Spotlight on: Ravelry's Advanced Pattern Search

It is incredibly easy to be overwhelmed by Ravelry–it's filled with so much content! Never fear; Ravelry has a feature that can sort your search to help you find the projects that meet your needs. Many of you know of this feature, but we find quite a few clients who did not realize they can make Ravelry work for them.

Let's dive in and see what this process looks like. First, sign into your Ravelry account and click patterns in the upper left corner.

Under the Pattern Search box, you will see the words "or use Advanced Search." Please click on that. 

On the left side, locate "Filter your search" (If you are using a standard web browser, it may look slightly different than my iPad/tablet view below.)

Now, the world of Ravelry searches will be revealed to you.  It is simply ticking boxes to your heart’s desire to find what you want to make. Here are some of the options by which you can sort:

  • Category - this is where you will select what you want to knit. Clothing, Accessories, Home, Toys and Hobbies, and Pet are some of the categories. When you click on one of those categories, you can select the next level. For example, if you selected clothing, you could choose between many options (sweaters, vests, coats...etc.)
  • Craft - Knitting or Crochet
  • Weight - In what weight of yarn do you want to knit your project?
  • Age/Size/Fit /Gender- Here, you can pare down adult to baby, what type of ease you want, what kind of fit (maternity, petite, tall), and then Gender
  • Fiber - This is a great place to get suggestions that match the attributes of the fiber in your yarn. (I do not use this one very much)
  • Attributes - The categories here narrow down things like construction (top-down or seamed), fabric Characteristics (cables, lace, brioche)
  • Yardage - if you are using stash yarn, this is very helpful as you can ensure you have enough yarn to complete the project.
  • Colors Used - How many colors do you want to use in your project?
  • Rating - I always pick 4 or 5 stars here!  I do not want a pattern that other knitters have found mediocre.
  • Difficulty - Do you want an easy knit or something with a bit more of a challenge?

There are additional filters listed that I didn't cover that allow you to fine tune your search further. Also, note that your side panel view may differ than mine as you can move the options to suite your frequent choices. 

Follow along with me as I do a couple of searches...

Let's say I have 475 yards of DK weight yarn, and I want to knit a cabled cowl. I'm going to select the following filters:

  • Category > Accessories > Neck/Torso > Cowl
  • Craft   > Knitting
  • Weight > DK
  • Attributes > Cables
  • Yardage > 450 - 600 Yards
  • Rating > 4 or 5 stars

Click here if you want to see my results. You may notice there are some patterns that aren't "cowls" as this may be because the publisher added the "cowl" label to their pattern page, or it's more than just a cowl pattern. 

For the next search, let's say I do not have my yarn yet, but I know I want to knit a top-down pullover with a Fair Isle yoke in sport-weight yarn

  • Category > Clothing > Sweater > Pullover
  • Craft   > Knitting
  • Weight > Sport
  • Age/Size/Fit > Age or Size > Adult and Gender > Female
  • Attributes > Colorwork > Stranded and Construction > Top Down 
  • Rating > 4 or 5 stars

There are so many wonderful options!  Click here if you want to see my results. 

The one place I tend to stumble is where to find things under Attributes, so here is a little reference list for you:

  • Accessibility - This gives you adaptions for medical devices and therapy
  • Colorwork - Options to select stripes, intarsia, Fair Isle (stranded), mosaic
  • Construction - This category lets you select how you would like your project to be knit, with things like provisional cast-on, seamless, buttonholes, bottom-up, steeks, short rows, top-down, worked flat, or in the round.
  • Crochet Techniques - Granny Squares, bullion, broomstick, slip stitch, Tunisian, pick your favorite!
  • Design Elements - Think of this category as what you want your project to look like. If you have a vision for your project, use this category. What kind of neck (v, crew, turtle, boat, etc.), sleeve (raglan, modified drop, puffed, short, sleeveless), pockets, darts, cropped? 
  • Fabric Characteristics - Brioche, bobble, cable, slipped stitch, textured, or lace, to name a few.
  • Mature Content - proof that people will knit and crochet anything.
  • Pattern Instructions - chart, written, has schematic, low vision, photo or video tutorial.
  • Regional/Ethnic Styles - If you are looking for a traditional garment linked to a region or ethnicity, you can find it here.
  • Shapes - Circle, star, oval, etc.
  • Sock Techniques - attention sock knitters, this is for you with options for toe up, top/cuff down, and heel and toe options galore!

    I suggest you play around with the advanced search feature to familiarize yourself with the categories and capabilities of this tool. Ravelry is an extraordinary database that is at our fingertips. Why not put it to work for you?

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    • Silke O'Bfien on

      This was super helpful! I use Ravelry quite a bit but haven’t had the time or motivation to go into it in such detail. Thank you very much for doing it and summarizing it so easily.

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