Thursday, May 16, 2013

Project Needles: Research & Reconnaissance, Phase 1

During Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, I determined that by April 2014 I would have a system for organizing my knitting needles (ha!), and thus Project Needles was begun!

Let's go back...   way back...   to my very first course in library school:
Organization of Information!

From what I can remember (and it's been years now, so please cut me some slack), the first thing to think about when organizing a collection of something is to think about the purpose for the end user(s).
For example, alphabetizing is great, but it makes no sense to put, say, spices in alphabetical order by name if a competent cook relies on knowledge of flavors that go well together.
(My spices are alphabetized, because I only use spices if specifically called for by diligently-followed recipes, and what of it!  You're here for knitting, not cooking!  I make perfectly edible food sometimes!  ...okay, more to the point, it totally makes sense for me to alphabetize spices.)

SO!  As the only end user of my knitting needles (hereafter referred to as "the collection" because it's fancy), I have some decisions to make:
  • Do I care about size of needle?  Do I care about "type" of needle (straight vs double pointed vs circular)?  Do I care about color, material, other aesthetic value? What physical traits of the collection matter most to me on a priority scale?
  • How much sorting, repackaging, labeling, &c. do I want to do upfront? How long will it take to access the collection each instance?
  • What amount of space do I have to work with?  Should the operation be centralized, cataloged, searchable, &c.?
  • Should alphabetical order factor into any of this?  Because I love me some alphabetizing, not gonna lie.

The current state of the collection:


Chrisknits said...

I have my dpns and circs in a Bait Bag from Bass Pro Shops. I have each "baggie" labeled with the size in US and mm designations. I am now purchasing interchangeable needles. I have them in a small case I repurposed from a paperback book cover. I am running out of room in that, so I need to find another case for storing the collection and then use the small PBC for what I take with me to have on hand. Works for me. Now, as for record keeping, I use an app on my iPhone, but it only has my IN at this point, no circs or dpns, since I had those long before I got my phone.

Stitched Together said...

I have a Namaste case for my fixed circs that has pockets labelled with size. I have a set of interchangeable ChiaGoo needles that are labelled in the case and I have most KnitPro interchangeable a in another case. Basically I know I have most needles and I have three places to look for them. I should catalogue them though.

gings said...

from one librarian to another, love the thought process behind this project!

i recently organized my circular needles and have been meaning to post about it on the blog--looks like i've found my motivation at last.