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Becky in MO
Seriously Hooked

769 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  08:31:49 AM  Show Profile  Send Becky in MO a Yahoo! Message Send Becky in MO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is something I do. That really helps me out.

I divide up all my articles according to subject.

I never ever keep the entire magazine if it is more than 3 or 4 years old. I will go through the magazine, and rip out the articles that I want and need.
Then those articles are put in sleeve protectors.

On binders, I label them:

non-practical stuff
knitting tips

within each binder, example = socks.

in the binder of socks I will have tabs labeled: tips, lace, on-line articles/documents, my-own patterns, colors, dying and etc

Each subject (or binder) might have a dozen different divisions - such as:

the magazine they came from (if you have numerous from that magazine)
internet finds
my favorites!....
techniques I have used....
techniques I would really like to try this year....
articles from favorite designers
and maybe a section for your journally of the socks you made and the successes or failures you had.
sock yarns (samples of) .....

the list can be endless.

Right now, I do have on binder that is growing entitled "internet finds". Within this binder I have tabs/subdivisions entitled:

my dictionary or stich bible
toys, puppets

(I am sure there are more, I just can't think of them at the moment)

As each one of these subjects get to big for their britches - oops - their binding, I will move them to their own binder.

When you have a load of magazine patterns and articles, it is much easier to catagorize each article into something more phathamable(sp?) - such as socks, or sweaters or lace or tips or something like that.
If you just categorize them with the month of the magazine (chronologically) with their content, it is easy to forget and suffle them to no-man's land and forget you have some GREAT stuff there!! So, if you categorize them into subjects, those GREAT articles and patterns won't get forgotten.
Truly - it does work.

Now, there may be some of you who actually do remember that "wonderful lacey sock pattern" was in June/July's magazine, and that is GREAT. But, if you take that "wonderful lacey sock" and stick it in your sock binder and give it a subtab of "vogue patterns" might set yourself up for more success. You will find you will spend less time looking (and being distracted) and more time knitting and spinning.
More power to you!!

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Becky in MO
Seriously Hooked

769 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  08:48:21 AM  Show Profile  Send Becky in MO a Yahoo! Message Send Becky in MO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For those of you who have more than 5 or 10 years worth of magazines - not to mention patterns - I have one question:
Why are you holding on to them?? Honestly.

When I look back about 10 years, I am thinking - "who in their right mind is going to wear this again?" And so why use up so much space and time - dusting and organizing and making it, so it would be a pattern (or anything) you may never use for the rest of your life.
One other question I ask myself when I am organizing my 'stuff', is to honestly ask myself "will I really ever make this?" With all the new techniques and patterns, and ideas that come out yearly - even monthly, WILL I ever be able to get to this?

So, on a scale of 1 to 10, I will rate where it sits on the priority list.

#1 - Not on your life! - "it is so out of date - forget it!"

#2 - are you kidding? - "I am dreaming right now of a much more lovely sweater that Clara introduced to me!

#3 - hmmmm..... I don't think so. So, why in the world am I holding on to it - I suppose for sentimenatl reasons.

#4 - Ahh!! Such beautiful memories behind this! I just can't let it go...... but, honestly, I am running out of shelf space.

#5 - "I like this..... it was sooo cute, maybe someday still." It definitely was on the top of your list somewhere in time, but now has got shuffled aside because you got a new book that was published just last year that is your favorite! And it has a dozen different patterns you really want to make (someday).

#6 - "I saw this that Loulou made and posted on her FO on her blog! It was soooo beautiful! I really have to make one someday!!!

#7 - This just came out last year, and although I haven't had time to make it yet, I still have the yarn that I bought for this project. So I just have to keep this! I swear someday I will get to it!

#8 -


#10 - That is GOING TO BE MY NEXT project!!! Oh! I am so excited!! I just bought the yarn for this - and it is sooo yummy!! I swear when I finish the next 4 projects in progress, I am going to start this..... OH! wait....(!) forget it, I will cast on now!

just some thoughts to consider as you try to reorganize your stash of patterns that date back to when you had your first baby.
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New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  10:10:20 AM  Show Profile Send nancym428 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a great thread. I think I have you all put to shame. I have old VK and McCalls going back to the 40's & 50's. I now have about 14 years of IK. I do go through them and you would be surprised how relevent some of the old patterns are. I think I am of the school that it is chaos and I like it that way. However the thought of changing my non-system at this point is overwhelming.

My life now seems to be ruled by so many patterns, so much yarn, so little time. Keep this subject going someone might come up with a system that I am willing to try.

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New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  10:12:56 AM  Show Profile Send loribird a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gah! I have problems with this one, and I've only got THREE years of knitting magazines to sort through!

