by Carlyn M.
As I have become a seasoned maker, I have found myself wishing I had made more of a point to keep track of my projects in some kind of way, like a project notebook.
Why? Well for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s fun to look back to see what I was gravitating towards. In my infancy of knitting, I made scarfs, then graduated to hats, then shawls, then socks. It would have been fun to look back at my progression of easy projects into more difficult or challenging ones.
Secondly, I wanted to have a written account of what I did in the past. I dived into sweaters many years ago and learned to give myself time (like a year) but also learned at the end, I has no clue about how to measure myself or what ‘ease’ was. Now that I am a more experienced, I wanted to remake them but didn’t have info from the first time around: size, gauge, where I deviated from the pattern. Learning from past mistakes is always beneficial, if you can remember them.
So in January of 2017, I started a project notebook. Now I know you can basically do this in ravelry, but I am more of a paper and pen person. Plus as an added bonus, you see what yarns or colors you gravitate toward.
I was able to do it for about 9 months. In September of 2017 life just got crazy (selling our home, moving, living in limbo, etc.) and I stopped. As I am writing this I pulled out the binder and found I got lazy (surprise surprise). Some info is missing, but I am learning to just accept it and learn better for next time. It’s been my parenting motto as of late.
Here is my 2017 notebook.
I went to Michaels and got a Mixed Media spiral notebook (5.5in x 8.5in). I found it in notebook aisle, its closer to drawing styled notebooks. Why this one?
Firstly the pages are thick, thicker than any of their other notebooks. So I figure this may survive longer with prolonged use.
It has a spiral binding. Since I punch holes in each page to place physical pieces of yarn, I will need the binding to be able to handle changes in thickness.
I chose this specific size so it wouldn’t take up too much space. Something I could easily put in a book shelf or take with me if I needed to.
Now that I have explained that lets get into what info is on each page.
(Side note: This is info I found helpful way back in 2017 to have written down. As I look at starting this up again this year I am going to make some tweaks, you feel free to do the same. Do what works for you. My hope in being specific on how I set this up is to give you a jumping off point, help jog your mind on what info you want to keep track of.)
Each page has a project name, name of designer, what medium I used (knit, crochet, weaving, embroidery, etc), what size needle I used, what yarn was used (including color, dye lot, name of yarn, purchase place. In some cases I taped the yarn tag to the page), and notes.
Notes can range from, the actual pattern if I made it up on my own, where I got inspiration from another pattern (in some cases, write down the actual pattern if it was easy and fit to make it easier on myself in the future), math and measurements of the project (especially for woven projects), and notes about how I deviated from the original pattern.
On the back of that page was where I would put notes for myself to read in the future. How easy or hard it was, what I would want to do better next time, how long a project took.
For this year’s notebook, I am rethinking about where yarn is attached. Either on the side or on top. Yarn on the bottom does not lean well towards being in a bookshelf. I am also toying with how I want to keep printed patterns together with this notebook. Since a normal piece of paper isn’t going to fit easily in, I may compile a project binder that correlates with this notebook.
Personally, I am a rather huge fan of organization. It helps keep my world going and myself not go crazy. If you are like me, I hope this helps. I do plan on doing better about keeping track of my projects on Ravelry this year as well. Especially projects that I do for the blog through my Redamancy Coop Ravelry account. (Hint hint)
If you decide to make your own project notebook, please tag me in your pictures and let me know. Excited how each of you take this and make it your own.