Friday, January 24, 2014

A Brief History of Knitware

I have had several comments about the Knitware program & thought that I would give a brief history of the program as I know it. This may help some of the newer machine knitters that are interested in it.
Knitware was written by Janet T at least 20 years ago, maybe a little more. It was called Sweater Design at that time, & sold with a set of knitting & sewing software. It generated patterns for sweaters only.  Over the years she regularly updated & enhanced the program adding pattern generators for dolls, pets & teddy bear clothes plus skirts, pants, ponchos, blankets, hats & a variety of other things like dishcloths & dishtowels eventually calling it Knitware & marketing it herself. She had the business for 15 years & had a good following of customers. Janet stated on the Knitware Users group in 2006 that her husband was retiring soon & that she wanted to have more time with him when he did.  She decided that she would sell the business for that reason. (Unfortunately her & her husband divorced shortly are he retired.) She wanted to sell the business to someone that would continue to update & enhance the programs that now came in 3 CD's that she called Sweaters, Skirts & Critter Clothes. She preferred that the business go to one of the Knitware users hoping that these goals would be realized. In late 2006 or early 2007 she sold the company to Ada Lai. The first thing that Ada did was raise the price. Secondly, she decided that she did not want the Knitware Users list 'cluttered up' with posts so that members were discouraged from posting on the list, thereby alienating the members  & effectively destroying her customer base.  Ada promised us an update coming in a few months. The time that the update would become available was constantly moved out later & later. Unfortunately that update never materialized. I think everyone has pretty much understood now that Ada is not the skilled programmer that Janet was., and may have overstated her qualifications.
At one time I had the link to Knitware on my blog but have since taken it down. I would not download Knitware or any of the 'fixes' that Ada posts on her website, Great Knit Designs' as I have heard from other knitters that the downloads caused problem on their computers & the program would not function correctly.
Sometimes you find an old disc for sale on Ebay, but other than that I would be leery of anything that Ada comes out with whether it is a 'fix' or an update. Frankly I would not buy an update from her at this time even if she did manage to come out with one because I doubt her ability to write a useable program. If you go to the yahoo group 'Machine Knitters' You might find some usable information on how to make the program function. There is no one left on the Knitware Users list as they have all moved on. & Ada has 'banned me' from the list for complaining about the 'no posting' rule. among other things. (At one time, she asked me to write lessons for the program but I declined because I just don't have the time.) The version I am running on my PC is the last update that Janet came out with on 2006. I heard that Ada is now selling the program for $30 each & is the version I am running.  A sad end to an Awesome Program.

While surfing the web I ran across this site. It provides information about Janet & the origins of Knitware. Check it out!! I'm not sure when Ada posted this but am going to read through it just to satisfy my curiosity. I know at one point Ada said that she was going to overtake Design-a-Knit & also Sweater Wizard, both well established programs for the crafter. Ada sounds very optimistic about acquiring Janet's business. She seems to have made this her life's work. Not to be mean, but I think she just bit off more than she could chew.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

More Knitting with Knitware

When using the Knitware program there are some things that you have to take into consideration. I was finding that my neckbands were coming out tighter than I wanted when I used the 'moderate' fit. As a result of that I decided a long time ago that I would always use the 'comfortable' fit & a wider neckband. I generally add on 6-8 stitches on the neckband & that has worked out well for me. No more problems pulling the sweaters over the heads. Also, sometimes my sleeves were too tight. Using the 'comfortable' setting took care of the issue too.
Another feature of the Knitware program is the ability to knit a swatch & weight it, then enter the weight into the program with the row number & stitch number(72 rows x 50 stitches) or whatever & calculate how much yarn you need for that sweater. That helps me to be able to make the biggest sweater possible with the amount of yarn that I have without guessing.  
This is another shelter sweater, in a size 4. I bought this yarn years ago & don't remember what the planned project was. It is really a cute yarn & has made a very cute pullover for a little girl.
This isn't a very good picture.  I used the KW program to calculate how much yarn I needed for this pullover. The program told me that I almost had enough for it, but was going to come up a little short. I thought that I could make it if I unraveled my swatch.  I did that & it worked for the green, but I ran out of the red just about 4" from the top on the last sleeve. I used a Red Heart Kids yarn as a substitute. It wasn't that great of a match but it was the best I could find. The pullover is a size 2. The difference does show up but I still think that some little kid will love this sweater.
Best Wishes to all for a New Year.
PS:I am dieting & have lost 34 LBS!!