I decided to write a Ravelry guide because I link to Ravelry constantly. It’s an amazing treasure trove of information and a community of fantastic people. It’s one of the good parts of the internet, not a scary dark corner of crazy like so many other websites. For more proof of this, read the Slate article, found here, that originally converted me to try Ravelry.
The flip side, though, is that while Ravelry has so much great and helpful information, it can be completely overwhelming to a novice. In fact, it was so completely overwhelming to me, I didn’t use it much for the first six months I was signed up. It just seemed like a lot of data entry and work, and I was overwhelmed enough while learning how to knit! Now I am so grateful for all of the time I’ve put into making notes on Ravelry, because I use them all the time.
Ravelry has a great help section on their website, that you can find here, but for the purposes of my website …
Here’s what you need to know about Ravelry.
Ravelry Guide Step One: Sign up!
If you’re on Knit’s All Folks! and you see all the fun patterns I link to, but you don’t have a Ravelry account – first join up! I promise you’ll use it in some fashion, even if you don’t go nuts spending hours adding every pattern into your library like I did.
Ravelry Guide Step Two: Explore the Pattern Page
The pattern page can be overwhelming with the sheer amount of information. If I’m browsing and I want to save the pattern for later, I add to favorites so I can find it later.
Curious about bundling your favorites? Meh, I bothered with organizing that later. No need to worry about it at first! You can browse your favorites in your notebook:
What can be confusing and overwhelming for newbies on Ravelry is the library vs favorites vs queue.
What’s great about Ravelry is it’s so flexible – but that means everyone can use it differently and can make it a bit puzzling. How you categorize things is up to you! The way that I categorize is:
Library: For patterns I currently own.
Favorites: For patterns I’d like to buy in the future, or for other fun things like every yarn store I’ve ever visited. I also favorite patterns that are already in my library that I really enjoy.
Queue: Stuff I’m seriously going to make, hopefully within the next year.
Whatever you choose, it’s the right way for you! Don’t stress!
Ravelry Guide Step Three: So You’re Ready to Make Something
Before I make any pattern, I like to do a bit of research. This is where the Ravelry Project Tabs are quite helpful.
First, I’ll skim the comments to see if there any errors in the pattern I should keep an eye out for.
Then I’ll check out the projects tab. In that tab I’ll filter the projects by “All Helpful Projects” and I’ll read other Ravelry knitter’s notes.
It can really help before you start a project to see what other fiber artist’s have experienced!
Then, I’ll cast on!
This will create a project where I will keep all notes on my project.
Everyone organizes on Ravelry a little bit different! Just remember, you don’t have to use any of the functions, or you can use all of them. I’m still learning about all the nuances of the website, and I’ve been using it for years.