Saturday, January 14, 2012

Let's Start Appin'!

Many of you may know me as The Knitting Curmudgeon, but in reality I am a senior technical writer and trainer, as well as a web developer and SharePoint architect, having worked in IT for 12 years now. A hell of a career for a knitter, spinner, and novice weaver! I began my career as an assistant knitting editor at McCall's Needlework & Crafts, and continued to MacKnit, a defunct machine knitting mag, and then created Crafting Today for All American Crafts. Finally, I became a real magazine editor, until 2000, when I beat feet into the tech world. I still do freelance knitting editing but ya don't make any bucks from it. So yes, I'm The Steekin' Geek, fer shure.

These days, technology has attacked the fiber community big time. I use my devices--two PCs, one MacBook, IPad2, Android smartphone--for my fiber projects, primarily knitting. And as a designer, I rely on my apps, be it for charting, writing, or drawing. So hence the creation of this blog. I keep taps on apps for us and use them. Down the line, I'll be creating video demos for different apps and computer techniques that are strictly for fiber folks.

So I'll be writing about our tech. Today's first entry is a little news about an app that some of you may want to check out.

The Knit Speaker
Yesterday I got an alert about this app. I'm sure you know of Leslye Solomon. She's the owner of this product, which is an app that allows you to enter your pattern and will then speak it to you. It's available for iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPad (although I doubt I'd ever use it on my iPad). Hopefully, Leslye will have it developed for Android phones. Check out this page for descriptive info. It's only $5.99, a very reasonable price.

We all memorize stitch patterns but some people may find this app very helpful, particularly those who have eyesight issues. Of course, you have to enter the pattern into the app so you'd better be able to read small fonts.

Frankly, when knitting a Shetland lace shawl, I doubt you'd use this. But give it a shot. I will.

Future Tech Crap
I'm doing a lot of research on charting apps. Way back when, on The Knitting Curmudgeon, I did a review of those that existed at the time. Now, we've got lots! I'll do a matrix rather than a review so that you can compare features.

And finally, I will continue to write The Knitting Curmudgeon, although I haven't in a few months. It's headed towards its 10th anniversary and although I've neglected it, I'm surging back.

Welcome, readers! And if you have tech questions, please dump them in the comments or e-mail me. I'm always happy to help.