Saturday, January 12, 2013

There's an App for That

Steve Jobs - There's an app for that!

Just under a year ago, I bought an iPad for the shop.  I love it!  In fact, I hardly use my MacBook anymore, but have the iPad with me constantly.  With the help of "Square" it's even my register, a fact that seems to amaze many visitors at The Quilted Purl who are surprised to see such technology in a relatively sleepy mountain town.

I remember a few years back when I first heard of an "app."  Our school librarian was showing a few of us at lunch her new iPhone and telling us of an "app" her husband was creating for it.  Seemed like science fiction or maybe magic to me at the time.  When I got my first "smart phone" one of the young male teachers at school set me up with a half dozen apps he thought I'd like to use.  Little did he know that I still had trouble answering the darn thing at times!  Well, I've made some progress and though I don't have many apps on anything I own, there are two that I find really useful:  Quilt Calc from Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Knit Designer.

A customer (thanks, KathyW.) first introduced me to Quilt Calc.  I've used it in both the Android version (click here) and the Apple version (click here) and been delighted with both.  Need to figure out yardage for biding, borders, square in a square, set in and corner triangles?  Easy as pie with this app and it is free!

As much as I value Quilt Calc, I really love Knit Designer (click here) for the iPad.  When I knit, I often change a pattern here or there, or totally make it up as I go along.  Occasionally,  I'd make notes as I knitted thinking to write up the pattern later, but then I couldn't remember what my abbreviations or notes meant, or would forget to continue with the notes after stopping for a cup of tea! Nobody wants a hat pattern that stops halfway to the crown.  Enter Knit Designer.  I really was just looking for a notebook type app so I could do what I was doing on the back of envelopes (A. Lincoln was much better at this than I), but came across this wonderful app for $2.99.  It has five keyboards with knitting abbreviations (and an abbreviation key : ) and a set up to help you cover all the bases when writing a pattern.  Here's one that I created this week for my grandson's 5th birthday.  Enjoy!

Taken on my iPad!

Size:  12-16" circumference approximately

Hat has a good amount of stretch due to ribbing

Gauge: 14 sts = 4 in on size 10 needles

Materials Needed:  Chunky weight yarn

I used Araucania Natural Wool Chunky Multy
132 +/- yd.

Size 9 16" circular needles

Size 9 DPNs

Tapestry needle 

Stitch marker

Notes:  If using a circular needle, change to DPNs when needed.

CO 72 St

* K2, P2 rep from * to end 

Place marker and join being careful not to twist stitches

Round 2: Knit 

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 for 4 inches

Knit each round for stockinette for 2-3 inches as desired for length


K2tog for one round ( 36 stitches)

Knit one round

K2tog for one round (18 stitches)

Knit one round

K2tog for one round (9 stitches)

Cut yarn leaving about 8 inches. Run yarn through stitches with tapestry needle, draw taut and secure. Weave in ends at start and finish.   Run out in the snow, toasty warm!

Austin's reaction:  "Sweet, Grandma!  You are the best!"  Gotta love 5 year-olds!

If you'd like a pdf version of this pattern, just send me an email at:!

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