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knitfan2 Posted - 01/01/2008 : 4:21:24 PM
I have kept maybe 10 years of knitting magazines, several titles. It's really hard to find a particular technique article or type of pattern. For example, if I want to knit socks, I'd have to look at a "million" issues to find all the sock patterns so I can choose one. Even if I remember a particular pattern, I don't remember what issue it was in. What do you do to organize your magazines? Do you cut out all the patterns and articles and file them in your own system? Or do you have some kind of electronic cross reference system on your computer? What? Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Mermaid Knits Posted - 01/13/2008 : 6:08:13 PM
Yeah, I don't think we keep magazines just for the projects contained within them. Classic interviews with designers, fabulous technique articles, some interesting ads for companies you may want to locate one day.

Plenty of reasons.

abt1950 Posted - 01/13/2008 : 10:43:31 AM
Marie, that sounds like a good system. It's simple and doesn't require a lot of time. The best system is only as good as your ability to keep it going. The easier the better.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
Marie Posted - 01/13/2008 : 09:23:12 AM
I'm a post-it lover, and have a simple system for when you have a few minutes. I just grab a few magazines (they are in magazine holders by magazine, in chronological order--that inner librarian takes over) and I have a pad of colored post-its. I have four or five categories I tend to knit--kids, socks, shawls, cardigans, hats--and I put a post-it on the pattern page I like--let's say blue post-its for socks--and scribble the pattern name on it, letting it stick out of the top of the magazine. When I know I want to knit socks that I saw in a magazine, I just scan the blue post-its until the name jumps out at me (when the memory is working, that is). It's a first step until I can muster up the energy to do some of the copying and binding that has been suggested here.
3088margaret Posted - 01/12/2008 : 11:40:25 AM
I have really enjoyed this thread. I have a very elderly knitting pattern book from my mother's youth in the 1930's and although I laugh at some of the patterns, it has some really helpful advice on knitting socks and some good patterns generally. I also find myself looking out for old knitting books when in a church sale or charity shop.

Life is about making a bouquet out of the flowers in reach. - Chinese proverb - I think

yarnboz43 Posted - 01/12/2008 : 11:01:57 AM
I'm really enjoying reading this thread. Hope it keeps going as others discover it. There isn't a single post that some part of me can't agree with or appreciate the thought and the goals, plus some great ideas.

I am one of the folks who has greedily purchased older patterns on ebay, and yes, they are hard to organize. And yes too, to the idea that some things make me cringe, like some of those tights from the 60s and the poofy 80s sweater sleeves. But boy, do I love those 40s and 50s classics and I do agree that there is value in back issues. If at all possible, do sell the older unwanted issues or give them away. Someone will appreciate this as I have.
Becky in MO Posted - 01/09/2008 : 1:54:27 PM
Pinnsvinn, I am so with you!! If I had to go through my entire collection of patterns, it would take me hours to move my tail-end because I sat there dreaming for too long. And with four small children in tow - forget it! I would rather be knitting and dreaming instead of looking at patterns and dreaming.
Becky in MO Posted - 01/09/2008 : 1:54:13 PM
Pinnsvinn, I am so with you!! If I had to go through my entire collection of patterns, it would take me hours to move my tail-end because I sat there dreaming for too long. And with four small children in tow - forget it! I would rather be knitting and dreaming instead of looking at patterns and dreaming.
Pinnsvinn Posted - 01/06/2008 : 4:52:24 PM
Well, you impress me no end that you are so organized. I've tried and I can organize my stash but every time I try to organize my magazine and loose patterns I waste a few hours just looking at the things I've made or wanted to make 30 years ago and dreaming about the other things I'll make once I've kept my new year's resolution and knit the 10 sweaters that are in my stash.

Am I the only one who's eyes are too big for her stomach ( metaphorically speaking?
PatriciaS Posted - 01/06/2008 : 2:48:02 PM
It's somewhat shocking to me to read that some of you would trash perfectly good knitting periodicals to save a pattern or two. I'd implore you to do what one respondent does -- photocopy or scan those patterns and pass the magazine along intact. If you have magazines prior to 2002, by all means contact me about taking them off your hands!! Or just pass them along to a women's shelter, or your library, or even Goodwill or a thrift store. I have a friend who sells patterns on ebay and a couple of other venues, I'll put you in touch with her in case she'd be willing to buy them. Or sell them yourself on ebay.

