Deep in my heart, I am a sweater knitter.  And at the end of August in Texas, I am ready to dream of fall and imagine what sweaters I might make myself this year.  As I spend my evenings browsing via the advanced search, I love using the filters to narrow down my results to help me find my inspiration.  One quick way I do that is by typing not  and an attribute in the search field: an autocomplete drop-down will appear and I can choose the attribute I’d like to exclude.

typing not in the search field brings up filters you can choose to exclude from your search

(Because sometimes you want to make a sweater for you).

Life around here recently has revolved around getting my first grader ready to go back to school, so when thinking about some community eye candy to feature, it was the first thing to come to mind.

First up, an apple for the teacher.

apple gallery

From left to right, we have kathinka14a’s Apple to go, iammine’s Chroma Apple Cosies, juliebie’s Apple for the Teacher and medorasmit’s how ya like them apples.

The other thing that I found when looking for back to school items, were pencil accessories. There are so many creative ways to embellish a basic pencil!


From left to right here are punnikIlse’s boeket bloem-potloden, lym81’s Spike the Snake, jostrong’s pencil warmers and kattarina’s Pencil Doll.

And, you need a great place to put all of those cute pencils.

pencil bags

From left to right, starting with the top row we have yarnstarved’s Shark Pencil Case, Ninja-Suse’s Federmappe “Sushi-Rolle”, and Patsy55’s Dachsie Pencil Case. On the bottom row are KatieChameleon’s A Plethora of Pencil Case, Frostkit’s Shiba Inu Pencil Case and astas’ Freysi froskur.

Whether you are in the midst of the back to school season as a student or loved one, or if like many of us, you just enjoy school supplies, I hope these projects provide a bit of inspiration.

Did you know that you can receive an email notification when you get a comment on a project, friend notification, or other Ravelry message? You can find this option under the “email settings” tab at the top of your message box page.

Sometimes it’s nice just to look around the Ravelry community and enjoy the talent and beautiful work from our members. All of us on the Ravelry staff have been looking at handspun projects quite a bit lately* and we couldn’t think of a better place to share them than right here on the front page. We hope you enjoy this little selection of highlighted projects – some of the most favorited and most viewed handspun projects finished over the past 7 weeks.

From left to right we have Minja‘s Early Bird, NoKnitSherlock‘s Handspun Voodoo, nevermore‘s Handspun Boneyard, and rahardjo-knitsHandspun Holden Shawlette.

handspun projects group 2

And here, from left to right, are Pinneguri‘s Villspunnet sau, LadyMac111‘s Into Darkness, Meya‘s Norby, and apedawn‘s Atomic Quaker.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work, everyone!

Want to see more handspun projects? You can search projects in the advanced search, and filter by handspun. From there you can apply any of our regular search filters to find exactly the inspiration you’re looking for. Enjoy!

*Yes, that just might be a hint about some upcoming spinning features! Stay tuned. ;)

June was a busy month for the Ravelry staff! In addition to our regular work on the site during June, we participated in two big events – the Squam Art Workshops (SAW) and the TNNA Summer Trade Show.

Squam Art Workshops

Jess and Casey spend the weekend in New Hampshire, enjoying all the inspiration SAW had to offer. The Ravelry Revelry on Saturday evening was full of happy, creative people – thank you so much to everyone who attended! It was great fun to meet you all. Special thanks to the Ravelry Revelry sponsors who made the event possible:

Qiviut Sponsor

Cashmere Sponsors
Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms

Merino Sponsors
Brooklyn Tweed
Green Mountain Spinnery
Journey Wheel
STC Craft
The Woolen Rabbit


We always appreciate the chance to connect with other people in the yarn industry at the TNNA trade show. For this show, we wanted to focus on connecting with local yarn store (LYS) owners and staff. We taught two classes for LYSs: Ravelry Basics and Ravelry Pro for Local Yarn Stores. Both classes started at 8:00 am, but despite the early hour, we were lucky to have classroooms full of eager shop owners and staff members! It was a real pleasure to get to speak with such nice groups of attendees.

