I’m happy that for today’s tip I get to announce a new feature – gauge fields for projects!

If you’re following a pattern, knowing how your gauge compares to what is written in the pattern helps predict how your FO will turn out. Sometimes you forge ahead with a different gauge on purpose, and sometimes you’re not using a pattern at all and want to record the information for yourself. The new gauge field for projects is a great place to capture this information!

Now, when I edit a project I see fields for gauge under the needles/hooks section. I can enter the information myself, or for my latest project where I was able to match the pattern gauge, I clicked the “fill in gauge from pattern” link to populate it magically.

If stitches/rows per inch isn’t the most accurate way to measure your gauge, you can change the dropdown to repeats and record your gauge that way. It’s up to you whether to name the stitch pattern or leave it blank.

Once I’ve entered gauge for my project and saved it, it’ll show up under the needles/hooks section on my project page. I’m excited to use this field as I research projects with ideas of yarn substitutions in my head! Enjoy tracking your gauge going forward and maybe even filling it in for past FOs you have on hand!

catreading pom pom

CatReading’s beautiful Maizey Fidra

Hats have been the most popular project category finished so far this year, with beanies/toques being the most popular style. While looking through the recently completed beanies and toques, a theme became very clear: Ravelers are making so many cute pom pom hats right now! Here are just a few of my favorites.

I love the look of a pom pom hat with a chunky cowl or scarf:

pom pom hat 1

GGMadeIt’s The Kendall – Slouchy Pom Hat, handepande’s Siksak, and SmashingPuffin’s Ananas.

pom pom hat 2

mkneumann’s Mütze Vorfreude, nmaris’ Boston garnitúra, and HookedHaystack’s 5 Star Beanie show how great a pom pom looks on top of a hat with a bit of texture.

pom pom hat 3

Finally, the fluffy poms on these hats just made me smile! From left to right above: I-hook’s Bailey Textured Beanie, swiftyarns’ Swift Northdale, and katinkaknits’ Katie’s SnowCap.

I’m eager to make a pom pom hat for myself now – seems like just the thing to cheer me up on a cold, grey day!

Thursday Tip: Pattern Ideas

January 22nd, 2016

We recently added some things to the “pattern ideas” tab on yarn pages.

The pattern ideas section gives you a way to look through patterns that other people have paired with a yarn. Next to each pattern you’ll see 4 example projects that used that specific yarn and you can click to see the rest.

Some of the new additions: you can filter by craft or category, enter a range of skeins that will be matched with each pattern’s yarn requirements, and click over to the advanced pattern search. You’ll also see more information about yarn requirements – both the amount that the pattern calls for and the amount typically used by other Ravelers.

Finally, patterns that are both listed in both the ideas and your favorites or queue will appear at the very top so that you do not miss them.

If you have any suggestions for improving pattern ideas even more, we’d love to hear them!

Our last post about finding help with patterns in the forums made me think about other great ways to find help on Ravelry. One of those ways is to check out the projects that other Ravelers have marked as helpful. When looking at projects on a pattern’s page, you can use the drop down at the top that says “Filter these projects…” to show “All helpful projects.”

I decided this week to take a look at some of the recent projects that Ravelers are finding helpful. You can use the projects advanced search sorted by “most helpful” to see the most helpful projects on Ravelry.

First of all, a few great sweaters and a lovely trio of hats.

From left to right: uncials Cusp, EllenLBishop’s Plum Wine, Knitinbliss’ Noro Crochet Jacket and CatReading’s Triangular Conversation

Next up, some beautiful accessories.

From left to right: Annagret’s Uruca sagittaria, merripurdy’s Double Layered Braided Cowl, Konchog’s Mrs Watson’s Fern and millefleurs’ Askews Me Shawl

When you run across a project that you find helpful, please note that! You can find instructions to mark a post helpful and highlight helpful parts in this helpful highlights post by Casey. Then, you can find that helpful project easily later in one of two places pointed out by Casey’s post on researching patterns. If you want to make your projects more helpful, Mary Heather put together this really informative post on helpful project notes.

I hope you enjoyed the helpful projects spotlight today! Thank you to all who take the time to make their project notes helpful and to those who mark them as helpful so others can easily find them. These contributions make Ravelry an even more helpful place!

