The New Look

After nearly 4 years and a lot of hard work, I’m finally ready to start releasing the new pattern formats and switch over to the new website!

Many of you will know that this has been a *huge* undertaking, with many twists and turns and hurdles along the way. With such a huge project, and such a large website, it could only be done in stages, with each stage being dependant on another. After 19 years in this industry, with nearly 20 books and almost 400 patterns under my belt, not to mention all the workshops and free tutorials, there’s been a LOT to juggle. Honestly, this is something I hope never to need to do again! But the work we’ve put in means that my business can continue to grow in a way that’s healthy for me, and usuable for as many knitters as possible. This online hub of all things woolly Hat and Woolly Wormhead related has been rebuilt from the bottom up, creating back-end structures that make room for new ventures. I’m both relieved and excited to have reached this point!

Because this change can only be done in stages, I’m going to break things down as much as possible below, and keep this post updated as needed. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

New Website

As you may have noticed, this is the new site!

We deliberately kept it similar in style to the old one to avoid surprises. Visually, for me as an Autistic+ADHD person, the old site worked in it’s simplicity with it’s easy to navigate menus, and we’ve kept as much of that as possible, as our primary accessibility concern is neurodivergency.

As I type this, many parts of the website are still migrating, so there are some really tasty new features that you might not be able to use for a few days on the main site. However, the download pages – linked within the new reformatted premium patterns – are there, so do use them! We know there are a few features to iron out – some pattern thumbnails are blurry, for instance. And some featured images are lacking their alt text. Thankfully with the way we’ve set up the site we can work on this and improve accessibility as we move forward.

I will ask though that going forward, that you don’t link to the .co.uk site – once the migration has finished, everything will be at woollywormhead.com.

Learning Platform

In the coming weeks I’ll be migrating all of the workshops I had on Teachable to this site. I have a plan mapped out for how to do that, and if you’ve already purchased a Teachable class I suggest you download all the materials now, and yes, you absolutely can transfer your class to here! If you’d like to have your class transferred to the new site, please fill in the form at the end of this post.

My Teachable school will close permanently on 16th August 2024.

I’m really excited to be able to host all my workshops here, and have lots of ideas and plans for that area. Some of these plans have been in limbo for a long time, as we really needed this site to be finished, and we’re almost there!

Forum

We will indeed be adding a forum to this website! This should follow the migration of the learning platform, and will be connected to your account on the new site. That means only one log-in to purchase patterns, eBooks and workshops, as well as chat with your fellow knitters or ask questions.

Creating a new forum, one specifically for my patterns, has been a very long term goal. The inaccessibility issues with Ravelry’s new website launch made this essential, and I’m really glad we’ve reached a point where I can finally offer that for you.

 

Pattern Updates

Ravelry

Given Ravelry’s back-end set-up and how it works for designers, and given the complete restructuring of my business, the best way by far to get the latest versions of the patterns to you is by gifting them from my Ravelry publisher store. eta/ only the single patterns have been updated. There was an update a few weeks ago for Elemental, that now has written instructions, but otherwise the eBooks have not changed.

The download email that you’ll receive won’t quite look like an update email, it’ll be a gift email that looks more like a fresh purchase, but please be assured that you haven’t been charged for anything – I am simply using the gift system to get your updates to you as quickly as possible in a way that also works with how my busines has changed. Your email will say ““you’ve received a pattern from Woolly Wormhead” and not “you’ve purchased a pattern from Woolly Wormhead”. Ravelry doesn’t have a way to merge stores, it’s quite limited back-end in the options for businesses, hence they’ll be sent this way.

Most users won’t know that I have 2 Ravelry stores, or even that you can have 2 stores – one my designer store, the other my publisher store. As I am slowly starting to publish patterns by designers other than myself (I’ve been a registered publisher for several years now!) it makes no sense to keep my designer store open alongside my publisher one – that’s two stores to update and maintain, and double the fees. From the front end it won’t look any different – you’ll still be able to buy my patterns in exactly the same way! This is a back-end change, and gifting you the patterns from my publisher store ensures you permanent future access to any pattern or eBook updates.

This will be my first update task, and I expect this to take several days – it should be done by the end of June.

If you’re no longer able to use Ravelry then we have you covered – you’ll still be able to get the updates! There’s a form at the bottom of this post with a section just for you. Sending out your updates may take a little longer, depending on your preferences, but you will get them.

eta/ I’ve been asked if it’s possible to switch off the update emails – I’m sorry, but I don’t think there is. I realise for some people this means there will be a lot of emails, and I’m very conscious of spamming you all with the new versions, but this is the only way to feasibly manage getting everyone their updates. I am sending them to your Ravelry user account name, or if you purchased without an account name, they’ll come to your email. I get a copy of everyone’s download emails and even I can’t switch them off within Ravelry’s settings :/

I suggest setting up a filter within your email client that sends all emails from “downloads at ravelry dot com” OR “Woolly Wormhead : your PDF downloads” to a specific folder, so your inbox doesn’t get clogged up.

eta2/ I want to address a complaint that came in via the form, about why I’m gifting the patterns and not updating them. The short answer is that I have 2 stores, a designer one and a publisher one, I’m disabled and can’t maintain both, and Ravelry won’t merge them.