In addition to our classes, we ran a Ravelry Help Booth. Our goal for the booth was simply to be available for any TNNA attendees with questions about how to use Ravelry. Over the course of the weekend, we were able to hear from so many shops, designers, publishers, and yarn companies, and offer assistance, get feedback, and hear about how people in every aspect of the yarn industry are using Ravelry to connect with their customers and help their businesses grow. We really appreciated all the friendly faces at our booth and in our classroom and came away from the show inspired and motivated.


As busy as TNNA was, we were also pleased to have time for plenty of Jeni’s Ice Creams – the most delicious Columbus TNNA tradition ever. Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make the weekend so productive and fun!

Ravelry Help Booth at TNNA!

June 19th, 2013

Detective Bob

Looking for Ravelry help at TNNA? We’ve got you covered!

TNNA, the needlework industry trade show, is happening this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Jess, Casey, Sarah, Christina, and I will all be there, and we’re really looking forward to speaking with other attendees and seeing the fabulous new products and designs from all the vendors!

Yarn shop owners, we’re teaching two classes for LYS Owners (Ravelry Basics and Ravelry Pro) and we’ll even have a Ravelry Help Booth: booth 1250. In our Help Booth, we’ll be able to answer your Ravelry questions, make sure your Ravelry Shop Directory page is set up and connected to your profile, and even activate yarn stores for our In-Store Pattern Sales service. Please come by and say hello!

Relaxing on the dock

It’s almost time for the Squam Art Workshops! We are so excited about the wonderful weekend retreat by Squam Lake in New Hampshire. This year in addition to looking forward to the inspiring classes and beautiful lake views, we are getting ready to PARTY! This is our first Ravelry party in a couple years, and it is going to be a great time – we sure hope you can attend.

Ravelry Revelry
Saturday, June 8, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Rockywold Deephaven Camps, Holderness, NH
(Directions here!)

The Ravelry Revelry is free and open to all, thanks to our fabulous sponsors. We wouldn’t be able to host this event without these wonderful companies:

Qiviut Sponsor

Cashmere Sponsors
Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms

Merino Sponsors
Brooklyn Tweed
Green Mountain Spinnery
Journey Wheel
STC Craft
The Woolen Rabbit

The Ravelry Revelry will have treats, happy creative people, door prizes (thanks again, lovely sponsors!), and beautiful scenery – we hope you can join us. And then, after the Revelry, we’d love for you to stay a while and enjoy the Squam Art Fair! There will be booths and booths of enticing fibery goodness, pottery, clothing, handmade wonders, and more!

(A quick note: there are no meals offered, but with lots of nearby restaurants and a beautiful lake just perfect for picnics, if you want to go out and get dinner or bring a meal to enjoy by the lake between the two events, you can easily do so!)

We hope to see you there!

3 Million!

March 8th, 2013

This just in: we now have 3 MILLION (!!!) fiber-loving Ravelry users! Yay!

Ravelry has changed quite a bit since Jess and Casey first posted about their idea for a central website for fiber artists, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the fantastic community that you all have built.

early days of Ravelry

From the very first beta testers, Ravelers have made this site so much more than the sum of its parts. Ravelry users are based in nearly every country in the world, and do just about anything you can imagine with yarn and fiber (and some things you’d probably never imagine before you saw them on Ravelry!). The forums are lively, the pattern and yarn database grows every day, projects and stash keep multiplying… the site continues to grow and improve, welcoming new people, every day.

This membership milestone comes at a perfect time – all of us on the Ravelry staff (Casey, Jessica, Christina, Sarah, and Mary-Heather) just took a Ravelry Retreat in Texas where we discussed our plans for the site and goals for 2013. (And recorded the silly little video here in this post.) We came back motivated, focused, and inspired, and we have an important thing we would like to say to all of you:

Thank you.

Thank you for making Ravelry feel like a home on the web for so many people around the world.

Thank you for any contribution you have made to Ravelry – added a project or stashed a yarn? Helped to edit the database? Attended a Ravelry meet-up? Helped another user in the forums – or even just clicked their “love” button because you could tell they needed a hug? Those are all valuable contributions and part of what makes Ravelry so wonderful.

