First of all, a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to write me a little encouraging note yesterday. I have said it before & I will say it again — my readers are the best! Thank you for being so awesome! Please know that I really do love hearing from you & that you truly are welcome to contact me with general inquiries, specific knitting or spinning questions, topic suggestions, or just to say hi anytime. I am always compiling new post topics, new items to review, projects to write about, etc. and I am happy to find a way to include anything you may be curious about. To contact me, I have a little form on my ‘contact’ page and I do check those messages regularly. Thank you again, for all your encouragement & kind words — they really made my day and I am so glad to be a part of this community!
As you know, I’m in the middle of making some changes in my knitting life. For me much of any transition is finding a way to gain control over the ‘what comes next.’ This tends to trigger stress cleaning which leads to some new insane organization that miraculously allows me to comfortably move forward. Miraculous because the cleaning is always more emotional than calculated so it tends to feel like a surprise when suddenly my next step is easy. Nice how that works. And weird. Nice and weird.
Anyway, part of a recent stress cleaning exploit was that I started to catalog my physical knitting library into my Ravelry library (yes, I am really going to town using the organizational tools on Ravelry lately). As you know, patterns you purchase on Ravelry are automatically saved in your library, but what about the patterns you’ve purchased as hard copies or those that are contained in book or magazines? They sit on your shelf to be admired and — if you are anything like me — probably kind of forgotten.
What is the point of taking the time to add books & patterns to your Ravelry library? Well, the main benefit is that once added to your library, all those patterns become searchable online. This means you can scroll through or do what is essentially an advanced pattern search of not the entire treasure trove of Ravelry patterns (beautiful rabbit hole that it is), but the patterns you’ve already added to your library. Along with the digital patterns purchased, hard copies of books & magazines can be added to your library as well as patterns or books not yet purchased. I tend to add only those items that are in my possession or individual patterns for which I have specific plans. You can make your own rules for what is added to your library, this is just how I roll.
Once added to my library, whether the criteria I want to meet in a search is a certain type of garment or accessory or a yarn uploaded into my stash I can now specifically search the patterns actually in my possession or bookmarked as patterns I plan to purchase. We’ve all bought or bookmarked patterns we love, patterns we must have right now, and then… totally forgotten about them because a new shiny pattern popped up in the ‘Hot Right Now’ list. Uploading these patterns into my library allows me to keep those favourites easily accessible.
Now you may be thinking, ‘Hey, all those books & magazines are already sitting 10feet from me. Why do I need to be able to search them online?’ Well, not only does adding books to the library automatically add all the patterns within those titles, adding magazines does the same thing. My Jane Austen Knits, knit.wear, Interweave Knits, etc — when I add those titles to my library all the patterns in all them become a part of my library’s database. This is huge for me. Huge. While I have a pretty good memory for which patterns are in my books, I am not as great at remembering those in magazines. Now they are all at my fingertips.
True, the uploading takes a bit of time, but in my opinion the time investment is a good one. It will streamline future searches and allow me to make the most of the fantastic library that I have. Yes, I think the Ravelry library tool is a pretty darn handy one.
Another bonus is that — like my stash & queue — now you, my friends, can see what titles I have in my library, too. I am always interested in what titles fellow knitters are reading & using and figure you might be also. I must also admit that part of the drive for me to do this is the response I got to my review of Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits. I have a lot of titles that are really excellent and cataloging them has helped me to start to plan further reviews for you. All such fun!
Of course now that I’ve written about how fantastic this next step of organization has been all I can think about is adding all my paper patterns into my online library. Maybe if the kids are playing nicely… and it’s rainy outside I can get that done, too…
Then again, maybe this is a bit much for a single afternoon…
Are we friends on Ravelry? We should be! Feel free to add me, TheKnittingSarah, so you can easily view my library, queue, FO’s and more!