Today’s topic went like this…

Day Six (Saturday April 27th): A Tool To Covet
Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?

I have many of the normal knitting/crochet tools, however it is knitting apps which have affected my knitting the most in recent years.  I have tried various apps on my iPod and iPad, but the one that made the biggest difference is called KnitCompanion.  It also holds the record for the most money I’ve ever spent on one app.  But it has definitely been worth the cost and more to me!    It is $15.99 Yes, that is a lot.  But I am worth it!  This program does so much I’m afraid my review won’t be able to share it all, but I will try to share my favorite parts.

Basically, this app allows me to manipulate PDF patterns in any way I want to – without having to print them out.  In the old days, I would print out the patterns, enlarge the charts (if possible) and then I had to keep notes on where I was, tally marks in the sidebar to help me track my repeats and row counter.  If I wanted to knit this item again, I had to print another copy and do it all again.  But now with KnitCompanion, I take some extra time before I start knitting to set up my pattern and I can do all these things in my iPad and still have the pattern available to use again.  Another benefit to setting up my pattern in KnitCompanion is that I really read through my pattern before I knit so I am not surprised by anything in the pattern (that is no fun!)

KnitCompanion allows me to break down my pattern into sections.  I can add row counters, stitch markers, highlight my size throughout the pattern, make notes (verbal or typed) as needed and so much more.  Also, the creator has made video tutorials for this app that are a HUGE help in learning how to use this app.

Something new that I haven’t take advantage of yet, is the Designer series.  Patterns from designers like Lucy Neatby, Donna Druchunas and the Cooperative Press Collection are combined with the app. I believe the patterns are all set up for you so you can instantly start knitting with this awesome tool.  They are priced between $16-20 to date. I’ve got these on my short list for my birthday – ooh, Mother’s Day is coming!! 😉

Another new program is the kClub – from their site:  a unique annual club that brings together leading designers, fiber artists and crafters using technology to provide a live and interactive experience before only possible in person. It includes Designer Spotlights where four leading designers and fiber artists have created unique projects for the club to explore during the year.  There are also KALs, Special Events and deep-dive knitCompanion sessions. kClub is an annual subscription and runs April-March.  Sounds like fun!  Annual membership is $59.

If you aren’t techy, this program might be too much for you.  I won’t lie.  But if you have patience and love to learn, you will be so glad you tried this program!  I bought it a year ago thinking I would just use it for lace, but I use it for everything! No more dog-eared, dirty patterns in my knitting bag! Just my iPad, yarn and needles!

Tech makes me a happy gal! 😉

Observant readers will notice I didn’t post yesterday.  The challenge was to post in a different way.  Suggest options were to vlog, audio blog or wordless.  I simply didn’t have time to explore/learn something new and I decided not doing one post wouldn’t be the end of the world. 😉

*** If you want to read more posts from the Knit & Crochet Blog Week, Day 6, just search for 4KCBWDAY6 in the search engine of your choice! ***

Knitting & Crochet – Day Four: Color Review

Today’s topic went like this…

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.
Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?
Now think back to your house animal – do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway – if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?

I think I play it safe…except when it comes to socks.  I posted a WIP Wednesday the other day and someone noticed most of my projects were grey.  I realized they are grey because I’ve tried to knit with black and it’s hard! But grey is a close neutral.  And, it’s calming.  I want an item of clothes to compliment as many outfits as possible, grey seems to do that for me!

A quick peek at my projects on Ravelry confirms that I do play it safe. Lots of greens, brown, grey.  I’m ok with that.  And, I think it fits the House of Bee too!

*** If you want to read more posts from the Knit & Crochet Blog Week, Day 4, just search for 4KCBWDAY4 in the search engine of your choice! ***

I am participating in the Knitting & Crochet Blog Week.  This is the fourth Knitting & Crochet Blog week and today is day 1.  Today’s Topic is the House Cup.  There are 4 houses to chose from and knowing some knitters, they will probably create a few more that they think fit them better!  You can find all 4 house crests and descriptions here.

The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.

I read through all the descriptions and this one seemed to fit me the most.  I definitely flit as I like to be working on several projects at once – and I can get distracted by the bright and shiny project! But I also would describe myself as busy and industrious.  I always try to have some knitting with me – especially if there is any waiting to be done!

I know the average person relates knitting and crocheting to something their grandma did or only to be done while one is pregnant (Sorry guys-who-knit – you probably make these folks break out in hives! LOL)  However, I find that knitting and crocheting redeems wasted, lost time!  I remember sitting listening to a person who probably doesn’t read my blog, but just in case, she will remain nameless.  She was just sitting there going on and on about something.  When her current topic ran out of steam, she sort of noticed that I had been knitting.  She says to me, “Oh, I could never do that – I’d have to just sit and do nothing!”  Of course, what she neglected to recognize was she had been 45 minutes so far sitting and doing nothing but talking. In those same 45 minutes I had turned the heel on a pair of socks.  I had taken that lost time and turned into a gift for someone else!

Yarn Harlot says it so well:

“…the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can’t tolerate boredom. It takes more to engage and entertain this kind of human, and they need an outlet or they get into trouble.

“…knitters just can’t watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can’t wait in line, knitters just can’t sit waiting at the doctor’s office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

It turns out I am not alone in my House choice! There is a poll at our hostess’ blog and at this time, 55% of those responding chose the House of Bees! Go Bees!

*** If you want to read more posts from the Knit & Crochet Blog Week, Day 1, just search for 4KCBWDAY1 in the search engine of your choice! ***

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I have had company most of the week, so knitting has not been a priority…but there was a little bit of progress!
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Do you see it? Another button hole! Woot! 😉 This is a February Lady Sweater being knit in Cotton Fleece

Also, I cast on the 2nd sock for the test knit I did for my friend, CC. They are Doctor Who inspired and called “Rescue Me Chin Boy, and Show Me The Stars” and I’m using Paton Kroy sock yarn.
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