More T-shirts are in!

July 28th, 2008

The Ravelry mini mart is restocked with shirts and now we’re working on a batch of fresh new designs. (PS – The totes will be here in about a week)

Ravelympics!

July 25th, 2008

Are you looking for a challenge? Do you have the urge to make something great while you connect with other Ravelry users around the world? Join your fellow crocheters and knitters in the Ravelympics 2008 group!

The Ravelympics (not to be confused with the Knitting Olympics, which take place every four years, just like any other Olympic sport, and will be orchestrated by the Yarn Harlot) are open to any knitter or crocheter on Ravelry ready to take on the challenge of completing a project (or projects) within 17 days during the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Ravelympics wasn’t our idea – the group was founded by MisWartbobble, and the group’s moderators, Kimberli, paksnarrion, Captain, knotbuilder, and ME215 have been doing an incredible job with organizing and motivating the group. Thanks to their enthusiasm, we have caught the Ravelympics fever, and are just as excited about Ravelympics as everyone else!

The Ravelympic Village is already huge (there are already over 3000 group members, with more joining each day!) and bustling with activity; if you are wondering where to get started, check out these handy links:

  • Start at the Ravelympics Overview page to get your bearings and find out more about the games.
  • The Sign-ups instruction sticky tells you what you need to know to get started!
  • Ravelympics Village HQ is the main link-directory to events, teams, and key threads in the Village. This is a good central spot to navigate the group when you don’t want to wade through pages and pages of threads on the main discussion board. :)
  • In the Daily Updates thread, the moderators post each day with new and notable information and links to key threads.
  • There are lots of teams to join already, but if you want to make a team with your Ravelry friends, the deadline for team creation is Sunday, July 27 (this Sunday)!

With the Master of Ceremonies, Adonis Dionysus Bobicus Maximus, presiding over the events, and Casey cooking up some special features (even more coming soon!) to connect all the participants, the 2008 Ravelympic Events are promising to be huge fun!

(Ravelympics banner by k2togkate, Bobicus Maximus art by octagonfudge. Thanks for letting us use the images for this post!)

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Beta testing

June 29th, 2008

I just wrote a post about beta testing, collecting feedback, and The List over on my code monkey blog: http://codemonkey.ravelry.com

If you have ever wondered about how you can share your suggestions, ideas, and bug reports please go over and take a peek at what I’ve written. We’re building this thing together – don’t miss out.


We had so much fun during our 9-day stay in Ohio! Thanks to all the fantastic suggestions you all left in the comments of our last blog post, we ate (and ate, and ate) really well. Jeni’s Ice Cream cooled us down nearly every day – it really is as splendid as they say (so, so many flavors). Since we went there nearly every day during our visit, we found out that the day after the Yarn Harlot’s post, Jeni’s was hit with 80 more orders than usual, and Jeni herself said in a staff meeting that she thought the orders could be traced to “the knitters.” Yarn lovers have good taste, indeed.

TNNA Friendly Pic

TNNA: June 6 – 9

The TNNA summer show is huge. Aisle after aisle of beautiful yarns, tools, and books, and people eager to show off everything that is available now or coming out this fall. Right away, during registration, we saw Norah Gaughan wearing a beta “I Swatched Ravelry” t-shirt. That set the tone for the show for us; as we walked around, we felt like we were among friends.Casey even got a surprise! The very nice people at Malabrigo had a local crafter in Uruguay make Small Bob just for him. Small Bob went all over Columbus with us, and he is loved by all. (Thanks so, so much!)

Small Bob

Throughout the show, we met so many users with small businesses: LYS owners, designers, and yarnies, who spoke with us and shared their favorite ways to use Ravelry to connect with people, and even help not only their personal crochet and knitting work, but also their companies and customers. It was great to get such terrific feedback… of course we are now swimming with (even more) ideas for the site.

Knitter’s Connection: June 11 – 14

Between the two events, we spent most of our time in the hotel’s business center, working on our presentation for Knitter’s Connection. The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes, spoke on Wednesday night – she could make anyone want to go home and swatch something just… because! Thursday we spent the day finalizing our slides. This was our first Ravelry presentation – exciting and more than a little nerve-wracking. Lucky for us, when we stepped onstage (after a lovely introduction by Cat Bordhi), we looked out at the smiling faces and felt much more at ease. Small Bob was onstage with us, which helped, and Jess brought some yarn onstage to squish, too.

Knitter's Connection

There was so much to share – how Jess and Casey got the idea and developed the site, how it has grown, a Ravelry tour (with some fun tips), and quite a few slides about our fantastic community of users: editors, helpers, moderators, trackers, Ravelraisers, friendly people – all of you! (Ravelry user Osamma took the presentation pictures shown here – thanks, Sam!) Even though the evening was stormy, windy, and streets were closed around town, so many people came out to support us – it was wonderful. Ravelry: Unraveled was supposed to last an hour, but we talked for about an hour and a half. (Oops!) Good thing we put in lots of slides for Bob Breaks…

Bob Break

There are lots more pictures in Jess‘ and Mary-Heather’s Flickr sets, and we’ve added lots of them to the Ravelry Events Flickr Pool – go ahead and check them out (and add your own pictures to the pool)!

