Icon@2xPatternCraft is an iPhone and iPad app that lets you tap out a pattern quickly and then experiment with the colours. Very simple concept but it seems that no app existed that could do this: if you wanted to change the colours in other apps then you’d need to draw that part of the pattern again!

Primary users for this app are crafty people who use patterns for their work. It’s been updated several times to add features that users have requested such as saving and loading of patterns, rendering patterns with faux stitches, increased pattern grid size, zooming and improvements to the smoothness of the interface. The most recent update optimised it for iOS 7 and added a new staggered grid option suitable for bead work. PatternCraft has ranked in the Lifestyle category as a top 5 app in Norway and Denmark, and in the top 50 in several other countries including Iceland. For support and to suggest improvements, please get in touch.

Features

  • Quickly change the colours in a pattern to experiment with new looks!
  • Save as many patterns as your iPad can fit.
  • Choose colours directly from your photos!

Praise for PatternCraft

Great app for crafty people ;-) ★★★★★

This app just keeps getting better and better. Started out good; now is really great! So easy to use. Plan out your pattern for your knitting project, save to your photos, share with your friends. Having a pattern of your own design next to you makes it so easy to stay on track. Something visible to refer to – not just a counting pattern. Thank you so much for this!

Really useful app ★★★★★

I really like this app. It is helping me to try out new pattern ideas/colour combinations. I like that you can save patterns and toggle between bead and crochet/knitting pattern layouts.

As stated ★★★★★

This app works exactly as described. Nice features are Continuous Draw Mode and Bead Mode.

I like it ★★★★

This is a simple app that does exactly what it says it does: allows you to make color charts, save the charts, and reload them. You can also upload an image if you want to start your chart from a photo. In-app printing would be nice, but you can save the chart to your photo app and print from there.

Like it! ★★★★

This is a really easy, useful app for a beginner pattern-maker like me. I don’t care much for the black background and the squares are a little small, but I love being able to pull colors from my pictures! It helps me visualize what the pattern will look like when it’s knit. Great app!

I do think there will be a lot of interest in your app.  Knitting is an increasingly popular hobby and I’m an addict.  Fair Isle is my idea of heaven on needles.

Thank you so much for inventing this app.  I’ll advertise it to my knitting friends.

—Celia H., by email

Just thought I’d send some feedback, as I think the app is great and could be even greater! I think this app is really good for its colour choice and ease of selecting the stitches, and I also love that you can save and name patterns.

—Harriet B., by email

Just bought your app. Excited to use it! … This app seems to be the beginning of the pattern writing app I keep watching for! Good luck with it!

—Heidi W., by email

I’ve bought your app today and must say it’s great! … Thanks a lot for the great app
Hope you can make it even better.

—Vlada O., by email

The app is great but it would be nice if you could add the option to view and work from landscape. Other than that the app is great!

—Jessica J., by email

Just what I was looking for for weaving bracelets… Thank you for a great app!

—Linda C., by email

Hi. Thank you for this program! I just used this program for the first time. I designed a blanket to crochet. Thanks again for all your work!

—Patty D., by email

Many thanks for this App. Clear and easy to use.

—Alwena S., France, by email

Great app………love it…….really helps me do patterns for crocheting

—Kerry O., by email

This is just what I need, thank you!

—Lynne G., by email

I love this app. It would be nice to be able to drag colors & to be able to cut & paste patterns to certain areas of pattern created.

—Wanda P., by email

I just bought your cool app. Could you please tell me how to scroll up or down and left to right to make the pattern bigger?

—Lisa C., by email

…thank you for designing this app! I really am loving it.

—Jen L., by email

Love this app!

—Heather M., by email

Excellent! I’ve been waiting for an app like this. Simple to use.

—Anne M., by email

The app is so great — thank you!!!!

—Jennifer C., by email

I just purchased your app and like many of its features, including the large clear graphs. Could you add the ability to import PDF patterns with the objective of auditioning colours?

—Linda A., by email

It would be nice to be able to erase rows. I do LOVE this app!

—Janice F., by email

This app is really useful. I am knitting a fair isle jumper for someone else and the pattern does not give colour details and the picture of the jumper is to I distinct to work out. So this is saving me having to knit a pattern strip and waste a lot of yarn… Brilliant app and thanks

—Judith J., by email

I have been so impressed with your app and with your help that I must say, you deserve more credit for what you have developed.  Your original app is excellent, and is by far the best one available for creating needlepoint and cross stitch patterns..  I know you created the app for knitting patterns, but I am not a knitter and I still love it…  I have looked at all possible apps to use for creating needlepoint patterns, and yours is far and away the best… please keep up the excellent work!

—Jocelyn V., by email

Patterncraft ★★★★★

by Lilla1611 – Version 1.2 – Jun 3, 2013

I have always struggled to visualise colours in patterns when I wanted to change colour combinations in the various garments I have knitted. I would painstakingly redraw the patterns on a piece of paper, still not like them and start all over again. This app has completely changed all of that. I can put in the pattern, quickly and easily and experiment with all kinds of colour combinations, either from the colour wheel or from a photo of the yarn colours I am knitting from. It is incredibly easy and quick to tap in the pattern on the grid and equally so with changing the colours. In the past, I would fantasise about having such a tool, now that it is here, I think it is magic! Full disclosure: the app developer is my son and he made this app for me!

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Screenshots

A Surprise on Launch Day

PatternCraft went live on the iPad app store late at night on a Thursday night in January 2013. The next day I travelled to London to a client’s office; I checked my mail when I arrived and was very surprised to have an email from a user already, requesting a feature! This was a very gratifying experience, so many apps go into the store and sink like a stone and here I had feedback the very next morning. This user asked how she could save and load patterns—my mum said that she only worked on one pattern at a time so in the spirit of shipping an MVP as soon as possible I had shipped the app without this feature. It turns out that others would appreciate being able to do so however so I implemented and shipped v1.1 a couple of weeks later.

Why did I make this app?

While visiting family for Christmas my mum asked me if there were any apps that would let her change the colours in a knitting pattern so she could see what it would look like with a different colour scheme. Without an app her options were to use her imagination or start colouring in graph paper.

I checked the app store and found several apps for creating patterns but each app required that if you wanted to change the colour of a section you would need to select that new colour and go over all the squares again which would be time consuming and certainly not fun. I built a prototype, had her try it out then based on her feedback went through a few iterations until she could use it to quickly sketch a pattern and play with the colours. The most interesting part of this was how to make the concept clear, i.e. that you weren’t drawing a colour into the box, you were drawing in an index to a colour, and that colour could change at any time.

Overall, producing the app was good as a way to advance my knowledge of iOS development, produce something useful that didn’t already exist and help me get more into the habit of shipping things I create for friends and family; it’s also a good example of building something for an underserved market.

Is there an app that you’d like to have but it doesn’t exist? Feel free to get in touch and let me know what it is!

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