My Mobile App is Out!

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:

QUESTION/SCENARIO 1:

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.”

QUESTION/SCENARIO 2:

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?”

QUESTION/SCENARIO 3:

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!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber artist, practitioner of yoga, author, consultant and amateur chef.
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60 Responses to My Mobile App is Out!

  1. summerlarson says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to start using it!

  2. Claire says:

    Yes, Congratulations!!! Finally!

  3. Tamsie Hughes says:

    waiting for the Droid version!

  4. salpal1 says:

    makes me want to run out and get a phone! any chance yoou will release a pc version?

  5. HannahDavis says:

    Congrats! I just need some money in my account and I’ll be getting this asap!

  6. tgonzales says:

    Karen,

    You amaze me and I want to be as organized as you!

    Hugs,
    Tamara

    • Oh dear … Don’t think you’d call me organized if you saw my stash! I am extremely detail oriented in business, frequently considered intimidating. :). But my other self – fiber art – I am laid back, flexible, relaxed and creative. :)

  7. Tina says:

    Awesome and congratulations!

  8. Pingback: My Mobile App is Out! – from The Sweaty Knitter « Aventures with wool and cotton

  9. Wow – this sound amazing! I’m not quite ready for this kind of accuracy yet, (especially as I’ve just had a knitting related tantrum), but as soon as I get a bit better, i’m all yours. Congrats on the launch!

  10. curlyknitter says:

    Very exciting. Congratulations!

  11. Wow this is fabulous, thank you for such an amazing contribution to the knitting world, which we obviously need. I wish I knew the algorithms needed to do the calculations though but that’s just the learning nerd in me. Thank you so much.

    • It was fun – though sometimes frustrating – to design … trying to take everything I do in my head or scratched on the back of an index card and convert it into a useable program! After I wrote out the preliminary algorithms, I had a friend translate them into computer speak, and he kept saying (as he ran his hands over his face), “Computers don’t infer! Give me what you want it to know!” He earned an A for patience with me! :)

  12. Jenny says:

    This sounds like a fantastic app. Well done. Can’t wait to great more about the Android version.

  13. Sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to see the droid version…going to make some space for it on my phone right now….

    • I don’t have a Droid so will be doing the beta testing for it on my son-in-law’s phone! :). (He loves his Droid, so I will have to bribe him with a home made pie or something.

  14. Verónica says:

    Cool! I’ll check it out.

  15. Ooh, congratulations! Happy apping. :)

  16. caityrosey says:

    Congrats. That sounds like an awesome app. Downloading…

  17. kiwiyarns says:

    Reblogged this on Kiwiyarns Knits and commented:
    What a great idea! Sweater Knitter has released a yarn app that assists with yarn substitution and gauge issues. Check it out to find out more!

  18. Fantastic! I don’t have any apps, and am not going to very soon since I don’t have the base equipment for them, but when I do – I’ll be all over this! Anything to make the math easier on me!

    • I moved over to a smart phone (I chose the iPhone) about a year ago. I’ve used most PCs since the early ’80s but now have an iPad too and want to buy a Mac Air – Apple’s products and software (especially arts-related software) are so seamlessly integrated and “tight.” And I use my app daily. I think it is VERY useful. :)

  19. ordinarygood says:

    Well done Karen. I’ve reblogged this to: http://koruknits.wordpress.com. I hope it goes very well for you:-)

  20. Pingback: My Mobile App is Out! « Schmoozelfleugen!

  21. Tony says:

    Exciting! I will watch out for the android version. Something I’ve been trying to figure out is changing gauge to change the finished size. Sometimes the smallest size of a men’s pattern is still too big for me so could I play with gauge to make it smaller?

  22. Hmmm, unless you are a skilled knitter and can do some redesigning, this can be risky. If you are using the yarn called for in the pattern, knitting at a tighter gauge will affect the resultant fabric’s drape. It can also affect row size and shaping (unless it’s pretty much a boxy-shaped garment).

  23. HannahDavis says:

    I got the app! I really love it, you did a great job with it! It has absolutely everything I’d ever need in one handy and easy to navigate place. Thank you so much for making it. And it’s worth the money, for sure!

    • Thank you for your feedback – I am so thrilled you like it and find it handy! We’ve already started sketching out ideas for future upgrades (I.e., after the Droid version is out). Please feel free to email me any ideas you have about what we could add to make it even more useful!

      Oh, and if you could rate/review it on YarnPro’s page in the Apple App Store to share your response with others … ? :)

      Karen Berthine

  24. Pingback: My Mobile App is Out! | not your average crochet

  25. randipants says:

    I’m about a month away from switching out my Android for an iPhone. Bookmarking this for when I do. Can’t wait to check it out!

    • Thank you – I hope you like it. One of my friends who has a Droid frequently texts me to ask me to use Yarn Pro to check the numbers on yarn substitutions or gauging! :)

  26. suth2 says:

    I have just purchased the app. Hopefully it will answer the questions I usually have when I am about to start a new project.
    Congratulations on creating such a helpful app.

  27. suth2 says:

    Reblogged this on Gippsland Granny and commented:
    This is a wonderful app, from the Sweaty Knitter, that assists you to work out what yarn and needles to substitute for the recommended yarn in patterns. I often have wool that doesn’t match a pattern I want to use and this app lets you know if you can substitute a particular yarn or use different needles. It calculates the amount of wool you will require. A great app.

  28. suth2 says:

    I have reblogged this with a comment on http://www.Suth2.wordpress.com.

  29. Thank you … I hope you and the people who follow your blog will find it useful!

  30. Bec says:

    Wow, sounds fantastic! I will be downloading for sure!

    • Thank you! After you’ve had a chance to check it out, would you write a review on its Apple App Store page? I have received a lot of positive feedback from users, but it needs reviews in the App Store. :)

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