Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Quick Note: I wrote this days ago, but we have been so busy, I couldn't find the time to get it posted. Now that I have survived most of the holiday, there is some quiet time to get this up and running!

I hope the holidays were wonderful for you and that you got a special something under the tree - hopefully knitting related!.. And most importantly of all, II want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


Back in Michigan for 12 days to celebrate Christmas with our family.

By the time I finished making my pile of Christmas gifts, I was all crafted out. I didn't even knit on the flight back to MI - just didn't have any project to work on that excited me. I did read my fabulous book, I am on the second book in the Game of Thrones series - it is an old fashioned epic story, and I love it.

I was wondering if this meant I was headed for a knitting funk.

When I got home, I glanced through some yarn in my stash, but no inspiration. Just when it looked like I needed to pick up a hibernating WIP, I saw the perfect project on Ravelry.

It also coincided with my effort to learn a new knitting app on my iPad, KnitCompanion. I have been watching the video tutorials, trying to get the hang of it, but my new project let me give the app a real try.

Project - Kindle case

Yarn - Noro kureyon sock

Kauni - in solid black

I am making the small size - it will be my FINAL knitted gift. It is flying along and I am pretty sure I can get it done. (Yes, it is almost done!!)

Now for a little about KnitCompanion.

I think it is a very clever app that allows you to take a pattern PDF and turn it into a true working document. It reminds me of what many of us do with a paper pattern - we make a photo copy of the pattern, highlight the sizes that apply, check off the rows as we finish them. If there are charts, we use a magnetic board or pattern keepers or highlight tape to mark the row we are working on.

Sometimes we enlarge the chart, cut it out and even tape several charts together, sound familiar??

This app does all these things - and turns your iPad into an essential knitting aid.

So far, the only negative thing I can say is that it took some time to learn all the functionality. If isn't intuitive, so you cant just jump on, hack around and make it work. You need to watch videos, and there isn't a good written tutorial or faqs to complement the videos.

Once you know how it works, you need to take some time to set up your pattern in program. But believe me - it is worth the time. I am so inspired by this product, I'm thinking I would love to teach a class on it.

You can use it to highlight each row of written text or chart, add stitch markers on your chart, include reminders on specific places in the pattern, and even add verbal notes. It might seem a little expensive at first glance, but if you are willing to take the time to learn how to use it, it is totally worth it.

I guess the moral of the story is don't despair when your knitting mojo lags, be patient and inspiration will return.

Ok friends, don't forget to take time to ENJOY the season. I tell myself often that "these are the good old days". You never know what tomorrow will bring, so treasure each day.

Time for me to enjoy my family, I am off to celebrate with all six grandkids ! Happy Holidays!

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