Ravelympics 2010

March 17th, 2010


We’ve all been recovering from the crafting marathon that was Ravelympics 2010 so we’re a bit late in posting about it!  The Ravelympics is a time to set a goal of seeing a crochet, knitting, spinning, or dying project through from beginning to end (or reviving a work in progress) during the Olympics.  The training was intense, trying to decide what to make and which event to enter, and the competition itself flew by much faster than most of us anticipated.

In the end, of the 9,538 Ravelers that took on the challenge, 6,296 earned their Medal of GLORY (and many others came really, really close)!  Starting a project knowing that over 9,000 other folks were starting alongside you during the opening ceremonies was an incredible experience.  The support found in the more than 440 teams kept everyone going even when they experienced setbacks and injuries.

There are a few folks who made all of these fun festivities possible.  We’d like to thank the Ravelympics Moderators, Kimberli, msknottyknits, paksenarrion, rchrispy, and zzwhitejd for their hard work in choosing events, keeping the teams and group going and spending countless hours assisting Ravelers in their pursuit of Ravelympic glory.  Also, a big thanks to the Team Captains for keeping your teams going and to each Raveler who participated!   This truly would not have been the same without each of you!

In addition to having a lot of fun, Ravelympics also raised money for Special Olympics through the sell of our Badge of Glory pins (awesome artwork by octagonfudge).  So far, $3,200 has been sent to Special Olympics thanks to your purchase of the pins!  If you didn’t get a chance to buy your Badge of Glory, go to the Badge of Glory product page and click on the little box beside “notify me when this item is re-stocked”.  Then, you’ll receive a Ravelry message when we have more available!  A big thanks to the folks at Sprocket Express, our fulfillment center, who have gotten these pins out to our Ravthletes so quickly!

Casey ran some fun post-game stats for us to share with you so you can share in some of your fellow Ravelers’ achievements, some of which are included below!

Overall Achievements

  • Total projects entered into the Ravelympics – 24,284
  • Total projects completed by closing ceremonies – 12,878
  • Number of countries participating – 65
  • Total yardage used – 8,068,000
  • Total yardage spun/dyed – 448,000

Team Achievements

Ravthletes with the most projects completed

Most Prolific Spinners & Hand-dyers (by yards completed)

Congratulations to all who competed!  Even if you didn’t cross the finish line in time, it was a fun way to challenge ourselves and get to know our fellow Ravelers!  We’re already looking forward to the next games in the Summer of 2012!


Squam Art Workshops 2010

January 29th, 2010

I am so excited that we are able to attend Squam Art Workshops (SAW) again this June!  Last year we had such a wonderful time at this lovely New Hampshire summer camp/ art retreat for adults.  We took classes with amazing teachers, enjoyed the scenery and delicious food and we were so thrilled when Elizabeth said that she was holding another Spring session this year.

Registration begins February 1st and we are busily trying to pick our classes- it is really hard since there are so many great ones!  There are classes on so many subjects: spinning, knitting, writing, yoga, sewing, printmaking, embroidery and more!  The teacher list is incredible again this year, including:

There will also be some fun activities after the classes are over for the day!  Jonatha Brooke is coming back for another concert, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will be giving a talk and we have some Ravelry fun planned for Saturday night during the Squam Art Fair. The Fair and Ravelry event will be open to all, not only SAW attendees and we’ll post more information about that as June approaches.

If you want to read more, you can check out my blog post from last year (where I have linked to other attendees’ blog entries) or you can look at the Raves section on the SAW site.


TNNA and Unwind!

January 22nd, 2010

The Ravelry team had a great time last weekend as we headed to California for the Anniversary party at Unwind in Burbank and also for the TNNA trade show in Long Beach.  I found it so hard to leave snowy and slushy New England but sometimes you just have to sacrifice for your job, you know? ;)

First we headed to the event at Unwind- it is such a nice spacious shop and we always have a great time there!  We got to see some new and old friends, see some beautiful yarn, and Casey found another crocheted guy to play with. Thank you to Stephanie,  her wonderful staff and all the Ravelers who came to say hello!


Before we left the Burbank area, we had to give Casey something for his hobbies so we stopped at a great comic shop.  Mary-Heather and Sarah even found something special for their guys at home!

Then we were off to Long Beach where we reunited with our colleagues at the trade show.  As usual, we came away from the show energized and full of ideas on how Ravelry can help support the industry and our community so stay tuned for that!

This TNNA was also the launch of a collaborative effort between Ravelry, Louet and Soak.  As you probably know, we have been working with Jacqueline Sava at Soak already with our Unleash Soak and she had the great idea to come out with a color range of Ravelry inspired Louet yarn, with fun pattern support and kits.

