Navigating Ravelry

I just put my Knockando vest into a tub to soak.  After it soaks for about 30 minutes, I’ll block it. It was a fun project and makes me wish for cooler days so that I can wear it.  Almost!  I would like a little more of summer first. 

DK options from my stash

The question is: What's next? My husband wants a sweater for our trip to Scotland in 2022, so I have some time to find just the right pattern and yarn for that.  Right now, I would like to look through my stash and see what I can conjure up.  Whether you crochet or knit, I suspect most of you have a stash of yarn tucked away in a tub, craft room, or closet.  Even though I usually buy yarn for specific projects, I also tend to buy an extra skein.  Playing yarn chicken — by that I mean cutting it close and knitting to the end of a project, hoping that I don’t run out of yarn — is not my thing.  Therefore, it leaves me with skeins or partial skeins in my stash.  So, I dug out my leftover skeins of DK yarn to see what was available.  Sometimes the colors and textures of the yarn inspire a project, so I gathered them to see how they might work together and see if any combination inspired me.  That is a good exercise in itself; it is easy for me to forget what I have.

After looking at yarn options, I decided to start looking at patterns.  Since I had a limited amount of yardage, a smaller project was in order. It can be fun to knit a smaller project after finishing a larger one like a vest or sweater.  I have to say that, once I saw the yarns together, I thought about my granddaughters' interest in bucket hats. While they were visiting, they pointed out bucket hats in the various shops.  Guess they are back in style (at least in Kansas City).

So, I turned to my first go-to pattern searching site, Ravelry. If you have not used this site, I highly recommend it.  The advanced search tool makes searching for a pattern fun and easy. However, deciding on just one pattern can be a challenge, because there are so many choices.  There is no cost to register, and you will not receive any emails (spam or otherwise). 

Here is how I used the advanced search for my pattern:

Ravelry Search Box

• I logged onto Ravelry, then
• I clicked on patterns (on the top left of the page next to the word Ravelry) and landed on the Search Patterns page
• Selected Advanced Search
• On the next page that opened, I filtered my search.  The filter is on the left side and, from that menu, I clicked on accessories, then hats.  All the hat patterns are displayed.  There were 134,188 patterns available.

Clearly, I needed to narrow my search.

Advanced Ravelry Search

• I next selected adult in the Age/Size/Fit menu box.
• I chose to look at patterns that had between 150 to 300 yards.
• Under weight, I chose DK.
• Under craft, I chose knitting, so I would only see knitting patterns.
• I always select yes on photo.

At this point, my choices had significantly narrowed.

I could have selected to look only at free patterns, but wanted to see as many choices as possible. 

Bucket Hat Pattern

Once I picked out a pattern, I decided on the texture of yarn I wanted.  I decided on Kenzie, because I think it will hold its shape well.  I have three colors of Kenzie, but I needed to know how much of each color I had on hand.

Weighing a skein from my stash

So, I got out my trusty kitchen scale and weighed my yarn.  According to the yarn band, there are 146 meters in a 50-gram skein.  This will help me estimate my yardage from the grams I have.  I need 180 meters for the main color and 20 meters for the contrasting colors.  I have 48 grams (140 meters) of one of my contrasting colors and 24 grams (71 meters) of the other contrasting color.  I am going to be about twenty meters short on my main color, but I have several options for solving this problem:

  • Buy another skein of my main color (knowing the dye lot might be a little off.
  • Use one of the contrasting colors to knit the top of the hat.
  • Knit the design portion wider, thus reducing the number of main color rounds.

I like the proportions of the design, so I will either make the top a contrasting color or buy another skein of yarn.  I am leaning toward buying another skein of yarn.  Of course, this means that I will have another partial skein for my stash.  One step forward, one step back, I suppose. I will have to decide fast.  My blocked sweater is drying, and I need a new project!