Ravelry

As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, I haven’t made any progress with this year’s goal to post six patterns on Ravelry. When I thought about why I hadn’t, I realised some of it came down to me feeling as if I never quite fully gel with Ravelry.

I love knitting. I love yarn. Ravelry ought to be my favourite online place, but I never quite feel I get as much as I could out of it. Don’t get me wrong,  Ravelry’s amazing,  but I don’t love it like some of you clearly do. So I’m asking you guys who use Ravelry, How often do you visit? What do you love about it? What don’t you love about it?

Bekki Hill

45 thoughts on “Ravelry

  1. I use it – I hunt for patterns on it mostly. I have found some nice free patterns and paid for a few that I really like too. I keep copies of patterns in my Ravelry library just in case I lose them on my computer. But I only go in a couple of times every month or two – or even less. I find it relatively unfriendly to get around and still don’t really understand how all the tabs work or what their use is. I probably go into Ravelry most often following links for patterns from blogs I follow. It could be better – it probably needs an overhaul from a rinky-dinky web designer 🙂

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    1. I think you’re right it does need an overhaul. Although I have explored and understand what all the tabs, the groups feel quite inpenitrable to me. And most of the threads I’ve thought might be interesting seem to be 2/3 full of here’s my dog and I haven’t been knitting because my 5 year old has a fever!

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  2. As a designer I appreciate it a lot and I’m on there every day to check for messages and answer pattern support questions, but otherwise I tend to have phases…and I have to say that lately I have completely lost interest as there just doesn’t seem to be anything ‘new’, just repeats of the same old designs over and over again…I simply cannot get excited about yet another cashmere beige cowl or plain high necked jumper!….also I notice a whooooole lot of luxury yarn being used at present that just isn’t feasible for most people, and patterns also getting very expensive…I really hope it doesn’t join the current upper middle class crafting boom and forget the genuine roots of the craft…but enough ranting 🙂 My favourite aspect of ravelry is seeing projects made by others, often the clincher before I start something new! 🙂

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    1. So presumably you’re talking about checking your own stuff mostly? I find everything just seems to be so jumbled. How do you know what’s new? Are you literally looking at most recent/most popular tabs, or is there some other way to spot new stuff? Although I’m with you that we need to remember knitting’s roots, I do think it’s adoption into the middle classes helps knitting to thrive and designers to earn a decent amount for their hard work.

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      1. We shall have to agree to vehemently disagree on that one Bekki 🙂
        As to ravelry, as a designer I find it one of the simpler platforms to use and manage, you can check activity on your items very easily with the tabs. I’m not a fan of the messaging system though. The pattern highlights section is my preferred starting point when looking at new patterns, but the hot right now section is second, and I love the advanced search function. 🙂

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      2. I agree it’s an amazing resource. I haven’t found the pattern highlights section – can you direct me to that? Hot right now doesn’t really seem to do it for me – I keep thinking, okay so that’s what someone’s looked at this morning, but how many people have looked? And is their taste any good? I often find a lot coming up in the search and using advance search cuts out things that I feel should still show up under that search 😦

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      3. Sorry I’m being a pain, but although I’ve found it via your link you sent. How do I access the highlights normally? It says it’s on the patterns tab, but there’s no drop down on my patterns tap and nothing on the main patterns page.

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      4. Hmmm, that’s weird, sorry for the delay, not sure if you’ve found it by now but it should be on your main pattern page on the right…if there’s nothing there maybe you don’t have any favourites on ravelry, which is where the highlights come from I think…

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  3. Right with you there Bekki! I use it to look for patterns, I have one posted there and I do belong to a few podcast groups but I am not at all active there. I find it really user unfriendly. There is no mobile app either that I can find. Just uploading a photo to it is so complicated! I would love to use it to record everything I make, keep stash records but it’s just way too much hard work. Time for a face-lift and a massive simplifying Ravelry!

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  4. I only think to visit the web site when I come across something that I like that offers a free pattern. I think that I may have purchased maybe one pattern from the site. I don’t use any of the other features. I don’t know how. In fact, I print out my patterns to store in binders on my book shelves and have very few saved in my library. Maybe a site update is needed. Or are there any other sites out there with similar or better features? Wolfberryknits, upper middle class crafting boom, I had not thought of this before but, boy that really has me thinking about many of my crafting adventures of late.

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  5. I use it often. I like to post my projects from start to finish, search for patterns and visit online. As a designer I find it helpful to keep up with trends, what’s new with yarns, answer messages, etc. I was once very active in many group on Ravelry but have actually slowed down and tend to use FaceBook more. I enjoy seeing what others have made and are currently making … always inspiring!

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  6. I think you just need to get more involved. I’m on there every day, checking in on my favorite groups, participating in swaps, and checking out patterns. It’s my safe haven, especially since we’re in the middle of lots of politics on Facebook.

