I’m feeling a little stir-crazy today and I’d like to escape a bit, preferably to sit on a beach with a good book and cocktail in hand. Since an actual trip to the beach isn’t an option today, I decided to escape by looking at some beautiful projects that were photographed in amazing beach settings.

beach garments

First off, a variety of garments on the beach. Clockwise, from upper left: stoneycreeknitter’s blue bellows, LeasaGraham’s Winter in Mexico cover up, AKnitterInNZ’s Laura’s Paradise and CeceliaNYC’s Birthday cardi.

beach shawls

Next, a few shawls to keep your shoulders warm from the cool evening breeze. Clockwise, from upper left: cushing’s Lahave Island Shawl, babsip’s Ocean Princess, 5SnailsInaRow’s Seaweed Shawl and groovynat’s Cayo-Coco.

Since I wanted to feature both the garments and the beach settings, you don’t get to see the full detail on some of these projects. You can see more images on the project pages using the links below the images. I hope you enjoyed this little trip to the beach with me!

Ravelry groups are such a helpful resource and wonderful place to find information, inspiration, and even friendship!

On our main groups tab, we provide several ways to browse groups by category to find ones you might be interested in. Sarah posted a detailed tip going over these browsing methods if you’d like to see more info here! You can also use the category filters on the left in the Advanced Group Search to find groups.

Today, I wanted to quickly point out some of our most active groups in a few different crafty areas – if you want to find a new group to read or participate in, check these out and see if they are a good fit for you!

Fiber-related

Our most active year-round general fiber-related group is The Yurt:

yurt

From their group description: This is a virtual guild for people who love to make things. We are grounded in textiles and fiber, but embrace creativity of all kinds. If you’re making something – including yourself – you’re welcome here.

Crochet

Crocheters keep busy creating shoulder wrappers and chatting about them in the very active Crochet Shoulder Wrappers group!

crochet group

From their group description: CSW focuses on crochet projects designed to wrap the shoulders… We pride ourselves on a warm, helpful community atmosphere and we would love to have you join in the fun. New members are always welcome!

Knitting

Beginning Lace Knitters is a vibrant and active group for knitters to support each other in learning new lace skills.

knitting group

In their description, they want you to know that you are not alone: Have you ever tried to knit lace and torn your hair out? Ever thrown five rows of ugly mess across the room and sworn never to do it again? Keep wanting to try? Me, too. Let’s all learn together – misery loves company, after all!

Spinning

Spinners encourage each other in Sweets off the Wheel, our most active spinning group on Ravelry.

spinning

They describe themselves as a support group dedicated to encouraging wheel spinning and meeting your monthly goals. Show off your progress! This group is also prone to bunch of smartassery and caffeinated shenanigans with a sprinkle of squirrels thrown in.

Weaving

If you like to weave, check out Warped Weavers, our most active weaving group!

weaving group

They make it clear in their description that all who are interested in weaving are welcome: This is a place to share stories, techniques, questions, and ideas related to the woven object. Garments, rugs, household items, jewelry, sculptures, wall hangings—the sky is the limit. If it is created with a warp and a weft, it applies.

Charity Crafting

If you love crafting for charity, there are many charity crafting groups on Ravelry that will welcome you and your generosity! The most active is Hats and More for War-Torn Syria.

charity crafting

As they state in their description: our goal is to collect knitted, crocheted or store-bought sweaters, vests, socks, mittens, hats and blankets to help the Syrian children.

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There are so many groups on Ravelry that will welcome you with open arms. Some are more technical in nature, some are chattier, and some have nothing to do with crafts at all, but they all make up part of the wonderful community here on Ravelry!

Today I wanted to look at pretty pictures of yarn. I loaded up the stash advanced search and started applying filters looking for inspiration. I found it in the foreign objects attribute – these are all yarns that are handspun with objects incorporated as part of the process. I loved the variety of approaches and found that all of them definitely counted as eye candy.

