This weekend, I’m teaching at Vogue Knitting Live Pasadena (will I see you here?). So I’ve traded my barely-there crocuses and thinking-about-budding trees for the relatively lush Southern California landscape.
These teaching weekends are wonderful and frenetic and jam-packed. And some of the best things I’ve done have been born from spending a few hours getting personal with a couple dozen knitters. It’s especially wonderful to be able to get a sense of where knitters get hung up – their descriptions of that point where they just decided to give up, and knit something else. Or put down their knitting entirely.
As some of you may know, but many probably don’t, before I quit my day job to launch and run this small business, I worked in tech for more than 15 years.
…Actually, I should say I worked only in tech for that time, pursuing knitting as an ever-growing hobby and then side business. Because in this new phase of my life, I get to combine those passions. I still work in tech – CustomFit makes us a small tech company, even if we don’t look like one in some ways – but the blending of my passion for knitting and my understanding of what can be solved with computers is more personally rewarding than anything else I’ve done.
Into every knitter’s life, a little math must fall.
It’s a fact, even if you’re knitting a scarf or baby blanket. And even if math doesn’t make you shudder, your hobby isn’t math, it’s knitting.
As someone who has been solving problems with computers for decades, it gives me great pleasure to be able to take some of the pencil-and-paper out of that math, and help knitters spend more time knitting, and less time calculating.
Soon, in the Apple App Store**, you’ll be able to get another tool in that arsenal:
The Knitter’s Toolbox is exactly what the picture says – an app we’ve written that contains four super-useful, general-purpose knitting calculators:
- A buttonhole spacer, which will space a number of buttons easily over a number of stitches;
- A multi-purpose gauge widget, which will take any two of the following, and tell you what the third must be: row/stitch gauge, row/stitch count, and length;
- A shaping placer, which will tell you how you must space your increases or decreases to get as smooth a line of shaping as possible while keeping the number of “even” rows the same;
- A pick-up calculator, which will tell you not only the total number of stitches to pick up along a vertical edge, but what that translates into as a ratio.
Want to see it in action? I made a short video:
Naturally, I’m crazy excited about this. I hope you will be too. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some videos on how to use Knitter’s Toolbox to make your knitting life easier, and we’ll definitely let you know when release date comes, too!
**(In the interest of transparency: Yes, for the moment the app will only be available on Apple devices. We absolutely plan to make an Android version too – it just isn’t as simple as clicking a “make it available everywhere!” button. We’ll need to rewrite the whole thing from scratch to support Android. It’s in our plans, but since we’re a one-developer shop, and CustomFit will need a little attention first, I can’t promise a specific timeline yet.)
But I felt like VKL was the perfect weekend to let you know about it, since the app grew directly out of me being able to sit with knitters, and ask them about their least favorite parts of knitting.
Happy weekend to you & yours!