Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crochet Binder

I LOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEE spending time online searching for beautiful images. Do you have a Pinterest account? That's the idea, I've had my own personal boards for years and years stored on my computer. This is a constant source of inspiration for graphic design ideas, color combinations and just plain neat-o stuff that I like. I just save images in folders in my main Pictures folder. I usually name them with the source so I can go back and view it if I need to and I've had to do this on several occasions.

When I started crocheting in January 2011, I started a virtual folder for "crochet pics" of my favorite colors and designs. This folder of images stimulates my creative juices! All this to say, I like WAY more than I can produce so having those images in my computer is GOOD because it doesn't take up any physical space only virtual space.

Once I started actually producing a few projects (afghans), I wanted a way to document my process and "ingredients"...what yarn did I use for my first afghan? Did I use a typical double-crochet on my sister's afghan? Can my friend wash and dry her blanket on high heat? So of course, I started a blog! I love that I can keep this information online so it is easy to access from anywhere! I include photos and price of yarn and hook used along with care instructions for easy reference. I don't share this blog with anyone because I have GIFT information there, so for now, it's just for me.

But I found I also needed a hard copy of my current and planned projects because I needed to refer to patterns while sitting on the sofa. I prefer to be able to sketch and make notes, so enter-The Crochet Binder. Only patterns that I REALLY want to do make it into the binder. This also helps me be realistic about my time and financial resources. I purchase yarn when it goes on sale and store it in plastic bags in my bedroom until it is ready to be used.

Right now, my goal is to make a few gifts (just finished a catghan for my sister to match their anniversary afghan) and cozy afghan for each family member using a pattern designed by me. I let them choose their own colors and stripe pattern, giving them each a few parameters. Now I feel confident buying yarn when it goes on sale at and since I'm using my own pattern, I know EXACTLY how much yarn I REALLY need.

This summer, I decided that I wouldn't bother trying to buy in the store for large projects because they never have enough skeins in the same dye lot. I've decided there are really only a few yarns I really enjoy working with (worsted weight is NOT for me) so I can watch for sales. Usually I can get a free shipping coupon and often has 25%, 30% and after Christmas 40% off my favorite yarns (Lion Brand). Michael's brand Loops & Threads offers a wonderful boucle that I LOVE called Country Loom so I watch for sales on that, too. Sadly (super sadly) they don't offer online ordering so I don't do many projects with their yarn because I can never get enough skeins in the same dye lot at the same store. Though I do admit, I'm pretty fortunate/spoiled because there are four Michael's stores within 30 minutes of me! I supposed the next afghan, I could visit all four stores and use coupons to try to collect what I need...just a whole lot of time wasted running around in my opinion!

Just last week I added a new first page to my binder...six little pockets (which I found while cleaning!) to hold the six projects I can have going at any one time. Yes, my husband asked me to limit my endeavors (otherwise we'd be buried under yarn in our bedroom-oops, too late)! I really like this little sheet! I can see what's in process and make sure I don't over buy on yarn (who doesn't LOVE to buy yarn!?!) or over commit myself to too many gifts. In a word, it keeps me in reality!

The next sheets are my patterns for those family afghans. I print them out with vital info like how many skeins of yarn and what size hook to use. I have almost all the yarn collected for the projects for John and Daniel. I'll do theirs first and Sarah's last (since I already have an unfinished blanket for her that needs to be whipstitched) so I won't order yarn for Sarah's until after Christmas when I can get a rockin' deal.

I also want to experiment with a prayer shawl and/or lapghan pattern...smaller than afghans and how many afghans do I really need to make anyways!? So this post is a little chatty, thanks for following along!


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