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We are just around the corner from two big events in Columbus, Ohio: the TNNA Summer Trade show (June 7 – 9) and Knitter’s Connection (June 11 – 14). Casey, Jess, and I are going to be at both events, and we are really looking forward to them! We are even giving a presentation at the Knitter’s Connection (more details below) and would love for as many Ravelers to come as possible!

TNNA_logo_v2.jpg (JPEG Image, 930x480 pixels)

Ravelry was at TNNA Long Beach back in January (actually – that is where I met Jess and Casey in person for the first time!); it is a great opportunity to meet other people in the industry, see what yarns and books and products are coming up, and talk about Ravelry. We’re looking forward to this show – there is a focus on all the upcoming winter yarns. While the TNNA trade show isn’t open to the general public, we know that there will be lots of Ravelers there! If you are going to be attending, and you see us walking around, please do say hi. It is always a blast to get to meet Ravelry users in person.

Knitters Connection Website :: Welcome!

Knitter’s Connection is an event that brings together over 650 knitters for classes and a big marketplace. This year, Ravelry is going to be giving a presentation on Thursday, June 12, from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. If you are coming to the Knitter’s Connection, please come and see us speak! We’re having a lot of fun putting our presentation together for this event, and we know that having friendly Ravelry users in the audience will help us with our nerves. You can expect to get some fun behind-the-scenes Ravelry info, and we are definitely going to save some time to answer your questions, as well. Please check out the Knitter’s Connection website for all the info you need – they have all the details about where to go and how to register. On Friday, we plan on enjoying the marketplace and meeting people there (and maybe even taking a class or two – there are so many!), so once again – if you see us, please do wave or say hello.

In between the shows, we’ll be staying in Columbus and working. If you are from the area and you have any suggestions for yummy food or places to see, please let us have ’em in the comments! For those of you in the area – we hope to see you in Ohio!

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Friday Night Open Mic!

May 16th, 2008

Hey everyone – we got a little silly last night and cooked up something special for you all. Want to hear other Raveler’s voices or send your own audio shout out? Check out the “Friday Night Open Mic” post on the For the Love of Ravelry board.

Here is how it works:

  • When it hits 6 PM in your country, a special phone number will appear in the thread.
  • Call it sometime before midnight, speak your username, and leave a message!
  • A few minutes later, a post will appear with your audio message, a transcription, your avatar (hopefully!) and your country’s flag.
  • Enjoy it!! We are :)

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Maryland Sheep and Wool

May 7th, 2008

Wow.

We had a hunch that this year, at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, a few more people would know about Ravelry than last year… but really, there was no way to prepare ourselves for what happened this past weekend. We got a great big dose of Ravelry love at MDS&W – our voices are hoarse from talking to everyone we could at the Ravelry meetups and party, and our cheeks still hurt from smiling nonstop.

Saturday Meetup

We arrived at MDSW on Saturday just in time for our meetup in the Rabbit Building. As we walked to our location, we saw over 600 people in and around the building, looking toward us and smiling (and clapping!) as we walked closer. What a greeting! We handed our Ravelry username buttons and avatar stickers to our amazing group of Team Rav volunteers – they took on the daunting task of finding the avatar stickers that Casey had printed out and passing out the username buttons so that the three of us had the time to talk to all the lovely users who had turned out to say hello.

It was so much fun to meet so many of you in person, to hear about local meetups that grew out of Ravelry groups, and to connect the faces (and voices!) with the avatars, projects, stashes, and friendly forum posts we’ve admired for so long. Meeting so many users all at once was an incredible experience – to everyone that came by, thank you!

The kind words and hugs and smiles we got have given us so much motivation and energy – we just can’t tell you enough how special it was to meet you all!

Ravelry Party: Saturday Night

Saturday night was our big event: the Ravelry Party at the Sheraton. We’ve been planning this party from afar for some time, and it was even more fun than we could have hoped! Ravelers sure like to have a good time, and our sponsors made this wonderful party possible for everyone.

Once again – huge, huge thanks to our party sponsors: our premium Buffalo sponsor, Buffalo Gold; our Cashmere sponsors, kpixie.com, Namaste, and The Sweet Sheep; and our Merino sponsors, Jamieson & Smith, Potter Craft, The Loopy Ewe, Lorna’s Laces, Bijou Bison Ranch, and Unicorn Fibre Wash.

