February 3rd, 2012
I get asked a lot about how to find the patterns in our database, so I’ve updated this post with new pictures and information in November of 2015 to hopefully help folks who have joined us since it was initially posted in February of 2012!
Ravelry has an extensive, user-maintained database that includes patterns from a variety of sources. A lot of people expect that the database will show only patterns available on Ravelry or online, but that’s not the case. The database is designed to allow people to be able to attach projects to any patterns they’ve made that are or were widely available. Here are some tips on finding the patterns that you are looking for.
1. Patterns available online or on Ravelry
There are a lot of patterns available online and there are 70,897 patterns as of this original blog post that are available as Ravelry downloads. In November of 2015, that number has grown to 227,109. If a pattern is available as a Ravelry download, you’ll see one of these options (depending upon whether it is free or a pattern to purchase).
If you set your location in your profile, you will see a currency conversion in the price area so that you’ll know approximately what the pattern will cost you based on Paypal’s current conversion rates.
You may also see an ebook option. That means that you could buy the entire ebook that the pattern is included in. You can see the other patterns by clicking “patterns” link there.
If it is not available as a Ravelry download, you won’t see these options in the upper right, but you will see a link to the pattern on an external site in the Pattern notes. Please note that if you are re-directed to another site to download a pattern, the pattern will not be stored in your Ravelry library.
If a pattern was previously available online but is no longer found there, you will see a beside the name of the site so you know it’s no longer available there.
2. Patterns available in a magazine, book or other source
A lot of the pattern entries you will find in the Ravelry database are for patterns that are available in some print format. If you don’t see one of the options listed above but want to access the pattern, you need to look at the “Published in” field.
The “Published in” field has a title listed there that you can click on for more information about the source and to see the rest of the patterns available in that publication. You may also see Amazon links in the bottom left to purchase the item if you would like to. This will direct you to Amazon to make the purchase.
If the source is a magazine, pamphlet or some other item not available on Amazon, you may need to do an internet search to see if the pattern is still available. Often you can find backorders of magazines still for sale and many patterns in our database are available exclusively from local or online yarn shops. There’s also a link to allow you to search local libraries.
What if I can’t find the pattern I really want?
I get asked frequently where someone can find a particular pattern. Often, they are hoping to recreate a stocking or a sweater that they or a family member made years ago. This pattern may be out of print or available from a source that is difficult to find. A group set-up to help people find patterns that they are searching for is the Book Destash & ISO (in search of) Library group. You can post in that group and see if anyone can help you find a particular pattern or book, just make sure you read their group guidelines first. If you don’t know exactly the pattern you’re looking for, you could try posting in the Patterns forum so fellow Ravelers could make suggestions to you on patterns that match the description.
If you aren’t yet familiar with our Advanced Search in the Patterns tab, there’s a little video to help with that. You can use the “remember & compare” function when searching so you can compare the patterns before making a decision on what you want to make. We have a quick guide to show you how that works. When you find a pattern in the database that you like, you can add it to your favorites so you can find it later. Also, we now have a “you’ve looked at” area on the Patterns tab now. If you see something you like, but forget to favorite it, you can check there to try to find it.
The database has so many patterns, and I know it can sometimes seem complicated to find the one you want, but I hope this post helps you to locate some great patterns for you to make from one of the many talented designers.