Although some of you will already be Ravelry users, when we are out and about at shows we find that lots of people haven’t heard about this knitting website and community, so we thought it was time to introduce you.
Ravelry has been described as “Facebook for knitters” but that sells it short – this site combines social media, yarn craft resources and forums among other things in one place. There is more to explore than we can fit in one blog post but here are some highlights.
Your notebook – when you register your profile on Ravelry you get “notebook” where you can do a lot more than add a personal description. In notebook you can record details of all your yarnie projects whether in progress or complete. Each project place lets you link to patterns, add the yarn your using and upload pictures as well as rating the pattern and yarn and recording progress. It is a great way of keeping track of projects or finding a pattern you’ve used before.
Stash – also in your notebook, you can add details of the yarn in your stash along with pictures. You can then sort your yarn by colour, weight, amounts, fibre content or even whether you are already using it in a project.
Queue – this notebook feature allows you to list patterns you want to knit. When you are ready to start the project, you can go to the pattern in your queue and click the cast on button. Ravelry will then automatically start a new project in your notebook where you can even link to a yarn in your stash to use.
Apart from the notebook, Ravelry has a number of other very useful sections.
Pattern search – there are over half a million patterns listed on the Ravelry database and you can search through all of them. But rather than scroll through tens of thousands of pages, there are lots of options to help you find what you want. You can search by knitting or crochet, type of pattern, type and/or amount of yarn and much more including whether the pattern is available online. You will find many of the UK Hand Knitting patterns listed. Once you’ve found the pattern you want you can click to automatically set up a project.
Yarn database – there are more than 100,000 yarns listed and you can search by category in a similar way to the patterns. This is particularly useful is you are trying to find a substitute for a discontinued yarn, you can search by the weight and fibre mix of the original yarn to find a similar current one.
Groups and forums – it feels like there is a group for everything on Ravelry. While many are based around particular knitting brands or techniques, there are groups for crafters who play particular sports or who listen to the same radio shows (The Archers group is very popular). Each group has a forum section where you can post messages and chat to other knitters and crocheters – very useful for tips and advice. There is of course a UK Hand Knitting group, so do drop by and say hello and join.