Ravelry is an invaluable tool for researching patterns you are thinking about knitting or crocheting. One of the most basic things I look for before starting a pattern is how many people posted projects on Ravelry. That tells me whether the pattern has been well tested or not.
In this blog post, I’m going to teach you how I research patterns that I want to knit or crochet using the Woodburne Cardigan as an example. I am researching this pattern in preparation for our upcoming knit along in the Mountain Hollow Farm Knit Along Club, so this post includes some specific information about the pattern, as well as a video at the end to show you how to do general pattern research on Ravelry.
One of the first tasks in any knitting project is figuring out how much yarn you need to complete the project. That was a little tricky for the Woodburne Cardigan.
The pattern recommends using Briar Rose Fibers ‘Fourth Of July’, which is a 100% superwash merino yarn with 550 yds per 8 oz skein. It recommends 3 skeins (1650 yards) for the 5 smallest sizes and 4 skeins (2200 yards) for the 4 largest sizes.
That’s quite a bit different from the yardage listed on Ravelry: 1200 – 2000 yards.
The problem is that the recommended yarn comes in 8 ounce skeins. That’s huge! Most skeins are 3.5 ounces or 1.75 ounces. The smaller “normal” size skeins allow for more accurate matching of yarn requirements for each size.
What to do???
I turned to Ravelry. Upon searching the finished Woodburne projects, I was able to gather how much yarn other knitters used for this project. Here’s my analysis:
I did not include the yardages listed by knitters who used the recommended yarn and simply posted the recommended amount. I also did not analyze the projects to see if they made modifications. For example, some of the larger numbers could be because the knitter made a longer sweater. But this does give me a better idea of how much yarn each size requires.
As you can see, the actual yardages used by Ravelers was significantly lower than what was suggested in the pattern. I’m sure this is because of the suggested yarn’s large skein size.
Therefore, if you are substituting with a yarn that has a more normal skein size, use the chart above as a guide for how much yarn you’ll need.
How to Research Your Pattern On Ravelry
In this video, I show you how I searched the Woodburne Ravelry projects and quickly compiled this data. You can use this same method to find other information about a pattern. I often use it to search for modifications I might like to make to the pattern.
The more prepared you are before you begin a pattern, the more likely you will be to complete it successfully. A little Ravelry research before beginning your project can save you time and eliminate frustrating “surprises” in the pattern.
If you enjoyed this article and are a knitter, you might benefit from joining the online Mountain Hollow Farm Knit Along Club. Our goal in the Club is to help you become a better, more confident knitter.
Each knit along includes written and video tutorials to guide you through every step of the pattern – and they’re all online so you can participate from the comfort of your home! Click on the graphic below to try it for free!