Technology Fail

I decided to tidy up my office space – radical enough in itself. Then I came across a notebook, the spine of which I hadn’t cracked open in ages.

A friend bought me this book years ago, and I used it as a reference for my knitting. There are projects recorded here that had been long forgotten – until I gazed upon the scraps of discontinued wool and the brittle, yellow pieces of sellotape. My heart squeezed tight as the years peeled away.

The very first project in my knitting notebook is a cardigan that I made (and never wore) as I sat on my new boyfriend’s sofa, five(ish) years ago. Anyone out there remember the first time you dared knit in front of someone? Now, THAT’s love!

At some point over the years, I abandoned this notebook in favour of the online catalogue of knitting projects – Ravelry. I love so much that web technology has brought to my life. An education, friends, a diary of my life. You! But nothing can replace the memories in this book. I’m determined to start a new chapter.

I wonder if a similair, physical catalogue of my sewing should be instigated. Perhaps we should all have a scrapbook? Those pieces of fabric that get tossed in the bin, or allocated to the patchwork basket – wouldn’t they make a wonderful diary? I bet some of you out there already have impressive notebooks. I’d love to hear about them. Any photos to share?

Memories are made of this. They deserve paper, ink and sellotape.

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20 Responses to Technology Fail

  1. KristenMakes says:

    My friends & I were just talkign about saving our ball bands and making it into some sort of wall-art – this makes me want to do it even more. I don’t catalogue my past work in a non-digital format either, but there is something so beautiful about messy notes, yarn scraps and ball bands!

  2. Roobeedoo says:

    I have seen several bloggers making swatch books to record their fabric stash, and matching project pages. Sew Weekly has a downloadable template… but wouldn’t it be lovely to make your own with handmade paper and wet ink and a posh pen?! Ooh – an excuse to buy lovely stationery!
    I do wonder how I would feel if Ravelry wasn’t there anymore – gulp!

  3. Marie says:

    This post actually made my eyes sting a little with emotion! There’s something so comforting and nostalgic in keeping scrap-books and there’s nothing quite like leafing through them and actually touching / feeling their contents. I love technology and the way it can enrich lives, but there are some things that just can’t be matched – like reading a real life book (instead of reading it on a Kindle etc). I may have to consider some kind of swatch/scrap book now Karen!

  4. Mela says:

    There truly I something beautiful in tangible memories: diaries, photographs… Love. I am quite sad that I stoppe. Keeping a journal these last few years. Might need to pick that habit back up. Thanks for reminding me!

    Hope your new notebook comes together nicely.

  5. Clare says:

    I’ve never been much of a planner when it comes to sewing but do love finding old handwritten recipes complete with grease marks, splashes, and overuse of underlinings and exclamation marks. Somehow technology makes everything feel current which is fantastic, but maybe that’s at the expense of opportunities for nostalgia. I hope you find the perfect pen and notebook to plan your projects in.

  6. Kirsty says:

    What a lovely find! And timely for me as I have decided to start journal-ing my life and my makes in a scrapbook style when I start my new life in Canada. This partly came out of a ‘oh my gosh, what would happen if the Internet just..died, and all my photos and anecdotes disappeared. And partly a desire to use my Instax camera and have somewhere to put the photos!

  7. LinB says:

    Oh, I used to sit and knit in my college dorm room, and lovely young men would come up and lie on my bed and nap, soothed to sleep by the click-click-click of the needles. (None of them were lovers, just only friends. Except for the one whom I eventually grew to love, and who loves me back to this very day.) I am a creature of the moment, and rarely think to save mementoes of my work. But those of you who do save everything, and those of you who save electronically, consider that computer technology is out of date almost the moment it is issued, while ink and paper can last for centuries.

  8. LLADYBIRD says:

    I love the idea of having a book full of projects – that was something that crossed my mind while I was drawing up croquises, actually. I could put those with my scraps in the book and and… I don’t know, I never get past the planning stages 🙂 I do keep swatches & notes in my non-vintage patterns, just as a reference. It’s fun to come across them!

