This will be my third and last post on organizing. The first two were “How to Organize Your Yarn” (How to Organize Your Yarn) and “A Tour Through My Crocheting Bag” (A Tour through My Crocheting Bag) and this week is going to be on “How I Organize My Crochet Patterns”.
Over the years I have tried many systems to organize my crochet patterns. For me, I need something that has easy accessibility and gives me the ability to go to one or two places to retrieve the pattern that I am looking for. The system I am gong to write about today I have been using for about ten years and it seems to be working for me rather well. Systems are as numerous as there are personalities that being said, I leave you the option to pick out all or part of my system that will work for you.
If you are like me when you have a few extra minutes, you will find your self surfing the web just looking at all the free patterns, or maybe you will come across some patterns on Facebook or Twitter. Internet patterns are great and really help solve the problems with clutter that the old paper patterns seem to give us. Although clutter is not a problem with internet patterns, you might have a problem of locating the pattern you’re looking for on the computer. Even if I place them all in a folder, by the time I open each one and get to the one I am looking for it could take hours. So I developed a system that seems to help lessen my search field.
I created a folder marked “Crochet Patterns”. I then made up a bunch of folders to place inside that folder, for example. Afghans, baby afghans, clothing, household items, thread and lastly Odds & Ends. The Odds & Ends folder will be for anything that does not go into the other folders. For example, crochet toys, rugs, purses and etc. By doing this it helps when I go back to look for a pattern, by giving me less files to search through.
When I find a pattern I like at first I always download all my patterns to a folder marked “downloads”. There the pattern will stay until I have time to properly place it into a folder.
When I find a day I have time to sort and file the patterns I do the following;
1. The first thing I do is rename the file whatever the pattern is called. For example if the pattern is called “Honeycomb Afghan” that is what I name the file.
2. I then save it to the appropriate folder.
Note: By renaming the file I can look to see what the file is, with out opening each one. If I find I do need to open the files to see the project pictures, at least I have all my afghan’s in one folder, making my search more localized.
I personally have a book shelf designated for my crochet patterns. The Pattern books I just place on the shelf like any other book. I like to keep all my reference books, like my stitch dictionary and “how to” books in one area.
Magazines can be a little more difficult. I have found two things that work for me. First my favorite crochet magazine of all time is “Crochet With Heart” It was a crocheting magazine that was only published five years. I personally have every copy. It was one of the few magazines that I picked up and wanted to crochet every project in the issue. I inserted these in 3 ring binders with magazines holders. I knew that I would want to use them often. (pictured above)
The other magazines I place in tupperware containers and labeled the outside. (pictured above) This keeps them safe and in one spot when I want them.
Next we are going to talk about pattern pamphlets. First, I organized them into categories. Then I got Tupperware Super Oval 5 containers and labeled each with the categories I had decided on. I then placed the grouped pamphlets into each container. By grouping them it will make the patterns I am looking for easy to find. Also, by placing them into containers, they could easily be placed on my book shelf and they are safer from moisture, loss or getting torn.
Now what about paper patterns, you are asking yourself? You remember those free patterns we all like to grab when we are in the yarn section of the store?
The first thing I do is place them into a plastic insert you use in three ring binders. I then place them into the appropriate notebook according to subject topic. By doing this I can always find the pattern I am looking for in a relatively short period of time. (pictured below)
Yarn Label Patterns
I try to always have two labels with the same pattern on it. (pictured above)
1. First I cut out the picture.
2. Second, I then cut out the pattern, nice and neat.
3. I then place both on a piece of computer paper.
4. Lastly, I place the paper into a plastic insert and it is then filed in the correct notebook and then on my book shelf.
Annie’s Hook & Needle Club Patterns
I am keeping all my patterns from Annie’s in a square basket on top of my bookshelf.
Note: I have a box on my bookshelf that I keep all my pattern in until I can fine time to place them into the right place. I do not always have the time to deal with my patterns when I get them. By having a specific spot for loose patterns I find – I do not lose any.
Note: When I crochet a gift for someone, I will usually write the person’s name and the date I completed the project on the pattern. This helps me for several reasons – mainly by doing this, I do not give the same baby afghan to the same mother by mistake over the years.
I hope some of these suggestions will help you in organizing your patterns. It is a terrible feeling when you go to look for that pattern you have been dying to try and thought you had, only to discover that you cannot find it. By using this system I can usually find any pattern within minutes.
If you have any systems that seem to be working for you, please share. We all have different needs and maybe your system might work better for someone then mine.
Until next week, Keep those hooks flying.