It is a wonderful time right now to be a fan of crochet- and knitwear design. There are so many amazing designers producing beautiful patterns and the only downside is that it can be hard to keep up with your favorites. Today’s tip will cover how to subscribe to a search and be notified every time one of your favorite designers publishes a new pattern.

First, visit a designer’s page and use the add to favorites button to add them to your favorites.

Next, visit the favorites section of your notebook. From there you’ll filter down to your favorite designers and use the advanced search link to go to a search for just their patterns.

Finally, you create a new saved search and make sure to select the subscribe checkbox.

And that’s it! From then on you’ll receive notifications of new results in that saved search – there will be a little blue dot next to the magnifying glass in the dropdown whenever there is a new result for any saved search. You can click on the magnifying glass to see a listing of all your saved searches and how many new results each one has.

Eye Candy: Pillow Fight!

April 13th, 2018

My kids have a pillow fight every night before bed. Let’s just say it’s not great for winding down. I have been itching to make pillows for a while now, some they won’t be allowed to fight with, so I turned to recently completed projects for inspiration.

These are so pretty and I love how the photos place me right in the homes where these pillows live. From left to right: d a h l i a by thisladyloves, Our life paths intersect by elita1111 and something pretty by Britbaker

I love the patterning on these pillows: mycrochetprojects Dove square pillow, Plaid pattern cushion cover by JimiKnits and Folk pillow cover – Heather by AussieHeather

I couldn’t resist the whimsy in these cushions: Cloud Pillow by KnitterMama1, Bliss the Bird Pillow by ShieldGirl77 and Donut Pillow by jamiepilar

I hope you enjoyed these fun pillows and that they inspire you to make some, too!

My short-term memory is not the greatest. It’s not uncommon for me to have seen a pattern I loved and only remember the name of the publication I saw it in but not which issue, or maybe just what the cover looked like. Today’s tip is how I use Ravelry to find those patterns.

My first step would be to use the magnifying glass search from the top navigation, and enter the name of the publication. A publication can be a book, a magazine, a pamphlet – some grouping of patterns put together by the creator. I can click on any of those results and be taken to the page for the publication.

The publication page will allow you to look at the patterns in the issue, as well as linked projects. Additionally, it has links to two places we want to look – the periodical and the publisher. The periodical is the magazine itself, and the publisher is who creates the magazine. In some cases they’ll overlap completely, but in others the same publisher can have multiple periodicals. Publishers can also have other kinds of publications, for example a yarn company that produces patterns for their yarns organized into pamphlets.

The periodical and publisher pages look the same –  there is a listing of every of all the publications, grouped by year. I can scroll down the page to peruse the covers and see if any of them jog my memory. I can also click that search patterns button at the top of the page and be taken to the advanced search for this periodical/publisher – all the results will be pre-filtered to those within the listed publications. From there I can page through or use additional filters to find what I am looking for.

Try this trick to help your foggy memory, or to see if the publishing house that put out your favorite knitting or crochet book has any other titles you’ll love.

I like highlighting projects that have helped others in some way and I usually do this by selecting projects with lots of “are these notes helpful?” votes.

This time I tried something different. When planning projects, especially larger ones, many people collect projects that are inspirational and helpful in their favorites. If you do this, when you begin a project of your own, your related favorites will appear in the right margin so that you can quickly find them.

I found people who may have been planning in this way by looking for folks with clusters of favorites that relate to the same pattern. Then I looked for projects that were favorited by many different people who were (likely) planning a project. The results were really interesting and I’m thinking that I could do more with this in the future. Here are a few that I picked out.

Above: ccdoug’s Sophie Loves Lilla Bjorn Loves Polly Plum Winter Blanket, aknittinglinguist’s Vintersol and Febr12’s Rug.

taniaho’s silver forest, reddoormeg’s 2014 Weather Blanket and gosik’s Skyfall.

Nell’s Carbeth, luuv2knit’s Zweig and knittingfiona’s Multnomah.

I love the Ravelry advanced search. I use it to find patterns to match my stash, plan my projects, and find beautiful inspiration. It took some time to learn the best way to find the results I am after, so today I am sharing my favorite tip to improve your results.

Don’t use the search box.

For most of the searches you want to do on Ravelry, using the filters to the side of the search is going to give you more targeted results that using the search box. Why? For patterns, the search box looks at pattern title, designer name, source name, and then the notes from linked projects. To search by the information that a designer has entered to describe their pattern you need to use the filters.

Some Examples

Here’s a link to the search pictured above – using the search box to look for a child’s cardigan. Of the first four results, two of them are not written as cardigans and one has no child size written. They probably show up because someone has made a cardigan/child-sized version and wrote about it in their project notes.

Here is a link to the search pictured above – using filters to look for a child’s cardigan. The first four results are now all cardigans and if you click to look at the patterns they all come in child sizes.

There are a lot of filters available, and even I don’t know all of them off the top of my head. I try to peruse them as a drill down into a search, to remind myself of my options.

When Should I Use the Search Box?

There are a few cases where the search box is your best bet. If you know exactly the name of the pattern or designer you’re looking for, then the search box will pull it up. Things like holidays and characters are not attributes designers can add to their patterns, so if you want to find patterns related to a holiday tradition or a fandom the search box is excellent.

I hope this helps to make your searches go more smoothly!


