Guest Post: Faster Knitting with knitCompanion

This guest post was written by Sally Holt, creator of the knitCompanion app which is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. A knitter herself, Sally created knitCompanion to include many features to make knitting (and crocheting!) from PDF patterns easier and more efficient using the tag line Knit more, frog less. We love the idea of making the most of your crafting time by using this technology, and you can download knitCompanion for free from the app store on your device!

From Idea to App

Back in the early 2000s I was working in the high-tech industry and was also starting to knit. I carried my knitting with me on ever-increasing business trips. When those trips became long-haul international flights, things between my knitting and I got very serious. When I was first beginning my knitting journey, even simple things were tricky, I needed a pattern and instructions close at hand for almost everything. With practice, the basics got easier and I could do them without a pattern. The only problem? I like a challenge. As I mastered each new thing, I wanted to tackle the next hurdle. The first time I did a yo (on purpose) combined with k2tog/ssk and created lace I was PUMPED! 

As my knitting progressed, I discovered some projects did not travel well. The main reason was how difficult it was to keep track in the more complex instructions. I tried all sorts of things, but in the end, I had to travel with simple projects and leave the more complex ones at home. 

There were no tablets back then, just the original e-book readers. At Sock Summit 2009, I saw people experimenting with using their e-book reader for patterns. The basic approach was to place a sticky note on the screen to mark your row. I thought that was interesting, and it got my mind to thinking about the possibilities of creating a more mobile tracking system. Right away I knew it would need to support any pattern since I was always picking up new patterns on Ravelry. I played around with some generic pdf readers, but they were clumsy and didn’t provide the types of tools I needed. I really wanted smooth and streamlined control of markers, counters that I didn’t have to share between projects, and the ability to work from and keep track across several pages of information at once.

In 2010 Apple released the very first iPad. It included a fairly sophisticated system for creating apps and opened up a LOT of possibilities. The timing was perfect and lots of things clicked together in my brain. By 2011 knitCompanion was in development and the first version was released in 2012. Since that first release the app has evolved mightily. 

What’s Slowing You Down?

If you’ve ever wished you could knit more and frog less, then you have probably experiences at least 1 of these problems that can slow down your knitting: 

Tiny Charts. Especially if you’re a fan of complex lace patterns, sooner or later, you’re going to encounter a Very Large Chart that has been squeezed onto a single page of your pattern (and don’t get us started about patterns that are split across multiple pages!). In the days of paper patterns, this necessitated a trip to the local copy shop to enlarge the charts as much as possible - but of course, you are limited by the size of the paper available, as well as your own skills at operating the copy machine itself. 

Zooming in on any part of a pattern or chart is so much simpler on your tablet or smartphone! Which brings us to the next point….

Getting lost in the pattern. Over the years, most of us have probably tried sticky notes, highlighter tape, or good old-fashioned hash marks to keep track of where we are in a pattern. The only problem with these methods is that sticky notes and highlighter tape can be jostled out of position, and if your paper pattern is misplaced or damaged before you’re done knitting, are in big trouble! Having to decipher or re-create your notes can be frustrating, not to mention, lead to mistakes that necessitate frogging later on.

The free version of the knitCompanion app has 3 handy markers which stay in place as you zoom and scroll on any pattern: 

  1. Sliding row marker (default yellow - but you can change the color and opacity) which can be used to highlight a single row of pattern instructions or chart row that you are working from.

  2. Sliding stitch marker (default blue - but can also be changed) which is handy for keeping place as you knit across a row. 

  3. You are here marker: this can be used to mark a specific spot on any page and can be placed by holding your finger in the spot you’d like it to appear.

The above 3 markers are unique to each page of the pattern, which means that you can flip between pages without losing your spot on any of them! 

Mental notes are easy to ‘lose.’ Let’s face it, we always think we’ll remember that we added an extra repeat here or used a certain technique there….but when the time comes to revisit that part of the pattern, chances are those important bits of information have been forgotten! Getting in the habit of making notes on the modifications and techniques you ended up using which are not written out in the pattern can make your life WAY easier down the road. 