Because I have upper body mobility issues, and am affected by the Ravelry accessibity issues (the backend area has never been addressed in terms of fixing any of that) I cannot physically spend much time on Ravelry. And because it would take me a week, maybe a week and a half, to update one store, updating 2 would take even longer, increase my pain, and increase the risk of having another iritis flare-up (it’s an auto-immune disease that affects the eyes; I had my first flare-up in 16 years after Ravelry launched their new site). Long term I cannot maintain 2 stores, and Ravelry won’t merge them, so I have to manually merge them by gifting the patterns – gifting them essentially transfers the sales data backend from one store to the other, ensuring everyone gets any and all updates going forward. I tried to deal with this a couple of years ago, and some patterns were merged, but things have since changed and now I have to try and do it again. I wish I didn’t, I’d love to be able to update the patterns in both stores, but I don’t physically have that capability. If Ravelry would merge the stores it would solve everything, but they won’t, so my options are limited.

The gift updates are being sent to Ravelry usernames for account holders, and email addresses for those without accounts. They should be added directly to your library for account holders. The old versions won’t update, you’ll get a new, 2nd version. If you are concerned about having 2 copies of the same pattern in your Ravelry library, simply delete the old one 🙂

eta3, 15th July/it was brought to my attention that a number of people who’d received gifts of a pattern via Ravelry hadn’t received their new versions. After some sleuthing and problem solving, I was able to get those out today. Unfortunately it appears that some people have received a 2nd update (the first arriving last week), I apologise for this error. There’s no difference in the pattern, and you can safely delete the latest version.

eta/ Tutorial Links

We’ve learnt that roughly 1% of customers are having trouble with the embedded download links within the new pattern versions. This was tested thoroughly before rollout, and has been tested again since we got the first report.

The main issue, I believe, is because the Tutorial download files are on hidden pages on my website. They’re hidden to stop browser bots finding them and to prevent hotlinking, so that only verified customers can use them (and to save me a small fortune on hosting costs) but hiding pages with PDFs can cause some browsers to treat the files suspiciously and refuse to download them, or state an error, or even corrupt them whilst downloading. PDFs used to be notorious for sharing malware or viruses, which is why I refuse to send PDFs via email and always use a download service wherever possible, and why I stopped offering my free patterns as PDF downloads on my old site.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re using the latest version of Adobe reader, because older versions may not open the links correctly.

If you’re someone affected by this, I’ve updated the form below to ask for your device, browser and PDF reader details. Throughout testing we didn’t encounter any problems, and we think it’s a device/browser conflict or security issue, and we’d like to try and narrow down what’s happening for those folks affected. In the meantime, you could try a different device/browser, or clearing your cache.

Payhip

Once I’ve sent out all the gift updates via Ravelry, I will start updating all the patterns on Payhip.

If you didn’t check the box to receive email updates – it’s wording isn’t exactly clear, and many folk read it as being added to a mailing list – then you won’t get an update notice. However, you’ll still be able to access the updated version via your original download link.

I’m expecting this to take me a week or two – I have a huge back catalogue and intermitten internet – so I ask for your patience as I do this! Once I’ve finished updating all of the Payhip patterns I’ll update this blog post so you know when to check your download emails. I hope to have this done by mid July, so please don’t waste your download credits by checking link until I’ve updated this post and said everything’s ready!

eta 16th July/ Payhip updates are all done! They took a day – so much easier to use backend than Ravelry, especially because I can upload multiple files at a time, and they auto-upload, and because we can send bulk update notices for everything, instead of doing each pattern one by one. It also doesn’t cause my eyes any issues, Payhip have been really good on the accessibility front.

If you haven’t received an update notice, do check your spam folder, as one my test updates went there. Otherwise it’ll likely be because you don’t opt-in to receive updates and news, as mentioned above, but you can use your previous download email to access the latest version.

Etsy

Etsy doesn’t have a way to easily notify customers of pattern updates, and I’m not 100% sure whether once notified, they’ll have access to the new files. If you’re an Etsy customer, leave me a comment as I’d appreciate your help working out the best solution here. You can also use the ‘Something Else’ section at the end of the form linked below.

I had originally planned to work on updating my Etsy listings with the new versions, and have them done by the end of July, but after considerable thought, I have decided it’s time to wind down my Etsy shop. I have come close to closing it many times over the last few years. Each listing has been set to not automatically renew, so it will wind down slowly, and I will put a notice on the shop that directs knitters to this website.

