Okay, so you’ve stocked up on yarn – what next? Finding a pattern! We have loads of printed and digital patterns available on our website (and in store) but if you want to try looking for patterns online we would recommend Ravelry.
If you come into the shop we can help you find what you want on Ravelry, we can even print it off for you.
If you’ve never used Ravelry before you can create an account here. It’s free!
Ravelry has a huge database with patterns by almost every designer. If you know the name of the pattern you’re looking for it can be easy, if you don’t know what you want it can be a little overwhelming. We’ve got some tips to help you quickly find a pattern that fits your criteria and your taste.
Sorting by Hot Right Now means you’re seeing the most popular patterns, they’re ‘trending’. These patterns are likely to be new, well written and stylish. I honestly look through this search every week just to see what’s happening in the knitting community and to save patterns for later (I sometimes get ideas for the newsletter here).
Tip #2 – Use Lots of Filters
Unless you know the name of the pattern you’re looking for we would generally skip using the search box in Ravelry, and instead use filters. Using filters is the key to finding what you’re looking for. They can be found down the left hand side of the search page and the more you use them the better.
Filters to Use Every Time…
There are some things we immediately rule out of our searches (I’m never going to choose a pattern that doesn’t have a photo) so we always use the Craft, Availability and Has Photo filters. As a knitter I want all my patterns to be knitting patterns and available to purchase online.
Filters to Use If You Already Have the Yarn…
If you’re planning a project around yarn in your stash then use the Weight filter. If you’re not sure what weight your yarn is then Ravelry has a yarn conversion chart to help you figure it out. If you want to get even more specific in your search you could also use the Yardage or Fiber filters.
Sometimes the yarn in your stash might be a popular yarn from a big brand. If this is the case I’d try using the Suggested Yarn Name filter. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find it. This filter will give you knitting patterns designed especially for the yarn you have so you know it’ll work perfectly.
Filters to Use If You Know Who You’re Knitting For…
Not all patterns are designed for every size. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, like for a scarf, but for a garment you can make sure the size you want is available by using the Age or Size filter.
Do you want to knit flat or in the round?
Filters to Use If You Know What Style You Want…
You can filter by Design Elements to get the style you want. This can be great if you have something specific in mind or if you’re trying to recreate something you’ve seen.
Let’s Give This a Go…
We’ll walk you through an example so you can see the power of filters in action. Let’s say I went to Woolfest and bought 5 skeins of Malabrigo Mecha (I wish I’d actually done that but I was working in the shop). I’d apply the Craft, Availability and Has Photo filters first, now my results will all be knitting patterns I can buy online.
I don’t want to limit my search too much so instead of filtering by Suggested Yarn Name I’ll filter by Weight, Yardage and Fiber. Now my results show everything I can knit using only the yarn I have. If I want to have a wider search I could remove the Fiber filter.
I’ll add another filter for Size because I want to knit something for myself but I don’t mind how I knit it or what style it is. Now I’ll find a pattern I like from my results! That’s it!
Tip #3 – Curate Your Favorites
I’m always browsing Ravelry and finding patterns I want to knit – but not yet. Make sure to save your favorite patterns so they’re easy to find later on. (This is the pattern I would want to knit using the Malabrigo Mecha).
If (like me) you’ve got quite a few things saved in your Favorites you can organise them into bundles (you might want to put everything you’ve saved for your niece into a bundle or all the sock patterns into a bundle). You can also select Advanced Search and apply filters to your short list.
Share Your Projects and Check Out Other People’s Projects
When I’m deciding on what yarn and colours to use for a particular project I like to check out what other people have made. This also gives me an idea of what the pattern looks like on body types similar to mine as well as letting me read through any feedback on the pattern.
It’s a good idea to post about your own projects on Ravelry too! Not only does it give other people information about the pattern or yarn they might want to try but it’s a useful record for yourself to look back on. If you used a different needle to get the right gauge or want to know how many skeins you used this is the perfect place to keep that record.
Be Part of The Community!
Join us in the Loopine Ravelry Group! It’s a great place to share what you’ve been making with our community of knitters. We’d love to see what you’re up to and it’s an especially great way to connect with us if you live outside of Auckland and you can’t usually come into the store.
There are Forums on specific topics and KALs you can join on Ravelry. For serious knitters there are some amazing resources for designers.
Hopefully that’s not too much information for you in one go! Hopefully this helps but the best way to get your head around Ravelry is to check it out for yourself.
Happy knitting xx