  9. oonaballoona says:

    i agree, and when i saw the picture i got excited because i thought you were keeping a present-day book!

    i used to sketch any pattern i was using, then write out all notes/adjustments/tips next to it, so i could do it easier next time. i brought the book with me, but no patterns…

  10. Carolyn says:

    I have several of those books for sewing…books filled with swatches, pics of patterns and inspirational photos…but I started them pre-internet, pre-blogging as a way for me to keep track of what I was making. Now they will be stored on my shelves with the rest of my sewing books (if I ever get them unpacked!) but I understand the thrill you had when you opened it again after not seeing it for awhile. I felt that way when I handled mine during my move.

  11. Evie says:

    I knew my now husband was the one when one evening, whilst over for dinner and a movie, he asked why, although I had the knitting and sewing baskets around, I never did any whilst he was there. Definitely a keeper.
    I’ve got to say that I love paper and pen and sellotape much more than online options (Pinterest doesn’t count!) and have a couple of lovely notebooks which I really should crack and start documenting the process of creation more, as this is something I don’t do in detail on my blog. Thanks for the thought.

  12. Sherry says:

    I prefer the tactile nature of a book too – I save a lot of images on my computer, but it is the doodles and magazine clippings in a book that I refer to most. Old habits die hard!

  13. Alessa says:

    I have a sketchbook which has both random sketches and sewing inspiration including swatches of my fabrics. I try to take it with me when I go shopping for fabrics or notions. Though honestly, it’s more a record of what could be than of projects I made. I recently decided to record the yarns I’m using for knitting, too. It really is fun to look through the book from time to time, and think about making one of the projects I thought of months and months ago. 😀

  14. Pearl says:

    Funny you should write about this Karen – I was thinking only last night that I really should start a project book to record my sewing projects.

    I’ve thought about an electronic version, but it doesn’t have the same conveniece factor – I can’t just pull it off the shelf, open to the appropriate section, and either check what I want to check, or add what I want to add.

    So, I think I’ll start with my current project. If the denim version works, it will be my go-to A-line skirt, and I want to make note of my modifications (ie 1/2 inch seam allowance at centre back – easier to put in a centred zipper), so when I make it the next time, I don’t forget what the heck I did!

  15. Jacqueline says:

    I don’t have a blog, so this is the way I record my projects.

  16. Felicity from Down Under says:

    What a wonderful thing to have. I find patchwork quilts utterly fascinating as historical records (one of my aunts could follow the progress of her sons’ pyjamas through her hexagon quilt) though I’m not a quilter myself. But I do use identifiable scraps of fabric to make potholders, place mats and lavender bags. That’s my nod to history.

    I grew up in the habit of keeping ball-bands with a bit of yarn tied around to facilitate matching yarn should you run out (because my mother and aunts did so and I dare say they learnt from their mother); and all the sewing patterns I’ve used (traced to correct size; I don’t cut patterns directly) are tied with a bit of the fabric used to make them (or several, obviously, if I’ve used it more than once). That a was a tip from a teacher at the stretch sewing course I did.

    An actual craft diary is something I don’t have. I scribble notes in margins and on the traced patterns. I tried to keep an electronic craft diary that probably went west with the last computer crash, but at the moment I still rely on my memory. i can identify most of my scrap fabric and yarn.Once senilia sets in, I’m done for! Yet another journal to keep track of? It is a great idea, but mmmaybe not.

  17. This reminds me of my Mum’s scrap book – she used to keep a square of fabric (all the same size – she is so neat) with pinked edges- from every thing she sewed, & she sewed everything for herself and us kids. I used to love revisiting this book, all the colours, the different textures and memories of the garments after they’d been outgrown. And yes I used to love the neatness too because that is always an aspiration for me, never a reality!

  18. quiltyknitwit says:

    Just last week I was thinking that if Ravelry were to go down or vanish, I wouldn’t have any detailed records of my projects…

  19. Lizzet says:

    I have started a fabric diary (if you want to call it like that) inspired in this one, after I read about it in True Up. I think the original is in the V&A. I must blog about it really, I guess it will not be as nice as the original but it is a start and I am hoping it will get more and more interesting with the years 😉
    Have fun with yours xx

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