Testing store news…

April 28th, 2008

Check check one two :)

So thankful.

April 26th, 2008

Julie Frick’s Ravelraiser donation drive just ended a few minutes ago. In 3 weeks, 3,457 Ravelers gave donated a total of $71,000 to Ravelry. Not only did we receive an amazing financial boost, we also received a flood of love. About 800 people wrote up really wonderful and amazing notes in the 10 Lousy Bucks group’s “Why I gave” thread. Jess and I are still reading all of the kind words – it feels so good to know that people are really happy about Ravelry. The stories are all different! We never imagined that so many people would come to our site and get so much out of it.

This is such an enormous generous gift that we don’t even know what to say. Thank you Julie, for making this all happen. I know that you have spent most of April working on Ravelraiser stuff and none of this would have happened without you. Thank you to all of the people who contributed yarn and other goodies – we couldn’t believe how many people came out to support us! …and of course, thank you to all of our users. We are *so* thankful for all of the donations that we’ve received in April and throughout the last year and we are also thankful for all of the support that we get from all of you every day. update: We forgot to thank Julie Frick’s Dad! He did such an amazing job photographing the huge numbers of prizes – thank you!

So what are we going to do with all of this money?

Well.. tons of people asked us to share a portion of their contribution with Bob. This was easy at first, but we quickly had thousands of dollars set aside for him. We figured that he is old enough (he turned 2 on Wednesday) to have his own money, so instead of rationing bones and toys like we had been doing, we just gave it to him.

It wasn’t a good idea. It turns out that Bob is a very irresponsible dog.

…but seriously

Ravelry does earn money. Advertising and affiliate programs cover our monthly costs and our paychecks but your donations have really allowed us to do more than just keep things running. Here are a few things that donations have made (and will make) possible:

  • We finally paid off all of our startup debt! Yay!
  • We bought a much-needed additional server. I’m sure that all of you noticed.
  • Mary-Heather is much less nervous about receiving her paychecks :) Joking! Kind of.
  • Just a small thing, but we bought carbon offsets so that we’re even (actually, a little ahead) with the Earth as well as our bank
  • We’ll now be able to go to more knitting/crochet/and fiber events so that we can get out of our house and meet you all :)
  • We’ll have money set aside for future system upgrades so that we don’t have to suffer for a month (or more) like we did in April.
  • …and more. We’re pretty open about what we are doing with the site so I’m sure that you’ll hear about more things that the donations have made possible in the future.

A month of Ravelraising

There was so much going on this month! Julie really went all out with constant updates and contests/activities related to the drive. Here is one small part – people could enter to win a fibery prize by putting on a Ravelraiser themed avatar. Site-wide avatar dress-ups are always fun to watch :) Here are a few of the things that people were doing:

and in closing…

Thank you everyone!! :D

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Happy Bobmas!

April 11th, 2008

It’s Bobmas day!

Bobmas? What is Bobmas?

Bobmas is the anniversary of Ravelry’s conception. The holiday was first discovered by rewselene, Ravelry street team / pep-squadder extraordinaire. (Rewselene has been off-Ravelry for a little while. Laurie: we’re all thinking of you and we hope that you are well. )

This is the very first Bobmas, so people are creating the traditions this year :) This is what we’ve got so far:

  • Meetups! People have been organizing and holding all kinds of Bobmas Eve and Bobmas Day gatherings. If you have put any meetup photos on Flickr, tag them with “bobmas” so that we can see them!
  • Cupcakes! We saw cupcakes in one meetup photo and we think that cupcakes would make a fine tradition. Time will only tell of the Eating of Cupcakes catches on.
  • Yarn! There should definitely be yarn.

…I guess that’s all I’ve got for now! Thank you all for making a previously ordinary day into something fun! :)

I tried to take a Bobmas morning picture, but Bob didn’t really enjoy being woken up 5 hours early and shoved into a basket:

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Thank you!

April 9th, 2008

As of 9:04 Eastern time today, Ravelry is out of debt!

Thanks to the generous donations that we have received from 4,794 Ravelers over the past year, all of our startup expenses are now paid off and we are in the black! Our users are the best! Thank you so much everybody! On top of that, we’ve been able to purchase a much needed additional server. If you’ve noticed that invites have slowed during the last few days, have no fear – help is on the way.

HUGE thanks to Julie Frick and all of the people who are participating in the Ravelraising – more than 25% of our total donations have come during the last 5 days.

We’ve also got to thank our 400+ advertisers – you guys are keeping us going. Thank you so much for supporting us.

Excuse the goofy picture – it is hard to use the self-timer when there is a dog involved!

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Pressing Questions Answered

April 3rd, 2008

Wow – April 1st was a particularly busy day for us! You guys were full of questions. We received a hundred-ish queries (about half were regarding Fabio), so I figured that I’d answer you all at once. Here we go…

What happened to my avatar’s head?

Why, it was Hat Day, of course! Ravelers who did not bring their own hats were supplied with loaner hats. Shame on you all – Jess, Mary-Heather, and I were the only ones who remembered our headgear. Jess and MH wore halos and I wore a fine chef’s hat.

I handed out hats willy nilly and we were all surprised by the number of perfect fits. If you spent all day surfing around the forums and looking at hats, don’t feel bad. We all did. We’ve since taken our loaner hats back, so your heads are all back to normal. Or back to the way they were, at least.

I couldn’t fit all 50,000 hat wearers in this post so I made a tiny montage.

..and just a little bit of Radar chatter:

Are you really selling Ravelry?

No, of course not! That was only a rumor started by ktb38 and corroborated by meggle. I met meggle in person while she was wandering around Stitches West wearing a Completely Pointless and Arbitrary shirt. She is not to be trusted.

