sarah and me!

This weekend, Sarah and I are headed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the DFW Fiber Fest! This is a new festival for both of us, and we can’t wait to attend. If you are in the area, we’d love to see you at our Ravelry meetup this Saturday, March 31, from 12 – 2 in the Stitching Lounge (more details and discussion about the meetup can be found in the DFW Fiber Fest group). We’ll have Hello! buttons to hand out, and as always, the meetup will be a great place to get to meet and chat with your Ravelry friends.

We are also giving a (sold out – eeps! Exciting!) talk, Unraveling Ravelry, on Friday night. If you’ve already reserved your place, we can’t wait to see you there – thanks so much for coming to see us!

The DFW Fiber Fest has a marketplace with great vendors, as well as some terrific classes. Sarah and I will definitely be checking out the marketplace on Friday and Saturday, so if you see us there, please do say hello!

We had over 94,000 entries in our Ravelry Library Book Bundle Giveaway, and this morning Casey picked the 25 random winners! They are:

Legato, heyjulie, dragonflydreams, theyarnwhisperer, Bunks, firemanshunny, Lolotte1409, indybrown, Croative, polkaberry, LauraJJ, leah5150, 2aT, micicuta, PatchworkMoose, leahmarie, katkra56, SisuSiren, angelamo63, Ebeth, superjuana, Jay, Allalyt, Klwilson, and drgille!

Congratulations, lucky winners! I emailed you all this morning (to the email address connected with your Ravelry profile) so if you haven’t replied to that email with your mailing address yet, please do so!

Once again, we want to give a huge “thank you!” to all the publishers and designers who contributed to this wonderful prize pack. We are so grateful that you are a part of the Ravelry community!

Amigurumi Toy Box Beyond Knit & Purl The Big Book of Knitted Monsters Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia Crocheted Softies Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments That Really Fit Custom Fit Knit Jackets Casual to Couture Freddie’s Blanket Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy Storybook Dolls to Knit Urban Edge Les accessoires tricot Biscotte & Cie Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers Loop-d-Loop Lace: More than 30 Novel Lace Designs For Knitters More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns to Knit for Kids My Grandmother’s Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks Worth Showing Off Stitch London Sweet Shawlettes Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi Textured Stitches: Knitted Sweaters & Accessories with Smart Details Whimsical Little Knits 3 Knitting Pleats: Stunning Garments and Accessories

If you’d like to congratulate the winners or chat about the prizes, we have a thread in the For the Love of Ravelry forum!

We recently improved the Library section of your notebooks and made it an even better way for you to track of your craft library and browse and search all the patterns that you own.

Today we have a little tour and a big giveaway for you. Thanks to contributions from publishers and designers, we’re able to give away a big book prize package: 25 lucky winners will get 26 books each!

Keep reading to find out how to enter :)

Do you want to make sure that we got your entry? Check the top of the front page after signing in to ravelry.com

The Books

Each of the 25 winners will receive these 26 books:

Stitch London by Lauren O’Farrell
32 patterns on Ravelry
More info at store.marthapullen.com

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook by Ellen Gormley
10 patterns on Ravelry
More info at store.marthapullen.com

Storybook Dolls to Knit by Anita M. Wheeless

One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs by Iris Schreier
29 patterns on Ravelry
More info at amazon.com

Beyond Knit and Purl by Kate Atherley
24 patterns on Ravelry
More info at cooperativepress.com

Textured Stitches: Knitted Sweaters & Accessories with Smart Details by Connie Chang Chinchio
19 patterns on Ravelry
More info at interweavestore.com

Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Every Day by Robyn Chachula
24 patterns on Ravelry
More info at interweavestore.com

Whimsical Little Knits 3 by Ysolda Teague
9 patterns on Ravelry
More info at ysolda.com

Freddie’s Blanket by Joanna Johnson
5 patterns on Ravelry
More info at slatefallspress.com

Sweet Shawlettes by Jean Moss
25 patterns on Ravelry
More info at tauntonstore.com

Crocheted Softies by Stacey Trock
18 patterns on Ravelry
More info at martingale-pub.com

Les accessoires tricot Biscotte & Cie by Biscotte & Cie inc.
17 patterns on Ravelry
More info at biscottecie.com

Urban Edge by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
10 patterns on Ravelry
More info at leisurearts.com

Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments That Really Fit by Dora Ohrenstein
10 patterns on Ravelry
More info at amazon.com

Loop-d-Loop Lace: More than 30 Novel Lace Designs For Knitters by Teva Durham
25 patterns on Ravelry
More info at melaniefalickbooks.com

My Grandmother’s Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers by Larissa Brown
22 patterns on Ravelry
More info at melaniefalickbooks.com

Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec
38 patterns on Ravelry
More info at randomhouse.com

