In October 2021 I wrote a review of a Knit&Note, a Norway-based mobile app to help organize your knitting projects. A lot has happened in the past 16 months to warrant another look into the app which now boasts of having over 150 000 projects from 50 000 users in over 80 countries worldwide.
Disclaimer: I'm in no way affiliated with Knit&Note. They didn't ask me to review the app; I'm doing it of my own interest and volition. Any opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.
When the app was launched in the fall of 2021, Knit&Note was offered in three price tiers — free, Premium, and Premium+ (later renamed Premium photo). The higher the plan you paid for, the more features you could unlock.
This has now been completely upended. To streamline the subscription model, as of February 2023 Knit&Note is ad-supported with all features accessible free for all users. The drawback of this is that you're displayed advertising within the app. If you want to get rid of the ads, you can pay 2.99 USD per month for the Premium tier or 3.99 USD for the Contributor tier. As of now, it isn't clear what extra benefits you get on the Contributor tier in exchange for that additional dollar.
Knit&Note exists as a web app you can access with any browser (on app.knitnote.com) or as a mobile app you can install on your Android or Apple device. Originally the app was available only from the company's own servers. In October 2021 I speculated that, in addition to speeding up development time, this was because
It also allows them to circumvent the 15–30% commission fees app stores take on all transactions.
And sure enough, now that the app relies on ad revenue rather than subscription fees, the app has appeared in the two major app stores: Play Store for Android (with no ratings) and App Store for iOS (currently rated 2.6 out of 5 stars).
In my original review, my biggest gripes about the app were the lack of interlinking between features, non-existent pattern database, and no social features. Let's see how these have changed and what new features have been added.
If you want to know more about the changes that have been going on under the hood, I'd love to refer you to the app release log. Curiously, the log stops on June 2022. Either the app development ceased (doubtful) or someone just stopped updating the web page (more likely).
Home Screen & Badges
The home icon (which was a big brown circle occupying the central position in the toolbar) has now shifted to the far left. Instead of going straight to your project notebook, the app now opens with a home screen that presents an overview of your knitting statistics. From the home screen you can also jump straight to your currently active projects or yarn and needle stock.
Scroll down further and you're presented with video tutorials and latest blog posts from the Knit&Note blog — both new additions. The icons have been updated to include more detail and in some cases, even some color, but the overall look-and-feel is still very much as if seeing the world through latte-colored glasses.
Badges, located under the More menu, is another new feature. Badges (also called medals in other parts of the app) are Knit&Note's way to gamify the use of the app: you can earn bronze, silver, or gold-level badges by performing certain tasks, such as adding patterns to your library, inviting other users, taking photos of your projects, or just checking in daily.
The project notebook has expanded and now includes planned, active, and completed projects. Planned projects are like the queue function on Ravelry. On Knit&Note it previously existed as a separate section called Journal but has now been integrated within Projects. Active holds your current WIPs while completed shows projects that you've finished. Moving a project from one section to another is as simple as tapping a button.
New additions to the project page are the ability to add multiple counters that can be advanced independently of each other; there's no counter syncing like on knitCompanion. Another very welcome addition is the ability to create a connection with project and stash by adding yarns from your yarn stock. But this link is still one-way: the amount of yarn you link to a project gets reduced from the total in your stock but there isn't a way to see where it went.
What hasn't changed is that projects still have to be added manually; there is no import function.
Yarn & Needle Stock
The yarn stock, similar to the stash function on Ravelry, has had some minor changes. No longer is everything displayed in metric: you can choose yarn put-ups either by grams or ounces and length by meters or yards. In addition, there's now a general setting in your profile to pick a measurement system (metric or imperial, see screenshot below).
Gone is the oddly-named "density" field; it's now replaced by blend in which you can (presumably) type in the fiber composition of the yarn. There is no field to enter yarn weight category nor does the app calculate it automatically either based on yardage per skein or the gauge you entered. What if I wanted to start, say, a new sock project and display all the fingering-weight yarns in my stash? Impossible.
On the yarn stock overview page everything is displayed by weight. You can't choose, for instance, meterage, yardage, nor number of skeins. The weight unit follows the measurement system setting in your profile and all yarns are displayed in the same unit even if individual colors were entered in another. However, if you do enter a skein in the other system, Knit&Note can't keep up: it just adds up the numbers (200 + 50 + 4) without converting units first (grams vs. ounces).
