Thursday, December 26, 2019

Knitting Journals

Hello. I hope you are enjoying the after glow of Christmas. I love these days between Christmas and New Year's when the kitchen is full of leftovers and the Christmas mugs are out on the counter. Today the sky is heavy with gray clouds and the air is damp. The forecast is for precipitation of some variety and the birds are feeding like crazy - even a white breasted nuthatch. After I post this, I plan to make a cup of hot tea and thumb through several new books.

Juliann asked me to write about my knitting journal so here I am with my less than glamorous record keeping and probably more than you want to know. I am not a scrapbooker, nor do I keep a bullet journal but I do like journals and notebooks. In the 1990's and early 2000's, I kept a quilting and knitting record in a Steno notebook. As I spent less time quilting and more knitting, I began taping yarn labels into the back pages. In 2014, I created the first of three knitting journals from a half-sized notebook. I have used the same methods in all three. The current notebook has an envelope inside the front cover where I stash labels until I have time to tape them on to a page and write accompanying notes.

I divide the notebooks into two sections. Under the first tab divider, I keep track of projects. If I have it, I tape in a label and jot down needle size, pattern name, and date of the finished project. Additional details go on Ravelry. The "Notes" paper is a little heavier than generic lined filler paper. I used to buy it at Office Max in the section with papers for my work planner. I don't know if it is still available but I am about to find out as have come to the end of leftovers from my work days.

In the second section, I keep notes on a few techniques, like knitting without a cable needle, so I don't have to look them up on websites. Interestingly, the more I knit, the more techniques I memorize so I need these notes less often. This section also contains a page with measurements and/or sizes for gift recipients, for example the length of sock foot for my daughter. When these notebooks fill up and they do because yarn labels take up space, I transfer the second section into a new notebook.

I used to keep a yearly count of yardage of yarn in and out. Yardage out was a combination of yarn knitted into projects and skeins donated to a new home. Yarn in was the yarn I purchased. It was interesting to track that information and prompted me to make some changes in the way I buy yarn. Last year, I decided I didn't care about the numbers so I quit keeping that record. It took up time that I'd rather use for something else.

Last winter I added a second journal. When I ordered it, I did not realize it had lined, unlined, and graphed pages so I decided to use it for knitting. Why have one journal when you can have two? It has become a workbook for knitting without a pattern. Last summer, I used it when I knit the lace scarf by choosing stitch patterns from a stitch dictionary. I also charted a lace pattern for a shawl that I later abandoned.

In both journals, I found lists for possible projects. I knit about 50% of these ideas. This doesn't bother me in the least because knitting is one area of my life I choose not to be bound by hard and fast rules. I store both journals in the end table next to my favorite knitting spot on the loveseat where they are handy.

Thank you Juliann for prompting this trip down memory lane. What about you? If you journal about your knitting, what works for you?

On this Thursday, I link with Kat and the Unravelers because these journals keep my knitting life from unraveling.


  1. Oh, Jane! This is so timely! I have been wanting to do something to take better notes of my knitting and this just might be it!

    Thank you so much for sharing! XO

  2. What a lovely notebook idea I LOVE IT

  3. I don't journal about my knitting (I guess I use ravelry for that), but ... yours look so interesting and full of possibilities that I just might need to consider this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have always used cheap Composition notebooks with my To Knit/Idea pages starting on the last page and moving forward. This past January I bought an artist sketchbook with the idea of being more artsy and scrapbooky with it. Who was I kidding?? LOL I do like that the paper is thicker and and is unlined plus the book is larger and hardbound so it's much sturdier.... but it's larger and hard bound and much heavier and doesn't fit in my knitting bag very well. I will probably go back to using composition notebooks when my current book is filled. Whatever format I choose, I do pretty much the same thing as you. I record start/end dates, needle size, sweater size, notes about pattern adjustments... and of course, I tape in the ball bands and a little piece of the yarn if there's enough left over.

  5. beautiful journals! I have my mother's knitting notebook that has every single row accounted for and needle sizes. I remember some of those projects many many many years (decades!). What a treasure that you keep one like that.

  6. I have not journaled my knitting in the past. But, I'm planning to use my blog this year as my journal. Wish me luck.

  7. Thank you for this post. I have lots of new ideas. I especially like the envelope for ball bands or tags. I am definitely adding this. And I will do a post of my own making journals very soon. Thanks again Jane.

  8. Delightful post Jane! Filled with memories and completed projects and a record of your knitting life, as well. Do you include photos too?
    Your journal are an idea that would work will for any number of projects .

  9. Really enjoyed this post Jane. I, too, keep a record of knitting projects. I have a book where I record books read at the back and then knitting stuff in the front. I include start and end dates, a picture of what I knit and a snippet of the yarn used. i usually have some yarn left and keep the ball band with that yarn for future use. Sometimes I include needle size and I do include who the socks or shawl are for. It's fun to look back.