Oh, wow, I just went to order some yarn for a project for my hubby, and there is a new tab category called "Related Items" and it has some suggested projects for the specified yarn. Not as extensive as previously, but I think they got the message. I posted something about this after the "change over", back when it first happened.
"You have not because you ask not," the Bible says. LOL! And its SUNDAY!!!... Talk about "listening to the customer!" I'm going to look at some yarn and see what "Related Items" I might find for some yarn I'm wanting to play with soon!
I hear you about Ravelry being overwhelming. I never post there, but do post here on Knitpicks. I would never get any knitting done if I got involved on Ravelry. But.... if you are interested in a yarn, say Shine Worsted, then just search Ravelry for that yarn. You'll get that yarn page and then you can click on 'projects' right there on that page and all the things people are making with that yarn will come up. If you have a pattern you want to make, search for the pattern (from a book, magazine, download, whatever) and again click on projects and see what yarns people are using to make it. You can work from the project to the yarn or vice versa, easily. I use Ravelry for their tools. I run a project list, keep my stash organized there, keep a printable needle list, have a queue with patterns I'm interested in, and even have my library listed. Anytime you add a pattern to your queue (which you can do easily with their little toolbar widget), all the lists you've made interact and it will tell you if you have the yarn in your stash, or if you need something not in your library to get the pattern.... It's really an incredible resource without having to get involved with all the knitting groups and forums. Of course searching the forums by a topic you want is a good way to find information about a yarn or pattern you are interested in. For Knitpicks yarns, I usually start here and see what people say about their projects and what yarn substitutions they are making. If more people actually posted that information here, we'd all have more ideas and information available. You can click the 'follow the discussion' button at the bottom of the page and then every time someone posts a new project comment or substitution, you can read it and know the latest. You have a good idea, but it could be complicated for the KP people to add all that to the yarn page without slowing it down. If we all posted here and followed the discussion, we'd have lots of information and could explain things more fully than there would be room for on the yarn page. That's really the ordering side rather than the discussion side of the site if I follow the structure here correctly. I find the staff blogs to be extremely helpful since they are always doing something with Knitpicks yarns. Also it's where you'll see new colors and yarns first! I guess I'm more comfortable roaming around the KP site and knitting community than I am doing the same thing on Ravelry. But the tools on Ravelry are extremely helpful to me.... I'm an organization woman!
Okay... THAT I can do! Still... it would be great if KP could incorporate a link to that Ravelry page. I know they can't because you have to have a Ravelry account to access the info... still, it would be nice.
I started to list my stash at the site... good grief. That's more trouble than its worth. If I had a couple dozen balls, that would be one thing, but I don't know who has time or patience to do that. However, after you explained it, it would be worthwhile to list the stash yarns for larger projects, more than a couple of balls, say... I could stand to do that, I think... in a year or so! LOL!
However, it might be useful to add patterns from the zillion books or magazines I have of projects I'd like to make in the nearer future...
The KnitPicks site is just more streamlined than Ravelry. Two different purposes and visions. In a perfect world, I could have both, but I guess, I'll have to adapt! :-)
So, perhaps a better solution might be for the KPC Admin to create a separate discussion title for each of the product lines, to help people isolate specific information about substitutions and projects they used that yarn for? I could live with that.
Thanks for the explanations on Ravelry and how I can use it more effectively... I've only been over there a half dozen times and just flounder around!
If you have a book or magazine and want to add a pattern from it to your 'queue' on Ravelry, search for the book or magazine title first! There is a click to see 'all the patterns' in that volume. Bring that up, find the pattern you want to add, and bring up that pattern, then just click the 'add to queue' button bar (I think it's in the upper right). That way you don't have to laboriously go through adding all the information from scratch for each pattern. I don't bother with all the other information you can add at that point. The important thing for me is to get that pattern correctly into my queue. You can add comments regarding a specific yarn if you want to as a reminder to yourself, or who you want to make it for. Then you can easily 'reorder' your queue anytime you want either by moving things with the green squiggles under the number, or even easier, just change the number in order to move it toward the top of the list and then at the bottom of the page click the button about changing/saving the new order. Zip! It's done without having to renumber everything in your queue. When you are ready to start a project you just go to the queue, click on the casting on and it moves to your project list where you can edit the entry to correctly show yarns etc. If you are using stash yarn, when you move the pattern to your project queue, click on the 'stash' button rather than adding in the yarn name, etc. It takes you to your stash list and you just click on the yarn you want to use and the information is automatically filled in.
You are absolutely right that it can be a daunting task to fill in the stash info. I left that to the absolute end. Just started with a project list, then a needle list, then a queue, later a library list, and finally the stash list. this all happened over at least a year's time. When I did the stash list I had just reorganized all my stash yarn into bins and I just took one bin (they were mostly small) at a time to the computer and added whatever was in it. If you have a lot of yarn of a single type, you don't have to fill in everything all over again. When you are ready to save, you have options to 'add another colorway' of the same yarn. You can always go to your stash list, click on a specific yarn if you've gotten more and edit your entry. When you say you are using stash yarn for a project, it automatically takes it out of the stash totals. As with all organizing 'tools' it requires you to do the up front work, but then makes life really easy from then on out. Adding this and that as you acquire it, is much easier than creating the entire stash list in the first place. But as you suggest, I started the stash list with all the 'larger number of balls' yarns that I had. I gradually added my sock yarns, the grandkid yarns, and eventually all the single lace yarns, etc. I did not go crazy about the leftovers from earlier projects unless there were full balls.
