Each week, we write a “Community Eye Candy” post that shows off a group of newly finished projects that center around a common theme. If you like, you can use Ravelry’s project search to find your own collections of inspirational or helpful projects.

First, get thee to the project search. Click the search menu in the top bar and then choose the “projects” link

Once you are in the projects search, you’ll see all of the advanced search controls. Som

  • The regular search box will search through all of the project information as well as the pattern and yarn that are linked to the project
  • In the upper right – Sort: among other things, you can sort by “most favorites” and “most helpful”
  • On the filter side bar – Finished in: you can use this to only look at projects that were finished in the last couple months or the last year. Combining this with the sorts can be useful.
  • You can use made by friends and group name to look at projects made by people that are in your friends or your groups
  • In my stash can be a way to find stash ideas. There is also a “Yarn name” option if you want to look at a particular yarn.
  • Limit your search to projects that were not made from a pattern by selecting “no” for linked to a pattern
  • ..and especially helpful if you are just looking for ideas: notes and tags let you search inside project notes and tags for specific words or phrases that were entered in those fields. Remember to add quotes if you want to match an exact phrase.

It’s that time of year, again. The time of year when students here put on their backpacks and school colors and head back to school. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the fun things people have made with their school colors!

school color stripes
First off, some fun stripes using school colors! From left to right, VivaciousKnitter’s School Spirit Sweater, paradisecity’s Your Heart’s Going to Break, but Never Break Even, and KnitLightToLace’s School Pride

school color stuffies
I was also totally smitten with these stuffed animals showing their school spirit: amyt1214′s Lexi, Teresa-jtalb85 Graduation owl, whatinspiresewe Teddy Bear Fan Raglan–Go Everett!!!

Now I need to decide what to make for my son in his school colors! Hope you and yours have a great school year!

Have you ever seen this bar at the top of the text box when you’re writing a forum post and wondered what do all of those buttons mean?  Today we’re going to walk through all of them so you can feel confident formatting your posts. Formatting bars like this show up in lots of places across the site where you can enter text (forum posts, project notes, etc) and are shortcuts to add formatting to your text.  We use markdown syntax to format text, so if you’ve used that the info here may be familiar. Let’s start with the buttons on the left and move across.

Text Buttons

If you highlight text and click the B and you’ll see ** show up around your text, which comes out as bold when the topic is published.  If you don’t highlight anything, the ** ** will just show up at the end and you can enter the text you want to emphasize in between.

Click the I and you’ll see * around your text which is translated into italics when published.  Just like with bold, highlighting before you click will put the * * where you want it.  Oh, and if you want to use an * in your text without it meaning italics, just put spaces around it and no special formatting will be applied.

Links and Media

The earth with an arrow is the symbol for a link.  Use that button to insert a link in your post.  Bonus tip: If you hover over it you’ll see a tooltip with a keyboard shortcut for entering a link, Ctrl + L.  All the buttons have one, so look for them if you have a favorite button.

The quotation marks are for quoting text.  You’ll see a > appear next to your text and when it’s published it will appear quoted.  This can be a handy way to make it clear what part of a previous post you’re replying to.

The polaroid picture is for inserting pictures into your post.  Follow the instructions after clicking it and you’ll be able to enter a picture from an item in your notebook, from elsewhere on the internet like Flickr or Instagram, or upload it directly from your device.  You can even drag and drop images to the text box after clicking the button! (Uploading directly from your computer to the forums requires the purchase of a Ravelry Extra for $5/year.  You can read more about that here.)

The last icon in that group, the grey globe, is a webcam.  If your device has a webcam and supports Adobe Flash (aka is not an iPhone/iPad/iWhatever), then you can take a photo with a webcam to insert into your post.  If I’m doing this in For the Love of Ravelry, I’m feeling very silly that day :)

Want to put a video in your post?  Click the little TV and enter a link to a YouTube,Vimeo, or Vine video.

You can insert an audio file like a song in your post by clicking the music note button and entering a link to a .mp3 file.

Lists

The first list button helps make a numbered list and the second list button makes a bulleted list.  You can see the difference while you’re typing because the number lists have 1., etc next to the items and the bulleted lists have a * next to the items.

Ever wanted to organize your text with headings?  That last icon in the list section has a few different ways to create headings in your posts.  Keep clicking it and you’ll see a few different kinds of headings pop-up: ##, ==, and — all create headings with different sized text so play with them and see what you like!