There are some strange books in my library!

Indeed! This was part of a special promotion. Unfortunately, we only received a paltry $2.81 for the 281 clickthroughs to the Fabio fan club and we decided to discontinue the program.

Did Julia Roberts really join Ravelry?

Maybe! She does knit, after all ;)

We all had a lot of fun on April Fool’s Day – thanks guys!

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edit – doh! I forgot the mention the forum post voting buttons (educational/interesting/funny agree/disagree love) that ran away from your mouse when you tried to click them! Oh well – I’d need a video to explain that one and I didn’t make one…

Welcome to April!

April 1st, 2008

The 10th issue of This Week in Ravelry is out!

Thanks, TWIR reporters for all of your hard work and 10 awesome issues. I love that our little town has its own newspaper and you all have been doing an amazing job with the articles. We say this a lot but we can’t say it enough – big big thanks to the many thousands of Ravelers that make us what we are.. I don’t know if every site gets to have this much fun and we’re thankful for what we have.

…and welcome to April.

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One Hundred Thousand!

March 25th, 2008

Woohoo! Aussie jesikajack became our 100,000th registered user on Friday night. Jess and I NEVER thought that this many people would be interested in our site.

I was having trouble coming up with the right words for the occasion but I really wanted to post a little something …then I saw the new issue of This Week in Ravelry (Ravelry’s user-created weekly newspaper). phoenix Toni – you’ve REALLY outdone yourself this time! Thank you so much :D

Guys – you’ve got to see this:

(There are comments on the article’s page in This Week in Ravelry)

Welcome, Mary-Heather!

March 5th, 2008

Guess what? We hired our first employee! Welcome, rainydaygoods Mary-Heather!

Ravelry is now a little (just a little ;) bigger than the for-fun project that we started in our living room last year. We’ve been feeling very overwhelmed for the past several months. Even with all of the help that we’ve received from amazing and generous users (editors, soopers, helpers, moderators, everyone!), Ravelry has become too much for the 2 of us.

Mary-Heather is a longtime Ravelry user, volunteer editor, helper and designer. She’ll be working on pretty much everything (just like Jess and I) but we are especially excited that she will be sharing her project management and organizational experience with us. Mary-Heather is full of enthusiasm and energy and we are so happy that she is joining us. :D

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PS – the shrug that MH is wearing is one of tragicheroine Kelly’s free patterns – Ribbed Lace Bolero :)

Recovering

February 25th, 2008

Whoa. Stitches West ended last night and boy are we tired. We’ll write up a Stitches recap (with Passport winners and all!) once we’ve rested – there is just SO MUCH to say. For now, I just wanted to let rainydaygoods Mary-Heather announce the new issue of This Week in Ravelry. Take it away, Mary-Heather!….

It’s that time again! Ravelry users →  Read TWIR Issue #5 now.

Balancing our fiber pursuits with our professional and family lives is a
daily task for most of us. This week’s issue focuses on various
professional groups on Ravelry, where people are bonding not only over their
love of fiber, but also over their common daily jobs. With articles on
groups for attorneys, mathematicians, librarians, writers, academics, and
more, we invite you to read about the connections that are drawn between
work with yarn and our daily work for a living.

We also have a recap of the whirlwind weekend at the Ravelry booth at the STITCHES West 2008 Convention. Jess and Casey’s trip to California was worthwhile – STITCHES attendees came out in droves to meet Ravelry’s creators and share their love for the site! Regular features Forum Funnies and Dear Auntie Bubbo Pants are also included.

This Week in Ravelry is a group effort! Anyone can join the This Week in Ravelry Group and contribute links, article ideas, and questions for Auntie Bubbo Pants.
Please join – and help us all keep up-to-date on what is going on each week in Ravelry!

Our every Ravatar mosaic:

Comment on this post…

Local Yarn Stores

February 20th, 2008

Ravelry users – you’ve probably noticed that you can link your stash to a yarn store when you add it to Ravelry. What you may not have realized is that there is a whole bunch of yarn store stuff hiding beneath the surface. We still have a lot to do when it comes to providing information on local stops (and online shops too) but I wanted to show off a few of the things that we have today.

Buying options

Whenever you see a yarn on Ravelry (on a yarn page, as part of a project or pattern, in somebody’s stash) you might also see a little “buying options” box. LYS owners who advertise with us list the yarns that they carry so that we can show them as a buying option for people in the vicinity. Here is an example:

…and then if you like, you can click through to see a whole page of buying options. In this case, there is only one local store that is advertising that they carry Malabrigo to folks in Boston:

LYS Pages

From there, you can continue on to see the LYS listing in Ravelry. The LYS listing currently shows business information, users who have shopped at the store, yarns that were purchased at the store.

We’ve also got the usual search and Google map thingies in case you want to find stores in a particular area or find a store’s page. Our directory is built by a group of yarn shop lovin’ volunteers and it contains yarn stores from all over the world. It’s far from finished and certainly isn’t close to being as polished as other sites (like KnitMap). However – it is nice because you can look up a store and get a feel for it – how many Ravelry users shop there and who are they? What yarn brands are commonly purchased? A few countries (including the US) are complete and the rest are getting there.

More to come…

LYS directories are nothing new on the web, but we think that this is going to be pretty cool when it is finished. A few things yet to come: shop exterior and interior photos, yarn shop notebook sections for Ravelry users who wish to track their travels and their favorites, connections to owners and employees that use Ravelry, stats on customers and popularity of different yarns, a fast and pretty iPhone interface, and all of the usual connections to the rest of Ravelry (groups, forum posts, projects…)