Sunday, January 18, 2009

The KnitMeter

In the last few years, as the world has moved further and further into the online world, people have been designing "tools" for the online person. Usually called "widgets," they're tiny programs that run on a desktop or a Website, and do lots of different things: give the temperature, track the Wall Street's ups and downs, or let people know that it's OK to build a fire in the fireplace without getting a whopping-huge fine. Most of them are probably pretty useless--after all, if you want to know the weather, go outside--but occasionally they're rather nifty little tools.

This proliferation of widgets has finally reached the fiber world with the creation of the KnitMeter. A tiny widget designed by Brandon Checketts for his wife to keep track of how much she had knitted, it was released into the world a few weeks ago, and has taken the online fiber community by storm. It's really a pretty simple little tool: you enter your project(s), then enter how much (in feet, yards, or meters) how much you've worked on that project. The KnitMeter keeps a running total of the yarn used, and announces it in a little box that can be put on a Website or on a Ravelry profile page. If you look to the right, you can see my KnitMeter, which I've currently set to announce miles. I've left it the original colors, but if you know HTML color coding, you can manipulate the color of the text and the box. Altogether a very cool widget, and Mr. Checketts is to be commended for creating a tool that caters to those of us who obsess over how much yarn we're burning through.