Time Machines

Okay, technically they’re just undo (the left-pointing arrow) and redo (the right-pointing arrow) buttons.  But I like to think of them as tiny time machine buttons that help me go backwards and forwards in time to get to my favorite version of a post.  I assume I’m not the only one that often types and retypes until I get it right. :)

Preview

The preview button pops up a little window that previews how all the formatting in your post will look.  It’s a great way to see how all those * and = and # are translated into pretty formatting.

And the question mark?  That’s how you get help if you ever have questions about text formatting in the forums.  You’ll be opening the wiki page with info on our text editor.  We can’t fit shortcut buttons for everything that the text editor can do in that little grey bar, so read that wiki page if you want to do something I haven’t covered in this post.  I learned more about how our text editor works by writing this post, and if you want to get straight to work trying out all the stuff you learned, feel free to use this thread in the Help group!

Every so often, I like to browse projects that Ravelers make for daily use in their homes. For today’s Eye Candy I did a search for recently completed table settings. If you click on that search you can imagine how hard it was for me to choose just a few for this post, but here are some of my favorites!

table settings 1

DebbieB‘s Handwoven Rainbow Candy Napkins, KnapknitsMay Flowers napkin rings, and cardigansin‘s Hexagon Table Runner would make any table more cheerful.

table settings 2

I love the classic neutrals in mydonath‘s Platzsets, Sivani‘s Theresa, and marydargie‘s Projects at Dawn’s 2014.

table settigns 3

Finally, arkie‘s Mary Ann Ostrander Overshot Towels, paophoo‘s Black Table Center, and knapknitsMontague (which would coordinate so nicely with her napkin rings, featured above!), seem almost too pretty to use – but of course, that’s the joy of making gorgeous yet practical things: really using them!

Lovely work, all of you – thank you so much for sharing your projects on Ravelry! I just love the thought of these handmade personal touches adding beauty to mealtimes around the world. (I’m also preemptively outraged on behalf of you all in anticipation of the day these beautiful projects are spilled upon.)

Thursday Tip: Coupon Codes

July 31st, 2014

I often get emails about how you can find a coupon code or a discount when purchasing a pattern. I also get asked how to use the coupon codes that people discover, so I thought I’d share a bit with you about those in today’s Thursday Tip!

Coupon codes are set up by individual designers or publishers who have their patterns available as Ravelry downloads. The designer who sets it up can make it apply to all of their patterns or only specific patterns. They will usually specify what it works for in any advertisement of the coupon code. There aren’t Ravelry-wide coupon codes at this time, so they will only work for the designs specified for the promotion.

Designers decide how to distribute their coupon codes and will often mention them in their Ravelry groups, an email to their subscribers or other places online like twitter, Facebook or their blogs. Sometimes, the coupon codes will be listed on the pattern page in Ravelry. They may also send you a coupon code directly that is a one time use code just for you.

So, once you have a coupon code, how do you use it?

Step One: If the code requires you to add more than one pattern, go to each pattern page and click “add to cart”.
add to cart

If the code requires you to only buy one pattern, click “buy it now”.

Step Two: A cart window will come up when you click either “add to cart” or “buy now”. Toward the bottom right of the window you will see “use a coupon code” next to the “check out now” button. Click on that before checking out.
use coupon code

Step Three: Add the Coupon Code and click “apply”.
apply

Then, you will see the discount noted there in your cart. Here’s an example of what that looks like.

As long as the discount is applied there, you know that the coupon code has worked and is still active, and you can click to check out. I hope this helps you to use the great coupon codes that designers and publishers on Ravelry make available!

This July, during the Tour de France, 2500 spinners participated in the Tour de Fleece and challenged themselves to meet their spinning goals. The result? 4600 spinning projects were completed this month – that’s double the usual number.

Below, we show the work of a few of this year’s TdF spinners. You can browse through more handspun by looking at the yarns that were shared with the TdF group or by searching the tdf2014 tag in stash.

Above: nahlinse’s Cheerful Disposition (fiber from Three Waters Farm) and winksmom’s Linden.

silmiriel’s …and the garden staged a riot (her own fiber from Abeille Fibre Arts) and squiished’s Save Water: Drink Tequila (fiber from Fondant Fibre).

BellyLaugher’s mad hatter (fiber from Becoming Art) and Ravyn78′s Secretly Spiders (fiber from Nerd Girl Yarns)

Above, we have srz’s spindled Ashland Bay 50/50 Yak/Silk and David’s Pumpkin Luggage which is woven two of his handspun yarns, one made from Spunky Eclectic fiber and one from Hello Yarn.

