As 2016 comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some highlights of the year here on Ravelry.

The most made knitting patterns were socks and shawls this year. Here are a few of the projects that Ravelers made from them.

From Waiting for Rain, we have Vevka’s Waiting fo Snow (left) and ClaraSofia’s Waiting for rain (right).


Another shawl that was popular was the Building Blocks Shawl. Here are versions from KnittingArchivist (left) and Zippuli (right).


Finally, a couple of sock patterns round out the top knitting patterns for 2016, on the left we have ionai’s Slip Stripe Spiral Socks from the SlipStripeSpiral pattern and on the right are katsmoke’s Tube Operators from the Smooth Operator Socks pattern.

In crochet patterns, those with the most projects were accessories and cute animals.

The Double Layered Braided Cowl was a big hit, with a lot of stellar projects. A couple of my favorites were ohsoswt79’s (left) and tifrbug’s (right).


There are also going to be some cozy feet this winter in the Oma House Slippers. On the left here are a pair by flowergirlknitz and on the right some by cocomiharu.


Finally, we have the cute animals! I just love that after 2016, there are a bunch of Friendly Jellyfish and Dumpling Kitties in the world. Luciejwill’s Friendly Jellyfish are on the left and habitualhomebody’s Dumpling Kitty is on the right.

We also wanted to feature some of the most favorited projects made in 2016. Here are the top 6, but you can also use this search to see more! Check it out to see more really inspiring projects.

Top row (from left to right): grazzka’s Andrea, Lady-Macbeth’s Autumn Leaves shawl and babaruda’s Mandala madness Joy
Bottom row (from left to right): juliayork’s Hitofude, Karinita0607’s Breathing Space MadMay and undone57’s Prism

We’ll be taking some time away next week, so this will be our last blog post for 2016. We are so grateful for all of you who participated in our community in 2016 and look forward to creating with you in 2017!

Tip: Pattern Page Recon

December 16th, 2016

The Ravelry pattern database currently has over 650,000 patterns, and while I love having so many to choose from, sometimes it can be hard to pick from that bounty. When there aren’t many project attached to a pattern to help me envision how it might turn out, I look for clues on the pattern page itself. Today’s tip is some of the ways I assess a pattern page to evaluate if a pattern is what I’m looking for.

Photos

Photos are the first thing to draw me to a pattern page and they are also what can keep me there. The ones I most love to see are:

  • the whole project
  • close up of the details
  • a modeled picture
  • the project laid flat

The modeled and flay lay pictures are especially helpful to me for garments. It helps me to get an idea of the shaping and imagine how it might fit me.

Pattern Details

The details section of the pattern page is the next place I check. I love to work from my stash when I can, and I have technique preferences. When the details section is filled out I can check for all of these things. The gauge, suggested yarn and yardage range allow me to check my stash for suitable substitutions. The attributes can give a lot of insight into the construction of the item – I can see that this is knit top-down in the round, it has a raglan sleeve and waist shaping, and is seamless. There’s a schematic and a written pattern, too.

Description

If I’m still interested after perusing the pictures and details, I move onto the pattern description. My favorite things to see are:

  • a bit of romance copy describing the pattern construction and inspiration
  • for garments, the intended ease
  • for garments, the size the model is wearing and their measurements
  • for items with multiple sizes, the yardage for each size

Comments

Finally, I love to check out the comments on the pattern. I can filter to see responses from the designer, or from people who have already made the pattern. It’s a great fill-in for reading project notes.

And that brings us to the end of how I study a pattern page. I hope this info gives you ways to find the perfect pattern for your project!

Eye Candy: Summer is Coming

December 13th, 2016

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TrulyMyrtle’s beautiful Feathers Shawl.

As the chill settles in where I live, and I find myself reaching for the nearest blanket/wool socks/cozy hat all day, it is nice to remember that on the other side of the Earth, summer is about to begin! Today I wanted to share some gorgeous projects from Australia and New Zealand that have been finished recently – Ravelers in the Southern Hemisphere may be gearing up for their warmest seasons, but we all know that doesn’t stop us yarn lovers from doing what we do, right?

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Cinetto’s Christmas, knitsbakesruns Optic Blanket, and Chrissaah’s Vanishing Point all caught my eye from their thumbnails, and when I clicked to check out the project details I was even more impressed. The Optic Blanket was even made with yarn from an Australian wool company, which gave me an extra reason to include it!

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Geekay’s I Need Colour!!! is aptly named and stunning! bestrickened’s Color Me In: Sepia has such lovely details – I really like how the textured stitch pattern on the body and stranded colorwork pattern on the sleeves complement each other subtly in the muted palette she used. Finally, RiotousAssembly’s Bungle in the Jungle is a showstopper of a blanket made for a very fortunate baby!

