First, I want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you! May the coming year be filled with joy and prosperity for all of us, especially peace throughout the world. I am planning on knitting with friends on New Year's Eve. : )
Second, I'd like to tell you that an interview of me has been posted in the Craft A Guild newsletter
. Thank you Nancy for the opportunity to talk about my work! DO check out Nancy's website which is about creating learning communities (guilds) through crafts. She has an eBook
, Craft A Guild
, for purchase which outlines the steps necessary in creating a solid foundation for a guild that will last and function for the benefit of its members. Having started two guilds myself, long ago, I know the importance of the many steps she explains in this book. She writes pertinent articles on all facets of guilds- non-profit status, setting up workshops, working with your Guild's Board. And she has give-aways sometimes too!
I love organization, probably because I am SO disorganized. There are days when I spend an hour looking for something in the chaos of my office/apartment/computer/mind and still can't find it. Complete and total frustration. SO... with the New Year fast approaching, I thought I might resolve to be more organized next year. At least about my knitting!
Here is my version of keeping that kind of information. I have used manila folders, one to each project, so I could keep them in my filing cabinet.
My "journal" for one of my projects
You can see two different groupings of yarns and swatches (I kept changing yarns and gauge) as well as charts I've made in Stitch Painter
, the knitting instructions I wrote up, and my messy, doodly notes.
The main problem, other than the unattractive appeal of a manila folder, is that stuff falls out of the sides and gets mixed up with all the other detritus in the bottom of my filling cabinet drawer. Also, when I size out a garment, I sometimes print out the charts for each size. That's a lot of paper–about 6 to 8 sheets per size. I think I'd like to keep the charts in the filing cabinet and the yarns, etc, in a notebook.
I went to a friend's house last week and was blown away by her knitting journal. It was a simple spiral notebook with each page or so dedicated to a project she had knitted. The yarns used were stapled to the page and she had written out all the pertinent information she wanted to keep. I was so impressed! It was SO FULL!
So what information is important to keep? Well, that will vary from knitter to knitter, depending on the purpose of the journal. My friend Tom, one of the most prolific knitters I know, has photo albums (MANY photo albums) of the finished garments modeled by the lucky recipients. This type of journal is a memory-keeper and perfect for the person who doesn't want to reknit anything. If you want to be able to reconstruct the garment at a later date, you'll want to keep as much info as possible about the yarn, the pattern, any changes, etc.
Here is a list of things I feel is important:
1. Use something beautiful–a bound, blank-paged journal, or one of those swanky notebooks that scrapbookers are using these days so you can use those plastic page protectors to hold the yarns and swatches.
2. You'll need paper pages too to list yarn type, gauge, name of pattern, size made. Graph paper pages would be useful as well if you want to include a chart you have devised. I like to make a cartoon of what I am making and it usually develops into a schematic (a drawing with measurements).
3. Include yarn label and sample of yarn, as well as your gauge swatch.
4. Write down any deviations from the pattern. I do this anyway when I knit sleeves, socks, or mittens, to be sure they'll be the same.
5. Include a photo of the finished item, preferably modeled on the person for whom it was intended.
6. Add any thoughts on improvements in case you make this same piece again.
7. If what you made will be given as a gift, be sure to include a partial ball for repairs—or keep it in case that person will need it. I usually wind some yarn around the label so the recipient has the yarn content for washing.
Ravelry has certainly filled this need in many ways as one can enter all that information online. But I really like to keep bits of the yarn around, and there is something so personal and elegant in having a handmade journal, such as my friend, Margaret Klein Wilson
Margaret's journal and newly finished sweater
Here is Margaret's journal, with the photo of a lucky little guy who scored a sweater from her. Behind the journal is the same sweater knitted in a different color of Margaret's sumptuous hand-dyed Mostly Merino yarns. The journal is so lovely to look at, it would certainly motivate me to put stuff in that rather than my funky manila folders!
Margaret's notes, swatch, and yarn sample
The Best Part: a photo of the recipient in his wonderful sweater
I love this! Margaret has put it all together! She teaches knitting-journaling classes here in Vermont every year, and is offering one in January! Here's the info:
Record & Reflection: Creating a Knitting Journal
A Workshop by Margaret Klein WIlson
Significant life events often have a memorable piece of knitting attached to them. The knitting may leave us, but the memory of the piece and its place in our lives lingers. This workshop explores how to create and shape a journal/ portfolio of our knitting to be used as both technical reference and an archive of how our creative work and the time of our lives intersect. If you are interested in simply organizing a record of your projects or extending your creativity into keeping a journal, this workshop will give you the tools to achieve both. Materials: bring in the bits of projects (pattern yarn labels, swatches, photos, etc.) your favorite writing sticks and a notebook, along with your sense of humor and an interest in looking at your knitting in a new way.
Date: Saturday January 29, 2011. Time 1-4
Place: Margaret's studio; directions sent upon registration.
Cost: $35, limited to 8 people.
Contact Margaret at 802.254.7436 or email her: merino at together dot net
So, have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day (and YEAR!) everybody! What ways do you keep your knitting history organized?