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How I log my designs, WIPs and FOs

Fay Dashper-Hughes

How many times have you finished off one pattern and know that you will definitely make it again?

Did you immediately write down all of the little changes that you made, the number of rows you did?

At some point have you gone back to that pattern only to find you can't remember what hook/needle size you used and so you go scrolling through your Instagram posts to see if you unwittingly saved the day by posting a photo of your WIP with the hook/needles in the frame?

That was me, all of the above, until I decided that enough was enough and that a 'proper' designer and maker would obviously be very organised and keep all of their notes in designated notebooks, not scraps of paper that my cat, Pom Pom, would chew and claw at some later date. 

Now, I was already the proud owner of many a notebook but given that I was turning over a new journaling leaf, I wanted that 'new school jotter' satisfaction.  You know that feeling when you open up the notebook for the first time, choose what washi tape you are going to use to stick things down with and promise that your hand writing is going to be as neat on the last page as it will be on your first page endeavour.

What I am not going to talk about here is bullet journalling, because frankly I cant be bothered to learn the theory behind it.  Instead what I am going to do is show you why I have three separate notebooks for logging my designs and makes and how they have become an integral part of my process. 

Notebook 1 - grid pages that I use for designing colour work patterns and sketching out small design ideas.

Notebook 2 - Blank pages for doodling designs on when they first come to me and logging Works in Progress (WIPs).

Notebook 3 - This is my oracle notebook.  All of my Finished Objects (FOs) go into this notebook in a formatted and distilled manner. 


All of this may seem like a lot of work, but it really works for me and I have a great catalogue of what projects I have been working on, designs that are yet to be made, yarns I have been using.  I also know that I can go back to any pattern I have used and see what changes I have made (it is very rare for me to just work from a pattern, I usually make small changes), making them repeatable.

My very final step for more intricate patterns (not my own designs) is to load up any advice that I can onto a project page in Ravelry.    If I am stuck on a pattern, Ravelry is my first port of call to see if anyone else has overcome the issue.  I am always so grateful for the help that I receive there that I try to do the same back and often get nice messages from people on that platform saying thank you for the helpful notes.  

So, I guess the final point that I want to make is that when I come to the end of my three notebooks, I will make some changes.  I have recently found and amazing bookbinder in Ireland that can make mixed notebooks (lined, blank and dotted) all in one.  My prototype is sat on the kitchen island calling to me, but I have  he glare of my scariest ever teacher (Mrs. Cruikshank - even her name sounds scary) imprinted in my mind and I am not allowed to start a new jotter until my old ones are full.  Maybe I need to make my writing bigger... 






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