There will be more information on this soon, in the Soak-worthy group, but you can see Jacqueline’s patterns here and the colors here, on the Unleash yarn page. The Unleash Soak, yarns, patterns and kits are going to be available soon at a yarn store near you!  Jacqueline will be updating this post here with the stores that are carrying them.

We have had a lot of fun working on this with both Soak and Louet and look forward to seeing what Ravelers can do with these fun Ravelry inspired colors!


If you’re a Raveler in Southern California, we’re going to be heading your way soon! Team Rav will be going to Long Beach for TNNA in January, and like last year we’ll be stopping by Unwind in Burbank and joining Kelly and Dawn from Namaste, Manos del Uruguay yarns, Dora Ohrenstein, and Kristi Porter for a party on Thursday night, January 7, from 7:00 – 10:00 pm!

Unwind Party

Last year’s party was so fun – it’s always great to get a chance to meet people, especially when we’re all surrounded by lovely yarn! The full details are up on the Unwind website’s events page. Please note that space is limited and reservations are required, so if you want to come to the party, be sure to reserve your spot! We hope to see you there!

To all Ravelers, we hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season and enjoy a Happy New Year!

(event update! Stephanie from Unwind says “knit a Simple Things Shawlette or crochet an Antique Lace Shawl and wear it to the party and be entered into a drawing for yarny prizes!”) :)


Big things are happening in the Ravelry Pattern Store!

• as of today, 191,000 patterns have been purchased on Ravelry, totalling sales of…

  $1,250,000 USD

• 98.7% of the money from these sales has gone to the designers

Those numbers are really incredible to us – that’s an amazing amount of support that the Ravelry community has given to the designers offering patterns using the service. During busy times of day, people buy 4 patterns every minute using the Ravelry pattern sales service, and with about 50 new patterns available as Ravelry downloads each day, it’s clear that this support is going to keep on growing!

Pattern Gifting through the Ravelry Pattern Store!

Ravelry is still growing and improving and developing new features all the time. Today, we’re so excited to announce a feature we’ve wanted to offer for a while – gifting for patterns in the Ravelry pattern store, just in time for the holidays!

Pattern gifting is easy! If a pattern is available for sale on Ravelry, you’ll see a little gift icon on the pattern page, just underneath the “buy it now” and “add to cart” links:

pattern gift icon

Click on the “send as gift” link and enter the Ravelry name or email address of the recipient – you can even include a little personal message, too!

gift message

Click on the preview button and you’ll be able to review your message and see the avatar of your giftee (if you’re sending the pattern to a Raveler):

gift preview

Click on the “buy this gift” button, and you’ll be taken through the payment process. As with all pattern sales through the Ravelry pattern store service, you can use PayPal or a credit card to purchase the pattern. The gift recipient will receive the pattern – and it will even be wrapped in a cheery bow in their Ravmail!

pattern gift ravmail

If you’ve had your eye on a pattern that’s available as a Ravelry download and you’d like to put it on your wish list, just add the pattern to your queue. When you edit your queue, you’ll see the box to check if you want to add the pattern to your wish list:

add to wishlist

Once you’ve added it to your wish list, the little gift icon will appear next to the pattern in your queue, and other Ravelers will be able to easily buy you the pattern:

buy pattern from queue

So fun! You can browse all the patterns available for purchase on Ravelry using the advanced search and add your favorites to your queue and wish list now!

Pattern sales are an important part of Ravelry’s income (we charge designers a small tiered fee each month based on sales for the service, and there is no charge for under $20.00 in monthly sales), but more than that, we are proud to be an important part of the increase in the number of quality self-published and indie patterns that designers are offering now. It’s so exciting to see designers create great patterns, find quality tech editors and test knitters among their Ravelry friends, publish their patterns on Ravelry, and watch as other users fave, queue, knit and crochet their own projects. On Ravelry, we’re crafting as a global community, and it’s important to support each other!

As of today, 277,000 knitting and crochet projects on Ravelry have been made from the 7,000 free patterns and 13,000 for-sale patterns that have been published on Rav! Ravelry’s pattern sales service is designed to be used to sell patterns to non-Ravelers, too (by putting up the “buy now” links we provide on your own website, if you are a designer), so there are even more lovely handknit and crocheted items made from Ravelry patterns out there in the world right now.

pattern downloads buy now button

Selling and buying patterns through the Ravelry pattern store is easy and fun, and a great way to support our community! Now, with gifting patterns, you can spread a little cheer, too. If you’re interested in selling your designs through the Ravelry Pattern Store, please check out the Pattern Store wiki page and the Ravelry Shopkeepers group! We are always happy to help new and established designers get started!

