Last week, Casey wrote about our new Bundles feature that allows you to group and organize your Ravelry favorites. Please check out his post for an intro to Bundles, if you haven’t done so already! The majority of Ravelers (including me!) don’t use many tags in favorites, and the option to organize your favorites into bundles makes it easier than ever to sort and find those cool patterns, projects, yarns, stashed items and more later. Anything you can add to your favorites on Ravelry can be added to a bundle – and you can even make a bundle that combines all kinds of different faves. Want to bundle up patterns, stashed yarns, projects, and forum posts all together? You can!

For today’s tip, we wanted to share some inspiration to help get you thinking about different types of bundles you might want to create.

category theme

Organize patterns and projects by category or theme

Since we began swatching the bundles feature I’ve just loved grouping patterns and projects all together by categories and themes. When I want to look for colorwork inspiration or check out my favorite vests, tunics, or things made with bulky yarns, I have them all organized and visible together in easy-to-find bundles.

handspun

Crafty inspiration and eye candy!

If you’d like to easily refer to beautiful pictures of gorgeous handspun, incredible woven projects, jaw-dropping lace, or really any other grouping of things you can think of – bundle them!

pets in knits

Projects that make you smile.

I made bundles for Pets in Knits and Great Big Stuffies for the simple reason that they make me smile! Any feature that makes pictures of chickens in sweaters easier to find again is a winner with me!

rhinebeck shopping list

Shopping or wish lists

Christina has a handy bundle for her Rhinebeck shopping list. Since she can bundle up fiber, patterns, and yarns all in one bundle, it’s a great way to collect her wishlist in one place. She can also add notes to her bundled items, to make sure she won’t forget the notions, hooks, or needles she needs!

doctor who

Fandom bundles!

So far there are about 50 Doctor Who bundles – the largest of which is by DWImpossibleGirl (we used her bundle for the picture above!). There are also 30 Game of Thrones, 21 Harry Potter, and 7 Outlander themed bundles. What a fun way to gather patterns and projects (or even special yarn colorways!) related to a show or subculture you love!

Helpful pattern notes

Raveler Nhewyt made a bundle of projects that have helpful notes – what a great idea!

Bundles upon bundles

You can even bundle other bundles! If you see a collection that another Raveler has made that you’d like to easily find again, you can add it to your favorites and make a Bundles Bundle from there.

You might be wondering: how can I find more cool bundles that other Ravelers have created? We don’t know yet… but that was sort of the whole idea. Stay tuned – there are already about 55,000 user-created bundles and we definitely want to make a way to explore them!

It seems like often when I read about knitting and crochet in popular media, the articles highlight that this is not your grandmother’s fiber arts. Which made me ponder, what are grandmothers making? So today’s eye candy is all recently completed projects from grandmas*!

So, it seems like grandmothers like to make whimsical things that make me smile. Clockwise from top: knits-n-purls’ Bow Tie for me, JanRachel’s Mother’s Day Bird House,  HumorMe’s Country Christmas Doily, and margieelisabeth’s Kodi.

Oh wow, some grandparents enjoy making colorful creations! From left: HelenButtercup’s No Purls Allowed, isabella106’s Crocodile Flower, and TaijaK’s Lontoo-sukat.

I am unsurprised that some grandmas make themselves gorgeous sweaters. From left: gurlypurl’s Fly away, fly away home grasshopper, grannyfirefly’s My sweet jane, and PamelaBee’s Professoressa .

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into what some grandmothers are knitting and crocheting!

*I identified grandparents based on Ravelers who had “grand” in the Pets? Kids? section of their profile.

Laceweight shawls are such a versatile year round accessory, and oh so pretty, so today we are featuring some of the great laceweight shawls that have been made so far this year.

solid
I found some beautiful solid and semi-solid colored shawls (clockwise from top left): Heikku’s Marina, jettshin’s Stellaria for Costa Rica, ravliki’s Pressed Violets and Bayleee’s Elegant Elise.

combos
And, I just love the color combinations in these shawls (clockwise from top left): K-Kristiina’s Sweet Dreams, ldyer1’s Maia Shawl flower, himawari’s Belle Époque Shawl and ChristalLittleK’s Divergence.

The shawls featured here really are just the tip of the iceberg of the lovely shawls people have been creating this year. You can find more using this search.

Thursday Tip: Yarns Tab

May 7th, 2015

Hello and welcome back to our tour of the Ravelry navigation tabs. Last month I talked about all the features in the patterns tab and today I will continue on and discuss the yarns tab.

You can get to the yarns tab by visiting www.ravelry.com/yarns or clicking the yarns tab at the top of your screen. Let’s begin with the left side of the page.

Popular New Yarns

The first thing you’ll see is a list of the most popular yarns that are new to Ravelry – they were either first stashed within the past 60 days or the yarn entry was created within the past 90 days.

