I know you know what Ravelry is, but as your local knitting guru I need to make sure you’re using Ravelry to the best of its abilities. Here is a list of my favorite features that Ravelry offers, which you can choose to use or ignore at will. But check them out, because they are awesome and you are too.
For instance, did you know that you can…
Search patterns by weight and yardage?
It happens to the best of us: you wake up disoriented after a major yarn binge surrounded by things you barely remember buying. As you sift through it you recall how it happened– this hand dyed DK was too pretty to pass up, but there were only two skeins; that sock yarn wouldn’t stop shouting your name; wait, whose organic cotton is this?
It’s going to be okay. This is my reason numero uno why Ravelry helps me save face on a regular basis. What, this? Of course I have a plan for it.
In the patterns tab under “advanced search,” scroll down the boxes on the side until you reach Weight and Yardage. Now you can look at all the patterns that will satisfy the requirements of that yarn you totally bought on purpose. You can scroll back up and narrow it down to “accessories” or “kid sweaters” or “cowls” or whatever, but now you have baseline knowledge of what your new toys will make.
However, to avoid this yarn problem in the future, you can always rely on…
One of my favorites. I know some people who use their queue as a dumping ground for every pattern they’ve ever liked, but I need my lists to have some semblance of order to them. I use my queue as a proper “on deck” situation (my favorites list is for things I like the look of but don’t have plans for yet). Things that have yarn to go with them go at the top of the queue, because those are the ones I’m actually really ready to start at the drop of a hat, should a need arise for a new project (this happens often, don’t look at me like that).
Farther down the queue I put patterns I’m desperate to knit but don’t have yarn for yet. This way, I can take stock if I find myself in a strange yarn store surrounded by beautiful things, and avoid the yarn binge described above. What am I about to work on that calls for 450 yards of lace weight? Boom, problem solved. That pattern can move up the queue, and everyone wins.
How do I pick what goes in my queue? Recently, Ravelry introduced this amazing thing called…
Okay, look. Sometimes, I don’t know what I want to knit next. But I’m on a shawl kick right now (we’ve talked about this), and sometimes I just need to look at new lace shawl patterns to make myself feel better. Or contemplate a stuffed fox.
Ravelry will take what it knows about you and the things you’ve put in your favorites or in your queue and suggest patterns that are similar. It’s not creepy, it’s great. It must use the tags on all the patterns to cross index, because sometimes it will offer me “mystery” patterns that it thinks I might like. Usually they are shawls.
This feature can be found under the patterns tab, down near the bottom of the page. Check it out.
But wait, what if I can’t remember what I already have in my stash, in case I find some pattern I love and I’m standing in a yarn store? Do I need another skein of turquoise sock yarn? This is why you use…
Your stash page.
Use this bad boy. It is amazing. Better and more reliable than keeping your yarn tags (only after you have entered your new yarn into your Ravelry stash are you allowed to throw the tags out: I’m not a wizard and only the internet can remember what you bought six months ago), the stash page allows you to upload pictures of your yarn and enter all the info on the tag for safe-keeping. Many (most) yarns are already in the Ravelry database, and will fill in that info for you! Fantastic.
The answer is no, I don’t need more turquoise yarn, but that’s not going to stop me.