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
Knitspot

Cashmere Sponsors
Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms

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

TNNA

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.

teamatjenis

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
Knitspot

Cashmere Sponsors
Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms

Merino Sponsors
Brooklyn Tweed
Green Mountain Spinnery
Journey Wheel
STC Craft
WEBS
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:

Qiviut:

Knitspot

Cashmere:

Classic Elite Yarns
Kelbourne Woolens
Lupine Blossoms

Merino:

WEBS
BrooklynTweed
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.

Bob.

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!

Knit or crochet any gifts lately?

December 14th, 2012

We have a hunch that lots of you have been making gifts for the holidays lately. (Fun fact: last year, Ravelers made about 9,800 projects marked for “mom” or “dad” in November and December alone!) If your hands have been busy making things for other Ravelry members, we have a new feature, recently built by Christina, that we think you will love: you can now link your Ravelry projects to the Ravelers for whom they were made!

Linking your projects to Ravelers is easy: when you are editing your project, you’ll see a new field up at the top, where you can add the Ravelry username. As you begin to type the username, possible Ravelers will appear for you to select:

made for autocomplete

After you’ve selected the correct Ravelry user, just save your project and his or her Ravelry username and profile picture will appear in the “made for” field for your project!

made for saved

This will be visible to anyone who looks at your project page, but linking up a Raveler does not send the user you made the item for any sort of message or notification, so it’s possible to be a little sneaky (of course, if you really want to be sure the recipient will be surprised, it’s a good idea to wait until after they’ve received the gift to link up their Ravelry profile).

new products

While you’re busy making gifts, don’t forget we have our Ravelry & Knitterella Notions gift tags, in both knitting and crochet versions – and a matching sling tote and notecards! We also just added a cute new “I Heart Ravelry” project bag to the minimart – a fun gift for anyone who wants to show off their Ravelry love.

We hope that you are all enjoying a wonderful end to 2012! Getting to work with Ravelry community and build this site feels like a gift to us every day. Thanks for being so wonderful, Ravelers!

I’ve got a notion…

November 20th, 2012

‘Tis the season when people begin asking you what’s on your wish list and you start looking for (or creating) that perfect gift for people in your life. Whether you’re gift giving this season, or just looking for a little something for yourself, we have some great new products in the mini-mart for you!

We are pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Jill, the very talented designer behind Knitterella, and she’s created some products just for us! First up are gift tags, which are specially created with handmade gift giving in mind. We have two sets, one for knitted gifts and one for crocheted gifts, each with 3 knit or crochet tags and 3 notions tags. They have the care instructions on the back, so they are a great way to adorn your gift with something nice while also giving the recipient the information they need to care for it.
Gift Tags smaller

We love the notions design so much that we also incorporated it into two other products: notecards and a tote bag! The notecards come 3 to a set and are perfect for sending along with a handmade gift, or including in a swap package with a fellow crafter. The sling-style tote bag is a great size for carrying your project along with you and would also make a great gift.
Notions Tote

There are a lot of other great products in the mini-mart, as well. The design contest bags are in stock and we have coffee mugs, logo tote bags, and many other items to choose from.

Collage

People can buy from the mini-mart even if they aren’t a member of Ravelry, so if you see something you like, make sure you let those who may be buying for you know!

Wishin’ & Hopin’

October 4th, 2012

We really appreciate all the Ravelers who submitted a wish to our “Make a Wish” form on the front screen. It is helpful to know what you all want to see from Ravelry. We also have The List where you can find things that have been suggested and comment or vote on them, but the wishes helped us see what was most important to you.

From the wish list, we have learned that there are some hidden features many people aren’t aware exist! I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight a few of those features.

Wish #1: Ability to make a project in my notebook public
After you add a project, you can make it public and share it in a variety of ways. To do this, go to the project page and click the “share this” link in the upper right. Then, click “share this page” to confirm.

Share this

You can then choose from the drop down to select how you want to share it.

dropdown

If you select “invite – access with a link”, you will see a link that you can send by email or post somewhere, as well as buttons to allow you to easily make it accessible on facebook or twitter.

share with link

If you select “public – visible to all” then it will be seen by anyone who accesses it through a link. You will also be provided with a convenient short link to share with people so they can find it, as well as buttons for more direct facebook or twitter sharing. You can change your sharing options for a given project at any time.

Wish #2: Email notifications about messages
This feature is a bit hidden, but it’s very handy! To find the email notification settings, go to your notebook then click on messages. Then, you will see a tab on the far right (alongside inbox/sent/saved tabs) that says “email notification”. When you go there initially, it will look like this because it’s not yet set up.

Not set up
Choose “yes” from that drop down and then enter your email address. After submitting your address & the types of notifications you wish to receive, you will see this screen.

Verification Email

It may take a few minutes, but you will receive an email from us verifying that it is your address where you want things sent. There is a link in the email you will need to click to verify it. Once you click that email, you will see this screen. You can change the types of notifications that you wish to receive at any point.

Notification Setup

Wish #3: Make it more difficult to accidentally click the disagree button
We don’t have plans to make it more difficult to click the forum buttons, as the ease of clicking them is part of what makes them great. However, it is easy to un-click them should you click a button unintentionally.

So, let’s say I accidentally clicked a button. The forum post would look like this…

To un-click it, just click the disagree button again, and the number and bold text will disappear indicating that the button is no longer clicked.

unclick

For those of you that still have wishes yet to be granted, we can’t fulfill all of your wishes, but Casey has been using the list and granting wishes as he can. We will let you know if your wish has been granted. In the meantime, we hope these tips help you enjoy your Ravelry experience just a little bit more!

Welcome Christina!

September 4th, 2012

Big news!

There are now 5 of us here at Ravelry.

Our search for a 2nd developer is over and we’re excited to welcome our newest teammate, Christina (oharethey on Ravelry)

Christina is a web application developer – she helps build things to make the site better. When not working on Ravelry, Christina likes to run, spend time with her family, and of course, knit and spin. While her heart will always be in upstate New York, her body is in the warm sun of Austin, TX.

Welcome Christina! We’re so happy that you are joining us! Having you on our team is going to be a great thing for the site and for all Ravelers.