Designing with an Ipad
I thought today I would actually add some relevant design content .
I bought myself an iPad. I always said I wouldn’t, but having looked and tried all the alternatives I bit the bullet and a lovely 16GB black wifi Ipad is mine. I have had it for a few months now and I have to say despite my initial misgivings I am sold.
It will never replace my trusty Windows laptop, but I am very pleased with the amount I can do using it. The main reason I bought it was so that I would be able design on the move. My mother is not at all well and I am spending quite a lot of time at her bedside, She gets worn out by incessant chatter and is perfectly happy fro me just to keep her company by knitting away or editing patterns, depending on my need at the time. I can also keep in touch with knitters and publishers while at my day job without having to monopolize my work PC.
Over the months lots of apps have found their way onto my ipad, some have been very useful, others not so much and have fallen by the wayside
The one I find the absolute most useful is
Well, 16GB isn’t really a lot of space so I keep everything “in the cloud”
The beauty of Dropbox is that it will sync between ALL of my devices
My laptop, my iPhone, The iPad, my work PC and my rooted Nook
My design folder sits in Dropbox and I work directly from it so that I always have the latest copy – no trying to remember which version I am working on.
These are the main apps I find most useful when actually designing.
1. Pages – Apple’s version of Word – well it is more like a mixture between Word and Publisher really – at a push I could layout and publish an entire pattern in this program. I can also export it as either a PDF or Word straight to my Dropbox design folder to be picked up on my Laptop.
2. KnitCompanion – I could go on for hours about this app. It is magic. I can import a pdf into it, crop it to just the charts or specific parts of the instructions. The charts once cropped have both row and stitch markers so you can never lose where you are and there are multiple counters as well as other whistles and bells. As apps go this is one of the more expensive ones I have bought ( just over £10) but well worth the money. I would recommend this app to any knitter. You can import pdfs locally or direct from Dropbox ( that app again) and it is perfect for any pattern you are working on – I found it invaluable when trying to keep my place in the complicated back piece in Conic.
3. Units – This does just what it says on the tin. It converts units – perfect for converting from inches to cm when writing patterns in multiple sizes.
4. Numbers – Apple’s spreadsheet app. Again, perfect for collating multiple sizes of a pattern. I like to write the pattern as a spread sheet adding all the relevant measurements and stitch counts for the sample size, knit the test sample to make sure the pattern actually works and then expand out to all the sizes with the help of an old fashioned calculator
5. DesignKnit – This is a pretty good charting App – I usually chart in either Knit Visualizer or Intwined Studio as both of these programs not only chart my lace, but also produce a written version too. DesignKnit doesn’t do that, but for altering charts on the fly or designing new charts when inspiration strikes it is perfect. It contains most of the “standard” symbols and that’s good enough for me.
6. Button Wizard – Again self explanatory. I always manage to foul up the numbers when working out how far apart to put buttonholes. this little app lets you plug in the number of buttonholes, number of sts in the band, how many sts you want at the top and bottom of the band and whether you want to do the buttonholes over 1 or 2 rows. Plug in the numbers and you get a written pattern of exactly how to make your buttonholes – sometimes I don’t even have to change a word, but cut and paste the instructions directly into the pattern – perfect.
There are a couple of other honorable mentions.
iAnnotate is great for marking up a pdf. you can underline, highlight, add inserted comments etc. Perfect for making notes on either a written pattern you are knitting from or making changes on a pattern I am testing.
Not actually used as part of the design process,
The Gmail app is very good for checking my email and for emailing off patterns and corrections to magazines or test knitters.
Here is my iPad – I keep it in an Apple cover. Not the cheapest option, but I like it’s versatility. It can be used to stand the iPad up in a variety of positions and best of all when you close the cover it switches the iPad off and saves battery. Talking of battery life, I was pleasantly surprised by how long the battery lasts. I charge it on average twice a week and use it everyday for at least an hour.
Phew! what a post. Hopefully it will make up for a few of the missed ones over the last few days
I wonder what I will post about tomorrow – lets hope inspiration strikes. Meanwhile back to the knitting and watching Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC – got to love a few sequins