Knitting Pleats: Stunning Garments and Accessories by Olga Pobedinskaya
17 patterns on Ravelry
More info at shopmartingale.com

Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers by Linda Permann
24 patterns on Ravelry
More info at randomhouse.com

The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger
20 patterns on Ravelry
More info at dangercrafts.com

Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends by Ana Paula Rimoli
23 patterns on Ravelry
More info at anapaulaoli.etsy.com

Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy by Toni Carr
12 patterns on Ravelry
More info at andrewsmcmeel.com

Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks Worth Showing Off by Alice Yu
17 patterns on Ravelry

More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns to Knit for Kids by Kristi Porter
29 patterns on Ravelry
More info at wiley.com

Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula
More info at wiley.com

Custom Fit Knit Jackets Casual to Couture by Jean Frost / XRX, Inc.
15 patterns on Ravelry
More info at KnittingUniverse.com


Phew! Huge thanks to the publishers and designers who liked this idea and contributed their books.

Enter to win by taking the tour

We’ve made a short guided tour that shows you some of the new library features. It takes about 5 minutes to step through the tour. You don’t have to watch the whole thing to be eligible to win, but please do :)

To enter to win, either take the tour OR add something to your library before the deadline of 11:59 PM Eastern time on March 22nd 2012. When your entry has been recorded you’ll see a “You’ve entered!” notice at the top of Ravelry’s home page. This giveaway is open to Ravelers worldwide.

The fine print:

To enter, follow the library guided tour OR add a book or other item (pattern, magazine) to your Ravelry library before the giveaway ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on March 22nd 2012. You can verify that entry was received by looking for a notice at the top the front page of Ravelry.com (after signing in). Only one entry per person will be counted.

The 25 winners will be chosen in a random drawing on Friday, March 23rd. Winners will be notified by email.

Each of the 25 winners will receive print copies of the following books by mail:

Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends, Beyond Knit and Purl, Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia, Crocheted Softies, Custom Crocheted Sweaters: Make Garments That Really Fit, Custom Fit Knit Jackets Casual to Couture, Freddie’s Blanket, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook, Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy, Knitting Pleats, Leisure Arts #5286, Storybook Dolls to Knit, Leisure Arts #5728, Urban Edge, Les accessoires tricot Biscotte & Cie, Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers, Loop-d-Loop Lace: More than 30 Novel Lace Designs For Knitters, Loop-d-Loop Lace: More than 30 Novel Lace Designs For Knitters, More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns to Knit for Kids, My Grandmother’s Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers, One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs: 25+ Projects from Just Two Skeins, Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Every Day, Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks Worth Showing Off, Stitch London, Sweet Shawlettes, Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi, Textured Stitches: Knitted Sweaters & Accessories with Smart Details, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters, Whimsical Little Knits 3 (No substitutions)

Void where prohibited.

Adding someone to your Ravelry friends is a good way to make a connection with other folks in the community. Your Ravelry friends might be people you know well from real life, or they may just be someone whose forum posts make you laugh or learn, or whose projects are so beautiful you don’t want to miss them. There are many reasons to add someone to your friends, and some pretty cool features available to go along with friending someone on Ravelry.

You can add someone to your friends right on their profile page!

adding

Once you’ve added them as a friend, you can find them in the friends section of your notebook.

notebooksection

sets of friends!

If you have lots of Ravelry friends, the friends features can be made better by organizing them into different sets. These sets are confidential – only you will see them. You could create sets for local friends, people whose spinning you admire, people who look like they are the same shape as you (handy for seeing patterns they are working on that would look great on you, too!), and more.

Organize your friends into sets by clicking the “organize” tab in the friends section:

organize

Or you can add an individual friend to a set from their profile page (by clicking the “add to friends” or “in my friends” button), or by clicking the little triangle right in your friends’ section:

bobismyhomie

friends’ activity

With your friends in sets, you can easily see what the groups are up to on Ravelry in the friends activity tab (also in your friends section). This is, hands down one of my favorite Ravelry features! On the friends’ activity tab, you can see when Ravelers in your friends list have:

  • added project photos
  • stashed yarn
  • queued a pattern
  • added something to their Ravelry favorites
  • magic-linked a pattern, yarn or project in the forums
  • commented on patterns, yarns, projects, or stashed yarns
  • updated their handspun stash
  • Phew! Does all that sound overwhelming? Don’t worry! You can filter the specific type of activity you’d like to see by clicking the “displayed activity” ticky boxes. Your choices will be remembered, so you don’t have to re-filter every time. I like to keep my friend activity selections to the project photos, queueing, favoriting, and handspun filters.

    activity

    If you’ve organized your friends into sets, you can also select a set of friends from the drop-down menu so that you’re only seeing the activity from among friends in that set.

