Use the RSS, Luke

January 30th, 2014

This is more of an advanced tip.
The crocheted Obi-Wan is by Lepida!

You may have seen these little orange icons in various places on Ravelry. These are links to RSS feeds, which are documents that automatically update with new photos, notes and other content whenever certain types of information are added to the site. All kinds of other web sites and apps can take advantage of these updates. We provide them for your projects, your friends activity, forum threads and boards, new FOs on pattern pages, new for-sale stash, and more…

I’ve started a thread in For the Love of Ravelry where I’m hoping people will share how they are making use of the feeds that we provide. If you are finding our RSS useful or fun on any way, please stop in and let everyone know what you are doing with it.

Here it is: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-love-of-ravelry/topics/2833907

One simple thing you can do is install an RSS reader app on your tablet or phone so that you can easily flip through updates. Hopefully some people will share the names of their favorite apps in the thread that I started.

Another neat tool that you can use with RSS is If This Then That (ifttt.com). This site lets you glue sites, apps and email together so that changes in one place can cause something to happen on the other. Here are some cool things things that you could do with your RSS feeds and IFTTT:

  • Receive a text message when a certain colorway of a yarn that you need becomes available for trade or sale.
  • Automatically post a status update to Facebook whenever you queue a new project.
  • Tweet from a special account any time a new thread is started in your local knitting group’s board.
  • Receive an email when a new finished object appears for a new pattern that you’ve had your eye on

Community Eye Candy: ZigZag

January 28th, 2014

Chevron patterns are everywhere these days, and I love them, so I thought I’d explore Ravelry to see how people are using yarn to make the zigzag happen.

Blankets
From left to right are some great blankets featuring the chevron pattern: wildechick’s Rainy Day Jackson, coloradobrit’s Zig and Zag and RevengeMe’s JUVENILE

pillows
I also found some great chevron cushions! From left to right they are laurielamont’s chevron pillow, rettgrayson’s small zigzag cushion, and Julia123′s Zig Zag

Garments
Finally, there were some garments that I ran across, as well. I love how the different use of colors and patterns make for a very different final look, even with the presence of zigzags in all three items. From left to right: penchant4yarn’s I got cat class, and I got cat style, LucciolaS’s Alpaca cowl and pennicontreras’ Arizona Cowl-ote

Now I need to stash dive so I can find some colors to make a chevron creation of my own!

I knit lots of different sorts of things, but my favorite thing to knit is sweaters.  If I’m looking for a sweater to knit right away, I can use the advanced search filters to narrow down results to those that meet my criteria.  To save time, I’ve saved this search so I can run it whenever I am in the mood for a new sweater.  The option to save a search is in the top left of the search screen.  And as of this week, there is the option to subscribe to a saved search.

If you choose to subscribe to a search, you’ll be notified of new results that meet your criteria.  Click the magnifying glass in the navigation, and in your list of saved searches you’ll see a notice of any with new items.

After clicking that link you go to that saved search and we help you find the new items.

This feature is brand new, so if you find bugs or have ideas about how to take advantage of it let us know in For the Love of Ravelry.

Community Eye Candy: Red!

January 21st, 2014

With many Ravelers in the middle of a cold, snowy winter, I wanted to seek out recently finished projects in bright, warm reds for this week’s Eye Candy.

eye candy 3

Above, we have kathj‘s Exterminate!, prelu‘s handspun, handwoven Pretty Blanket, and doublespiral‘s lushious (also in her handspun!).

eye candy 2

From left to right here are u35aap‘s Lin-Lin Shawl, Marie-H‘s felted hat with fat flowers, and Mallinda‘s Lipstick Round my Shoulders.

eyecandy

Finally, we have spoonsnspoolsAran felted mittens, miki7ch‘s gloves, and MiniLaura‘s Polar Vortex protection.

If you’d like to see more beautiful projects that include the color red, check out our advanced project search!

Thursday Tip: Group Categories

January 16th, 2014

I’ve had a lot of fun lately participating in a knit-along group on Ravelry so I wanted to let you know how you can find groups by categories that you might be interested in. You can search for groups by category by going to the groups tab and clicking “browse groups by category”.

group by category

On the left of the screen, you’ll see categories (keep scrolling down, there are a bunch of them) and then click on the category to see the groups in that category. For example, this is what I see when I click -alongs.

alongs

Then, you can sort your results by clicking on the sort drop down or go into even more depth with your search by clicking to search groups in the advanced search.

sort groups

If you are a group admin, make sure that your group has been placed in a category. You can choose your group’s category by clicking the little yellow pencil at the top of the group page.

Hope this helps you find other Ravelers with similar interests! From tv shows to various crafts to yearly goals, there are a lot of really great Ravelry groups out there, thanks to the awesome community we have that creates and maintains them!

