Yesterday I downloaded SockWizard, a Knitting Software program for knitters by Carole Wulster. I got the download for immediate gratification, but there is a CD available too, if you can wait for shipment. It is available for both Mac and PC; my version is on a Mac. I am very excited about this.
I was always pretty good at women's sized socks, but if I needed to make men's sized socks it kind of made me shiver a little. Children's sizes scared me to death; I don't think I have ever knit a children's sized sock without using a pattern. I remember knitting baby socks that came with the pattern for a Dale of Norway baby sweater I was making, and I made one or two single baby socks as models in the store, but that's it. Now there are children in the family, and I can use this software to make whatever size they need, out of whatever yarn I have (including my handspun! ooo!).
Carole Wulster says "Since 1990, our goal has been to design and write software for the hand knitter that is easy to use. We wanted our software to be a tool, not an end in itself." That is what I needed, a tool. A tool that I can use to go off by myself, to knit various pattern stitches, a jumping off point to greatness. Well, maybe not to greatness, but to make a pair of socks that fit anyway.
So I fired up the SockWizard. This is what I saw:
It has a place to put in your needle size and your yarn choice. I like how it has both US/Imperial and Metric measurements. If you hit "Next" it goes to Gauge.
"Estimate row gauge" is clicked by default, but you can unclick it if you know the gauge your working to. Of course, you would have to knit a gauge swatch at some point, or you can just wing it and write the gauge of your finished sock with the yarn and needle choice, and file it somewhere electronic for further reference (I have a list of knitting notes that I keep on my computer for this.)
The next window is called "Construction":
I love this window. I can change the direction I want to work in from Toe to Cuff, or Cuff to Toe. If you knit from Cuff to Toe, there are 8 variations of heel and toe to choose from. The heel flap has 3 variations. And, there are THREE variations of finishing the toe! Whooohooo! I can knit from cuff to toe if I want to! If you knit from Toe to Cuff, there are 4 types of heel given, and 8 types of toe. I can hardly contain myself!
The last window is Sizes:
You can choose Infant/Toddler, Child, Woman, Man, and Holiday. (Can you believe it? Holiday socks. So very cool.) Included are three styles of socks: Standard, Knee socks, and Ankle socks. The shoe sizes change the numbers in the boxes, but you can put in your own numbers to fit the wearer.
Then, lastly, you just click "The Pattern" and it is generated for you in a second, and you can view it or print it or save it or make a .pdf or whatever. There is even a "Help Book" for help in knitting socks. It is magic. The cost is $34.95
Now I'm off to knit on my Crosswired Socks, but I will be dreaming of knitting socks for everyone with SockWizard!