January 02, 2023

Using My Ravelry Queue

     The following is an excerpt from a couple of emails I sent a friend.  It's mostly about how I use my queue on Ravelry.  Thought you might like to read it. 
     My favourites on Ravelry have patterns or projects that I like, whether or not I'd actually wear them or make them.  If I can get a free pattern for a favourite, usually I download the pdf right after I favourite it and I add it to my library.  Then I decide whether I'm likely to make it in the foreseeable future.  I also think about whether I really want to be reminded that the pattern exists or if it's okay if it's buried in the library.  If I am really interested in it, I add the pattern to the queue.  Then I change the order of the queue if needed.
     I think of my queue as having two parts.  The patterns at the front of the queue have stash yarn assigned to them.  They are patterns that I am probably going to make.  The queue is not a firm commitment or firm plan.  Perhaps I would consider it a placeholder.  I make a firm commitment when I make a project page.  
     The patterns at the end of the queue don't have stash yarns assigned.  They are patterns that I'd like to make, possibly.  I might later reject them if I think they'd turn out to be too difficult technically or too expensive or too difficult for sourcing materials or too ill-suited to the recipient or not terribly functional or too way out there in looks or whatever.  Right now, this section includes a cluster of patterns for selfish crafting.  That is, crafting items for myself, not to give away.  Some patterns in the queue have notes on them about possible directions I could take the finished objects I envision.  I don't expect get to this section of the queue for a year.  I may not get to some of the patterns ever.  For a few of them, I don't even own the pattern yet.
     The order of my queue in the first section is subject to change, frequently.  Right now I am torn between making specific gifts versus using up all I have of one kind of yarn and thereby getting rid of a storage box. 
     The first section of my queue, the stuff assigned to stash yarn, is in an order that has patterns for gifts mixed with some patterns for myself.  I can tell which pattern is meant for a gift and which is meant for me because I have tagged each accordingly.  When I queue a pattern, I often write the intended recipient's name in the notes section as well as the regular field for recipient.  This is because the regular field entry doesn't show in the queue overview but the notes do. 
     One fun analytical thing you can do is go to your favourites or your queue or your library and then click on advanced search.  After that you can select only sweaters or only a certain weight of yarn or some other criteria.  Even if you don't drill down in search, just seeing the patterns in a different format can be helpful. 
     One way to increase your library is to search designers, select knitting, select a popular designer, do an advanced search on their patterns, and select "free."  
     Or search patterns, arrange the order by "hot right now" or "most popular," and select "free."  
     When searching patterns, it is possible to bring up a search field for the pattern notes.  This often turns up more results than a regular search for key words like Christmas or geeky.  This option is on the left at the bottom.  
     To have a pattern in the queue multiple times, I went to the queue page and selected "add to queue."  I filled in the field for the pattern name, clicked the link symbol, then selected the pattern from the search results.  I find it helps to know the designer in case multiple patterns with similar names turn up.  Then it's just a matter of filling in the rest of the form. 
     Sometimes I will type in something generic for the pattern name, like "cardigan," hit the link symbol, but choose "none of the above."  This creates a queue entry for a future project done with a pattern I make up or a project for which I haven't yet determined the exact pattern.
     I believe bundles are available for favourites only.  But you can temporarily bring up something kind of like a bundle in the queue with the search function.  On the queue page, you can search the queue for a particular tag.  This lets you see a subset of all patterns in the queue with that tag.  If you have a certain name for a bundle in favourites, you can carry that over to the queue by tagging patterns in your queue with the same name.  
     You can enter a search word on the queue page and use the pulldown menu beside it to search by pattern instead of tag.  This lets you see all cardigans, for example, or all hats. 
     Alternatively, you can do the advanced search on your queue and then filter it a number of ways.  For example, it is possible to do an advanced search on your queue and see if a friend has one or more of the patterns in her favourites.  You can search for lace by selecting the characteristic of lace or by typing lace into the project notes field.  This would not be as idiosyncratic as a bundle name but it could help you slice and dice.  You can see at a glance whether your queue is mostly accessories or not, for example.  You can also look at the difficulty rating and select only easy patterns. 

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