What I like about the project list is that you have a choice of in progress, finished, and hibernating! Whenever you look at your list you can see how much you've accomplished, what's on the needles, and what you stuffed in the closet because it was driving you crazy. hahah I've only been knitting for less than 2 years after a 45 year break, and knitting now is an entirely different situation than it was back then. Ravelry is a great tool, but also a networking site like Facebook for Knitters. I have my entry, but don't look for 'friends' or join knit alongs or groups or spend time on forums. I have so much I want to knit that it consumes all my time and more so I want to use my time on those items rather than do a group project. I read the forums when I find a pattern and there are entries about it because they give me information I can use to decide whether or not I want to do that item and if there are problems with the pattern. Oh yes! There is a link with the patterns or books listed on Ravelry with corrections if there are any. That's a help too. OK, so I am trying to demystify the basic 'tool' part of Ravelry, and encourage the sharing of information on Knitpicks about their yarns. The KP people are really good about making suggestions if they have a suitable substitute, but as you say, there isn't always a KP alternative. There is just so much yarn out there! I have posted a number of projects here which were done with various KP yarns substituted for the original specified yarns. I try to say if I see a difference between the original item and the result with KP yarn. I've never been disappointed with the end results with KP yarns. I definitely had an early disaster with a non-KP yarn my daughter bought for a summer pullover she wanted. The original yarn called for was no longer made and the substitute was way too soft and drapey rather than crisp and the end result was ridiculous! It was my 'first sweater' and a painful lesson. We are still trying to figure out what we can make with that yarn that would work. haha OK, enough. I'm nearly finished a jacket for my daughter (3 rows and the bind off to go) so I'm going to do that today!
Marta... thank you! I probably would have figured all this out on my own... eventually... but why reinvent the wheel?
Gosh... maybe I should begin with the two foot tall stack of knit/crochet mags under my bed and enter in patterns that looked interesting! And then start on the books... When I can GET to all my yarn (requiring an overhaul of the basement) I will take my laptop down with me and sit in front of my bins of yarn and enter stuff in as I go. In the meantime, I think I'll just work on the yarn I have upstairs right now and yarn I get in the future... it is just too overwhelming otherwise. Then, if I decide on a pattern from that list, I can go rummage through and see what I've got that might work, enter that into Ravelry and see if I get any "hits" from current stash. :-)
I am unclear about the needle list... I have pretty much every size I could possibly need... will I be happier if I enter them into Ravelry anyway? How, exactly, does that help in the search & create process?
I did join one group, the NE Portland OR group, but I really don't have time to post there with all I'm doing here... and, as you say, have any time to actually KNIT! LOL! And posting here just seems so much easier... and more friendly.
I think when I get a new book or mag, I'll open Ravelry as I look through it and add projects I found interesting as I read through it, in the future... Is there a place I could indicate where I can find the pattern again? What I mean is, I take patterns from the mags... eventually... and put them in a 3-ring binder. If it is no longer in the actual mag, is there a place to indicate it is one I've moved to the binder? That would be helpful. Also, ones I find on the net I save as a pdf file, so it would be great if I could indicate that's on my computer, and what name I saved it under. :-)
Anyway... thanks for the tutorial on Ravelry! Maybe I'll poke around in it a little more, sooner than I might have. :-)
On Ravelry, it is possible to look up a specific yarn (such as Shine Worsted) and then see all of the projects that have been knitted out of that yarn. To do this, click on the "yarn" tab, then type in the name of the yarn that you're interested in and click the "search" button. Next, click on the "projects" button, and from there, you can narrow down the project type to find the perfect pattern for you.
I think the needle/hook list is just an aide to remembering what I had of needles in what sizes and forms... i.e. which wood, which metal, which straight, circular, fixed, interchangeable.... If you have many of everything, you wouldn't need the list for sure!
Good... one less thing to list there! Unless pattern calls for DPNs or less than 24" cable circulars, that, for some reason I didn't want to do in ML, I don't need any more needles! There are no sizes of crochet hooks I don't have, most of them, I have more than one of each size... inherited from my mom, my MIL, and my daughter when she decided she didn't want to crochet after all... plus from people I've taught to crochet that gave back the hooks I gave them to learn with when they began to invest in Addi or bamboo hooks.
I listed all the books I just got today and in my last KP order and the ones I've got up here in my room... and a couple that came up looking for those that I knew for certain I had. I tried to add a few mags that are here by my bed, but that was frustrating as most of them didn't come up... looks like some of the most recent issues aren't available there yet, cuz these were all winter issues. Five of the books wouldn't come up either... they should make it possible to search via ISBN number.. a lot more efficient.
Tomorrow, maybe I'll try to get the KP yarn entered, from my last two orders and some that never got transported down to a bin in the basement... I think a lot the KP yarn is the same 6-8 products in different colorways, so hopefully that won't be as overwhelming as it feels like it will be. :-)
Sometimes I have trouble entering a magazine, but if I go to the pattern search I can sort of do it backwards.... In the upper left you can enter the title of a book or magazine and then get to it from there. Then click on the patterns to add them to your queue. If I try to add them to my library, there are sometimes little glitches in the way the magazine has been posted to Ravelry which doesn't bring all the issues up the same way. I found several of the winter issues of magazines just a week or so ago.
If you are doing several colors of the same yarn, at the end of the first entry when you are going to 'save' it, look for the button that says 'save it and add another colorway'. Well, the button doesn't say all that, but under the save are some choices for more yarn from the same source or additional colorways of the same yarn. Always do them in clusters if you can. It saves a lot of time. Have fun!