Equally shocking that there are people who don't see any value in knitting patterns older than 10 years - not just that THEY don't appreciate older patterns, but that no one should. They have apparently never heard of "classics," which are clothing that never truly go out of style. Or the notion of shopping for inspiration and new ideas -- colors, patterns (fair isle, intarsia, etc.), fibers (fingering weight used for blouse or dress; mohair, cottons and cotton blends, etc.), design details (neck treatments, sleeve options, ruffles, on and on), and even garments (hot pants -- remember those? -- bathing suits and bikinis, wedding dresses, peignor, pleated skirt, snood, and more).

I have a wonderful collection of 1960s-70s knitting magazines and there are many garments in them that would be either perfectly fine for today, or could easily be adapted (lengthen 3/4 sleeve to full length, for example). Many design details that would be wonderful added to some of today's garments. A few I can think of off-hand: ruffled jabot, Irish crochet collar and cuff.

Now, I wish I had enough time to knit, and study/play with my old magazines, and experiment, and so forth. I do not. But I cherish them all, and when I do have a chance to go through them, it's a heavenly journey.

BTW, what I do to keep track of patterns or articles is that in my Knitting Journal I have a section with a page for socks, blouses and tops, arans, shawls and scarves, hats and gloves, men's, babies' and children's, etc., etc., where I manually list the magazine and certain details about the pattern (description, gauge).

Periodically I take a stack of magazines with patterns marked I'd like to make to the photocopy store and copy the patterns. These I have handy and rifle thru them when I'm looking for "the next project." I prefer to use a photocopy for any pattern I'm knitting -- keeps the original in mint condition and I can write on it with abandon.

Check out our fabulous handcrafted beads and jewelry:
knitfan2 Posted - 01/05/2008 : 09:23:04 AM
Deciding what to do with the magazines was hard with so many good ideas coming in. Last week, I thought I would make hard copies of the tables of contents and some pictures for reference. Yesterday, I thought that cutting out the favorite patterns was going to be my choice. Now, I think that scanning the patterns and articles that I want and saving them to an organized file on the computer might be the best thing, at least for me. It will save paper because I will only print the pattern I need for the current project. And it won't add to the number of binders already on the shelf. And I might even try to sell the magazines on ebay to continue my downsizing effort and to earn back a few dollars. :) Thanks so much to all of you for helping me with this "problem". You've helped many others too, I'm sure.
MeezieGirl Posted - 01/05/2008 : 08:29:23 AM
I have a suggestion for those patterns you find online. I'm a compulsive free pattern searcher, and, wow, do I have a lot!! Now that I'm on Ravelry (MeezieMom), it's growing by leaps and bounds!

At first, I printed them out. That yields a lot of paper to store and organize, and costs a lot of ink (which isn't cheap). Then I realized I could just save the patterns as PDFs. It's easy on a Mac: go to Print and at the bottom of the first Print window is a button that says "Save as PDF". (Sorry, all you folks with PCs; I don't know how to do it on your machines.) I've organized them into folders and sub-folders and on and on. They are easy to find, easy to organize, easy to search and browse, take no physical space (other than the computer and a back-up hard drive).

I do a similar thing with digital photos and the scanned CDs from film photos. Keeps them where I can find them easily. And, since I have a laptop, I can make quick-and-easy slide shows when needed (showing to in-laws, etc.)

The crucial thing, once you've done the hard work, is to BACK UP your files. (Sorry to shout, but I think it's really important.)


You can take the girl out of New York, but you can't take New York out of the girl.
yarnboz43 Posted - 01/04/2008 : 10:07:25 PM
I just started a similar thread in the "Magazines" forum! This is great and I wish I'd found it sooner. I love the database idea, which is my original idea, but as I'm reading all these posts I'm thinking the photocopy and binder idea works. I too have sticky notes that say very organized things such as "Cool cabling!" or "Needs about 640 yds DK yarn". Translation: I need help.

I have accumulated some fairly old patterns because I really love the tailored styles. Those I've sorted into boxes in sleeves as they often cover just one type of project -- sweaters, coats, gloves, etc. It's the main magazines I have trouble with, though I agree with one comment about the sheer enjoyment of leafing through looking at all the patterns.

