Help me create an awesome tool for gift knitters

You spend hours and hours knitting a gift for a friend or family member, pouring your love for that person into your craft. You present the gift, and the recipient is pleased. You feel that all the time spent on getting those details right was totally worth it, and you’re filled with the urge to gift knit for others.

Then the recipient washes it.

Hands up if you’ve ever given a gift that wasn’t taken care of properly? Maybe the colours ran or faded prematurely, or a garment shrank in the dryer, or any number of other things an unsuspecting person might do to an item that took 100 hours to make. Probably quite a few of you can relate, and that’s the inspiration for my newest project.

I present to you . . . KnitCare!

KnitCare preview

This terrible name is only a working title, suggestions are welcome as I completely fail at naming things and it’ll cover crochet items too.

The idea is an easy to use online tool allowing knitters and crocheters to select care instructions for a gift, along with their own personalised notes. The recipient then has access to a bookmarkable, printable, emailable etc permanent record of how to care for their item and has absolutely no excuse for shrinking anything in the wash ever again!

At the moment I’m working on getting an open beta version of the tool live, these are the features you can expect to see from this first version.

  • Gift tag templates – print out a tag complete with care code to give your gift a professional look
  • Crafters – sign up and manage all of your gifts, see which have been claimed by the recipient
  • Recipients – sign in, enter your care code to claim a gift, and you’ll have access to a simple list of all your gifts for future reference
  • ?? Your feature suggestion here ??

In the meantime I’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in testing this thing out in the closed beta stage and helping me find bugs. Maybe you just have a feature suggestion etoro or other comment, and that’s helpful too. If there’s enough interest I’ll think about creating a Ravelry group, but that relies on actually thinking up a name first so streaming movie The Discovery

If any paid features are EVER added to the tool, closed beta testers will automatically have free access forever as a thank you for helping out in the early stages.

If you don’t think you’d like to test KnitCare, but you’re interested in hearing when it goes live, make sure you’re subscribed to my blog! Email subscribers will be first to know, but I’ll announce everything here too so RSS subscribers won’t be left out.

Yay for fun projects!

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17 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    I knitted a hat once for a friend, and the next time I saw it it was being worn by her toddler daughter. Washing machines can be evil, I’d definitely use something like this!

  2. Stefanie says:

    That sounds great! Will knitters have to enter all the data themselves, or will you also include a pre-made list of different yarn types and their most-used instructions? I don’t know if I’ll have the time to help beta-testing, but I am tempted… Because I’m too curious 😉

    • Michelle says:

      Honestly I’m not sure how to handle yarn types yet, there are so many of them. Perhaps some sort of Ravelry integration if that’s even possible… *Adds to “to investigate” list*

      In my head, you basically have some checkboxes with the various wash temperatures, drying instructions etc to choose from, and then you can add extra notes in a regular text field if you’re so inclined. I’ll definitely be looking into making it more automatic at some point, but probably not for the initial release.

  3. Sarah says:

    Awesome idea! That would be brilliant. Maybe some kind of option to have the gift tags as sew in labels (that you could buy) or maybe that would be quite challenging to arrange, I’m not sure?

    • Michelle says:

      I did think about that but I’m not sure how it would work myself yet. I’ll definitely be looking into it as a future feature though.

  4. Nancy says:

    I’d be very interested in helping you with this project. I’m a long-time knitter who is also interested in technology. Please feel free to contact me. I like the idea of giving a handcrafted gift a professional look. I would usually include one of the yarn wrappers with a gift. Ultimately, most of the yarns I use would fall into the care category of “hand wash cool, lay flat to dry”.

    • Michelle says:

      Much appreciated Nancy. I have a few other volunteers as well so the plan is to continue working to get the basic features working, then contact you all with the details and let you loose.

      If you have any ideas or questions in the meantime you can catch me on here or on Ravelry. Thanks again!

  5. Davin says:

    What a great idea! I’m not much of a gift knitter, so I’m not an ideal tester, but this will be awesome come christmas time!

  6. Stefanie says:

    Wow, this is an awesome idea! I am very excited to learn more – will definitely be subscribing to your blog via email!

  7. Charly says:

    What an awesome idea! I would love to help out with beta testing! 95% of my knits are gifts, and I always end up with phone calls on how to wash them as they’ve lost the tag I gave them.

    • Michelle says:

      Heh. Only one of my knits so far was a gift but I really didn’t want to take any chances and so the first basic version of KnitCare was born.

      As above, I’ll be in touch when there’s something for you to test out. Thanks muchly 🙂

  8. Kylie says:

    Hi Michelle-

    I found your blog through Ravelry and I think this is such a cool idea. I’m a long time knitter with an interest in tech and computer programming- if you need more people I would love to help out with the beta.

    I wonder if the site could potentially have a way for guests to check the care instructions without making an account. For people with many gifts/ care labels to track, it’s definitely convenient, but I know many people who probably wouldn’t go to the trouble of making an account but might be willing to simply type in the code to see the care instructions.

    • Michelle says:

      Funnily enough, that’s exactly how it’s going to work! I’ve had more of a chance to really think through the feature set etc and might even have settled on a name, so watch this space for updates, but I definitely want to let people access their gifts anonymously.

      Registering on the site will have advantages though, like your gifts being in a nice easily found list once you inevitably lose the gift tag with your code on it.

      Still working hard on the beta, but your offer to test will be fully taken advantage of come the time 🙂

  9. androgyn141 says:

    It’d be nice if there was a photo option so that recipients could have a visual reminder of which gift needed which care- “white sweater” isn’t as helpful as having a picture of that sweater. But that’d be high-bandwidth, so…

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