A plan has been forming in my head over the last few days. I really
*need* want a new shawl and I have some very specific criteria for the pattern. I’m not even sure where the idea came from but it has slowly materialised. I’ve also wanted to write about the awesomeness that is the Ravelry advanced search for quite a while so this is kind of an introduction to the faceted search functions.
- Size: I want a really big cosy shawl to wrap around me on cold evenings, not just something to drape over my shoulders, but something to really wrap around me like a big hug.
- Shape: Because I want a proper wrap I think a crescent shape or rectangle would suit my idea best. I think crescent would be my preference as I feel it would sit better on my shoulders, but I want to keep my options open.
- Yarn: ISLINGTON by Kettle Yarn Co. in Light Squirelly and Titus 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns in Coal, I bought these when I was in London last summer. I hadn’t necessarily planned on using them together when I bought them but they go together quite well.
- Texture: I really fancy something with a lot of garter stitch. I figure garter isn’t too taxing to knit, given my loss of knitting mojo, and is so super squishy. And I do love lace, so I’m not opposed to (and in fact would quite like) a bit of lace to liven things up.
But how do I translate this into search results I hear you cry? The magic that is Ravelry advanced search can actually capture all of these criteria and serve me back results that I can then sort using a variety of options. Using the facets (or options) that appear on the righthand side of the screen this is how I searched for my perfect shawl:
- Craft: Knitting. This is my default option, but you can also refine by crochet patterns and machine knitting and loom knitting have also been added recently.
- Category: Accessories -> All Neck / Torso-> Shawl / Wrap. We’ll I’m looking for a shawl pattern so this is pretty much self explanatory but it really helps narrow your search results to exactly what you’re looking for.
- Weight: Light Fingering / 3ply & Fingering / 4 ply & Sport / 5ply. The two yarns I’ve chosen are both fingering weight but I’ve decided to include light fingering and sport in my results. Because a shawl doesn’t necessarily need to fit I can be a flexible with the yarn weight.
- Attributes: Shapes -> Crescent / Half Circle / Rectangle. For some reason I need to apply these filters separately. While most facets have an ‘or’ join (light fingering OR sport) attributes seem to have an ‘and’ (rectangle AND crescent). This means that it only returns results that are both rectangles AND crescent, which doesn’t return many results as you might expect.
- Meterage: 600 – 800m. You can choose your range by clicking a tick-box beside a pre decided range, or you can enter a range manually, which is what I did. I want to use as much of the skeins as possible but know I could add a few repeats if needed to use up more yarn so I’ve chosen to see shawls that need between 600 and 800 metres.
- Keywords: garter. I want a shawl that has a proportion of garter stitch in it so I just type garter into the search box and hit enter.
- Sort: Most popular / Best match. You can also sort your results based on different criteria. I like to use most popular, but if I’m not seeing what I want I’ll sort by best match.
I get 62 search results for ‘crescent‘, 26 results for ‘half-circle‘ and 23 results for ‘rectangle‘. This is much easier to sort through than simply typing in ‘garter shawl’ or other keywords. I’ve narrowed it down a bit more visually and here are my top picks so far.
What do you think? I’d love to hear which one you prefer in the comments.