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Whether you are a crocheter, a knitter or both: do you know the Ravelry database? It's a free platform based on what users share on it and is a really useful tool to find free or paid patterns, to organize your pattern library, list your projects and organize your creative projects. Let me explain why.
First things first: what is Ravelry?
Ravelry is a powerful user driven database. International crocheters, knitters, weavers, dyers, designers and businesses from the fibre sector are reunited on it and fill it up with information.
What can you do on Ravelry?
Save your projects with personal notes: what yarn you used, how long it took, rate the patterns or note the small personal adjustments you've made.
Search for new patterns thanks to a powerful search engine (I'll talk more about this here).
Buy and download patterns (free or paid), have them all in one place and be informed if an update is published!
Get in touch with other designers and creators!
Why use a database to organize your crochet projects?
I have multiple reasons in mind, so here goes:
1- To see your progress as a maker over the years
Sometimes, I like to browse through my old projects and I can see how much my crochet and knitting practice have evolved. It's really satisfying to see your creations becoming more and more beautiful, original, different and... error-free! As makers, it's normal to have some downtimes or to lose your mojo, but we must never forget where we started!
I have been using Ravelry diligently for 8 years now. As you can see, at the beginning I did a lot of simple projects, but slowly I see the evolution in the fibers I have used, the complexity of the projects I selected, their diversity and the quality of my photos (!). It's a fun little time travel!
2- To remember important details such as the yarn or hook used for a project
I recently found in my yarn stash a lovely leftover but I could not remember its composition and weight. I did remember having knit socks with it. So I went back to my Ravelry projects where I had noted the type of yarn. In this case, Blue Moon Fiber Arts had also linked their product in Ravelry, so I was able to access all the details needed to use my leftover yarn.
More recently, I was ordered a rabbit softie (Tommy the Bunny pattern from All From Jade) that was ready made in my Etsy shop, but with a second identical one as a custom order. Since I had used another yarn than the one recommended in Jade's pattern, I no longer knew what size of hook I had used to make the first one... once again, my Ravelry project helped me and I was able to recreate my first bunny!
3- To find a pattern for a specific yarn
Did it ever happen to you to get a yarn skein as a gift or bought a skein on a whim, but without having a specific project for it? I had a beautiful skein of hand spun yarn, purchased at Knit City Montreal last April. To find a project for it, I used the Advanced Search function on Ravelry.
I wanted to make a cowl and I had 200g of wool for a total of 92 m. Circled in yellow below, you will see the criteria that I indicated for my search:
From there, I had many beautiful options for my project without needing to go through dozens of pages.
4- To organize your To-do list and your wishlist
Whenever I see an inspiring pattern, or one that would go well with a yarn skein from my stash, or one I would like to make in the future, I add it to my Ravelry favorites. You can classify them by Bundles, or pattern categories, with notes for future use. This is what I did with my pattern from #3:
5- For your patterns to be up-to-date and to communicate with designers
After designers publish patterns, they may have to make a modification to the original file after a few months or years.
When you buy a pattern from Ravelry, even if you lose your confirmation email or discard the PDF file after changing computers for instance, you will still have access to your purchases via your Ravelry library. In addition, if it happens that a modification is made by the designer, you will receive a message to download the updated file for free. It happened to me with a doll pattern and her wardrobe that had new pieces added recently! You can also find all available updates by clicking on Notebook, then Library, then Updates Available:
Plus, if you have a question about a pattern, you can reach out to the designers themselves by going on their profile and clicking on Message.
Ravelry, seen by designers
I really love Ravelry as a crocheter, but it also has multiple advantages for me as a designer! When you enter a project in the database and link them to my pattern, I get to see your makes! There's not much more exciting for us designers than to see our designs come to life!
Below are three City Lights hats that were crocheted last year:
👉 How do you organize your patterns? Are you a Ravelry user? Did this post help you discover some functions of this database?
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