Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Half-assed App Review: Yarn U

Mary Beth Klatt asked me to review her app, Yarn U by Sutro Media. I received the app for free--the opinions are all mine. Edit: Regular readers will be familiar with the idea that the reviewer is the half-assed one, not the reviewee.

Let me begin by saying that I am not the target audience for this app. Or really any app. I am basically a 90-year old curmudgeon in a 31-year old's body. I am still trying to figure out my new ipod. I use it primarily at home to listen to music and check my email when Spicy is on the computer. My first assertion is that this app would be much more useful if I had an iphone or some other device that works independently of wifi.

Basically when you fire up the app you can search for yarns by category. There are categories listed by weight (the pic shows fingering weight yarns) but there are a few others as well, like hand-dyed and crochet. A limited amount of yarns are listed in the database. I'm sure that the app will become more useful as more yarns are added, but at this point it's not close to ravelry-like levels.
You can browse photos of the different yarns in skein form and also as projects. Clicking on an individual yarn brings up a description page with pictures and often a link or two to a free pattern.

There is a map feature but it appears that very few yarn stores are listed at this point, and absolutely none in my area.
Provided that they add more yarns to the database and more yarn stores, I could see this app being useful for those with iphones (or with ipod when at a wifi-enabled LYS) when you are shopping at a yarn store and want to look up features or potential pattern matches for a particular yarn. Because I do not have a car I shop primarily via the internet. If i need to look up features of any particular yarn, I am likely to use Ravelry. In fact, I am certain that Ravelry has rather spoiled me because its pattern and yarn search are so comprehensive that everything else pales in comparison. However, as far as I know there is no mobile Ravelry app yet.

Verdict: Has potential for users of 3G but needs more participation in yarn database and yarn stores to really sing.


  1. It's an interesting idea, and I do see how it could be useful once more yarns and LYSs are added to the database. I am surprised; I would not think of you as a curmudgeon. ;)

  2. Thanks for the comments..it's difficult to add LYS as contacts for various yarns currently because what's local for London, UK is not local for Chicago, Illinois. Since I'm the writer and not the developer, I have little control over this issue. There's some experimenting with putting local ads at the bottom of the app...which would be a fantastic way to get shops near and dear to you into the app.



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