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Unraveled - Ravelry Blog by Ravelry - 3d ago

Last weekend, on June 14 and 15, Jess had the pleasure of attending Woollinn, Ireland's Festival of Yarn, in Co. Meath, Ireland. Woollinn, in partnership with Cross and Woods Crafting Parlour, created a Ravelry Lounge for the event: a community hub where attendees could sit in the comfortable space and craft with their new purchases, log on to Ravelry, or even ask Ravelry questions from a team of expert volunteers!  The Lounge was cozy and fun, and we truly appreciate Woollinn's thoughtfulness in organizing this special space. Thank you so much to everyone who came by - Jess loved meeting you all!

scenes from the Ravelry lounge, shared in Hey BrownBerry's video podcast

Wool festivals and events are an amazing chance to connect with other yarn lovers - we wish it was possible to visit each one, don't you? One of the most exciting things about the Ravelry Lounge and Woollinn is that it was lovingly documented by Marceline from The Hey BrownBerry Podcast, making it possible for those of us who didn't attend to have our own virtual tour guide for the weekend.

So many smiles and beautiful projects on display! 

Marceline is a Jamaica-born, Canada-raised fiber fanatic who lives in the southeastern US. She credits her smile to a very patient husband and her two teenage wonder-girls. Since 2005, her love of handmade found its center in knitting and crochet, but over the years she’s since been drawn into natural dyeing, spinning, and most recently, knitwear design and teaching. When she’s not knitting (and often when she is) she loves travel, hiking, a strong cup of coffee, audiobooks of all genres and meeting other makers. Her focus currently is to build and rebuild connections in the creative community.  Through her YouTube channel and the Hey BrownBerry podcast, she's sharing her journey with others globally and bringing together fellow makers, Humans of Ravelry, to build a strong, progressive collective, both online and in real life.

Marceline and Adaku Ezeudo, Woollinn's special guest speaker on Diversity and Inclusion, who will also speak in this video series. 

At Woollinn, Marceline interviewed festival guests, vendors, and special visitors who convened in the Ravelry Lounge and is creating a series of videos exploring the experience and community connections at Woollinn. She has released the first video in this series - you can check it out and follow along with her journey on her heyBrownBerry YouTube Channel. In her upcoming videos, she will share her conversation with Adaku Ezeudo (Woollinn's special guest speaker on Diversity and Inclusion), and a highlight reel & showcase of the Ravelry Lounge, including several attendee interviews. You can also keep up with Marceline by adding her to your Ravelry friends (and looking for her project updates on the friends page), joining her Ravelry group, heyBrownBerry Friends, and on her Instagram @heybrownberry.

We hope you enjoy this beautiful Woollinn documentary series! Thank you again to Woollinn, Marceline, Cross and Woods Crafting Parlour, and of course all the vendors and guests at Woollinn, for the wonderful event! We feel so fortunate to have been a part of it, and to be able to share it with all of you through the Hey BrownBerry podcast.

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winniepigslim's lovely Luxora

Summer has caused me to lose my crafting mojo. It's so hot outside and the kids are keeping a crazy schedule, but I miss knitting and crocheting. When I find myself uninspired, I hit the Ravelry project search to get a jumpstart. Since it's hot here, I decided to see what people are making that I can wear right now & searched the sleeveless tops. Here's what I found!

I love the easy breezy look of these tops. They seem really versatile and like they would fit into so many different wardrobes. From left to right: Kwoolridge12's Peplum Top, KindredRed's Dany Crop and lotusflower7289's Marigold Tank

One great thing about a sleeveless top is that you can layer it in many ways, as seen in these examples: Audicee's Cacambo Tank, crochetluna's Rosalba in White Sleeveless Blouse and crochetastdesigns' Aurora Waterfall Cardi.

These tops definitely made me want to get going on some sleeveless top plans I have. If you want to check out more, you can find sleeveless top projects in the advanced search.

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"But Livia," you're thinking, "It's Friday!" True, very true. But I've been very busy working on lots of exciting other things ;) so here we are!

This week, Casey added a feature that had been requested on The List for a very long time: Private Notes!

You can add Private Notes the same way that you add regular Public Notes on a project:

  1. Go into a project and hit "Edit Project" in the upper right:
Note: To see the option for "Private Notes" you must be in editing mode for the entire project (ie not just editing the public notes).

2. Scroll to the bottom and underneath the public notes you'll now see a (+) circle option for Private Notes:

3. Click the (+), type in your private notes, hit Save, and you're all set!

The notes entered will only be visible to you. I for one am excited to start using this to record my body measurements for things! I'd ask you to share in the forums what you plan to use this feature for but that might defeat the purpose 😂

Happy note writing everyone!

