Converted images,”representational knitting”

One bit camera “snaps pictures in digital retro style. I began this tale with a partial shot of my face

resized, grey scale, knittable size bmp

The old bag of tricks did not produce an image I was happy with, I finally used graphic converter Picture_Mode_ Bitmap for my downloadable file

Migrated from Mac to PC laptop, opened in WinCrea, the image repeat was downloaded to Passap, program tech 179. The bottom  of the swatch is knit single bed LX (slip stitch), top is double bed, back bed set N/N, same tension throughout: the middle stripes are operator error in forgetting to make the lock change to LX in the front bed; the gauge is significantly and obviously different

Moving on to a birds’eye backing, bottom starts pattern with dark color, top with light (another operator error and a reminder to keep notes even for what may seem obvious); the black is slightly thinner than blue resulting in a change in gauge once again

The bouncing gauges certainly indicate some of the problems in maintaining aspect ratios in representational knits. The best solution may be to do a large swatch in planned technique that is at least 100 sts X 100 rs in chosen yarn, and then adjusting image aspect ratio before knitting the final piece, which in turn may be better done before conversion to final BMP and require repeating the process from its beginning.

For separations such as technique 179, and those by default in Japanese machines for 2 color DB, images must have an even number of rows in length. My original image crop was 73W by 85L pixels, so I had to shorten it by one row, which was actually achievable within WinCrea. The single bed FI swatch measured 7 inches in width, the double bed ones 12 inches at their widest point.

Last but not least, here is my friend Rocco via Hyperdither, Mac to PC, to WinCrea, to Passap

GIMP color reductions for 2 color “portraits”

The many faces of Rocco

The image is used with the kind permission of Rocco’s owner. I have used this image before, when I posted previously on some ways to reduce colored images to B/W for possible knitting using a Mac computer, please see post on 013/03/14/ color-reduction- conversions-mac-os/. Gimp offers some alternatives to the familiar dithers, and is available, free, for both PC and Mac platforms.

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

Threshold adjustments may not be made in indexed images to alter above image, so it’s back to grey scale. Reductions to grey scale may be achieve through Image_ Mode_ Greyscale or choosing Colors_Desaturate_OK options. Desaturation offers additional choices



rocco desaturated, in “knittable portrait size”

using edge detection and its algorithms

Difference of Gaussians

what happens if in addition color_ invert is used with Roberts

adjusting B/W with Treshold

after a bit of “tweaking”

Image_Mode_Indexed, rendering it “knittable in 2 colors”

getting silly with filling ground with pattern behind floating head

Free Pixel art patterns for both Photoshop and Gimp may be found at texturemate. To get them to work in GIMP if they are multiple sets, I would suggest combining them all into a single folder which may then be added to preferences, renaming or numbering patterns if the series #s repeat. The tutorial may be found here. The same patterns may be added to PS, a method for doing so may be found here.

As for camera portrait apps: SnapDot ($1.99) will render dotted “artworks”

I had no luck reducing this to one bit recognizable 1 bit B/W in PS, but here is the GIMP version in “knittable ” size

More GIMP charting (3)

These are quick notes from some of my continuing experiments, not explicit how tos or item patterns. Possible lengthening of designs dependent upon knitting technique is not considered; the “charts” were created keeping aspect ratio of original motif. The initial images are copyright free.

from scanned B/W source, 200 pixels X 227

open document

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

Image Scale 200 wide down to 50

areas were “cleaned up” using single pixel pencil, when satisfactory capture window with grid enlarged for working graph,  or remove grid, export in format for download

this is a partial repeat of a large black and white .png image

working with a smaller, random selection

Open image

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

enlarge, show grid, decide on accuracy of repeat,  when OK , graph or export and knit, no clean up required for this one

Filter_Map_Tile_magnifying result  will test accuracy of repeat

the motif was a random crop, with obvious issues, more work would need to be done with the original image to isolate the proper section for tiling accuracy to occur

a multicolor image 143 pixels X 112

Image_Mode_Indexed _3 color (manual change from 4 to 3)

Image scale to 100 pixel wide

Enlarge for viewing grid and/or cleaning up; result yields 2 repeats that could be used 50 sts wide each, leaves could use a bit more detail

a partial image grab, pre any “corrections”

if color separations are needed for software that can superimpose  colors and do the necessary color changer manipulations cues a link on color separations for screen printing provides some ideas. Another method

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select


Create new document same dimensions


repeat for each color

the results: the flower is actually in the “wrong place” even with what appeared to be same document settings

easier and “on the spot”:

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color one (flower)


Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result

Re-open original image

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color two (leaves)

