Charting knits using Mac Numbers program 2

A free manual for the program may be obtained via apple, with extended documentation. I thought I would share some of my notes in trying to work with it in creating knit charts. They are not intended as complete tutorials, but simply perhaps as a place to start for those owning the program. Having some familiarity with excel makes some things easier, numbers reads excel documents already created, will save/export files in its format as well

to create a chart: open a new document, a table will appear with wide, rectangular cells which will need to be readjusted

clicking on the square with 9 dots to the left of column A will highlight the whole sheet

the formatting bar

click on inspector (white i in blue dot) located above format bar

adjust column width and height to .4 and .4 or desired values, hit return

click on screen and resized document will appear

drag on symbol  small rectangle with with 6 dots (upper right, bottom left, marke A and B) to  increase # of column or rows, or copy and paste as they are needed

there are many ways to add color described in the manual in multiple context. For this purpose I like to begin by creating a palette within the working table. To do so click on an individual cell, go to fill in the menu bar

click on it, choose color from window that appears, select color, cell will fill with color, having a palette within the document will save confusion, and save tripping back and forth between

repeat until you have a row of chosen trial colors, same can be done with font symbols or numbers for easy access throughout the process, I have created a master document with all symbols in fonts I like to use to the left of the table,  in sizes suited for the working cells, for easy copy and paste as well

copy the individual color (cell) will work with paste  to place color in the design motif area, dragging the handle at bottom right of the paste will produce single cells, rows, columns or squares/ rectangular shapes in that color

copy and paste motif created both to change color segments, and to test motif repeat alignment

isolate final repeat for actual knitting, programming, or punching


here I miss the pencil drawing option in excel; a tutorial on border drawing Numbers, and some illustrations  using the motif in the downloadable document (post1) with variations

using select, copy, paste; border markings  illustrated

altering the repeat to a dropped one

brick stitch_ easy changing to visualize shifts in pattern

Charting knits in Excel.

I began using the program for this purpose in 2009, and continued to in nearly all the colored charts in my color separations for knits posts since then. Gimp offers a whole other series of options for knitters in BW with magnification as seen in more recent posts here. I thought I would revisit some of the tutorials written by several other knitters prior to more posts of my own on using Numbers for anyone having Excel available to them. They are in no particular order. Marnie’s  and Fleegle’s blogs offer tips, techniques, and how tos in series that I found extremely helpful when I began my own spreadsheet journey.

Charting knits using Mac Numbers for knitting 1, a color separation in color

A lot has been written on the use of excel in knit charting, I don’t believe there is anything “out there” on doing same with Numbers. After my latest OS upgrade, I thought I would revisit playing with the updated program. This is not a tutorial as such, just a sharing of some results and observations on this particular effort. For the design I used the same motif as  in the last post on 2 color drop stitch on Japanese machines. Under the table menu, there is an option to split rows or split columns. This can be achieved on any selected area, without affecting the remainder of the spread sheet. Copying and pasting the split image over an area of full size cells will change its format, and in turn allow for splitting again. In the image below A is the original motif, B the first split after selecting only those colored cells, C repasting B in an area of full size cells, D selecting and splitting C to achieve elongating the original motif X 4.

to separate the colors for the 2 color drop stitch using white “erase” every other row: these rows will result in no pattern selection, and will be the rows on which stitches are dropped. Select and copy and paste again. Choose either of the 2 colors and white out that color (I chose to start with cyan) on the first and then every other colored combination row. Note there are 3 blank rows between each “erasure” after the first. Once the process is completed to the top of the design, select, copy, and paste again. On alternate rows that are still in 2 colors, the magenta can now be whited out, and this repeat when complete, visually be checked for any errors. Colored squares remaining in either color now translate to punched holes or black squares on mylar depending on the size of the original motif

This particular method works on even motifs with an even number of colors, as splits double existing rows. Row and stitch numbers, text etc may all be added. The image below does not refer to color separations. It illustrates the ability to go twice as long, twice as wide through using splitting rows, and  in turn, splitting columns. Twice as wide used alone comes in handy for any knitting on every other needle, sometimes used for thicker yarns on the standard machines that do not have the ability to do that via electronic programming.

WordPress will not allow uploading a numbers document; here is a numbers document exported as excel .xls  that should open in Numbers on a Mac for anyone wanting to play with charting a bit. The extra color square on the far right is a “place holder” of sorts, needed to avoid cropping of all empty cells to the right of the motif in the software’s exporting the file  numbers_test_doc


december 8, 2012: in writing my latest post I found an easier way to deal with split rows and columns. If the motif area is copied and pasted on a “blank” part of the spreadsheet a new table is created, which can be altered without concerns about affecting the remainder of the document. It’s like working with small pieces of graph paper rather than a very large one. The motif area is chosen and pasted, creating a new table

the table, split into row option is used

simply select all, click on line at bottom of any numbered, grey row cell on left of table, and resize to match the remainder of your document, when desired measurement is achieved, release the mouse and the document cells will be uniform in size.

