Every year in January we see an uptick in people using the site (hello! Welcome! And welcome back!), as well as chatter online about how people want to use Ravelry “better” in the coming year. We’re not entirely sure what “better” means when people say that, but we do have some ideas about a few simple things you could do in 2017, if you haven’t already, that could make your Ravelry experience more useful, friendly, and fun!

1. Organize your stash… and add it to Ravelry, too!


We know that the thought of getting your whole stash updated and on Ravelry can be daunting, but we promise: it’s so useful! When you add your stash to Ravelry, you’ll have a very convenient place to reference exactly what you own, and where you’ve stored it (there’s a field for that in your stash entries!). You’ll also be able to search patterns by yarns you have in your stash, and match up stashed yarns to items in your queue you plan to make with them. In the New Year lots of us are extra-motivated to get organized, and giving your stash some loving organizational attention is well worth it.

We have lots of past Tips to help you with your Ravelry stash! Sarah wrote one all about the benefits of stashing (in case you need more convincing), and she’s also talked about getting yarn ideas from your stash, and filtering your stash. Casey shared ways to make plans for your yarn and fiber in a past Tip, too. To add a yarn to your stash, just go to the stash section of your Notebook, click on the Add to Stash button, and the system will walk you through it the rest of the way.

2. Update (or add!) your profile picture!


Your profile picture on Ravelry helps other Ravelers recognize you across the site. It doesn’t have to be an actual picture of you (in case you got confused and thought Benedict Cumberbatch had really joined Ravelry 700 times…). If you prefer, you can always use a picture of something you love. (See above re: 700 Benedict Cumberbatches…) It’s definitely not required, but it can be nice to have a picture on your profile page or attached to your projects and forum posts. If you’d like some instructions about how to add a pic: we have tutorials on uploading a Ravatar (that’s Ravelry slang for Ravelry Avatar) and using your Instagram profile picture (if you have one) here on Ravelry as your profile picture.

3. Find a yearly challenge group or join a craft-along!


Every year, there are groups that form to make different projects throughout the course of the year, and cheer each other on while doing so. They can be a really encouraging place to make crafty friends while you accomplish a yarn goal. This year there are already a few “17 in 2017” groups that have formed check them out and see if one seems like a good fit for you! We also have loads of active craftalong groups to join if you’d like to participate in crafting with other Ravelers in all kinds of different ways. If you are new to groups on Ravelry, they are started and run by Ravelers, so each one has its own tone and community. There are literally thousands of welcoming and friendly groups who would love to have you (yes you!) join and share with them. Now is a great time to jump in!

Bonus tip: Ask questions if you need it – we’re here to help!

We appreciate every single member of our community and we know that our users make the site what it is. We want you to feel confident using Ravelry, and we’re here to help you. If you prefer to research answers on your own, we’ve got a great Help section – just click the ? tab at the top of the page to get there. Ravelry staff and super-helpful members are also always reading the For the Love of Ravelry forum, so if you’d like to share a feature idea or get help using the site, you can post there! Try posting in Patterns if you need help with a pattern, Techniques for technical crafty assistance, Tools & Equipment if you have a question about those things, and Yarn & Fiber for questions about – you guessed it! – yarn and fiber. If you ask a question, you can see if someone has replied to you later either by going back to your post and reading there, or by clicking on the Forums tab – replies to you will be linked near the top of the page until you click to read them.

Thanks to all of you who use Ravelry and make it such a great place to share our love of knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, and dyeing! Wishing you accurate swatches and beautiful FOs in 2017.