Organizing the Knitting Information

I had no idea how spoiled I was when I was using a certain database to keep track of my patterns and I was a little lost at first when I no longer had access to it. But I am resilient and I have come up with a plan.

I should insert here that I do know that there will be other websites, new databases, and more options for organizing stash, patterns, needles, and projects. But you know what they say – once bitten, twice shy. So I’ll be keeping my info local from now on.

I started with magazines. I have almost every issue of Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and Piecework, as well as much of KnitScene, Creative Knitting, and Debbie Bliss Magazines dating back 10 years. It’s a ridiculously huge stack. I never need to get another new pattern as long as I live, and I am still subscribed to half of those, so they are still coming!

I opened up a blank spreadsheet, got myself a large chocolate bar and some steamy, creamy coffee, and started inputing patterns. I confess this is actually taking longer than it should because I am getting distracted by some really good articles that I had forgotten about. Ha! I started out very detailed. Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 10.28.16 AM

But, when each magazine ended up taking a million years to input, I began to simplify. I can always go back and add detail later.

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 10.29.57 AM

Besides, most of these, I know, I will never, ever knit. It’s just nice to know there are there, I guess.

Then, I bought these nice looking organizers and began filing the magazines, that were until now just stacked haphazardly anywhere I put them (bookshelf, night stand, under my bed, on the desk…) into a nice, neat pattern shelf in my room.

Soon, I will be able to at least search my patterns for women’s sweaters or toys. I may not be able to narrow it down to fabric characteristics or needle size, but it’s a start. And a good one, at that!

I don’t really want to think about it yet, but I will probably do something similar with the stash. I have a really elaborate stash storage plan that I can’t even begin to do because of the remodeling going on, but that will come in time.

As for project pages, I have a thing for that, too. Here is the one for my sweater that I told you about recently.

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 10.40.09 AMScreen Shot 2019-07-22 at 10.40.23 AM

Obviously, the sweater is not finished, so the page isn’t finished either. The grey boxes will be more pictures and it’s a two sided page. I plan to print it out and make a binder. I might even print and file all of the pages that I saved as PDFs from my last ten years of knitting.

But we’ll see. I need to switch gears and plan the next school year. I’ve got one graduating this school year and one going into first grade with a few others in between. And a toddler. It’s gonna be fun.

Do you find yourself in this predicament? Are you going come up with new ways to organize your knitting? Or are you waiting on one of the new upstart sites? I’m interested in what others are doing.

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13 thoughts on “Organizing the Knitting Information

  1. Good for you! It really has made many of pause and think about not having all our eggs in one basket! I am enjoying looking at websites I have not looked for a long time, and realizing I also already have more patterns than I can ever knit!

  2. I started just using a notebook. It’s not ideal but it worked in a pinch when I was gathering all my info off of said site. Pattern wise, I have no clue what to do :(. I downloaded them all but to be honest until I read your blog post a few days ago I hadn’t picked up my needles since I left. It was just too much. But you’ve given me my desire to knit back. I picked up Zs sweater and started clicking away at it. I’m hoping to make her and P matching ones for Christmas 🙂

    • It really is amazing how much of my knitting was Rav centered. The plus side is I have a lot more knitting time now that I’m not browsing patterns and chitchatting in forums! Yay for knitting again!

  3. I am not too worried about it. I use Flickr to document the knits and don’t worry about saving the info on anything else. My pattern library is in Box and in Documents on my computer, which I am trying to learn to back up more often after a crash last year! I have Box filed by category and yarn weight so I can easily find a DK shawl when I want one.

    • Nice. I had a big hard drive crash a few years ago and now I’m hooked up to iCloud which is set to back up almost constantly. Haha!
      I like to keep pretty detailed notes on my projects, mostly because I make mods to patterns all the time.

  4. Good for you undertaking such a monumental task! I, too, have many magazines full of patterns as well as those I’ve printed from various sites. Now that I’m retired, I “should” have plenty of time to catalog all the patterns but I always find other things to do. I did download all the patterns from That website to my computer and organized into categories so that much is done…just not the print/magazine ones.

    So you are using a spreadsheet as opposed to a database?

      • I know how to use a spreadsheet (Excel in my case). If you want to add or move a column, it’s easy. I tried to learn Access, a database program, and was very confused by the process. So did you scan the pic from the magazine then add it?

      • I think the spreadsheet will be good enough for me. 😊
        I pulled the pics off the magazine websites. For the PDF patterns, I took screenshots. I think the books will be the tricky ones. I guess I’ll have to figure out how to use my scanner!

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