Saturday, July 31, 2010

Perfect-For-Me Dye Record Keeper

Now that I'm finally getting my feet wet with actual dyeing instead of just absorbing the gestalt of it, I knew immediately that the one thing I'm going to want is a good record keeping system. In the last couple of weeks, as I've been getting a feel for various GS solids and how they behave, I've kept locks and/or bits of yarn spun from the colors and notes about them on index cards, folded in half with the fiber sample tucked in. That just wasn't going to work, so I switched to 3-ring pages in plastic page protectors with the samples stapled alongside. Well, my page covers were a pretty chintsy quality, so I hit Staples to find better ones. They had a sample book of all their page protectors and there were these amazing business card holder pages!!


Dang, this setup gives me everything I want.

The business card holder slots are two across, five down on the page. (Formula on the left on the back of a business card with its fiber and/or yarn sample right across from it.) You can make brief notes on the business card under your formula, or you can also reference where more extensive notes are for that color.

2. Colors are easily moved elsewhere on the page, or from one page onto another. Nothing needs to be stapled in, and while the business cards and fiber samples just slip out of one slot and into another if you want, the slots are tight enough so that normal page flipping won't spit out the fiber samples.

3. While I want to see a dyed lock for tip variations, I spun a short length of yarn from each dyed fiber sample so I can see it in yarn form too. There's room for both! Squeeeee!

4. More cool stuff. The center line on the plastic page between the two columns readily folds over (but not enough to interfere with the 3-ring part). So if you want to see one color superimposed over another, you can fold over everything between two pages regardless of where they are in the book, and see the bottom color showing through, and how it goes with the top one.

Here's blue over a green page that was 2 pages back

Here's that same blue over a gold page that was several pages back

Fortunately I'd kept a stack of outdated business cards. I now wish I hadn't thrown the whole box of 500 away, but business cards just aren't hard to find.

For now I'm using three 1/2" binders - one for GS dyes only, one for all other brands, and then a third one for CMYK match tests, wild hair ideas and even dye mixing errors--the good, the bad and the ugly.

I can already tell, this dye log format is just going to work really well for the way I do things. And maybe something similar would for you too! There were other formats, I think 4x6 or 3x5... for sure, one had 2 pockets per page. Those could be good for a narrow but long strip of a multi-colored roving.

So that's my new find of the week.


Meagan said...

When I get into dyeing more than casually, which will be this month, I am not in the least bit ashamed to admit that I'll be copying your system completely. I'm loving it!

MaryLou said...

What a great solution! I'm going to copy it when I get started with the Greener Shades I just ordered this week. It looks like a very rewarding hobby!