Posts Tagged ‘Ravelry’

31 Days to Get Organized: Digital Patterns

Saturday, January 19th, 2013
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In the last few years there has been an enormous increase in the number of patterns, magazines and books available in digital format. There are a lot of advantages of digital patterns over paper patterns.

  • They take up less physical storage space.
  • Some digital versions are cheaper than the paper version.
  • Some patterns are only available digitally.
  • You can download them instantly. No waiting.
  • If a pattern has errata (errors or updates), it’s much easier for the designer to update the pattern.
  • If you own an iPad, eReader, or tablet, you can carry your digital library wherever you go.
  • If you prefer to work from a hard copy, you can print out a copy of a digital pattern as many times as you need to, taking notes on the copy as you work through the pattern.
  • You may find that a digital pattern will have additional content such as extra notes from the designer and quick links to relevant websites, tutorials, and instruction videos.

With the increase in availability of digital knitting and crochet patterns (WEBS carries over 16,000 downloadable knitting and crochet patterns and eBooks!) and the ease of purchasing and downloading them, you may have discovered you suddenly have a lot of files floating around your computer.

First thing I would suggest if you haven’t done so already, is to have all of your files live in one place on your hard drive. You might have some in folders, but there might be others sitting on your desktop or downloads folder. Once you’ve moved them into one parent folder such as Knitting, Crochet, or Crafts, start creating subfolders if you have more than a few pattern files. Create similar sub-categories that you use for organizing your single patterns. I mostly like to organize my digital patterns by designer, but it might make more sense for you to sort by type of project. It depends on what’s in your digital pattern library.

In addition to patterns, I store other files related to knitting and crochet here such as tips, files I need for my blog, and customized graph paper.

If you have an iPad, eReader, or tablet, there are apps available (Adobe PDF Reader, Goodreader, iBook) that let you view your pattern PDFs on your device. There are even some apps (Remarks) that allow you to annotate PDFs, perfect for making notes or tick marks as you work through a pattern.

If you don’t want to store your PDF files on your device and want access to all of your pattern files on any of your devices, consider using a cloud-based solution such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Many of you also purchase digital patterns and eBooks through Ravelry. This is a good option since you don’t need to download purchased patterns until you’re ready to use them. Ravelry does a nice job of incorporating these patterns into your Ravalery pattern library.

Share some of your favorite tips and solutions for managing your digital knitting and crochet patterns. 

- Dena

31 Days to Get Organized: Tracking Your Yarn Stash

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
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Sorry to have missed posting an organizing task yesterday. Between digging myself out of what looked like a yarn stash explosion (I was right, it does look worse before it gets better) and dealing with a persnickety computer glitch, the hours slipped away from me.

Now that we’re done weeding out the yarn we no longer want, today’s task is to update our yarn database and notes about our stash. But maybe you don’t have anything set up to keep track of your yarn. Here are a few things to help you decide if tracking your yarn stash is something you want to do.

WHY TRACK YOUR STASH? – A lot of us have some sort of record of what is in our stash, but if you don’t, why is it useful to keep track of your stash?

  • After your stash has grown beyond a certain amount, you might not be able to remember what you have. Write it down and you don’t have try to keep it in your brain anymore. There’s no way I can remember every color of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool that I have. It’s so much easier to look a my list than it is pulling it off the shelf and checking all the labels.
  • Especially if you keep an electronic database of your stash, it’s easier to sort and search through your yarns to find out what you have. See below how I can easily sort by color on Ravelry.
  • Check your list while you’re shopping and you’re more likely to buy what you need and not find out later that you already have something similar.

