Knit-ware design

I’m reading[1] this book right now on how to make knitting into a career, or at least a money-making venture. The section I’ve been plodding my way through for the past few days is on knitting-related things you can do to supplement your  income and indirectly promote your knitting/designing. Her general advice is very sensible: think about the unique skill set you have that you can apply to knitting. This has got me thinking. I’m not sure I want knitting to be my primary source of revenue, but it would be kind of nice to make enough money from knitting-related activities that I could have only  a part time day job.

Before I had kids I was a programmer. OK, I was actually an academic, but I spent most of my actual work time programming in the last few years. And I’d like to be a programmer again (and not an academic) in 6 months or so, when my smallest boy is a little bigger. So my particular talents that aren’t shared by most knitters are computer-related: I could write software for knitters.

I’ve thought about knitting software before, when I’ve been frustrated by a particular task that I think I should be able to get done easily, but I’ve never thought about trying to make money from it. I don’t know if this is at all realistic, but I think it’s an idea worth considering.

I don’t have much of a following yet on this blog, but I’m optimistic, so I’m going to put this out there in the hope of eventually getting some comments. What would you want in your dream knitting software? How much would you pay for it, or would it have to be free? Would it have to be an app for your phone or tablet, or would you want it to run on a computer?

My wish list is design-related: I want a chart maker that’s actually intuitive, a sweater designer that calculates the numbers of stitches or rows needed for different styles, and something that easily organises sketches, photos, notes, and calculations into projects.


  1. “Reading” these days is something I attempt to do in the five minutes or so before I fall unconscious at night. Often it involves reading the same paragraph every night for a week.
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5 thoughts on “Knit-ware design

  1. I’d be willing to pay for something but it would have to be affordable, not obscenely expensive. It’s hard to say how much exactly as I’m not sure what the going rate is. I would want it to run on a computer, designing knitwear on my phone sounds really difficult!

    Good luck with the project!

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    • Thanks for your feedback. I’d want to charge something in the high app range, I think, $5 to $10 or so. I’m not planning to have hundreds of employees to pay, or to have shareholders who expect healthy returns, or whatever else it is that makes software expensive.

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  2. I’ve been on the lookout for an app (iPhone/iPad) that would convert fm pics to pattern – or even just an outline. Not a row-by-row chart but similar to sewing patterns with dimensions. Also, a “lace converter” – from a pic. Not sure if this makes sense. I’m not looking for project mgmt software but something that aids the creative side. Graphic designers may have those tools but I don’t have the right skill set. I’d be def willing to pay for the right app!! Thanks.

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    • From pictures of knitting to patterns, or pictures of charts? Charts might be possible, but I think creating a lace pattern from a picture of knitting is probably many, many years away. I was listening to podcast the other day that was talking about robots that fold laundry, and how hard it was to even recognise the corners of a towel in a laundry basket… Lace stitches are a similar problem.

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