Sometimes when we are working on a project we come to a place where we just get stumped. If that happens, there are many ways to get help from the generous community here at Ravelry!

The Patterns and Techniques Forums

patterns and techniques

Patterns and Techniques are two of the “main boards” here at Ravelry – forums where all Ravelry users are automatically members. This means that your help questions will often be seen by a large number of people, and you can get assistance quickly!

  • Post in Patterns if you have a question related to a specific pattern.
  • Techniques is the place for you if your question is more general and has to do with a specific technique.

Designer Fan Groups

designer groups

Many designers have their own groups here on Ravelry, where they often participate, and some designers even offer pattern support through their groups. Often there are also other people in the group who have made the same pattern, and are willing to help you so that you have a successful FO (finished object) as well!

You can find the groups of your favorite designers by using the search field on our groups tab!

Techniques and Project Based Groups

techniques

Ravelry has thousands of groups and many of them are related to specific types of projects or techniques. Try searching our groups page for the type of project you are making (a sweater, socks, fingerless gloves…) or the craft or technique you are using (Tunisian crochet, stranded knitting, cables or lace…) and you’ll be sure to find a relevant group with a wealth of information!

Posting Tips

patterns lifesaver

If you magic link your pattern in the first post in a new forum thread, we’ll show a little lifesaver by the thread title to any Ravelry users who have made a project from that pattern. If you see the lifesaver, it’s a handy indicator that you might be able to help the poster!

forums post onestitchshort has a question

A general forums tip I wanted to mention: when starting your thread: try to make your forum thread title as specific as possible! Thread titles such as “help!” or “is anyone else confused…” are a little vague, and will not get as many interested helpers as a more clear description of your problem. Even a very basic title like “Mara shawl increase question” will encourage more people to jump in and assist you – even if they haven’t made the pattern, they might be an expert on increases and have just the solution you need!

As you can see, there are lots of places on Ravelry to turn to when you need pattern help! Keep in mind that we do have cross-posting guidelines for the site, which mean that you can only post the same thing in two places throughout Ravelry. Because of these cross-posting guidelines I’d recommend checking out the options above before posting your question to see which forum or group would be the best fit for you.

I hope you have lots of success with all your projects and feel a little more confident asking the Ravelry community for help when you need it!

Like the rest of the world, we were all saddened to hear the news of David Bowie’s passing this week. So, today I have turned to the Ravelry community to see the beautiful Bowie-inspired projects you have created over the years.

First up, we have items inspired by David Bowie and his songs.

Clockwise from top: lousalome’s I, I can remember // Standing, by the wall // And the guns shot above our heads // And we kissed, as though nothing could call, GuapaM’s Love you till Tuesday Socks, olivespearls’ Major Tom and basaltimum’s David Bowie Socks!.

Next, we have Labyrinth-inspired FOs.

From left to right: silvermoon-dragon’s Toby (the roundness of this baby makes me smile!), cinepeg’s Labyrinth (and these are the backs!), jllaming’s As The World Falls Down, and Aerulan’s Jareth the Goblin King.

And finally, these Ziggy Stardust projects are all true works of art.

From left to right: lbee’s Knitted David Bowie (Aladdin Sane), Begemotus’ Life on Mars?, and karlacourtney’s David Bowie Kids’ Cardigan.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these inspirational pieces as much as I have. They’re a wonderful tribute to a man who brought much weirdness and joy into the world. And thanks to the Raveler MalaCara for suggesting this idea!

Thursday Tip: Happy New Year!

January 7th, 2016

For many of us, a New Year means new goals, new projects and new plans. We also find that we have a lot of folks checking Ravelry out at the beginning of a new year. Whether you are an old friend of Ravelry or finding us for the first time, the draw to track projects and plan new ones often brings you back in the new year. We thought we would share some ways to get started with Ravelry, or to dive back in if you are visiting us after being away.

Keep Track of your Projects
At the end of the year, I often wish I had kept better records of the crafty things I did that year. The good news is that this year is ahead of you and it’s easy to keep track of your knitting and crochet projects in Ravelry! You will find your projects area by clicking on your notebook tab.

