As promised, we carried on from the December introduction to Ravelry with a more in-depth view on some features of everyone's favourite yarn and pattern database. Catherine started us off with some demonstrations of more advanced search features on the Patterns tab.
Do you find yourself searching by the same criteria again and again in your pattern searches? For example, you're always scrolling down the page to check off the 5-star rating criteria, so your search results will only include the highest reviewed patterns? Well, stop scrolling! You can click and drag the search attribute boxes in a new order. If the pattern rating, or fiber type, or yardage is always what you use first to narrow down your search, considering rearranging the attribute boxes to suit your needs.
How about when you're deep in a search for the perfect pattern and you can't remember all the stellar ideas you saw 5 minutes ago in your search? 'Remember and compare' will be your new best friend. When viewing the search results, click the small triangle at the bottom right corner of the project image (called 'Pattern Options' if you hover over it without clicking). Click Remember and Compare, and that pattern is automatically added to a handy new page where you can quickly see your top picks from your recent search for the perfect pattern. Don't forget to clear this when you're done or you'll end up with a new massive database of all your favourites to search through!
Have a yarn in your stash that you're dying to use? Have the pattern search help match it to the perfect pattern! Use the attributes for yarn to narrow down the search - yardage, fibre type, maybe by how many colours are used in the pattern - and voila!
Don't forget to view the projects made with a particular yarn if you're on the fence about what the best project for that yarn will be. See what others have done with that exact same yarn, or even that exact same colourway, to help make your decision. Maybe the lovely variegated yarn you have just isn't destined to be a sock, because, oh man, look at the colour pooling in the project that so-and-so made. Use the community of Ravelry to help you avoid mistakes, especially ones that will feel like a waste of a yarn you really love.
Speaking of projects, Catherine showed us some tips and tricks to help when adding new projects to your notebook. One of the quick little things that will help out the Ravelry community is to link the yarn you used and the shop where you purchased it. When you think back to the example above about seeing projects made with the same yarn, this wouldn't be possible if Ravelry users skipped this step on their project page.
One of the big requests Catherine received while preparing her talk was for a demo on adding photos to Ravelry. This process has changed a lot since Ravelry first started, where you needed a Flickr account to link to Ravelry to add pictures. I can tell you I only created a Flickr account to be able to add my pictures to Ravelry. It's great that this isn't so limited now - you can add photos from your phone, and adding images from your computer is easier than ever with a handy drag-and-drop feature. Simply locate your pictures on your computer (I keep folders on my computer for knitting projects completed by year), and then drag the image to the photo uploader space on your photos page on Ravelry.
Catherine finished out the talk with information about commenting and sharing with others on Ravelry. Inspired by the project from a fellow crocheter on Ravelry? Maybe their project notes or photos helped you decide what to do with that, ahem, colourful variegated yarn you bought on a whim. Tell them! Send that Ravelry user a message or a comment and be part of your fibre community! You can direct message them, using the built-in mail system in Ravelry, or publicly comment on the project so others can see your kudos.
I have a feeling we only scratched the surface of Ravelry features this month, so please keep your Ravelry questions coming. I bet we can put together another talk all about Ravelry again soon.