Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza

December 19th, 2011

Just after Thanksgiving I was able to attend the Arkansas Fiber Extravanganza. It was a great weekend in Hot Springs, AR full of new friends, fun & fiber (of course).  We got there on Friday and enjoyed all of the festivities, including an inspiring talk by Annie Modesitt, speed knitting and crochet competitions, a fashion show of great finished items, shopping and other fun on the exhibit hall floor.

All of the festivities wrapped up with the Ravelry party on Saturday night, complete with ice cream & giveaways.  I was blown away by the number of folks who stuck around to come hang out with us Saturday night and had a great time mingling and chatting with all of the Ravelers that came by.

Having grown up in Arkansas, this event was a bit like coming home.  I made several new friends, including Heather (pictured with me above right) who did a great job coordinating the event and The Knit Girllls, Laura & Leslie (with the spinning wheels in the top photos). And, I got to meet people I had been friends with for a long time, but hadn’t met in person like Aimee (seen in the bottom picture below).

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all those who held the baby so I could shop and knit.  I got more knitting done that weekend than I had in ages!  It helps when you have lots of extra hands. It was a great event and I hope I can make it back in the future!

Rhinebeck Ravelry meetups!

October 4th, 2011

show-offs

We can hardly believe that it’s nearly time for the New York Sheep and Wool festival again! The festival is held in Rhinebeck, NY, on the third weekend in October: this year it falls on October 15 and 16. We’re really looking forward to spending the weekend at NYS&W introducing new Ravelbabies Eloise and Carson to all the good things that Rhinebeck has to offer! (Well, lots of the good things anyway – we’ll save the cider donuts for another year.)

meetupmap

We have two meetups planned during the day on both Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 1 pm.
The location for the meetups is shown on the map above – it is a shaded field down the walkway from the author’s tent and behind the bounce house and great big fun slide. Come and meet your fellow Ravelers and get a Hello! username button.

For more information or to chat with other Ravelers about the meetups at Rhinebeck this year, please check out our meetups thread in the New York Sheep and Wool group. We wanted to remind everyone that there will be no nighttime Ravelry party this year, but judging from discussions in the Rhinebeck group, Ravelers are planning to take over just about every hotel lobby in the area with some group crafting on Saturday night. ;)

We are so excited to see all the beautiful fall leaves, sheepdog trials, fried pickles, friends, and of course all the yarn, fiber, and other goodies that NYS&W has to offer… see you in Rhinebeck!

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Ravelry Extras

August 18th, 2011

We’re excited to introduce new Ravelry features that we’re calling Ravelry Extras!

What Ravelry Extras?
Ravelry Extras are features that people have been requesting for some time, but that are too expensive for us to provide for free. Don’t worry, all of the standard features on Ravelry will remain free! We don’t have more Extras planned right now but we’ve had suggestions for things like storage of your own pattern PDFs and statistics (like this)

What’s the first Ravelry Extra?
The first Extra that we’ve added is the ability to add photos to your forum posts directly from your computer, iPhone or via email from any device that can send an image by email. To see how this works, we’ve put together a little video for you. [a few people have asked if you can upload to projects and stash too – you could already do that for free! here’s how]

How much does it cost?
This is $5 for one year.

If you are unable to watch the video or prefer to read instructions instead, you can find more information in the wikiThe wiki also lists the free alternatives to this Ravelry Extra, including the ability to add your project & stash photos to posts.

How do I add this Ravelry Extra to my account?
You can add Ravelry Extras to your account by visiting http://www.ravelry.com/extras. We will add more information to that site on additional Extras as they become available.

:(
Oh? There’s a new free thing too – a nice way to insert project and stash images into forum posts. You might like that.
Also, you can still add images from Flickr, Photobucket, etc and we’ve made adding images from Flickr even easier. Just paste in the link to any photo page and you’re done.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties using these features, feel free to contact us using the contact link at the bottom of the page. We hope this makes your Ravelry even better!

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Also, there is a more detailed explanation of this and a discussion in the forums: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-love-of-ravelry/1761129/1-25

Phew! Summer might be a traditionally slower time for yarn lovers, but we’ve sure been busy around here! Casey and Jess are, of course, caring for their sweet new baby girl, and Sarah and I have been happily busy at work (both traveling and at home).

ravelrybooth

Our first booth at TNNA was everything we hoped for! Sarah and I had a wonderful time hosting designers for trunk shows and meeting shop owners from all over the country. A big service that we launched at this TNNA show was our new In-Store Pattern Sales service. This is a brand-new feature that allows yarn shop owners to sell patterns that designers have made available through this service to their in-store customers.

In-Store Pattern Sales: How Does It Work?

