My Knitting Notebook

Some time ago, I started keeping all the yarn labels for my projects so that I could remember which yarn I used. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, I wanted to organize them somehow. I found this simple journal and started stapling the yarn labels onto the pages.

On the margins, I jotted down the name of the project and the date. At some point, I started including a scrap of yarn with the label so that I could remember what the yarn looked and felt like. The sample on the left page below is what I used to make a pair of baby booties, including the pretty ribbon to tie them together. The sample on the right was a souvenir yarn from Romni Wools in Toronto. It’s patiently waiting for the right project.

The yarns below went into making a thick cabled scarf for my husband, a racy striped garter stitch scarf, a cabled hat and washcloths.

I started this knitting notebook long before it occurred to me to download an app or start a blog. Both of those are good memory joggers. I do keep my Vogue Knitting app updated but there’s nothing like being able to touch and feel the yarn between my fingers. Modern technology still can’t replace the tactile experience.

Do you keep yarn samples? How do you organize them?

88 thoughts on “My Knitting Notebook

  1. What a great idea Veronica! I’ve never kept labels or even snippets of the yarn and some times it would have come in handy. Thanks for sharing your idea!

  2. I was just wishing I was this organized this morning, as I was putting on my favorite hand-knit socks and wondering what this wonderful yarn was… Kicking myself lightly with a well-socked foot…

  3. That’s a good idea. Making my own patterns I make a skecth for every project and there a pin a sample of the yarn I’ll use. All my sketches are collected in a ring binder. I also have a notebook (well to be true many notebooks now) were I write the “pattern”. It’s very useful especially when I want to use once again the same pattern or make some variation.

    1. I used to just stuff the labels in the back and one day it just occurred to me to staple them on the pages. It’s not always very neat but it does the trick.

  4. I try to keep my Ravelry Stash organized, but ball bands, yarn samples – nah. And I know the day will come when I wish I had…. Especially my handspun I don’t get around to labelling or detailing at all, plant dyed so far yes.

    1. I was concerned about saving too much stuff but the notebook size forces me to just use a snippet of yarn. I still have many pages to go before I fill it and the notebook easily stores anywhere.

  5. Lovely! I had to re-knit a jumper this year for someone and had notes and bits an pieces, no note about which needle size I used for the entire jumper! So now I have made form that I download and stick on an index card and I fill in every thinkable detail about my swatch and then store it with the label. Doesn’t look as beautiful, but works well.

    1. I’ve actually started using index cards for notes as well. They are so easy to carry around. I then just started stapling the cards with the yarn label and sample. One of those index card boxes or better yet, a pretty recipe card box could hold all your cards in one place!

  6. I am working in my fifth knitting journal. I usually keep yarn scraps, stitching notes and sometimes a summary of what I liked about a project, or didn’t like. Now I’ll hunt down some of the labels (stuffed in a basket somewhere) and add them to the pages. Although I keep most of the same information in Ravelry, I agree with you. I enjoy paging through old journals.

    1. I like your journal aspect. I imagine it’s like rereading a little story about everything you’ve knitted. I may have to borrow your idea and add notes to my pages. Thanks!

  7. Yes, I do the same thing! I have my knitting notebook where I keep yarn labels, samples and a note of cost and where it came from. It’s great to be able to look back on what projects I have done and what adjustments I have made to patterns, etc

  8. What a terrific idea! I always punch a hole in the label of a yarn I’ve never used before and tie a scrap of yarn through the hole, but then I stuff the labels in a little tin–not quite so organized as your notebook!

  9. I keep all the labels but I’ve actually never had the guts/patience to file them under the same place, other than online.

    Now, where’s the nearest empty notebook…

    1. I think I got that notebook at a dollar store or some bargain store. I loved the feel of the paper and didn’t even have a plan for it until I just started stapling labels to it.

