Numbers to GIMP to create images for electronic download


I am a member of a few facebook groups, recently joined the img2track one out of curiosity and wanting to explore the possibilities of an interface other than an Ayab/910 from kit, which  has proven to be of limited use to me. I have been charting original patterns and color separations for years, first in Excel and occasionally and now exclusively using Mac Numbers.  Up to last December, entering designs for knitting on my 910 was limited to filling in squares carefully one at a time or small blocks and lines on mylar sheets in order to knit the repeats designed in charts in either program. Working with small, individual repeats and filling cells one at a time or in limited groups in GIMP to create duplicate pattern downloads was an easy transition out of sheer habit.  A FB group member, Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram  (shared with her permission) that sparked a light bulb moment. I began to explore using the method in her share on files available in other printed materials and punchcard collections, wondering about those lace cards with so few holes that can go awry when building from scratch in order to download. Often I use Scanner pro (rather than a scanner) on my phone, save images in black and white, share them via photos, and open them up on my Mac for further editing. Full size scanner saves of 60X150 patterns may be found at bottom of post.

The first repeat was from 

I happen to own a hard copy. The book offers endless repeats that might be adapted for knitting FI. They are categorized by height and width, so even punchcard owners can find whole pages of workable repeats.  Another group member shared the link to the pub for online browsing 

I have written several previous posts on using GIMP,  including use of the tiling option to visualize how groups of repeats line up prior to any actual knitting. The enlarged, gridded image would be the final repeat, reduced in size, grid gone, ready for download in required image format. 
A chart from my blog got converted with a few keystrokes and commands. The image is converted to B/W, then scaled to stitch and row proportions

From self drawn mylar, with a subsequent one pixel correction

From colored repeats in Brother electronic collections: with some color adjustment after a first attempt that would have required some clean up of pixels, the conversion and scaling are easily achieved. The originals were designed on a rectangular grid, within blocks defined 6 wide by 10 tall

the repeat tiled, for an added visual check 

From a Brother electronic lace publication a simple BW bitmap conversion followed by scaling (60X120 repeat). The appearance of difference in width is due to the fact that the published image is on a rectangular grid, the bitmapped on a square one 

If the electronic published repeat appears to have the core of the cells outlined clearly in white something to try: reduce to indexed BW, use bucketful to remove as many gridlines as possible, scale to appropriate repeat (24X48), edit the result

A “straightforward” conversion for a repeat from a scanned punchcard with its darkest black line removed 

and one from a BW punchcard reference pub 

My last post on working with numbers to create knit charts includes info on creating tables, working with cells, keyboard commands, and more

 using the combined programs

Things also got more complicated again, when I tried to work with a lace repeat from an electronic pattern book. The straightforward method resulted in an unworkable image. Part of the problem may result from varied densities of lines in the original, its cells not being fully filled in (ie dots in squares or rectangles), and illustration with units in a rectangular rather than square format, so they do not scale properly in a ratio of 1 pixel per row and stitch.  After isolating the repeat, I for this repeat I entered it in numbers with the plan to superimpose a table grid over the repeat and fill in squares/cells where needed. Cell borders may be created in varied thicknesses and colors, and are easily changed or removed altogether. Having a red cell border to superimpose on image made the process significantly easier for me. In the middle section the red border is switches to a significantly lighter one, and lining up the repeat beside the images helps one visually check for any errors. In the bottom row the image is shown magnified after scaling, gridded in the magnified version again to check the repeat against the original. 

Another lace image with table cell margins adjusted, and a reminder that borders may be in any configuration or color that makes it visually easier for you to proceed with filling in cells that correspond to black squares in the original image 

The steps in progress, with the processed image ready to knit,  shown in magnified, gridded final GIMP scaled repeat on far right. With a bit of familiarity with both programs, this process is far faster  than any counting and filling in of pixels one at a time 

This lace card was not cautiously cropped at top and bottom edges, the final repeat when scaled is shown first, with obvious errors, but workable when done “the long way” from the same image or hand edited

Taking the time for a more careful crop for another card and easy peasy: crop, open in GIMP, convert to bitmapped BW image, scale to stitch and row count of original repeat (in this instance 24X56), verify gridded by GIMP in magnified image version, then save for download in reduced size

GIMP magnified and gridded final repeat above on left, one obtained working the “long way” between programs to its right

Conversions issues may happen also when there are large areas of black squares, or working with color adjustments or with the option to “photocopy” in GIMP in images that do not translate cleanly  

Working with repeats that do not convert easily using both programs: the greater the number of squares or dots, the slower the process, but ultimately faster than counting then and entering them one at a time. In Numbers, create a table that will be superimposed onto the desired repeat. I like to work in cells that are 24 X 24 points. Columns are marked in letters, so 24 is 2 letters short of the full # of letters in alphabet (X), and row counts are numbered top down on left and easily adjusted. Lace repeats would be the easiest to translate, as they are likely to have the lowest number of cells that will require to be filled in. The cell borders may be created in any color. To my eye the red grid made it easier for me to view its lines when superimposed on the black image. The BW center image was then dragged/dropped into the numbers sheet. Checking via the table format arrange option, the table was shown to be 553 X 1440. The image arrange option showed my black and white image to be adjusted visually by me using corner handles to 496 to 1440. On the far right, the BW image is in turn adjusted to match point values for the table. Check your typing, adjust accordingly. Here my width on right is actually 3 points off.  

Drag and position table onto BW image. Use image format arrange to move image to back of table (box to left below “Style”). Magnify screen to easier working view by adjusting the zoom. It may be helpful to alter some row heights or column widths to get a cleaner view and matching cells to be filled in to dots (center). Click on any row or column, adjust by in turn clicking on up or down arrows that correspond to their respective size. Using command click and color fill options, cell fill on top of the black dots. When done, or to check periodically, table may be slid off the image and back on if needed.

With the table completed, if any columns or rows have been altered in with or height, choose from menu to distribute rows and columns evenly, restoring all square units. 

Change border selection to light, thinner color, capture image and save as png.  Load image in GIMP, convert to BW bitmap, scale to 24 by 60, save in downloadable format. Results are magnified in GIMP final images on the right. Showing grid allows an added visual check if preferred, against the original repeat.

The final repeat tiled, as opposed to punchcard repeat tiled helped me see one missing square I found bothersome, an easy editthe culprit marked in red

The easiest conversion of all? a full page factory mylar sheet. Here is one for lace with a simple adjustment of sharpness and contrast, magnified, and with superimposed rectangular grid after converting to BW bitmap for saving 

to then discover that the blue grid disappears in a quick mode change to indexed in this factory mylar. The images on the far right are again the magnified scaled image, and shown with a superimposed rectangular grid to check match against the original crop 

Rethinking those dark cards: this is a partial repeat grabbed from Pinterest, the image was loaded into GIMP, color inverted, the threshold was adjusted while in RGB mode. The adjoining 2 images show the magnified, scaled, indexed image and its color reverse. When working in RGB mode choose color invert, and when working in indexed mode, choose value invert for color reversal of the image and its ground. Other image adjustments may require toggling between the 2 modes. The bottom pair of images indicate menu location for adjusting grid size and color, and the magnified, scaled image now with a GIMP single pixel grid is also shown
This method however, did not work for flower ? thread lace motif (partial repeat) or the FI repeat. That said in the days of glitched knits, perhaps executed in DBJ accidents such as this could make for interesting experiments or transitions. Here we have the original not planned result, followed by some flipping horizontally and vertically, then resized. There usually is no right or wrong, and it is important to find one’s own voice and the tools required to express it.

my favorite glitch textile artist: Phillip Stearns