First up, some art yarns that incorporate a variety of foreign objects. What great textures these all have! doodler01’s #forestfloorsal, nabisknit’s Kraken SAL, and squiished’s Merry Gold ‘Round.

Next, some quiet beauties that prove that simple can be stunning. KristinaS’ Octarine, meliluc’s Smoothie fraise-cassis, and knitMIT’s Nectar Handpaint Superwash.

Finally, some statement pieces – these spinners went big and it paid off! chemlady’s 80s Charm Necklace Redux, spectre120’s RegenboogtruiEenhoornGlitterScheetjes, and CyberJulka’s TDF 2015 in Jenkins Woodworking Lovers Group II.

Here’s a link to the search I used. I hope you can find inspiration perusing the attributes as well!

On April Fools’ Day each year in the past, we have given you a hat.

This year, you can choose your hat! You can also choose from a variety of other flair for your Ravatar. To do this, go to your profile page by clicking your username in the upper right of the page.

Then, click on the “add some flair” button you see under your Ravatar. When you click on that you will see this menu.

You add flair by dragging the little icons onto your picture. If you decide you don’t want something, just drag it back out. Click “I am finished” in the bottom right when you have it just how you want it.

Now your awesome flair-filled Ravatar will show on your profile page and when you post in the forums, but only for today.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Community Eye Candy: Belgium

March 30th, 2016

This week I’d like to show you some projects made by Ravelers in Belgium

Above: Raccroc’s Comme un air de printemps, Febr12’s Flaum, and stitchnerd’s Muted and bright

aline5too’s Men’s Tracks in a field, Riversch’s Shark-a-Jack, and fanalaine’s Scallops Stärke 6

bealana’s Tunika, DominiqueBe’s Neige sur les bruyères (made for a friend), and ChristalLittleK’s Nid pour ratous

Love to everyone in Brussels and all across Belgium!

Thursday Tip: The List

March 24th, 2016

Have you ever had a great idea for how to improve Ravelry and wanted to share it with us? Or maybe you want to see if we’re aware of a bug you’re experiencing? Well today’s Thursday Tip is all about The List – the place where we collect enhancement requests and bug reports.

How do I find The List?

The list is available on your forums tab – it’s between the top navigation tabs and your list of forum tabs and tools.

How do I get something added to The List?

Post about it in For the Love of Ravelry! Ravelry staff and volunteer bug trackers keep up with that forum and are able to add ideas to The List from there. If the idea is already on the list your post can be added, which is helpful for us to gather all the feedback about an idea in one place.

I have an opinion about a List item – what do I do?

There are several ways to voice your opinion about an item on The List.

If you post about it in For the Love of Ravelry, your post can be tracked to the item, as you can see on the right of the screenshot below.

It’s also possible to visit a List item and leave feedback there. You can get to an item by clicking a tracking link in a forum post, or by visiting The List and finding it by browsing (more details on that below!). By clicking the “Yes! I’d like this too” button you add to the thumbs up votes. By clicking “Notify me if this is completed” you become a watcher of this item. That means you’ll receive a private message when we mark the item as completed.

At the bottom of the page there is also a place for comments. They’re listed on the item in reverse chronological order, so we can quickly scan for the latest thoughts on the issue. Don’t be shy about leaving detailed comments – it’s valuable to us to learn exactly what you want and what you don’t!

How can I browse the list?

First, you’ll need to get to The List. From there we have a number of browsing options available on the left side of the page.

You can filter down by enhancements, bugs, tasks, or by the section of the site the idea is related to. There’s also a search at the top of the page if there’s a specific term you’d like to hone in on. Or you can look at the items sorted by most recent comment on the right side of the page.

Gosh, a lot of these ideas are really old. Does that mean you’re never going to get to them?