To add a new project, click the “add project” button there. You can find more detailed instructions for adding projects in this post. It is so fun to look back at the end of the year to see what you have made, so start now to allow yourself a great record of your 2016 crafty endeavors.

Look for Inspiration
Are you hoping to try a new technique this year? Or, are you looking to make more hats (for example)? You can find endless inspiration in our pattern search. To get to our advanced pattern search, click the little magnifying glass tab and choose patterns.

Then, you can use filters to search for the technique or item you are hoping to make. For example, if you are hoping to try your hand at Fair Isle this year, you could search for Fair Isle patterns. Here’s the search for Fair Isle patterns sorted by which ones are Hot Right Now. So many pretty patterns! You can find all of the filters on the left side of the page in the advanced search. We have a video that will give you a bit of an idea of how the search works if you haven’t used it before. You can also find some more information about how to find the patterns listed in the database in this post.

If you have given us some idea of designers you like on Ravelry, through things like favoriting patterns for example, then Ravelry automatically generates pattern highlights for you. You can find them in the patterns tab. They are a great way to get a quick look at some things that might inspire you!

We have instructions for customizing your pattern highlights if you want to change up what you are seeing there.

Get Connected
Ravelry has a vibrant community found both in our main forums and within thousands of user-maintained groups. You will find the main forums, along with the forums for any groups that you have joined, within the Forums tab. There are also many groups where you might find people from your area, with interests similar to yours or who are making the same project you are working on right now through a knit or crochet along. You can search for groups within the Groups tab. If you need help searching for a group, there is more detail on that in this post.

Once you meet people through groups, or if you know some other folks on Ravelry already, you can add them to your friends by going to their profile page and clicking “add to my friends”

Then, you’ll be able to easily keep up with what they are making through your Friend Activity. Here’s a great post on how Friend Activity works.

There’s a lot to Ravelry, and I understand that it can sometimes be overwhelming if you are returning after a while or you are just joining us, but I do hope this post helps and that you will try just one of these things to help you get going! If you get stuck somewhere, you can find a lot of helpful information in the ? tab.

This is a sweet time of year on Ravelry, when we see tons of photos of loved ones wearing things that were made especially for them. Here are a few of the many, many projects that were finished in December.

Maschenbaby’s Anna (made for her sister), andreafromtoronto’s ~ Son its cold outside ! ~ (made for her son) and VirginijaSan’s Žiemos Uogos // Winter Berries (made for her daughter)

mng’s 37 Years (made for her friend), samovaren’s Gefjun til kjæresten (made for her boyfriend) and Moonstruckmermaid’s ♥ Mr. M. ♥ (made for Mr. Moonstruck)

KellyInTexas’ Fennel (made for her husband), RoseHA’s Twin’s Favourite Things (made for her brother) and Kazyuk’s Cassavetes (made for her husband)

Jess’ first comment on seeing this post: Wow. How do you get on these people’s gift lists?

2015 Superlatives!

December 22nd, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to take the opportunity with our last Eye Candy post to show off some of the amazing things that Ravelers have done this year! Over the years, I’ve learned that if there’s one thing that Ravelers enjoy almost as much as knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and yarn and fiber in general… it’s stats. ? So without further ado, please enjoy:

Ravelry’s 2015 Superlatives!

Most Knit and Crocheted Patterns Published in 2015

most popular knit and crochet patterns

In 2015, Mystery Craftalongs were incredibly popular! Mystery Knitalongs and Crochetalongs are events in which designers come up with a pattern and release it to participants bit-by-bit, often in weekly installments. This year, our two most popular new patterns – those published in 2015 that have the most projects – were Stephen West’s The Doodler, and Dedri Uys’ Sophie’s Universe CAL, both originally published as Mystery Craftalongs.

Most Queued Patterns Published in 2015

most queued knit and crochet patterns

Dedri Uys’ Sophie’s Universe CAL was also the most-queued new crochet pattern this year! The most-queued new knitting pattern is The Baa-ble Hat, by Donna Smith, which we noted in our Rhinebeck Eye Candy post was very popular at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.

