App Happy

Last post I mentioned how much I love my iPhone.  This time I'm in love with another techie toy – an app for my iPad.  Recently I found KnitCompanion.   I am absolutely loving it!  For now it only works on the iPad, but they are working on it for the iPhone as well, although my older eyes would probably not be happy trying to read charts on the tiny screen!

This app allows you to take a pdf knitting pattern and literally cut it into parts that match your work flow.  For instance, for a written pattern, such as Cassidy, I have a page each for Intro, Back, Front, Sleeves, Hood, Bands.  

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For each page you can clip out the pertinent instructions – no more searching through multiple pages for the ones you need.  I can highlight exactly where I am in the appropriate page and can also highlight my size.  I can make notes as I go along for any changes that I might make.  The little blue bars allow you to collapse those panes out of the way.  Notice there are mutliple row counters on the right – those also can be collapsed out of the way.

However, here's where the fun part comes in – charts!  For charted patterns you can crop out your chart.  On the chart page you have a row highlighter that you can move as you go along!  

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Here's a more complicated chart – notice the blue line down the middle – that can be moved along to keep your place on intricate charts.

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If you turn off the iPad and come back to the chart later, it's right where you left it!  You can cut and paste charts together even!! (Have I used enough exclamations points yet?!)  I had kind of placed the Advent Scarf in hibernation because I was a little frustrated at manipulating all the charts and instructions.  In fact, I had only been printing them out as I needed them because there were over 50 pages worth.  This app allowed me to condense everything into just the pages I needed and now they are all there and I am flying along!  I'm on Day 17 and am hoping to get this done before our Knitters' Christmas Party on December 4th.

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Maggie says, "Are you sure you want to do all 24 patterns?  This thing is soooooo long already."

One of the complaints about the program is the cost – $16.00.  But I think we iPad/iPhone users have really gotten spoiled by the cheap 99 cent apps.  This is really only the cost of a decent skein of sock yarn and will save me so much time and frustration.  To say nothing of printer ink!  No more struggling with paper charts, no more highlighter tape, no more losing my charts or having the highlighter tape come off in my knitting basket.  No more taking a break from a pattern only to pick it up again and wonder where in the world I was.  

This is not to say that the program is absolutely perfect.  It's fairly new and has its share of bugs and limitations.  But I have found the developers to be extremely responsive.  I was struggling a little in the beginning and emailed them and they were very pleasant about helping me with a problem I could have easily solved by watching the tutorials.  It's probably also not for anyone who does not love technology, but most people who have iPads are pretty well smitten already.  Another down side is that I share the iPad with hubby and sometimes I have to wrench it out of his hands when he's saving the world from Nazi zombies.

Not much progress to show on Cassidy as I have been concentrating pretty much on the Advent Scarf.  Hubby and I have also been working hard helping our dear friends as they move into their new house.  It was built in 1948 and had been sorely neglected while it went into foreclosure.  But lots of elbow grease by our small group from church is transforming it into the cutest little bungalow with an killer view of the harbor.  

Off for a fun day with our niece who is visiting for the weekend.  Then getting ready for Thanksgiving (is it really here already???) at Ben & Abby's on Thursday.  It should be fun – her Dad is still here and this will be his first American Thanksgiving.  Her Mom and Dad just bought a house about 10 minutes from them and will be immigrating here in another year or so.  All the grandparents in the same state!  Now we can really drive Abby crazy!

Buh-bye!

That's what I said to Gwendolyn last week.  I know that it defies reason that yet another pattern for this poor wool has fallen by the wayside.  "But it's not my fault!" she whines.  I did a gauge swatch (really!).  It was spot on (really!).  But after about 4 inches up the back it became glaringly apparent that it was at least two inches too narrow.  So I ripped back to the ribbing and went up two needle sizes.  After about 4 inches, it was the same size (really!).  At this point if we had an open fireplace, I might have tossed the whole thing in.  But thankfully we do not so I ripped again (really!).  This time I decided that a good wash would help, so I reskeined and dunked everything in some Soak.

Next up (Yes, I know I'm a masochist), Cassidy.  This seems to be going much better.  It might be a trifle on the large side, but I wanted something more like a light coat, so that's ok.  And even if it's not, I am forging ahead.  If it doesn't fit me, I will find someone else.  And if I can't find someone else, I will donate it to the thrift shop (really!).

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I'm a little enamored of that photo.  It was taken with my new iPhone that I love, love, love!  My son gave me his old 32g 3g (I just love having kids that always get the latest and greatest, because I get their cast-offs.  Thanks son!!).  I just activated it this week and am having so much fun playing with it.  I love that I can snap a photo and it transfers wirelessly and automatically to my computer.  Of course, it's not the best for heritage photos, but for quick snaps of needlework, it's great!  Here's a photo taken in the kitchen with overhead light on a gloomy, dark evening:

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I just finished the top on this quilt this week.  It was definitely a tour-de-force and one I will never, ever do again!  I've spent a lot of time in my sewing room this week and also got two more quilt tops done (really!).  However, since one is for a quilt swap and the other is an exact duplicate, I can't show them.  I think I gave my swap partner my blog address and she may be peeking.  Hi Lynne!

Today has been rainy, windy and gloomy with a little hail thrown in, so I've been hiding out in my sewing room starting on Christmas projects.  I'm making cute little stockings.  Here's the Partridge in a Pear Tree:

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I'm thinkin, though, that I don't care for the holly at the top.  Here's the reindeer without the holly.  What do you think?

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For our anniversary, our dil hired a photographer to come and take some family photos.  They were very informal and we got some of them this week.  They are fantastic!  They really do capture the kids and the relationships.  There are over 100 on the disk (I haven't seen them all yet), so there should be enough to keep me in scrapbook heaven for a long time.  Photos courtesy of joeplusjill.com.

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