Raving about Ravelry and the beauty of the basics

I can only report slow but steady progress on my various WIPs over the last week. It doesn’t make for a very exciting blog post now, but I am looking forward to showing off pictures of some finished objects soon!

One of the first free patterns I tried from Ravelry - some socks in DK

One of the first free patterns I tried a few years ago from Ravelry – some socks in DK

Meanwhile, lovely things have been happening on Ravelry! It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Ravelry, and in particular the free patterns you can find there. It’s an amazing community, and I particularly love that you can see not only what people have done following the patterns, but also see their notes on what alterations they made and how they customised it to fit their own needs. Will that gorgeous shawl look just as good in DK as it does in 4-ply? Chances are that someone else has already tried it, and posted pictures!

Add the ability to communicate directly with the person who wrote the pattern, as well as the multitudes of people who have used it themselves, and it’s enough to make even a nervous knitter or cautious crocheter face the challenge of trying something new.

Ravelry isn’t the only place I use to find patterns, but it’s usually my first port of call. You can lose hours (okay, more like days) browsing through all the different patterns, adding your favourites to your virtual library and building a to-do list that would take up the rest of your natural life were you ever to complete it. So naturally when I started cobbling together my barely legible pencil scribbles into something that might, with a kind and patient reader, just pass as a written pattern, I knew I would put the patterns on Ravelry.

Granny Panel tissue Box CoverI have six patterns listed at the moment (all of which link back to this blog), and although they may not have taken the world by storm, the post for the most popular one has had over 1400 hits on my blog since June! The post was the one for my Granny Panel Tissue Box Cover, and someone even made one and put pictures of it on Ravelry!

The knitting patterns I’ve written are a lot more basic than the two crochet ones. Actually a couple of them are so basic I questioned whether it was even worth sharing them in the first place! The worst culprit was the pattern for button up leg warmers in super chunky yarn. They were just rectangles of knitting with ribbing on three sides and some very clumsy buttons holes – hardly something you really need a pattern for!

easy super chunky leg warmersBut this is where something lovely happened. Someone took this barely-counts-as-a-pattern as a starting point, incorporating the lace leaf detail from a pattern for a jumper to make something beautiful! You can see sheribarri’s version of my leg warmers here, and I think you’ll agree that they look fantastic! This was much more exciting than if someone had just followed my basic pattern with no alterations. It proved to me that there was some value in posting very basic patterns, not just for beginners, but for more experienced knitters who could take the bare bones of an idea and run with it to make something new.

I revisit these basic patterns too, most recently with the Two Tone Chunky Beanie. After graciously letting me repeatedly measure her head, nieceling no 2 requested that I make her and her best friend matching bobble hats in pink purple and blue. I loved the idea of doing striped versions of the hat, and after a little research into finding the best way to achieve jogless  stripes when knitting in the round, I decided to have a go at helix knitting (also known as barber-pole stripes).

Barber stripe bobble hats - helix knittingThis is actually a very easy technique to do, but not necessarily to explain, especially without diagrams! So here is a link to the post on Techknitting that explains it far better than I could! (I didn’t use the transition needle tip, although there were a few tension issues, so maybe I should have!)

close up helix knittingThe hat pattern was essentially the same as the two tone version, but that’s the beauty of a simple pattern; you can make it be whatever you want!

And of course now that I’ve tidied up my scrappy notes enough to share with other people, each time I want to use the pattern I don’t have to decipher it and work out how to do it all over again!

You can find me on Ravelry under the username tree979. Friend requests always welcome!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s