Does Ravelry Have Tips on How to Start Crocheting?
Founded in 2007 by Cassidy and Jessica Forbes, Ravelry is a social networking site for crafters who are into fiber arts. The idea came to them when Jessica, a knitter, was frustrated because she had a hard time keeping up with knitting patterns and blogs she enjoyed following online. Cassidy, who would eventually become her spouse, had a background in computer science. The two put their heads together and came up with Ravelry.
As of 2020, the site had more than 9 million users and three employees besides Jessica and Cassidy. In addition to offering a place where people can discuss activities like knitting, crocheting and weaving, the site claims to be inclusive and friendly to people of all backgrounds from all around the world. Learn more about Ravelry, including whether or not it has tips on how to start crocheting.
Signing Up for an Account
When you initially visit the site, you won't find much information at all — just a main page with some graphics and sign-in fields. This is all you'll be able to access and see on the site. To actually get to the patterns and other content, you'll need to sign up for an account first. You can do so by clicking "Join Now" and entering your email address. Once you do, the site emails you a link that allows you to complete the process of creating an account.
Click on the link in your email, and follow the onsite instructions to complete the sign-up process. Pick a username and a password that's at least seven characters long. Once you've completed this successfully, you'll be able to see the full Ravelry homepage.
What Can You Do Once You Have a Ravelry Account?
Once you have a Ravelry account, you have many options for using the site. These range from meeting other fiber arts fans to finding patterns. Each site member receives their own "notebook"; there, you can keep track of what you want to remember or refer back to from across the site. For example, in the "project" section of the notebook, you can organize any knitting and crocheting projects you find and want to revisit. You can then sort and view your projects based on "favorites," "year completed," "work in progress" and other tags.
If you're looking for specific patterns, click the "Pattern" tab at the top of the page, and search for the ones you want. You can also browse through offerings in more than 200 categories. Browsing by attribute is another option. You'll discover patterns available on the site and pictures and advice from people who have followed them. Ravelry also provides you with other sources for patterns, like books, magazines and websites. Some patterns are downloadable for a fee, and others are free.
If you prefer to search by the type of yarn you want to use, you can do that too. Click the "Yarn" tab at the top of the page and search by brand, fiber or the name of the yarn. You can also browse through categories. There's even a local yarn shop directory — put in your ZIP code — and a road trip planner that allows you to find all the yarn shops along the route of your next trip.
If you've joined Ravelry to connect with other fiber arts fans, you're in luck. You can get social by checking out one of the thousands of groups on the site. Not all are knitting or crocheting related. You'll find these groups under the "Community" tab, along with a people finder that allows you to look for specific users, forums where you can chat with other users, lists of local fiber arts-related events you can attend in person and much more.
Finding Crocheting Tips on Ravelry
If you want to learn to crochet, you won't find specific lessons on Ravelry. The site does not teach beginners how to take up a new craft. However, if you type "learn to crochet" in the search field at the top of the homepage, you'll see a list of patterns for beginners that can help you learn to crochet. Other users can comment and rate the difficulty of the pattern to prove how easy each pattern may be to complete.
Another option is to make a post on the forum (or search for previous discussions there) asking other users if they have any helpful tips you can use. If you run into issues on a project that you're working on as you're just starting out learning to crochet, you can describe your situation on the forum and see if other users share some problem-solving tips. The community is large and friendly, and it's easy to find what you're looking for once you start to engage with members.