Saturday, January 11, 2014

Steekin' Geek Is Back!

Best Quote Heard All Day

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.--Steve Jobs

I'm a senior technical writer and trainer, that's the money career. Not knitting.  Way back in 1983 I was the Assistant Knitting Editor at McCall's Needlework & Crafts magazine. That's where I began my life as an editor and writer. Later on, in the '90s, computers hit the publishing industry, and me and my Art Director were the help desk peeps because we dealt with the magazine layout on PageMaker, one of the first magazine layout apps.

So these days, we've got a pile of knitting apps. My first computer was an Mac Plus back in the '80s. Now I own a MacBook and a Toshiba PC laptop. So my first knitting app went on the Mac Plus, it was Cochenille Design. I own a pile of knitting apps now but the charting apps are the ones that I use. Let's talk about them, skanks! I've given you the links so you can check each app's features. Read the user manuals that you can download for free. That will give you the info you need.

Charts Chasing

I own three charting apps--Knit Visualizer, Envisioknit Design Studio, and Intwined Studio. My original favorite charting app was Knit Visualizer, which I bought in 2008. Having used Microsoft Excel to do charts, I was pleased to get Knit Visualizer. However, it has never been updated, so it sucks. It also costs $185, available for Mac and PC. Too damned much money nowadays because Knit Foundry, the company that produces it, hasn't added upgrades. I created a chart in all three of these charting apps. This chart is just a dump of symbols, not a chart I've knitted. Just wanted to place symbols in a chart so you could see the same chart for each app. 

Here's the Knit Visualizer version.
Here's the EnvisoKnits chart:

And here's an Intwined Studio version:

These days, I use EnvisioKnit Design Studio or Intwined Pattern Studio. When you're creating a chart, your stitch symbols appear in a palette to the right of the chart. Intwined provides a "Stitches Used" tab on the palette, so when you're using a pile of symbols, you don't need to scroll down the palette constantly because your symbols are in this tab. Both EnvisioKnit and Knit Visualizer should add this to their apps.

Given all the features in these apps, you can download a demo for all of them. And there are other charting apps--Stitch Mastery, KnitBird, Knitting Chart Maker by Jacquie (an online app that's free!)and Cochenille Stitch Painter 3.

So check 'em out by downloading the demos and the user manuals, which are freebies. If you own a Mac, you can't get EnvisioKnit Design Studio. That's something EnvisioKnit's developer, Jane, who I met down at MD Sheep & Wool two years ago when her app had just become on sale, should do.

I'm pissed off about Knit Visualizer's lack of upgrades. Last week, I upgraded my MacBook's OS and now my Knit Visualizer Mac version doesn't work. I own the PC Knit Visualizer.

 There's a pile of apps for smartphones too. Just bought an iPhone because my Samsung Galaxy 3 broke. So I'm familiar with knitting phone apps too. Will let you know about those, eventually. I dumped the Steekin' Geek blog, so I'll be tech writing here. Not next week.

So long, skanks!


Sue said...

I use Intwined. I've done lace, cables and Fair Isle on it & have been very happy with the results. Plus, the price is very reasonable & their customer service has been great on the couple of occasions when I needed help.

knitting08816 said...

Marilyn - I just got my first MAC. Is there an app for stash inventory as my beloved Palm pilot is about 20 years old. Any help will be appreciated.
Leslie B

Marilyn Roberts said...

I've never bothered to make a stash inventory but could put stuff up on Ravelry, which does have a Stash inventory feature. There is a new IOS stash inventory app called Wooly, so maybe that might be what you want. If I ever create a stash inventory, I'd probably do it all on Excel.

Ted said...

Well: rats that Envisio doesn't have Mac version -- I like its charts best. (And I'm not going to put Parallels on my machine to run Enviso.)

One of my friends uses HanDBase for inventorying his stash. I'd prefer a database to a spreadsheet because of the querying capabilities. It runs on a significant number of platforms, and there are sample databases available. You can also get a version that allows you to build the database on your desktop/laptop and sync the data to an iphone/ipod/ipad app.

Anonymous said...

Correction: EnvisioKnit *does* have a palette of "Recent Stitches" for those symbols used in the current chart.