projects

As I type this post, we have 11,216,300 projects in our users’ notebooks. Last month, August 2014, 161,000 projects were added to Ravelry – an average of about 5,200 projects a day. This year, on January 1, was our busiest project-adding day, with 10,984 projects added to notebooks! (You all were busy during the holidays!) These numbers are pretty huge – but we also know that out of the users who were active in the past month, about 60% have no projects in their notebooks. It is perfectly fine to use Ravelry without ever adding a project to your notebook (there are no wrong ways to use Ravelry!), but we thought it would be handy to do a little Thursday Tips series on Ravelry projects, just in case some of you wanted to start adding projects but were intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea.

This post is an overview of Project Pages: what are they, where can you find them, and what information do they include? Let’s get started!

What is a project page?

oharethey curtain call project page

A project page, like this one for oharethey Christina’s lovely Curtain Call Cowl, is like a scrapbook or record of a project you have made. Project pages are found in the projects section of your Ravelry notebook, and all projects on Ravelry are visible to any other Ravelry user. (You can also choose to make your projects public or share them with non-Ravelers – check out our previous Thursday Tips post about that feature!)

Project pages have different sections where you can record pattern and yarn information, rate patterns or yarns used, add photos, and keep notes. You certainly don’t have to fill in all the information for every project – only what you want to remember. I’ll be going over adding a project (and filling in all this information) in a future post, but for now, let’s take a look at this knitting project page and break it down!

Project info

project info

The top section of your project page contains the basic info:

  • Name: the name you give your project.
  • Pattern: this is the pattern used for the project. Clicking on the pattern name here will lead you to that pattern’s Ravelry page. Linking your project to a pattern on your projects page (by typing in the pattern name when you enter your project) will also cause your project to appear on the projects tab for the pattern!
  • Craft: on Ravelry, you can create project pages for any of your knitting, crocheting, loom knitting, machine knitting, weaving, or spinning projects. Each craft has fields that are specific to that crafts’ needs (for example, crochet projects will mention hooks instead of needles); you can check out project pages for loom knitting, machine knitting, weaving, and spinning projects, to see how their projects pages differ!
  • Made for: you can write out who the project was made for – even if it was yourself! If the project was made for a Raveler you can link the project to them by entering their Ravelry username.
  • Size: note the size you made here.
  • Tags: here you can use tags to describe or organize your projects. Clicking on a tag will lead you to an advanced search of all of your other projects with the same tag. Clicking on the “cowl” tag for Christina’s project shows me that she likes to make pretty cowls!

Needle and yarn

needle and yarn

  • Needle (or hook, for crochet projects): this field is where you keep track of the needle and hook size you use. A personal note: every time I think I’m going to finish a project quickly and don’t fill this in, it ends up hibernating for months, I grab the needle or hook out of it thinking I’ll put it right back (but I don’t), and the next time I go to work on the project I have no idea what size I used so I go to check that info on Ravelry where I discover I didn’t fill it in… cue, sadness and woe. I love this field SO MUCH, when I use it.
  • Yarn: Link to the yarn you used here. Just like when you link to patterns, clicking on the linked yarn’s name will lead you to that yarn’s Ravelry page, and your project will be included on the projects tab with other projects that have used that yarn.
  • Stash: if you used a yarn that was in your stash, your stash entry will be linked here.
  • How much? keep track of the yards/meters you used in this field.
  • Colorway: enter the colorway of the yarn here. Clicking on that colorway name will lead you to a search for other skeins in that colorway that have been stashed on Ravelry.
  • Color family: This is a more general field for the color family of your yarn.
  • Purchased at: Here, you can record where you bought the yarn…
  • Purchase date: …and when you bought it!

Notes

project notes

In the project notes field, you can add as much or little information as you want. This is a great place to share general impressions or super-detailed information. I’ll have a lot to share about the Notes field in another post in this introduction to projects series!