It may be snowing outside, but inside our house it has been all beaches & ocean all of the time. Our 2 1/2 year old daughter wakes up talking about dolphins, draws jellyfish all day, sings along to “Sail Away Ladies”, and reads Phoebe’s Birthday before bed. I shut my eyes and tried to come up with a theme for this week’s eye candy and all I saw were jellyfish. Jellyfish jellyfish jellyfish. Maybe I was pressing on my eyelids too hard.

Here are a few of the fabulous maritime-themed projects that were completed in December and January:

Above: colorgurl’s Hippocampus Glasses Case, frightmolt’s I’d Like to Be Under the Sea, and McLovin’s Smacker.

Above: mamaofpurl’s Anchorage, atlowery’s Shark attack!, and petitepimprenelle’s Mermaid.

Above: belochka’s Lighthouse, KimLapsley’s Micro-crochet Polar Bear, Superzebra’s Rainbow Jellies.

Thursday Tip: new Help tab!

January 9th, 2014

get to help tab

For our tip today, we wanted to introduce you to our new and improved Help tab! You can find the help tab by clicking on the ? tab at the top of the page, or the word “help” at the bottom of the page. This tab is a home base for our help information and resources and is a great place to look if you have any questions about Ravelry!

quickstart guide and search

On the Help tab, we have a great variety of resources for you – whether you are brand new to Ravelry or a seasoned user. At the top of the page you’ll find pretty images which link to Quick Start Guides for Ravelry users, Advertisers, Designers, Yarnies (on Ravelry, a Yarnie is a yarn dyer or yarn company), and Yarn Shops. Just underneath those images, you’ll see a search field which lets you search all our help resources. Type in your question for speedy answers! The search field will bring you answers from a variety of helpful resources on Ravelry including these Thursday Tips blog posts!

faqs and guided tips

Keep scrolling and you’ll see a list of FAQs and handy links to our guided tips. The new FAQs here are shorter, more digestable help than the wiki pages, making it easier to find the information you need quickly.

videos

At the bottom of the page you’ll find our help videos and tutorials, and finally, links to other help resources like the Help group, Help chat, and a way to email us for assistance if the resources on the Help tab didn’t contain the answer you were looking for.

Christina and Sarah revamped this page by looking into data about the type of questions people ask, via email and elsewhere, and also into the links people click to try to get answers to their questions, and we’ll continue to look at this information to keep improving the Help tab search results, FAQs, and guides. We hope these changes are useful to you – we’re excited to have an easy way to find all our help resources in one organized place!

Community Eye Candy: Gifts

January 7th, 2014

Now that gift-giving season is over and Ravelers are posting pictures of the items they made, I couldn’t resist focusing on recently completed gifts for this week’s eye candy.

From left to right: richiesoft‘s Happy Wedding, NanaCathy‘s Bigfoot Slippers, and KeTreKo‘s :::HappyNewYearRings:::.

Fron left to right: weaselmomma‘s Latvian Garden, judithlynn‘s Fireman’s Ghan, and SleepyEyesAdelaide in Gray.

Don’t forget, if you’re making a gift for a fellow Raveler (or yourself!) you can mark it on your project page by filling in the “made for raveler” field.  It’s fun to able to see the lucky recipient of a crafty gift when browsing projects!

 

The end of the year is a time of great activity here at Ravelry, whether you’re making gifts for others, trying to meet year-end crafting goals, or maybe lucky enough to receive yarn as a gift.  Today’s tip is about how you can show off your new stash and projects with your favorite pals using the share with a group feature.

You’ll find the option on the right side of your project and stash pages.  Click the dropdown and select a group and your item will be shared!  You can share with as many groups as you like*, and if you make a mistake, simply click the x next to a group and your item is un-shared.

Want to see the fabulous projects and stash of your group members?  On the overview page for the group we have boxes for the shared items.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the things that have been shared in my groups lately and I look forward to some fun surprises!

*Some groups have guidelines about what sort of projects and stash may be shared.  A mod should be able to help you out if you have any questions about it!

PS Next week we’ll be taking a break from the blog to enjoy some time with our families.  But no worries, we’ll return to our regular schedule the following week.

If you spend time looking through Ravelry’s project search, sooner or later you will notice what seems to be a universal feline truth: cats love blocking projects.

Really, who can blame them – what cat wouldn’t want to lie on a handmade blanket, especially if it has a spot of sunshine?

cats and blankets

anna186‘s guernsey wrap, ccfalcons epic stashdown blanket, and knittywood‘s stash buster granny are all 100% cat-approved!

Of course cats, being elegant creatures, appreciate the finer things in life… you know, like lace:

cats on lace

VargenJ‘s Victorian Enchantment Shawl, needlerknitsQueen Anne’s Lace Shawl, and tickleturtle’s Serenity Blanket.

And I’m sure that these cats really cherish their cozy new sweater-shaped resting pads:

cats on sweaters

Pipapo‘s Vanna’s Choice for Heinz, RhowenknitsEnchanted Mesa, and JosieMacG‘s Girl’s Not Grey.

If you’d like to make a project specifically designed for a cat, there are hundreds listed in the Ravelry database – toys, beds, and hats, and more!