Whether you’re new to knitting or have been crocheting afghans for your grandchildren since 1952, if you knit or crochet, you want, nay, NEED a Ravelry account.
What is Ravelry?
“Ravelry is a community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters.”
Here are 6 Reasons Why Every Knitter Needs a Ravelry Account.
1. RAVELRY IS FREE
There was a time long ago when you had to sign up and get on a waiting list to join Ravelry, but now sign up is simple and immediate. Sign up for a free account with your email address, create a username and password, and you’re IN! Now you have access to, arguably, the greatest online knitting and crochet resource in existence.
You can use the full features of Ravelry without ever having to purchase anything. The only thing you’ll ever pay for is patterns that cost money, and that is paid to the designer of the pattern. However, there are hundreds of free patterns available, and most of them are just as good as the paid ones.
2. FIND FRIENDS & GROW YOUR KNITTING SKILLS
Ravelry has a global user-ship, and it can help you connect with your local knitters. You can join groups, make friends, and even find knitting events close-by. It’s like Facebook for knitters, but without the annoying political rants in your home feed.
Of course you don’t have to take advantage of any of those features if your personal knitting preferences are more hermit-like and less stitch ‘n bitch. But by making friends, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with others, which can help you grow your skills and knowledge. You’ll be inspired to tackle projects you might not have tried otherwise.
3. FREE PATTERNS
Exploring patterns is easily my favorite part of Ravelry, and it’s what I spend the majority of my time doing. Sometimes hours!
By clicking the Patterns link in the top navigation, you can easily search for specific patterns by name or designer, or browse popular patterns under “hot right now”. If you’re looking for a specific type of pattern, say a seamless top-down sweater worked in the round, you’ll find it through the advanced search feature. There are tons of great free patterns to choose from as well as paid patterns. Paid patterns can often be purchased directly on Ravelry, or a link will be provided where you can purchase the pattern elsewhere.
For example, here’s a pattern I found that meets the following search criteria: FREE, Pullover Sweater, Fingering Weight Yarn, Seamless, Top-Down, In the Round.
It’s Stjernedrys by Rachel Sogaard, and it’s lovely enough that I want to knit this sweater for myself right away! It’s also available in 4 languages!
Another bonus is that each pattern has tabs at the top where you can view yarn ideas, projects by other ravelers, comments, and whether the pattern has been mentioned in forums or blog posts. These are great sources of inspiration or help if you get stuck.
4. BROWSE FINISHED KNITTING PROJECTS
Next to browsing patterns, this is my favorite feature of Ravelry. One of the deciding factors of whether I knit a pattern or not is by researching the finished projects of other fine Ravelers. If I find a finished project I love, I can usually also see the exact yarn and colorway they used. I click on the “yarn ideas” tab frequently to help me decide which yarn to use for my project. I also spend time reading notes about the finished project for extra details of how a user may have modified the pattern to better fit their needs.
5. BROWSE PROJECTS BY YARN
Being able to browse projects by yarn is super handy. Sometimes I get a yarn in my stash that I’m not sure what to do with, and this gives me lots of ideas. If you already have the pattern, just click on “yarn ideas” on the pattern page to see how many times a certain yarn was used on that particular project.
To search for patterns by yarn, click the yarns link in the top navigation bar. In the right search bar, type in the yarn you want to search, for example: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, then press search. I can then click on pattern ideas or view the 129,933 projects filtering by craft, category, color, etc.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR KNITTING
Sadly I don’t take advantage of the organizational features of Ravelry very often. For some reason I prefer to have a basket full of tangled skeins and mismatched needles. I find knitting needles are quite like a pair of socks in the dryer where one always comes out missing. Doubtless many of my knitting needles are living a happy life not far from the Land of Lost Socks. Still, if you put in a little work, Ravelry can get your inventory sorted in no time.
Under the “My Notebook” link in the navigation bar at the top, you’ll find features such as
- Needles & Hooks
- Purchases, etc.
You can use these features to keep track of the yarns you have, what projects you’re working on & when they’re complete, what projects you want to start next, and even what needles you have. By adding patterns to your library, you’ll never lose them. You can upload pictures of your project from cast on to completion, and if you take advantage of these features, you’ll have built up a nice little knitting portfolio for yourself in no time at all.
So what are you waiting for? Head to ravelry.com now and sign up for your free account.
Feel free to connect with me by typing L3XLE into the people search!