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at a few of the gorgeous things that Ravelers in Australia and New Zealand are making! If you’d like to do a bit more virtual yarn travel, check out our Hot Around the World page, which shows you patterns that Ravelers around the world are looking at now.

Tip: Making Gifts for Ravelers

December 9th, 2016

Lots of us have friends on Ravelry that we make gifts for from time to time. You may even be working on one right now. Here are a couple of tips regarding making gifts for your fellow Ravelers.

Use Their Notebook For Hints
A Raveler’s notebook can tell you a lot about them! Looking at their project pages can tell you the colors they like to wear or maybe the fiber contents that they favor. For example, I can tell here that Mary Heather likes greens and blues.

If they fill out their profile page, you can find their favorite colors listed there and they may have additional helpful information in their “About Me” section. You could also check out their stash page to see if there are yarns they love to work with. If they love to work with a particular yarn, they’d probably like wearing it, too, or if you aren’t set on making something, a favorite yarn makes a great gift. So, when you are preparing to make a gift for another Raveler, don’t forget to check out their notebook for a wealth of information.

Keep the Project Anonymous
There’s a place on the project page to list who the project is made for and you can link a Raveler there, but you can wait and add that part after the project has been given to the recipient to keep it anonymous. You can also keep your notes somewhere outside of Ravelry when making the project and add them in at the end. Additionally, you can still add photos to your project page, but maybe just show small portions of the project, rather than showing the entire project if you think your recipient may come across the page.

Check out their Wishlist
If you decide not to craft for your Ravelry friend, check out their Wishlist and send them a pattern they want instead. You can find some information about the Wishlist feature in our recent blog post. If you don’t have a wishlist, yet, but have some patterns you might want, don’t forget to add them in case someone is looking to send you a gift!

We love how generous Ravelers are and we really enjoy seeing all of the gifts you make, both for fellow Ravelers and for those you care about outside of Ravelry. I hope this post gives you a little inspiration for finding the perfect gift for any Ravelers on your list.

Community Eye Candy: Warm Heads

December 8th, 2016

It is hat season for many of us!

Above: Tasmin21’s Joyful & Bright Slouch Hat, Tasha82’s Fat Hatty and NishiKnits’ Felicity Mechita.

Above: PetraMar’s My Cashmere Hat, krumel’s Samsara, and aliciamarin’s Pussyhat Project #1.

Tip: Try a Ravelry Wish List!

December 1st, 2016

🚨 Fun Feature Improvement Alert! 🚨

Casey has been rolling out some changes to our Wish List feature this week – some of you may already have noticed them! If you don’t see these features yet – we’ll have them available in your account soon. People who use bundles a lot may not see this yet but we promise it’s coming for you, too!

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The “Wish List” is now a special bundle in your favorites and you can wish for anything on Ravelry that you can favorite. By default, your Wish List is public and you can share the link with other people (even if they aren’t on Ravelry!). Like your other bundles, you can search it and reorder it. To add something to your Wish List, just click on the “add to favorites” button and you’ll see the Wish List option at the top of your list of bundles – select that and then hit the save button:

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Now you’ll have a new Wish List Bundle in your Favorites. It’s a little different than other Bundles because we show the prices and when you’re looking at a friend’s Wish List, you’ll see the link to buy them the gift (if it’s a pattern sold on Ravelry) right in their wishlist:

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When looking at your Wish List, you’ll find the options to share, organize, edit, or search it on the upper right.

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If you previously used the “Wish List” tab in your queue, you will still be able to see which of your queued patterns are on your wishlist and make adjustments, but there is only one list. Your wished-for items will always reside in your favorites.

This is a new and improving feature and we’ll be making changes and updates – you can chat with us about your Wish List and see a few things we have planned in this For the Love of Ravelry thread. We hope this helps you organize those special goodies you have your eye on!

Weaving is one of the crafts on my someday list, and the kind that makes me most likely to start daydreaming is tablet weaving. I love the ingenuity of using cards as your loom, and it’s so easy to think of all the button bands and trims I could make. Today’s eye candy highlights some tablet weaving projects that caught my eye.

Our first trio shows how tablet weaving can be a canvas to create pictures or words. From left: MrsCollinHobbs’ Poppies, mozartnuts’s Evergreens, and breimiepjemarnel’s key cords.

The next set is tablet weavings in cool uses. From left: reanbean’s Shoelaces, woolandneedles’ Tablet Weaving – Guitar Strap with Fish Pattern, and Hemma’s Otto (a horse leash!).

And finally, some projects that are just gorgeous. From left: llunallama’s Tablet Weaving, SingingSanja’s GothicGirlyGarger, and Peregrina1’s Köper-Seidenband.

I hope you enjoyed these projects! If you find them as inspiring as I do, check out the Tablet Weaving group on Ravelry.

