A question for all of you…

by Shannon on January 21, 2012

Apple’s digital textbook announcement this week had a lot of people talking about the kinds of super-cool content that tablet computers and e-reader devices can deliver. I firmly believe that knitters are way ahead of the general population when it comes to adopting digital information delivery methods.

Proof? Look how many pattern downloads Ravelry sells. Or how many views Cat Bordhi’s moebius cast-on video has on Youtube…

So let’s take it as a given that knitters have a general edge on these things, shall we?

What I’d like to know is how you are using tablet computers like the iPad, or the Kindle, or an Android device for your knitting, and what you would like to see in the next year. What functions would be useful for you? Would you like to have embedded videos in your patterns so you can access specific techniques WITHOUT having to search YouTube? What’s your wishlist? Go crazy.

As I start the process of redesigning and expanded my Knitgrrl pattern line, I’m contemplated re-releasing patterns (and creating new ones) that would take advantage of technology, but there’s no point in putting the work in if I don’t know what would be useful or interesting to you. Comment, please — I’d love to hear from you!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

helena January 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

As long as my digital files are NOT “protected” in any way, I don’t care what format they are in, because I can translate them to whatever format I need (in fact, I hate “protected” files so much that if I learn that a designer uses them, I will boycott that designer). PDF works on just about every platform, so that’s favored by a lot of people. As far as technology goes, personally, I have a kindle (mine’s a few years old now), a macbook pro (also a few years old), and an android phone, all three of which I use to access my knitting books and patterns. Embedded videos in patterns are not so critical, but live hyperlinks to the video are helpful for things like that danged mobius.

Rebecca January 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I use iPhone and iPad as well as my PC. Personally, I like files that are DRM protected, even though it can sometimes be tricky to use said files on one’s own various devices. But hey, as long as I can view any files that I own or have been given, I don’t mind if they’re less protected.

Kim January 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

I personally like PDF files. I can easily print them or work off my laptop, Android phone, or Nook. On the phone and nook I view pdfs with ezPDF reader. It keeps my device from sleeping and allows me to make notes on the document. I think techniques videos would be great, either embedded or linked out.

savannagal January 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

I prefer books and hard copy to electronic. But I do see the value of electronic versions. The problem with electronic is that you will always have to upgrade or transfer as media changes. I have a ton of stuff on floppies and zip drives that I can no longer access. Thankfully I had the forethought to keep paper copies of most of it. I do love Youtube and online videos. That’s how I learned to knit for the most part.

Barb January 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I travel a lot (A LOT) for business and live between my place and my significant other’s when I’m home so some manner of electronic format of my patterns with me at all times. And I admit I also usually have a paper copy tucked in somewhere.

I use an iPhone (iBooks will read PDF’s beautifully) and an older Kindle most of the time – or the PDF on my laptop (Windows compatible).

lindaran on Ravelry January 23, 2012 at 12:00 am

I just got an android tablet, in part, so my patterns would be more portable. There is still a place for printing patterns – or at least some of the charts – but I like the idea of not having to print everything out. Since I don’t have a data plan for my tablet, the idea of embedded videos is BRILLIANT! I never would have thought of that.

Anna January 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I got my Nook Color specifically for pattern downloads. I love having easy access to Ravelry and my own library available everywhere. I love the note taking app and use the EZ-PDF reader app often. I love being able to annotate and highlight the patterns I have downloaded. I love having my own original designs handy to show LYSs who might be interested in carrying my designs, and I love having photo samples of my knitting available for potential clients. It has served me well this past year and I recommend it to everyone I come across. It has been a lifesaver on road trips when a paper pattern would have been easily lost or torn, and it makes reading charts a snap wherever I am. I also don’t have a home printer, so making copies of patterns is a little difficult.

What I would like to see for knitting and e-Reader interaction? Videos would be handy, but my reader doesn’t do that. That would be pretty sweet. URL links would be very handy. If those could be embedded in the patterns. The usual stuff like the designer’s webpage/blog and the publisher’s info. Also, links to technique forums perhaps; or the designer’s pick or related and helpful or inspirational sites. Links to items that were the inspiration or helpful friends.

What would be totally awesome is to see a program like Knit Visualizer in a more simple version for e-Readers. You never know when inspiration will strike and having a platform to graph something would be amazing.

Hope this helps!

Donna Druchunas February 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I’ve had such great success with my video courses, that I’m considering that there is probably a great value in including short video tutorials in ebooks. It seems like a LOT of people find it easier to learn the three-dimensional moving techniques of knitting from actually seeing the technique performed, rather than just explained in text and illustrated with static images.

So far it seems to me that knitters are most interested in PDF, but with the new ePub 3 format coming out, we may see some changes in that trend. I’m not sure, but I am definitely watching the industry to see where it’s going! Exciting and scary at once to me, as an author.

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