Monday, February 12, 2007

Swatch Management

This new Swatch Bank, founded in 2007, yields high interest and I can make speedier withdrawals than with other Swatch Banks I've tried.
I suppose this might look like a heap o' mess but this madness has a careful method. Not only that, despite how it looks the tags do not get tangled. Maybe I should try to take a better photo.
The gist of the system is, I have a huge closed metal ring, and smaller metal rings that click open and closed hang from the big ring. Each small ring holds swatches of a certain type. For example, 1 ring holds all variations of single crochet, another is for all variations for hdc, etc.; more swatch categories that work for me:
- trebles and beyond
- colorwork
- aran
- lace
Most swatches have hang tags (on very short leashes) that tell me the hook size, the stitch pattern or what pg. in which book I found it, maybe the yarn.

What do other people do?
- Some Victorians used to baste swatches to fabric pages bound into a kind of scrapbook. I find I need my swatches to be free agents--I need to compare drape, stretch, loft, etc. I also hate basting.

- Other Victorians made one long continuous strip and rolled it up. I like the look but it's even less usable as a swatch bank than the scrapbook method, and my swatches are not uniform in size or color.

- Some people join them into afghans. If I stop designing someday, I'll probably do that.

- Many probably do what I used to: store some with the design proposals or completed patterns and stash the rest of them into a big box. Sad--the swatches can't show off this way. It's a swatch account that yields zero interest with no easy withdrawals.

- Is there a method I've left out? At one time I toyed with mounting each swatch on a large index card then filing them. One time I experimented with covering big stiff felt pages with elastic bands so that I could slip the swatches under the bands and remove as necessary (like how some people informally display photos on the wall). The hang tags got all tangled in that system and it took up too much room anyway.