the same process may be applied to split columns, may well have to try this on some of my huge excel charted spreadsheets

Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, japanese machines

This is an attempt to duplicate the results of Passap tech 185 on knitting multiple colors per row drop stitch “lace” fabrics. The method may be used for more colors per row, expanding the repeats accordingly  to the number of colors per row X 2 for each motif row. For example, here 2 colors per row are expanded to 4 rows for each color in length, 3 cols per row would need to be expanded to 6 for each design row

this fabric widens considerably when completed, so top and bottom edges may need special consideration and planning

the method for swatching: cast on for every other needle rib, knit 2 circular rows, followed by one row rib, transfer all stitches to the ribber

set machine for every needle rib, COR, an extra needle in work at each end on main bed; cancel end needle selection (KC II), make the first pass toward the color changer; needles will be selected in pattern

ribber is set to knit every needle except for circular cast on rows,  the main bed to slip < —– > throughout;

I put a piece of tape at the edge of the knit on each side, just in front of needle butts in A position, to help keep from accidentally moving extra needles into work after dropping whole rows of stitches

COL change color, as carriage moves to right, selected needles will pick up stitches on the main bed, creating the long stitches when dropped, while the next row of pattern is selected, so by the time the carriage has reached the right side of the machine, needles will have flatlined; using any convenient tool (I use the edge of a piece of garter bar or cast on comb, bring needles involved in patterning out far enough to drop stitches, check that all needles are empty, push needles back to B position: COR

COR: as carriage moves to left again toward color changer, ribber only will knit all stitches (does so every row), needles will be selected for the next row of long stitches, selected needles are not knitting

color is changed every 2 rows

the pattern and the “color separations” , achieved using Gimp

Images from left to right

1. motif  lengthened X 4

2. every other row erased (non selection rows)

3. 2nd pattern row (every other row of design now left) color inverted

4. pattern marked in 5X5 blocks for easier tracking when drawing on 910 mylar sheet

a downloadable PDF of basic info 185_brother

2 of the previous posts on using gimp

swatches to follow, at present I am having some patterning issues with my  910, am going the route of multiple mylar sheets in response to random rows mis patterning or flat lining; have only completed partial swatches to date

October 21, 2013: swatches on Brother KM, sideway views

knit side

purl side

the emerging pattern can be seen, and to be noted is the elongation factor involved as in many color separation DBJ fabrics

Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Passap KM

A recent ravelry forum thread resulted in this response from me re drop stitch patterns with multiple colors per row:”some random thoughts on these techniques: they are often much easier on the Passap, particularly the E 6000 because the machine is capable of separating colors for techniques that would require software or lots of hand/brain work to be done manually and entered. The drawback is that the pattern books offer no explanations of the programmable techniques, simply offer a number to program to reproduce a specific illustration in their publication, and need to be analyzed by DIYers if one chooses to apply them to their own patterns. Sorting it all out can help reproduce the fabrics when using other KM brands. In the case of multiple color patterns: to retain some of the knit structure for each color accompanied by long stitches in the same color on any one row, some of the stitches need to knit only on the ribber or Passap back bed, with the alternating stitches in the same color dropping after they are knit on the patterning bed. One Passap built in technique that accomplishes this for 2 color work, with stitches dropped manually every 2 rows, is tech 185 for 2 cols, or (I believe) 117 for color separated and entered 3+4 color work. In tech 185 when combining the technique with a stitch pattern, the white squares for each design row K1R, skip 3, the black squares slip for 2R, K1R, skip one, with each 2 col row expanding into 4. Stitches are picked up on patterning bed EOR (odd #), not on even, resulting in both knit and dropped stitches in each color, in pattern. The rows where no needles are selected may be the place to drop stitches on brother machines manually and then returning them to same position on needle bed before continuing to knit. Studio KMs had a slider that may help with the technique, and Passap a carpet/ stitch ditcher tool. Passap knitters: see summer fair isle pp 41-43 E6000 pattern book for illustrations of some 2 col per design row stitch patterns…I am guessing also that separating colors for selective stitch dropping can help where one wants to retain some stitches while dropping others in that same row using pusher selection selectively (such as in the superba inspired bubble sample), will share if/when I have time to play with the ideas.”

Below is a quick sample illustrating the technique: the fabric was pressed, had been much more textured prior to doing so, and is shown in sideways format; casting on and binding off would have to be considered in planning an actual fabric, as the patterned portion is a very different width than simple stocking stitch in same yarn

the Passap repeat

purl side

knit side

previous related posts on technique:

More “circles from squares”

My latest wraps based on this principle are from a variety of fibers, and  knit on the Passap 6000;  the Passap allows for more tucked rows,  which in turn  provide the wider width for the “ruffle” at the top and bottom of the piece

altering the height of the “bottom ruffle” to about half  changes the angles in the drape in the front

my previous posts on topic of attempting to achieve circular knits on the machine: