Not So Rigid Weaver

Musings on weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom and beyond

Ravelry for Weavers

Sometimes I see people ask “Is there a Ravelry for weavers?” and, well, the answer is… Ravelry!

Ravelry's logo - orange handwritten style font

If you’re not familiar with Ravelry, it’s a niche social network site focused primarily on knitting and crochet, with over 9 million users, that's been around since 2007. Ravelry lets you track your projects, your yarn stash, connect with other fiber art enthusiasts, and browse through other user’s projects and find projects made with a specific yarn.

It has a database of yarns, patterns, designers, local yarn stores, and projects, a ‘notebook’ for tracking your own projects, stash, tools, and library, and a community, consisting of some default forums and a large number of groups organized around specific topics. Accessing anything in Ravelry requires making a free account (so the links to specific parts of Ravelry in this post won't be useful without one!). Ravelry is run by a small team and supported by ads from fiber arts related businesses, a few inexpensive paid features, and pattern sales via their marketplace.

Many features in Ravelry support 5 crafts, in order of number of projects: Knitting, Crochet, Weaving, Machine Knitting, and Loom Knitting. There are also some features around tracking handspun yarns and fiber for Spinners, and there’s groups discussing many other fiber arts.

However, one major part of Ravelry, Patterns, does not support weaving, but you can browse through over 150,000 weaving Projects for inspiration - check out Projects in the Advanced Search menu. Patterns are free and paid patterns made by designers, while Projects are people’s records of their own work and thus vary greatly in level of detail, and some projects are not yet complete or are abandoned.

A screenshot of Ravelry's Project search page
Searching Projects in Ravelry using the Advanced Search menu

Projects & Yarn Database #

Ravelry has a huge database of other users Projects; use the Craft filter to restrict it to weaving projects, and there's lots of other filters like how happy people were with the project, whether it's complete, what kind of item it is, what kind of yarn was used, and many more. For example, here's a search of finished weaving projects that the creator was very happy with, sorted by most recently updated. Projects generally include some notes and photos of people’s work, which can be great for inspiration - some write ups are very detailed and some are just a photo or two.

You can also look up a specific yarn and find weaving projects that were done with it, and you can track your stash of yarn (and also your equipment and books). One word of warning is that the yarn database is crowd sourced and the knitting & crochet oriented size categories aren’t applied very consistently to weaving yarns. But it’s still a very useful resource!

One thing that’s a bit harder to do is focus on a specific type of weaving - it’s all just weaving, so you’ll find everything from pin looms to tablet weaving to 16 shaft projects; but one way of finding Rigid Heddle specific projects is to look on the Projects section of a group page like one of the more rigid heddle specific groups listed below to find projects shared to that groups, and then you can also take a look at other projects by the same user.

Groups & Community Features #

The Ravelry community consists of a handful of default forums, groups on a wide range of different topics, and also features around connecting with friends and direct messaging. While most of the default groups aren’t very useful for weavers, there are a ton of groups on all kinds of different topics, a number of which are weaving focused. Ravelry groups often have some resources and links in the Pages tab, and you can find projects completed by group members as well. Another thing is that if like me you have a blog Ravelry can read in the RSS feed and link to your posts, and you can link to relevant blog posts on your Project pages.

As a rigid heddle weaver, Rigid Heddle Looms is a fairly active group. Beginning Weavers is another slightly less active one for beginners to all kinds of weaving. Warped Weavers is an extremely active group, however, it tends to focus much more on shaft looms. Looms to Go focuses on small looms in general, particularly pin looms, but also includes some rigid heddle discussion. There are also some groups focused on particular brands and models of of looms, like Ashford Knitter’s Loomies (which talks about all kinds of Ashford looms!), and The Cricket Club for the Schacht Cricket, Glimakra Loom Lovers for Glimakra, and probably others I’m not aware of! To find more groups, you can search for groups, but you can also check out the “Neighbors” tab on a group to see similar groups.

Places to find formal Patterns #

As mentioned, Ravelry doesn't include weaving patterns in their pattern marketplace. If that's the part of Ravelry you're looking for, and you want more detail than most Projects, there are a number of people selling weaving patterns via Etsy, and on their own websites. Some yarn brands like Gist Yarn and Cotton Clouds also have a number of free and paid weaving patterns and kits!

Overall, Ravelry has a ton of great features for weavers, and plenty of active weaving groups, though it's clear that they’re more focused on knitting and crochet. You can find me on Ravelry as NotSoRigidWeaver!

Check out Not So Rigid Designer, the online weaving software for rigid heddle loom weavers!