Eye Candy: Green for Spring

March 5th, 2018

Things are greening up here in Texas, which means spring is coming. I know in other parts of the world, there is snow on the ground with more to come. I thought maybe a little green in eye candy would allow me to send some of my spring to those of you in places where it feels like spring may never come.

First off, a pair of lovely green sweaters. On the left we have Mimiglace’s Liébana and on the right is akustrikk’s Setesdalskofte med rundfelling.

Next, I loved these bright and cheery projects. From left to right: kroete07’s Frühlingskranz, jane10021’s baby blanket daisy and Cinderella’s Larval Butt.

Finally, these whimsical projects made me smile. Nicolajl’s TOFT Winford the Green Basilisk is on the left and DitzyMermaid’s Quick & Easy Cacti is on the right.

I hope these pretty green projects brightened your day!

Eye Candy: New Zealand

February 16th, 2018

Hello! One of my favorite eye candy features we do is looking at what Ravelers from a specific country are making. This time I thought it would be fun to explore what is on the hooks and needles of our New Zealand members.

First we have these gorgeous soft neutrals. From left: KiwiSJ’s My new winter hat, KrisCnz’s Cosy onesie #2 & #3, and solly-k’s Beeswax cowl.

Next up, some delightful animal projects. From left: annettle’s Cockatoo, AlannaPenk’s Maia’s Kitty Hat, and Lianhua’s Nico’s Lion.

Finally, these beautiful garments. From left: MichelleHe’s Florrie, BellaTheSpider’s The Man With No Name, and suellnz’s Sous Sous #3.

Tip: Project Search

February 9th, 2018

I often base my tips posts on emails that I get from Ravelers. I get emails periodically from people saying they can’t find their project in a search. Most of the time, they can’t find it because they don’t know how to get to the project search and are searching in the pattern search instead. So, today I thought I’d share two easy ways to access the project search with you.

The first way to access the project search is to use the “quick search” option on the Ravelry front page. Enter the name of the project you might be searching for and then use the drop down to choose projects. This is best to use if you are searching for something specific.

A second easy way to access the project search is to use the magnifying glass tab. To search only for projects, click the magnifying glass tab…

then click “projects”.

On that page, you can use a variety of search attributes to browse through projects. It can be really fun to look at all of the recently projects in a specific category, like hats for example. I find that I am always inspired by what other Ravelers are making when I go through the project search.

I hope this helps you to find the projects that you are looking for and maybe some inspiration, as well.

Eye Candy: Hats in the Snow

January 24th, 2018

hats in the snow cover

nathansmom2’s Dude Hat & Scarf Set

So far this year, hats have been the most popular project on Ravelry. It makes sense – with most of our users in the Northern hemisphere trying to stay warm through polar vortexes and “bomb cyclones” (or just regular winter weather), a hat makes a quick, practical, and fun project that you can use right away. Here are just a few of the hat projects that Ravelers have completed this month – already doing a great job keeping their owners warm in the snow!

hats in the snow 1

Above: Jurga’s skiing time again, deetara’s Intervolve Cable Hat, and Kim’s Sock Monkey Lineate.

hats in the snow 2

Here we have: h-e-l-i’s Kapu, Reill’s Tangled River, and tiekaa’s Pretty Wild.

hats in the snow 3

Finally, here are hansupo’s Brackett, essiiij’s Jääkarhupipo, and misstinkett’s Warm Knots.

You can check out more recently completed hat projects in our project search – there are loads of great projects to page through!

Tip: Project Challenge FAQs

January 18th, 2018

It has been less than two weeks since we announced the Project Challenge feature and we have been so thrilled with the response. We have 25,000 Ravelers participating. You’ve pledged to complete 296,420 items and have 20,987 of them finished! Today we’re going to cover some frequently asked questions.

I can’t see the challenge tab in my notebook, where is it?

The challenge tab is in the projects section of your notebook, to the left of the organize tab. If you are on a mobile device these tabs may be hidden behind a button with a picture of 3 dots.

I declined the challenge but changed my mind and want to opt back in. How do I do that?

Here’s a link! It will bring you to the challenge page and from there you’ll be able to choose to participate.

How do I make my queued projects show up on the page?

If you edit any item in your queue you’ll be able to add a finish by date to that item. If the finish by date is within the current year it will show up on your challenge page.

How do I make my in-progress project show up on the page?

We’ve added a new finish by field to projects. You’ll see it in edit mode, and like for the queue, any item with a finish by date in the current year will be part of your challenge.

How do I make a finished project show up on the page?

Once you change the project status to finished, and set a completed date within the current year the project will be counted towards the challenge.

I marked a project as finished, then unmarked it and now my progress is out of date.

The database can take a little while to catch up, but it will and your count will be accurately reflected within a few hours.

Can I change my challenge number?

Sure! At any time you can use the link at the top of the challenge page to update your goal and we will recalculate your progress.

I make a lot of projects during the year and don’t want to make project pages for all of them. How can I make the challenge count them?

The challenge only counts finished project pages in Ravelry. One option is to set your goal to be the number of project pages you’ll complete, knowing that each page represents multiple projects.

Is there a central place I can view all the project challenges or my friends’ challenges?

Currently no, there is not. You can view other people’s challenge tabs by visiting their notebooks, though.

I hope all of this information helps you personalize your challenge! We have gotten so many wonderful suggestions about this feature and will definitely be adding to it throughout the year. If you have more questions or just want to chat about it we have an active thread in For the Love of Ravelry.