The Ravelry app I wish I’d built myself
I’ve been with the Ravelry community since the very beginning. I joined in 2007 and was member #85 (a badge I still wear with honor!). It’s been my go-to resource for tracking projects, finding inspiration, and staying connected to the knitting community, but until recently, I would only access Ravelry from my computer (or in a very awkward way on my iPhone). If I was knitting on the go, or out getting supplies, I couldn’t do much with my account.
Enter Wooly, an incredible mobile app that does everything you want Ravelry to do, right from your phone. As a developer, this is the Ravelry app I wish I’d built myself. But I’m glad that Dave Stys, the man behind the app, did instead. I’m going to share my review of the app, and how I’ve been using it so far.
Wooly Review… get your yarn ready
Before going too deep into how the app works, I think it’s helpful to let you know who it’s perfect for:
- Ravelry users who want access to their patterns wherever they go, not just at home
- Knitters and crocheters who like to share pictures of previous projects, and current projects that are in progress
- Anyone who has ever forgotten what to get at the yarn store – Wooly lets you see the supplies you have and the ones you need
- People who are always looking for inspiration, and want a brand new way to find it on their phones
- I am all of these and more, which is why I’ve been loving Wooly.
Here’s what it’s all about.
Dave Stys created the app (can we give it up for the guys out there getting their knit on?!) because he wanted better access to his Ravelry portfolio on the go. He’s been knitting alongside his mother since a young age, and got serious about knitting just a few years ago. When he found out about Ravelry, he dove into the community, but quickly realized there was no good way to use it on the go.
Instead of asking Ravelry to create a mobile app, he and his brother decided to build one themselves. The result was Wooly, the first ever Ravelry app for the iPhone and iPad.
“The Ravelry community has given us so much support over the years, and this app is our way of giving back. When we started Wooly, there were a handful of other knitting apps out there, but none of them were built as a companion for Ravelry. I built this app for Ravelers to track their projects and materials on the go, share photos of projects they’ve been working on, and give them an easy way to find inspiration anywhere. ” – Dave Stys
Here’s how it works
Download the app and connect your Ravelry account (the app typically costs $3.99 for the basic account, but my Knotions family will be getting a special discount today- keep reading…).
Here are a few screen shots from the iPhone app:
- Browse through the discovery tab to find inspiration for new projects and patterns including from both well known designers and up-and-comers you may never find on your own
- Click on your My Ravelry tab to view your projects, check out your yarn stash, browse your knitting queue, and review your needle inventory
- Share your photos with friends and family, and even edit the photos from within the app.
And are a few screen shots from the iPad app:
What makes Wooly so unique
There are a lot of great resources out there for knitters (I’d like to think this is one of them). The Ravelry community has thrived because it provides so much of what we need, without trying to be too fancy or cool.
But until now, I’d never found an app for knitting that works quite as well as Wooly (and I’ve tried a ton).
You see, one thing I love about the knitting community is that we’re a thrifty bunch. Every penny saved is an extra inch of yarn, so we tend to be pretty careful with how we spend. But as a programmer, I also love to check out the latest tech. For a while, I was downloading (and then deleting) a bunch of free apps in the app store.
But just like with yarn, you get what you pay for.
These apps would simply replicate the Ravelry search form, a daunting task for anyone who doesn’t know exactly what they want. Wooly does the hard work of finding things for you.
And almost none of them had good ways to share pictures of your projects with friends, family, and other knitters. On Wooly, this may just be my favorite feature.
And many of them earned money through promoting them and trying to sell you yarn. Wooly finds patterns that are great -period (many are from independent designers).
When I found Wooly, it just clicked, and I’m not the only one.
“I absolutely LOVE Wooly. I love finding new patterns and designs in the discovery section and sharing them with my Ravelry friends. I’m working on a new sweater I found there (The Avalyn by Vanessa Smith), and the ability to track my progress and materials from my phone has been a lifesaver. I’ve had a few suggestions here and there, and the creators of the app have been incredibly responsive.”
The bottom line
I’ve been knitting for 30 years and crocheting for 35. When I started out, I was learning straight from a book – my Aunt Betty’s craft encyclopedias to be exact!
I started Knotions to help the crafting community craft better. I don’t want you to do what other people say you should be doing. I want you to understand why something is useful, and why it may not be, and then make a decision on your own. Wooly gives you that same thing!
I wrote out this whole review to give you my full perspective on the Wooly app.
Dave is continually working on the app and listening to the Wooly and Ravelry communities to make it even better. In fact, he recently redesigned the app based on feedback from other knitters about what they were looking for in a Ravelry app.
And for a limited time, as a thank you to the Knotions community, Dave is offering all readers a 50% discount on Wooly. All you have to do is enter your email on the Wooly website here and he’ll send you the code to get Wooly for $1.99 instead of $3.99.
Check it out and let me know what you think! And if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!
Note: I was compensated for my time writing this review, but my opinions are all my own. I’ve built my life around knitting and crochet, and Wooly is such a fantastic addition. A lot of knitting products cross by my desk every day, and Wooly is one of very few that I truly love.