DesignaKnit8 (for Windows!)

The DesignaKnit 8 Splash Screen

I adore knitting. I love to use beautiful, natural yarns in wonderful colour combinations to create unique garments that are shapely, feminine and elegant. I’m not interested in creating the lumpy, square monstrosities of yesteryear that gave knitting such a bad name.

I’ve always dreamed of a software program for the Mac that would assist me with the design process. Working on graph paper is time consuming and can be complex. In my quest to find such a software I’ve tried many. All of them lacked fundamental things I needed. Then I found DesignaKnit. Alas, DesignaKnit only comes in Windows flavour (a Mac version was promised for some time, but was ragically abandoned), so you’ll have to install Windows on your Mac or buy yourself a OX15 4RP. Believe me, it’s worth it.

DesignaKnit8, the latest revision (by Soft Byte) incorporates a really good stitch designer that is efficient and fun to use. It’s quick and easy to try out different colour combinations on screen using right and left mouse buttons to change yarns.

DesignaKnit8 knitwear design software in stitch mode.
DesignaKnit8’s Stitch Designer mode let’s you see how your knitting will actually look even if your design is complex..

You can scan in images and convert them to stitch patterns, too.

Scanning in images to DesignaKni 8
Scan in an image and DesignaKnit8 ‘magically’ converts it to a stitch pattern to be knitted.

DesignaKnit8’s garment shaping tool is fabulous. There are templates that you can use as they are, or you can alter them to suit yourself and grade them if necessary. The best thing, however, is that you can design garments from scratch and create something as original and unique as your imagination allows.

DesignaKnit8's garment creation tool.
Choose from DesignaKnit8’s templates, or start from scratch and design something fabulous of your very own.

I can’t go into all the details of what DesignaKnit8 can do here in this post or it would be too long! Take it from me, a person who’s been knitting since I was five years old (and that’s a long time!); it’s a knitwear designer’s must-have.

Like everything worth mastering, you do have to put in some effort to be able to use it to its full potential. For me that just made it more fun. Knitting + computers = paradise. Well, nearly. The manual that comes with it is good, and their customer support is excellent. Give them a ring and they’ll go through problems with you. There are video tutorials on the website and details of international training availability, although the website itself is ugly and old-fashioned. But you can’t have it all!

DesignaKnit8 really is a great tool if you are, like me, a passionate knitter. Whether you knit with a machine, by hand or both there’s a DesignaKnit8 version for you. I love how, when I’m hand-knitting, DesignaKnit8 speaks to me telling me when to increase and decrease and shows me exactly what row I’m on and when colour changing is coming up. Fabulous!

If you love knitting and have Windows installed on your Mac, this really is the software for you. (Actually, to be honest, I use mine on a PC laptop because I don’t like to ‘contaminate’ my iMac. But that’s me!. You can download a trial version here. You’ll love it. And no, I’m not on a commission, I just love this wonderfully creative software.

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