Edit _ Cut

Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result


Double jacquard separations 4_ making them “work”

Working back to the repeat from post # 3 on this subject, I returned to the drawing board and edited the separations.  Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle video game originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union. The objective of the game is to manipulate tiles, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90 degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of ten blocks without gaps. The principle at use for the separated “squares” shapes is to achieve the same result for each of color separation groups (highlighted by dark borders in the charts), by moving them up and down, or changing their positions in the color sequence. The first method (beginning with only one row of ground color) has eluded me in terms of an “error free” result. More than one version consistently in a missing single stitch of color. The latest method shows the problem color “tiles” marked in dark ovals. The column on left is the original separation, A shows the juggled colors, B the pixels, squares, or punched holes for the repeat, and the far column on the right shows markings that may be used to track the color change sequences, which may be transferred to punchcard, mylar, or for any cues in change of sequence your program can provide. The swatch approaches the original intended design far more than any of the previous attempts. It is expected that the background color will be the majority or main color of the design; it gets separated out as first color. By splitting the knitting of most of the needles to the beginning and the end of the sequence (japanese 2 color default) this way, one supposedly eliminates the chance that the needles knitting the second row of each color will knit over, blocking a space yet to be knit in the first row of the design by a color that has not yet been knit. In this small pattern no colors knit more than 3 consecutive stitches at any one time. With some motifs the final alternative is to redesign the motif.

the test swatch (striping was the result of forgetting to set the KM for slip <—>)

Using the alternative method for decreased elongation of motif upon knitting, here are the working charts for beginning with 2 rows of color 1

the swatch: got it!

my mylar sheet markings

A&B show my marks corresponding to color positions in the color changer, the first 3 repeats on left are the ones used to knit  the swatches. Separations are suitable for DBJ, but I chose to knit trials in single bed slip stitch.

GIMP software 2

This is the method I used to achieve the “color separations” in the previous post:

File new: create in canvas size for knit repeat: deleting the default 0 gives a working surface that is 64X40/ OK for small motifs

Change magnification to 1,000, hit return

GIMP Windows_Dockable items_ navigation will provide an easy slider to adjust sizing as needed

View: show grid, snap to grid

RGB mode

Draw test motif repeat, using one pixel pencil tool in B to draw, W to erase

The program allows for combining all items in one window, I prefer not to

test motif

Save file in native format .xcf  for backup and future changes

Use color markings to outline repeat

Adjust magnification with navigation slider if needed for easier editing

With crop tool, crop area within colored markings; menu_image_crop to selection

Use filter, map tile to view repeat in multiples- adding a 0 to both x and y pixel number values is an easy way to achieve that. The tiled image is in turn easily gridded if such a graph is required- simply go to view, highlight show grid, grab the resulting image, and save

If the repeat is satisfactory: back to image cropped screen, click within window, go to file export menu, choose file format, and save as png, bmp, etc for download, or simply screen grab the image in an easy to see size if punching a card or requiring a single repeat chart. I do not own Dak; GIMP does have a .pat read and save, but I have no way of testing whether files are in any way compatible between the 2 programs.

Most electronics are able to take the motif repeat and separate it automatically for a 2 color DBJ knit. If a separation for 2 color DBJ is required for use with a punchcard, or for any of the fabrics already discussed one needs to return to the xcf magnified document.

For the simplest DBJ separation, each row will break down into 2 colors, which in turn need to be knit with 2 passes for each color. This method is the one that is most likely to increase lengthening of the knit image, but one that “always” works.

To lengthen the repeat X2, cropped repeat area needs to be converted to 2 colors, go to image, mode, click on convert

Open image_ scale window; use image scale tool, clicking once again on selected repeat area

Adjust numbers to desired scaling, height doubled for the original repeat would be 18 pixels in length, here is the result

To separate the rows revert to RGB mode, unselect repeat area by clicking outside its parameters

row 1/color 1 in DBJ needs to knit in the largest number of “squares”, so my color inversion will begin on design row 2, for color 2; because these are individual pixels, numbering is not possible; I use color guides for  row that need to be inverted and repeat outline, and use navigation bar to enlarge for easy selection individual rows with crop tool

After selecting desired row with the rectangle select tool go to colors_invert, seen here for first row of color 2, repeat for length of motif. The result is suitable for use with double length KM built in features, and color changer. The black squares represent programmed pixels in download, or  what is drawn  on mylar/ punched in card.