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Super adorable Ottie by LisaMareeNZ

Handmade toys can have such character and be so much fun to make. This week, so many cute toys caught my eye that I thought we were due for post full of cuteness.

I love the bright colors on Regg's Red and hayleyjbelle's Jarod the Chameleon. While I was never in a science profession, I have a teeny tiny set of lab equipment on my desk that I adore, so I thought mostlyalurker's Mad Scientist Friendly Flask (and friends) was really fun.

All of these projects just made me smile! From left to right: squidgey's Octopus Baby Toy #2, and Elizabeth's Ragdoll Unicorn and extraterrestrial's Callisto the Alien.

I hope these toys brightened your day! You can check out more toy projects and search within the various toy categories in our project search.

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This is a fun tip post because not only am I going to tell you about a cool new feature, but I'm also going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how I designed it! Let's start at the end...

What is the Purchase Finder?

Put simply, the Purchase Finder is a new tool that allows you to find things you bought on Ravelry, but are not linked to your Ravelry account—most often, this will probably be a pattern that you purchased while logged out of Ravelry.

The Purchase Finder lives in the purchases section of your notebook, and can always be accessed from http://www.ravelry.com/purchasefinder, whether or not you're logged in.

To get to the purchase finder, go to My Notebook > Purchases and click the second tab!

To use the Purchase Finder, you simply enter an email address. The email address should be one you used to make a purchase on Ravelry. We then send an email to that address to...

1. Verify that you own that email address. By sending you an email, we know that address and the purchases attached to it are owned by you. This keeps people from entering any old email address and then claiming someone else's purchases as their own!

2. Let you know if any purchases have been made with that PayPal account, but aren't currently linked to a Ravelry account

3. Give you a link to see the purchases and link them to your Ravelry account, if you want

It probably sounds a little complicated, but if I've done my job right, you should find the Purchase Finder super easy to use. Here's a little bit of info about how and why we created it...

‍🕵🏼‍♀️Step 1: Identifying the Problem & Doing Research

Any good product designer (that's me!) starts a design project by identifying a problem that people are having. In this case, the problem came to us: Sarah was getting inquiries from lots of people who said they couldn't find patterns they'd bought. In order for these wayward purchases to be added into someone's account, Sarah had to do it for them. Casey had the smart idea to create something that would allow Ravelers to find and link up all their purchases themselves.

Once I know what the problem is, I try to learn as much about it as possible, which is sometimes termed "UX (User Experience) Research." UX research can take lots of different forms, depending on the problem: talking to people, sending out a survey, looking at analytics, tracking how a page or feature is currently being used, etc. (If you're interested in this stuff and want to get nerdy about it, this article is my UX research touchstone.) It's all about getting a lay of the land so that I can make informed design decisions that will definitely benefit the Ravelers.

In this case, we already had a lot of research on hand: Sarah shared insights with me about the most common issues people had with finding their purchases, and Casey shared data about things like how many purchases are made while someone is logged out, how many of those people have Ravelry accounts, how many people have more than one account, etc. I also asked Casey, Sarah, Mary Heather, and Jess about 9283745103471534 questions, which they answered patiently and thoroughly.

✏️Step 2: Lots of Sketching & Prototyping

Once I had the lay of the land, I realized that there were so many scenarios we had to account for. What if the person was logged out when they used the Purchase Finder, but they have an account? What if two people shared a PayPal account? If the PayPal email address matched a Ravelry account, could we help that person if they might have forgotten their username? Who am I again?

When there's a lot to consider, I like putting pen to paper to so that I can make sure I'm taking every scenario into account. Once that's done, I can start organizing how the scenarios relate to each other, and hopefully make them as streamlined and simple as possible. These types of sketches are sometimes called user flows, and are the step that comes before drawing anything that looks like an actual page or screen. They often look like treasure maps or instructions on how to put a curse on someone. Here are a few:

Various sketches I did before starting on the actual designs for the Purchase Finder

Once the user flows feel organized, I sometimes will also draw a few screens. I did a couple here to make sure that the UX copy (the actual words on each page, which are a very important part of the design!) made sense.

Figuring out the simplest words to explain what would happen on each screen.

Then, it's time to put these ideas inside the computer. I use a design software called Sketch to lay everything out. These designs (plus many conversations) are what Casey uses to build them into Ravelry.