I keep them on my bookshelf, organized by type (IK, Vogue, Spin-Off,) in chronological order - I can't bring myself to pull them apart! - and in the past I've used the internet to help find which issue a pattern is in. Now, Ravelry is a huge help.

For articles I've printed off the internet (Knitty and such) I use a 3-hole punch (or plastic sheet protectors when necessary) and put them 3-ring binders. I have several, and they are labeled: Socks, Scarves & Shawls, Mittens & Gloves, Sweaters, Hats & Misc. Every now and then it is really nice to take them down in search of a project and find something I had forgotten about!
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Permanent Resident

1670 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  10:23:57 AM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Becky in MO

For those of you who have more than 5 or 10 years worth of magazines I have one question: Why are you holding on to them?? Honestly.

lots of reasons:
tips and ideas on technique
many patterns from the 40's and 50's are classics and wearable today
I like vintage knitting magazines
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Permanent Resident

9715 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  1:30:13 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just keep all knitting and crochet things, mags and booklets, together in one bookshelf. I like looking through them from time to time. At some point when I'll need something, I'll just look through the mags again. So far, so good. I've sent a lot of them on their merry way, to Sally's, too. What I really miss are the old, old Threads mags, when they were all different kinds of use of thread. Those were wonderful. Those I should have kept.


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Permanent Resident

1929 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  1:51:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't subscribe to crafts magazines because I'd have no place to put them. When I DID subscribe, I cut out the articles I wanted to keep and put them in a manila envelope (there aren't many). However, with knitting patterns, my DH had an accordion file folder he wasn't using, and each pocket is labeled by a range of first letters. So, socks go under S, bags go under B, and so on. Yes, I'm a little picky, too, when it comes to what I'll copy off of the Internet and such, so hopefully this file won't get terribly large.

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Chatty Knitter

165 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  2:36:38 PM  Show Profile Send BooksAngel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where so you think the designers are getting about half of their new ideas? I have recognized two or three recent sweaters as redesigns of classic sweaters from a Bernat book sold from the 1940's through the 1960's. One recent sweater was even a redesign of one pattern my Mom started knitting for my uncle before the second world war. She never finished it. I wondered when I sent it to the thrift shop this fall if someone would recognize it as appearing in one of the newer knitting magazines as a woman's sweater.

Older patterns may be pictured in colors we would not wear now or have different shoulder treatments but many times the basic information is great. I am glad to have these new ideas to help me keep my patterns closer to hand.

Now if only someone would catalog the patterns in the "year of " collections. I so wish for an index of their child's hat patterns.

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Seriously Hooked

748 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  3:27:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kipster's Homepage Send Kipster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just don't have the space to save magazines. So, I rip out patterns that I currently like, put them in page protectors (I recently bought a box of 200!) and then each type (socks, shawls, sweaters, hats & gloves, scarves, baby, household) has their own binder. As the binders grow, I can further separate them with dividers. Such as, I have an Evelyn Clark section in the shawl binder. I also keep a technique binder--but, the technique has to be something special that I can't already find anywhere else.

Yes, there's some patterns I may not rip out that I might like a few years from now. But, I figure by that time, there will be other patterns that will fill that need!

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Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  5:29:37 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Angel, you're absolutely right about old patterns as a source for today's designers. I've seen it too. Fashion is cyclic. What's old will be new again, and vice versa.

I've got VKs going back into the 80s, and some of the designs are surprisingly contemporary. I keep almost all my old knitting mags. I get a lot of inspiration going through them. I can always find some design or article I missed before.

I haven't found a good way of organizing them, however. Mostly they sit on the shelves until I grab bunches of them to look at. In the days before the internet, when I subscribed to a lot of academic journals, I used to xerox the tables of contents of each issue. I kept them in a 3 ring notebook. It saved me a lot of search time then. But, to do that with knitting mags would be too labor-intensive for my purposes. Same thing with scanning them. Any system of organization has to easy to create and maintain. Otherwise, there's no point.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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Permanent Resident

9715 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  5:47:51 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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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Seriously Hooked

627 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  7:50:32 PM  Show Profile Send Schleppenheimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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!

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New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2008 :  10:05:47 PM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?
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Becky in MO
Seriously Hooked

769 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  07:07:57 AM  Show Profile  Send Becky in MO a Yahoo! Message Send Becky in MO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?
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New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  08:37:12 AM  Show Profile Send SlowKnitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?
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Gabber Extraordinaire

597 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  09:09:30 AM  Show Profile Send Sketcher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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Chatty Knitter

141 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  09:50:15 AM  Show Profile Send InMySpareTime a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

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Permanent Resident

1408 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  10:59:10 AM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2008 :  10:07:25 PM  Show Profile Send yarnboz43 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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?
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Seriously Hooked

623 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2008 :  08:29:23 AM  Show Profile Send MeezieGirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.
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