For all the sponsors who could come to the party, we hope you had a fantastic time; for all of you who were unable to attend, we just wish you could have seen in person what your contributions made possible! I missed getting a picture of Missa from Kpixie.com (darn!) but here are Michelle (The Sweet Sheep) and on the right, Eileen and Carl (not pictured) from Bijou Basin Ranch and Ron Miskin and his wife from Buffalo Gold:

It was a truly incredible night – we had 400- 500 people at the party, all happy, all having a good time, and the Ravelry community spirit was palpable. We said hello to as many people as we could, thanks again to the fantastic work done by our amazing Team Rav volunteer army, who helped us schlep boxes and set up the party in our beautiful location, handed out buttons and stickers (again) with the drink tickets and door prize tickets, organized the beautiful door prize table, listed them for us so that our giveaway went smoothly, watched the time to make sure we had our giveaway as scheduled, and managed to have some fun and party a little bit, too!

Even Frecklemom was on hand to help out!

Thank you to everyone who helped us out over the course of the weekend – we could not have done it without you. You rock.

When we got up halfway through the party to thank our sponsors, give away our door prizes, and draw the names of the Ravelraiser Dream Stash winners (with JulieFrick!), we looked down to see a room packed full of people, smiling at us and each other. We had a good amount of time to appreciate the view too, as our sponsor and friends were so generous in donating so many great prizes to the giveaway!

The night was a real reminder of the amazing community that Ravelry has become – thank you so much to everyone who spent the evening with us! We’re pretty sure the Sheraton is still a little surprised at exactly how many drink tickets our “little knitting and crochet event” used up. ;)

Sunday Meetup

The festival on Sunday was less crowded in general – and this was true of the Ravelry meetup, as well. The weather was perfect, the skies were blue, and we had tables and chairs set up. There was plenty of room to walk around and really talk to everyone who stopped by.

Once again, we met such nice Ravelers and spent the whole rest of the day smiling and recapping stories from our fabulous members. It is really a pleasure to get to meet you all in person at these events – fun to see real, cheerful people and just think, awestruck, about our huge, wonderful community. We can’t even try and predict how many people will stop by our meetups and party next year – but we really can’t wait to find out!

Pictures, etc.

If you would like to check out more pictures from the meetups and Ravelry Party, please check out our Ravelry Events Flickr Group. If you have pictures from these events that you would like to share, please add them to the pool!

A quick note (not quite as cheery): we wanted to help spread the word from Ravelry user colormaker – she posted in the MDSW group that a shawl from a Clara Parkes‘ book was stolen from the Brooks Farm booth first thing on Saturday morning. We really hope that this was some kind of accident – that it got hooked on a backpack or something – and if anyone has any information, please contact Clara and let her know! Thanks, everyone!

Mary-Heather, Casey and Jess :)

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The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is this weekend! Casey, Mary-Heather, and I are hustling to get ready for our trip, and we just can’t wait to say hi to everyone while we are there. This is our one-year anniversary – last year at MDS&W, we were telling everyone about our new site, Ravelry, and had just opened up the waiting list. Boy did we have a surprise when we looked at our inboxes when we got home!

We have grown so much since then, and with over 1,000 people in the MDS&W Ravelry group, we know that we won’t have to answer the question “What is Ravelry, anyway?” nearly as many times as I did last year! (We’ll have you guys to help with that!)

We have three official meetups scheduled – if you are going to MDS&W, it would be great to see you at one of them! The on-site meetups at the festival will be held in the Rabbit Building:

  • Saturday, May 3, from 11:30 – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 4, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm

The Maryland Sheep and Wool volunteers were incredibly helpful in working to find a space that is accessible to all, available for use, and large enough to fit a whole bunch of Ravelry members and curious Ravelers-to-be. We’re so pleased to be able to have a good spot for our meetup! The Rabbit Building is located near the main gate:

MDSW Meetup Map

We are also thrilled to officially announce our Saturday night party! We have been working hard to find a great location that could host a fun event for hundreds of interested Ravelers. We have some terrific sponsors for this event – and we are so grateful for their support! Without them, this party would not be possible. Our sponsors are long-time Ravelry supporters, so it feels extra special to know that they are an official part of our Maryland party!

MDSW Sponsors

Huge thanks to our Buffalo sponsor, Buffalo Gold; our Cashmere sponsors, kpixie.com, Namaste Needles, and The Sweet Sheep; and our Merino sponsors, Jamieson & Smith, Potter Craft, The Loopy Ewe, Lorna’s Laces, Bijou Bison Ranch, and Unicorn Fibre. We really appreciate you!

Here are the party details:

  • When: Saturday, May 3, from 7:00 – 11:00 pm
  • Where: Sheraton Columbia – 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, Maryland 21044 (link to Google Map)
  • Who: Ravelers and their families! Come meet up – we can’t wait to say hi!
  • What: The event is outdoors around their pool/grove area (we do have a backup location at the Sheraton in case of rain – but we really hope it is nice!). We will have some snacks to munch on and drinks at the party (2 drink tickets/person – after that it’s a cash bar), but please note that we will not be serving dinner at this event! There will be music, a giveaway with some amazing prizes, and a lot of fun people to meet. We really can’t wait!
  • Why: Because we like parties and we love Ravelers. Sounds like a great way to spend Saturday night!

If you will be at the festival, please say hi! See you in Maryland!

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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