Participating LYSOs can search for patterns available through this service (designers agree to the pricing scale for any patterns they want to include as long as they are available through the Ravelry pattern store, and shops sell the patterns at the suggested retail price) and sell them to customers through their shops, printing the pattern for the customer in-store if desired. Patterns can also be emailed to the customer and saved in their Ravelry library. At the end of each month, shop owners receive a combined invoice for all the patterns sold during that month, and pay for them through Ravelry via PayPal or a credit card. There are no Ravelry fees to shop owners for using this service. The usual pattern sales fees apply for designers.

The In-Store Pattern Sales service received an incredible response at TNNA, and we are more excited about it than ever. Shop owners brought up so many advantages to this service: many shops love to carry paper patterns but may not be able to carry a designer’s full line, or may have a shop sample that is selling patterns and yarn like hotcakes and expressed interest in using this service as a way to offer the pattern when they are waiting for a new shipment. Some shop owners saw this as a great way to connect their local customers, even those who are less internet-savvy, to patterns that are going viral online but not available to sell through traditional wholesale methods. Every shop we spoke to gave us more inspiration and ideas – we know that this feature is brand-new in our industry and we couldn’t be more excited to launch it.

Currently, we are contacting the shop owners who signed up at TNNA, but if you are a local yarn shop owner who would like to offer this pattern in your store (brick-and-mortar shops only: this service is not available for online shops), we have registration information for you at the end of this post.

Thank you, designers!

Though the launch of this new service was the primary focus of our TNNA booth, we were also so pleased to host trunk shows by some incredibly talented designers:

trunkshowdesigners

What a pleasure it was to see the gorgeous samples from each talented designer! The Ravelry booth was transformed over and over again throughout the weekend, thanks to the trunk shows, and we really couldn’t have planned to have a nicer group of people to spend the weekend with. Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches, Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs, Woolly Wormhead of Wooly Wormhead, Kate Oates of TotToppers, Anne Hanson of Knitspot, Robyn Chachula of Crochet by Faye, Cecily Glowik Macdonald of Winged Knits, Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, and Ann Kingstone of Ann Kingstone Designs: we really appreciate you! Thank you so much!

We really had a blast, and it was so exciting to announce our new In-Store Pattern Sales service and receive such an incredibly enthusiastic response!

Signing your shop up for Ravelry’s In-Store Pattern Sales service.

If you are a local yarn store owner and are interested in participating in this service, please write to us at instoresales@ravelry.com. Currently, we are contacting the yarn shop owners who signed up for this service with us at TNNA and working to get them set up and using the service. When we have set those shops up (as quickly as possible!) we will begin contacting the shops who have written to us via email, in the order in which we received the messages. (If you signed up at TNNA, there is no need to write us there – we are working through the list!)

If you are a designer and you’d like to make your patterns available to local yarn shops, you can do so right in the “configure store” section found in your manage store area. We have instructions in the Ravelry wiki!

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heading to TNNA!

June 6th, 2011

Sarah and I are getting ready to head to the TNNA summer trade show in Columbus, Ohio, this week. (Jess and Casey will be home snuggling with their due-any-moment-now baby girl!) This show promises to be even busier than usual – for the first time, Ravelry will have a booth on the show floor: booth #454, and if you are a TNNA attendee, please do come by to say hello! We’re really looking forward to having a home base at which we can meet people, answer questions about advertising, pattern sales, and features for yarn shops, and even host trunk shows featuring the beautiful knit and crochet patterns of some very special guests!

designer trunk show pics

A newly launching Ravelry feature that we are really excited about is our In-Store Pattern Sales service (designers and shop owners, you can read more here), which allows local yarn shops to sell patterns that designers make available through this service to their in-store customers. We’ve been beta-testing this new service for some time, and are ready to take signups from interested shops at TNNA! The fabulous designers hosting trunk shows in our booth are among the many talented designers offering their patterns to yarn shops through this service. Many of them have been to TNNA shows before; others are coming from overseas to make their TNNA debut. We are honored to have them be a part of the very first Ravelry booth at TNNA! Please come by to see their beautiful designs.

The full trunk show schedule (all in the Ravelry booth – #454) is:

Saturday, June 11

10 – 11 am: Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches
12 – 1 pm: Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs
2 – 3 pm: Woolly Wormhead of Wooly Wormhead
4 – 5 pm: Kate Oates of TotToppers

Sunday, June 12

10 – 11 am: Anne Hanson of Knitspot
12 – 1 pm: Robyn Chachula of Crochet by Faye
2 – 3 pm: Cecily Glowik Macdonald of Winged Knits
4 – 5 pm: Hannah Fettig of Knitbot

Monday, June 13

10 – 11 am: Ann Kingstone of Ann Kingstone Designs

Huge thanks to all the designers spending time in our booth! We can’t wait to see your beautiful work in person.

