Keeping Track with Tags

Another excuse to go to the office supply store.

Sometimes it’s the little things that save your sanity in knitting.

The humble hang tag has come to my rescue many times.

I’m a process knitter. Which is a nice way of saying I love to knit but it take me a while to finish projects. I might have a dozen or so projects and swatches for future projects going at once.

I’ve tried keeping track of it all with sticky notes, with notebooks, with computer programs, for me, none of that works because they are all separate from the knitted piece.

When I start a project or swatch I attach a hang tag after a few rows of knitting. I note the pattern name, yarn, needle size, etc on one side for a project that’s pattern based. I note the stitch pattern, book name and page number and needle sizes for a swatch project.

My knitting brain on a string.

On the reverse of the tag for either type of project I keep track of the row I’ve just finished when I stop knitting.  I add additional tags as I need them.

When I go back to a project after a month (or more) all of my information is there waiting for me.

(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website

25 thoughts on “Keeping Track with Tags

  1. SarainBrooklyn

    That is just the kind of genius idea I would never, ever think of (I never imagine I’ll be able to hook up my notebook or computer records with a WIP). I always assume I’ll know what I had in mind when I started. Tags! Thank you.

  2. Jill Houtz

    This is an absolutely fabulous idea! Thank you, thank you. Numerous times I dig out an old project and I’m in the dark about where I left things. That will never happen again. I appreciate the tip!

  3. Gaile

    Excellent idea! I’ve tried notes on the computer, little notebooks and post-it notes too, but all with limited success. Like you said – they get separated from the actual knitting. LOVE your tag idea. I have a bag of hang tags that will now join my knits in progress. Thank you!

  4. TrishKnits

    I love office supply stores and little tags on strings are just the thing that sets my heart racing! This is a totally brilliant idea that I am definitely going to use. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Knitty Tags It! |

  6. judy morrissette

    What a super idea. I am going to steal this idea. Now I can put my WIP in a bag and come back whenever and there will be all the info that I have forgotten or misplaced or whatever. Thank you again.

  7. Tia

    I use these, too! (Well, that wasn’t their original purpose when I bought them, but they’re so handy.)

    I think it was already mentioned in an older issue of Knitty, but using those skinny, translucent Post-It type tabs are excellent for following charts and rows in printed patterns, too. 🙂

  8. Ana in Austin, TX

    I’ve been using the manila colored ones with the reinforced hole for a few years now. I found out the hard way that the regular ones don’t hold up well to a toddler tugging on them.

  9. Mark

    I’ve used tags like this too… only I used them on an aran cable sweater I was knitting in the round. I “charted” each cable and hung the tag from a ring marker put in front of each cable spot. That way I wasn’t always hunting through the whole chart for THIS cable. I only had to read the chart for the cable at hand. Saved me many headaches.

  10. Lauren

    I’ve tried everything to keep my projects in order (even hiding additional stitch counters to force me to finish a current project). This method will change my world! TY

  11. claudia horner

    Wow! I really love this idea. I know that I think I will remember this stuff later on, but the sad truth is that I don’t. Thanks so much!

  12. Jeann

    Genius! Not exaggerating, this is the best knitting idea I have ever heard. Can’t wait to hit the office supply store.

  13. Seanna Lea

    I’ve used those tags before, but never with such an eye to detail (and mostly to mark price for things at craft fairs). Your idea is brilliant, because I too have a lot more projects started than completed.

  14. Jamie Wang

    Brilliant! I’ve used these tags for years to let recipients of knitted garments know fiber content, cleaning instructions, etc., but it never occurred to me to use the tags to help ME. I generally rely on post-its (for patterns I want to remain “pristine”) or handwitten notes on the pattern, but sometimes patterns get separated from projects (and needles can be borrowed as well). I cannot tell you how many times I’ve pulled out a languishing project and wasted hours trying to figure out where I am and what needles I used. This is the perfect solution!

    Thanks so much.

  15. Dulcy

    This is ingenious…wish I had thought of it myself!!!!! Time to make a trip to Office Depot…

  16. Daisy

    I use a lot of post-it notes in all shapes, sizes and colors to keep track of my work on patterns, rows etc…but this idea is WAY more brilliant, much better way to keep all the info attached right where it’s needeed, especially after putting a project on hold for a period of time. Love it!

  17. Chris Salvatore

    As others have said: genius! I never would have thought of it, and I will steal it.

    Why is the obvious never that?

  18. LauraSue

    Oh Jillian! I use these awesome tags on all my handspun. I write what fiber it is, grams, yards. It doesn’t get put away until I’ve tagged it. But I’ve never used them on my knitting! Awesome!

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