Your knitting patterns are del.icio.us

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006
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A little while ago I had an idea for a knitting patterns database where knitters could link to their favourite patterns, assign ratings, share ideas and pictures and generally clown about. I was going to give up on the idea because it seemed like too much work, until I realized that a more simple solution was available: del.icio.us, the popular social bookmarking service. The power of del.icio.us is in its tagging functions, which allow you to index a giant set of links in as many different ways as you want.

Keeping a del.icio.us pattern database is simple. In the “title” field, put the name of the pattern. (I’m only specifying this because sites like MagKnits and Knitty don’t put pattern names into their titles, which can make things confusing when you have a lot of ambiguously titled links). Put any comments about the pattern into the “description” section. Then tag away, as follows:

  • Yarn Choice
    If you have any specific yarn plans, tag the pattern with “cascade fixation” or “rowan tweed,” etc. Then the next time you want to use a bit of your stash, you can go to http://del.icio.us/user_name/rowan to look for great patterns for your Rowan yarn, or http://del.icio.us/user_name/rowan+tweed to look for Rowan Tweed possibilities. You can also mark it with the fibre content and weight of the required yarn. Tagging your pattern with “skeins:1″ or “skeins:2″ will also allow you to find all the patterns that require a certain number of skeins.
  • Possible Giftees
    You’ve found a scarf that would be perfect for your aunt Mildred. Tag the pattern with “mildred” and later on when you’re desperate for a gift idea, you can go back to your del.icio.us list and find all the patterns you thought she’d love. You can also tag a link as “anyone,” if it’s for noone in particular.
  • Clothing Type and other relevant keywords
    Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Rating and Favourites
    This is the part I’m most excited about. If you really like a pattern, tag it as “rating:5,” “5outof5″ or something similar. I haven’t seen anyone else use del.icio.us as a rating system, but if it turns into a legitimate [[microformat]] then people will be able to search del.icio.us for patterns that other people have rated highly. Think of the data mining possibilities!

There are many other ways you can use del.icio.us to organize your knitting life. For example:

  • You can keep a wishlist of yarn and knitting equipment you want to buy by tagging each link with “wishlist.”
  • Use it to organize your knitting blogroll.
  • Keep a list of inspirational knitting photos from Flickr (with thumbnails!)

Do you have a del.icio.us account? Do you use it for knitting patterns? Would you consider cataloguing your patterns like this if lots of other people did the same?

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3 Comments to “Your knitting patterns are del.icio.us”

  1. Man, I (heart) Web 2.0. RSS aggregators, tagging, folksonomies, Flickr … love.

    But before you get too invested in del.icio.us, have you seen Wists? ( http://www.wists.com ). It’s for tagging links, like delicious, but you can add photos to the links so you actually remember what stuff looks like. Beauty.

    http://del.icio.us/arlette/knitting

    What’s yours?

    Comment by arlette
    June 22, 2006 @ 6:47 pm
  2. I don’t have a del.icio.us account, but I would sign up to be involved with a project like this. Awesome idea!

    Comment by Erika
    June 22, 2006 @ 7:38 pm
  3. Arlette: I’ve checked out wists, but only casually. By the time I found out about it, I already had a big investment put into del.icio.us, shall we say, so I stuck with it. There are more people del.icio.us.ing, which means that there are more neat plugins being developed for it, and it’s constantly being improved and such. So I like it. I’m also a creature of habit.

    My del.icio.us bookmarks are at http://del.icio.us/tau_ceti, knitting stuff is under http://del.icio.us/tau_ceti/knitting. Hopefully at some point I will get http://del.icio.us/tau_ceti/patterns organized!

    Erika: The more users that do this, the more useful it is! Consider yourself the official first person to take part in this project!

    Comment by Eve
    June 26, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

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