Friday, January 9, 2015

Week #2, Patterns, what to do...?

The thing about crafting, especially with the lovely accessibility of the Internet, is that there are so many amazing patterns out there!  Indeed, so many lovely patterns, so little time....  And that is how *this* begins...

The other side of the story is that we change...our skill level changes, our tastes change, our expectations change, our motivational level changes, as does our confidence level...  That is why we (need to) do things like this periodically, 'cleanse' our stashes...and this week, our patterns. :)

First up, a brief rundown of how I organize my patterns:
My patterns are currently organized into a two part system.  Part one is a "staging area"...this would be the part of my system that needs some serious attention this go round.  I have patterns in piles, on clipboards, bulletin boards, & in ziploc bags...  It is relatively neat & tidy, yes, but not really easy to find a particular pattern that I *know* I have...somewhere.
This week, I am upgrading my system, just a smidge...  I have taken a few manilla folders (as that is what I have on hand) & taped closed the open side & the bottom to create a 'closed' folders.  On the tab, I have labeled the folders 1) "yes!" for projects I definitely want to make, 2) "yes! but need yarn" for projects that I love, but do not currently have yarn in stock for, 3) "maybe"...I'll have to make the final call come next January (if not before).

Any patterns that I am no longer interested in will  get put in a folder/envelope & offered up to fellow crafters.

Let me take a moment to tell you a sweet little secret that may help you decide, if you're on the fence for some of your patterns.  Look them up on Ravelry!  For me, I don't bother with any pattern that receives less that 4 stars.  *Unless* I really, really like it, then I will look through the projects & see why they didn't like it.  Was it really the pattern's fault...?

Part two of my storage is housed in two, 3" binders, one is for "Knitting/Crochet"-ing patterns, the other is for sewing patterns.  These are the final destinations for my patterns, as in once an item has been crafted, I file the pattern (assuming it is one that I can envision myself ever making again ;).
Each binder has dividers, marking off each category...

For the Knitting/Crocheting binder, here are my categories:
*play food
*doll clothes/accessories
*cleaning (towels, washclothes, scrubbies, etc)
*carry-all (bags, totes, cozies, etc)
*home comfort

Sewing categories are pretty similar, but more general (because I do A LOT more knitting/crocheting! ;)  So things likes, toys, accessories, home, baby, etc...  Do what works for you...

Pretty simple, right??

Now for the sorting...I mentioned how I handle copied/printed patterns, but what about books & magazines.  For these, I will take them each, one @ a time & look through the patterns, jotting down page numbers for those I like on a post-it that will get stuck to the cover of the book/magazine.

From there, each pattern will get looked up on Ravelry.  If it meets my 4 star minimum, then I will make a copy of it & file it as above.  I say this because I don't foresee myself keeping many of the books/magazines.  I did a bit of poking around when I was formulating the plan of organizing/destashing patterns & I think I liked three or four patterns tops per source.  I am assuming part of those will get weeded out via Ravelry. As my end goal is space & freedom from 'stuff', it isn't worth it for me to keep an entire book for two patterns.

I am still trying to decide what to do with this guy... It's a super organized, but extremely *overstuffed* file folder of templates...  This may need to move to the one empty drawer in our real, wooden file cabinet.  (Or) maybe I can hunt down another 3" binder & divide my sewing patterns between the two, placing templates in with their patterns??  Well, week two begins on Monday, so I've got a bit of time to figure out the details...

Connecting the dots...

If you were (brutally) honest as you went through your stash, you may notice that both ditching things & being honest with yourself, get easier with practice.

Another perk about going through patterns right after sorting & organizing our yarn is that we now what we have a pretty good mental inventory of what yarn we have in stock.  As we sort through patterns, I am going to guess that we'll know off hand which yarns would be perfect for which patterns.

See, it really is all connected... ;)

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