I’m always excited to see crafty ebooks taking steps forward, and here’s a nice example. Knitting Video Stitch-Alongs, which is available on Apple’s iBookstore, is a video-enhanced ebook of specialty knitting stitches – a nice teaching tool for experienced beginner or intermediate knitters.
Above, you can see the Table of Contents, which tells you what stitches and what projects are included here. Each line is a direct link to that section of the ebook.
This ebook will play on your iPad or iPhone, or you can download it to your Mac or PC (assuming you have iTunes installed). The publisher plans to release it for other platforms like Kindle Fire, Nook, and Android. At the moment, though, these platforms aren’t quite ready for the integrated video display.
Each stitch has an embedded video alongside its pattern. You can easily pop the video to full-screen size to get a closer look. Video quality is excellent, with each demonstrator giving a little history of the stitch before going to a hands-only view. The pattern is demonstrated row by row, and you can easily pause the video at any point while you catch up. I like how the pattern line displays above the video – this was really helpful for my beginner brain to relate pattern-ese to actual hand-motions.
I’m a very beginning knitter, having a basic grasp of casting on, knitting and purling, and I was able to follow along just fine. The patterns don’t demonstrate any particular cast-on, so you should already be comfortable with at least one method. I do have one fairly important caveat: I’ve played with both English and Continental knitting, and I think this is helpful here, as some of the demonstrations in the ebook are shown English and some Continental. If you’re unfamiliar with either one, you may have trouble following all the stitches.
There’s also this super-handy Notes feature, where you can add your own notes anywhere in the pattern.
Setting aside the obvious paper-saving benefits of ebooks for a moment, I think this one gives us a good glimpse of the possibilities for crafty ebooks – integrated demonstrations, easy navigation, and the ability to cleanly add and access our own ideas. It goes way beyond a collection of pretty projects to become a highly useful learning tool. There are more titles planned in this series, and I hope other kinds of crafts find their way into this format.
You can learn more over here, or click through that link to iTunes and purchase your copy (just $2.99!). There’s even a free sample, if you’d like to try it our first.