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Topic: Pattern Database  (Read 4588 times)
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knottie
« on: July 30, 2006 09:10:55 AM »

I posted about this over on LJ Knitting, but I'm really trying to get the word out, so I hope you'll forgive me if you've seen this twice.

I've been working hard to create an online database that has details of patterns, both online and off.  It has links to where you can find the pattern (the website it's posted on, say, or a place to buy it, or the book it's in) and information about the yarn used, techniques and construction methods, etc.  For things like sweaters, you can look for short sleeved cardigans with round necklines that use intarsia.  You can specify that it be online in a webzine, or "offline" in a book.

I came up with the idea to do this based on the types of questions I see here (I lurk a LOT lol) and other places.  The basic functionality is there now, and i have big plans for the future (see my news page), but I'd love to have people submit patterns that they like, and links they find useful.  And of course, independent designers are strongly encouraged to add their patterns so that we can find them!  Hopefully as the database grows it'll benefit both people looking for patterns and designers trying to get their names and books out there.

Please let me know what you think!

http://www.knottie.net/patterndbs/index.php
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Lothruin
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006 09:37:22 AM »

That's really cool!  One thing I would suggest that you add to the initial listing is designer's name or another form of identification (Stitch 'n' Bitch, Interweave, etc.).  This might be too much information to have on the main page, but I know that I'd like to be able to see that info on the main page anyway.  There are some designers or sources that are well-known enough that people are particularly attracted to their designs or they have a reputation for well-executed sizing, etc.  If I really like Stephanie Japel's designs, then I can see at a glance that a given item in your database might be one I'm inclined to check out.  And likewise, if it's a designer I don't know about, then I will probably click through just to see what they're all about, which would get good exposure for start-up designers like myself.
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elijor
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006 10:16:30 AM »

Excellent idea!!!!!!!
               I love it!!!!!!
As Lothruin stated the designer's name on the main page would be really nice. I did notice you can use the "detailed search" to search for a specific designer. That wouldn't really help out if you looking for say a sweater and just wanted to look at designers you've not heard of before.

The only other thing I would like to see changed is that when you click on the link to the pattern I'd prefer it open a new window. There are a couple of advantages to this. first off sometimes I want to look at a couple of options so if it opened a new window I could just click the two option and compare them side by side. Secondly I hate when a link takes me to a new site then that site won't let me hit the back button (seems to happen more and more). I know almost nothing about programing so it might be to difficult or just too much work.
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knottie
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006 02:20:07 PM »

Thanks for the feedback!  I've made it so pattern links will automatically open in a new window, but it will reuse the same window...I decided to do it that way so that you won't loose your database results by clicking on a pattern, but you also won't end up with a 100 different windows if you end up checking a lot of different patterns.  If you want to compare two patterns side by side, you'd probably still have to click "open in a new window" for one of them, but I wanted to add convenience without annoyance.

I think the designer info is a great idea too...the problem I run into is lack of window space for all the columns.  One solution I was thinking of was to offer "design centric" views for any tops, so the columns would show you the pattern designer, the source type (book, blog, magazine), the type of top, neckline, sleeves and fit.  I also plan to add a "browse patterns by designer" so you could quickly find things by a particular person.  Would those two things together meet most needs do you think?
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Jane2
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006 09:41:11 PM »

WOW!!!
(I've just been to your site.)
Thank you, thank you. New patterns to try out!

Thank you (again).
BTW, are you going to add another page? ... of baby patterns for example.
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SylvChezPlum
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006 01:14:39 AM »

Looking great !!

I think the search form, although maybe you could make it a bit more user-friendly in the next versions, will be great !! I love that you can look for all these options in a pattern (long sleeves, raglan, amount of yarn ect !!!), that will be so useful !

It's cool as well that you chose the "add a pattern" feature, saves you tons of work and will broaden the amount of patterns !!

I do have a couple suggestions tho.. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I didn't see any mention of whether the patterns were knit or crochet (in the "new patterns" page). That probably wouldn't take much space, just a little logo..?