Happy holidays to all, and happy pattern gifting! gift icon

p.s. the patterns shown in this post are Laura Chau‘s Dipped Infinity Scarf and Connie Chang Chinchio‘s Mountain View Cardigan. Thanks, Laura and Connie!


Exciting News!

December 4th, 2009

We are so pleased to announce that Sarah will be working for Ravelry full-time after the new year!  She will continue in her community support/ Hostess with the Mostest role and will then have time to work with Casey, Mary-Heather and me on other Ravelry improvement projects, large and small.

Thank you to all Ravelers for supporting us through these tough economic times so that we can make this happen- we feel so very blessed!

Thanks, Sarah!  We can’t wait!


We’ve got lots of fun new goodies in the Ravelry minimart! We’ve been saving up a few new releases for a bigger-than-usual launch and we’re so excited to share everything at last!

Unleash: a Ravelry Soak Wash!

Unleash Ravelry Soak

Our first new product is something a little different and really special: we’re proud to announce our first collaborative goodie for the Ravelry minimart: Unleash, a Soak Wash inspired by all things Ravelry and featuring an adorable Bob label, is now an official part of the Soak Worthy Collection! The special limited edition scent is delicately sweet, fruity, and spicy – and will make all your pet projects smell fantastic. You can read a bit more about Soak Wash on their website, but we just have to add: it’s really good stuff – the perfect way to finish off your handmade items.

single Unleash bottle

Unleash is is available in 250mL/ 8.4 oz bottles, exclusively through the Ravelry minimart. It has been so fun to develop this special fiber wash with Soak, another community-minded company in our industry. We think we’re very lucky to be surrounded, on the site and off, with such fabulous people!

New bag! Bob chasing yarn tote bags!

Bob Chasing Yarn Tote

The newest limited edition Ravelry bag is our first big tote with Bob! The fabulous verabee designed this adorable print of a very happy Bob running after a bouncing ball of yarn. It’s a 100% cotton, pigment-dyed tote bag, with contrasting color straps and a ragged edge at the bottom and a small interior pocket. It’s roomy and soft – and pretty darn cute! Verabee developed this art for us some time ago, and we loved it so much we kept waiting and searched around for the perfect product to show it off. When Jess found these cute blue tote bags, we all knew right away that they would be perfect to show off the adorable print!

Ravelry Swirl Stickers!

Ravelry Swirl Sticker

The Ravelry Swirl Sticker is the latest product in our Ravelry Swirls design, the fun, feminine art by Julie at Symposi.com. It’s digitally printed on vinyl, resistant to wear and fading, and measures 3” x 4” (7.5cm by 10cm): a great size for your laptop!

Reduced prices on select shirts!

reduced price shirts

Along with all these new goodies, we’re also reducing the price on some of our items! Our Pink Animals tee, Mint Animals tees in both women’s and unisex styles, and our unisex Bob Yarn Pile shirts, have had their prices reduced for clearance! We’re selling our remaining stock of the Pink Animals tee styles for $10.00 – that’s 50% off the original price! Women’s and unisex Mint tees and unisex Bob Yarn Pile shirts are now just $15.00.

We all wear and love these shirts, but we also like to switch up the designs in the Ravelry minimart pretty regularly! We’re retiring these styles by the end of the year, so we thought we would offer them to you all at a reduced price and help to make room for more designs later on.

The Ravelry minimart is open to all!

By the way, did you know that you don’t need a Ravelry account to purchase from the Ravelry minimart? :) You can just send the link to anyone who might be interested in getting you a present and they’ll be able to surprise you. You can also add minimart items to your Amazon Universal Wish List, if you like! Proceeds from the minimart are an important part of keeping Ravelry going, and we’re so glad that you all enjoy the t-shirts and other products we’ve developed! It’s such a thrill to see Ravelry gear on your Ravatars in and person in our travels. Thank you!


Rhinebeck 2009

October 23rd, 2009

We had an amazing time at New York Sheep and Wool again this year- I can’t believe this is our third Rhinebeck since we started Ravelry. Time flies!  Thanks to everyone who participated in our meetups and party- we had so much fun!

This festival had to have been the best showcase of hand crocheted and knit items that I have ever been to- and that is saying something as I have been to a lot of wooly events!  It may have been because we were freezing but, man, did we look good.  ;)

The Ravelry party on Saturday night was an amazing success!  It was super chilly again this year but between the heaters, lots of wooly garments and bigger warm tents, we all had a great time! Our estimation is that around 550 Ravelers and their families joined us at the Elks Lodge but there was plenty of room to see friends.  Everyone did great with the shuttle bus to the larger parking lot down the street so thanks to everyone for your flexibility!

