A long while ago I started keeping a knitting notebook and I was good at it, on and off. From 2013 I kept notes on each project in a book with cheery photos of my grandson on the cover – you can see him peeking out in my photo. Looking back through it, I see that there were years when I kept quite detailed notes of my projects, whilst other years it was more sporadic. Running alongside this, I also had a folder on my computer for the photos taken relating to each project. It seems amazing to me now, but until this week it never occurred to me to print some photos and put them in the notebook. Thus it has come to pass that I have been busy the past few days composing collages of finished objects to print, which is quite an addictive passtime. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t also been printing out other photos to add to my clippings books.
So, how did I use my knitting notebook? Well, the standard information that I included for each project was:
- Name – sometimes I used the pattern name, sometimes I made something up
- Start and end dates
- Materials used, including type and size of needles, sometimes I stuck in a ball band
- Pattern information – designer, book/brochure/magazine etc
I used the Notes section to write down useful things like places where I diverged from the pattern, adding extra rows, or doing a different type of shaping. This is incredibly useful when you’ve worked one piece of a garment and you need to duplicate the changes to make the next piece match, or if you want to knit the same pattern again many years later.
Of course, if you download your patterns from the internet and then print them out, you have plenty of paper on which to note such changes. Knitting The Stash has a great storage system where each project gets its own envelope with all the notes and details once it is finished, and these are stored in boxes for future reference.
Whilst I prefer not to write the details on the pattern itself, especially if it is in a book or magazine, in my vintage adventures I frequently come across the notes of some previous knitter and I always find it charming. If you are working completely digitally then you probably have a solution whereby you can add notes to the pattern you are following. I’ve done that myself in the past.
Another useful thing to do in a knitting notebook is plan out your future projects, which I did back in 2018. It’s nice to be able to refer back to what you thought you would make and compare it to what you actually did make.
Since filling the grandson book in autumn 2019, I’ve toyed with the idea of using other notebooks but I just hadn’t been able to settle on one until this week. I have finally taken myself firmly in hand and set up this silver-covered Laura Ashley book as my new knitting notebook, going back and filling in some details of projects that I’ve knitted since I finished the previous book, and printing some finished object photos. It seems like this notekeeping is a good habit to get back into. I’ve already noted a change in the instructions for the Cucumber Vintage Sweater – there’s a part where it calls for you to knit 13 rows straight before commencing some shaping, and I needed additional length, so I noted how many rows I actually worked. I’m looking forward to filling in details of all my upcoming projects.