Helpful

Last Tuesday, we showed you Lisa’s Watershed (it’s on display in the shop, and it’s getting a lot of attention, probably because it’s simply ideal for this lovely weather). Lisa made a number of modifications which are detailed on her project page, so it’s perfect for showing you one of Ravelry’s very best features: how to find helpful projects. This will save you more time and money than you can imagine!

We’ll start out at the pattern page (this one here), which shows that there are currently 624 Watershed projects. You can view them all by clicking on the “projects” tab, where the big pink arrow is pointing:

That’s quite a number to sift through looking for the useful ones, but the good news is that it’s easy to find them.

This time, the big pink arrow is showing you where you’ll find a drop down menu at the top left hand corner of the pattern page. Clicking on it brings up a number of choices.

That “helpful notes (164 projects)” is the option we’re interested in. It’s the set of projects with notes that other people have found useful. When you choose that option, you’re brought to a page with only those projects, which you can investigate at your leisure. So instead of reading through all 624 projects, you can select only the ones most likely to be useful. That’s where the time saving comes in.

And when you’ve found a set of project notes useful, you’ve got the chance to improve the selection even more. Right down at the bottom of the notes, you’ll find a little button to press, beside the question “are these notes helpful?”. Click that button if you’ve been helped, and Ravelry’s service will get a little better!

There’s also a visual symbol of helpfulness, and the arrow’s pointing at it here:

That little lifebuoy signals a “helpful” vote, and when you’re browsing project pages, it’s a handy thing to watch out for.

There’s another sort of very useful information that you can glean from a pattern page: for a given pattern, how many completed projects a pattern it has. If you look back at the third screenshot above, you’ll see that “finished” is one of the choices in the dropdown menu.

A large proportion of finished projects is a sure sign of a successful pattern, and the reverse is also true. If you come across a pattern with lots and lots of started projects but very few successfully completed ones, then maybe it’s a good one to steer clear of. And between the cost of the pattern and the cost of the yarn, that can save you a lot of money – not to mention both irritation and chocolate!