Again, we’d like to say a big thank you to our wonderful sponsors:

Quiviut Sponsor: Yarnmarket.com

Cashmere Sponsors:  Juniper Moon Fiber Farm, Unicorn Fibre, Namaste, and Loopsknitting.com

Merino Sponsors:  Signature Needle Arts, Twist Collective, Bijou Basin Ranch, Lantern Moon, St. Denis, Gardiner Yarn Works, Knit Picks, The Loopy Ewe, Miss Babs, Classic Elite Yarns and Sandra Singh.

We couldn’t have hosted this awesome party without you!  (Please visit those links and support our sponsors!)

There were some seriously great door prizes donated from the sponsors- lots of oohing and ahhing from the crowd as we announced the winners!

We also had some fun giveaway project bags printed up, designed by my friend Julie at symposi.com.  The sponsors provided some coupons and goodies for inside the bags.


Like last year, the printed cupcakes were a big hit at the party!  This year, we chose a cupcake design to complement the project bags and sponsor poster- matchy matchy! Fun!

Bob even made an appearance at the party and meetups this year!  This incredible Bob costume was made by  Ysolda with help from Laura– thanks so much you guys!  I am still laughing every time I see it.

We also had two great meetups during the day on Saturday and Sunday- here are two group shots!

Some Ravelers brought cupcakes and cookies to the meetups again this year- I think it is a rule that much fun is had when knitting and crochet, fun people and baked goods combine. :)

Finally, I would also like to personally thank our friends and family for helping us throughout the weekend- Team Rav worked tirelessly to hand out buttons and sharpies, take photos, run errands (again and again!), set up for the party, put lights in porta potties, hang twinkle lights (and getting stabbed by said twinkle lights), break down the party, welcome everyone and generally helped to keep Casey, Mary-Heather, Sarah and me sane.  Thank you so much, Cirilia, Emily,  Eric, Nichole, Maryse, Nancy, Ronan, Cheryl, Laura, Ysolda, Kyle and Erica!

If you have photos from Rhinebeck this weekend or any other Ravelry event or meetup, please add it to our Ravelry Events pool on flickr!  It is really fun to go through those pictures!  There is also the great Rhinebeck group where you can talk about what you bought and who you saw this past weekend!


Cause I know you are going to ask… pattern links!


Ravelry at Rhinebeck!

October 15th, 2009

The New York Sheep and Wool Festival is this weekend in beautiful Rhinebeck, New York, and Ravelry will be there holding our third Ravelry Rhinebeck Party! This party has become a fun annual tradition for festival-goers, and it would not be possible without the help from our generous sponsors!

yarn market juniper moon farm Unicorn Fibre Namaste loopsknitting.com Signature Needle Arts twist collective Bijou Basin Ranch Lantern Moon St. Denis Gardiner Yarn Works Knit Picks The Loopy Ewe Miss Babs Classic Elite Yarns Santra Singh

party sponsors

We love our qiviut sponsor Yarn Market; our cashmere sponsors, Juniper Moon Farm, loopsknitting.com, namaste, Unicorn Fibre Wash; and our merino sponsors, Bijou Basin Ranch, Classic Elite Yarns, Gardiner Yarn Works, Knit Picks, Lantern Moon, Miss Babs, Sandra Singh, Signature Needle Arts, St. Denis, The Loopy Ewe, and Twist Collective. Huge hugs!

We’re so happy to team up with these wonderful companies and members of our community to help us host a terrific party open to all, and grateful for their help and support. Thank you so much!

The party details:

Where: The Elks Lodge (outside pavilion) in Red Hook, NY (same place as last year!)

When: Saturday, October 17 from 6:30 – 11 pm

The address is: 7711 Albany Post Rd/ Route 9 Red Hook, NY 12571 (approximately 5 miles from the fairgrounds)

We’re going to have a cash bar, yummy snacks (please do eat dinner beforehand!), music, incredible prize giveaways from our sponsors, plenty of Hello! username buttons so that we can identify each other, and a really, really great time. Families are welcome! Though we strongly encourage you to carpool if at all possible, parking will be much easier this year – we have arranged for parking down the street at Mill Road Elementary School (Google maps link to the school), with a bus to transport Ravelers to the party location and back to their cars throughout the evening. Please park at the school parking lot (we’ll have folks helping to direct you) to take advantage of the party bus (and avoid parking backups). If you need a handicapped parking space, please just let the folks at the Elks Lodge know when you drive up and they’ll show you the best place for you to park (in the lodge parking lot).

