Ravelry: How to Search for Patterns

Several weeks ago we showed you how to create an account on Ravelry.  This week we’re going to show you how to use Ravelry to search for patterns in general, not a specific one.

Usually I write as the voice of My Sister Knits but for this post I’m writing as myself because it seems much easier this way!  I, Jenny, had a gorgeous skein of My Sister Knits Local yarn that I wanted to cast on immediately.  It is the lighter gray paired with Shibui Silk Cloud.  I decided that I wanted to make a hat for my daughter, so I immediately went to Ravelry.

I clicked on ‘patterns’ at the top of the home page.  This photo is from my phone, the home page looks a bit different on your computer but you will still see ‘patterns’ to click on.


It took me to this page where I clicked on the ‘pattern browser & advanced search’ link

How to use Ravelry

which took me to this page where all of the category choices are!  This is the fun part!

My Sister Knits

This is where you narrow down your choices! This photo is from my computer.  It’s much easier to search using your computer and it looks quite different from your phone. Or at least, my phone!

Once I landed on this page, I could start choosing from the filters on the left.  Your filters may be in a different order but they’re there!  They can be rearranged by putting your cursor near the name and dragging them up or down.  I’ll list the filters in the order I opened them and made my choices.

Category:  I chose accessories, then hat, then all hat

Craft:  I chose knitting and that gave me 67,028 patterns to choose from!

Weight:  my yarn is worsted, so I ticked that box

Availability:  I wanted a Ravelry download and I didn’t care if it was free or not.

Gender/Age/Size/Fit:  I chose adult because I didn’t want a bunch of baby hats popping up.  I also chose unisex.  I didn’t have to because it’s a hat but I hoped that would narrow my choices a bit.

Then I scrolled down to narrow my choices even more.  I knew I was only going to use one color and I knew that my daughter wanted cables.  So here is what I did:

I found the Colors Used filter and chose 1.  This narrowed my pattern choices to 673.

I then went to Attributes, chose Fabric Characteristics and from there chose cables.  Now I had 270 choices, a much more manageable number!

As you play with the filters and learn how to use Ravelry, you’ll see how helpful they are!  This opens up a whole new world of pattern searching!  I like the idea of swatching and then searching by the gauge that I get to find a sweater design.  You can find ‘gauge’ in the ‘More search options‘ filter.  There are oodles of possibilities and combinations!

We love to hear about your searches and fun with Ravelry!


local yarn shop


2 thoughts on “Ravelry: How to Search for Patterns

  1. Cheryl

    I have had a Ravelry account for a few years. While I do enjoy the community and keeping track of my projects, I find their patterns, the free ones anyway, to be badly written at best. I just finished a hat that I thought would fit a grown man, but now I guess I’ll see if one of my great nephews can use it. Maybe others have better experiences with Ravelry patterns. I prefer to have a pattern that’s been tested more extensively, especially if I’m purchasing it. That’s why I won’t purchase any patterns from Ravelry. JMO, of course.

    • Jenny

      Cheryl, I’m so sorry that you’ve had a bad experience with Raverly patterns. There are a few things you can do to ensure you get a well tested pattern. On the pattern page there is a spot at the top that tells you how many people have knit the pattern. I always make sure that plenty of people have made it! The next thing you can do is click on the projects and read the project notes. Reading these will let you know how other knitters have liked the pattern and if they’ve had any issues. Also look to see how many people have put the smiley face icon in their notes to indicate that they liked the pattern. The other thing to look for is the lifesaver icon. Be sure to read those notes because that lets you know that there is something others have found helpful in the notes.

      There are free patterns that we know turn out well and I can share those with you if you’d like, depending on what you’d like to make.

      Many designers have their patterns extensively test knit before they are released and I can give you the names of some reliable designers, again, depending on what you’d like to make.

      I’d really encourage you to give Ravelry another try and I’m happy to help you with that! I don’t know what I’d do without it!

      I’ve been out of the country, hence my late reply but I’m back now and ready and willing to help you!


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