Photos

project photos

On the left of the page you can see any photos you’ve added to this project! I’ll do a detailed post about adding project photos as part of this intro to projects series. Photos can be so helpful to other Ravelers looking for information about projects. Even if you don’t think your photos are professional-quality, you just might have captured a detail or angle that really helps someone else!

Tabs, Status Box, and More Projects

right side 1

At the top of the right side of the project page you’ll see tabs for photos (on your own project pages only), blog posts (here, you can link blog posts on your blog – if you have one – to this project), and the comments tab, where you can see comments and the “fan club” (people who have added this project to their favorites).

Below the tabs we have the “add to favorites” button, and underneath that is the status section. Here you can mark your project as a Work In Progress (WIP), hibernating, finished, or frogged. You can rate your happiness with the project – the big smile here means Christina was really happy! (The unhappiest rating you can choose will mark your project with an “ugh” status… don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there. And we think you did a great job.) You can also record the start and end dates. While a project is in progress you can track how far along you are with a progress bar here:

progress bar

About this Pattern and Yarn

about this pattern and yarn

Below the status section on the right are the about this pattern and about this yarn sections. These appear if you’ve linked your project to patterns or yarns on Ravelry, and give you some basic information about the pattern in yarn. In these boxes, you can also rate the pattern and yarn! There are two ratings for patterns: the stars which are for pattern quality, and the difficulty rating which is where you can rate the ease of the pattern. Yarns have a star rating only, for you to share your thoughts about the yarn quality.

If a yarn has a Ravelry advertiser, you’ll see them appear as a buying option for the yarn underneath the about this yarn box. We have separate ad spots for online and LYS advertisers, so sometimes you might also see that a yarn is available locally in this section, too!

The final details at the bottom are some fun facts – when the pattern was originally queued, when the project was created, and the last time it was updated.

Yay Project Pages!

As you can see, project pages can contain a lot of great information about your wonderful crafty endeavors. You will never be required to add projects to Ravelry – but it sure can be fun to record and show off your hard work by doing so!

I’ll be doing more introductory project page posts for my next three Thursday Tips, so if you’ve ever wondered how to add a project to your notebook, add photos to your project pages, or what kind of notes to enter in your project notes field, stay tuned!

Community Eye Candy: Get Stuffed

September 9th, 2014

I never get tired of looking at the fun stuffed things that people make on Ravelry. Since my youngest is pretty obsessed with his stuffed animals right now, I found myself browsing them again and couldn’t resist sharing a few with you.


From left to right: Lily-Harlequin’s Quarters and Enphra’s Amineko


Here are carriel1975’s Another Artist Bear, SouthPawKnitter’s Owl for LaNesha and rosijin’s Little Bo-Peep


Finally, I wanted to share a few seasonal guys, too: I-hook’s Ru-ru-Ruddy the Reindeer Ami, kittyvonditty’s Frankenstein’s Monster in Purple, and lissaplus2’s Roly-Poly Snowman

In making this post, my oldest kiddo picked out several things he wants me to make him. It might be time he learns to knit or crochet! Hope you found something you want to make, as well!

Last month I wrote an introduction to forum post formatting, which I (humbly) recommend if you missed it and like posting on the forums. Today I’m following up with some extra tips that I couldn’t fit in last time.

 Polls

Polls allow you to get the opinions of your fellow forum members on anything you desire.  They’re easy to set up, too!  You start with the word poll and the title, and then type out the poll options as a numbered list.

Spoilers

Do you know about our radar?  You can watch the latest posts from all over Ravelry appear on one page.  It’s a great way to find new groups that seem up your alley!  But what if you want to be able to follow radar without worrying about finding out the latest from your favorite book or TV show?

Posts will be hidden from the radar as having spoilers if they are in a thread with spoiler in the title or SPOILER is in capital letters in the post.

Footnotes

I think a picture illustrates this best.  Enter a [^thing] where you want the footnote in the post, and a matching one at bottom with the actual footnote.

 Definitions

Similarly to footnotes above, definitions are made with a matching bracketed word in the post and below.