Each of the little rectangles you see is a screen

🗯 Step 3: Testing & Feedback & (Gasp!) Spreadsheets

As much as I would love to think of everything before a design goes live on the site, it's impossible! That's why testing things before they go live on the site, or getting feedback afterward, is so important. We did the latter, and two things became apparent pretty quickly:

  • It was understandably confusing to some people that the purchases we were finding were the ones unlinked to any account.
  • There were a few rare scenarios that I hadn't done enough to account for—for example, someone might have two Ravelry accounts, and the email address for one might match the email address they entered on Purchase Finder, but what if they wanted to link the purchase to the other account? (Is your head spinning yet!? Now you know what I think about when I can't sleep at night!)

Sometimes I might go back to the drawing board, but this was a rare scenario where these two issues could be fixed in the copy on the pages and in the emails. Because there were so many different scenarios, Casey and I made a spreadsheet with text for each one:

Product designers create spreadsheets sometimes too!

It was also at this point that we started calling them "Linked" and "Unlinked" purchases (we'd previously been calling them claimed, saved, stored, matched, wayward, unclaimed, and some other inconsistent terms that were probably confusing!). I updated some of the Sketch files to have our new copy, and then Casey magically updated it all on the site.

And so that's where we're at! If you feel like there are purchases missing from your Library or Purchase History, give the Purchase Finder a spin. And if you have any feedback to share—whether about the Purchase Finder, or just this article!—you can always PM me at @livia or post in FLOTR :)

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Raveler TimMc

The Ravelry community is a special place, made up of creative yarn lovers who share their talents in many ways. Today's Human of Ravelry, TimMc, is a wonderful example of a person who uses his skills and passion for yarn crafts to help others, here on Ravelry and in his local community.

Several Ravelers nominated TimMc as a Human of Ravelry feature, and we noticed that all of them made it clear that he makes their Ravelry experience better.

MaxeysMum wrote:

Tim knits almost exclusively for charity or for friends and family gifts. His project notes are unbelievably detailed and he seems to be an all around nice person.

She is right about the project notes - Tim's notes on his projects the kind of notes that any of us would be thrilled to find when we were looking up projects related to a pattern we wanted to make:are often part interesting background story, part reference, and usually beautifully detailed records of his process. His projects also often have large numbers of related favorites too, showing his propensity toward spreading yarny love here on Ravelry.

Acernegundo shared:

He’s a lovely guy, fine crafter and a really generous person in so many ways. He knits great footwear and housewares, and his crochet doilies are like beautiful mandalas. He does a huge amount with his local community center and their craft group, his ‘about me’ on Ravelry reads like a wonderful story, and even though he has literally hundreds of Ravelry friends, and even though I’m not the most conscientious person about keeping up my project notes, when I do put something new up, there’s frequently almost straight away a little red heart and/or a nice comment from him.
A few of the many projects TimMc has made for James Bay New Horizons: Afghan for JBNH 2017.05, Tea Towels for JBNH 2017.10.2, and Slippers for JBNH 2019.02.2

TimMc's Ravelry notebook shows that he has a talent for both crochet and knitting, and especially enjoys making socks and footwear, tea towels, doilies, table runners, and more. Many of his projects are made for "JBNH," or James Bay New Horizons, his local community center. I asked Tim what motivated him to do so much crafting for them, and he replied:

New Horizons is a community center located in the heart of James Bay, a neighborhood of Victoria BC (the other Victoria). It’s a not-for-profit organization offering programs and services to its members and the community. We get funding from all levels of government. We also rely on membership fees, room rentals and other fund raising activities like handicraft sales.
My handicraft group has about 25 volunteers. We gather once a week while making things for the center. Last year we raised $6200 through our sales.
I know the importance of having a good circle of friends and acquaintances, especially for people living on their own. As we get older, some people find it easier to just stay in their homes all the time. That can lead to loneliness and depression.
With its variety of programs and social opportunities, New Horizons can draw people out and bring them together. It provides an opportunity for people to meet for a variety of activities. Some folks have little to no other social contact, so New Horizons plays a significant role in their lives.
I recognize the value of having New Horizons here in my neighborhood. I also realize the value of my needlework and other skills. Through those skills I’m able to contribute to New Horizons. Supporting their objectives is my motivation to give in this way.

It is a pleasure to be able to share a bit more about TimMc through our Humans of Ravelry questions!

Socks for Peter 2019.04, Socks for JBNH 2018.01, and Socks for DeannaWhat is your fiber origin story: how, when, and why did you learn to knit, crochet, spin, weave, or make things with yarn in general?

