Many people associate knitting or crocheting as a way to unplug from the technology pervasive in our modern world. However, I like to find ways to incorporate technology into my everyday knitting in ways that help me become a better knitter.
Most knitters, especially avid social media crafters, are aware of Ravelry. Ravelry.com is one of the most popular websites for knitters and crocheters and for good reason. This website not only gives you access to literally thousands of patterns in a variety of languages (both free and paid), it also allows you to post your own projects, connect with knitters and crocheters from across the world through forums and direct messaging, and track your own dragon’s horde of yarn. The benefits of Ravelry are so numerous, I could write a whole book about it. However, the creators of Ravelry have their own blog (on the front page of the website!) and a section with guided tips on how to best use the site.
So, what are some other websites or apps that are useful to knitters and crocheters?
Evernote is hands down my favorite app for knitting and general notes. I use it for far more than keeping my knitting notes organized. Evernote allows you to save things in notebooks, and there are a variety of the kinds of notes you can save. I have Evernote installed on my phone and computer. Then, I downloaded the Evernote chrome extension, which is vital to how useful this app can be.
In addition to using text notes to write notes for later about a knitting project, I can save whole online patterns and tutorials that I can access offline. That’s right. I can go to a website, like knitty.com‘s tutorial on Judy’s Magic Cast On, use the Chrome extension to capture the entire tutorial into an Evernote document that I can then access on the subway deep underground or when I want to conserve my data usage. I can also take picture notes, so if I’m working on a lace pattern, I can take a picture of the lace chart for reference so I don’t have to carry the book or paper pattern with me.
Got an hour long commute? Clip a pattern, two tutorials, and three knitting articles from various places around the web, and now you’ve got your own custom knitting magazine on your phone.
ChartGen is a free, online, chart generator. You can either type in the written instructions, or use the chart symbols. This is extremely useful for pattern writers, but it is also useful for knitters who do not write patterns. Some people find it easier to read a chart than written instructions, but charts are not always provided. Copy and paste the instructions into the text box, and get a chart. Or use it help translate a chart pattern into written instructions.
TECHknitting is a great blog that gives detailed explanations on specific knitting techniques. I find myself pinning their articles on Pinterest all the time. Want to know every possible way to achieve a tubular cast on? They’ve got you covered. Need to pick up stitches along an awkward edge? They’ve got your back. TECHknitting is one of the best no-nonsense resources for learning (or re-learning!) specific techniques to make your hand knit objects look professional and tidy.
Speaking of pinning and Pinterest. Pinterest is a great way to organize your knitting and crochet interests in a visual way. I usually use Pinterest when I want to idly browse patterns, techniques, and inspiration images. Unlike Evernote, however, Pinterest requires an internet connection to access the things you’ve pinned. I often pin pictures of knitted things I like to use more as inspiration rather than as a method for keeping track of patterns I actually intend on using. You can also type “Knitting Tutorials” into the search bar and find many tutorials you would not have otherwise found. I usually browse Pinterest when I’m not looking for anything in particular. My own Knitting Pinterest board is full of colorwork charts, links to patterns, pictures, and tutorials.
Are there other websites and programs you use to aid your knitting or crochet?