Definitely not! Lots of great ideas were suggested in the early days of Ravelry and just because we haven’t gotten to them yet doesn’t mean we never will. On the other hand, an item being on The List doesn’t mean it will definitely happen. We love having feedback from Ravelers on the changes you’d like to see (or not see!) and it is a key part of our discussions about how our two programmers spend their time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this intro to how to share your ideas with us, or join in on the conversation about previous suggestions. We feel lucky to have a community that cares so much about Ravelry and its future.

50yds1

chaoskaethe’s CSD-Anhänger 18M

Sometimes yarn seems like magic. With even just a little bit of it, we can make something great! Here are a few recently completed projects made with 50 or fewer yards (45.72 meters) of yarn.

50yds2

Left, louisap’s Norwegian star pincushion #2, and right, frkgarndk’s make-up pads. Such pretty and clever home projects!

50yds3

Stormwhisper’s Amigurumi Baby Seal and kelly-ann’s Little Hedgehog are ridiculously adorable!

50yds4

Finally, I loved how pretty and practical kdmade’s heart bookmarks and Cheetah2011’s Leafy Coaster are!

Searching through these projects makes me want to look through my yarn remnants and see if I can make myself a pretty little something, as well. If you’d like to see more projects made with fewer than 50 yards, you can check out this advanced projects search link, where I entered a custom yardage range from 1 – 50 yards. Enjoy!

Quick Forum Tips

March 18th, 2016

The forums include a bunch of little useful tools and that are easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. Here are a few things that you might not have noticed.

Topic totals

At the top of every thread, right below the title, is a summary line with a few different totals. Most of them are linked and you can click to dig into the details.

  • The number of images in the thread. Tap this to view all of the posts that include images.
  • The number of patterns that were linked in the thread. This brings you to the pattern search page and filters for the patterns that were discussed.
  • The same as above, but projects instead of patterns
  • Voices: this links to a page that shows the top posters in the thread, along with any moderators that have participated

Search inside a topic

At the top of each page of posts, above the first post, is a row of links. The search this topic link will open up a search box that you can use to either search for text in posts OR search for a particular person’s posts by putting in their username. Typing in your own name here can be a handy way to look at your own posts in a thread.

Search everywhere

There is a small search box in the top right of the main forums tab. If you are looking for something that you know has been mentioned somewhere, use the “All forums” option to search every forum/group on Ravelry. If you are looking for a particular phrase, put it in quotes. For example: “crazy goat help”.

Topic tools

The green bar that sticks to the bottom of every thread includes a button that is labeled “Tools: watch, ignore..”. Hiding in here is a useful pair of links: one that will bring you to the very first post, and one that will send you back to the last post that you read. If you find yourself catching up on an old thread, this gives you a way to jump to the beginning and then return to where you left off.

I have been drawn to this lovely gold color lately and seem to be seeing it everywhere! With St. Patrick’s Day happening this week, I thought it would be fun to put the spotlight on these gold projects, our own little Ravelry pot of gold!

First off, some solid gold (pun intended) projects.

Clockwise from upper left: akustrikk’s Julian Vest, Raccroc’s Comme un air de printemps, LucindaIglesias’ Kitra Cowl-Dulce de Leche, and MVick’s Dandelion Tree Rings.

Finally, these beautiful projects use gold as an accent, combining it with a wide variety of colors.

Clockwise from upper left: alfa’s Malsenkoften, crochet-hello’s RETRO BLANKET, kjwood1981’s Half Moon Luau and darcytx’s Going to the Majestic Theatre.

Hope you find your pot of yarnie gold at the end of your rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day!

project page

Every so often we are asked: what is the difference between Ravelry favorites, the queue, the library, and our shopping carts? These are all features for Raveler members’ personal use, and while all the features are related to patterns, each has its own unique functions and benefits. Today we’re going over the highlights of what your Favorites, Queue, Library, and Shopping Cart were designed for!

Favorites

Your Ravelry favorites are a record of things that you like. You can add projects, patterns, yarn (both in the database and yarn that other Ravelers have stashed or spun), forum posts, designers, yarn brands, and even Ravelry ads to your favorites!

