Thursday, December 16, 2010

Techy Tips

As our world transforms into a paperless one, many knitters and crocheters are adapting their patterns and tools to their tech devices.  So I thought I'd give you a few links and tips to help you on your way to paperless fiber arts.

Computer/Lap Top Tech Tip: Here's a snipet of a lace chart that I'm currently knitting.  I like to use FoxIt Reader instead of Adobe because it's highly user friendly and allows me to create notes on my pattern and highlight important parts of the pattern.  And although you can highlight in Adobe on some patterns, FoxIt's note feature is fantastic for keeping notes on my pattern.  As you can see in this snipet, I used a nifty little feature of Windows 7, Sticky Notes, to place a sticky note over the lace chart so that I don't get lost in chart and knit the wrong line.  The Sticky Notes size (length and width) is easily manipulated and can be moved over any window you are in.  What I like to do is scroll down so that the line of chart I'm using is at the top of the page and then place a sticky note over all of the preceeding lines of the chart - then I only see 1 row of chart at a time.  Also, I like to highlight the parts of the chart that I need to pay attention to, like repeated areas of the chart.

eReader/Smartphone Tech Tip: You can save your PDFs on your computer and copy the files via USB to your eReader and Smartphone devices.  (Or you can download PDFs directly to your smartphone.) So instead of toting around several pattern pages, you can just bring up the pattern on your eReader or Smartphone wherever you are.  I love to put my patterns on my Nook and my Droid Eris.  -Esp. my phone because it goes everywhere I do.

Smartphone Apps: You already know that there's an app for virtually anything out there.  And knitting/crochet are no exception.

Here's a screen shot of my FAVE app (Android) - Knit Counter by Crazy Fiber Lady Software.  What's great about this app is that you can keep multiple WIPs stored in it.  It allows you to count the rows AND pattern repeats - which is particularly useful when knitting the chart above where I need 8 repeats of a portion of the chart.    It is not a free app.  This little gem will cost you a mere $0.99 - but is definitely WORTH it.  No more toting around a row counter for every project.  You can have every project programmed into this one app.  You just open the project you want to work on and voila!  It will bring you back to where you left off.  It's a touch screen app - so it couldn't be easier!  (Please disregard the fact that I mispelled my project name.  LOL!)  This app also allows you to leave notes about your project in the counter.  Check out the link for a list of all the cool features this app has to offer!

For a list of Knitting and Crochet related Android Phone/Android Tablet Apps - Check out Android Zoom and/or AndroLib!
For a list of Knitting and Crochet related iPod/iPhone/iPad Apps - Check out iPAL (iPhone Applications List)!

Be sure to check out these lists.  There are knitting/crochet tutorial apps, podcast and vodcast apps, row counters, project sorters, and even knitting/crochet community apps.  (Far too many for me to list seperately.) Hopefully you'll find some fun and interesting ways to update your knitting tools! Have a fave tool, tip, or app?  Leave a message with a link to the info so that all of the readers can check it out!!

Tutorial Tech Tip: Chances are you already use You Tube,  Knitting Help, or Nexstitch to watch those amazing knitting/crochet tutorials.  But have you watched them on the go?  At knitting group and need to watch a quick tutorial for Kitchener Stitch?  Use the You Tube app!  There's a You Tube app for nearly every device.  And this makes carrying an entire stitch and technique library with you wherever you go simple and easy!

Library Tech Tip: Does your library have eMedia?  Why not "check out" a digital knitting or crochet book?  These borrowed books can be easily downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions on your computer/laptop.  Of course, Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo eReaders all support ePub format which means you can enjoy your knitting/crochet library books on the go!

Do you have an Android Device, iPod/iPhone/iPad, or Kindle?  Don't despair.  Calibre lets you convert your eBooks and transfer them to those devices as well.

Whether you check out a digital book from your library or buy a digital book via any number of online eBook stores, be sure to check the Android Market or App Store (Apple) for eReader apps or click on these links to browse eReader apps:
Now go get your knit or crochet on - paperlessly!



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