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  7. I might be in the minority because I use it every single day and log in multiple times a day 🙂 I join a lot of KAL’s and keep up to date on all the knitting podcasts I watch. I also use it to register all my yarn under the Stash category so when I go to pick out my next pattern, I know what yarn I already have in my stash. I keep notes on all of my projects and always refer to others project notes when starting a project. I have a queue of upcoming projects I’d like to work on and I store all of my patterns in my Library. You do not have to use expensive yarns to work on projects, you just need the correct weight. I also use it to search for patterns using the Advanced Search to find exactly what I need for the yarn I have. I have heard others mention that it is quite clunky and they wish it were given an overhaul; however I absolutely love it!

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  8. I find that amazing as I use it all the time. It really gives me a focus for my hobby. I keep track of my stash and needles using their tools; I use the queue function to plan my next projects. I check out the top 20 patterns every couple of days but also the ‘recommended for you’ patterns which means I often find something I might not have seen otherwise. I buy patterns I love as soon as I see them and store them in my library. I am careful with the things I add to my favourites as they’re things I think I might make in the future. I think the groups are probably the area I use the least, but that depends on whether I’m taking part in a CAL/KAL or knitting related event. I think the groups are only useful if you’re interested in or engaging with the subject under discussion. Maybe I’ve been lucky but the groups I’ve been involved with definitely don’t have dogs or babies!

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  9. I am no help either, I mistrust the patterns as not being tested enough and using wool I can’t get hold of. Decidedly old fashioned, I like to see a pattern leaflet first. And I suspect I would spend far too much time looking and not doing.

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    1. It’s a fair point you make. A lot of the patterns have mistakes and, although I think any editing process – however good – can miss things, there’s a fair few amateurs who really don’t put up full comprehensible patterns.

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  10. One of my ‘things to do in 2016’ was to get better at using Ravelry. I really like the idea of documenting projects, using it to keep track of yarn stash and engaging in the communities. However in reality I haven’t done much of this at all so far. I have found that I prefer using my blog to keep track of projects, and I haven’t found the time or motivation to take photo’s of my yarn stash yet. I actively engage in about 3 groups but I know some of the other members in the ‘real world’ so it makes it less daunting.

    One thing I do love about it though is the pattern finding tool and the filters, and how (if you do log your yarn stash) it will suggest suitable patterns that could work. I also like the library as it means all my patterns are stored in one place.

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  11. I don’t use it for the groups or anything but I do try to put my own projects on there and I always search for other people’s completed projects when I’m contemplating a new pattern to see what problems they’ve encountered (if any) and to see if anybody has substituted the recommended yarn and whether it worked for them or not.
    I also read the reviews of yarns I’m thinking of buying and I sometimes search for patterns.
    I don’t use it enough to know what’s ‘wrong’ with it as far as your needs are concerned but, for my purposes, I find it a useful resource.

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  12. I use it mainly to scour for patterns since they’re mostly under 1 website. Saves me the trouble of having to go through multiple blogs. Plus, I like admiring all the projects everyone else has made. Sometimes, I find something that catches my eye and would be even more pleased to find out its free 🙂

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  13. I use it quite frequently for a few things. I create project pages for most things I make. I like being able to document the process, what changes I make, etc. I queue projects I want to make, and I store patterns in the library. I belong to only a handful of groups I have greatly reduced these as I could not keep up with all the reading. I do keep track of my LYS groups and a few KALs but dropped a lot of other overly chatty things.

    Some things I don’t like- the process for loading photos is one. How difficult it can be to narrow down pattern searches, even using advanced features. I don’t want to look at 900 versions of the wrong thing.

    I like that I can see things my friends are working on, and I REALLY like being able to view what other people are doing with a pattern when I am considering it.

    Yes, it can be cumbersome but it really helps me see what is going on in the fiber world. It isn’t all Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits, which is all I really knew of the outside knitting world before ravelry came to my life.

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    1. You’re right it does open a whole new world of patterns. And is it me, or is the search showing up more and more wrong things these days. I’m thinking from everyone’s comments, what I need it to have a proper look for groups to join again and a cul of those I’m not really engaging with. Thanks 🙂

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  14. I do love ravelry. I use it to find patterns and inspiration, as well as a place to log my projects. It’s not the sole place I look for patterns though – pinterest/etsy/google. I’m in some groups, but definitely not consistent in posting or joining in with the chats. I probably log on about once a week just to update projects and have a nose through some patterns.

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  15. I am on Ravelry, and enjoy it pretty okay. I have been more active in the past, but not as much at the moment. I keep record there of my stash, and when looking for patterns. I follow a few lovely groups and such, and in the past I did many swaps with them, but with our mailing system here not so reliable at times, with strikes and things going missing, I have been swapping less. It is costly to pay for insured parcels to avoid losses.
    I try and check in on Ravelry twice a week on the groups still. 🙂

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      1. Yes, it is a shame. It is just not really reliable anymore. The only way to send is to have “tracking numbers” on your packages and then follow up dozens of times until you get it. It can take months.
        Locally we now only use couriers, it really works.

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