A block lace pattern on the KM 1

A friend recently posted a forum query on a published pattern that has led to my exploring another hand to machine knit transfer lace. The “flemish block lace” design from the second treasury of knitting patterns by Barbara Walker, p. 270 seemed to be the lace pattern motif used. Here is a partial detail from the fabric that began the discussion

try to copy

Below is a chart for the Walker repeat produced with Intwined. The repeat is a multiple of 14 + 3 border stitches, the first row is purl, but I could not enter an all purl for row one and not have the remaining symbols altered by the program, which assumes in lace the first row is knitflemish block lacethe program’s generated HK instructions for one repeat plus 3 border stitches screenshot_04In attempting the machine knit version I chose to use the HK chart for my transfers as it stood, the directions of the transfers being mirrored vertically did not matter to me.

This design has “chains” traveling along some of the edges of the diagonal shapes. A lot of moving stitches in groups of 2 or 3 is required to achieve the look. It may be possible to achieve the fabric knitting with the aid of a lace carriage,  but planning the punchcard or electronic repeat and correcting any dropped stitches pose special challenges. My first samples were knit on the bulky KM, working in width of the 17 sts illustrated above.

I began to test transfers by moving stitches every row. Interesting things happen when single rows are knit on the machine as opposed to the traditional 2 in multiple transfer lace, as well as the resulting shape being half the number of rows long. The eyelet yarn lies single, without the twist usually seen, and begins to look more like ladders (see previous posts on zig zag ladder lace).

knit sideIMG_1938purl sideIMG_1939

with 2 knit rows between transfers (the missing eyelet in marked spot is due to operator error) the familiar look of multiple transfer lace appears1940

IMG_1941

below the swatch image is flipped horizontally for a different perspective, approaching the original hand knit inspiration1940looking at charting differently, back to Excel: single repeat

BW repeat_12

                    checking alignment, adding border stitches4 repeatbw                                                adding colorcolored repeat

moves                    checking alignment, adding border stitches4 repeat color2The next consideration might be how to make executing the pattern easier on a standard machine. Needle pre selection may be used to guide hand transfers. Working out the electronic repeat, represented by black squares:isolating mylar rep                                         the transfer directions

transfers                        the chart in repeat , including bordersmylarx4_borderthere is no transfer on row 3 of repeat next to border on chart left, it is omitted in bottom of chart, shown on top half. End needle selection is cancelled throughout. The resulting test swatch, one operator error transfer missing on mid left:

                                                    knit side 500_1945                                                     purl side500_1944One of the issues I encountered during the initial tests was that of occasional needles “sneaking”/ dropping back on the machine, so ladders rather than eyelets were formed. The needle retainer bar is old, and I like to work lace with the ribber off and a tilted main bed, explaining the possible cause.

Zig Zag ladder lace 2: hand knit

I work primarily on a Mac, Maverick OS. Intwined software has had some issues operating in Mac consistently in the latest OS versions. The chart to text can be a really nice feature. The repeat, drawn here with symbols in the built in stitch library, shows errors in row 2 and 4 of the accompanying text.single repeatmistakes single

On a larger canvas, the original repeat is outlined below in red. Yellow indicates knit border stitches around ladder lace pattern repeats; row 22 is absent from the text that accompanied the larger chart.

full chart

full directionsSkitch is a free program, available for both Mac and Windows, that allows the opportunity for of highlighting or further editing a graphic. Taking the information above, here I added numbers that reflect actual repeat rows, used the arrows as a reminder of change in direction of zig zag, and the red outlines vs green indicate changes in type of knit decrease. It is easy to add as much or as little additional information as one feels helpful. There are controls for line thickness, shadows, etc.

actual repeat

JKnit is another program that may be of interest to anyone who prefers to track their projects, progress, and much more on their iPad or iPhone. The Lite version is free for both devices.

