There’s a knitting app for that: stitch counts, gauge, more

Knit and Crochet at Stitch This!
Knitter's Project Tote(Right: “Knitter’s Project Tote” from Sew the Perfect Gift)

Summer knitting is all about portability. When the sun is shining, why not grab your yarn and your favorite book of patterns so you can knit and purl in the great outdoors?

But what about keeping track of row counts, remembering how much yarn you’ve got in your stash, and figuring out the ever-elusive gauge for that fitted project? Lugging around a bag full of tools, notes, and gadgets can be a pain. Lucky for you, there’s an app for that!

We’ve pulled together a list of five fabulous books for yarn lovers that pair perfectly with the latest smartphone knitting apps for light project bags and happy summer knitting. The patterns in these favorite books (also available as eBooks!) are ideal partners in your quest to lighten your project bag.

As you knit your way through the lazy summer days, try answering these three all-too-common questions with a knitting app.

“What row am I on?”

Shawls and socks—we love to make them! But no matter your skill level, one thing’s for sure: you’ve got to keep track of where you are in the pattern without getting lost in the count.

Lycopod shawl From the Sock Knitter's Handbook
Left: “Lycopod” from Sock-Yarn Shawls II. Right: Example from The Sock Knitter’s Handbook.

Today, a number of free stitch-counter apps are available for your smartphone or tablet, including Knit Counter and StitchMinder. Now keeping tabs on your rows is as easy as tapping your finger!

Knit Counter Stitch Minder
Screen shots from Knit Counter and StitchMinder.

“Do I need more yarn?”

Of course you do—you always need more yarn!

In all seriousness, keeping track of the yarn you have on hand can be a challenge for everyone—even if you have the smallest stash in town. Why not make it easier with a stash-tracking app like Stash2Go or KnitMinder?

Stash2go Knit Minder
Screen shots from Stash2Go and KnitMinder.

Suddenly it’s simple to match the colorful array of yarn in your stash with the richly textured stitches in a stash-buster book like Pick Your Stitch, Build a Blanketpacked with patterns for a one-of-a-kind throw or bedcover. Remember, even when the sun is shining, autumn is just around the corner!

Small Blocks Sampler Afghan
Pick Your Stitch, Build a Blanket

“Is this gonna fit?”

Calculating gauge is important for any knitted garment. You want to make sure that in the end, it fits properly. That goes for Fido, too. Yes, even if you’re knitting your beloved pooch any of the easy-to-follow patterns in Seamless Knits for Posh Pups, you’ll want to calculate your knitting gauge first to make sure the finished sweater will fit.

Cecil sweater from Seamless Knits for Posh Pups
Seamless Knits for Posh Pups

GaugefyFortunately, the simple patterns in Seamless Knits for Posh Pups, paired with a free gauge calculator like Gaugefy (right), will make it even easier to knit a stock of sweaters for your best friend.

Which do you prefer: tried-and-true knitting tools or the latest yarn apps? Tell us in the comments!

6 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I like the tried and true tools. Yarn apps are still a little scary for me.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on July 8, 2015
  • I think knitting counter apps are terrifying. Filled with "what ifs" – your device battery dies, is just one.

    —Jan Winje on July 8, 2015
  • Hi, I tried to get some of these apps and most are not free, too bad

    —brenda on July 8, 2015
  • I haven’t used knitting apps before but I would sure like to give it a try. I think I will start on something simple so if I don’t care for the app I can easily revert back to traditional methods. Thanks for sharing. Now to download some apps.

    —Audrey on July 8, 2015
  • If some are not free, stash2go is at least free to try (and on Android completely free if you accept ads)
    Also, if you’re interested in row counters, both versions feature unlimited customizable row counters per project .. and if you have an Apple Watch, you can use that too.
    I’ll keep adding things regularly based on user requests ..
    Marco (the dev)

    Marco on July 9, 2015
  • I’m ready to wade into the sea of apps, but I still keep a notebook of lists. I know I can back everything up but better safe than sorry.

    —ckachel on July 10, 2015

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