A big part of the beta is improving the way that we manage the data that flows in from our users. (We currently have 4900 patterns and 6676 yarns in Ravelry.)

Have you noticed the little red flag button that appears on some pattern and yarn pages?
This allows you to flag a pattern or yarn as duplicate or erroneous and leave a little note if you wish.
(If the flag button doesn’t appear, that means that you are looking at a pattern or yarn that has been approved by the editors.) We’ve got almost 40 volunteer editors who have been helping us whip our data into shape and your flags are a BIG help.

2 days ago, I put together some Yarn admin pages that make it easier for us to keep the yarn database clean. Here is a picture of me merging a duplicate Rowan yarn:

Note that this dupe never should have happened – I recently tweaked Ravelry so that it’s a lot less likely that people will add duplicate patterns but the yarns still need some attention. If this were a pattern, it would have reminded the user twice that something with the same name already existed. The pattern suggester even catches typos and variations in spelling and naming.

Anyway – go forth and flag!

Our inboxes runneth over!

June 5th, 2007

So much email!
(Those spikes are invites going out – yay!)

I put up a publicly viewable sneak peek. I figure that the cat is out of the bag and people are already posting screenshots to Flickr and stuff. We might as well show people what they are patiently waiting for!

http://www.ravelry.com/tour/peek

Hi all. I just posted an important letter to http://www.ravelry.com/tour/sad.

It’s linked the the front page that you see if you are logged out or if you don’t have an account.

Please – don’t make too much of a fuss over this. I don’t want to start any trouble, I just want to try and communicate with the people who are patiently waiting to get in.

Oops

May 28th, 2007

I updated the site several times today and a nasty bug snuck in. Sorry about the 500 errors dudes.

I know that many of you have taken *really* nice photos of your stash yarn.

Ravelry needs featured photos for yarns and it will be a little while before we have time to go through and send a photo request for each yarn. So.. I opened things up a bit more and made it easy for people to send in their stash photos.

Share your pic by clicking the “Help! Ravelry needs a pretty photo.” link on any of your stashed yarn pages. If you don’t see the link, it means that someone else beat you to it. First one to click gets their photo in the spot :)

Thank you, beta testers

May 23rd, 2007

When we first let this secret out (almost 3 weeks ago?) we were *totally* unprepared for what would happen next. At first, we were nearly paralyzed by the volume of stuff – new data in ravelry, emails and contact us forms, tons of discussion threads..

Now that we are more organized and more clear headed, we are trying our best to make this site awesome. First order of business? Taking care of the issues that are keeping this thing in beta. I need to fix bugs (“crappers!” bugs and browser bugs), build better tools for editors and moderators, and make sure that managing the amount of data coming in is a snap. Oh, and the site needs to handle an assload of knitters and crocheters.

I know that lots of you have sent in your bugs, requests, and ideas and most of those are still somewhere on The List. I’m confident that our progress during the next couple months will be just as fast as Ravelry’s first 3 months but I think that a lot of the work that I am doing right now will be somewhat invisible. So – I just wanted so say a bunch of thank yous..

* Thanks to the folks with IE6, Safari, and Opera! There will be lots more of you when the site opens. Thanks for the bug reports and for all of your patience. You’ve been dealing with some annoying issues for far too long.

* Thanks to the crocheters – we want you to feel like the first class citizens that you are and I know that we aren’t there yet.

* Thanks to everyone outside of the US. We’re still not international enough when it comes to currency, the metric system, conversions, and even books. We certainly don’t want to be US centric – we just needed outside help (which we have plenty of now!)

* Thanks to everyone who has ever seen a “Crappers!” error message. Your misfortunes produce a wonderfully detailed bug report.

* Thank you thank you designers, dyers, and spinners! We want to do so much more for you and we are so happy that you want to be a part of this. I’m really excited about the future – I’ll be proud to help get some exposure and sales for indie crafters.

* Thanks for everyone who has spent time jotting down their ideas in the forums. I read every single post (although I don’t always reply) and I’ve received a ton of valuable feedback and many great ideas for improvements.

* Thank you editors, moderators, and community members who have been flagging, checking, cleaning, and merging data. In less than 1 week, duplicates have been disappearing like crazy and 29% of our 3800 patterns have been checked and approved. This is AWESOME. We were not ready to the amount of data that came in and I’m so grateful that you guys have helped clean up the mess. The beta testing has helped us learn and formulate a plan but the expense was a large amount of stuff that needed to be sifted through. I’m working on improving the site so it is easier to manage and harder to dirty up. You guys need a rest :)

* Thank you to each and every Ravelry user. The site is nothing without your contributions – every time you enter a project, you make the site better.

PS – the blog that is behind this newsfeed is yet another unfinished task. Someday it will be the official Ravelry mouthpiece. You can comment, if you come in the back door: http://blog.ravelry.com

Away

May 23rd, 2007

Just a quick note to let you guys know that Casey and I are not going to be around today. Casey’s 94 year old grandfather had a stroke last night and we are with him.