Below is an image of the hand knit swatch, unblocked, which appears three dimensional; transfer  lace has traditionally been blocked to lie flat and maximize eyelets. The fabric may be very interesting without blocking. If a slightly thicker yarn with “memory” is used, the piece may be steamed lightly, and the pattern segments will tend to shift in and out from the flat surface, whether the piece is hand or machine knit.IMG_1901

The yarn used was a “throw away” swatch testing acrylic. A very quick, light press and a bit of steam and here it is in the resulting killed, forever flattened version

IMG_1905  and it reverse side

IMG_1906

X11 and open source programs: Mac Mavericks update

With the advent of Mac Mavericks, function of some open source design software linked to XQuartz was lost. Macosforge  now provides an updated X11 for OS X 10.6 or later (including Mavericks). X11 is required to run  Inkscape, a vector program, and ArahPaint5, a paint and drawing one that can be viewed being used in this video. Version4 is also included in a package with a free demo for ArahWeave. All have potential for creating and working with images, particularly useful in development of large format motifs for download to knitting machines.

 

Visualizing knit cables in color_ Excel

In the past I have suggested methods for working in Excel, and provided links to excellent material shared by others online. Of late I became interested in using the program to produce simple color graphics for cable illustrations. It is helpful to have prior experience in using Excel for knit charting. This is not intended as a complete tutorial. I am providing a document for experimentation. I would suggest copying and pasting the individual shapes to a different part of the document before playing with color changes, resizing, etc. This may be done within the chart in progress, or separately, and then copying /pasting or moving the final result into place.

The resulting charts may be used in both hand and machine knitting. My illustrations here are intended for machine knits, so they do not combine purls and knits on their ground. Images represent single side view: as they would appear on the knit side facing hand knitters, or the purl side facing the machine knitter. Stitch, row marking, and text may be added as wanted.

Chosen from the view menu, the object palette allows selection of built in available shapes. Once a shape is drawn into the workbook, the formatting palette allows access to image size, rotation (including flipping both vertically and horizontally, and alignment (moving front to back and reverse).

object_format_palette

Color fill – unless standard colors are chosen, there will be issues matching colors combined when using with bucket fill from toolbar to add color to cell(s)

toolbar

toolbar

formatting options: fill

shape_fill

shape border: line, color (or not)

shape_line

one of the ways to access size, rotation, aspect ratio

shape_size

sample results

screenshot_33

an in progress document for experimentation: blog_color_cables. Adjust zoom to personal preference for either viewing or working, grab portions of working screen for images of sections of workbook to save, or save as, and explore PDF options.

More on charting, foreign symbols, and cables

This topic has come up as part of previous posts. I recently reviewed links, and thought I would re-group them a bit differently here, adding some new.  Please click on continue reading to have list appear as active links if they do not immediately do so in your browser. Latest additions are at post bottom.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ardesign/knitfont.htm

http://www.knittinguniverse.com/downloads/KFont/index.html

http://www.stitchmastery.com

http://www.woollywormhead.com/knitting-fonts/

https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adriprints/stitchin-knit/

https://www.softbyte.co.uk/designaknit.htm

http://www.envisioknit.com/features/

https://stitch-maps.com/about/key/

pixelated lettering

http://www.fontpalace.com/font-download/Notice+3+Std/

http://www.fonts2u.com/munro-small.font

http://www.fontspace.com/ten-by-twenty/munro

letters in knit stitches

http://www.fonts2u.com/knitfonta.font

http://www.fonts2u.com/knitfontb.font

http://www.fontspace.com/honey-and-death/knitfont

care labels

http://www.fontpalace.com/font-download/Notice+3+Std/

more on cables

http://www.impeccableknits.ca/cable-knitting-resources.html

http://eunnyjang.com/knit/2005/11/technickety_how_to_unvent_a_si.html

I have been trying to navigate Mac Numbers again, but in playing at my own latest charting with software after the Yosemite update, I find I am drifting back to using Excel once more as my primary “graph paper”. Charts published in foreign languages and magazines, and particularly those in Russian (where the same symbols appear to have different functions depending on the publisher) provide challenges in translating for using charts provided in hand or machine knitting.

Some sources from/for different countries that may help with interpretations:

http://www.knittingfool.com/Reference/KF_Symbols.aspx

http://www.burdafashion.com/downloads/PDF/Zeichenerklaerung_EN.pdf

http://www.verenaknitting.com/pdf/Abbrev&Symbol.pdf

http://www.garnstudio.com/glossary.php?langf=it&langt=en

http://www.shelda.net/pitsilised.html

http://www.tezukuritown.com/lesson/knit/code/index.html

http://www.jessica-tromp.nl/knittingpatterns_breipatronen/japanese_knitting_stitches.htm

I began a spreadsheet that includes a few of their alternative symbols, and some cable configurations working with shapes available within excel for charting them. Here is my editable WIP excel document with the start of the process, a possible DIY start , will update in future

foreign symbols2_share  2/1/15

Anna Burda magazine symbols PDF, includes HK how to illustrations:  ab2  2/1/15

4/24/15: sconcho  is a GUI for creating knitting charts  that comes with a built in stitch library. A manual is available. Custom stitch symbols may be created in Inkscape to form personal vector shapes.  X11 may be required to run Inkscape on your computer as well, all are free.