Thursday Tip: Adding Your Blog

November 17th, 2016

Ravelry was started because Jess wanted a place to keep track of all the projects she was seeing on knitting blogs. It’s nearly 10 years later and while we love our database of patterns, projects, and yarns, we still love seeing what is happening in crafty blogs. Today’s tip will teach you how to add your blog to your profile, link it to items in your notebook, and where else those posts will show up around the site.

Adding Your Blog

You can add your blog to Ravelry from your profile page. Go to edit it and among the top fields on the page are the place to enter your blog’s URL and RSS feed.

You’ll notice that I have different addresses there – the blog URL is what I would type in my browser if I wanted to visit the blog, while the RSS feed is what a feedreader would use to keep track of new posts. Your RSS feed URL will depend on where your blog is hosted. If you can’t find it, check to see if it’s automatically in your template, or ask the website where you run the blog for help in finding it.

After you hit save we’ll bring you back to your profile where there will now be links to your blog in a couple places. Above your projects we’ll show a screenshot of your site that links to it. And below the about me section we’ll have a list of your blog posts. New posts won’t show up instantaneously, but we update the list regularly.

Linking To Notebook Items

Once your blog is listed you can start linking it to the items in your notebook. If you have a new blog with just an entry or two, you may want to choose the route of going straight to those notebook items and linking them from the blog posts tab there. Casey has a great post on this. If you added an existing blog and want to quickly link many items, I recommend using your blog posts page. You can get to it from the blog posts section of your notebook menu, or the link below your blog posts on your profile page.

Below each entry there’s a button to link it to items in your notebook. Additionally there’s an [x] to the right of each post that allows you to remove duplicates or posts you don’t want on Ravelry. If you want to get a post up on Ravelry right away click the refresh post list button and we’ll check for new entries.

Your Posts Across the Site

Blog posts show up in a couple places around the site. Patterns and yarns have blog post tabs that list blog posts linked to projects and stashes in user’s notebooks.

If you share a project or stash with a group, linked blog posts can show up on that group’s homepage. There’s room for the 4 most recent posts, so how long yours will stay up depends on level of group activity.

You can catch up on the latest from your friends on the friends’ blogs tab of the friends section of your notebook. You can filter that feed to show only your friends in specific Ravelry groups, or in the friend sets you’ve created.

And that wraps up my summary of blogs on Ravelry. I look forward to seeing what you’re blogging about!

Eye Candy: Warm

November 15th, 2016

I didn’t have a theme in mind when I started browsing for Eye Candy projects this week, but I quickly found myself drawn toward projects in warm colors. Here are some of my favorites, all finished so far this month:

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KnittingElse’s Dünenrose

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Squidgey’s Lacy Shell Cowl, llunallama’s Tablet Weaving, and bunnyknitter’s Scarf for Albie.

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edler007’s Frieze Shawl – Fluoro Rose, supizoo’s Arctic Texture Socks, and beforesunrise’s autumn sunlight.

Wishing you coziness, comfort, and warmth, wherever you are!

Tip: Patterns for Gifts

November 11th, 2016

It’s the time of year that many of us begin to think about holiday gift giving. I know there are lots of you who do this year round, but I am a “wait ’till the last minute” kind of girl. That said, there are lots of ways that Ravelry can help you find the perfect pattern for the gifts on your list. Here are a couple of those.

Advanced Search
The advanced search is always handy for finding patterns within our database. There are a lot of different filters you might use for searching the database, but there are a few that might be particularly handy for gifts. If you are in a time crunch, you might want to search only for patterns that are Ravelry downloads so you can download them quickly and get to work or for patterns that are already in your library that you own. You can choose these options under “Availability”

Under “My Notebook” you can also search for patterns that work with yarn in your stash if you use our stash feature. If you don’t use our stash feature, you can find some other reasons why it is handy in this post. Also, if you are in a hurry, you can search for patterns that use 0-150 yards. Since they use a small amount of yarn, you should be able to make these patterns more quickly than those that require more yarn.

Here’s the pattern search that includes all of the options I’ve mentioned above. From there, you can narrow it down even more to find the perfect pattern for the gift you are making. Don’t forget, you can save the search and come back to it later.

Bundles
Bundles are a way you can group your favorites. You can group together anything that you can favorite. I have a bundle that has patterns in it that I think would make great gifts. I could extend this and add yarns that would be great for gift making, as well. Anytime I get ready to make a gift, I go check this bundle.

You may also get inspiration from bundles of your friends. For example, Mary Heather has some really great bundles like the one of teeny tiny things and another of things for the house that might make good gifts depending on the recipient. You can find your friends bundles by going to their profile page and clicking on their favorites. If they have bundles, there is an option to view them there.

Whether you’re making a gift for a friend, trying to knock out a couple of teacher gifts or making something for your entire family, I hope this post helps you to find some great patterns for the perfect gifts!