While I’ve done some knitting over the past week, I’ve spent more time on knitting-related yet non-knitting activity. I purged a bunch of patterns from my Ravelry queue.
First, I should explain how I use my Ravelry queue and favorites. Outside of finished objects, the only patterns I favorite are patterns I think are amazing, whether I would be willing to knit them or not. I don’t use my queue just for the things I’m going to knit soon. Instead, I use it as the pool from which I choose patterns to knit. Nearly all of the patterns I have in my library are in my queue. Yes, I know, I can just search my library on its own, but I don’t always want to limit my search to that, and don’t want to search twice (the patterns in my queue for the first search, and patterns not in my queue on the second one).
Sometimes I do searches for certain classes of patterns and populate my queue with them. For instance, I was making a lot of dishcloths, so I added a bunch of cute dishcloth patterns. Then, when I felt like working on a dishcloth, I would search my queue. It had patterns I owned as well as free patterns I already knew I liked, and I would pick one I was in the mood to knit. Similarly, if I’m looking for something specific to knit, such as a baby blanket, I would find a bunch of blankets I like on Ravelry and put them in my queue. Later I would go back and decide which one I wanted to knit. The problem was, once I picked the baby blanket pattern I wanted to knit, I didn’t delete the patterns from my queue that I decided not to use. Or the hats I queued for Tim. Or the afghans I queued for our couch.
I would also queue garments I thought were cute, but never went back and deleted them when my tastes changed or something went out of style. Or I would queue something silly, like skirts. One day I decided there were a bunch of cute skirt patterns out there, and I would queue a bunch and knit some skirts. One problem – I rarely wear dresses or skirts in my day-to-day life. Am I really going to knit one? No. And when I made this realization, did I delete the skirts I added to my queue? No.
Needless to say, my queue grew out of control. I had over 5,000 patterns. Granted, nearly 2,000 of those were in my library, but that’s still way too many patterns. Now that I want to be more frugal and use what I have, I decided to purge a bunch of patterns I don’t need. I filtered my queue to go through different types of patterns I was going to consider deleting. Here are some of the categories.
–Patterns that I would have to pay for that I don’t already own. I looked at the pattern, looked at the price, and decided whether I would be willing to pay that price for that particular pattern. If so, it stayed in the queue. If not, I deleted it. I also deleted patterns I would have to pay for that are similar to patterns I already own or things I’ve already made.
–Patterns that were in books or magazines or pamphlets I don’t already own, and couldn’t be bought individually. Did I like the pattern enough to either purchase the entire book or magazine or pamphlet, or go through the trouble to find it at the library or see if I have a friend who owns the pattern? In all cases, the answer was no. Those were deleted.
–Baby stuff. I don’t have kids, and I don’t anticipate having any soon. I have many baby patterns in my library.
The next time someone I know has a baby, if there isn’t something already in my queue that I want to make for that person, then I will search for something else. There is no need for me to keep baby stuff queued. I kept a few things that I thought were amazing or inspiring, but that was it.
–Skirts and dresses. Enough said.
–Vests. I don’t really wear vests. I kept a couple of vest patterns I thought were great and would actually consider wearing and deleted the rest.
–Men’s items. Often when I see men’s items I would be willing to knit, I queue them in case Tim would like them, but I usually forget to actually show them to Tim. He sat down with me and looked at all the men’s patterns and decided which ones I should keep and which ones he didn’t like.
–Sock and shawl patterns. I have a lot of sock and shawl patterns in my queue. I deleted ones I didn’t like anymore, and ones that were similar to other patterns already in my queue.
–Toys. I kept a few toys that I think are inspiring, and a few that I plan to use for decoration. I deleted the rest.
–Blankets. For some reason I’ve kept a lot of blanket patterns. I already have a lot of blanket patterns in my library, so I deleted all but the ones I thought were amazing and really want to knit.
–Stranded color work. I’m not very good at stranded color work. I plan to get better at it some day, but so far I haven’t. I kept a few stranded color work patterns that I think will inspire me to improve, and the sorts of patterns I like enough that I would actually choose to improve just so I can make that sweater. The rest were deleted.
–Crochet. See stranded color work.
–Garments that are cute but won’t be flattering on me. This was hard, because a lot of these garments are cute and I would love to knit them and wear them, but they just won’t work with my body shape. I deleted almost every sweater that called for super bulky yarn. I just sort of eyeballed the rest.
–Tea cozies. I don’t own a tea pot.
–Dish clothes. We decided since the dishcloths take a bit of a beating that I would only knit plain ones.
–Bags. I have a ton of market bag patterns in my library, and as cute as I think some tote bag and purse patterns are, I’m probably not going to knit those. I deleted all the non-library market bags, and only kept a handful of other bag patterns in my queue if I really love them and would actually use them.
–Felted items. I’ve never felted anything. Maybe one day I will. The thought of felting something I would wear, such as a hat or slippers, is a turn off to me because I really don’t want to take the time to keep checking to see how much something felted and whether it will fit yet. I kept a few felted patterns in my queue, and they were all things where size doesn’t matter such as bowls or holiday decorations.
I think that just about covers it. Over the course of the last week I must have deleted over 1,000 patterns from my queue. I’m sure there are others that I should delete, but I think I have to wait a few weeks and try again. It’s weird, psychologically I feel a lot better now, like I removed clutter and can be more efficient somehow, even though that’s not really true.