December 24, Christmas Eve, is traditionally the busiest day for finishing projects on Ravelry, and this year was no exception: 3,915 projects were marked as finished on that day! Many of these were made as gifts (finished in the nick of time!) for lucky family and friends, and still others were made as treats for the Ravelers themselves. Here are just a few of the projects finished on December 24 that caught my eye:

christmas eve finished 1

Above, from left to right, are maja-blue’s A Wee Bit Knitty Mystery Sock KAL, Gudrun’s Little Waves 3, and amelie-claire’s Christmas Reindeer. Such beautiful photos of these lovely projects!

christmas eve finished 2

AmyFal’s Christmas Strokker (she made more than one as gifts this year – click through for an adorable family picture!), Mawther’s Riddari for Christmas, and Mafitzge’s Pumpkin Cowl for Grandma are all well-loved by their recipients – as they should be!

christmas eve finished 3

Susara’s Loro Vest, SuzyParkerYarn’s Eliza’s Christmas Mermaid, and Chrissaah’s Christmas Jumper all made me smile.

It was even more difficult than usual to choose projects for this Eye Candy, because there were so many wonderful photos of happy knit-and-crochet-worthy gift recipients! If you’d like to browse through all of them you can check them out in our Advanced Search.

This will be our last blog post of 2014, so all of us here at Ravelry wanted to take a moment to say thank you to you all for being a part of our community this year! We feel so fortunate to work on a site with such wonderful and dedicated users. We’re looking forward to making Ravelry even better in 2015 and hope you’ll join us along the way. Happy New Year, Ravelers!

Thursday Tip: FO Radar

December 18th, 2014

There are so many different ways on Ravelry to see projects that other crafters have finished and shared with the site. One really fun way to see the most recently completed projects is our FO (Finished Object) Radar. This is a constantly updated stream of projects that appear on the radar as they are marked finished.

watch FO radar link

To get to the FO Radar, click on the People tab at the top of the screen, and then scroll down to the show us your FOs section (which also shows recently-marked-as-finished projects). To the upper right of this section you’ll see a link next to a little TV screen icon that says “watch FOs live.” Click on that link and you’ll go to our FO Radar page!

FO radar page

It may take a few minutes for the projects to start to stream in, but once they do, you’ll see a steady parade of recently-finished crafts from your fellow talented Ravelers. Clicking on any of the photos will take you to that project’s Ravelry page so if you see something you especially love, you can click on over and add it to your faves or leave a friendly comment for the Raveler. Have fun watching the FO Radar!

Perhaps because the days are shorter here making darkness much more prevalent in my life than light, I’m not sure, but today I was drawn to things that are bright!

First off, some brightly colored sweaters. I just loved these stripes!

Clockwise from top right: JessieJula’s Caramel, petro’s Sage folie and EditrixEmma’s Jerrica Benton.

Next, some fun accessories.

Clockwise from top: hotcheese’s Mind the Gap mitts, IgnorantBliss’ Exploration Station and tammyari’s Chevron lace infinity scarf.

Finally, a dress and a couple of bright blankets.

Clockwise from top right: 7800farenheit’s Flying Colours – December, LaurelCraft’s Grandma’s knickknacks and skripka-lisa’s Декабрь.

I just loved seeing all of these great colors and the amazing ways people combine colors for striking results. They brightened my day and I hope they brightened yours a bit, as well!

Community Eye Candy: Bulking Up

December 9th, 2014

Cuddled up with some cozy woolens is the only way I leave the house on chilly days.  Today’s projects made with bulky yarns look like the perfect thing for keeping the cold away.

First up some hats: Margotchien’s Galicia (with a very handsome friend!), ThePoorGirl’s The Vermonter from Maine, and GingerTwistStudio’s Mint Tea.

Next, some cowls: lisaviolinviola’s Tesserae Scarf, buenger60’s Cabernet Infinity Cowl, and xstitch’s Candy Crush Frieze.

