What’s Appining?

 Deep, dark, secret, I’m a technology nerd! That’s right! If I see some new technology gadget, I want it. 😎 Now, that’s not to say I alway buy, but…… So a couple of years ago while watching my kids having way too much fun with their iPhones lust got the better of me and I got one. Of course, if I have one hubs needs one. 😎   Using the iPhone is like having a little bit of heaven in my hands! 😎 The other night When All She Wants To Do It Knit mentioned that one of my “highly wanted” apps was on sale I went immediately to the iTune store and downloaded it. It’s Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds, normally $14.99 for $.99! Amazing. 😎 I actually have a less expensive birding app, just couldn’t pass this up! I don’t pass up a free app I want to try, but I do think twice if I have to pay. 😎

This lead me to the topic of today’s post. My 10 favorite crafting iPhone apps. Tomorrow I’ll post my “other” favorites.

iSpin Toolkit – an app for handspinners. You can measure the angle of the S or Z twist and WPI, just to name a few things. $4.99

Gaugefy Free – enter your swatch stitches/row and swatch width and length hit the Get Gauge button and presto.. your gauge is calculated for you. Free.

Gauge Ruler – how many times have I been somewhere and needed a measuring tape for gauge, length, etc. I usually have my iPhone with me and have used this multiple times for a lot of different things I’ve wanted to measure. See a scarf I like, how wide is it? Whip out my phone! 😎 Does both inches and centimeters. $.99

Knit – a row counter, you can enter your projects, it will keep track of them. Really cool for KADD (knitting attention deficit disorder) people such as I who have a lot of projects on the needles. I like to use this one since there are not a ton of windows to go through to get to my project. Open it, see project, tap screen. Free

Knitcompanion – uses all of your pdf knitting patterns which you’ve downloaded into interactive patterns. Can add row markers, stitch markers, etc. Free.

Vogue Knitting – love this as an inventory tool.  Keeps track of all of my needles and hooks. Also, have slowly been entering my stash. I REALLY want a barcode reader for stash inventory. 😎 Also has row counter and keeps project notes. I like my other row counter app. A better deal now then when I got it. $3.99

QuiltFab – Really helps me figure out how much fabric to use on a project. Has save me lots of time and $$$. Free.

SewingKit – I like that is a database for my sewing patterns, fabric stash, projects, and best of all keep track of people’s measurements! Used this the other day when buying the $.99 McCall patterns at Joanns. Took picks of the pattern covers and it let me know if I had the pattern. I’m a pattern hoarder! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve purchased the same pattern! If I like it once, I like it twice! 😎 Lucky Barb is the recipient of the second pattern, that is if she hasn’t already bought it. $4.99. (There is also a SewingKit HD which has even more database possibilities: books, notions, etc. for $8.99.  I bought the other one first and just can’t part with more $$$ for this one. I have a library app which stores all of my craft books.)

All though these two are not crafting productivity apps they are a “must have” for all crafters!

Michaels – How cool to have the coupon on you at all times! Can use every day!

Joanns – Ditto, always have a coupon. Can use every day!

I know there are tons of knitting, sewing, quilting apps out there. I’ve had my iPhone for a couple of years now and downloaded most back then. I know there are TONS of new crafting apps. I am a total techie, what are some of your favorite crafting apps that I REALLY have to try? Stay tune tomorrow for more Appining!

Knitting Up Fashion With i-Cord

Have you noticed that i-Cord is quickly becoming a fashion rage?  I’m not talking about the use of it as binding or ordornment on a knitted object. As we’ve been out and about on our visits to yarn shops, we have been seeing interesting accessories knit from i-Cord. Perusing our knitting magazines and Ravelry more ideas pop-up.

Vogue Knitting Winter 2010/11 Nickey Epstein’s Tie One on! Learning the Ropes.

Entwined Cowl pattern by Tanis Gray on sale at Ravelry

Knitter’s Magazine K105 Winter Erica Patberg’s Woven cowl.

