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! ***

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