Thursday, December 31, 2015

Documented works

My Weaver's Record Sheet

Do you regularly record project details?

Think you'll remember the needle size you used to knit that sweater you just finished? What about the project to set aside last week? Or how about that hat you made last year? Doubtful. Highly doubtful.

If you knit or crochet and are part of the Ravelry community, one feature of the site is a customizable project section to record relevant details on projects. 

Your personal project page has spaces for the essentials--yarn used and how much, needle size, pattern source and size, as well as the important text box for notes. There are many other details, most of which are 'nice-to-have's' and helpful to others interested in the item, but these are the most important in my opinion. 

If you're not already taking advantage of this feature, consider using it to record project details. Maybe a New Year's resolution? (If you don't belong, join. It's free.)

Weavers have an online resource at Weavolution, but it's neither as clean nor as easy to use as the "add project" page on Ravelry. I did find a good thread regarding records sheets there. A number of group members recommend record sheets found in popular weaving books and point out that many current weaving software programs include record keeping templates. 

Some guilds have developed and/or adapted record sheets and make them available for download from their website. For example, the Handweavers Guild of Boise Valley (Idaho) has weavingspinningdyeing and braiding records.  They also have developed a weaver's Project Planner in Excel for a project, but it does not include the drawdown or calculations. Use their Weaving RecordWeaving Record Drawdown and Weaving Yarn Calculation for the range of data needed.

For weaving I use a record sheet (above) that suits my personal needs. It's really a combination of the Boise' Guild's Project Planner, standard weaving record sheets and drawdowns and is closer to the weaving record sheet offered by the Williamsburg Spinners & Weavers Guild, accessible here

For spinning, dyeing and braiding, I prefer to make records on 4x6 index cards. I make a master with the relevant information I want to capture and print it on blank cards. Of course, I update the master regularly, but having a master makes it as easy as possible to enter the data as well as to use it later.

Documentation is important

Please oh please document your work. Documented work has value not only to you, but also to others. The New York Guild of Handweavers has an impressive collection of weaving samples. Unfortunately, many are missing documentation. No names. No weave structure. No threading or treadling guides. They aren't much good as a resource....yet. The Guild has begun a study group to identify the patterns. It is a huge task.

Whether you download a form, make your own template, or keep a spiral notebook doesn't matter. The thing that matters isn't the method. It's the documentation. And, oh yes! Be sure to photograph your work and attach it to the document. It's your body of work. It is important.

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