Most Used New Yarns and New Indie Yarn Brand

As crafters, we are lucky to have so many beautiful yarns from which to choose when we make our projects, and this year several new yarns were released that Ravelers clearly just couldn’t wait to try!

most projects new yarns

We took a look at the yarns released this year that have the most projects – for commercially dyed, Schachenmayr Regia’s Design Line by Arne & Carlos came out on top! For a hand-dyed yarn, Malabrigo’s Mechita inspired the most people to start using it right away.

most projects new indie yarn line

The brand-new Indie Yarn Brand with the most projects is the lovely Kate Davies Designs Buachaille.

2015 Projects with the Most Favorites!

projects with most faves knitting crochet

pooki’s Lace Boxy and coffeebug’s Wanderwellen 4ply take 2 stood out as the 2015 knitting and crochet projects that received the most favorites from other Ravelers.

projects with most faves spinning weaving

Among 2015’s spinning and weaving projects, stormyautumn’s Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep 2 Shoe Kit and LizChristina’s opalized wood shawl received the most hearts!

2015 project most faves handspun

tewshortforu’s Summer Berry Gradient Hitofude, knit up in her berry hunting handspun, was the handspun project that received the most favorites this year.

Most Helpful Project Completed in 2015

most helpful 2015 project

Some project notes on Ravelry are full of great information, and stand out as being especially helpful, so at the bottom of each project page on Ravelry, we have a button you can click to show if the project’s notes helped you. (We can then use this information to help others around the site by showing in among other projects marked helpful on pattern pages, and even linking it for you on your own project page if you make a project from the same pattern.) 2015’s most helpful project was PaperDaisy1’s Lisa’s Rowe, which 145 people marked as helpful – and judging from the comments, her detailed notes (and of course, her gorgeous FO!) inspired others to try this pattern, as well!

Most-loved Forum Post with an Image

forum post with the most loved image

The Ravelry forums can be such a wonderful resource and a great place to find help, as well as a place to connect with friends near and far. We looked for the forums post containing an image that had received the most love button clicks in 2015, expecting to find an image of a beautiful project, and we did! MrsSasha’s post in the Lazy, Stupid, and Godless group, sharing her beautiful Tiger Eye Lace Scarf, knit in Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller, definitely deserves a lot of love clicks… and not just because she revealed in her post that her MIL, who she had given the scarf to, had thrown it away. Y’all. ??? Please go give this beautiful project some love in MrsSasha’s Ravelry notebook, won’t you?

New Yarn Shops with The Most Patrons

new yarn shops with most patrons

Where would we be without yarn shops? Whether they are a crafty community hub in our town, or shipping us yarn from far away, yarn shops are where we turn for our supplies as well as assistance and even friendship! We looked through our shop directory for shops that opened in 2015 and had the most Ravelry patrons (that is, users who added yarn to their Ravelry stashes and noted that they had bought it from the shops). Among online shops, BritYarn in the UK took the top spot here! For local “brick and mortar” stores, Circle of Stitches in Salem, MA had the most patrons. We are so happy to see Ravelers supporting yarn shops!


I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the patterns, yarns, projects, posts, and shops that stood out among our users in 2015! This will be our last blog post of the year, as the five of us on the Ravelry staff are heading into vacation and holiday time. Wherever you are in the world, we thank you for being a part of the Ravelry community. Our members – you! – make this site a joy to work on every day, and we are thrilled to get to continue to improve things and make new features for us all. Casey, Jess, Sarah, Christina, and I all wish you a very Happy New Year, and a safe and fun start to 2016!

Thursday Tip: Rav Nav Round-Up

December 17th, 2015

Since April I’ve been focusing my tips on the top navigation tabs you see on every page in Ravelry. Below is a round-up of those previous posts, a great way to review details you forgot or catch up on posts you missed.

The patterns tab – the place to look at patterns in our database.

The yarns tab – your gateway to our yarns database.

The people tab – find fellow Ravelers.

The forums tab – posts from your groups.

The groups tab – browse the many Ravelry groups.

The shop tab – buy merchandise from Ravelry, our advertisers, and designers.

The help tab – a collection of resources to answer your Ravelry questions.

Quick search – a pop-up with a powerful site-wide search.

There’s no wrong way to use Ravelry, so we hope this information will help you find the areas that interest you! Have a topic you’d love to see a tip on next year? Let us know in this thread!