Also, I'm thinking in the long term, if you want to become a reference site (like say "Yarndex" for instance ..) you might want to chose a simpler url and invest in an easy to remember domain name..?

Now, I just tried the "search" feature, and had some trouble with the categories box. First, I think it might be better to put it on top of the list: that's the first thing you want to chose, the item you're looking for. Then, I didn't find them very precise : what should I chose for a women's garment ? Also, you probably can refine those categories for future versions.. like create a specific category for bags/purses ..? (okay, I'm partial on this one..my free pattern is for a purse..  ;-)  )

Which reminds me. I first went to the "News pattern" page, and was frustrated to see patterns both from books and online all together. I'm thinking maybe a colour code for the patterns available online might be nice...?

Okay. Guess that's it for now. I'm bookmarking you anyway, Yay !! I'll be back !!   ;-)

sylv
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006 04:49:56 AM by SylvChezPlum » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006 07:09:20 AM »

I first went to the "News pattern" page, and was frustrated to see patterns both from books and online all together. I'm thinking maybe a colour code for the patterns available online might be nice...?
I think this is a great idea as I have chosen to spend my hard earnt dollars on yarns as opposed to books (too many books I don't use much anymore)

It would also be great if you put up an appreciation page (if you have the room). A page where you list the people who have kindly supplied you with their personal patterns. I found this on another website (nothing to do with knitting or craft) and having my submissions thanked in such a way, makes me feel really thanked and like I want to do more.
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knottie
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006 07:19:17 AM »

Ok, I've added a "Designer View" for the predefined garment searches for women, men, babies and children.

And I added predefined searches for babies and kids clothing, although there aren't any patterns posted there yet (i'll try to add a few today).

SylvChezPlum :
If you mouse over a pattern name and wait a second, it'll tell you whether it's a knit or crochet pattern.  A little obscure, I agree.  I'm working on tiny little icons to use instead, but that'll be later this week.  I'll add ones for online and offline, and free and buy too, I think.  Then I can just add them after the pattern name.

I'm thinking of the domain name, but I want to see how much use this gets first...

Moving the categories boxes on the search form is a great idea, I'll try to do that today.  But I'm not sure what you mean about the categories not being precise enough...there are three levels to each categorization so that I can define whether a bag is a tote bag, or a camera case, for example.:

Accessories - Personal
    Bags
       Clutch
       Messenger
       Purse
       Tote

and

Accessories - Electronic
   Bags
      Cameras
      iPods  

Having three levels definitely adds complexity, but I thought it was useful to make some distinctions.  When you select my new predefined search, it'll automatically pull anything under the categories above, but if you build your own search right now, you'll have to choose just one.  Does that make sense?

Wizardesssss I think an appreciation page is a great idea...both to express our appreciation of designers for giving us great patterns, and to thank people who submit them (this part will have to wait until I add a registration system so I know who's submitting what).

Great ideas guys!
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006 07:20:50 AM »

That's fantastic!!! What an incredibly useful tool that's going to be. I've always wished for something like this. You deserve infinite praise and thanks for all the work you've already put into it.
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SylvChezPlum
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006 08:28:19 AM »

If you mouse over a pattern name and wait a second, it'll tell you whether it's a knit or crochet pattern.  A little obscure, I agree.  I'm working on tiny little icons to use instead, but that'll be later this week.  I'll add ones for online and offline, and free and buy too, I think.  Then I can just add them after the pattern name.

 But I'm not sure what you mean about the categories not being precise enough...there are three levels to each categorization so that I can define whether a bag is a tote bag, or a camera case, for example.:

Accessories - Personal
    Bags
       Clutch
       Messenger
       Purse
       Tote

and

Accessories - Electronic
   Bags
      Cameras
      iPods 


yep, I did see you have this planning of all the upgrades you want to make, it is so cool. It'll be great if you add those little icons !!

And as for the categories... I did see all those subcategories afterwards when looking further into the site..    Tongue
..wrote you an IM btw with a couple questions..!

sylv
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