January 20th, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized: Keeping Track of Your Pattern Library

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Many of you have discovered that Ravelry works really well for keeping track of your pattern library. This is especially true if most of the books, magazines, and patterns that you have in your library are from the recent past. Patterns are added to Ravelry by members. There are almost 340,000 individual knitting and crochet patterns on Ravelry! And over time, more and more older patterns are being added to Ravelry in addition to most new ones.

But what if you don’t use Ravelry or have A LOT of older patterns in your library that don’t exist on Ravelry yet. You may be looking for an alternate solution for keeping track of what you have in your library.

During this blog series, people have been raving about Evernote in the comments. It sounds like it’s an easy way to keep track of all of your knitting and crochet life, including what patterns you own. Because there are Evernote apps available for you mobile device, you can have access to it anywhere. If you’re interested in learning more about Evernote, check out this blog post, Evernote for Knitting: How Jennifer Lathrop Keeps Her Patterns and Needles Organized. Don’t worry, it applies to crocheting too.

I used to use Delicious Library to catalog our music and books. This allows you to upload your media to your library by scanning the barcodes. It’s easy to use, and may be a good option if you just want a list of all of your knitting and crochet books, but it won’t let you organize the individual patterns from the books.

One question to ask yourself is WHY you want to keep track of all of your patterns. Do you get frustrated looking for just the right pattern, or find it takes a long time to find the specific pattern you’re looking for? Then coming up with some kind of tracking system might make sense for you. Maybe you mostly find that you’re always searching for a new baby project, but not much else. It’s perfectly reasonable to go through your collection and just catalog the baby patterns you have in your library. This may be a good tip for someone who is overwhelmed by the size of their library, and can’t imagine cataloging everything, thus keeping them from even starting.

No matter what way you use to keep track of your pattern library, don’t feel compelled to enter every pattern you own. I’m a type ‘A’ person, so sometimes I want to track everything, even though I don’t need to track it all. I would recommend tracking only the patterns you actually want to make someday. Don’t feel compelled to list every pattern from a book or magazine. That takes a lot of time. And wouldn’t you rather be spending some of that time knitting and crocheting?

So, do you prefer to flip through your books and magazines to find your next pattern to knit or crochet? Or do you prefer to catalog every pattern and have access to your whole library when you’re out shopping at your local yarn store?

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2 Responses to “31 Days to Get Organized: Keeping Track of Your Pattern Library”

  1. ilana Says:

    I use a three-ring binder which is divided loosely by body part: head, torso, feet, hands, and a section for things like soft toys or egg cozies. If I’ve knit a pattern once and am not likely to knit it again immediately, that pattern gets put at the back of whichever section.

  2. Boo'sMommy Says:

    I have most of my patterns on a flashdrive… I download them or scan them from the book onto the drive and I have them organized into folders and then sub folders… The flashdrive makes it very very portable…

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