Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Do You Keep Track of Patterns?

Stacey of Fresh Stitches had a great blog post about how to read PDF files. I would highly recommend her post before reading on. I am a total geek. I loved her post and want to take it a step further into Geekhood.  What I want to talk about is organizing the pdf files, accessing them from anywhere and also keeping track of which patterns you own.

Here is what I will round up for you today:
  1. How I keep track of what I own
  2. Pattern Storage
  3. Accessing Patterns

Keeping Track of What You Own

The first thing I do when I buy a pattern is "Pin it" to my Patterns I Have Purchased board on Pinterest. This is the best way to see a good quality picture of the patterns. If I ever get free time (yeah, right!), then I can go to my pin board and pick out something I haven't made yet.

Be sure to use proper pin-etiquette! Pin to RavelryEtsy or some other way that your board followers can also easily be guided to purchase the pattern (or finished product) for him/herself.

Storing the Pattern

I download patterns directly into the "Paid Patterns" folder on my computer. The names of all my patterns are like this: Pattern Designer - Name of Pattern. For example, a pattern by Snappy-tots, would be saved as Snappy Tots-Angry Fowl. Designers with a long name like Calleigh's Clips and Crochet Creations gets abbreviated: CCCC - Ladybug.

Naming them with the designer first, then the name of the pattern keeps all the patterns by one designer grouped together. When I accumulate a LOT of patterns from one designer, that designer gets his/her own folder.

Accessing the Pattern

This is where it starts getting a little geeky. All of my patterns are saved in Dropbox. Think of Dropbox as a folder on your computer like "My Documents". Here is a Snippet from Dropbox:

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computersphones and even the Dropbox website.
My "Paid Patterns" folder lives inside Dropbox on my computer. Admittedly, the easiest way to take patterns on the go is to print a copy, but that isn't very tree friendly. Please, on behalf of trees, only print what is necessary. I always access my patterns via the Dropbox app on my phone or my tablet pc. When I am out and about, I access patterns through my cell phone. When I'm lounging at home, I use my tablet PC with a bigger screen.

Bonus: From both my cell phone and my tablet, I can write on the screen using highlighters and other fun tools. I highlight exactly which row I am on and draw good old-fashioned stick drawings like this for row counting:

A Suggestion for Photographers, Graphic Artists and Techies....

I know a few photographers who give their clients discs with rights to print. This required the photographer to pay for the disc, postage, packaging, etc. If I may suggest, photographers could request clients download Dropbox (incentive: you get increased storage space for each referral).  You have the ability to share a specific folder with another Dropbox user. Then, your client can go to Dropbox on his/her computer and either keep the files there or copy them to a new location. More help on this topic can be found on the Dropbox web site.

How to Get Started:

You must first create an account through the Dropbox web site. Then, download the Dropbox app from  iTunes and/or Google Play to take your patterns with you.

You also have two ways to get everything into your Dropbox folder.

  1. Go to the Dropbox web site and create a new folder, then upload the patterns there
  2. Find the Dropbox folder on your computer and create a new folder there. Then, you can drag the files from their current location to the new location inside Dropbox.
I will monitor comments on this blog post and I will try to respond to as many as possible. If the same question is asked multiple times, I will create an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and post a link to it. 


  1. I have both an iPhone and an iPad so I use the program Knit Companion which lets me cut and paste together charts and instructions. It also has nifty counters and highlights what row I'm on. It also pulls your dropbox files for you and stores your KC projects in drop box.

    Unfortunately, it's only limited to iOS devices but hopefully they'll come out with an Android friendly version soon.

  2. I googled Knit Companion. That looks really cool!


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