Local Yarn Shop Directory

If you want to find a yarn shop, you can search for them from this part of the page. The search box will accept either the name of a yarn shop or a city, state/country – sometimes I use it to look up a certain shop and sometimes to explore what’s available in a place I’m going to visit. If you have entered your location in your profile you’ll also have a link to yarn shops within 10 miles.

Below this is a link to our Road Trip Planner – you give us start and end points and how far off your route you’re willing to venture and we’ll tell you about yarn shops along the way!

Newly Added Yarns

Want to see yarns added to the database within the past week? Check out the newly added yarns section for the freshest additions to our database.

Next up, let’s check out the top right.

Search Yarns

The search box at the top right of the page is a shortcut to the yarns advanced search – enter what you’re looking for and we’ll take you to those results with the addition of lots of handy sorting and filtering options.

There is also a link straight to the advanced search if you prefer to browse without a search term. The search in stashes link takes you to the advanced search for stashed yarn – yarns entered in the notebooks of your fellow Ravelers. The yarn search is a great way to find yarns by attribute such as fiber content or gauge, while the stash search can give you more photos from Ravelry users to see the range of a colorway, for example.

Browse By Fiber

We allow yarn companies to enter the component fibers of a yarn when they’re entered in our database, and the browse by fiber section allows you to peruse yarns using these selections.

Finally, let’s check out the bottom right of the page.

Yarnies

This is a random selection of Ravelers and their Yarn Companies – a fun way to browse what our community is creating. You can choose the link at the top to see all of the yarnies (just shy of 3K as I publish this!) or select a yarn company to learn more about. The yarn company page has a bio as well as a list of their yarns they’ve entered on Ravelry and often information about where you can purchase their yarns.

And that’s the end of our yarns tab tour. We’ll keep up our tour over the coming months and hopefully you’ll continue to learn more about the site.

This week, I took a look at projects that Ravelers have crated for charity so far in 2015, an Eye Candy theme suggested by cindylen – thank you so much for the great idea, Cindy! I was truly blown away by the beautiful projects that Ravelers have made to donate, auction, and generally make lives better (and a little warmer and more colorful) around the world. The project notes and reasons for all these crafts are really moving, so this post is a bit wordier than usual in order to share the stories behind the projects.

charity crafting 1

Above left is the adorable Bundles of Joy Sweater Set 63 made by caitysmom for the OB ward at the Pine Ridge Reservation. It’s one of many beautiful layettes that she and the other crafters in the Bundles of Joy Ravelry group have made for the little babies at Pine Ridge. On the right is CorrineMB‘s “It’s Snowing… Again” Sunday Shawl, crocheted for one of her local nursing homes, and shared with the Ravelry group Charity Knitting.

charity crafting 2

Next we have two giant piles of handmade awesomeness! At left, lartemis94 days in the NICU hats was made for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where her daughter-in-law is the parent liason. She chose to crochet 94 (!!!) preemie and micropreemie hats because her grandsons (who are healthy and doing great!) spent 94 days in the NICU, helped by the wonderful staff as well as the March of Dimes. To the right is schneggart‘s Bolivien 2015, a gorgeous pile of socks knit for people in Bolivia – one of many charitable crafting efforts that German Ravelers in which the busy Handarbeiten Fur Caritative Einrichtungen Ravelry group participate.

charity crafting 3

Next up, we have two crochet projects! First, theemutsPlentiful Sunshine, above left, was a collaborative charity blanket. She, along with, Ravelers jessiebonbon, Joyce28, wilfi, Craftylucyloo, Modelwidow, Liztelf, Annha, and pippas45, crocheted squares for this charming blanket that was donated to Zorghuis Oostende, a care house in Belgium for single cancer patients. Theemuts coordinated this project through the Ravelry group SIBOL (Sunshine International Blankets of Love), which is focused on bringing people together to make collaborative blankets to donate to care homes around the world. DarleneHopkins crocheted the charming Bears for Team Lewis, April 2015, last month. Team Lewis is an organization in the UK that provides entertainment and care in various ways for children whose siblings are receiving hospital care.

charity crafting 4

Our final two projects were both made in honor of veterans. On the left, KiriWren‘s Remembrance is a group of handknit poppies donated to the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum in New Zealand for the 5,000 poppies display in honor of the Anzac Day centenary. The full display is pictured on her projects page – both sobering and beautiful. On the right, KnitHappyDesigns made Warmth for Warriors Hats, participating in an ongoing drive in the Warmth for Warriors Ravelry group for wool hats and other special handknit and crocheted items for both active soldiers and veterans.

These wonderful projects are just a fraction of the beautiful handmade charity items made by Ravelers so far this year. If you are interested in making items for charity or to donate and aren’t sure where to start, check out the many groups in the charity crafting category in our group search! There are so many welcoming, active groups focusing on both specific needs and general charitable efforts. It’s truly a beautiful thing to communicate with Ravelers using their time and talents to help others in so many ways!

We have some great new ways to give and receive now available on Ravelry!

