Thursday, February 7, 2008

Knitting Patterns - What to do with them!

I am probably the most unorganized of this group of writers. I need lots and lots of help! But, don't we all feel the same way? I tend to see lots of patterns online that I like and want to eventually get to, so I bookmark the patterns and usually it's out of sight out of mind. The other thing that I tend to do is when I have a particular project in mind I search or Ravelry for the perfect pattern. I print the pattern out and put it in my project bag with all the supplies that I need for that project. What do I do when I want to do that project again later down the road? I print the pattern out again! Yes, I know, it's insanity! Such a waste of paper!

While perusing the forums of The Organized Knitting Club on Ravelry I've noticed that many of you have different methods to savings those treasured patterns. Some of the top methods mentioned were -
  • Bookmarking the pattern site
  • Printing the pattern and keeping in a notebook
  • Printing the pattern and putting it in a bag with yarn for the project
While doing research for this topic I'd have to say the one that will get you into trouble would be bookmarking the site where the pattern in located. Why? Because the site may disappear. Last year I was desperately searching for Dobby Socks. Those are the socks that Dobby knitted in the Harry Potter series, and many have since published various patterns (thank goodness!). At the time the only pattern available was no longer available, which resulted in quite a few broken links. So, these are the methods that I found most useful and will be putting into practice this next week. I will be sharing before and after photos of my pattern archiving in next week's article.

Step One
Start a 3-ring binder with tabs in alphabetical order. Fill with plastic page-protector sleeves. As you print out the patterns that you'd be interested in knitting, stick them in the appropriate section in your notebook. If you have a lot of patterns you might have to use one notebook per category. If there are patterns which you find yourself knitting often you might want to place those patterns in their own special section in the front of the notebook.

Step Two
What about all those knitting magazines that you have laying around? This is a tip that I learned from Martha Stewart: After 6 months or so tear the patterns out of the magazines which you would like to keep and file them with your other patterns in the 3-ring binders. From there you can either toss the old magazines, or better yet, donate the magazines to your nearest elementary school.

Next week I'll share about sewing pattern storage and display my attempts at organizing my knitting patterns.


Janine Adams said...


I use the three-ring binder method you recommend and it totally rocks, in my opinion. For the first time in a long time, I finished a project and didn't know what I wanted to start on next. So I just went through my notebook and found two patterns that I had forgotten about but am very excited to start.

Now, I just have to choose the yarn...

Spiffy Knits! said...

I just organized my patterns and put them into a three-ring binder!

I am keeping most "on deck" patterns in Ravelry, but for printed patterns that I have purchased online or from my LYS, this is the perfect solution. I used to have them jammed into an inter-office envelope that was stuffed into a bag!

owl knits said...

I have too many patterns for a binder, so I got cardboard magazine holders from Ikea. I put 'related' patterns into one holder, each type in its own manila folder, for example, one holder is for "Home; dishcloths, toys; purses", another holds Shawls, Scarves, Hats, Hands. Once I figure out where I'm going to put it (see Organized Space), I'm added a filing cabinet.

tink knits said...

I use a 2 binder method, in addition to keeping a lot of patterns on my thumb drive & hard drive. I use sheet protectors in my binders b/c it's faster to slip the pattern in the sheet protector than to find the hole punch, and of course it protects the pattern.

Binder #2 is called "Been There, Knit That". The patterns that I have used and therefore jotted my notations either directly on them, or on sticky notes stuck to them go into this binder so I can refer back to them when I knit the pattern again. I don't organize them any further than putting the latest pattern on the top page.

T said...

I am not a fan of printing patterns from the web, just to file them away for possible use later. (Insert wry smile here to soften such an abrupt opening statement!)

I, too, have experienced the death of a url, though. What I've found works best for me is to save patterns I've found online in soft-copy format (I prefer to convert them to pdf, rather than saving them as html files). The knitting patterns go into a folder called "Yarn Stuff" (clever, huh?) which holds other folders, such as "head" and "shoulders" and "toes" (don't have much call for a "knees" folder).

I make sure to save the .jpg or .gif of the finished project separately (as opposed to just embedded into the pattern) so that I can quickly scan for something to tickle my fancy.

Every few months I MOVE the files from my hard drive to a cd and start all over with empty folders on my puter.

I also make use of my scanner and scan the patterns from magazines for "soft" storage. That way I can pass the magazine onto someone else, I don't have to give up precious storage real estate, and the web and print projects are all filed together!

When I decide on a new project, I can then print out the instructions and scribble on them, squash them into my travelling bag and get coffee rings on them - all the while knowing that I have the "original" safe and sound on a cd.