Obviously, I'm not an early adopter. In fact, you could say I'm pretty old school: I still don't own a microwave, and I never stopped buying vinyl (in fact, the number of records in our house far outnumbers the amount of CDs we still own). And when it comes to knitting, I have always preferred print copies of patterns, even the ones I buy digitally.
But my recent craft room #konmari excercise was eye-opening: I discovered a huge pile of printed PDFs I've amassed over the years. Some were pristine and clearly never used; others looked like they'd been through a horrible experience (i.e. spending some time in my knitting bag!). Seeing them all together made me realize what a waste of paper and ink that really is...surely there is a better way, right?!
|This is only a small fraction of the printed patterns I've amassed over the years.|
I have to be 100% honest here: now that I've given it a try, I don't think I can live without this app!
Their tagline is "knit more, frog less," and that is exactly what each feature is designed to do. For example, if you have a huge chart or a complex set of instructions, you can use the custom tools to help you stay on track as you work through the chart or instructions. There is a bit of learning curve with some of the advanced features, but once you get the hang of it, you're golden.
In the free version, you can start an unlimited number of projects, connect your Ravelry and Dropbox accounts, and use several simple features to help you keep track of what you're working on. The Essentials upgrade is $9.99 yearly and offers greater options for customizing row counters, highlights and notes, plus MKAL support, and the ability to embed videos and row counters. With Setup+Essentials ($14.99 yearly), there are even more ways to customize your patterns to make them easier to work from. Here is a handy chart which outlines all of the features available for each level:
Getting set up was super easy, and all I had to do was connect my Ravelry and Dropbox account so that I could start importing all of my pattern PDFs into the app. The basic process of starting projects and working from patterns within the app is fairly intuitive; I was able to figure out how to use the simple row counters on my own, and they offer some tutorials on their YouTube channel for you visual learners out there.
Plus, you don't need a wifi connection to access your projects - so no worrying about blowing through your data plan when knitting on the go.
I have been using this app exclusively since I downloaded it...basically, I am obsessed with it! I've even scanned some of my paper patterns which I don't have digitally so that I can use them in the app.
When I think about all of the money I've spent on paper and ink over the years or even in just one calendar year, $9.99 or even $14.99 seems quite affordable. I don't think I'll even print another pattern again, to be honest. Obviously the money I'll save on printer ink and paper will just go towards more yarn, right?!
If you have been thinking about going paperless (or even if you weren't!), I hope you'll give knitCompanion a try. Also, if you have used this app previously but haven't opened it in the last year or two, it sounds like they've streamlined and simplified things to improve the user experience. It might be worth your while to give knitCompanion another try!
Click here to learn more on the knitCompanion website.
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