Keeping a knitting journal

Keeping a knitting journal is one of the best ways to keep your projects organized, learn and grow your skills, and have a record of all the beautiful things you’ve made! If you’re not already keeping a journal of your knitting and crochet project, it’s really easy to get started. 

First, decide how you want to keep your journal. 

  • Do you want to try it out without much fuss or startup? You might want to start by picking up a simple notebook from your local Staples or store to write down some notes. 
  • Were (are) you a fan of scrapbooking? This might be a great time to bust out some of your supplies to make something a bit more customized and visual. 
  • Do you consistently create swatches for your projects (here are some reasons why I recommend swatching)? You can attach them in your journal or use a small binder or box to organize ziploc bags containing your swatch, an index card with notes and any other relevant things. 
  • Trying to go paperless? Ravelry is a great way to keep track of your projects! You could also go more DIY and create a blog or online journal with photos and other project updates - you can make this public or private. 

Let’s start journaling

Once you’ve picked your journaling option of choice, you can dive right in with your WIP!

The basic information you’ll want to record for every project includes the project name, the yarn used, and your needles. The more detailed you are, the better. Helpful information includes colour and dye lot, the cost, yardage, weight, and fibre content - you might just want to tape the label into your journal with a strand of the yarn! It can also be useful to list both the needles recommended and the needles you used - over time you might begin to notice some consistent patterns. It can be really helpful to include a copy of the pattern for quick reference.

You might appreciate having a record of the start and finish dates of your project. Some people enjoy having an idea of how long a project takes - and you might even find having a note of when you cast on helps you push through and finish those WIPs languishing in your “other” project bag. 

Some other helpful things to include are any notes about pattern modifications and resources you may have used to problem solve tricky sections. Finally - add a photo of the finished project!

Journaling on Ravelry

Ravelry’s notebook function is a robust option for keeping a project journal online! Their tools offer several different project types (knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning) and populates appropriate project fields for that craft. You can add all of the information relevant to your project, upload images and yarn information, and link it to the pattern on Ravelry if applicable or note that the pattern isn’t from Ravelry. 

Ravelry also makes journaling a valuable community tool - it’s possible to share your projects with other people. This allows other crafters to view the comments and notes that you make on your project - allowing them to make educated decisions about if they want to make that pattern or if they should modify it. 

The best part about keeping a knitting or crochet project journal is you can completely customize it to include the information that YOU like having! Some fibre nerds love having all the details plus swatches, patterns, and pictures, while others are satisfied with the basic details. Find what is most helpful to you and let it become a fun part of the crafting process. You can also find a variety of knitting journal templates online as well as premade journals; your local yarn shop is also a good resource - they often stock premade journals or graph paper/sketching pads that are perfect for writing out patterns and project notes!

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