If you have an Android tablet our smartphone, you have a while bunch of apps available to you that will make your knitting life easier. Of those, row counter apps are probably amongst the most useful. Here’s an overview of three of the more popular choices.
If you’re a regular of this blog, you probably already know I use android devices as I’ve blogged about apps before. If interested, be sure to check my posts on Visual Knitting Counter and Knitting Pattern Database.
Row counters are really quite simple, but very useful things to have. They’re pretty much essential with many types of knitting. There’s many ways to keep track of your progress. The simplest, using the most commonplace items is perhaps to simply make marks on a piece of paper; I’ve often done it myself. Some knitters take a slightly more creative approach. You could, for example, tie knots in a length of scrap yarn. Another method I’ve recently come across is to have a bowl of the same number of sweets as you have rows to knit. I do like the idea of this, as you’re not likely to forget to ‘count’ your row at the end, but I’m not sure I could keep greedy toddler handies away from the sweets while I knit!
Of course, there’s also dedicated devices for the job; a simple search on Amazon turns up lots of different gadgets for knitting row counters. Again, though, there’s more creative solutions, such as these ingenious row counter bracelets made by Nadia from AbsoKnittingLutely.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, however, there’s a wide variety of apps available that do the job not just adequately, but very well. To me, it’s actually a perfect solution. After all, I pretty much always have my phone with me anyway. As I said, there’s quite a few knitting row counter apps out there, some free, some paid, with various options.
Here’s just three that I’ve personally used.
BeeCount Knitting Counter
This is a free app, which is obviously good. It is also quite customisable, has plenty of features, and is under active development.
BeeCount allows you to set up and save multiple projects. The buttons for adding and distracting counts are both available in the counter screen. Counters can easily be linked, which is very handy if you’re doing repeats of a chart or anything like that. You can have as many counters as you like, too.
You can set the app up to keep the screen awake while you’re knitting.
I personally don’t like the default font or graphics in the app, but I love those can actually be adjusted.
Knitting Row Counter
Another free app, claiming to be made by and for knitters. It is very similar to BeeCount, but has slightly less features, and is less customizable.
You can have as many projects as you want, but each project can only have two counters, although that’ll be probably enough in most cases. The counters can be easily linked, however. Both buttons for going up and down in a count are easily accessible from the main counting screen.
You have the option of keeping the screen awake while you’re knitting.
For most counting job Knitting Row Counter will probably do the trick just fine, and it’s hard to go wrong with a free app. It’s simple and straightforward, which is probably what many knitters want.
County & County Plus
This is a popular app that comes in both a free and a paid version.
The free version is just a big number in the middle of the screen. Tap to go up one. Very nice in theory, but in practice I found that I often need to go back down a number again which is not straightforward in this app. It’s made worse by there sometimes being a lag in the count, after which it will sometimes go up more than one number. Admittedly, that might well be my rather old phone!
Possibly also due to my phone, but an unforgivable problem was that I found once or twice I restarted the app the next day and it had reset the count to zero. Which rather defeats the point of a counter app. This did not happen with the paid version though.
The paid version offers a few more features, such as multiple counters for each project (which is really a must, I think), and the ability to sync with your projects in Ravelry. The counter also ties into the Ravulous app by the same author. Ravulous is essentially a browser for Ravelry, and it is quite a nifty feature that it can pick up on your WIPs without having to manually reenter them into the app. I also really like the fact that it has a sync feature, which means I can use the counter on either my phone or tablet. It’s a shame that the lack of a button to go down a row really breaks the usability of the app for me.
There’s quite a few other counting apps in the app store, most of which I haven’t tried myself. I’d love to hear what other people use and recommend (or not!)