High fives all around – Tour De Fleece moderators, team mods, and everyone who participated :) TdF is such a cool event. You all challenged yourselves, got some good spinning time in and had a lot of fun with it.

patternviewinghistory

Did you know that we have a special page on which you can see a history of the patterns you’ve viewed? If you’ve ever looked at a pattern you admired but forgot to add it to your favorites or queue, and then wished to quickly find it again soon after, here’s how!

On the main patterns tab, look just under the red hot right now box on the left. If you’ve looked at any patterns on Ravelry recently, you’ll see a little you’ve looked at… section with little thumbnails of your three most recently viewed patterns. Here are mine:

you've looked at

(You won’t see this section if you haven’t looked at patterns recently, so if you see the recently added patterns section under the hot right now box, just click on any pattern to add something to your history so that you can try this out!)

Clicking on the your history page link (shown in the screenshot above) will take you to your pattern viewing history page. From here, you can scroll through your most recently viewed patterns. You can delete patterns right from this page with the delete buttons, and even search your history from the search field at the top to help you find what you are looking for.

pattern history search and delete

You’re the only person who can see your pattern viewing history – this information is private to you, and only accessible to you when you are logged in to your account. We don’t store your pattern viewing history permanently, so if you take a little break from Ravelry or don’t look at patterns for a while, your list will go away. Luckily, there are no shortage of gorgeous patterns to look at here on Ravelry, so you can fill it up again in no time!

Today’s Eye Candy is all about our Nigerian Ravelers.  They’re such a small group that I was able to look at all of their profiles and choose my favorite projects from each of their notebooks.  Here they are!

From left to right: SecretHooker‘s Clutch bag with bow (don’t miss the beautiful lining she sewed in, too!), cindyann1‘s My Ballard Slouch Hat, and Modupe‘s Portable Handbag (I love using yarn to hold yarn).

From left to right: trublvr‘s 2round flower motif, sugarnspice2576‘s Baby Blanket (those colors!!), and VenQat‘s Ethan’s Blanket.

From left to right: lisafroggirl‘s Clara Cowl, sabinecatmoon‘s Woodland Haruni (the bigger pattern pictures capture the sparkle in this FO), and NeneLawani‘s Wole’s Sweater (this is a man who loves his sweater :)

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into what our Nigerian Ravelers are creating!  They may be only 27 Ravelers who list Nigeria as their country, but they contribute lots of beautiful FOs to our community :)

It seems like lately I’m constantly packing a bag…a bag for the beach, a bag for camping, a bag for the pool. Here’s a few bags on Ravelry that have caught my eye this week!

Large bags
First off, a few larger bags (from left to right) – erynnedra’s summer bag, CatinaCrochets’ Moroccan Market Tote, and ElkeTeeuwen’s Summer Sling Tote.

Smaller bags
I also ran across a few bags for keeping your smaller treasures – crochet43kidz’ puffy seed stitch purse, RindyRuth’s Le Petit Sacs for sisters, and meigsview’s Shell Carpet Bag.

Colorful bags
Finally, a few bags that caught my eye because of their great use of color! Wickedcrochetlady’s Slump Beach Bag, Talllulah31′s African Flower Shoulder Bag and beckycupcake’s Rainbow Tote.

Whether you are packing for a trip or just heading out for the afternoon, I hope these bags will inspire you to make something pretty for carrying your things, as well!

One thing I love about Ravelry is being able to see your smiling faces (and cats and dogs and shawls and funny quotes) all over the site in the form of your Ravatar.  What’s a Ravatar?  It’s another name for an avatar or a profile picture, a little picture you use to represent yourself all over the site.  Today’s tip is how to upload your own Ravatar.

Step 1: Get to your profile page.

To get to your profile page, click on your username in the upper right corner of the page where it says hiya!

Step 2: Edit your profile.

Click the link under your username that says edit profile.

Step 3: Add a picture

Once you are editing your profile, you’ll want to click in nearly the exact same place on a button that says add profile pics. 

Step 4: Upload a picture

Finally, use the dialog to choose a picture you have saved on your computer, tablet, or phone, and then click the upload button to add it.  The picture will show up on the left side of the screen just under the add profile pics button.  You also have the choice to use a webcam to add a picture, if you have one.

And that’s it!  Now you have a Ravatar to represent you all over the site!  I like to choose a picture of me smiling because I feel like it makes my posts sound friendlier.  Have fun picking something to represent you!

And for those of you that already have a Ravatar, here are some bonus tips.  Did you know that you can manage your existing Ravatars when you’re editing your profile?  Follow steps 1 & 2 above to edit and from there you can remove any Ravatars you don’t want and drag and drop to reorder your gallery of previous profile pics.  I like keeping previous ones around so I can switch quickly if I feel like changing it up.