Friday, March 25, 2011

Crochet Pattern Organization

I have no idea how everyone else organizes their patterns (maybe just on computers?), but I wanted to share my way. :)

For months (like, 12!), I was storing my favorite patterns on my kindle, mostly in PDF form. But the text of the PDFs was always too small, so I had to turn my kindle horizontal. Plus, at the time, the kindle didn't have their "collections"/folder option, so it was a PITA to organize them with all of my other ebooks. I also have a "Crochet Patterns" folder on my laptop where I have them saved into categories. And, of course, there is Ravelry.

But, and maybe I'm just old-school, I do enjoy having things like patterns in physical form. It's nice to be able to flip through my patterns and especially nice for when I don't have access to power (e.g. when the power went out last year while I was crocheting some play food and my laptop battery was crap and would die after 10 minutes without being plugged in and my kindle wasn't charged...).

So, how do I organize my patterns?
In this:
My crochet pattern binder!
It's a smaller 2" binder, measuring in at about 7" x 8" that I picked up at Office Depot for about $4. I'm still trying to figure out what type of cover I want for it, so excuse it's boring blue-ness! Inside, I have a bunch of those free patterns you can grab at Joann and Michael's and some 5"x7" and 5"x8" index cards where I print out or write out patterns.
Pocket has lined paper for notes & lists
(back pocket has free patterns that are for knitting - inspiration, mostly)
My "Home/Kitchen" section

My "Holiday" section, shown to show the design I use for the index cards
I only just today added the tabs! My binder was a mess before, but I hadn't found any dividers that would work all that well (A-Z is pretty useless). My index cards are the larger ones too, so I had to find something larger than them while small enough to fit my binder.

A project that I can't WAIT to finish so that it gives me more free time is an order I am fulfilling for 20,000 origami lucky stars. I'm about 8,000 stars in now, but I need to devote about 4 straight hours a day to folding them, minimum (that's about 500 stars a day). Why am I mentioning this here? Well, I ordered the paper from a printer (no way was I printing 500 sheets of paper here at home! WAY cheaper and faster to use a professional). And I had that paper pre-cut to be 5.5"x8.5". Ever 100 sheets of paper, there were cardboard sheets. Not only am I able to upcycle them, but they were just about the perfect size!

So I opened up photoshop and quickly made some colorful tabs with the sections I figured I'd need and printed them out onto an index card that hadn't printed correctly (yay for more recycling). Cut those out and taped them onto the dividers (glue would have likely been better, but I wasn't that patient). And voila!
That last one, Afghans, was one that I sort of forgot about when I was designing...
So it gets the handwritten treatment!
I want to do something with the blah brown-ness of the cardboard, but, like the blueness of the cover, it's got to wait until I decide what I want to do with it. I'll probably just cover the cardboard with scrapbook paper on the fronts.

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