And finally, some sweaters: knitthehellout’s Paloma, purpurschnecke’s justus, and callas’ Lund.

I hope that whenever you see cold weather, and however cold it is, you can snuggle up with something cushy and warm.

So you receive a message that a pattern you have purchased was updated, now what? There are three different easy ways to get the most recent version of the pattern.

1. Click the link in the email or Ravelry message you received notifying you of the pattern update.
There is a link at the bottom of the message that says “Follow this link to download the updated pattern”. Clicking that will take you to a website where you can easily download the most recent version of the pattern.

2. Find all of your available updates in your library
If you know there was an update, but don’t want to hunt down that message again, you can update patterns in your library. I often don’t download the update when I receive the notification, and sometimes those updates can stack up, but there’s an easy way to update them all at once. Go to your notebook tab and click library. Then, click the “updates available” button that shows in the upper left.

That will take you to a page where each pattern update is listed and it will tell you what the designer has updated. On that page, you can click “update now” under each pattern that needs to be updated.

3. Update from your library shelves
If you just have one pattern you want to update quickly, you can do this from the library shelves. Go to your notebook tab and click library. Click the “update available” button under the image of the pattern that needs to be updated.

That will bring up a page that lets you know what has been updated. At the top of that page, you can click “update this pattern”.

Then, the newest version will replace the older version in your library. If anything looks funny after you update, just refresh the page and it should all look fine.

Ravelry pattern updates make it easy for designers to let you know when there has been an addition or correction to their patterns. It’s a great way to make sure you have the most accurate version of a pattern you have purchased, so make sure you have the most recent versions in your library today!

While browsing projects for this week’s Eye Candy, I noticed a bit of a theme in the recently completed projects – lots of Ravelers are making projects in bunches lately, whether for gifts, to decorate or use in their homes, or just because sometimes patterns are so fun and quick that evenings pass in a blur and end with a pile of washcloths on the coffee table. (It happens!)

Voolenvine’s Handspun Birds of Happiness, Strick-Stick-Brit’s Määäähhhhh…., and LaGitana’s Cottage Tea Towels are all so beautifully made.

Lots of little things add up to big piles of cuteness in TruffleShuffler’s Holiday Gnomies, macweaver’s Blocks and Dots, and BumbleBeeBaby’s Wine Cork Army!

I just love the bright colors in smaggio’s Christmas Balls 2014 (these are just a few – be sure to click on her project link to see them all!), LykkeTAK’s Bears, Bears, Bears!, and aubreehanson’s Stripy Mittens for the Kiddos.

As always, thank you all for sharing your projects on Ravelry! If you’d like to see more of what Ravelers have finished lately, check out this advanced project search for projects finished in December 2014.

Thursday Tip: Blog Post Archive

November 21st, 2014

It’s been a little more than a year since we started doing Community Eye Candy posts on Tuesdays, and Thursday Tips on, you know, Thursdays and the response has been incredible!  It’s the feature I hear complimented the most from Ravelers I meet in real life, and we’re all really proud of what a great resource these posts are.

The one complaint I’ve heard is that it’s hard to find the posts to get back to them and it’s true!  So, today’s tip is about our new blog post archive – a single place to see all of these eye candy and tips posts so you can refer back to ones you’ve read, or find new ones you missed the first time around!

To get to the archive, click on the question mark in the top nagivation.  This will take you to our help page, which is filled with resources to assist you with using Ravelry.  Near the top of the page is a search bar – this searches our best help resources, including the blog posts.  Keep scrolling down the page and you’ll find links to the 6 most recent posts, as well as a link that takes you to the whole archive.  The posts all list the title, the day they were published, and an excerpt to make it easy to find your favorites!

Next week is a holiday in the US, so we’ll be celebrating with our families and will take a break from the blog.  Maybe you’ll use that time to peek at the archive and find a post you missed!  And we’ll be back in December with more beautiful crafts and informational tips.

