Monday, 11 January 2016

Technology for Crafters

I may not utilise the technology I have as much as I could but I still love it. I am a sucker for a good app. Especially if it involves getting organised or crafts or even both. I love getting a new app so if you have any suggestions for good ones let me know.

When I got my first iPad (a gift from my dad) I loved it and used it all the time. I used it mainly for games to be honest. I did try the ereader and hated reading from it. I also wasn't studying at the time. So it didn't get used quite the way I do now. Now I use it for everything. One of the first things I used is the iBooks. I discovered quickly that I hated reading on an ereader (that didn't actually surprise me much). However, I use it to save nursing articles and something more relevant to this post - knitting and crochet patterns. I even have some cross stitch patterns on there. I have a whole section labelled ravelry in which I have lots of great patterns. Now that I have quite a few in there I should probably organise them a little better. I didn't think I would like an electronic pattern but I actually am growing to prefer them. You can book mark or highlight sections without damaging the pattern. They don't take up a lot of space and they don't become dog eared and worn. The patterns don't have to come from ravelry wither. As long as it's in pdf format you can save a pattern onto iBooks.

I haven't exactly kept quiet about how much I love Pinterest. I've had a pinterest account for a number of years and have quite a few followers on there. Probably because I spend so much time on there. For me though it's not about the number of followers that you have. It's finding inspiration for my own creativity.  And of course I like to share that which has resulted in my Pins I Love posts here. I have come across quite a few patterns that I this way. If you want to use it to get organised though, maybe don't quite use it the way I do. I have over 100 boards and I am pinning mad. I come across things that I like and plan to work on or articles that I want to read later and of course it takes me ages to find them because I am pin crazy. If you can control your pinning it can be a great tool. If you are like me though that might not be possible.

This List app is a new one to me. I uploaded it onto my iPhone last week and already I really like it. It's a social media app but this one involves sharing lists (funnily enough). The trick is to follow people so that you can see each others lists. There are a few famous people on there (just like twitter and instagram) but I haven't followed any of those. Instead I have followed some publishers and and other book type people. I started a few of my own including Finished Projects 2016. I plan to upload a photo and some notes for each project that I finish. It's a good way to keep focus and to look back later on. Thanks to my notes perhaps others will see it and try the pattern. I can also use the notes for the future and to supplement any reviews I might do here. As I said, it's new to me and I am still getting to know it.

My favourite app is called Evernote. I highly recommend it. Within it you create notebooks and within that you create notes. Your notes can be in different formats. It depends on what you need. As you can see above I use this app for work, books and crafts. I have this app on all of my apple devices so that I can access it anywhere. It's handy to have if you forget to put a notebook in your bag (which I often do). I have it by my side when reading through magazines. If I see anything that catches my eye I snap a photo and write a note with details of what magazine so that I can find it again. I have used it to take notes on socks that I have knitted. Although, I have been bad at keeping it up and I forgot that I had taken note of my Gran's birthday socks which I mentioned in a previous post having forgotten what pattern I used. I keep a note of what I do for the first sock so that I remember for the second because I'm not always the best at sticking to patterns. In the future I plan to use it to catalogue my fabric with details of where I got it from for future reference. While I don't have a lot of fabric I wish that I had done this sooner. You can also attach tags so that you don't have to trawl through pages to find what you are looking for. If you can't tell I am a huge fan of this app.

Not an app but a website that can be useful in getting you organised. I love ravelry but have tailed back on how much I use it. You can use it to join groups, download patterns, ask for advice and share what you are working on. You can upload images of projects as you work on them and keep track of your progress. You can save your favourite patterns to your library and download them later. You can even save the books that you own there for future reference. It allows you to publish your own patterns, to look at what others say about patterns and yarn and it allows you to keep a note of your needles and hooks. When I first joined I took part in a few groups. I even started one up for the knitting group (which didn't really take off). I also religiously uploaded my projects. Now I just use it to find patterns. There are a couple of apps linked to it. I just discovered that today and as I haven't used them as yet I'm not going to review them. I've yet to come across a single yarnoholic who doesn't love this website.

There are lots of other apps out there which work as an electronic knitting counter or lets you keep track of you knitting needles and crochet hooks which can be handy but I prefer the tools I have already listed. 

I hope this is useful to some of you and if you have any apps that you love yourself then I would love to hear about it.

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