To all TNNA designer and teacher attendees: Sarah and I will also be speaking on the Social Media panel at the TNNA Designer/Teacher meeting (open to TNNA members/convention attendees), which is being held on Saturday evening from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, in room D132 of the Convention Center. This is a subject that is obviously near and dear to our hearts, and this is such an exciting time in our industry – we were honored to be asked to speak!

TNNA shows always mean a great and busy week for us – we get to see talk with so many other industry people and always come away motivated and full of new ideas. If you’re going to TNNA, we’ll see you at booth #454!

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stevenbe presentation

Recently, Sarah and I got to go to Minneapolis for StevenBe’s Fantastic Fiber Fest Weekend and the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild’s Yarnover event, and boy, did they show us a good time! Minneapolis clearly has a vibrant fiber community: great yarn shops that support each other to help make the city a destination for yarn lovers, loads of fun fiber events (the weekend we were there, folks were still buzzing about the recent shop crawl and were making plans to attend another festival the following weekend!), and best of all, lots of happy and talented crafters.

yarnoverpics

With so much going on during the trip, our itinerary was pretty full, but Steven and his staff welcomed us like family into their (gorgeous!) shop and made us feel relaxed and at home right away. Over the course of the weekend we attended a teacher/student dinner, two parties at StevenBe, Yarnover, a presentation by Nicky Epstein, and gave a presentation on Ravelry! Phew! We still had plenty of time to enjoy the events and talk to the wonderful Ravelers (both new and more experienced users) who came out to say hello and hear us speak. Steven, the owner of StevenBe and our host for the weekend, has created a rich community space in Minneapolis. His shop is gorgeous and fun, the staff is helpful and cheerful, and the enormous space is positively packed with yarn. What’s not to love? Sarah and I pretty much wanted to move in by the end of the weekend.

stevenbe shop pics

Huge, huge thanks to the staff of StevenBe and everyone who came out to see us during our presentation and Ravelry meetup, or said hello and chatted with us at one of our events during our weekend in Minneapolis. It was especially exciting to get to give a presentation on Ravelry with so many new users in the audience. We, and the long-time Ravelers in the audience (some of whom brought their iPads and laptops to help answer individual questions after the presentation – what a great idea!), had fun sharing the Ravelry love! Minneapolis was truly a wonderful time – and we hope to come back!

stevenbepartypics

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Heading to Minneapolis!

April 22nd, 2011

ravelryheartsminnesota

Sarah and I are really excited to be coming to Minneapolis over the weekend of April 29 – May 1 for StevenBe’s Fantastic Fiber Fest Weekend in conjunction with the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild’s Yarnover event! We always love seeing StevenBe (of StevenBe and The Yarn Garage) at TNNA, and he is kindly hosting us for a weekend full of fiber events. We’ve got lots of festivities planned, from shopping, to a Ravelry presentation, to meetups, and even a wine and cheese party!

Here are our scheduled events:

Saturday, April 300

12:00 – 1:00 pm: Ravelry meetup at Yarnover! (Google maps link to location.) We’ll be at the Yarn Garage booth – booth 23 – with lots of Hello buttons to give away. We’re so excited to meet Ravelers (our very favorite thing about work travel) and check out all the fabulous vendors in the marketplace!

6:00 pm: wine and cheese party at StevenBe in Minneapolis! (Google maps link to StevenBe.) Lots of great Yarnover teachers will be attending this soiree, as well – please come say hi, we do love a party!

Sunday, May 1

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: we’ll be at StevenBe, giving a presentation on Ravelry (with plenty of time for questions and answers at the end, too!), and a meetup afterwards 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. There are so many activities happening at the shop all day – you can check out the schedule and all the classes and book signings available on the StevenBe website.

If you need more information about any of the Fantastic Fiber Fest Weekend events or Yarnover, or would like to register for any of the festivities, please check out their respective websites for the details and contact information.

We do have a Ravelry Events Page set up for our weekend activities – please click if you are attending! This does not register you for the events in question but it’s always fun to look at the list of attendees and spot your Ravelry friends.

Minneapolis, we can’t wait! We’ll see you soon!

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greetingsmadison

We’re headed to Wisconsin this weekend, for the Madison Knitters’ Guild Knit In! With two talks on the agenda for Saturday, March 19 (one from 9:00 – 11:00 and the second from 1:00 – 3:00), it is going to be a busy trip, and we’re really looking forward to sharing some Ravelry history (as well as some tips and tricks) in our presentations. For more information about the Knit In event, please check out the Knit In website! There are lots of classes and some really amazing vendors at this event. If you are going, we look forward to seeing you there!

