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Ravelry, a Knitting and Crochet Directory
A Knitting Community and Directory
As a knitter, I had been searching for a way to catalog my projects. After giving something away, I wanted to make sure I could have the pattern and my comments as I made it in case I wanted to re-make the project. I set up a FileMaker "recipe" type system, and that worked fairly well, although it became a huge file really quickly. I started my blog when I realized that others might care about what I have to say, and while I love it, I cannot see all of my projects in a fast, organized way.
Then I discovered Ravelry. This amazing service allows you to keep track of the projects you've completed, patterns you like and projects you intend to do. You can also see who else has knit a pattern, the pictures from their projects, what yarns they used and what tips they have for completing the pattern. In this lens, I plan to tell you more about these great services. If you do join Ravelry, make sure to friend me (chemknitsblog)! Ravelry also happens to be a service for those who crochet, but since I only knit, everything is written from that perspective.
What about you?
Do you use Ravelry?
For the Knitter (and crocheter!)
Organize your hobby
Ravelry lets you keep track of your projects, linking them to the pattern you are using. On each project page, you can link to the yarn that you used, enter your needle size, gauge, how much yarn was used and any other information that was helpful to you or others. There are many options, but the format is very user friendly.
You can organize your yarn stash, by taking pictures of different yarns and adding them in your stash folder. People will even swap yarns through ravelry! Have some yarn and don't know what to do with it? You can search projects by yarn brand or weight and see what others created. In fact, there are many different search refinement options.
There are two different ways to show that you like a pattern. You can add it to your favorites or to your queue. I personally only add things to my queue when I intend to knit them in the near future, and favorite items that I may make someday. Some people have a queue over over 1000 patterns. When you put a pattern in your queue, you are given the option to use some yarn from your stash and link that to the project.
Do you blog about your knitting? I know I do. Not only can you add your RSS feed to ravelry, but you can link particular blog posts to your projects! When someone else looks at that pattern page, your relevant blog post is linked to the pattern.
The Project Page
You can search for yarn type, so it is linked with the brand. You can enter comments, your needle size, and how much of each yarn you used. You can also see the star rating for the pattern and yarns used in your project.
Visit Me at Ravelry!
For the Designer
If you design your own knitting patterns, you can upload them to Ravelry to share with the world. You can share upload PDF files or direct people to your blog. You can link to a book where you pattern is published. You can even sell patterns through Ravelry, or else direct the knitters to where your pattern can be purchased.
The best feature for designers? Your patterns can be rated, and you can see how many people make your pattern, and then the photos of the finished product (See above). This has been really helpful for me, because now I have more information on what people like to knit than I had from just seeing pageviews at my blog. It is a great feeling to see someone post a photo of a project that I designed.
Knitting Design Books
Want to sell your patterns?
In addition to providing free patterns, Ravelry has a platform for you to sell your patterns with reasonable fees. I currently (as of Nov, 2010) offer all of my patters for free, so I have not taken advantage of this service yet.
Fee Tiers as of Nov, 2010:
If you sell under $20 a month, they take nothing!
$20.01 - $100 in sales; 5% of total sales
$100.01 - $250 in sales; $5 fee
$250.01 - $1000 in sales; $10 fee
$1000.01 and up - $20
Ravelry Saves Your Patterns!
Any pattern you purchase is saved in your library so you will never lose access to them.
Do you purchase patterns online?
Searching for the perfect pattern? - More than just a pattern search
There are many amazing knitting pattern directories available on the internet including Knitting Pattern Central, Daily Knitter, All Free Knitting. These knitting directories have impressive lists of knitting patterns, but they can be hard to search. Ravelry search has taken a knitting pattern directory to the next level. You can search by keyword, and then refine this search in many ways: yarn gauge, difficulty, gender, category and much more. The search results appear with thumbnails of the picture. When you get to the pattern you will be directed to the website hosting that pattern, to download it through Ravelry, or where it can be purchased.