Friday, January 16, 2009

iphone and Knitting Apps

Happy New Year!
Finally the holiday season has died down and I have a few minutes to update my blog. First let me start with stating that I don’t make New Years resolutions. I do this because I always let myself down. I however make plans and little goals. Some may ask “What’s the difference?” Well let me tell you... In my mind New Years resolutions give you an entire year to accomplish. Plans and little goals don’t have a due date. But I make them small enough that I can usually accomplish them rather fast giving myself the added bonus of the feeling of a job well done.

After I got over the embarrassment of not knowing what an iphone was and giving my husband a not so pretty look when I opened the package and saw the Mac apple, and saying “you got me something Macintosh! I don’t use Mac!” My husband gleefully responded “it’s a phone Jenny”. Duh! When it sunk in I was very excited to sit down and program all my contacts download apps and then I found PodCasts. Wow baby- that opened up a whole new world for me.

The first search feature I did in the apps store was Knitting. I found two apps that I installed right away. StitchMinder – it’s an electronic stitch counter, and KnittyBag- it keeps track of your needles.

Let me tell you a little more about these applications.
StitchMinder- this app gives you 4 rows to use to track where you are in a pattern. Inside of these 4 rows you can select from the following features- Rows Completed, Pattern Row, Pattern Repeats, Increase Row, Increase Repeat, Decrease Row, Decrease Repeat. These are great for keeping you on track in a pattern. My only disappointment is that you can’t go backwards. If you tap the screen by accident, you have to clear it back to 0 then count back up.

I did find another app that works a little better for me. It is called Tally Counter. This app looks like the roller stitch counters that you put on the end of your needle and it goes up or down. Very easy to use with two big buttons, on with a minus sign and one with a plus sign. I love it.

The other knitting app called KnittyBag allows you to choose between Straight, Double, Circular and Hooks. Plus it has stitch abbreviation glossary. When you add your needles you select what kind of needle, then you enter the information and choose between metal, plastic or wood. Love it! The glossary idea is kewl but I wish it was expanded a little more. The only information that is provide is the abbreviation and what the abbreviation spells out. It doesn’t actually tell you how to do the stitch. An example of this is m1: make one, but it doesn’t tell you how to make one. (I guess that is what patterns are for, I just would like a little more detail in the glossary).

So I rambled about the apps that you can download on the iphone, now let me tell you about my latest addiction. PodCasts, now I consider myself pretty computer savvy, how this electronic phenomenon skipped my knowledge I have not a clue. But I am so glad I found it. In the knitty world of podcast I found two different kinds. Video and Audio. In the Video area I came across Cat I love you! Oh my goodness, this podcast provided me with hours of entertainment and I learned some very good things. I found out that I want to knit with beads, enter a sock war and most of all I want an electric spinning wheel. The last one might be a little out of my price range at the time, but I now how my first goal for the year. Save up for an electric spinning wheel. On a side note to this, my Mom called me to say that she has added a flock of sheep to her farm. She plans on sending me the fleece this spring! I’ll tell you more about Mom in the coming blogs- but let me tell you she is a riot!
Audio Podcast! So far I have listened to Knitting Science and Knit Picks’. Knitting Science was hard for me to follow. Although you can tell that a lot of research and time went into making these Podcasts, I found myself wondering off on other topics in my head and loosing track of the lady talking. But Kelley on the Knit Pick’s Podcasts is entertaining, educating and she expresses love and joy over the air that I am absolutely enthralled and hanging on to her every last word. She interviews interesting people, she reviews books in a way that make me want to buy every book she talks about. I feel we are kindred spirits, I wish I could visit with her the next time I’m in Portland/Seattle area. It also helps that she has a Pom and talks about her adventures with Zena and her husband Bob. But what I love absolutely most about Kelley’s Podcast is the educational value. I know that every time I listen to her I learn something new. Granted in the world of knitting I’m still a rookie. But she gives me lots of food for thought. From patterns to try to yarns to check out, she makes my fingers twitch to start a new project after every podcast. This podcast alone is worth getting an ipod or iphone or any other kind of podcast listening device.

After getting my iphone set up, downloading apps and finding podcasts I have been energized and I want to get a few things done. 1. Cleaning out the yarn closet, and 2. Organizing my knitting projects.

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