HOW DO YOU TRACK YOUR STASH? – It really comes down to two basic ways, handwritten notes or an electronic list.
  • If you’re an old school kind of crafter, you may like to just keep a handwritten list of your yarns in a notebook, journal, or on index cards. If your stash isn’t crazy big, this is a nice solution since it’s easy and portable.
  • Ravelry has been around for awhile now. And it’s hard for a lot of us to remember what it was like without it. If you’re not familiar with it, think of it as a social media platform for knitters and crocheters, but with so much more. Keeping track of our stashes is just one reason why we love Ravelry. 99% of the time I try to add a yarn to my Ravelry stash, it already exists on Ravelry; it’s so comprehensive. If you want to know more about the benefits of using Ravelry to track your stash, I recommend reading Fresh Stitches blog post on the subject.
  • Another online way to track your stash is Nimblestix. You can track your stash, show off your latest project, and interact with others like you.
  • Excel and other spreadsheet programs provide an organized way of listing your yarn and if you set them up well, they can also be great at sorting your stash by weight, color, location…whatever you need.
  • Got a smart phone, well there are a lot of knitting/crochet apps if you haven’t checked lately. Knit Keeper, Ewe Stash, Vogue Knitting Knit Buddy, and Stitch Stash are just a few.
WHAT YARN INFORMATION DO YOU TRACK? – You can get as detailed as you want here. But for simplicity’s sake, just track the information that is useful for you later. If you use an electronic program, don’t feel compelled to fill in all of the information just because there’s a field to fill in. Here are some attributes of a yarn you might want to track.
  • Brand and name of yarn
  • Photograph of yarn, especially nice if you can get an accurate color representation
  • Color name and number, and dye lot if you have it
  • Amount of yarn you have including the weight and yardage
  • Details like yarn weight, yds/ball, type of fiber
  • Recommended hook and needle size
  • Care instructions
  • Notes of where you store the yarn so you can find it when you need it
  • Purchase date, location and amount spent

If you do use electronic tracking of your stash, I would recommend occasionally backing up this information somewhere. Last year I lost 3 years of my exercise log because of a couple of poorly-timed electrical storms. It was really time consuming to recreate. If you use Ravelry, it takes just a moment to download an Excel spreadsheet of your stash. Click on the little green Excel icon in the top right of your stash page. Bam, you’ve got a backup copy now.

Do you keep track of your stash? What keeps you from not tracking your stash or from keeping your tracking up to date?

Ready, Set, Knit! 294: Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski

Saturday, December 29th, 2012
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Guest:
It’s time for Kathy and Carol’s Annual Year in Review! Kathy is excited about the resurgence of crochet with the special Vogue Knitting Crochet issue earlier this year and the new Crochet Noro book; just two great examples of crochet coming into it’s own.

They also discuss a few yarn companies that closed their doors this year, the fashion yarn trend still going strong, trade shows and fairs, great books, the shift to digital patterns, social media marketing and more.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Reminder:

WEBS Annual Year End Blowout Sale is happening In-Store through December 31st and online through January 1st.

WEBS will be closing early, at 4:00PM, on 12/31 and will be closed 1/1 for the New Years holiday.

Upcoming Events:

Drop in starts up again on Tuesday, January 8th at 10:00am.

Classic Elite Yarns Shawls, Wraps and Scarves book launch on January 24th, register now.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

Valley Yarns on Ravelry – Colrain

Friday, August 24th, 2012
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It’s time for another Valley Yarns on Ravelry blog post. This time I’m focusing on some great sweaters knit in Valley Yarns Colrain, a luminous 50/50 merino Tencel blend yarn which has some gorgeous saturated colors including my new favorite, Ocean Blue.

Valley Yarns Colrain has been around awhile and has stood the test of time. Customers love the shimmery and soft sheen that the Tencel contributes. It’s a dream to knit with and has a lovely drape. A recent customer review says it all.

“I knitted a shawlette in perwinkle colrain. Love this yarn! Almost no splitting, very soft, beautiful color and drape. I find no negatives with it at all. It’s so soft and very nice to knit with, I have ordered more! And ya can’t beat the price!” Adamina from Centennial, CO

Check out these sweaters knit in Colrain from some talented folks on Ravelry.

Swing Swing designed by Janine Le Cras; Available for free at knotions.

Sorelle Lace-Edged Pullover designed by Angela Hahn, knit by BarbieKnits; Pattern available for purchase on Knititude.

Heron Cardigan designed by Dorothy Jane, knit by bhargavip08; Available to purchase on Ravelry.

Ingenue designed by Wendy Bernard, knit by sarah1; Available from the book Custom Knits.

Opulent Raglan designed by Wendy Bernard, knit by kellygirl; Available from the book The Best of Knitscene.

Middlefield Pullover designed by Melissa LaBarre, knit by jerdlngr; Available from the book New England Knits.

So, what have you knit with Colrain? Or have you not had a chance to try it yet?

Valley Yarns on Ravelry #16 – Valley Superwash

Friday, March 16th, 2012
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It’s been a long time since Valley Yarns Valley Superwash was Steve’s Deal of the Day. Through Sunday, March 18, Valley Superwash is on sale for $3.99/ball, regularly $5.49. (Use Promo Code FBSUPERWA2.)