    You can also see a quick link to your friend activity on the People tab:

    peopletab

    blog posts

    If your Ravelry friends have connected their blogs to their Ravelry profiles, you can see when they update right on the aptly named friends’ blogs tab. You’ll see a short preview of the post, and you can even search those blog posts in case you are looking for something specific.

    blogs

    searching projects

    In the projects search of the advanced search area, you can filter by just your friends’ projects by clicking on “friends” in the “more search option” section of the filters. The pattern category filters are available in the projects search, too, so if you’re looking for a new project – say, a shawl that calls for DK weight yarn that your friends have made and were very happy with, you can search for that! You can even filter further into your friend sets by clicking on the “friends” filter again.

    projectsearch

    other places to find your friends

    You can also filter by your friends on the projects tab of pattern pages (this can be especially handy if you have made a set for your friends with people who are your general size/shape/proportions!):

    projects

    As well as the events section – here are some Ravelry friends who marked that they were attending Stitches West this weekend:

    events

    Adding people to Ravelry friends seems simple, but as you can see, it unlocks lots of fun features throughout Ravelry! If you are feeling shy about adding friends and would like to start somewhere, Jess, Casey, Sarah, and I are always happy to meet more wonderful Ravelry friends!

    How do I get that pattern?

    February 3rd, 2012

    I get asked a lot about how to find the patterns in our database, so I’ve updated this post with new pictures and information in November of 2015 to hopefully help folks who have joined us since it was initially posted in February of 2012!

    Ravelry has an extensive, user-maintained database that includes patterns from a variety of sources. A lot of people expect that the database will show only patterns available on Ravelry or online, but that’s not the case. The database is designed to allow people to be able to attach projects to any patterns they’ve made that are or were widely available. Here are some tips on finding the patterns that you are looking for.

    1. Patterns available online or on Ravelry
    There are a lot of patterns available online and there are 70,897 patterns as of this original blog post that are available as Ravelry downloads. In November of 2015, that number has grown to 227,109. If a pattern is available as a Ravelry download, you’ll see one of these options (depending upon whether it is free or a pattern to purchase).


    If you set your location in your profile, you will see a currency conversion in the price area so that you’ll know approximately what the pattern will cost you based on Paypal’s current conversion rates.

    You may also see an ebook option. That means that you could buy the entire ebook that the pattern is included in. You can see the other patterns by clicking “patterns” link there.

    If it is not available as a Ravelry download, you won’t see these options in the upper right, but you will see a link to the pattern on an external site in the Pattern notes. Please note that if you are re-directed to another site to download a pattern, the pattern will not be stored in your Ravelry library.

    If a pattern was previously available online but is no longer found there, you will see a beside the name of the site so you know it’s no longer available there.

    2. Patterns available in a magazine, book or other source
    A lot of the pattern entries you will find in the Ravelry database are for patterns that are available in some print format. If you don’t see one of the options listed above but want to access the pattern, you need to look at the “Published in” field.

    Ravelry_ Greenery Beret pattern by Melissa LaBarre

    The “Published in” field has a title listed there that you can click on for more information about the source and to see the rest of the patterns available in that publication. You may also see Amazon links in the bottom left to purchase the item if you would like to. This will direct you to Amazon to make the purchase.

    If the source is a magazine, pamphlet or some other item not available on Amazon, you may need to do an internet search to see if the pattern is still available. Often you can find backorders of magazines still for sale and many patterns in our database are available exclusively from local or online yarn shops. There’s also a link to allow you to search local libraries.

    What if I can’t find the pattern I really want?
    I get asked frequently where someone can find a particular pattern. Often, they are hoping to recreate a stocking or a sweater that they or a family member made years ago. This pattern may be out of print or available from a source that is difficult to find. A group set-up to help people find patterns that they are searching for is the Book Destash & ISO (in search of) Library group. You can post in that group and see if anyone can help you find a particular pattern or book, just make sure you read their group guidelines first. If you don’t know exactly the pattern you’re looking for, you could try posting in the Patterns forum so fellow Ravelers could make suggestions to you on patterns that match the description.

    If you aren’t yet familiar with our Advanced Search in the Patterns tab, there’s a little video to help with that. You can use the “remember & compare” function when searching so you can compare the patterns before making a decision on what you want to make. We have a quick guide to show you how that works. When you find a pattern in the database that you like, you can add it to your favorites so you can find it later. Also, we now have a “you’ve looked at” area on the Patterns tab now. If you see something you like, but forget to favorite it, you can check there to try to find it.

    The database has so many patterns, and I know it can sometimes seem complicated to find the one you want, but I hope this post helps you to locate some great patterns for you to make from one of the many talented designers.

    How does Ravelry make money?

    January 25th, 2012

    I think that users that contribute to free websites deserve to know how those sites are supporting themselves.

    Ravelry is a free site and a profitable 4 person company.

    We’ve tried very hard to find ways of supporting the site that we can feel good about.

