If you’re looking for an android app that allows you to import charts or knitting instructions and highlight the row you’re on, Knitting & Crochet Buddy is probably your best option.
Be sure to also check out my other posts on Android Knitting Apps!
The app promises to be an all-in-one tracker for knitting and crochet projects.
The main feature of the pattern screen is the counter. It is simple to work, with up and down buttons and various options to have a number of different counters on the go at the same time, although only in portrait mode you can have only the one. The different counters can be customised individually and linked. Handy for pattern repeats!
You can set all the various options for your projects, including start and end date, needle size and so on and so forth. There’s also a timer option in the bottom of the screen should you want to measure how long those endless lace shawl rows are actually taking.
If you have the pro licence, you can have different themes for your counter buttons.
Charts & written instructions
What knitters really want in a pattern app, is a facility to easily highlight the pattern or chart row you’re currently on. A number of apps have attempted to provide this. Visual Knitting Counter functions pretty well at highlighting written instructions, but it doesn’t allow for charts and has some other limitations. Knitting Patterns Database Pro does allow you to import charts, and is brilliant when it works, but the chart conversion systems doesn’t really work all that well.
Apparently, there are technical reasons why this is difficult to do on Android.
Knitting & Crochet Buddy takes a different approach. It has you convert your patterns (usually in pdf form) by taking a screenshot and importing that screenshot into the app.
It is a bit of a hassle doing all this, although once you’ve figured out how to do it, it isn’t difficult. In addition, if your pattern is a number of pages long, you’ll have to take and import several screenshots.
For all the hassle, this app does provide the best chart support so far. I was worried that the conversion process might mean the quality of the image is not very good, but as you can see in the screenshots below, it’s actually excellent. I’m quite impressed.
To get the best out of this feature, you will have to upgrade to the pro version, as highlighting isn’t available in the free app.
I haven’t found a way to resize the various screen options. For a chart, you might prefer to actual counter to take slightly less space and focus on the diagram instead, but that doesn’t appear to be possible.
The pattern counter and screenshot part of the app is obviously the most important feature, but there’s a bunch of handy other things included, such as various size charts, needle databases and conversion charts for needles and yarn. There’s even an option for a flashlight, although my 2012 Nexus tablet doesn’t have the hardware to support this feature.
There’s also a button for syncing, which got me very excited. I, and I am sure many other knitters, use multiple devices, and what I really want is the possibility to sync progress from my phone to my tablet and vice versa. Sadly, the sync option is really just a data export, and not useful for everyday use.
I don’t crochet (much) so I cannot speak from personal experience, but from reading other reviews of this app it really is geared towards knitting, with crochet only really a secondary consideration.
Paid vs Free
As many apps do, Knitting & Crochet Buddy comes as both a free and a paid app. No complaints from me there, really, after all, a developer putting in tons of work in an app deserves to be compensated. The fee is also very reasonable, with a year’s subscription costing €2.49 (not sure what the USD charge is) and a lifetime license coming in at $0.99/€1.49.
You probably do want to pay for the app if you think you’re going to be using it. The free version has enough functionality to give you a general idea of whether it works for you or not, but it’s missing some pretty essential features (pattern/chart highlighting) and has some really annoying full page ads popping up every now and then.
I did find it quite annoying though that the USD subscription fee was 99 cents, then was charged 1.49 in Euro. That is a ridiculous conversion rate. Going by today’s conversion rates, that’s double the price of the USD version. Please people, stop ripping off EU customers.
The app is under active development and the developer is active and responsive. There’s a ravelry group that is probably the best place to look for support if you need it.
For me, because the chart highlighting feature actually works, this might finally be the app that will allow me to stop printing charts. The counter works quite nicely too, though I rarely actually use counters myself. I’d much prefer if there was the option to get rid of the counters in the screen and save the space for the chart instead.
The process of getting charts (or written instructions) for a pattern into the app is a bit awkward as well, but given that app developers seem to struggle with that one on Android, Knitting & Crochet Buddy is to be commended for having found a solution that actually functions very well once the importing process is done.
The pro version is very reasonably priced (especially if you can pay in USD), and the app is still under development and getting improved all the time, so I think this one is definatively worth considering if you’re looking for a knitting android app.
Please do check out my other reviews of Android Knitting Apps as well!