We have a few more events planned this year, too! We’ll be posting more information as the dates approach, but we did want to put the basic information up for our upcoming events:

Minneapolis, Minnesota: from April 29 – May 1, Sarah and I will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Fantastic Fiber Fest, taking place at Yarn Garage, in conjunction with YarnOver, the annual event from the Minneapolis Knitters’ Guild!

Columbus, Ohio: Sarah and I will be going to TNNA this summer (June 11 – 13) to represent Ravelry at our industry’s trade show while Jess and Casey take care of their sweet new baby girl!

Rhinebeck, New York: The New York Sheep and Wool Festival, October 15 – 16, 2011. The whole team is planning to be at Rhinebeck this year (Ravelry’s 4th New York Sheep and Wool!), hosting daily meetups both days of the festival. We will not be throwing a Ravelry party in the evening this time, but we hope to see as many people as possible during our daytime meetups and around the festival.

It’s a very busy year for us here at Ravelry but we always love to meet Ravelers in different parts of the country (and the world!) when we can!

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We had such a great time at STITCHES West – the long weekend flew by; probably because there were plenty of yarn fumes to keep us going! STITCHES West is a huge show, and we did our best to make the most of our time there with all the wonderful people we met!

stitcheswest1

The STITCHES shows have a little something for everyone – there was a marketplace full (and I do mean full!) of incredible vendors, evening activities (like an inspiring fashion show, highlighting lots of inspiring new handknit and crocheted designs, a student banquet, our own Ravelry meetup, and even a pajama party!), and lots of classes taught by some of the finest teachers in the industry. In short… it’s amazing! We spent our days in the marketplace, shopping (ahem, some of us may have gone to STITCHES West resolved to come home without any additional stash acquisition… and some of us may have blown that resolution.) and hosting daily meetups. As always, we got so much energy from meeting our users in real life. Ravelers are pretty darn awesome.

Casey and Jess even got to have an extra gathering in the Bay Area – they flew out a little early and spent Valentine’s Day at A Verb for Keeping Warm, a lovely shop in Oakland. There were cookies, chocolate, yarn samples, and lots of friendly faces – including the cute doggy face of Cleo, the shop dachshund!

stitches west 3

Thank you so much to everyone we met during this trip! If you came to one of our STITCHES West meetups or our Happy Hour, or if you were at the Valentine’s Day party at A Verb for Keeping Warm, please add your photos to the Ravelry Events pool on Flickr! An extra-special thank you to the good people at XRX/Knitter’s Magazine – you are all so wonderful to work with, and we are so grateful that you invited us to come to STITCHES West and showed us such a great time. We had a blast!

P.S. thank you to WonderMike of Fiber Beat for the photos from the Verb for Keeping Warm party and booth! :)

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Heading West… to STITCHES West!

February 11th, 2011

stitcheswest

Next week, Jess, Casey, Sarah, and I will be heading out to Santa Clara for STITCHES West! This is a huge west coast yarn extravaganza- classes, a fashion show and other fun events, and an amazing marketplace. This year it is taking place from Thursday, February 17 – Sunday, February 20. We can’t wait! If you’ll be there, we’d love to see you at the Ravelry Happy Hour or one of our Marketplace meetups!

Happy Hour on Thursday night:

Ravelry, along with STITCHES/XRX, will be hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday night, just after the Market Preview! The Happy Hour will be right in the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Ballrooms C, D, E, and F from 8:00 – 9:30 pm.

All are welcome – you do not need a ticket to the Market Preview!

We’ll have a cash bar, music, lots of hello buttons, and best of all, lots of friendly faces to meet and hang out with! We are really excited to meet you all!

Daily Meetups:

We’ll also be hosting daily meetups, in the Marketplace concessions area. If you can, please come by and say hi! These meetups are always a fun way to hang out with a whole bunch of our Ravelry friends… without having to go too far away from the amazing marketplace so we can get right back to stash acquisition. ;)

The official meetup times are:

Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Saturday from 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Sunday from 10:00 – 11:00 am

Please click on the links to the events pages of any of the events listed above – if you click that you are interested or attending you’ll be able to see other Ravelry friends who will be there as they sign up, too. It’s always fun to see! :) We’re also chatting about these meetups in the STITCHES West group on Ravelry.

Valentine’s Day Party

If you live in the area, Jess and Casey will also be at a Valentine’s Day party at A Verb for Keeping Warm’s shop in Oakland, on February 14th, from 6 pm – 8 pm. More information can be found in the Verb for Keeping Warm Group.

Can’t wait to see you there!

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