Fun Formatting

  • horizontal line: *** or ___ on a line by itself –> a dotted horizontal line
  • strikethrough: <del>word</del> –> word
  • small script: <small>itty-bitty</small> –> itty-bitty
  • large script: <big>large</big> –> large
  • superscript: word<sup>(up high)</sup> –> word(up high)
  • subscript: word<sub>(down low)</sub> –> word(down low)

Full disclosure, I got these tips from the excellent wiki article on using the text editor.  If you found this interesting there are a few more tidbits in there worth checking out!  Just like last time, I have a thread ready for you in the Help group if you want to try out the tips you just learned.  Enjoy experimenting!

Community Eye Candy: Stripes!

September 2nd, 2014

Stripes are awesome. Whether they are bold and graphic or muted and subtle, they can be a fabulous way to play with color! Here are some gorgeous striped knitted, crocheted, and woven projects that were completed in August and July:

Above are DANON’s Fruity Missoni dress, NeulistiMNK’s surprises all over the place socks, and stripey-mooka’s Summer Lovin’ Blanket.

summer projects 2

Here we have lemmi’s Dotted Rays Meets Colors of the Sea, florencemary’s santa:fe, and HitchHikerGal’s Handspun Heaven Mitts.

striped projects 3

Our final group of fantastic striped projects are quinoa’s On the Wild Side, Lizbuppers’ 8 Color Gradient Rainbow Wrap, and rosenator’s Baby You’re a Firework.

Goodness, I just love all these stripes!

I’ve been reorganizing all of my craft supplies lately, and my yarn/fiber stash is no exception. Since my stash and where it’s stored has changed a lot, I need to update my stash in Ravelry. If you haven’t used your stash before and need to update it, you can find your stash area by going to your notebook tab and clicking stash there.
stash
This stash reorganization got me to thinking of all the reasons that I bother to keep up with my stash in the first place, so I thought I’d share a few.

1. You don’t forget what you have
I don’t know about you, but my yarn gets stored in a box in a closet, so it’s easy to forget about what I have. By keeping my stash updated, I’m reminded of the pretty yarn that I already have, which keeps me from buying duplicate yarns. You can even filter your stash by a variety of attributes. Now, I don’t accidentally buy a duplicate skein of yarn, I just buy a different one instead!

2. You can find that skein of yarn when you want it
I spend more time than I care to admit tearing my house apart looking for something. I don’t have to do that with my yarns because I can find it when I need it, as I’ve recorded the yarn in my stash area, along with where it is stored.
stash location
If you click on “Bin #1″ there, you will see all of the yarns that you’ve stuffed in that bin. I mean, while you’re getting the bin out, you might as well get all of the yarn you need, right?

3. You can match yarns with patterns much more easily
Having your stash up to date allows you to see if you already have a yarn for a given pattern when you come across something you want to make. You can check out the other post I wrote about that for more details. Looking at your stash on Ravelry will also remind you of that pretty skein of yarn you forgot all about. Then, you can use these tips from Christina to match it with a pattern.

4. You can link the yarns you have to your queued patterns
When you add something to your queue, you can add a stash yarn to it, so you know what yarn you will use for that pattern. We’ll have some more detailed instructions coming soon. Linking a stash yarn to your queue allows you to see the yarn you plan to use listed on your queue page.

You will also see that you already have a pattern picked for a yarn on your stash page.

5. You can look at your yarn from anywhere
The ability to look at my stash from anywhere is maybe my favorite thing about the stash feature. I love being able to look at the yarns that I already have without dragging out the bins and being able to remember what I have when I’m not at home.

You may think you don’t have enough stash to bother with adding it to Ravelry, but I encourage you to start using it now, anyway! In my experience, stash tends to multiply and it’s easier to add it when it’s small. On the other hand, if you have a lot of yarns and adding stash seems daunting, just take it a few at a time. I added mine all at once, over the span of about a month. It took a while but it was totally worth it as I have used it so much! You can find instructions for adding to your stash in the wiki. I hope this post helped you to see some of the benefits.

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy and noticing baby Groots pop up all over the place, I thought it would be fun to do a TV/movie character related eye candy. Each of these projects were finished in July and August.