Thank you…

Pattern Pages

May 20th, 2007

How do I find a specific pattern?
Go to the main Patterns Page by clicking the "patterns" tab on the top navigation bar. You can use the search box on the top right of this page to search for a pattern by its name, author, or the book / magazine or other source it’s published in. Alternatively, you can browse for patterns by tags (keywords users have attached to the pattern) using the list of popular tags on the top left of this page. Additionall, you can use the Pattern Browser, found on the left at the bottom of this page. (As of 5-15-07, this feature is still under development and doesn’t work properly in Internet Explorer – we’ll add more info when this feature is fully functional.)
How can I see a list of patterns by a certain designer or in a certain book / magazine?
Use the search box on the main Patterns Page to find a designer or a book. This will bring up search results for all patterns that match your search terms. If you’d like to go to the main page for that designer or publication, click on one of the patterns, and then on the pattern page, click on the designer’s name to go to the designer’s page, or click on the source name to go to the source’s page. Note: This may change in the future.
There’s no photo on such-and-such pattern – how do I add one?
For copyright reasons, we’re not allowing users to add photos to the pattern pages at this time. We are adding photos to pattern pages individually, requesting permission from the designers and/or publishers to use the official photos, or from Ravelry users who’ve finished the pattern to use their photos.
There are patterns I know of that aren’t currently listed on Ravelry. How do I add them?
There’s currently no one-click way to simply add a pattern to the database. If it’s a pattern you’ve used for one of your projects, you can add it when you’re adding your project. (Click here to see how to add a project.) If you haven’t yet used the pattern, the easiest way to add a pattern to the database is to go to your queue (my notebook → queue) and click the "add to my queue" button on the top of the page. In the pop-up window, type in the name of the pattern and hit the search button to the right of the pattern field. If no patterns come up, click the "Add it to Ravelry" button and enter the information for the pattern – pattern name, pattern type, name of book or site, pattern URL, and author. Then click the "Save" button at the bottom of the pop-up window. The pattern has now been added to the database.
How do I add yarn to my stash?
Go to your Notebook and click on "stash" in the left-hand menu. On that page, click the "Add New Yarn" button. On the page that loads, type in the name of the yarn you want to add, how many skeins of this particular yarn you have in your stash, and any other information about the yarn you’d like to add.

Important: Once you’ve started typing here, you’ll see a link button appear to the right of the field. If you click this button, Ravelry will search the database for your yarn and bring up the results in a pop-up window. If you’re using a handspun or other unique yarn, click the button that says "Unique yarn – don’t add" If you’re using a commercially available yarn, select the correct one from the list. If the yarn you used isn’t listed there, trying using fewer search terms. If you still don’t see it listed, you can add it to the database by clicking the button that says "Add to Ravelry" For more information on how to add yarns to the database, please click here

Select the correct status for the yarn (e.g. currently in your stash, used up, to be traded/sold, already traded/sold), and then click the "Save and add photos" button at the bottom of the page. If you don’t have any photos of the yarn, then you’re done. If you do have photos, then you can add them by clicking on the "photos" tab up on the top right-hand side of the page. To add another yarn, click the "details" tab and then click the "Save and add another yarn" button on the bottom of the page.

How do I add photos to my stash?
Go to your stash page (my notebook → stash), select the stash item you want to add a photo to, and then click the "photos" tab on the top right-hand side. Select the photoset from your Flickr account that the photo is in (if it’s not in a particular set, choose "All Photosets") and click the "Refresh" button. Drag and drop the selected photo to the box with the dashed border — another box will appear. You can add as many photos as you like. The photos are saved as you go along, so there’s no need to go back to the "details" page to click the "save" button when you’re done.
How do I remove a photo from my stash?
Go to the photos page for your stash item (my notebook → stash → stash item → photos) and click the "X" directly below the photo you want to remove. This does not delete the photo from Flickr — it only removes the photo from this stash item.
How do I remove an item from my stash?
Go to your stash page (my notebook → stash) and click the "X" button below the item you want to delete. (This does not delete the yarn from the Ravelry database — it only removes your particular item from your stash listing.)
I used / sold / traded / etc. an item from my stash. How do I change its status?
Click on the stash item you want to change the status of (my notebook → stash) and change the status from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the page. Click the "save" button when you’re done.
How do I change the viewing options on my stash page?
To view your stash as thumbnails, click the first button (with the little squares on it) to the right of the "add new yarn" button at the top of your stash page. To view as a list, click the second button (with the lines).
How do I download an Excel spreadsheet of my stash?
Click the third button to the right of the "add new yarn" button at the top of your stash page. A pop-up window will appear that asks you whether you’d like to open it with Excel or save the file to your computer. Choose whichever option you prefer.
How can I search for / view other peoples’ stashes?
If there’s a specific person’s stash you’d like to view, you can go to the People page and search for them by their Ravelry username. Click the link to go to their profile, and then click their projects link on the right-hand side of their profile page. You’ll then see their notebook links on the left-hand side: click the “stash” link to view their stash.
If you’d like to see everyone’s stash images of a specific yarn, go to the Yarns page and search for the yarn you want to see. On the search results page, click the link of the yarn that you were searching for, and then click the “stashes” tab at the top of the specific yarn page. To view information about any of the stash items, you can click on the image or the text link, and you will be taken to that person’s stash details page for that item.