Soft and machine washable, this is just the right yarn for baby and toddler garments. I’ve scoped out Ravelry to highlight a few cute projects knit with this yarn.


Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February) by Elizabeth Zimmermann knit by misformonkey
(pattern available in Knitter’s Almanac)


Trellis by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff knit by MediaPeruana
(pattern available for free on Knitty.com)


in threes: a baby cardigan by Kelly Herdrich knit by lunatepetal
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Criss Cross Booties by Angela Juergens knit by Cindi
(pattern available in 60 Quick Baby Knits)


Seed Stitch Baby Jacket by Elinor Brown knit by sabele
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)


#27 Vintage Baby Dress by Kristen Rengren knit by xoxoBlythe
(pattern available from Vogue Knitting Magazine, Holiday 2009 issue)


Cascade by Raya Budrevich knit by brendajosephson
(pattern available for free on Petite Purls)

What are some of your favorite things to make with Valley Superwash?

Valley Yarns on Ravelry #15 – Northampton Bulky

Friday, March 2nd, 2012
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This issue of Valley Yarns on Ravelry features Northampton Bulky. People love this yarn for finishing projects quickly and for its great stitch definition and softness. Now is also a great time to stock up on this yarn since it is this weekend’s Deal of the Day yarn. Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky is normally $5.99/skein, but will be on sale through 3/4/12 for $4.19/skein. Use Promo Code FBNOHOBUL3 in your shopping cart to get the deal price.

And now for a little inspiration, check out these great Northampton Bulky projects posted on Ravelry recently.

 Nor’easter Mittens & Hat by Katy Wight
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)

Denise or Denephew? cardigan by Ned Renfield
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)

owls pullover by Kate Davies knit by halfbrits
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)

First Encounter hat by Elisabeth F. Parker
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)

Issara cardigan by Anne Kuo Lukito knit by Msknittingsue
(pattern available for purchase on Crafty Diversions)

Duffers, 19 Row Felted Slippers by Mindie Tallack knit by moxymomma
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)

What do you like to make with Northampton Bulky?

Valley Yarns on Ravelry #14 – Northfield

Friday, February 17th, 2012
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Valley Yarns Northfield is a customer and staff favorite. Soft enough to wear against the skin, great stitch definition for cable work, and 22 lovely colors to choose from. These nine Northfield projects on Ravelry are excellent examples of why we love Northfield so much.


Erin’s Mittens
and Hat
 by Debbi Stone
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Babette Blanket
 by Kathy Merrick, crocheted by Carajv’s
(pattern available for purchase from Interweave)


Henna Cardigan
by Veridian Design Team, knit by ksporter
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Trailing Vine
designed and knit by ksporter
(pattern not available, but it’s so stunning I just had to include it)


Ripple
by Kim Hargreaves , knit by helmade
(pattern available in the Nectar pattern book)


Norie
by Gudrun Johnston , knit by jerdingr
(pattern available for at yarn.com)


Orkney Pi
by Elizabeth Lovick , knit by motherbee
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Chickadee
by Ysolda Teague , knit by ravelry name
(pattern available from the book Little Red in the City)

Valley Yarns on Ravelry #11 – Charlemont for Sweater Knitting

Friday, February 3rd, 2012
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We’ll be shooting a new video for Valley Yarns Charlemont soon so I’ve checked out Ravelry for projects using one of our favorite yarns. I was having such a hard time picking just a few patterns to highlight. I found myself adding so many to my queue. So I’ll be spreading out this post over this weekend.

Today I’m sharing six great sweater patterns to knit, each with unique details.

Grellow Cardigan by Amy Gunderson
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Leadlight
by Jessamyn Leib
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Dulce de Leche
by Marnie MacLean, knit by BeckyinVT
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Ecuador
by Joji Locatelli, knit by KarynKoke
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Moineau
by Marjolein Thunnissen, knit by monatraix
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Chambourcin
by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, knit by ohsewcrafty
(pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)

Tomorrow I’ll have some great shawl and scarf patterns in Valley Yarns Charlemont to share.

Happy Knitting!

