How to Organize Crochet Patterns

by Kathryn on April 29, 2014 · 3 comments

in year of projects

I recently joined the 52 Week Crochet Blogging Challenge hosted by Julie of Red Berry Crochet. This week’s challenge is to organize your crochet patterns.

Me and Crochet Patterns

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So the truth is that this one doesn’t really apply to me because I only rarely use crochet patterns. I like to just freeform create my own crochet designs to wear – so all of the crochet dresses and crochet shrugs and crochet cowls that I make to wear are just one-offs with no pattern.

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When I do use a crochet pattern it’s usually because I’m reviewing something (like a crochet book) and want to test a pattern to give an accurate review or I want to try to make something new that I don’t know how to make; in either case I work the pattern from start to finish so there’s no need to organize it. I will say that I prefer printed patterns to working with online instructions so I’ll print them to use.

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All that said, I’ve done a lot of research and talking with others about ways to organize crochet patterns so I do have some thoughts about the options. And of course, I think that people should use whatever method is best for them.

Tip: Use a Label Printer

In my article on organizing with label printers, here’s what I shared about pattern organization:

  • Consider going digital. You can organize crochet patterns on your computer and use tools like Ravelry to make it easy to find the patterns that you want when you want them!
  • Make a crochet pattern binder for those loose printed out patterns. If you have lots of them, multiple binders that are labeled on the outside for easy organization can be a good choice.
  • Separate the crochet books and magazines into their functions. In other words, keep your crochet encyclopedias and stitch dictionaries together and your crochet pattern books together. Do you keep vintage magazines because you love them but don’t actually use the patterns? Those may be in a separate space from the more recent crochet magazine issues that you’ve dog-eared to complete patterns from.
  • Rotate what’s out in your physical space. You’re probably only going to work on a few projects at a time so just keep a few crochet pattern books out for that inspiration. Box the others up, label the box and stick it away. Every few months, rotate that out and put the new inspiration in your space!

Finding Crochet Patterns in Books and Magazines

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Another tip I’d like to offer is to take the time to create a color coded system for yourself that will allow you to easily identify patterns. I like those little colored flags that are generally used by students and professionals. When you see a pattern you like in a book or magazine, flag it with the right color. For example, I might tag wearable projects with pink, one-skein or quick projects with blue, projects for the home with green, gifts I want to make with yellow, etc. The tags stick right out of the book/ magazine so when I want to make a specific type of project I can easily find that.

Digital Crochet Pattern Organization

I tried again and again to use Ravelry and I just found myself never really using it. However, I do look for patterns on the site all of the time just to get inspiration and I think it’s really easy to search patterns there. So for people who do enjoy patterns, I’d say that utilizing the pattern tool there and storing the patterns in an organized fashion right through the Ravelry site (using their favorites, etc.) is a great option.

Frequently Used Crochet Patterns

Finally, if there’s a crochet pattern that you like that you think that you’d be interested in making again, I do recommend saving it. A crochet journal is a great option for this. I’d use a big blank notebook but a 3 ring binder also works. Include the pattern with all of its details. Include photos of your work, notes on the yarn that you used and notes on any changes that you might have made to make the pattern suit you. (Or if you hit a difficult part, a note on how you solved it so you’ll easily remember next time.) If you have a lot of these then I’d organize them – either with separate journals for different types of projects or separate sections in the binder (for home, wearables, etc.)

Do you organize your crochet patterns? How? Share your tips in the comments below!


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I use manilla folders, and I sometimes write my comments or adaptations on the front of the folder. Sometimes I put a sticky note on the front telling me where I am in the pattern or what I was going to do next.

Like you, I also use those sticky tabs to mark patterns in magazines. I write on the tab what kind of pattern it is (hat, bag, etc.).

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