My absolute favorite part of Ravelry is its searchable pattern database. It’s super useful.
Imagine, if you will, that you want to knit a small stuffed animal bird. You don’t want to pay for a pattern, and you also don’t want to have to sew any seams. That’s a lot of things to have to search for, if you’re just Googleing for it. Instead, let’s see what we can find using Ravelry’s advanced search tool.
Open up Ravelry, click on Patterns, then click on the “pattern browser & advanced search” button. (Ravelry was designed by knitters, not by web designers, which is kind of obvious by its semi-terrible user interface.)
This brings us to a page of ALL of the patterns currently on Ravelry. If you really wanted to, you could just go page by page and see everything. Sometimes it’s fun to browse the patterns, but today we’re on a mission. We’re going to use the search bar and filters to narrow down the patterns that are available to us. Take some time to see what filters there are available. Some of the filters are obvious: knitting vs. crochet, free vs. paid, type of item that the pattern is for (sweaters, soft toys, tablecloths, etc.). Some of the filters are super specific: design elements (lace, ribbing, etc.), construction details (top down, short row shaping, etc.). Poke around and see what they’ve got.
Every time you click on a filter, you’ll notice that the patterns start to match your selections. We wanted to knit a bird stuffed animal with no seams, and we wanted the pattern for free, so I clicked on the following filters:
and I put the word “bird” in the search bar, since there isn’t a filter for “Bird.”
Look at all those seamless, free bird patterns!
When you find one you like, you can click on the picture, and you’ll bring up the pattern page. From there, you’ve got some options. Ravelry will link you to where you can find the pattern (in the middle of the page). Or you can save the pattern in your “Favorites” or your “Queue.” OR, you could “Cast On” and start a project page for yourself right away.
I hope this makes your pattern-finding quests a little easier! Poke around the site and see what you can find. What else do you use Ravelry for?