New knitting toy in beta . . . well, maybe sub-alpha

I’ve been trying to distract myself lately and I found a fun project to do so.
I was thinking about the ways that people keep track of what row they’re on in a complex pattern – sticky notes, pencil marks, katcha-katchas, abaci, etc., when I imagined how cool it would be to have a web page where you could keep the row that you’re on highlighted.

So I wrote one. It helped me brush off my very dusty and exceedingly minute Javascript skills, which was fun. I’m going to try and build this into something usable.

Be warned, the formatting of this page sucks. It sucks like a household vacuum cleaner plugged into an industrial power socket. I’ll work on that, I promise.

So, without further ado, here’s the toy.

17 Responses to “New knitting toy in beta . . . well, maybe sub-alpha”

  1. Eleanor (undeadgoat) Says:

    Oh my god, that would mean I would have to knit in front of my computer. I mean, I already do that sometimes, but only because I watch DVDs on it . . . That would be *terrible*.

    I’m sure it’s a fun toy, though the link’s not working for me . . .

  2. bezzie Says:

    It worked for me. That’s pretty darn cool.

  3. janna Says:

    Cool! Can you make it work with a chart?

  4. enid Says:

    I likes I likes. but you already knew that. 😉

    I want to play with your code. May I? (get your mind out of the gutter folks) :)

  5. Kath Says:

    Because I don’t spend enough time on the computer already, right? Was this your idea of using your powers for good instead of evil? If so, we need to talk!

  6. amanda Says:

    ok i need a version that works with MSWord and another to go with Excel. It seems i do all my knitting in front of my PiP (Pattterns in Progress) and that would be a *huge* help. So you’ll have that done tomorrow? :)

  7. Jonathan Says:

    A friend of mine came up with an idea for a program that would run on a handheld device. It would take in a knitting pattern (in KnitML) and simply printed out the current row. You click a button to increase or decrease the row in the pattern, and then the next one would display.

    Of course there would be a way to toggle to the whole pattern (because we don’t always think in one-line chunks).

  8. Lola LB Says:

    How about turning it into an application that can be used on iPhone/iTouch?

  9. Jill Smith Says:

    I can haz iPhone widget?

    Seriously – it would be perfect for iPhone or other mobile devices.

  10. Jess, of the Bugs Says:

    Okay, that is wicked cool. I concur about the utility of this program with a handheld device of some sort (If I weren’t such a cheapskate and a Luddite…) It would be wicked cool if you could change the highlighting color, and were you going to make it do charts? ‘Cause charts would be awesome. *GASP* YOU COULD MAKE IT WORK WITH VISIKNIT!!! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

  11. Administrator Says:

    Thanks for all the feedback, folks!

    Amanda – I could probably rewrite it in Microsoft’s OfficeBasic so that it would work in Word and Excel – only problem is, I don’t have any computers running Office right now. Can your husband maybe hook me up with one? :-)

    Jill, Lola – You should be able to use it already with a mobile device as long as it has a web browser. I’d love to recode it as a native iPhone/iPod Touch app, but the SDK costs money and I don’t know how to get an app into the Apple store at the moment.

    Jess, Janna – I hadn’t thought of making it work with a chart yet. That’s a very good idea . . . I’ll put it on the list of future features.

    There is an awful lot of people here whose names start with J.

  12. Miss Scarlett Says:

    That’s really cool!
    But that means I have to knit at the computer – ack. I feel like I’m always on a computer already.

    I’m going to remember this tool though – I’m sure I’ll be going through another techie phase soon enough.

  13. Hilary from Canada Says:

    I like the idea, and you made it work well…but wouldn’t we have to type in the pattern ourselves in a document file or somesuch, then use your javascript program to keep track of the rows? Otherwise we’d load up a pattern that isn’t for public consumption on the web … contravene a few copyright laws no doubt … and then use the application on the pattern.

    Or am I not understanding how the javascript app will work?

  14. Administrator Says:


    The idea is that you’ll go to a page that contains a big text area where you can put in the pattern. Then you’ll add those little markup lines to indicate where the repeats are, and then you submit the form. It will then generate a page that has the automated pattern in it, which you can use right away or save as a web page to your local computer.

    Eventually, if I get all that working, I’ll try to make it an online application where you sign in and it will keep track of your position on whatever patterns you’re working on.

    It’s definitely not intended to become a pattern-sharing application.

  15. Jonathan Says:

    Hilary from Canada said: I like the idea, and you made it work well…but wouldn’t we have to type in the pattern ourselves in a document file or somesuch, then use your javascript program to keep track of the rows?

    This is where KnitML would really shine. If the pattern is available in KnitML format (from the designer), no work would be required at all. Just load the file into your program and go.

  16. Administrator Says:


    Absolutely. Having patterns in a structured form will make all sorts of software much, much easier to write.
    For example, if you’ve got a pattern for say, oh, kilt hose, and you want to use a different lace or cable pattern on the cuff, you could have a program that presents you with a bunch of different options of lace or cable that have the same width and same number of repeats as what was present in the original pattern.

  17. Wendy Says:

    That is totally awesome. I think it would work with crochet patterns, too.

    I’m tempted to write a couple of patterns just for it.