And as said before, yarn-to-project interlinking only goes one way. I had 100 g of this totally made-up yellow wool – where did the other 50 grams go? (Hint: scroll up.)
Needles can now be entered either in metric or US sizes (but not UK nor Japanese). Again, the unit they're displayed in follows the setting in your profile. If you switch systems, you can choose to convert needle sizes but this is rife with rounding errors. An 80 cm circular needle became 31 inches long when switching from metric to imperial. Switch back to metric again and the same needle is now 79 cm long. Yikes. Has anyone tested this thing?
Like projects and yarns, all patterns must also be entered manually. What's now new, though, is that in addition to uploading a PDF from your device, you can also add a pattern as images (screenshots) or import it from Google Drive. Importing from other cloud storage services, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, is not possible. And one could only dream of importing the contents of one's Ravelry library.
A welcome change to the pattern entry feature is the addition of the designer name which, IMO, should've been there from the get-go. Other smaller tweaks are a pattern highlighter for PDFs to keep track of your progress and the ability to access your project row counters while reading the pattern.
With the paid tiers abolished, adding pattern categories is now possible for all users without restrictions. There's even a host of cutesy icons to choose from, including scrunchies, balaclavas, or mustachioed men. But as before, there is still no central pattern database, that is, it's not possible to browse what patterns other users have entered into their notebooks.
Everything is private and visible only to you except for projects, if you choose to share them. Which leads us to the biggest change that's happened in Knit&Note in the past (almost) year and a half.
That's right: Knit&Note is now also a social networking app for knitters. The most notable change to the app is the addition of the Community tab and all the features inside it.
If you're not yet following any users, tapping the Community icon brings you a list of suggested accounts. Choose any user and you're taken to a very Instagram-like view of their profile. (In case you're wondering, Anne Emilie Fosse is the Knit&Note founder.) Here you can see the projects they've completed, medals (badges) they've won, a short bio, and a few interests they've added to describe themselves.
These interests are used to customize content and will, presumably, affect which accounts are suggested for you to follow. I didn't find them to make much difference, to be honest. For instance, I've chosen the tags "Women's knits" and "Bright colors" for my profile, yet was suggested to follow people with "Baby knits" and "Pastel colors" on theirs.
If you are following other users, tapping the Community icon opens your feed where you can see shared project photos from all your friends. Just like on Instagram, you can like, comment, or save their posts in the feed. You can also tap on the Details button to see more information about the project, such as size, gauge, needle size, or yarn.
But that's as far as you can go: because these are not links to central pattern or yarn databases, you can't see, for instance, who's used the same yarn and in which projects, or who else has knit the same pattern you're interested in. Hashtags can, sort of, fill the same purpose but you have to remember to enter them into your project comments and hope that everyone else has tagged their project with the exact same spelling.
Photos in the feed or in people's profiles are from projects they've chosen to share with other users. They don't have to be completed (although many are) but in order to share a project with other users they need to contain — in the least — one photo, the size you're making, needle size, and gauge.
It isn't possible to share photos that are not connected to projects nor does the app support video posts. If you're not keen on showing the entire world what you're making, you can also choose to set your profile private. However, this hides only your project photos, not your account name from the list of all users.
Knit&Note has seen a few tweaks here and minor changes there since its launch in Fall 2021 but the biggest addition to the app is the whole community aspect. This has turned it from a mere project notebook app to a social media app for knitters, similar to the Making App.
A mega-trend in the way people interact with other users online in the year 2023 and beyond is something called decentralized social media, a shift away from corporation-owned social media platforms interested in extracting money from their users (like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) to smaller, independently-run alternatives that give the power back to users. Both Knit&Note and Making App are right on the cusp of this development.
If you want a little bit of project management with a side of Instagram lite for just knitting pics, Knit&Note might be for you. But is it a Ravelry replacement? Not quite. The lack of pattern and yarn databases means that Ravelry, despite its profound accessibility issues, will still be the site with the most powerful search capabilities and the most comprehensive marketplace for knitting and crochet patterns.
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