If you don't have a subversion repository or don't want to set one up, you can still use svk to put your files in version control. Simply use
svk mkdir //local/local-project
Then you can check out //local/local-project and put files there like you would with any other checkout. If you later want to share this depot, you must first create an empty subversion repository and mirror it in svk. (svk has no built-in tools for repository sharing outside of those offered by svn.) For example,
svk mirror svn://localhost/local-project//mirror/local-project
Once you've made this mirror, you need to populate it with the data from //local/local-project. To do this, use smerge as follows:
svk smerge -B //local/local-project //mirror/local-project
This command will do a baseless --- that is, the two directories have nothing in common --- merge. Once you have run this command the first time, you should omit the -B from future updates, as you have already established a base. Note that you must use smerge and not svk push to make future updates. If you want to use svk push, you must start from a subversion repository and work your way down as you would normally.