On Saturday, three of us who work at Lee Mills went to the Annual General Meeting of the Knitting and Crochet Guild in Birmingham. There was a "Show and Tell" session in the morning - some of the members brought things they had made. All unusual and interesting - covering hand and machine knitting and crochet. I talked about the shrug I made last month, and showed the original pattern leaflet that inspired it - appropriate, since the pattern is in the Guild's collection, and I took along a small selection of other patterns from the collection.
At the AGM, I gave a presentation on the collections (the publications and the knitted and crocheted items) on behalf of the collections manager, who couldn't be there. To prepare for the presentation, last week I counted all the boxes of pattern leaflets at Lee Mills. It was a very cheering exercise. We have been sorting pattern leaflets for months now, and for a long time it seemed that we were making very little impression on the huge number of "Patterns Unsorted" boxes. But, all of a sudden, we have nearly finished! There were only 15 boxes left on Saturday (and I have done 3 more since then). And of the boxes that have been sorted by spinner, there are 92 boxes of leaflets that have been put in numerical order, leaving a further 138 boxes still to do. I was amazed - I had no idea that we had done so much. (And since I did a lot of the work myself, I feel pretty good about it.)
As you might realize from the numbers, we do have a lot of pattern leaflets. One estimate was 150,000, but that includes duplicates. Excluding those, there must be tens of thousands of different patterns. A lot. One day, I will count them. An amazing collection - now that it's becoming a collection and not just a mass of paper.