When I was about 12 years old, I told my mom I wanted to learn to knit. I can only imagine it was because I saw my grandmother knitting. Grandma lived too far away, so my mom taught me instead, even though she never knitted herself. Mom then found a simple pattern for me to follow. I started knitting by making a couple of hand puppets, which used a few different stitches, not just knit stitches.

Later one summer, while on vacation from school, I stayed with my grandparents for a week. During that time, Grandma taught me how to cross stitch. She had an old burlap potato sack which she cut up, hemmed and washed. That was my first aida cloth. Then she showed me how to make the stitches. So there we were in the living room, I was cross stitching and she crocheting.

Decades later and a couple of years into retirement, I found myself itching to do something else after knitting a sweater for a friend’s dog. I couldn’t sit idle any longer. That’s when I decided to learn how to crochet. I missed the opportunity while Grandma was with us.

With all the resources on the Internet, I had no trouble finding tutorials on left-handed crocheting. I even learned how to hold the yarn properly, something I never picked up with knitting. The first thing I crocheted was a dog blanket.

TimMc's My First Motif Doily, Winter's First Snow 2016.03, and Pink Pineapple Doily

Grandma used to crochet doilies, so I wanted to learn to make them next. It was easier than I thought, even with the fine thread. I wish Grandma could have seen them. I made quite a few doilies, including some special ones which were used as prizes in my community center’s annual Christmas raffles.

One of the women in my handicraft group makes wonderful socks. Her work inspired me to knit a pair. My first socks turned out pretty good. It was fun making them. I’m now on my 23rd pair.

(ed. note: since answering these questions for us a few weeks ago, Tim has knit more socks and has just started his 25th pair!)

These images of flowers are two beautiful examples of TimMc's nature photography.What non-yarn hobby or hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy doing the daily crossword puzzle and Sudoku. I also enjoy nature walks and photography. Fortunately the two often go together. I follow many of the British detective, mystery and drama series. When not watching TV, I do a lot of my needlework listening to classical and new age music.

Christmas Doily for JBNH 2018.08, Christmas Tea Cozy for JBNH 2018.11, Christmas Doily for JBNH 2016.08What's one way that crafting has changed your life for the better?

Community. Needlecrafting led me to and made me a part of the community of crafters. For many years, I knitted at home on my own. When I joined my community center’s handicraft group, I felt an immediate sense of belonging within a circle of kindred spirits. All of a sudden I had new friends and relationships, both within the group and outside. Bringing along a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies probably had something to do with it.

Shortly after that I joined Ravelry. Once again I found myself in the midst of a crafting community, only this time it was worldwide. I still felt just as welcomed. It’s amazing to think how many people have been brought together here, from all over the world.

I love how many of us share our experiences and insights, and give encouragement and consolation to each other. That has only further enriched my life, both on the needles and off.

Socks for Emily, Socks for Karen, Socks for Tim 2019.01Are you a product or a process crafter?

I’m always looking for new ideas and things to make, especially for my handicraft group’s sales. Once I get the idea to make something, I’m already digging for patterns.

However, there are some processes that fascinate me. I love the beauty of a sock gusset with its horizontal stitches emerging from the heel flap’s vertical stitches and then its tapering and merging with the instep. I also love the magic of a heel turn and the beautiful simplicity of (k2tog, yo).

Fingerless Gloves for JBNH 2019.02.1, Tea Towels for JBNH 2017.11.1, Socks for JohnIf you were a yarn or fiber, what would you be?

If I were a yarn, I would be a handspun tweed, harvested from sheep farmed on Salt Spring Island or on a Swiss alpine meadow, hand dyed in a pumpkin orange.

The handspun tweed shows my down-to-earth nature with my quirks peeking through. The farms display my love of nature’s beauty, far removed from the trappings of the city, but still accessible. The dye reveals my warm, loving heart.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your wonderful answers, and being willing to be featured as a Human of Ravelry, Tim! We are so glad you are a part of our Ravelry community. If you would like to keep track of Tim's work, just add him to your Ravelry friends and look for updates to his projects on our main friends tab.

We’ll be back in a few weeks with another Human of Ravelry. We love learning more about Ravelers and the wonderful things you are doing in our community, so if you have a Ravelry friend who you want to recommend we feature as a Human of Ravelry, please let us know!

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OhSusquehanna's beautiful & breezy Ursa

It's gotten quite warm here in Texas, so when looking for Eye Candy this week, I was drawn to things that felt light and airy.

