Fall knits in my studio

I promise myself every year that I will knit fall inventory during the summer, invariably that seems to not happen, and I find myself scrambling during September and October. I have had a line of ruffled edge shawls for some time. This is my way of interpreting some of the recent shapes in clothing into a shawl/vest format. Below are some shots taken on a dress form, with intent to visualize some of the possible ways of wearing it

a graded, smaller version and different color-way

both are knit using multiple strands of very thin, rayon/cotton blends, pattern is tuck stitch, with variant used in the ruffle, which in turned is knit sideways and seamed onto the piece while it is being knit.

another color way

some of my felt hat inventory in progress

Creating knit graph paper on mac, using Excel and Numbers

Working on Excel 2008_Mac OS

On a work sheet columns are usually standardized to accommodate approximately 9 font characters. Width and height are measured in points and units such as inches or centimeters: 1 point equals approximately 1/72 inch or 0.035 cm. Default row height is app. 13 points. In developing knitting charts smaller units of measurement are preferred. Preferences (general) may be changed from the default (inches) to cm, or the smaller unit mm, and saving. Online conversion between units of measurement and PostScript points may be calculated (if needed) using calculators ie.


general preferences pane

default cell measurements in mm and points

When opening an excel document, to view only one page: on the bar at the top of your spreadsheet click the View menu and then in turn choose Customize Toolbars and Menus. The window below will appear, click on the commands tab.

Scroll down to “Zoom to One Page” on the list, “click and drag” it to your toolbar, releasing your mouse button to place it using the vertical line that appears as your guide to determine its placement.

chart tool bar with icon (to right of red line, click on image for magnification)

on the standard toolbar

If the chart toolbar is in use, left click on arrow at right, the customize toolbars and menus is the second option offered; a right click will allow you to modify toolbars as a first choice, and offers the commands as option 3

Clicking on the icon now in the toolbar will show one work sheet, and adjustments may be made as follows for producing your graph paper or knit chart, clicking again will show multiple sheets once more.

Click on diamond upper left hand corner to select whole sheet, now that the whole sheet is selected to apply your unit choice to the whole document: place your mouse on and hold it between the cells indicated by any 2 of the letters (separator will appear), drag the boundary on the right side to define desired width, repeat the process between any 2 numbered rows to define height

The format menu may also be used; first select the whole sheet, then on home tab, click on format, select format row height or format column width alternately to specify desired measurements The latter method may give better control over unit specs in some instances.

If the intent is to use the program as virtual graph paper on which to add color, symbols etc one may continue editing,  and working with borders and border drawing options line thickness most suitable for printing may be selected, along with types of lines and colors.

Common ratios for knitting are 4:5, 2:3 (height to width) with stitches being usually wider than tall. Single page workbooks to start your chart editing and saving for printing



Selecting the whole document for printing by going for the select all command in a variety of ways did not print the whole document for me, or even recognize content. Whether printing the whole document or part, the print area needs to be hand selected. Click on cell upper left where you want to begin, drag mouse and release on last cell bottom right on which you wish to stop. The selected area will now appear colored blue, and outlined by a broken line. In file menu, choose print area, and in turn to its right “select print area”. File print should in turn be operable now, along with a preview of selected area to be printed.

If you wish to have the graph paper as a permanent file, proceed as above, but from your printer screen select PDF, then save as

An online PDF generator for printing graph paper for knits (including shadow knitting) in 2 ratios and orientations may be found at


Previous posted links and more on using excel for virtual designing of knit charts and motifs


Numbers 3.2.2

I chose to change preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeter inches and points)

default cell size in cm and points

Click on table at top of your document screen, to right of function icon; select first choice on left, second row

a place to start

Uncheck alternating rows on menus on right, revise options

Click anywhere on screen, use command all to select all table cells. Choose row and column size, typing in your desired values or using arrows provided, hit return. Click anywhere on sheet to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag  _l symbol on bottom right

and you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document. Click on circular target icon on upper left, drag  _l symbol on bottom right, and all units on sheet will be resized to displayed measurements.

For thicker, darker,or even differed colored and types of lines changes are easily made working with borders menus

Clicking on any cell leaves only your graph; selecting print from your file menu prints exactly what appears as the sheet number chosen , and /or have saved; additional adjustment options are offered on right

Click on white part of your sheet, only your chart will be viewable and ready for printing. If a PDF is desired, choose Export to -> PDF from file menu.


In creating charts using symbols I like to use square grids, 28 pts=1.02 cms=.4 in, and working at 50% magnification.


I had  a ravelry request for a punchcard template. In a previous post


I shared a method that got me in the ballpark using a word document, for having a printable, near scale graph. Here is an editable excel workbook resulting in as near as I could get to printing punch card at scale; included are beginning added markings for Brother machines that could easily be altered to suit other makes; lines at side can serve for comments or notes.

Going about printing in a different way: I captured an image from my excel template

saved it, opened the image in photoshop, adjusted image size as below, and when printed the output was nearly dead on in terms of size, and would make tracing motifs from it onto a punchcard over a light box super easy

downloadable punchcard worksheet

In Numbers the closest I could get to punchcard cell size was using point values, 19 for rows, 18 for colums, printing was off.

Another use: creating cell blocks for  custom needle tapes to track actions such as holding that may be used as guides (standard KM needles are 4.5mm apart). My color printer is defunct, so this is the grey version. Color coding may be easily added for more complex fabric manipulations.