If you’ve been to a local yarn shop (LYS) lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed that some companies are selling pre-knit i-Cord.  You can purchase pre-knit i-Cord, but it’s a bit expensive. I was so enthralled by it that I purchased Berroco Link.  They have free patterns for this yarn at their website This is quite a large i-Cord.  I knitted one of their scarf patterns found at their site.

We have seen quite a few necklaces made with i-Cord, tie 18 or more strands together and then place jeweled loops around them. Imagine the scarf below, bedecked in jeweled rings. This is a “no knitting” pattern.

Kathie’s Cowl knitted with Berroco link, free pattern.

Barb bought two different colorways of Odisea by Fil Katia to make our hats on the Northwest Journey. It is a much smaller i-Cord.

There are four ways I can think of to make i-cord: 1. knit using double pointed needles, 2. finger knitting, you can have your children do this for you!, 3. spool knitting, again get the kids to do it for you, and 4. the fastest is machine knitting. 😎 So, knit up some i-Cord or have the kids make some and do something wonderful!

Tams Are Me

  I have loved wearing a tam, since I was young. I like to pull my tam to one side of my head. Our grandfather loved wearing a tam. He was a tall, striking man of Norwegian heritage and wore a tam all of  the time. I loved seeing them on him. I am sure this is why my tam love-affair started.  In fact, Q made sure grandpa was wearing his favorite tam when he was buried.

I have always worn the felted tams that everyone is familiar with. (Q – she is adorable in tams!) A few years ago, I decided it was time that I try to knit one.  I bought the book Knitted Tams by Mary Rowe, picked out one of the patterns, and attempted to  knit it. It was a total disaster and I’m not quite sure why. Something just went horribly wrong.  I did not try to knit another one until I saw THE HAT on the front cover of “Vogue Knitting” Fall 2009. The article was called “Head Trips”.  The name of THE HAT is Vine and Leaf Beret on page 75. I love THE HAT so much that I have made 3 of them! This is a picture of Q wearing THE HAT on our Northwest Trip, she didn’t bring a hat so I took pity on her and let her wear it.  I made it as a gift for mom.  (Q – being the wonderful sister that she is, she ended up knitting a tam for me on the trip.)

When Q dyed the gradient, green yarn (see our post in March “It’s All About the Dyeing“) I was ready to try a Fair Isle tam. I looked through all my books and online to find just the right tam that would work well using gradient yarn colors. I found the Three Tams by Angela Sixian Wu on Ravelry and choose Tam C to knit.

It has been a blast to knit this tam. I start out using the darker colored green yarn at the bottom and the lighter color at the top this way it follows shadows and light.  The yarn is Stitch Nation’s “full o’ sheep” and it is a little heavier than I usually use for a tam. I used a size 5 to cast on for the standard rib (k1,p1,) then I changed to a size 7 to do the body.

I used the twined method of knitting, so I wouldn’t have a lot of strings on the inside to get caught on something.  See the inside, notice strings are not carried across as in a regular Fair Isle. This is going to be my Spring hat so colorful to wear.  Look how wonderful the gradient looks!

Blocking the tam is very easy.  First, hand wash in a mild soap. I use Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash.  Shampoo works great, too.  After gently washing, sandwich the tam between two towels and press out most of the moisture. Remember Do Not Wring!

  

Now get a dinner plate about 10 to 10 1/2″ and gently stretch the damp tam over it. Check the bottom to make sure the tam is centered and equal on all sides of the plate.

          

Note: The picture below is the finished tam off the plate. Next time I do my tam I shall put the top of the tam on the top of the plate. I did it this way per instruction, but, as you can see,  it left the shape of the bottom of the plate on the tam.  The bottom of the plate should come out of the bottom of the hat.

Let the tam totally dry, it might take up to 2 days. If it doesn’t look as if it has a sharp enough edge shape for you, lightly steam it. Do Not Iron.  Since ironing will flatten the tam and the yarn will loose all of its bouncy look. Notice the nice sharp edge.  Perfection! 😎