swatching, tips for planning

This September Swatch Project isn’t my first large swatch project. It’s unlikely to be my last. Over the years I’ve developed methods for keeping a project of this size organized and consistent.

Today I’m sharing a bit of my process from a blank page to a plan. We’ll start first by reviewing a current plan, then explore parts of a plan in progress.

Active Project Plan

Here’s an example of the plan, aka the chart, showing my progress on my Anzula Meet the Yarn swatches. (Please click to make the photo larger.)

chart of anzula yarn swatches pasted into notebook

This chart has undergone several iterations in the year and a half since I began the project. While this current format isn’t my ideal, it keeps track of the key basics — the yarn, colourway, and what needle and/or hook size I use. It’ll stay in this format until I migrate to the next notebook.

todo list of anzula swatchesKeeping track of actual completion of each task (as a binary complete or not) is the responsibility of an online todo list app. I wrote a small script that automates generating task items for each swatch in a specific yarn, it also creates reminders to block & photograph, and write the blog post. This format provides me the satisfaction of crossing each swatch off a list, confidence that I won’t forget to make one as a program creates the list, and it keeps my notebook free of clutter. (Please click to make the list larger.)

Creating a Plan

inventory list of oink pigment swatches handwritten in notebookI’m still gearing up for the Oink Pigments swatches. When I received the first skeins of yarn, that night I recorded it as a simple list in my notebook. (Please click to make the photo larger.)

I’ve not yet determined exactly how it will differ from the other swatch project so my chart and task items havn’t been generated yet. In order to track what I’m working on this month, I wrote up this quick chart in my planner grid.

planning grid for oink pigment swatches

Once the stitches and format are better defined, I’ll print up a chart and paste it in my logbook to update as the swatches progress.


Do you struggle to organize projects of this scale? This part is easy and enjoyable for me. Next week I’ll share how my storage of the physical swatches is another matter entirely.

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