    Here is how we make payroll and cover our technology costs and all of the other costs of doing business. The things on this list are the only things that we exchange for money.


    In order from most revenue to least:

    Advertising

    We offer pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, and flat rate advertising to companies that are related to yarn and the fiber arts.

    I wrote an ad serving system specifically for Ravelry – since we serve our own ads, we don’t pay any fees or commissions to anyone else.

    Mary-Heather approves all of the ads that are placed and she makes sure that ads are as attractive as possible and that they are relevant to Ravelry (something to do with yarn). Ads are displayed in small number of locations on the site.

    Our system and our rates were designed with the goal of having many small advertisers instead of a few larger advertisers. Today we have about 1,500 active advertisers – most are active Ravelry members and many are very small businesses. 25% are Etsy shops and 50% spend less than $15 with us each month.

    Ravelry gets ~180,000,000 page views a month and we could probably cash in on that in a big way but we’re very committed to keeping the ads pretty, relevant, and accessible to very small businesses.


    Merchandise

    We have an online shop where we sell Ravelry-branded and other knit/crochet-related merch.

    We find wholesale shirts/bags/other things, work with a few Ravelers that are designers and artists on the artwork, and often have the items screenprinted by another Raveler.

    I wrote a small shop/cart that is integrated with a fulfillment company here in Massachusetts. Our inventory is all kept at their warehouse and they handle all of the shipments and returns.

    (Lately, we’ve neglected the shop and things have been out of stock but overall and hopefully in months ahead, it’s #2 on this list)


    Pattern Sales

    We offer knit and crochet designers a way to sell and automatically deliver their digital patterns.

    We tried to make something that was less fuss and more suited to designers’ needs than e-Junkie and Payloadz. We came up with rates that could compete with those two services (from free all the way up to $20 a month depending on sales volume) Having pattern sales on Ravelry is good for us and good for self-publishing designers and we never really counted on it doing much for us financially.

    Since inception, 1,300,000 patterns have been sold and the service is a now good source of income for us.

    A recent addition allows all of those designers to sell their digital patterns in brick and mortar shops that wouldn’t otherwise have access to those patterns – exciting stuff!


    Amazon commissions

    Many of the patterns in our pattern database have appeared in books.

    On the pages where it is relevant and useful, we show Amazon’s price, a “look inside” button (if there is one) and a “buy now” button. Amazon’s commissions on books are pretty high – 7 to 8%.


    “Extras”

    This year we added a nice-but-not-essential feature to the site that allows people to upload images directly into a post in the forums. We called it a “Ravelry Extra” and we offered it for $5 / year mainly as a way of limiting the number of people who would use it and recouping the storage/bandwidth costs.

    We’re not planning on Extras being a big source of revenue.


    Other affiliate programs

    We also receive commissions when purchases are made from InterweaveStore.com and BookDepository.co.uk. eBay, CafePress, and a few other affiliates are offered as an option when you click links in the forums (these are clearly marked and you can choose to follow a non-affiliate version)


    Contributions

    We started accepting donations in 2007: http://blog.ravelry.com/2007/06/10/you-twisted-our-arm

    We broke even the following year (thanks to a massive donation drive organized by a Raveler) and we’ve been in the black ever since…but we still accept donations from Ravelers who want to send them and we get a few each week. I struggle with this since we are profitable, but people send them for all sorts of reasons knowing that they are appreciated but not expected or necessary.

    The kind notes that people include are pretty amazing and they are just as nice as the financial support.

    Events

    We’ve thrown quite a few parties at fibery events over the years but we break even on those – the costs are covered by generous sponsors.

    …but we do charge $200-300 plus expenses when we do talks and classes and things like that. I don’t know if this is really a net positive because travel tends to drain the wallet, but I included it for completeness :) We certainly don’t go to events to earn money, we go to see Ravelers!


    There you have it!



    (Comments? There is a discussion thread in For the Love of Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-love-of-ravelry/2000939/)

    Squam

    Wow, I can’t believe it is time again to register for Squam Art Workshops! This year has just flown by and I am so excited to bring our little Eloise to this wonderful event.

    I just heard from Elizabeth and she has some amazing plans for this year’s retreat. As usual, there are just incredible teachers (including Fiona Ellis, Franklin Habit, Gudrun Johnston, Jill Draper, Megan Ingman, Melynda Bernardi, Natalie Selles, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee), the lovely Squam Lake location and yummy food. This year she has added classes in baking/ food styling, more yoga and embroidery, knitting design and new three hour Squam Extra classes.

    Registration begins Monday, January 9th and I know that I can’t wait to dive in and choose some classes. You really can’t lose.

    Check out the SAW group if you want to chat with other Ravelers about all the fun.

    There will also be the Art Fair on Saturday, June 9th- more information on that coming soon on the Art Fair’s page!

    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!

    Comments…

    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!

    Comments on this post…

    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