- Dena

Valley Yarns on Ravelry #10 – Northampton Love

Friday, January 20th, 2012
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It’s been awhile since my last Valley Yarns on Ravelry post. What can I say? The holidays have a way of making my schedule extra busy. One thing is for sure, you were all quite busy too, finishing up projects over the past couple of months. It looks like  Valley Yarns Northampton was a popular choice for many of your projects. Here’s a few that stood out for me that I’d like to share with you.


Winter Berries
by Marjorie D. (pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston, knit by pinsandstring (pattern available for purchase on Ravelry)


Carnaby skirt by Nikol Lohr, knit by HCQ (pattern available for free on Knitty.com)


Urban Necessity Gloves by Colleen Michele Meagher, knit by radioknitter (pattern available for free on Ravelry)


Creature Comforts Cardi by Madelinetosh, knit by yondercrawdad (PDF pattern available for purchase at yarn.com)


Harrison
by Larisa Medina Brener, knit by ABell (pattern available for free at Knitty.com)


Aspinwall Pullover by Susan Dittrich, knit by disyarnmama (pattern available from Interweave Knits magazine, Winter 2009 or from Interweavestore.com as a PDF download)

Have you used Valley Yarns Northampton yet? Share your favorite patterns you’ve used in the comments.

Happy Knitting
-Dena

The Buzz at WEBS – December 9, 2011

Friday, December 9th, 2011
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This week the WEBS staff is buzzing about quick holiday knitted gifts, limited edition yarn and more.

1. With just a couple of weeks left for holiday knitting I was looking for a quick project. I had some Cascade Yarns Eco Cloud in my stash and I thought it would work up into a nice cowl. After a Ravelry search I found the Infinitude Scarf to be just the right project. Wow! I was amazed how quickly I finished this project, just two nights. I made the large size (skipping the last repeat) and used 2 skeins. I fell in love with Eco Cloud, so soft and squishy. I can’t wait to use this yarn again. I have a new favorite yarn. > Dena C.

2. Blocking Boards – Most knitters are givers, and don’t usually spend a lot of money on themselves. We use mattresses, carpets, and anything else soft and flat to block our projects on to stand in for a blocking board. But a blocking board is so much easier to use. It folds up neatly to be tucked away when not in use, and it has a grid on it so you can easily block to the right measurements. This would definitely be a treat for the knitter or crocheter in your life! > Grace H.

3. The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center 2012 Calendar – I love the new weaving calendar produced by the Harftford Artisans Weaving Center. Each month features a beautiful close-up photo of weaving which I find wonderfully inspiring. But wait, there’s more! The calendar also lists the dates of the various fiber festivals on the East coast making it easy to plan for fiber adventures! > Leslie Ann B.

4. I am making these Monstah Pants for my 8 month old Grandson, Jack.  What a wonderful, fun pattern to knit.  This pattern is by the Wandering Lady and is a free download on Ravelry.  One of the best things for me was picking wild and crazy colors for these pants.  The pants are knit in Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash and Valley Yarns Valley Superwash for ease of care. > Theresa B.

5. My niece turned 10 yesterday and no matter what I did, I could not come up with the perfect present! An eleveth-hour search on Ravelry brought me to the Shroom Hat from the Winter 2009 issue of Knitty. It’s a great slouchy hat knit in Spud & Chloë Outer. The yarn is super soft and warm and (the best part!) the hat took only two hours to knit! I even tried it on myself and it was super comfortable. I think I might need to whip one up for myself. It calls for two hanks of Outer, and I think I may be able to squeak out another hat with my leftovers if I buy one more hank. If you’re looking for a great, really last minute gift, this is a great choice. > Mary K.-H.

6. CISA Yarn – We have partnered with a local shepherd and our own Kangaroo Dyer to create a very special, but limited edition yarn.  It is 85% wool and 15% nylon.  All sales of this yarn will benefit CISA, which is a non-profit group dedicated to sustaining agriculture right here in Western MA. > Kathy E.

7. O-Wool Legacy DK - I recently used O-Wool Classic for some non-WEBS-related knitting, and fell in love with it. Then, I came in to the store to work a couple of days ago and saw that we had a closeout of O-Wool Legacy DK in some gorgeous muted colors! The hand is similar to the Classic, but it is just a bit lighter weight – for those of you out there planning your early spring knitting, this would make a great light sweater knit at a slightly loose gauge. I know that’s what I’m going to do with it, and I can’t wait until I’m able to pick some up! > Elisabeth P.