to attend or look for local events to attend.
- Needles & Hooks – this will bring up a crazy little graph, but basically this is where you can keep track of all the crochet hooks and knitting needles you have.
- Library – there’s a lot to do here. And honestly, I haven’t used this to it’s full potential so I can’t dive in too deep on what can be done here. BUT…this is where you want to store patterns you OWN, not patterns you want to own. You can organize them, you can search for patterns to make in your library. One fun thing about Ravelry is that if a designer updates a pattern, they can push that update out to everyone who has purchased or downloaded the pattern – this is the place you want to go and grab those updates.
- Message Box – just like any social media platform, you can message other people on Ravelry and this is where all those messages are stored.
- Purchases (I’ll come back to contributions!) – this is a quick list of all the patterns you’ve purchased, not the free patterns.
- Contributions – this is a tab you’ll only use if you are writing your own patterns and uploading them. You also don’t need to worry about the PRO tab by your profile picture if you’re not writing your own patterns to sell.
If this is how you’re feeling, you’re not alone. Ravelry has SO much to offer, I probably could have written a whole month’s worth of blog posts about it. And maybe some day I will. But for now, I’ve introduced you to the site, and I encourage you to sign up and look around. You can’t break it!
Until next time friends!