Page flipping frustrations. Have you ever tried working from a chart in a pattern, only to discover that the key was on a totally different page? Not only can it be annoying to flip back and forth every time you need a reminder of what a specific symbol in your chart means, it can also slow you down as you work. This paid feature allows you to keep the key handy as you work from any page. 

Need to reference a tutorial video? On iOS, you can embed a video in the pattern you’re working from, allowing you to re-watch the tutorial whenever you need it without navigating to another app! 

The bottom line: find whatever works for you so that you can enjoy knitting & crocheting more and frogging less! 

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Free Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern & Charity Craft-Along

Cooler weather will be here before we know it, and now is the perfect time to think about warm, snuggly blankets for those in need. This month, we have a new free knitting pattern designed by Sophia Minakais and some fabulous prizes for our latest Charity Craft-Along. Grab your needles and hooks to join us in making baby blankets to donate this fall!

About Our Featured Designer

Sophia is a senior designer for Knitting The Natural Way, where she shares her passion for unique, fun and practical natural designs. All of Sophia’s patterns, from baby knits to specially formulated designs for pain relief, are available at

Free Knitting Pattern: Warm Hands Baby Blanket

Break out your yummiest yarn to knit a soft, warm baby blanket to donate to the children of the Warm Hands Network charity, or to cuddle your own baby, with this easy-to-follow pattern.

This pattern was designed to support the children of the Warm Hands Network, a Canadian based charity providing clothing to families in the Canadian North. When knitting baby blankets to be donated to the WHN, please be sure to follow their contribution guidelines, to ensure that your gift will be put to good use. Their guidelines ask that all baby blankets be made using wool or other animal fibers, or acrylic. Baby blankets should be at least 35” x 35” and should always be labeled with washing instructions.

You can mail your Warm Hands Network donations to this address: 
Warm Hands Network
240 First Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2G6

If you have questions about your donation, please contact

Please note, you will be subscribed to the Knitter's Pride newsletter; if you already get our emails, simply enter your address to confirm and download the pattern.

How to Participate

  • Knit the Warm Hands Baby Blanket or Crochet any baby blanket meeting the criteria above during the course of this KCAL, which takes place Friday, August 7 through Wednesday, September 30, 2020. 
  • Email your finished photos to helloknitterspride [at] gmail [dot] com to be entered in our prize drawing by Midnight CST on September 30, 2020. Please include your city/state (or city/country) and how you would like to be identified if you win (i.e. first name only, first name middle initial, etc.). 
  • Connect: For this KCAL, we are testing out a free bulletin board system with the hope that all crafters can safely participate and connect with each other. Click here to join the conversation (it's free!) and please let us know what you think! You can also share your projects on Facebook or Instagram using the #knitterspride and #KPCharityKCAL hashtags, or in our Ravelry group
  • Donate your finished project to someone in need! In addition to the Warm Hands Network, you can check with local organizations such as hospitals, shelters or hospices, or you can send your donations to Wool Aid, where they will be given to those who need them most. 

Colorwork Charity Craft-Along: Prizes

We have lots of great prizes up for grabs!
Grand Prize Drawing:
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive their choice of a Deluxe SmartStix Interchangeable Set or a Zing Crochet Set. To be eligible, email your finished photo to helloknitterspride [at] gmail [dot] com by Midnight CST on September 30, 2020. Make sure to include your city/state (or city/country) and how you would like to be identified if you win (i.e. first name only, first name middle initial, etc.). 

Additional Prizes: 
We will choose winners at random to receive Rainbow Knit Blockers, Rainbow Row Counter Rings, Knitting Charms and Zooni Stitch Markers. These prizes will be drawn not only from finished photos submitted via email, but also to those participating on our Charity message boardFacebook or Instagram using the #knitterspride and #KPCharityKCAL hashtags, or in our Ravelry group

We will notify all winners via email or direct message after September 30, 2020. 

We can't wait to see what you make!

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