I was going to let you guess the inspiration on your own…but then I couldn’t resist pairing each one with a matching shot of the character.

Above: Pollyfoofoo’s Outlander Cowl and Cumberb1tch’s Vulcan top.

Above: SixCraftsUnder’s Tom Baker Dress and Ribbels’ FORBRYDELSEN.

Above: lanib2’s Baby Groot and handknitsbysusan’s Maurice Moss.

I used the advanced search to find these since I only wanted recently completed projects, but if you want to poke around, try putting names or abbreviations for shows into the project tag search (at the bottom of the patterns tab). Here are a few tags for you to try: outlander, got, sherlock, drwho.

Today I have a few random tips for you! While none of these features are really secret, they are a bit lesser known and can make your Ravelry experience even faster, friendlier, and more organized.

Topic Tools

topic tools menu

On your forums tab, clicking in the small column to the right of any forum thread will bring up a Topic Tools menu. With this menu, you can:

  • watch thread: this will keep the thread at the top of the forums list whenever there are new posts you haven’t read. In busy groups with lots of forum activity, it is handy to watch interesting threads so that you see new posts that might otherwise have fallen down on the list of threads.
  • ignore thread: ignoring a thread will make it disappear from your forums list and you never have to see it again. Sometimes we know right from the thread title that this would be a good idea, right? Ignore ignore. Aaaaaah.
  • mark unread: this option will mark all the posts in your selected thread as unread.
  • mark all read: and this one will mark all the posts in the selected thread as read.
  • read up to post: at the bottom, you can manually select the post number you’d like to have marked as read to.

Find Your Friends with People Search

people search

If you have a friend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social network that we can link to in Ravelry profiles, and would like to connect with them here on Ravelry, you can search for their other-site usernames in our People Search. If your friend connected the other site to their Ravelry profiles, we’ll be able to find them for you! Here, I found Casey using his Twitter name, CaseyF.

Quick Search and Links

quick search

My last quick tip today is partly for me – I always forget about the quick search options you can find through the magnifying glass tab visible on every Ravelry page, and I really shouldn’t because they are so handy! If you are unfamiliar with them too, let’s start using them together. Not only can you quickly link to the advanced searches for, well, everything, by clicking on the option in the advanced search section (like patterns, people, yarns, forums, etc.), you can also use the search field on the magnifying glass tab to bring up speedy results right there. Because this quick search will search across everything on Ravelry, it will bring up a lot of results, so it can help to narrow your list by typing in the category of thing you are looking for. You’ll still see lots of options – for example, here is a search for “hitchhiker pattern:”

hitchhiker pattern quick search

As you can see, not only is there a handy link right to results for sources and patterns with Hitchhiker in the name, but you’ll also see related forum topics and projects. You can click right on a specific pattern/project/etc. to go right to that individual item, or click on the advanced search button at the top right of any grouping if you want to refine your quick search results even further.

I hope this post showed you a little something new today, and you are inspired to go looking for even more features you aren’t aware of! The site is so big there is always something new to explore. The good news is, you’ll never break Ravelry by clicking, and you just might find something really useful!

Community Eye Candy: Yellow!

August 19th, 2014

Some days I know exactly what my eye candy will be, and others I find myself paging through project search for inspiration.  Today my eyes kept being drawn to yellow projects, so that’s what I have for you.

For the littles we have: noturgma‘s Lillie Baby Cardigan Matching Hat, sarindr‘s shell dress, and Dutchrosa‘s Emu pram suit pants & cardigan

And for grown-ups we have: snuzy‘s Indian Summer, SiO2‘s SpliTTop – Mustard, perlatora‘s Banana in the Fig Tree, and Golubka‘s Gingko.

Once I knew I wanted to focus on yellow finished objects, it was easy to find projects for today’s eye candy by using the Color Family filter in the advanced search and selecting all the shades of yellow.  The projects above feature a single shade of yellow, but for some gorgeous colorwork here’s a bonus link to projects that feature multiple shades of yellow.

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!