January 24, 2011 Why save labels and other ramblings
This is a fun one and there are some individual choices that push you a bit.
I am working on a Knit A Long (KAL in computer jargon) With Art Yarns and Iris Schreier. I have been doing these and it’s been fun. To be part of the group you have to post your project on Iris’ Ravelry page. I started my project last week and was zipping along but had put my project up yet when Jossie did her table climbing. I was so stressed that I turned to crewel for a stress relief and finally got back to my KAL. I needed to add it to my project page and couldn’t find the yarn label. I know the yarn, yardage etc but had to look up the color and I have no idea – until I find the label – the dye lot. Now this is unusual for me because over sixty years of knitting I have learned that it is a VERY smart move to keep labels. And it is something that I try to teach my customers. It is not unusual for someone to call and ask what yarn that they bought and I don’t know. Or I hear that, ‘I bought that nice yarn from you six years ago and now I have a new grandchild and I want to knit another sweater just like the one that I knit in that yarn’. Six years ago? The yarn may not exist any longer, the company may not exist any longer – I need to know more. What was the gauge? What needle size did you use? What was it made of? ‘I don’t know but you must remember it, it was so nice.’ I’m good but not that good, I need help to know what you used.
A notebook or knitting journal is a really good idea. There are computer programs where you can even put photos of the finished project. I have to admit that I barely keep a notebook. I don’t use my computer program that much, it takes up my knitting time to download all that stuff and I value my time too much to use it that way. But a notebook, I can lug around with me and jot don things. More often than not, the pattern is my notebook page for a project. I write on the patterns changes that I make, corrections for pattern mistakes, ideas for changing the pattern etc. And I save patterns. I also make photo copies – yes it is legal to copy the pattern from even a book FOR YOUR OWN USE – and if you can find one of my patterns without a coffee stain or a jelly spot, I will be very surprised. And I often staple the yarn label to my pattern when I file it. And I do have a sort of loose filing system. But save those labels if for no other reason to record your knitting history and you too can some day look back at a label and say, ‘Oh, I loved that yarn. Too bad the yarn doesn’t exist any more but neither does the fiber or the company.’
Along the lines of customers calling for information on past purchases is, ‘oh you don’t need my credit card number, you have it on file.’ No I don’t. It is illegal for me to keep your credit card information unless I have your written permission. And I wouldn’t even do it then. Congress passed a new law a couple of years ago saying that businesses can’t keep your credit information without permission and every business that processes credit cards must show that the know how to properly use, save and destroy information. I as do all business now pay a company not our credit card processors a monthly or yearly charge to make sure that we follow this law. It is another added expense to those of us who take credit cards and is a few hundred dollars a year for businesses our size. I must answer a yearly questionnaire saying how I take and save information, that I have trained my employees to handle credit card information, that I destroy that information properly Etc. So don’t be surprised when I tell you that I need your information. It is to safe guard you and me.
I have to run, I have yarn to shelf, have a great day.