Monday, April 30, 2012

Wooly Bully

You probably know by now that I love trying out new technology. It should come as no surprise, then, that I got the Wooly app within minutes of being notified by email that it was available. This is, as far as I know, the first Ravelry companion app for iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad).

Now, I knew what I was getting because I checked it out on the Ravelry forum that the developers set up. If you're interested, you should check out the current list of features too so that you know what to expect--and what not to expect--for your money since I don't think the description on iTunes really spells it out for you.

Right now, you can basically look at parts of your Ravelry notebook: projects, queue, stash, and friends. That's right--you can look, but you can't touch! The interface is smooth and intuitive. You can scroll through your projects and see information you have previously entered about yarn, needles, and notes; you can also flip to see all your pictures. If your project has been marked as a favorite, you can see how many hearts you have, but you can't read any comments people have left on your project. You are not linked to additional information that you may be used to from Ravelry. For example, clicking on your yarn doesn't bring up more information about the yarn, and clicking on the pattern doesn't allow you to see other people's projects made from that same pattern. You cannot edit or add any information. Those capabilities are in development, but don't expect to have them yet.

You can similarly see what's on your queue. For those items, you get information about the recommended yarn and needle size. However, there's no information on the recommended yardage, which is a huge drawback if you're trying to use the app while browsing at your LYS trying to decide what to get next. You can also see the number of times the project has been made or queued, but you cannot follow that to see other people's projects.

For your stash, there's information on the yarn color and dye lot, weight, purchase location, and the number of skeins you have; you can see any pictures you may have of your stash. There's no information on total yardage, though, which again would be important to know. Also, I'm not sure about the logic in how the yarns are ordered. They're not listed by name, company name, or weight. Maybe it has to do with the order in which they were entered into Ravelry?

You can scroll through an alphabetical list of your friends, and if you click on any of them, you can see her projects. The same kind of information that is displayed about your own projects is also displayed about hers. There is no feed that shows you the most recently updated project from all of your friends, and you can't select different categories of friends, even if you have those set up on Ravelry. To see a friend's projects, you have to remember his Rav ID, and that's not always easy to do.

All in all, I am still very excited to have this app, and I see great potential for it. There are some things that need to be improved before I think it can be fully helpful in read-only mode. Down the road, I know they are looking to add the capability of editing your Ravelry information, and of course that would be a quantum leap. I am willing to be patient as I remember that Ravelry itself grew slowly and organically. The developers of this app seem receptive to feedback, and I'm more than happy to give my $2.99 in support of their venture.


  1. Thanks for that fantastic review! I hadn't even heard of it. I'll check it out and see if they have a Droid version.

    1. Thanks, Gail. It's only for iOS, but there's a different one for Droid that you might check out called Ravulous.

  2. I have Ravulous on my Fire and now have to get Wooly :-) I love the graphics.

    For what it's worth, since I initially got Ravulous, there have been a few updates; I would expect Wooly to evolve pretty quickly too!

  3. hmmmm, does this mean I truly should consider a new iPad