  10. What a wonderful and beautiful idea! I totally agree – nothing beats the tactile aspect! Thank you for sharing.

  11. I do keep a note book with samples of fabric, silk ribbon, yarn etc. It saves so much time and I enjoy looking through it from time to time.

  12. I have long kept a textile note notebook – projects are dated, recipients noted, my sketches or picture (if I used a pattern), yarn label taped in, any instructions necessary if I want to make it again, and a yarn sample (though my samples are not as large as yours). My daughter gave me this notebook years ago – it’s a hard covered (Monet paintings on front & back!), spiral ring 1.5 inch deep book. After I filled it up, its replacement is actually three hard covered, spiral ring art sketch books (heavy paper – I purchased them at a good art supply store). Each has a different colored cover, and I use one for knitting, one for weaving, and the other for spinning & dying.

  13. I love this idea! This is one of those things, you should have known sooner. I’m going out to find myself such a nice notebook! Thank you!

  14. I’m one of those people full of good intentions, so I’ve been stopping and starting new notebooks for years. They just peter out after a little while (blush). The only notebook I really stick to is the one with my sock designs. BUT – I still have every label I ever took off a ball of yarn. Some are very old so I laminated them to make bookmarks. And I never throw away offcuts or even the smallest snippets of yarn – I collect them, card them, and make new yarn from them. I’ve taken a series of photos of this process and put them up on Ravelry (search for “swatch from offcut yarn”).

  15. Oh, and one more thing: I use the back of my old business cards to jot down an abbreviated version of the pattern I’m knitting so I can remind myself while I’m knitting on the go…

  16. This is a wonderful idea. I’m going to have to start my own knitting notebook, complete with care instructions. And I’ll have to start one for the dresses I make my granddaughters.

  17. What a great idea! I have all my labels and lots of bits of wool but don’t think I’ll be able to match them up. Wish I had done this as I started knitting again 4 years ago. Happy Christmas to you 🙂

    1. I wish I had started earlier too. There is a sweater I made with this lovely yarn and I can’t even remember the brand!

      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and new year.

  18. I need to do this. ASAP. I kind of gave up on saving the yarn labels this past year….because I was stuffing them in a little box. It was just too cluttery 🙂 I like this idea very much. Terrific idea!

  19. Hi Verónica. Thanks so much for liking my blog; I take it as an encouragement. My first click was to this page and you’ve given me the solution to the bands lying about, being stuffed in bags with yarn (that doesn’t go with the bands in question) and generally getting lost. I had some vague idea of organising all of it and this is perfect! I might even add a picture of whatever I created with the yarn, especially if I’m planning to give it away. Thank you for making my future life easier 😉

  20. This is an awsome idea. I remember back in crafts’ classes of elementary school they told us to do a notebook consisting of all the practice bits of knitting, crochet, emroidery and different sewing samples. I can’t remember actually doing it though.

  21. Nice! I don’t knit, but this same idea can be used to keep track of the raw wool and roving I use for needle felting. Just yesterday I was wishing I had been more diligent about that. . . and then I saw your post! Idea born, I mean, borrowed. Very creative, Veronica! Start your own etsy shop with them, maybe?

    1. It definitely can apply to any kind of craft project or just to jot down ideas. I like how neatly it keeps all my yarn samples in one place. I bet it will be fun to feel all the fibers in yours!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it. It started off as a simple way to store my yarn labels but now it’s more of a journal. I know you will enjoy creating yours.

  22. What a great idea! I decided for 2013 I was going to keep all of my labels to see just how much yarn i actually use in the course of a year, but the idea of keeping them organized in a pretty notebook is brilliant! I do love ravelry, but this is awesome! 🙂

  23. Thanks so much for stopping by my new blog. As a newbie knitter, this is a top tip I can see great merit in. Choosing the right yarn is so important. Great blog 🙂

  24. I keep a sample of the yarn stapled to the label but they are just in a plastic tub. The book is a good idea. Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

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