Thursday Tip: Get the Lingo!

September 8th, 2016

Ravelry is a vibrant, almost 10-year-old community of almost 6.5 million members. Over the years, some of our features have names that are used only on our site, and many of our users have developed some slang words or nicknames for things here that you will see around the forums. This Ravelry lingo is a fun way to connect with other users and feel like you are in-the-know – but only if you know what things mean! Today I wanted to share a few commonly used Ravelry terms so you’ll know exactly what people mean when you come across them on the forums or elsewhere around our site.


Ravatar: This is another name for your profile picture. Since profile pictures are commonly called “avatars,” it was only a matter of time before our members made this word Ravelry-specific! By the way, if you haven’t uploaded a profile picture here to Ravelry and would like to, we’ve got a Tips post that will help you out.

Ravmail: Private messages (you can find these in the messages section of your Ravelry Notebook) are often called Ravmail.

Earburn: If another Raveler uses our magic links with your username in the forums, you get a message with the subject “are your ears burning?” These messages are referred to as “earburns.”

the list

The List: The List is where we track our bug reports and feature requests. You can find it on the upper right of your Forums tab. It’s fun to look through and see what other users have requested – you can even vote for features on The List that you’d like to see, and check a box be notified (via Ravmail!) if they are implemented!

Main Boards/Big 6: The Main Boards on Ravelry are the default forums that all users on the site are subscribed to. They are also sometimes referred to as The Big 6. These boards are: For the Love of Ravelry, Patterns, Techniques, Yarn & Fiber, Needlework News & Events, Tools & Equipment, Yarn & Fiber, and Loose Ends. “But wait,” you might say. “I counted seven boards there… why would they be called the Big 6?” The Main Boards have gone through a few iterations and several of them have had name changes over the years. When we first started, there were 6 boards – nothing for tools and equipment, and a long-retired board called Remnants was sort of a previous version of Loose Ends. Old habits die hard, though, so sometimes you’ll still see these boards referred to as the Big 6.

iso destash

ISO & Destash: ISO means “in search of,” and “destashing” is getting rid of supplies you don’t need. There are several ISO & Destash groups on Ravelry, as well as threads for these specific purposes on several of the Main Boards.

OP: OP is internet lingo for “original poster.” It’s very widely used here on Ravelry – you’ll see it used in forums to refer to the person who started a particular thread.


Bob: Bob is a dog. A very cute dog! He belongs to Jess and Casey, Ravelry’s founders, and he’s our site mascot.

so hot right now

HRN: HRN stands for Hot Right Now, which is a little section on the left side of the main Patterns tab. That section shows designs that Ravelers are looking at today, and it changes frequently. It’s a fun way to check to see what other patterns Ravelers are interested in at the moment!

KAL/CAL: short for Knit-a-Long, Crochet-a-Long, and sometimes Craft-a-Long, these are events, often hosted in Ravelry groups or by designers, in which a group of crafters decide to work on projects together – sometimes all from the same pattern, sometimes all with a similar theme, and sometimes just in a concentrated timeframe. They can be a lot of fun!

There’s a Lingo section of the Ravelry wiki that details some of these terms and abbreviations as well as more general crafty acronymns. One Ravelry-specific term in the wiki that I’d completely forgotten about (but love!) is vibralope – a word that used to be very common on the Ravelry forums, and refers to the little wiggling envelope you get when you have new Ravmail. Vibralope! So cute!

I hope you enjoyed learning some new Ravelry terms or brushing up on your Ravelry lingo! If you ever see a term, abbreviation, or phrase that you aren’t familiar with here, I encourage you to ask what it means – we’re lucky to have such a friendly and welcoming community and other Ravelers will be sure to fill you in!