It is going to be chilly on Saturday night (possibly even snowy!) and this party is in an open pavilion, so make sure you bring your woolies! We are going to have heaters (and possibly a bonfire!) and walled tents and the party location is fully covered, but please come prepared! This is the perfect chance to showcase your latest FO to a group of 600 or more people who will appreciate and admire your work. :) You can RSVP for the party on the Ravelry Events Page! See you there – we really can’t wait!

knitting sheep, bunny, and bob!

Lunchtime Ravelry Meetups!

We also 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 below- it is a shaded field up the walkway from the author’s tent. Come and meet your fellow Ravelers and get a Hello! username button.

meetup location

For more information about the Ravelry festivities at Rhinebeck this year, check out the Final Details thread in the New York Sheep and Wool group!

Be sure to wear your Ravelry shirts and pins and carry your bags around the festival – some vendors are offering a discount to Ravelers! (Every little bit helps, right? Helps us buy more yarn, that is…) :)

See you in Rhinebeck!

bob and alpaca


This blog post is VERY overdue but, finally, here it is!

Casey and I had the pleasure of attending the first German Ravelry Meeting in Backnang, Germany in September.  It was organized by the (knittingcouple) Annette and Alexander and they did a really great job!

(mmm bretzel!)

There were amazing little touches everywhere- like these decorations for the nametags!  I had a little sweater and Casey had a sock.


We also got to meet Jeannette, one of our incredible site moderators- was so nice to meet her in person!

In the evening, we got to hang out in the beautiful fall weather next to Backnang’s Wollstube- isn’t that the prettiest yarn store ever?!

After the lovely day in Backnang, we had a little vacation with our friends Julie and Adam and traveled into Alsace, France. We couldn’t help ourselves though and had to have a little Ravelry meetup in Strasbourg with the Tricoteuses d’Alsace while we were there.

They were very kind about my horrible French and we had a really fun time. :)

After Strasbourg, we saw some more beautiful vineyards and gorgeous Alsatian towns:


Then it was back to Heidelberg, where Julie helped to organize a meetup with the Heidelberg Knitters group at a great restaurant!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see us in Germany and France!  It was so thrilling for us to meet some European Ravelers. I took tons more photos of our trip- too many to fit in this blog post! So much fun!

Now over to Mary-Heather about her travels in September and October! :)

::Mary-Heather here… thanks, Jess!::

Here in the mountains in New Mexico, the smell of roasting green chile and pinon is in the air… along with loads and loads of hot air balloons! Fall is here, and yarn lovers are out in force taking advantage of the newly crisp air.

In September, just as the heat was starting to turn, New Mexico Ravelers got together for a meetup at Oodles Yarns and Beads in Santa Fe. The meetup was held in conjunction with a workshop by Jane Thornley (color4texture) and you can read more about the day and her adventures in New Mexico in her articles in This Week in Ravelry: Fiber Foraging in Santa Fe and Ravelry Meetup in Santa Fe. It was a wonderful day – those of us from Albuquerque and points south took the train up north to walk to the shop (after nabbing some sopapillas at a restaurant near the depot first, of course). It was wonderful to meet so many other Ravelers from the Land of Enchantment – thank you to everyone who came! It was great to hang out with you!

santa fe mosaic

The first weekend in October is the much anticipated Wool Festival at Taos. This festival, held in a park in the beautiful mountain town of Taos, features a rich variety of wool and animal fibers from the states of New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. There is music playing, dogs frolicking, the sweet smell from the cinnamon almonds booth blankets the whole festival, and if you are overwhelmed by all of the beautiful wool and need a break, the town of Taos is a lovely destination in its own right, packed with art galleries, fantastic restaurants, and beautiful mountain views. It’s a truly wonderful weekend!

wool festival sign

The organizers generously donated a big tent for Ravelers to have a home base right in the middle of the festival grounds! The weather was absolutely perfect – sunny and crisp – and it was so nice to have a place to gather, talk, craft, and rest if we happened to be tired from carrying around big bags of wool or fleece. Ahem.

Ravelry tent at taos

Thank you so much to the organizers of the festival for providing such a wonderful space for us to gather and meet, and thank you to everyone who came by, said hello, shared some Ravelry love, and baked or ate cupcakes with us. (If you ever get the chance to eat one of Deltafine’s cider cupcakes… take it!!) I’m already looking forward to next year!

taos mosaic

Now, we’re off again! We’re headed to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, and we’ll be posting more information about that very soon! Look for the news about our daytime meetups, Saturday night party, and awesome party sponsors in the next couple of days!