Saturday, March 12, 2011

App Review

Not a lot of knitting happened around my house this week. It seems that every time I picked up my knitting, John would have something lined up for us to watch on the computer (we no longer have cable and watch TV on our iMac, over the internet). Even though my current knitting is predominantly stocking stitch, the low light makes it difficult to see when I need to so the knitting was put aside.

I do, however, have something knitting-related to share. This week’s post is primarily a review of a new app I downloaded this week.

I came across talk of this app on Ravelry. The app is Knit Hat Designer; on the iTunes page for this app, the description reads:

Knit Hat Designer is a hat pattern design application for all knitters with a basic skill level. Our app was built with the creative knitter in mind. Why continue to buy single use patterns that are designed for a single gauge of yarn? We think that, with a little help from a computer, normal people should be able to design simple hat patterns by themselves. Knit Hat Designer helps you to do exactly that!
How does it work? Knit Hat Designer has simplified the creative process by breaking down a hat pattern into six key traits: Style (the crown or top part of your hat), Ribbing (the finish, or bottom part of the hat), Gauge Height and Width, and Head Height and Circumference. You design your hat by telling Knit Hat Designer what to use for each trait. When you press "Knit", Knit Hat Designer will do a little bit of thinking, and then -- voila! -- it will provide you with a pattern that's ready to knit from!

It isn’t an inexpensive app; the price is $5.99 and that alone could turn people away. However, with the promise of 99 possible hat designs, I can live with the price, especially if you figure that a single pattern can cost anywhere from .99 or more.

(I love my Timmie’s mug!) Above are some screen shots from the app, not necessarily the best pictures, but enough to give you an idea. Basically, you input your information and it puts together a pattern for you. Each style has a photo and when you tap the picture, you’re given different views of the same hat (front, left side, back and right side). Once the pattern is created, you can email it (to yourself or anyone) or you can knit it directly from the information saved in your iPod.

There’s also a “send feedback” option, so you can interact directly with the app designers if necessary. After I’d first downloaded the app, I tried to email a pattern to myself and was immediately kicked from the app. I tried to send feedback and the same thing happened. I posted my disappointment in the Ravelry thread where I’d read about the app and was answered directly by the app designer who suggested that my email had to be set up and working or, failing that, he asked that I contact him directly with information about my device type and IOS version. Once I configured my email, though, the app worked just fine.

I know there are books out there (Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns comes immediately to mind) that are great for anyone wanting to design their own hats, but none of them are as portable as an iPod or iPhone. Price-wise, considering the number of available permutations, I don’t think the price is out of line even though it isn’t a cheap app. All in all, I like this app. I think I’ll get plenty of use out of it, even though I’ve been designing my own hats for a number of years.

The details:

Knit Hat Designer by Jessica Hedrick and her husband Dave

  • Price – $5.99
  • up to 99 possible hat designs
  • sizes from baby to adult large
  • multiple yarn gauges
  • email capability

My humble opinion? Worth it!


  1. Ev, have you thought about running a cable from your IMac to your tv? My husband's laptop is very easy to hook up to the tv and makes it so much better for watching shows.

    Best wishes, Ilene

  2. That sounds like a wonderful app, and I don't think the price is at all unreasonable, considering what you can do with it. Such apps for a regular computer cost a lot more, I am sure. :)