Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Patons Pattern Hunt

Over the years I've adopted different storage systems and classification arrangements of knitting pattern leaflets.

Storage systems used include
  • hole punching and binders (I was 8, give me a break!),
  • plastic sleeves and binders
  • pamphlet boxes
  • box files
  • the "Lying Around on Any Available Flat Surface" method for which I have a patent pending.

Apart from hole punching they all have qualities to recommend them. My preference is for box files.

Classification schema have included

  • Subject (babies, children, women, men, accessories, homewares, toys, dogs),
  • Chronological (order in which they are received, usually in conjunction with the "Lying Around on Any Available Flat Surface" storage method)
  • Favourites (often subdivided by subject) and
  • Provenance (separate collections based on author or publisher with appropriate sub-divisions depending on the creator - usually chronological by publication date).

Because I am an archivist Provenance is my preferred method of arrangement but what I'd really like is to catalogue and index them all so I have a database searchable by designer, publisher, yarn, ply, size and pattern type. Because I am also a masochist, I've made a start.

Just before I went away for all those weeks, I sat down one evening and put the main run of the Patons patterns into numerical order. When I got back I spent another day or so trawling the various pattern storage devices for other patterns. I found many duplicates, most of which were offered around SnB members.

Patons produced a number of separate series of pattern leaflets in Australia. There are at least two single number series.

  • Series 1 is numbered 1-1000 and runs from the 1930s to the early 1970s.
  • Series 2 begins in the 1970s and seems still to be going.
  • the craft series (number prefixed with the letter C),
  • the reprint series (number prefixed with the letter R)
  • the classics series.
I've collected the vintage (Series 1) Patons patterns off and on for years and was given a goodly number by Mum and Nanna. Now I want to complete the set if possible. It could be worse, I could collect vintage cars - I once created a catalogue for a collection of vintage cars and associated documentation and memorabilia for a friend's husband, I know what I'm talking about.

A spreadsheet was used to create a list of pattern numbers and colour coded to indicate which pattern numbers I have and in what condition. Grey indicates a pattern in good order and orange shows one that should be replaced if the opportunity arose and the price was right. Green means I'm on a promise for that one.

If you'd like to see the list, it's up on Google Documents.

A printout sits in my wallet with the needle gauge I habitually carry - what, don't you? I can check it whenever I come across a bundle of patterns for sale. Since compiling the list a fortnight ago it's been in constant use. Here's The Shopping Sherpa learning the system at the Salvos Tuggeranong. Why yes, that is a large basket of yarn in front of me - how odd. Please note this was before Seven Things Spring.


TinkingBell said...

Let me know which ones you need Taph (I'll try to get over to google docs children permitting - but let me know the holes in your collection and I'll check my own and the local lifeline has zillions!

TinkingBell said...

can't access the google docs sheet - just let me know which are missing!

Jejune said...

I am officially in awe! Nice pic too :)

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

I am in awe of what you were able to let go of.....I have a lot of work to do with the seven things. But a start is a start...

As for the cafe in Lyneham....I'm getting the heebee geebees thinking of what they would deem as a more appropriate activity.

As for the pattern collection. A totally legitimate use of your time. I look at it as this...if you can't knit...play with patterns (organize what you have, or look for new ones...you gotta scope out your next project), shop for yarn, or talk about knitting.

Donna Lee said...

I am an organized person at work, I have to be with 100 individuals that need my attention. At home, however, my "creative side" emerges and I also use the "any flat surface or vertical space between the books on the self" method of filing. This past weekend my husband gave me a 1" binder and some sleeves for "all your patterns". I didn't have the heart to tell him that I filled it with sock patterns alone and there wasn't enough room.

Georgie said...

The organiser and cataloguer in me (sadly, mostly latent these days) is in awe. Ooh, I'm getting all twitchy for a new list of something...

Margie said...

that is such an excellent idea to keep the list with you. patons patterns really are very reliable aren't they.