Thank you for embracing the changes as we continue to improve the site! We have so many great plans for the future!

Thank you to the fibery businesses involved on Ravelry: advertisers, designers and publishers, yarn shops, dyers, yarn companies, notions makers, people who sew project bags and make beautiful spinning wheels and cool knitting and crochet apps and special graph paper for colorwork and all kinds of other specialty products and services that we all enjoy – we love that this site is useful for you, too! The fiber industry is made up of many small businesses run by passionate, hard-working people, and we are so honored to be a part of that.

Thank you for your love of Bob, the best Boston Terrier Mascot in all the land!

Thank you for sending us nice emails and notes, the smiles (and cupcakes) at Ravelry meetups, posting your feedback and ideas for the site in For the Love of Ravelry, and the enthusiasm that you all show for this not-so-little fiber based website. We are so grateful to work on a website that the members love and care about as much as we do, and are inspired by our users every single day.

Thank you all for making this online community so special! It wouldn’t be the same without YOU! (Yes, you!)

Party Bob

P.S.: We have some special celebratory “Party Bob” t-shirts, designed by the talented Vera Brosgol, coming soon to the Ravelry mini-mart! The blank shirts are on their way to the printer now and we’ll stock them as soon as possible, so keep your eyes peeled!

Ravelry at Squam this June!

January 25th, 2013

Casey and I are already looking forward to this summer, when once again we’ll be attending the Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire! Squam launched its first June session back in 2009, and we’ve been lucky to be there every year since (except that busy year Eloise joined our family). And, we are even more excited to be headed back this Spring because for the first time in two years, there will be a Ravelry party on the East Coast (woot!) and we would love to have you join us!

The Ravelry Revelry will take place on Saturday, June 8, along the shores of beautiful Squam Lake in Holderness, NH. Travel info and distances here. It begins at 1pm and ends at 5pm.

After our event, you should definitely stay on for the Squam Art Fair that opens its doors at 7:30 pm.

Both events are free and open to all (not just Squam attendees!) and promise to be filled with yummy nibbles, beer, crafty booths with fabulous vendors, and fun workshops and activities for folks who love nothing better than to indulge in some fibery goodness.

Best of all, we have some generous sponsors on hand who will be offering up fabulous door prizes for you to have the chance to win!

Our sponsors are:




Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms


STC Craft
Journey Wheel
Green Mountain Spinnery
The Woolen Rabbit

We are so appreciative of all of our sponsors – thank you all so much for helping us host this free shindig! We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

One last thing: For the first time ever, Squam is offering a ‘Taste of Squam’ overnight stay package where you (and your crafty friends) can come up Saturday afternoon and spend the night, hang out with us, and enjoy the leisurely weekend with the Squam attendees and instructors.

It’s so nice to have a summer crafty lake retreat to look forward to in the middle of this very chilly winter. We all hope to see you there!

2012: a Ravelry year in review!

January 11th, 2013

2012 was a big year for Ravelry. We celebrated 5 years of Ravelry with you all, passed 2 million members (and we just keep growing!), we welcomed our 5th staff member, Christina the Enhance-o-Tron, and much much more! We wanted to look back over the past year with you all and share some highlights.

2012 Jan - Mar

January, February, and March

Casey opened up the Ravelry API for developers, who got busy right away making cool apps to work with Ravelry! You can see a mid-year round up of apps in this blog post. The Ravelry team traveled to Phoenix, AZ, for The National Needlework Association’s winter trade show.

Ravelry hit 2 million users on February 29 – a huge milestone! (To think that before Ravelry began, Jess and Casey hoped that one day they might get 1,000 people interested in signing up.) Though the site has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, it’s still a friendly and welcoming community, thanks to all of you fabulous Ravelers.

Our brand-new, feature-packed library was rolled out with a handy guided tour and a fun book giveaway. More guided tips for Ravelry features were added throughout the year, and we currently have guides for the Ravelry library, the yarn database, tips for sifting through projects, and the “remember and compare” feature available with the Ravelry advanced search. If you have a few minutes to spare and would like to learn more about any of these features, take a moment to check them out!

