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More ways to use your tablet as a knitting tool

how toSasha TorresComment

This is the last post in a series on the tools I use to make my knitting life easy as pie. In the earlier posts I talk about my needle stash and how I store it, my knitting tool kit, and how I use my iPad to store patterns.

Last week I wrote about how I use my tablet to store all of my knitting patterns, so that I always have them with me in case a bout of startitis sets in. In response, Tracy wrote "I skip the scanner and use the app DocScanHD on my iPad to copy any paper patterns I have. It allows you to size, correct and store pdfs, no more scanner needed, just the iPad!" Great idea! 

In addition, Kat wrote, "The best tool ever for knitting patterns, especially charted patterns, is knitCompanion (available in the Apple Store). . . You can sync it with Ravelry, so you have your entire Rav Library with you. It keeps track of where you are in the pattern (even when you close the app, or put the project in your project bag and forget it for several months). You can highlight increases, decreases, things you need to keep track of (in different colors). It makes charted lace (with patterning on the knit side and the purl side) simple. It is seriously a knitter's best friend."

I haven't tried knitCompanion (yet), but I have used another app for the iPad called JKnit. JKnit definitely has a learning curve, but once I figured it out I found it pretty easy to use. Once you've put in the pattern information, it both counts your rows and gives you row-by-row instructions. It doesn't support charts, though.

If you're interested in exploring knitCompanion and JKnit further, this handy blog post reviews them both—and it talks about GoodReader, which I mentioned last week, as well.

You may also be interested in this list on Ravelry of all the third-party apps that you can connect to your Ravelry account to provide mobile access to various kinds of information. 

Huge thanks to Tracy and Kat for getting in touch!

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Your tablet as a knitting tool

how toSasha TorresComment
My iPad with a current WIP in  Rambouillet Sport

My iPad with a current WIP in Rambouillet Sport

In the last installment of this series on knitting tools (I talk about needles here, needle storage here, and my knitting tool kit here), I'm going to talk about how I use my iPad to store my knitting patterns

First, though, a couple of you contacted me about the fact that I omitted stitch markers from my tool kit. Since I don't use stitch markers for every project, and I'm a little maniacal about keeping my knitting bag as lightweight as possible, I keep my stitch markers in a separate pouch. I'm considering revising this policy, though, after getting this impassioned (and informative) communiqué from Carolyn:

In every one of my knitting bags: at least half a dozen locking stitch markers - an absolute necessity!  For so much more than just when the pattern calls for one.  For securing a dropped stitch while you go find your crochet hook to repair it, for marking increases or decreases or any thing else that you need to keep track of but might be hard to spot, for marking a starting point for when the pattern says "continue in pattern for X inches"; lots and lots of uses!

Yes! The dropped stitch thing! Brilliant! Locking stitch markers going into tool kit!

Now, about that iPad . . . 

In the past ten years I've done my best to eliminate as much paper from my life as possible. This includes paper knitting patterns. At this point I pretty much only buy patterns as PDFs. I keep these in a folder on Dropbox (my cloud storage, so I know it's safe and I can access it from anywhere), organized into subfolders by type of projects (hats, cowls, pullovers, cardigans, etc.) Then I use a fabulous program for the iPad called GoodReader that easily syncs with the Dropbox folder and allows me to annotate PDFs to my heart's content—in order to, for example, highlight the size I'm knitting, or to underline all those tricky spots that say "and at the same time . . . "

If I want to keep a pattern that I've found in a book or a magazine that I own, I make a copy, scan it to PDF with my small desktop scanner (most copy shops will scan things for you if you don't have a scanner), and then recycle the copy and, with rare exceptions, pass the book or magazine on to a friend. Then I put the digital copy into the appropriate folder in Dropbox, sync the folder with GoodReader, and voilà! All my knitting patterns on my iPad, conveniently accessible wherever I go. And no paper clutter!

I love knowing that no matter where I am, I can access any pattern I have, which means that if I have a bout of startitis while traveling (which, weirdly, happens more often than you might think), I'm ready. 

How do you wrangle your knitting patterns?

If you'd like more information like this, along with sneak peeks at upcoming yarns and fibers, delivered right to your inbox each week, sign up here to get my newsletter! You can also opt-in to get my e-course on choosing and using breed-specific wools as a special thank you!