Wow! We’re just about halfway done with organizing our knitting and crocheting lives. I’ve been impressed with all of the work you’ve been doing so far this month. Great job everyone!
Next up we’re tackling our knitting and crochet patterns. Today we’re going to sort through our books, pattern books, and magazines – all those patterns we might keep on a bookshelf. We’ll cover organizing single patterns tomorrow and digital patterns and eBooks on Saturday.
Gather Your Stash
If your bookcases are overflowing with knitting books, craft magazines, and crochet patterns, today’s task is perfect for you. Start by pulling all of your craft books, pattern books, and magazines off of your shelves. You might have these spread all over the house. Some of them may be hiding in a stack on a table or desk. Collect them all into one place.
Pre-Sort Your Stash
If you have a sizable collection, do some pre-sorting as you’re pulling everything together. Don’t spend too much time with this step. Don’t start flipping through the pages yet. This will slow you down. Just start stacking in broad categories like pattern booklets, magazines, knitting books, crochet books. This will speed up your finer sorting stage later. Also if you need to break up today’s task over a few days, it’ll be easier to sit down one day and just tackled magazines for example.
Now it’s time to make some decisions. What are you going to keep and what are you going to get rid of? This is going to feel a little like when you were de-stashing your yarn – keep, give away, toss. Keep anything you think you will use someday. I have a rule for myself I try to follow. If a book, magazine, or pattern book doesn’t have at least 3 patterns that I will make someday, I get rid of it.
Your tastes change over time too. Maybe you bought some sock books at one point, but realize after knitting some that you actually hate making socks. No reason to keep them. Getting rid of duplicates is a no-brainer too. When you’re done going through your stacks, consider getting rid of your give-away pile the same way you got rid of some of your yarn. Books and patterns are great additions to a yarn swap.
Fine Tune Your Sort
Go through your keepers and start sorting them like you would want to store them. Group your magazines by publisher and sort them by date. Magazines are floppy, so I like to store them in magazine files since they don’t take up much space on a shelf. A magazine binder also works great. I find pattern books kind of floppy too and tend to get lost on a shelf, especially the kind with stapled spines. So I like to keep these in magazine files too.
For books, I sort them by craft, and then sort them further by how to, stitch dictionaries, and pattern collections. Most books fall into one of these three categories. Others may prefer to sort by author name or book title. When I’m looking for a book, usually I’m looking for a type of book such as baby garments. Pick the sorting method that works for you.
Flag Your Favorites
Now comes the time consuming part. If you have trouble finding the patterns in your collection that you’re looking for, you might want to add this extra step. As you’re doing your fine sort, flip through the pages and mark your favorite patterns with a sticky note or tape flag. Sticky notes can be particularly nice since you can jot down the name or type of pattern on the edge of the note and have that portion stick out from the edge of the book. On Sunday, we’ll be covering more tips on how to track your pattern collection so you can find what you want.
Hope you have fun with this task. When I go through my pattern books and magazines, I always rediscover something I forgot about and get inspired all over again.
What is your favorite tip that helps you find the pattern you want from your pattern books and magazines?