I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time looking at crochet patterns... whether it's to put together a collection for this site, find a pattern for someone who isn't having any luck, or for my own crochet down time. Ravelry makes it easy to find the pattern you're looking for - and everyday I talk to people who don't know how to use it. So here's how to use Ravelry to find a crochet or knit pattern - you'll love it!
First things first of course - you need a Ravelry.com account! Don't worry, it's completely free. All you need is an email address.
Once you've got your account set up, go to the Patterns tab at the top of any page. It's the one the black arrow below is pointing at. From here, you can choose to search in several ways. To keep it simple here as we get started, click on the link the red arrow is pointing at - "pattern browser & advanced search."
This takes you to a page... with even more options! But we'll take them one at a time. First, note the search bar at the top, that the black arrow is pointing at. If you know you're looking for a something specific, in this case a hat, you can type "hat" right into the search bar. But don't be too quick to hit the "search" button to the right! If it's the name of a category, you'll get a drop down menu, with options where you can further narrow it down!
From there, you can continue narrowing things down, using the filters along the left side of the screen - the left-most arrow points at where they begin. As you click on different options, they'll show up at the top, where the right-most arrow is pointing. And you can cancel them here too, if you find you've narrowed things down so much you can't find what you're looking for - or if you change your mind.
Also note the small red arrow in the middle up there. That's a drop down box that lets you change how the search results are sorted. You can choose from Most Popular, Most Recently Published, Best Match, and several other options!
Here's a closer look at the filters you'll find along the left side.... SO MANY OPTIONS! Again, don't let it overwhelm you! These are all really useful tools! Let's say you want a crochet hat pattern that is free and uses 400 yds or less of worsted weight yarn, and is rated easy. You can use these options to completely narrow it down, and get exactly what you are looking for! (Assuming it's available of course!)
So at this point hopefully you've spotted one or more patterns that you're interested in. When you click on the name or the picture, you go to the pattern page. All the pattern pages have the same basic look.
Here's the one for the Ups and Downs Crochet Slouchy Beanie. It's a free pattern, available here on Moogly, so there are two places you can click to go to the pattern. But before you even click, you can see the yardage, yarn weight, hook size, how other people have rated the pattern, and you can use the tabs at the top to look at photos of projects other people have made using this pattern!
The other case that's most common with free patterns is that it's a download available right on Ravelry. In this case, you'll also have a couple of different places you can click - where either of the black arrows are pointing. Both will create a popup where you can download the pattern straight to your computer.
And look where the small green arrow is pointing! If you make the pattern, you can click the "hook it" button to add it to your Ravelry notebook. The notebook is also pretty easy and intuitive you use - and a great way to keep track of the patterns you've made, and yarns you used to do so! If you want to save it for later, you can click on the little ♥ icon to add it to your favorites, or click on "add to queue" - it's like free shopping!
If it's a paid pattern available on Ravelry, you'll also have a couple of options. You can click where the black arrow below is pointing, and buy it immediately, or you can look where the green arrow is pointing, and choose to buy it now, add it to your cart and keep shopping, or purchase it as a gift for another Ravelry member.
If a pattern isn't available for purchase through Ravelry, or available free on Rav or elsewhere, then odds are it's from a magazine or book. Whenever possible, the info for purchasing the book or magazine is also included - magazines being a little trickier of course.
So if you haven't joined Ravelry and started exploring, now is a great time. Remember, it's 100% free to join and use... though I can't guarantee it won't inspire an increase to the yarn budget! I hope this quick tutorial helps you find the patterns you're looking for - and ones you didn't even know you needed!