The internet has been taking over knitting & crochet publishing, and Ravelry.com is ground zero. If you are looking for something to make Ravelry is the first place to look. It has an incredibly powerful search option for looking for patterns, and today we’re going to discuss how to EFFECTIVELY search Ravelry for knitting patterns. We’ll be doing a straightforward search, we can talk about fancier techniques at a later date. We’ll be using a computer, which is easier than a tablet or on your phone. We will be searching for a pullover sweater with a turtle-neck, raglan sleeves, and ribbing with worsted weight yarn.
Step 1. Go to Ravelry.com
At the top of the page is series of tabs – these are your main menu options and they are visible on every screen, no matter where you go on the website.
Step 2. Click on Patterns
Click on the “patterns” tab at the top of the page. This will take you to a simple Keyword Search.
Step 3. Click on Advanced Search
Unfortunately, Keyword Searches are imprecise and can bring up too many results – yuck! We’re going to go beyond this to an Advanced Search. Click on the link that says”Pattern Browser & Advanced Search“, located just below the “search patterns” box.
Step 4. Menus
In the “Advanced Search” you’ll have access to a series of search menus. The menus will help you refine your search and limit it to specific features. Your menus may not be organized in the same order as mine (I’ve moved mine around into a useful order) but all the same features will be there. If you want to reorganize yours just click on a menu tab with your mouse and drag it up or down.
To open a Menu click on the little box on the left of the tab. We’ll start with “Craft”, which refers to the type of craft you want to search.
A list of options will appear. Click on the left of the option you want to choose.
Option 1. Craft
We want to find a pattern for a knitted garment, so we clicked on “knitting”. You’ll notice a little tab appeared above the pictures of the patterns – it shows you the options you’ve chosen so far (or constraints you’ve applied to your search). For every option your choose a little box will appear letting you know what you chose.
Option 2. Category
“Category” refers to the type of project you want to make:
- Clothing: larger garments like a sweater, jacket, dress, skirt, etc.
- Accessories: smaller garments like hats, scarves, cowls, socks, mitts, shawls/wraps, etc.
- Home: stuff for the house, like blankets, pillows, curtains, tea cozies, etc.
- Toys & Hobbies: toys, costumes, amigurumi, things pertaining to your craft materials, etc.
- Pet: things for pets like sweaters, beds, toys.
- Components: charts, tutorials, crochet blocks, applique, stitch patterns
We will search for a sweater, so click on “Clothing” and a menu opens with garment options.
Click on “Sweater” and you’ll get a menu with more choices:
- Cardigan: opens down the front
- Pullover: does not open (you have to get it on by pulling it over your head)
Click on “Pullover” and your search results are now limited to pullover sweaters.
Option 3. Attributes
“Attributes” includes all of the garment’s design and technical features, including important things like:
- Construction: how the garment is made, in the round, knit flat, seamed, etc.
- Design Elements: type of neckline, type of sleeve, edgings, etc
- Fabric Characteristics: type of stitch texture, like ribbing, cables, lace, bobbles, etc.
Click on “Design Elements”, and then on “Neck”.
Click on “Turtle Neck”, and your search will now be limited to turtle-neck sweaters.
Click on “Fabric Characteristics”, and then click on “Ribbed/Ribbing”. Your search is now limited to pullover sweaters with ribbing.
Ooops, we forgot about the sleeves! Click on “Design Elements”, then click on “Sleeve”, and then on “Raglan”. Your search is now limited to pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing.
If you’re the kind of knitter who hates finishing you might want to choose a sweater that is knit in the round. Click on “Construction”, the click on “Worked in the Round”. Your search is now limited to pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing that are knit in the round.
Option 4. Gender/Age/Size/Fit
Click on “Age or Size”, and then click on “Adult”. Your search is now limited to Adult pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing that are knit in the round.
Now click on “Gender”, and click on “Female”. Your search is now limited to adult women’s pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing that are knit in the round.
Option 5. Weight
Weight refers to the weight or thickness of your yarn. If you have a preference (or already have yarn), click on “Weight”. We’ll use worsted weight yarn, so click on “Worsted”. Your search is now limited to adult women’s pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing that are knit in the round.
Option 6. Availability
Availability refers to how you access the pattern. Some patterns are available as downloads online, and some are only available in print. Some are free and some you have to pay for. Since our search is already pretty specific finding a free one might be a bit of a stretch, so lets go for Click on “Availability”, and both “Free” and “Purchase Online”. Your search is now limited to adult women’s pullover raglan sweaters with ribbing that are knit in the round that are available as digital downloads.
Lets take a look at our search – we’ve pulled up 6 patterns. It looks like ribbed raglan turtle-neck pullovers knit in the round with worsted weight yarn aren’t very popular (although I really like the one on the upper right, Hudson by Julie Hoover).