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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kindle Knitting?

My Kindle 2 arrived this week! So far, I'm impressed with all the fun features this electronic reader has to offer. But how can this cool reader enhance my knitting? I set out today to find out.

First, I did a search for knitting books on Amazon. Not too many were available. 71 selections came up for the term "knitting," but many were novels about knitting or books on crochet or other crafts. One of the things you can do with your Kindle is download a sample of any book for free. That way, if you like the book you can purchase it, if not, you don't waste your money. I found a book called How to Knit in the Woods: 20 Projects for the Great Outdoors by Shannon Okey. I downloaded the sample and found a comprehensive table of contents, pictures of all the projects in the book, and the first 84 pages of the book. This definitely gave me enough knowledge to determine whether I wanted to purchase the book. Add one point for Kindle knitting book sampling; subtract one for the lack of books about knitting in the Kindle store.

What about keeping patterns on the Kindle? Imagine having all of your patterns on this little machine, ready to reference whenever you like! But how well does it work?

I sent a copy of a knitting pattern in a Word document format to Within a few minutes, the file was sent back to me in a Kindle readable format. I then plugged my Kindle into my computer and copied the file from my desktop to my Kindle. When I opened the document up on the Kindle, everything looked good and there were no problems with formatting. There is no cost for this method of transferring documents. Another option is to send the file to Amazon and have them convert it and send it directly to your Kindle for 10 cents.

A lot of my patterns are in pdf format, however, and conversion of these files is considered "experimental" by Amazon. I sent a simple pdf file of a knitting pattern to my account. It was converted and sent back to me in a few minutes and was formatted perfectly, including pictures. WooHoo! No problems so far!

Another try, this time with a more complex pdf file pattern that included a chart and a boxed insert of knitting terminology. It took a mere 4 minutes to return the file. I opened it, saw the pictures, the text, and.......... nope, no chart, no boxed insert. It doesn't really bother me, since I probably wouldn't want to read chart patterns on my Kindle anyway.

The Kindle certainly opens up possibilities for referencing pattern directions on the go. As I learn more about my new toy, I'm sure I'll find other ways to use it.


  1. too funny - I have been sitting on the fence about purchasing a Kindle and so I really appreciate your comments here. I hadn't thought about using it for knitting patterns but that's a great idea. And you can make notations right? I usually scribble all over my paper patterns.

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  3. Yup, you can highlight and make notes....just like on your printed patterns. I'm liking my Kindle more and more.

  4. Actually, this was one of the reasons why I was considering buying a Kindle was to keep patterns in a nice, contained organizer. Thanks for letting us know!

  5. I am getting a Kindle this Christmas, and I'm also a big knitter. Thanks for your post, it was really helpful.

  6. I just received an email from Amazon this week saying that some changes will automatically be sent to my Kindle within a couple of days. These include the following:

    Built-in PDF Reader: Your Kindle can now display PDF documents natively. Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go.

    Adjustable Screen Rotation: The Kindle screen can now manually rotate between portrait and landscape views.

    This should be even better for reading charted patterns in pdf format!

  7. This is the main reason why I would consider a Kindle...

  8. For anyone considering a Kindle for knitting... he latest (non-color) version has the PDF transfer process built in. You can transfer from the computer directly to the Kindle without the internet upload.

    It's the reason the Kindle has usurped my heart .