What is this thing called Ravelry? November 14 2015
I believe Ravelry to be such a great FREE resource for everyone who knits, crochets, spins and weaves, I thought I would share some of it's joys and wonders with you. Many of our customers already know about Ravelry and indeed, many have found FibreHut because of Ravelry, but for those that are not so familiar here's an overview.
Ravelry is a social media website for anyone who enjoys the fibre arts...
Quite simply, Ravelry is a social media website for anyone who enjoys the fibre arts but it is much much more than just the sum of it's parts. Yes, it has a large number of North American users but it is also embraced by Europeans, Antipodeans and others worldwide. To join, you just need an e-mail address, and a username (you can be a little more inventive than me if you want - you can find me as gaievans). You'll get asked some questions like real name, date of birth, where you live etc but you do NOT have to answer them! A picture or “ravatar” is a nice option but not essential.
Here's 6 good reasons why you should spend more time on Ravelry!
So, now you've joined, what can you do? Here are 6 reasons why you might actually end up spending more time on Ravelry than you do actually knitting/spinning/weaving – like me! Please note that this is just a quick over-view - there is so much more to discover!
This is your own designated section where you can record details of the project you are working on and projects you've completed including adding photographs. You can add a needle and yarn inventory (stash) so you know what you already have when shopping for a new project. Any patterns you've downloaded appear here in your library. Any messages from other Ravelry members go into your message inbox (not to your email address which is never available). Any thing you've seen on the site and favourited be it another project, a pattern, a designer or a yarn for example can be viewed from your notebook.
2. Groups & Forums
There are a huge number of groups on Ravelry – some are very broad like “UK Spinners” while others appeal to a small niche who have a common interest or geography. You'll find groups related to your favourite yarn, designer, shop, guild etc. We have a group too called simply “FibreHut”. Within the groups, there are discussions – it's here you might learn about a new pattern, learn a new cast-on technique or even sign up for a competition. Fibrehut is running a quarterly prize draw for any one who uses fibre bought from us and posts a photo on our forum.
3. Pattern Database
This function alone is worth joining Ravelry for! Ravelry holds a massive fully searchable database of patterns – many are free, many are available to download and keep in your Ravelry library. A search for a free knitted shawl pattern using a bulky weight yarn resulted in 164 results – I'm sure to find something I like from that lot! You can save your search results to look through later and you can tag individual patterns as favourites for quick and easy reference at a later date. If you are looking for a specific pattern, you can use the advanced search to narrow down the results even further. But now – the best bit! Once you've found the pattern you like, you can actually view all of the projects made by other Ravellers using that pattern – and check out the yarns and colours used.
4. Yarn Database
Almost all commercial yarn is listed as well as a large number of indie-dyed yarn and fibre and again, it is fully searchable – by yarn weight, fibre type, etc and the database will even tell you all the available colours and the nearest store that stocks it!
I have met so many wonderful people on Ravelry most of whom I shall probably never meet in real life. I swap gifts, knitting yarn and notions with a very friendly group called “Ewe La La Swap” (mainly but not exclusively from North America) and am” friends” with a number of people whose projects I love and admire.
6. Eye Candy
Well, who actually needs a reason to browse through pages and pages of lovely knitted and crocheted items, colourful yarns, pretty dyed fibre, gorgeous hand-spun yarn and wonderful weaving projects? See, I did warn you that you might spend longer on Ravelry than you do on your own project!