The one other question I have is for folks who consider clipping out just the patterns that interest them: Are you sure your tastes won't evolve over time? Or would you be OK with saving the clutter and re-acquiring magazines down the road if that occurs?
Katheroni Posted - 01/04/2008 : 10:59:10 AM
I have been knitting only a few years, and I appreciate the publication of favorite patterns from the past in book form. A single book is obviously more expensive than a magazine (though I can see why a person might think the books should be less expensive, since the pattern writing and photography has already been paid for). I always do a little cost analysis to see if my cost per pattern is low enough to merit purchase. Magazines are often more expensive per pattern than books (for me). I am more likely to override a poor cost analysis with a mag, though, probably since the cover price is lower and I can stretch the extra cost out. It's easier for me to justify. So, I guess what I'm saying is that, if there are enough patterns I want in a book and the cost per pattern is acceptable, then I am likely to buy it and actually save money over owning every magazine that originally had the patterns. (And the errors are probably corrected, too.)

If the book doesn't make the cost-per-pattern cut, though, I am extremely unlikely to purchase it.
InMySpareTime Posted - 01/04/2008 : 09:50:15 AM
I'm echoing becky's sentiments....
my mom just moved; she has literally 20 bookshelf yards of old magazines (beads, sewing, knitting, etc.). i refused to move them, and she couldn't understand why. they were dusty, musty, and taking up space.
yes, fashion does go in cycles.
yes, there are some great techniques described in detail in all of them, but... how many references on steeks, 3 needle bind off, magic loop, etc. does one really need?
yes, there is lots of inspiring material in each of them

those magazines have been around since 1980-something and i will bet money that she has never, ever gone back to a single one of them.

i certainly don't have the answer to the storage solution, but this has worked for me.
if i see a pattern i really, really love and MIGHT ACTUALLY knit, or something so totally awe inspiring, then i scan it; i then give the mag to a knitting friend or make a trade somewhere. then about once a year (usually after christmas) i go back through the saved files and see if any of the patterns make the 2nd cut - most do not...
i do the same thing for all those recipes in magazines that "sound good".

decluttering is a lifestyle; some people find peace in an uncluttered environment; others dont. there's no right or wrong answer, simply a matter of preference. was a life-changer for me as far as decluttering. it explained why we keep and collect in very plain and understandable terms.

Sketcher Posted - 01/04/2008 : 09:09:30 AM
I keep magazines in holders in sequential order. (Yes, another librarian)
I like going through them periodically (pun intended)because sometimes I find my taste in patterns change or my project recipients change.
I use different colored sticky-post arrows to mark the patterns I want to go back to.
Socks are blue, Hats are red, etc. It's a little quicker for me to find them that way.
SlowKnitter Posted - 01/04/2008 : 08:37:12 AM
What about Ravelry as an organizing aid? Or as a diversion when you don't find the pattern you're looking for, but there are so many others that beckon temptingly?
Becky in MO Posted - 01/04/2008 : 07:07:57 AM
Kris (Schleppenhiemer),
I do understand what you are saying about clothing styles repeating themselves.
I am old enough to start seeing the fashion industry repeat itself.. Which in many ways, thrills me to no end!!

I didnt' know what the Enchanted Forest Cardigan sweater is - so I did a search. GAGGs!! REally?! It is coming back?? It is so HUGE!! Is the 'big' look coming back in style? Posted - 01/03/2008 : 10:05:47 PM
I thrilled to see this topic as I have been thinking about this question myself recently. I agree with the posting that asked how many of these old patterns would anyone actually knit now - they can be so dated. Spreadsheets seems like a great tech solution but one I am less likely to do. either xeroxing or tearing out the patterns I like and discarding the rest of the magazine seems the most likely solution for me.
Now that IK has jumped on the bandwagon publishing expensive books with recent patterns (the sock books is the perfect example - I have all of those patterns already), as well as Knitter's which not only recycles magazine patterns but patterns from their bigger books are republished in much smaller, and comparably expensive books. then again, how many sock patterns does anyone really need?
Schleppenheimer Posted - 01/03/2008 : 7:50:32 PM
Becky in MO --

To answer why in the world I would keep all those knitting magazines, just gathering dust, and knowing that a particular article of knitting would be way out of style, I have one thing to say --

The Enchanted Forest Cardigan!

It's amazing, but darn it if that thing hasn't come back around into popularity.

So have Kaffe Fassett sweaters (to some degree)

It's odd, but if you live long enough, some things really do come back into fashion!

lella Posted - 01/03/2008 : 5:47:51 PM
Some magazines, I think "Threads" and "Lapidary Journal" did this, would publish an index of the whole year in one issue. Boy was that ever handy for subscribers.


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