Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Charts Up the Wazoo—There’s an App for That


by summersong Flickr
Right now, I’m working on Alice Starmore’s St. Brigid sweater from her Aran Knitting book. I’ve wanted to knit this pattern for about 10 years and have never gotten around to it until now. It’s the perfect pattern for me because cables are my thing. I love knitting them and the effect they have on others. When a new or non-knitter comments on how hard it must be to knit a cabled sweater, I just smile and tell them it’s not as hard as they think. Of course, they never believe me and that’s okay. I don’t mind if they’re overly impressed with the work I do. Even though I don’t find cables difficult, they can be time consuming particularly with an all-over cabled pattern like St. Brigid. With five separate charts, there are cable crosses on practically every right-side row. The trick is to figure out the best way to organize the separate charts.
My version using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Sapphire Heather
For me the solution to that is the Knitcompanion app for the iPad. This app transforms .pdf files into highly interactive knitting instructions. For St. Brigid, I simply scanned in the pattern, saved it as a .pdf, and loaded it into Knitcompanion, which then allowed me to easily crop and paste these separate charts into one big, integrated chart. With its advanced row maker marking row progress a breeze and much easier than using paper charts and highlighters or Post-it notes. I love Knitcompanion’s ‘gadgetiness’ perhaps even more than I love cables.
I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to knit St. Brigid but I’m glad I did.

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