Tag Archives: internet

Do you want to be my friend?

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Since I’ve started this blog, I’m really curious to see who would be interested in reading my ramblings on all things yarn.   And since we’ve (I’ve) been talking about Ravelry all week, let’s meet up online.

This is just a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I’d love it if you would become my Ravelry friend!

My screen name is onemilljellybeans.  If you click here, you’ll be taken to my page where you can befriend me and say howdy.

Or, you can “Favorite” my designer page by clicking here.  And, you can see all my original designs (so far… I have more coming up soon that I will be adding to both the blog and my pattern page).

See you soon!

The Search for the Perfect Pattern

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.)

Patterns 1

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.Patterns 2

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:

-Free

-Knitting

-Seamless

-Softies

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!

Patterns 3

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.

Patterns 4

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?

Ravelry 101

ravelry login screenIf you’re into knitting and have been near a computer for more than a hot minute, you’ve probably heard about Ravelry.  It’s sort of a Facebook for knitters.  But it’s sooo much more useful than that (Facebook is kind of dumb… don’t shoot me).

Ravelry is free to sign up for, and they don’t send spam or anything.  If you’re even vaguely interested in knitting or crocheting, you should sign up for an account.

There are about a million things that you can do with Ravelry, but I use it mainly for a couple things:

  1. Keeping track of finished projects.  If you’re anything like me, half of what you make goes to friends and family across the country and you never see it again.  Taking pictures of your finished and uploading them to Ravelry gives you a nice trip down memory lane and a great sense of accomplishment.  Also, filling out the yarn/needles/size info can be helpful if you ever want to make a project again.
  2. Talking to other knitters.  This is especially useful if you’re in a small town without a big knitting community, or if you’re teaching yourself by watching YouTube videos (and reading my blog!).  Have a problem with a pattern?  Questions about learning to spin?  Wrestling with a particularly nasty cable pattern?  Post your questions to one of the groups, and people will totally help you out.  Or, you can use the Ravelry groups as a way to totally geek out about whatever it is that you geek out about.  Is it Doctor Who or Harry Potter?  Maybe you’re really into gardening?  Or stock car racing?  There is a group for you.
  3. Finding new patterns.  Ravelry has the biggest searchable database of patterns.  You can sort by almost anything you want.  Want a women’s drop shoulder cardigan on size 3 needles with cables?  You can totally search for that.  Looking for a toy squirrel that uses short row shaping?  You can find that too.  (I’ll show you more about searching on Ravelry on Wednesday.)

So, my point is.  Ravelry:  try it.  It’s a great resource.  You don’t have to use everything, but I guarantee that there is something that it does that you would appreciate.

(FYI,  Ravelry didn’t pay me for this review.  But if they wanted to send me some yarn or something, I would totally be ok with that.)