Non-Ravelers can now send you patterns from your wishlist!
Friends and family may ask you what you want for the next holiday that comes along. Now, they can buy patterns for you from your wishlist even if they don’t have a Ravelry login! Don’t have a wishlist? Never fear, you can find out how to make one by checking out these instructions.

To give those friends & family members a not-so-subtle hint, send them a link to your wishlist. You can find it by going to your queue, and clicking the wishlist tab.
wishlist tab
Then, copy the link from your browser’s address window. Paste that into an email to your loved one and they will then be able to access your wishlist anytime in the future to send you pattern presents through our download system!

Gift patterns can be sent from Ravelers & Non-Ravelers, and they can be sent to Ravelers & Non-Ravelers, you just need the recipient’s Ravelry username or email address. Also, if you are sending a gift pattern anonymously for a secret swap, you can now log out before sending and send a secret pattern gift.

You can now send Ravelry Extras as a gift to another Raveler!
Know someone who would like to have the ability to add images directly to the forums, but hasn’t yet purchased the Ravelry Extras for whatever reason? You can now send it to them. To do this, go to the Ravelry Extras page and click “send as a gift”.
gift extras
Extras can only be sent to Ravelers, but they can be sent from both Ravelers & Non-Ravelers using the Extras webpage.

It is super fun to give and receive gifts! Hopefully these new gifting options will help you to get what you want for that next special occasion or to spread some cheer to another person!

The projects shown this week use designs that span the last century.

korakora’s Princess Louise Bag (1917), knotweezy’s OMG I Knit a Lyra!! (1939) and melanostalgia’s Victory Jumper (1945).

nsangheetha’s I Love Doily (1951), Toreador’s Vintage blouse (1954) and CabledSheep’s Vintage Green (1966).

sarispindle’s Strawberry Swirl (1970), Turbo’s Seamless ski sweater (1981) and HanKnit’s Tutti-frutti Booties (1989).

I started this post by looking for projects made from pre-1950s patterns but it turns out that there just aren’t that many being finished each month. Here is a search that shows patterns published before 1950, with those that have the most projects listed first: http://rav.to/1bRSxhd

Try using a group’s “neighbors” tab as a way of finding similar groups that might interest you. This list can be especially helpful if a group that you liked has gone quiet and you are looking for some new places to visit.

Bonus tip: If you use the group search, today I added an “Active” filter to the sidebar. You can use this to easily filter out groups that haven’t had any new posts in the last 30 days.

From the understated to the blingy, today’s post is about recently completed jewelry.

First up, the sparkly. lesleybridgewater’s crochet chain link necklace, Ingazzz’s Häkelkette, and meliciap’s Silver Viking Knit Bracelet.

Next, the beaded! Ourlolie’s Knitted Braids Necklace, krystalline’s Ribband the Third, and xwordphile’s Bunch Bands.

Finally, the understated (clockwise from left). colette-gabriela’s springtime necklace, Zonneke’s Cousines, MiscNich’s Cable Braided Necklace, and Kattarina’s BabyFun necklace “Amélia”.

PS I know that technically there are no rings in this post, but Beyonce doesn’t have a catchy chorus about necklaces and bracelets.

friend activity

Friend activity has long been one of my very favorite Ravelry features. Found on the Friend Activity tab in the Friends section of your Ravelry notebook, it shows you different types of site activity from your Ravelry friends, so you can see when your friends have:

  • added a project photo
  • added a stash photo
  • added a photo to a handspun project
  • queued a pattern
  • added something to their Ravelry favorites
  • magic-linked a pattern, yarn or project in the forums
  • commented on patterns, yarns, projects, or stashed yarns

displayed activity

If your friend list is large and active, or you prefer to see only certain types of activity, you can filter the specific type of activity you want to see by selecting the appropriate “displayed activity” ticky boxes at the top of your Friend Activity tab. Your displayed activity choices will be remembered, so you don’t have to re-filter every time you check the tab. If you’ve organized your friends into confidential sets (you can do this on the organize tab in your friend section – more info here!) you can also limit your friend activity to only that set of friends with the drop-down menu at the top left.

I love checking my Friend Activity because it’s such a quick way to get inspiration, discover patterns and projects I might not have seen, and see updates to the projects my friends are working on.

You’ll only see activity on this tab if you have added Ravelers to your friends and they are active on the site in ways that display activity. If you haven’t added any Ravelry users to your friends yet, it’s easy to do – just go to their Ravelry profile page and click on the “add to my friends” button:

add to friends

On Ravelry, a “friend” can be someone you don’t even know and there is no approval process or expectation of being friended back, so please feel free to add folks to your friends for any reason. One of the best reasons to friend someone is if you think they make awesome stuff and you’ll like to follow what they are making through the Friend Activity tab. If you feel shy about adding people to your friends list and aren’t sure where to start, please feel free to add any of us on the staff here – we’d love to have you in our Ravelry friends!