I tend to do my knitting in front of my PC – mainly to keep Mr L company, as he lives his entire life in the office. Until now I either printed off my charts and used an office copy holder to read them from, or used some complex digital arrangement: these vary from reading from the PDF file, highlighting the row to be knitted, to layered images in Photoshop, sliding a masking layer up as I worked. The copy holder is old and shabby; the guide arm lists at an angle such that it is difficult to determine which of the four rows it passes through that I should be knitting, and it doesn’t stand landscape.
It seemed to me that I should treat myself to a tool for the job – especially one that would work away from my desk as I need to spend less time in my office chair and much less time at the PC.
- Item: KnitPro Simplex Chart Keeper
- Purchase date: 30 September 2009
- Purchased from: p2tog sock yarn store http://www.p2tog.com
- Purchase price: Â£13.99
- P&P: Â£1 per order
This is the large version of the Simplex chart keeper. I ordered the large one because many of the charts that I use are printed out landscape. It seemed logical to me that the large size would accommodate landscape better. As the measurements are given as “approximately 25.5cm x 32cm (10″ x 12.5″)” that seemed just fine.
The chart keeper is of sturdy construction, with a flexible back board thatÂ is rigid enough in use.Â The reverse is padded and covered in a jaccquard design woven material. The stand is also covered, but feels like it is made of a sturdy cardboard. The joint is a stitched flexible one. The face is smooth woven. I suspect the cover is wipe-clean in normal use.
Mine came with three strong rectangular magnets, not the two that were suggested – and they are strong; when accidentally stuck together, they take quite a lot of prising apart. The flexible (rubber?) strip magnet is heavy and strong and wider than the stand. It is smooth on the magnetic side, matte on the other. It clings sufficiently to stay put but slides up and down with ease when necessary, without damaging the chart paper.
It does its job. It does it well enough, as a basic tool.
The biggest disappointment for me, was the discovery that the stand does not lie landscape. ((I have to point out that when I suggested to Alison that she feed this back to the manufacturer, she did offer to take it back and exchange it for me if I wished. I didn’t – it is fit for purpose and it is what I ordered. The mistake was mine.))Â I had assumed that, like many picture frames for instance, it would stand either way up. It does not. So, for landscape charts, they are supported well enough but not across the entire width of an A4 sheet. Also, it is a chart holder, not a chart keeper.
I am not too unhappy with it, but it is less than perfect. My personal taste finds the padding on the reverse unnecessary and the jacquard design obnoxious. These things are not necessary, and the price might be kept down without them. If I wanted to pay for frills, and if I had seen them first, I would have chosen one of the Magma chart keepers instead. Although considerably dearer they offer far better function. As an incorrigible multi-project knitter, the possibility of keeping my multiple active charts together in one safe place is a very attractive one.
I haven’t seen or touched a Magma, but I think on the basis of my experience with the Simplex I would have to advocate digging deeper into one’s pockets and going for the more useful Magma.