April, May, and June

Sarah and Mary-Heather spoke – and shopped ;) – at the DFW Fiber Fest. Bobmas, the anniversary of the first time Jess and Casey shared their idea for Ravelry with the world, is celebrated each April 7. We came up with a fun idea to share the revelry: a Project Bag Design Contest! Ravelers around the world submitted their designs, all focused on the theme “A Ravelry Celebration.”

Voting for the Design Contest took two rounds, in which 117,056 votes were cast, and Ravelers selected the fun design by Elloknits, which perfectly celebrates 5 years of Ravelry joy. This design is still a popular item in the Ravelry minimart!

2012 Ravelry Jul - Sep

July, August, and September

The Tour de Fleece, a group-centered Ravelry event in which spinners challenge themselves to spin along with the Tour de France race, began on June 27th but the bulk of the spinning took place in July. During the 2012 Tour de Fleece, Ravelers spun 115,000 oz / 3,260,195 g of fiber – that’s 7,200 lbs / 3,260 kg, or as much weight as a large adult hippopotamus!

Our largest community craft-along to date, the Ravellenic Games, began in tandem with the Olympic games on July 27. We had 10,000 participants representing 66 countries, who brought 55,000 projects across the finish line. Fantastic! After the Ravellenic Games, many participants purchased a limited-edition commemorative pin designed by octagonfudge Guin. 100% of the profits for this pin were donated to the Special Olympics; the final donation came to $11,300. Absolutely amazing, Ravelers!

We welcomed oharethey Christina, who joined Ravelry’s staff as our 5th team member and 2nd developer! Christina has been working hard since she arrived, and has been especially focused on improvements to the administrative areas of Ravelry, which help us all do our jobs better and faster.

Rhinebeck 1

October, November, and December

October brought the Ravelry staff’s annual trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. The meetups are always such a fun way to connect with users! Casey and Christina also traveled to Denver for RubyConf. The whole Ravelry team kept busy with assisting Ravelers and adding new features, including a customized pattern viewing history page, and a way to link projects you made for other Ravelers to that user’s profile.

Ravelry users were busy as well! From October – December 2012, Ravelers began an average of 3,900 projects each DAY. While Ravelry’s membership grew steadily all year (we ended the year with 2.74 million users, 3,800 of whom joined on New Year’s Eve!) the site still feels small in many ways, thanks to the bonds within our wonderful, helpful community. In the last three months of 2012 alone, 33,000 new friendships were added on Ravelry, and 5,000 projects were marked as “made for” other Ravelers.

Rhinebeck 2

Want some more fun stats from throughout 2012?

1,114,909 patterns were sold on Ravelry, resulting in $6,177,399.87 in sales! (Did you know that over 98% of that money is paid to the designers?)

The Ravelry In-Store Sales program continued to grow, and we now have 553 shops participating globally. In 2012, over 18,000 patterns were sold as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales!

Ravelers stashed 500,928 miles / 806,165 kilometers of yarn last year – that’s enough to go around the world TWENTY times!

77,680 new patterns were added to the Ravelry database. The most popular day to create a pattern in 2012 was March 23: 348 patterns were added to Ravelry on that day.

1.85 million projects were created, and 1.37 million projects were finished.

Ravelers made 23 million forum posts, and shared a lot of love – 38.7 million love button clicks were made in 2012!

And behind the scenes (some snippets of our jobs at Ravelry):

Sarah assisted 13,465 different Ravelers who wrote for help.
Mary-Heather reviewed and approved 10,000 ads.
Casey and Christina released new site updates 471 times.
Bob took 1,500 naps.


We’re so grateful to you all for being a part of Ravelry in 2012. Thank you to everyone who clicked a love button, uploaded a project, introduced a new person to the site, searched for a perfect pattern, supported a Ravelry advertiser, stashed some yarn, bought some merch from the Ravelry minimart, asked for help or assisted another Raveler with a question, arranged a meetup with a Ravelry friend… the list of Ravelry activities, both on and off the site, could go on and on!

All of us on the Ravelry staff hope that you are having a wonderful start to 2013. Here’s to many more years of Ravelry!