Community Eye Candy: Leftovers

November 18th, 2014

In the US, we are preparing for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is eating leftover turkey sandwiches & pie for breakfast the next day. In a similar fashion, I hold on to all of my leftover yarns, hoping to make something great with them one day. Here are some projects made from leftovers to inspire you.

First off, a few smaller things. Clockwise from left: TinkerD’s Monsters 2014, Mariaknittedit’s Handspun La Bandita, and yarn cycle’s bug (leftover yarn).

A lot of small things add up to not one but two bigger things in KatColorado2’s Little Sock Ornaments.

Lastly, a few larger projects, from left to right starting at the top: pgreenspan’s Freeform Stashbuster Shawl, Blacky67’s Twin Blanket, and klmag’s Granny’s Old-fashioned Tree Skirt

So, whether you are dealing with leftovers from a family gathering or leftovers from a sweater project, I hope you can make something beautiful out of it!

project notes

When it comes to filling out information in your Ravelry projects, we know that sometimes Ravelers wonder what the notes field can and should be used for, and wanted to share some ideas for keeping project notes that are helpful to you and other Ravelers who might view your projects. Here are some specific types of notes that Ravelers tend to find useful, both for their own records and when researching patterns and yarns:

Pattern modifications: did you add or subtract length, add short-rows or shaping, decide that the shawl should really be beaded, or make any other clever tweaks to the pattern? Did you find a particular method of joining yarn, casting on/binding off, making a center ring, or seaming worked perfectly with the pattern? Share your mods in your notes! No matter how small your change is, you may want to remember it later – and it may be just the thing another Raveler is looking for!

Amount of ease and wearer’s measurements: one of my favorite things about browsing Ravelry projects is seeing beautifully-made garments on Ravelers of many different sizes, builds, and proportions. With sweater projects in particular, I always look for photos of finished projects worn by users who look similarly-proportioned to me. Checking out the size they knit or crocheted and how much ease they gave themselves gives me confidence to choose the right size for myself!

Notes about the pattern and yarn: did the instructions have any particularly clear, clever, or confusing parts? Use your project notes to list these, and any solutions you found for parts that may have confused you. Likewise, it can be a great idea to record your impressions of the yarn while you are working with it – or even to go back and add notes later on how the yarn holds up over time.

Did you find another Raveler’s project notes helpful when you were making your own version? We automatically link notes you have marked helpful (more on that below) but mentioning specific user notes you found instructive can point other Ravelers in the right direction, too.

Blocked vs Unblocked measurements: handy info for you and any others who might use the same yarn.

Mini-blog of your process: these types of records can be fun to keep and look back on. ArtLady’s Mitred Crosses blanket project is a great example of this – detailed dated progress, helpful information, and little status updates all in one (really lovely!) project.

If you are looking through Ravelry projects and find one with notes that are helpful to you, you can mark the notes as helpful by clicking the little yes button at the bottom of the notes here:

helpful yes

From there, you can highlight the helpful parts (more about that feature in this Tips post from last year). Later, you can find projects you’ve marked helpful when looking at projects for that pattern (Tips post about that here!). If you begin a project with that pattern, we’ll give you a handy link to that project in your “related bookmarks” section, with a little lifesaver symbol:

related bookmarks

This is the final post in my series about Ravelry projects! I hope it gave you some ideas for helpful things to add to the notes field. You can check out the previous posts in this series for detailed information about your Project Page Overview, Adding a Project, and Adding Project Photos.

If you have a Ravelry group with pages or posts that are list of links to patterns, yarns, projects (and more) you can now make those lists browseable and searchable by turning them into a bundle.

To see what I mean, click the image below to look at Sock Knitters Anonymous’ bundle of 120+ self striping socks.

Here’s how: First, go to the bundles tab in your group and create a new bundle. Next, click “add to this bundle” and you’ll see an option to add from a group page or a list of links.