While you wouldn't necessarily think of an aran weight top as being light and airy, CoyCrochet's My Favorite Tee certainly is! I love how the flowers coordinate so well with the purple top. Maybull's Step it up Shawl 2 is also a lovely use of purple and seems like a great light weight accessory for any time of year.

Lightweight shawls are really what I think of when I think of "light and airy". Woll-moe-re's Fugra Shawl 2 is a lovely combination of solid fabric and lace. Nijntjefliegt's Minarets and lace is so delicate and features beads if you zoom in closely.

These garments are so open and airy. The flower pattern and the lovely edging on CLEOCMC's Water Clover really caught my eye. Finally, I love the color selection for LaceyField's Sunset Colors Pocket Full of Posies Vest.

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I am so excited to be attending Woollinn in Dublin this year and spending time with other attendees in the Ravelry Lounge.  I am even more thrilled to collaborate with Marce from HeyBrownBerry to bring Humans of Ravelry to the festival! - Jess

Statement from Woollinn:

We are delighted to welcome Marceline of the HeyBrownBerry Podcast to Woollinn this year. In association with Woollinn, Ravelry and Cross & Woods, Marceline will be a virtual Event Guide to this year's festival, interviewing visitors, vendors and special guests who convene in the community hub of the Ravelry Lounge. The HeyBrownBerry Podcast will explore themes of community and connection - both in real life and the digital sphere - and in particular how Ravelry has become a portal to a global community for so many of us.

"This project is really about Community in all its forms and meanings for me. The current discussions happening on IG and elsewhere are connecting us in ways that are new and challenging - but exciting. I want to tap in to that and explore not only where we are now, but where we go from here..." -Marceline

The short series of videos hosted on the HeyBrownBerry YouTube Channel will feature interviews with the many "Humans of Ravelry": from designers to yarn shop owners, from pro-users to new members. Marceline will also sit down with Adaku Ezeudo, our special guest speaker on Diversity and Inclusion, to delve deeper in to the important conversations that have begun to take place in the fibre craft industry this year.
Please join us in welcoming Marceline to Woollinn - this is a project we wholeheartedly support - and we're very grateful to the project co-sponsors Ravelry.com and Cross & Woods for making it possible.

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Did you know that you can add photos from your smartphone straight into your projects and stash? No need to email or Airdrop them to yourself—you can pull them right into Ravelry from your camera roll.

If you want to quickly add one photo...

1. In your mobile browser (the Safari or Chrome app), go to www.ravelry.com, log in to your account, tap the yarn icon in the upper left to open the mobile menu, and tap Upload a Photo:

2. You'll be taken to this page. Tap Choose File, then either take a photo or pick one from your camera roll.

3. You'll then be asked whether you want to create a new project or stash a new yarn with this photo, or add it to an existing project or yarn. Your most recent existing projects and yarns will show, but you can also search for others that aren't showing there.

Regardless of which option you choose, you'll have options for editing your photo along the way, which you can see more about below. Easy! ⚡️

If you want to add multiple photos

Today we'll focus on how to add multiple photos of yarn to your stash, but the process is the same for projects.

1. In the mobile Ravelry menu, tap Stash:

2. I usually create a new project or stash entry on my laptop, then go to the entry on my phone to add photos—but you can also create a fresh project or stash entry on the Ravelry mobile site, in which case you'll be prompted to add a photo along the way.

Left: The "Add Photos" button on an existing stash yarn. This button is in the exact same spot on a project page. Right: The "Add Photo" button when you're in the process of adding a new stash yarn on your phone.

3. If you click on either of the Add Photos buttons in the above screenshots, you'll be taken to the below photo upload screen. Across the top you can see options for several photos sources, as well as a few additional ones under the  (...)  menu. These are all awesome ways you can pull in images from elsewhere (I'm a big fan of the Instagram one—instructions on how to hook that up are here), but today we'll focus on uploading straight from your phone.

4. Tap Choose File, then either take a photo or pick one from your camera roll.

One important thing to note here is that you can upload several photos at a time! You don't have to do them one by one. Just tap all of the photos in your camera roll that you want to add.

5. Once you've chosen your photo(s), you'll see them here, ready to go. They're not uploaded yet though, so tap Upload Now:

6. Then you'll see your photos upload onto the page ✨Before you click Done, you can reorder, crop, delete, rotate, or caption your photos:

In many places on Ravelry your photos will appear in a square frame. You can adjust how your photo will be cropped

7. When your photos are all good to go, tap Done and you'll see them load into the page. And voila, there they are  🎉 If you want to go back and change anything or add more, just click on Update Photos again.

Tada!
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