This evening I added a new menu item that allows you to sort the stitch patterns in the stitch catalog by the number of stitches in a pattern repeat. I’m not sure how useful this will be to the average knitter.
I use this view of the stitch patterns when I am selecting patterns to work into swatches for the illustrations on the web site. I usually work three different patterns in sequence on one swatch. When I select the patterns to work in the swatch, it is just naturally easier if they all have the same number of stitches in a pattern repeat. I work three patterns consecutively because (1) it reduces the overhead spent on casting on and casting off and (2) three patterns is about what I can expect to get done in a evening.
Another limiting factor in selecting the number of patterns to work on a single swatch is the limits of my scanner bed. Rarely can I fit more than three patterns on the scanner at one time. And the scanner is my cheap, easy way of taking a picture of the swatch. I pin the swatch with dissecting pins on a piece of felt (supported by a block of styrofoam). A few moments on the scanner, a few moments in Photoshop to trim the edges of the image to the desired size, upload the file via FTP and another stitch pattern (or perhaps 2 or 3) have been illustrated on the web site.
I also take into account the category of stitches that I select to work in a swatch. I have found, for instance, that lace patterns do not work up well in the same swatch with twist stitch patterns. One category has a tendency to spread and another has a tendency to draw in. It is better if the patterns in the swatch all ‘behave’ the same.