Tag Archives: knitCompanion

Hopscotch scarf, and what’s next on the needles

It’s been a busy month here; I’ve been up to my elbows in brioche! Two of the projects will be published next winter; I can’t show them until they’re out. But they were really fun to work on. The third project?

This is my Hopscotch Scarf. I designed it as a teaching piece for syncopated brioche. It’s really fun to knit. Mine is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in 2 colors, Drawing Room and Natural. The front and back are positive/negative images of each other; they both look good. There’s no wrong side, really. You don’t have to use a gradient, just two different colors in worsted weight yarn.

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. You don’t have to be a brioche expert, but a little brioche experience wouldn’t be amiss. If you’re interested in test knitting, please let me know in the comments.

With those three projects out the door, my needles are feeling strangely empty. I have one sample I’m knitting, and a few things sketched out in my design notebook, but I’m also tempted to knit something else just for fun.

Have you seen the Soldotna Crop from Caitlin Hunter/Boyland Knitworks? It’s a cropped top down pullover with a colorwork yoke, no sleeves. That means it’s relatively quick, and the colorwork keeps it moving along. I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot on Instagram, and I was tempted enough to buy some yarn to dream with last Friday.

Of course, now that I have the yarn, it’s 95 degrees F here in Portland, so I may postpone this project and knit something with the white Quince & Co. linen I bought last year. I’m planning to frog what I started last summer; I’ve lost interest in it. Fickle, oops.

This was going to be a swingy open backed top, stockinette with just that bit of lace at the hem. I need a little more something to keep me engaged; that’s a lot of stockinette. Buh-bye! I’m perusing my stitch dictionaries for a simple, easily memorized lace pattern. I’ll start a simple little top with it and see how far I get. I do love linen for its lovely drape and swing.

What are you knitting this summer?

knitCompanion review

How do you keep track of where you are in a pattern? I was recently invited to try knitCompanion, an app for iOS and Android devices. I’m happy to say that this is a very useful tool.

Read to the bottom for ways to try knitCompanion for free, including a chance to win a year’s subscription to the upgrades!

The basic version of knitCompanion is free. kCBasics works with any PDF pattern. It can link to your DropBox and Ravelry accounts, so it’s easy to import your patterns. I also emailed a pattern to myself, and opened it with no problem.

Here’s my Snowy Woods hat pattern in Knit Companion. The pages are displayed at the top, but you can hide them when you’re actually working the project. You can zoom in and out as needed. I’m zoomed way in, in this picture. I like big letters!

KCBasic has a sliding row counter and stitch counter. You can have a different set of markers on each page of your pattern. There’s a project timer, and an area for project notes at the bottom of the display, which you can also hide when you don’t need it. If all you want is something to hold your pattern and your place, you’re golden!

The next step up is called Essentials. This adds a lot of features. You can highlight parts of your pattern, which is great when your pattern contains multiple sizes. Sweater knitters will love this. You can put notes right in the pattern, next to where they apply. You can also link videos to the pattern (love those tutorials), and my favorite thing? You can customize your row and stitch marker colors and width, and invert your row marker so the highlighted row is the one that really shines.

There’s also something called QuickKey, which lets you access your chart key at the bottom of the display, so you don’t have to hunt through pages for it. (Not pictured)

The highest level of knitCompanion is called Setup. There are some very powerful features here. The most useful one for me is called magic markers. You can ask that every time a particular stitch is shown in the chart, it’s highlighted in whatever color you want. You can have all your SSKs be one color, and all your K2togs be another color. Left and right crossing cables? Sure! Magic Markers can even let you know how many of the same kind of stitch are in a section; you just have to tell it the minimum number to count. 5 is good for me!

Setup also lets you cut and paste charts all onto one page, so they’re not spread out over several pages. This is a pretty high level function, which I don’t particularly need, but you might. But for the cost of a fancy coffee, the magic markers would be worth the upgrade from Essentials to Setup for me.

There are a lot of features that I haven’t tried yet. But I like an app that I can learn as I go. Right now the sliding markers are the most helpful to me, because I’m using them for editing patterns that I’m writing.

Remember that I said that Knit Companion works for all pdf patterns? That means all pdfs. I’ve been using it for pdfs of patterns that aren’t even written yet. I can paste my chart in progress into a pdf and open it in knitCompanion, using the row and stitch markers while I edit the written instructions that are generated by my charting software. I can also make a pdf of my Excel spreadsheet’s written notes, and use that while I chart. No losing my place. Magic.

I don’t necessarily take my iPad everywhere I go. It’s an older model, and it’s heavy! But I do take my phone. And Knit Companion can sync projects through my DropBox account. Cool! No DropBox? It’s free, if you keep your account under a certain size. I finally upgraded my DropBox after several years, but didn’t need to before last month. There’s a lot of stuff in it for work!

All in all, this is a nice addition to my knitting tools. KCBasics is free, and Essentials is $9.99 for a year’s subscription. Essentials + Setup is $14.99 for a year.

How do you keep track of your projects? Paper? App? Magic wand? Tell me all about it!

Have you tried knitCompanion? Sally Holt, the creator of knitCompanion, has given me a free one year subscription to Setup + Essentials for a lucky commenter on this blog. Note: I can only make this happen for an iOS app user through the Apple App Store, and only if you don’t have a current subscription. I’ll pick a lucky winner on June 8, Worldwide Knit in Public Day! (More on that later.)

And if you’re not the lucky winner, you can always try before you buy. knitCompanion offers a free 7 day trial of Essentials, or Setup + Essentials. What are you waiting for?

Note: Sally Holt provided me with a one year subscription to try knitCompanion. All opinions in this review are my own.