Ravelry Research Prior to Purchasing a Pattern

Prior to purchasing a knitting pattern, I usually do some research on Ravelry.  If I’m going to invest my time and energy in a project, I want the best opportunity to end up with a project that I’m pleased with.  First , I look to see how many projects have been made from this pattern.  Of course not everyone who knits up a pattern is going to make a project page on Ravelry.  But I feel I can assume the more projects posted on Ravelry for a given pattern, the more times the pattern has been knitted.  I’m much more likely to purchase a pattern that has many projects posted.    Then I reviews the project pages looking for these things.

1. What comments did the knitters make about the pattern?

For example, are other knitters finding the directions hard to follow.  Are knitters questioning a potential mistake in the pattern.  Or, are knitters commenting about how much they love the pattern and/or love the finished project

2. What yarn did other knitters use?  I’m particularly interested in the yarn used if I don’t plan to use the yarn recommended by the pattern.  Looking at what yarn other knitters used, gives me good ideas for reasonable substitutions.

3. I look at color choices that other knitters used.  I am very often surprised at how much I like someone else’s color combinations that I would have never put together myself.  I feel like I get to preview potential color combinations this way without having to knit up a swatch first.

4.  I also look at any adjustments other knitters had to make for needle size to obtain gauge.  Of course gauge is individual, but if most knitters had to increase their needle one size to get gauge, I may want to hold off on purchasing a needle until I have complete a gauge swatch.

ChiaGoo accident

Like most lessons in life, I learned this one the hard way.  I was happily packing up my knitting for a business trip.  Planning my trip project is one of my favorite parts of any travel.  I was in a hurry when attaching my Chicago lace tips to my red cable.  In my rush, I cross-threaded the tip.  At that point, I could not unscrew the tip.  I had to recruit the help of my husband.  He eventually got the tip off, but now the end of the tip is bent and no longer screws down correctly on to the cable.  I quickly had to change gears and plan for another project, as I only have 1 set of each tip.

However, I did learn something helpful.  You can buy replacement tips and cables for this set.  You can also add tips and cables to the set as needed.   I ordered the replacement tips before leaving, and they arrived while I was away.  Fortunately, I had plenty of other projects planned so I was able to grab another one to work on during my travels.

The moral of the story: Take care when placing and removing your tips!