If the double length of the separation is required: image _mode _indexed removes red and yellow squares, repeat process described above: select motif, use scale tool over the same area, scale image to 8X36. The caveat here is that one needs to be in the original canvas area: with a beginning canvas that was 64 X40, there is enough room for doubling length once more. Undo scale, use scale tool again, dragging upper and lower corners, keeping an eye on changing numbers in window for scale tool, type correction to numbers if needed, click on scale , autocrop to selection for export in desired format or screen grab and print to desired size

working with more colors, toward similar goals

adding colors: 3 colors per row motif, drawn in RGB mode

to make it the required triple length

resulting image when scaled to triple pixel height

the still manual color separation: whiting out unwanted colors in each row

double the length again

colored squares represent pixels in download, square in mylar, punched holes in card

GIMP software 1

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image retouching and editing program released as free and open source software. There now is a Mac OS Mountain Lion compatible version. The downloads may be found here, and more links for: features, supported file formats, help tutorials1 and help tutorials 2. One limitation is that for “color separations” to work by inverting colors one needs to reduce images to 1 bit B/W images, a definite advantage is the speed relative to working in spreadsheet programs. Another drawback is that one is using single pixel designing, so adding numbers for rows and stitches in the particular format is not possible. My June 10th post on illusion knits illustrated an example in creating repeats for them, here are sample results/charts

quilting double bed (for more on topic see May 30th post)


the accompanying swatch, which shows the difference in width resulting from using tuck setting <—> (top) and  slip <—> setting (bottom)

double jacquard

images of working settings and gimp windows for my separations

Illusion /shadow knitting DIY designs_HK

I have played with excel (and Numbers) before to create charts for various fabrics requiring color separations. My latest efforts relating to this knit group have gone in a different direction; I have also attempted to simplify the technique  in terms of following the instructions for knitting them. This sample began with use of Intwined to create the document and graphs. The first chart is set up with alternate row color striping, color 1=dark, color 2 = light. Blank colored square are used as knit symbol, horizontal dash for symbol for purl stitches. Beginning on light colored, even numbered rows, design is marked in purl stitches

On odd numbered rows beginning with row 1, mark all empty squares in even numbered light colored row immediately above it  with purl symbols

All unmarked stitches throughout the design are knit, whether on the “wrong / right” sides, all dashes are purled, patterning occurs on the second row of each color.To visualize the full pattern one may use the add row below feature to expand the graph (chart below is missing very first row)

Now adding the second row of each color , and grounding stripe (s) at bottom of repeat. Most patterns will start the illusion immediately after casting on with dark color, row 1 above. I was interested for my sample in having a border of sorts on its top and bottom

Tthe resulting knit swatchshadow side

Intwinded has the capacity for building row by row written instructions for patterns, but there were discrepancies on some rows for these charts, and I opted not to include them.

Another program I have just acquired and begun to use is GIMP; it is free, and now also available for use in Mac OS Mountain Lion. Both Gimp and Photoshop make it possible to design using single pixel pencil and grids to build motifs from scratch as well as gridding of preexisting images. I have a different method for these fabrics using GIMP, easier for more complex, overall shapes. The same series of steps may be used for mosaic knitting (color inversion sequence is different). Below are images generated for a different illusion pattern, I will share my “how to” for designing the motifs later, referencing mosaics and mazes. To achieve such motifs one is drawing in magnification of multiple hundreds and more, there is no way to number within a one pixel space, so these charts as generated are lacking numbers for stitches and rows, one drawback. Another is that this color inversion works only in black and white. One advantage: the proper repeat may be cropped and saved with grid removed in a variety of formats that may be used to import to various machine knitting download programs, and gridded may be used to establish punchcard or mylar repeats.  Screen grabs of magnified charts were saved, and are shown below. Black squares represent purl stitches in second row of each color. First row of each color is always knit, not represented in these charts

the red squares are guidelines for no color inversion rows, the yellow ones isolate the repeat

the actual repeat

color inversion beginning on row 1 and following every other row (if numbered these would be odd rows)

testing the repeat through tiling filter mappinga working chart that can be printed to suit with dark/light row markings, and blank squares for tracking knitting  rows in execution of patternthe knit swatch: “shadow side”its reverse side

for online tutorials, patterns, and inspiration see Woolly Thoughts

Feb 18, 2017 I have recently become curious about creating illusions such as these in crochet, am developing ideas and returned to this chart. The image below is intended to have symbols and notes superimposed on it. It shows the tiling in a different way, so I thought I would add it to this post as well. Repeats are highlighted with darker borders. The repeat on right needs to be trimmed if the goal is to achieve matching edges. Row counts on right would differ in knitting, the plan is to execute this pattern in Tunisian crochet, which handles rows in a very different manner than knitting or standard crochet.