I will continue to honour sending updates via a different platform if you can provide me with your Etsy purchase details – please use tthe form below. But considering the many problems with Etsy  – users being unable to download digital purchases through the app, and the amount of time I spend trying to help customers with this; the expectation to answer every email within 24hrs else you lose your ‘Star Seller’ status; the failure of Etsy to offer a VAT-inclusive option or charge the current rates, making my paterns unnecessarily more expensive for EU customers; the proliferation of ridiculously cheap, stolen or AI knitting patterns, making it harder to charge a reasonable price for a good quality pattern – it’s just not worth the time I put in, when it makes 1.5% of my turnover in a good year. I put more effort into maintaining Etsy, and dealing with issues that the platform won’t resolve, than I do anywhere else.

LoveCrafts

This isn’t an easy platform for designers to use, and with the amount of work involved in updating all of my patterns, I’ll be closing this store. It’s one of my poorest income streams and the time it would take to update everything, or what it would cost me to pay someone else to do it, just isn’t worth it. It’s a shame, as I helped build the LoveCrafts store for indie designers and helped test the coding for the connection to Ravelry back in the early days of VATmoss. But unfortunately they’ve not made any of the improvements that myself and other indie designers have asked for, and I can’t afford to continue selling there.

 

And if you need help or find a problem?

Then we’ve set up a form just for that!

If you find an issue with any of the reformatted patterns or tutorials, or find something not working on the website, then please complete the form below. Similarly, if you’re a former Ravelry user, complete your details in the form below and we’ll get working on the best way to get your updates to you. And if you’re purchased a class on Teachable, please complete the relevant section and we’ll get that sorted for you as soon as possible.

https://forms.gle/wGeRhKBK2ecnLDE8A

I think that’s it for now, but if you have any questions or concerns, pop them in the comments below!

Welcome to my new site, and thank you so much for your incredible patience as we’ve worked through this mahoosive project.

Woolly Wormhead

Woolly Wormhead is an internationally reknowned knit designer, specialising in Hats, technique and construction. Their patterns and techniques have been used by thousands of knitters worldwide. Join The Woolly Hat Society to be the first to learn of their latest projects and special offers!

24 Comments

  1. Carol Perecman

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication. The patterns look great!

    Reply
  2. Sharon

    Wow! Thanks for all the thought and hard work you’ve put in on everyone’s behalf.

    Once ‘knitting weather’ restarts I look forward to making a start on your Cabled Cap

    Reply
    • Woolly Wormhead

      You’re welcome! And have fun with Cabled Cap, that’s still a favourite 🙂

      Reply
  3. Audrey

    Amazing work getting all this done. Wishing you every success.

    Reply
    • Rosemary Mulryan

      so grateful to you for the work you have done to allow us to knit your lovely creations.

      Reply
  4. Deborah

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  5. Theresa

    Awsome! And thank you for being YOU!❤️

    Reply
  6. Laura

    Well done!

    May I ask, which method of buying a pattern is more financially advantageous to you?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Woolly Wormhead

      Thank you! And thanks for asking – buying from here benefits me the most, as I’m not paying any platform fees, and (digital) taxes are lower here too, so I lose less that way as well 🙂

      Reply
      • Laura Lunetta

        Excellent! Here it shall be!

        Reply
  7. Gilles Caron

    Good job…
    Thank you for the work and the news

    Reply
  8. Annabelle Cambier

    Love the new look of your site! Thank you for the update of Foggy. Beautifully modeled, I can’t wait to knit it!

    Reply
  9. Lucy

    Your new site is AWESOME. And your update to us was equally fabulous. I wish I had your dedication to keep my stuff up-to-date online. I will definitely purchase more patterns from you in the future.

    Reply
    • Woolly Wormhead

      you’re most welcome!

      I wouldn’t be comfortable not keeping things up to date and trying to get the latest versions to everyone. It’s not been straightforward by any means, but it’s worth it.

      Reply
  10. Karyn

    Thank you for the update and all your hard work!

    Reply
  11. Sharon Villines

    A search field would help in looking for things when the links don’t work — not the hidden pages — the links in the blog, for example. When a link isn’t working it is often possible to search the name of the design or technique and find things that way.

    Incredible site. No wonder it took 4 years to sort out. Congratulations!

    Reply
    • Woolly Wormhead

      There’s a search field for the blog, and another for the shop? I’m not sure what you mean, if not those.

      Thank you! This site didn’t take 4 years, the actual build is more like 1.25 years so far, but I had to change developer and that was a long drawn out process unfortunately. I started reformatting the patterns 4 years ago, and preparing new photos and data for the website, so it’s 4 years of work all in all!

      Reply
  12. Joni Perlette

    I didn’t understand most of the technical things you had to do, but it sure does sound like a lot of work! Thank you for the update of Vernalis. I started it during the winter but had to put it down to knit chemo hats for a friend, and then baby things for a new baby girl who joined the family! I’m almost ready to get back to my Vernalis beret.

    Reply
  13. Elaine Lim

    Thank you for being there, Woolly, and for all your hard work! Your new website is beautiful.

    Reply

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