A Crafter’s Goldmine
Ravelry is a free website for both knitters and crocheters. You will need to create an account like you would for Facebook or Pinterest. It’s sort of the same concept. You build a profile with a picture and can join groups or make posts. It has a forums page. But that’s only the tip of the needle. There’s so much to this website, so here’s a list of features and a brief overview of how they benefit you as a crafter.
- The Patterns Tab – A vast database of patterns from books, magazines, independent designers, bloggers, and enthusiasts. This is my go to website when looking for a pattern. IT HAS EVERYTHING. And with advanced search options, you can narrow it down to the exact thing you want to make.
- The Yarns Tab – If you are looking for a specific yarn, just type in the name, and you have all the details. Say you want to buy a DK weight silk and alpaca blend, you can search for it and get all the yarn companies that make that specific blend. It will also let you know if yarns have been discontinued and where you can buy them. As an added bonus, if there are any other Ravelry members who are selling that yarn, you can find out how to buy it from them.
- The Community Tab – This is where you can participate with other crafters on Ravelry. You can add friends, join a local or national group, or comment or start a post about a pattern or ask questions. Want to join a mystery knit along (MKAL) or mystery crochet along (MCAL)? Look under the events section. There are a lot of things to explore in the Ravelry Community.
The section on the far right with your profile picture is “My Notebook.” This is the best feature of Ravelry. My Notebook contains several catagories and organization tools to help you manage all of your crafting needs. Here’s a an introduction.
- Projects– Here you add projects, take pictures, and post them along the way to share your finished work with other crafters. When people look up the pattern you used, they can see how yours turned out and the more details you leave, the more helpful it is to others.
- Queue – This is a handy feature that allows you to add patterns that you want to make to a list and then when you are ready to make it, you can add it to your projects page. It also has ways to organize different patterns, rearrange the order of the list and also give yourself a deadline to start and finish.
- Stash – This feature allows you to catalogue your yarn stash. If you’re like me, you sometimes forget about the yarn you have tucked away for years. Logging your yarn stash on Ravelry allows you to organize all that yarn so you know how much you have and which bin it is stored in. Yarn in your Stash shows up in the Patterns Tab under the “In my stash” detail to notify you when you are looking at a pattern for which you already have the yarn.
- Tools – This is where you can record all your knitting needle sizes and crochet hook sizes, so when you are out and about you can determine if you have the proper size or if you need to purchase one.
- Favorites – Did you find a pattern you think you’ll like or a pattern you tried and what to make another? Put it in your favorites tab for later. When you add a pattern, you can choose a tag or category or bundle. For example, in my most recent project, I used several different kinds of granny squares to make an afghan. So, as I looked for patterns, I added them to my Afghan bundle and later could pick and choose which ones I wanted to do. This comes in handy around Christmas time.
- Library – The library feature is just what it says, your library of patterns. When you purchase a pattern through Ravelry, it is automatically added to your library, but you can also add all those books and magazines with patterns in them to your library as well! For example, I have several books and magazines with lace shawl patterns. I can search in my library for lace shawls and it will bring up the ones that I already own. Then, using the same advanced search tab, I can narrow down the choices according to yarn weight, pattern difficulty, and yardage needed to help decide which pattern to begin.
Each database in Ravelry works together to help you find projects and keep up with all your crafting supplies. You can make friends, find shops, join groups and much more!
I hope this has helped you and for more help from Ravelry’s website go to: