Yes, I designed a mobile app – Yarn Pro.. It is available in iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at Apple’s App Store http://itun.es/us/J4TNH.i … Please note that it is currently listed in the App store as YarnPro (one word). We’re working on the Droid version. :)
From years of answering fiber-related questions, the most common questions – or puzzles – had to do with gauge and yarn substitutions. Last winter I started working on an app that addresses those questions (and a few others!).
You will note I have two new pages on my blog: Yarn Pro (which tells you a little about it), and Yarn Pro: The Basics. The Basics demonstrates how it works.
Many years ago when I was in grad school, I worked at a wonderful yarn store. While there I learned about the yarn retail trade, anticipating and meeting customers’ needs, and answering questions from new to experienced knitters, crocheters and crafters. The top three most common question/scenarios I encountered were:
Customer: “I bought the yarn and pattern for this sweater from you a couple of months ago. I finished the sweater, but it doesn’t fit. What happened?! There must be something wrong with the yarn.”
Me: “Hmmm … what was your gauge on your gauge swatch?”
Customer: “Gauge swatch? I never bother with a gauge.”
Customer: “I’m making a sweater for my husband. The pattern’s recommended gauge is 20 stitches over 4 inches. My gauge is 18.5 stitches over 4 inches. Isn’t that close enough?”
Customer: “I bought this yarn when I was on vacation in Italy. I want to use it to make this [shows me a pattern] sweater. Can I?”
There is a lot of math behind design, and gauge and substitutions are based on mathematical calculations. Too often this is something many new fiber artists and crafters don’t learn and/or don’t understand the value of. Yarn Pro does it for you! In fact, the other day I was looking at a sweater pattern. I didn’t have nor want to buy the yarn used in the pattern so, pencil and paper ready, I started sketching out the numbers for a substitution yarn, gauges etc. Suddenly I remembered I had the beta version of Yarn Pro on my iPhone. So I put down the paper and pencil and used Yarn Pro (a lot easier and faster) – et voilà!
Yarn Pro uses mathematical formulas and algorithms (you don’t see them) to give you straight answers. But it also provides recommendations—depending on how far/close to either the base yarn or the pattern gauge of the user. The recommendation may be, for example, that the user go up (or down—depending on gauge) a needle or hook size and make another swatch or the user find another yarn because the new yarn is unworkably thinner (or thicker) than the one called for in the pattern. In addition, based on the user’s gauge, Yarn Pro will compare the finished measurement of a project at that gauge with the finished measurement called for by the pattern, allowing the user to determine whether s/he is satisfied with the size of the projected outcome.
I’ve been substituting yarn called for in patterns and designing for years but find that Yarn Pro saves a lot of time (and angst) making decisions about yarn substitutions and gauge issues.
I hope you will find Yarn Pro as useful as those of us who have beta tested it have found it!