    Some things I love about Favorites:

  • Bundles! Bundles are a way to organize your favorites into visual boards. If, like me, you like to add a lot of things to your Ravelry favorites, bundles are a great way to organize the faves you might want to find again later.
  • Hearts! Sometimes I like to add Ravelers’ projects to my favorites simply because it gives the Raveler a little heart on that project. Even if I don’t want to find it again, I like to spread a little love!
  • You can search your favorites both from the favorites section in your Notebook and through filters in the advanced search.
  • advanced search filters

  • As you can see, the advanced search will also allow you to search for patterns from designers you have added to your Ravelry favorites! I love checking that box and sorting the results by “recently published” to see what is new from my favorite designers.
    Want to read more about Favorites? Here are some resources!

  • Favorites walkthrough video (this was made before Bundles existed but has good basic info!)
  • Introducing Bundles Tips post
  • Bundle All The Things Tips post!

Queue

queue

Your Ravelry Queue is where you can track patterns you want to make, or yarns you want to use. You can reorder your queue to keep things you want to start soon at the top of your list, and start your projects right from the Queue section of your notebook. To add something to your Ravelry queue, just click on the “add to queue” button you see on pattern and yarn pages.

    Some things I love about my Queue:

  • If you are queueing a pattern, you can add notes to the pattern and even attach yarn from your Ravelry stash to that queued item. Later, if your start your project from the Queue page’s start project button, this information carries over to your project page!
  • I like to keep my queue limited to things I plan to begin soon, but we don’t place a limit on how many things you can queue. If you have a longer queue, you can organize it into tabs to easily find things later! If you have a long queue and want to do some organization, check out Jess’ queue to see a beautifully organized long queue in use.
  • The print button on your queue page will prepare a printer-friendly list for you, with the yarn, weight, yardage, and gauge suggested in the patterns along with information you’ve added like yarns you wish to use, and notes. This is incredibly handy if you are going to a yarn shop, fiber event, or festival!
  • queueshopping

Library

library

Your Ravelry library exists to track patterns that you own – both individual patterns and ones that are in books or magazines you have purchased- and to store digital patterns that you have purchased (or downloaded for free) through Ravelry pattern downloads. You can add books and magazines to your library from the library section of your notebook, or by using the add to Ravelry library button on pattern pages. If you purchase the pattern or ebook through Ravelry pattern sales, the pattern will automatically be added to your Ravelry library!

    Some things I love about my Library:

  • Pattern search! Your Ravelry library is most useful if you use it only for patterns that you actually own. This will allow you to accurately use the “in my library” filter in the advanced pattern search – so handy when you are looking for a pattern you can start right away!
  • pattern search filters

  • Pattern updates! If you purchased a digital pattern through Ravelry Pattern Sales, and the designer issues an update, we’ll show an “update available” button for you in your Ravelry library. Your library also has an updates section that allows you to view all pending updates at once and quickly update any patterns you wish.
  • pattern updates

  • For my queue: in your library, there is a “for my queue” section that will show you any patterns you have queued (or books or magazines that contain patterns you have queued) that you haven’t listed in your Ravelry library. If your library is up to date with the patterns you own, this section is great personal pattern shopping list!
  • for my queue

Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is something you will rarely see – it is for patterns you are purchasing and will usually only be visible for a short amount of time while you hold the patterns in your cart before checking out. While it is possible to hold patterns in your shopping cart for as long as you like, we recommend using your favorites or queue if you are keeping it in your cart because you want to remember it or make it someday.

    Some things I love about my Shopping Cart:

  • I love buying patterns to support designers! That’s about all there is to the shopping cart.

Phew!

I hope this post has been helpful to any of you who have been curious about the difference between your favorites, queue, library, and shopping cart. All of these features can do much more than I’ve mentioned in this overview post, so I encourage you to explore them further by adding something to your favorites, queue, or library today!