Knit charting in Mac Yosemite; visualizing knit cables

Some previous blog posts on topic

http://alessandrina.com/2013/01/03/chain-cable-hk-experiment/

http://alessandrina.com/2013/02/07/hand-to-machine-symbols-4-cables/

http://alessandrina.com/2014/07/07/a-bit-of-cables-and-lace-charting-hk-to-mk/

http://alessandrina.com/2012/01/28/a-few-to-try/

http://alessandrina.com/2011/12/23/more-cables-and-lace-links/

in reviewing the 2011 post I found that the knitting chart maker by Jacquie no longer works in Yosemite due to Java plugins conflicts

Updating to Yosemite has provided some interesting issues for me. The first was Safari pretty much becoming unusable. It took a Mac expert and a chunk of his time to resolve the issue. There are still hiccups in other apps. I thought I would revisit some of the methods I have mentioned as usable in knit charting on Mac via a bit of discussion on cables and visualizing them.

Intwined began having issues in Macs with any custom built stitch libraries in mid year 2013. The last update offered and installed September 2013 has continued to have some functionality issues in later Mac OS versions (Mavericks, and now Yosemite), stripped of any custom stitches built previously, not allowing for their addition. It has become only an occasional go to for me now. Charts  created in the program are easily recognizable.

Inkscape (recommended for creating icons for use in Intwined, a free vector program) will require a  XQuartz update for Yosemite. Their previous release allowed for its use in Mavericks.

http://xquartz.macosforge.org/landing/

http://xquartz.macosforge.org/trac/wiki/X112.7.8

http://sourceforge.net/projects/sconcho/ is an open source, free charting software with built in stitch libraries that may meet many of your charting needs in any OS version

Excel behaves as in the past (my version:Office 08)

Mac Number has once again deleted some familiar menu options, added new ones.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ardesign/knitfont.htm

and some of my accumulated knit symbols from other font sources continue to work on the mac, but are unsupported if using the iPad version of the program, where they appear as the original  keyboard strokes, rather than the assigned symbols

GIMP 2.8.4 (2.8.8 did not), HyperDither, appear functional as in past.

Tracking and visualizing custom cables outside the parameters of built in libraries or fonts/symbols in alternative software, using Numbers 3.5: one of the problems that can be encountered in charting cables is that programs with built in stitch libraries may not provide for cable crossings specific to your pattern. The charts below have not been proofed executable in a swatch at this point in time, are simply a way of exploring drawing methods, my working notes from some quick experiments, not a step by step tutorial. I have no way of confirming results in previous versions of the software or OS.

available “shapes”

To make them editable, click on shape, go to format menu, highlight shapes and lines-> make editable. Click on shape and in turn on format symbol below in the image below, and windows become available for style and arrangement choices

The knit and purl symbols on the left of my first chart utilizing line with arrow shapes are standard ones. The right side uses a dot for purl stitches instead of a line, and that began to make the whole more readable to me. One drawback is “shapes” do not seem to respond to any copy and paste demands and I had to draw each individually. I preferred to place them outside my chart. Guidelines then appear to suit for easy re sizing and the resulting edit may then be dragged and dropped into appropriate location in chart, readjusted as/if needed. Color palettes for drawing appear limited to the built in shades; toggling between available colors may be accessed by clicking on the dots below the pen tool in the first illustration above.  In the chart, purple lines indicate stitches brought forward, yellow the stitches brought to back when working the cables. The number 10 in the left hand column should be a one.

Cleaning up lines and adding color if needed may be done in Photoshop or GIMP; this makes forward stitches a bit clearer

bucket fill provides an added way to follow movement of stitches

Utilizing the pen tool in shapes menu to draw custom cable crosses and filling them using the option within the numbers program  moves toward an all color chart_ far quicker than using lines and bucket fills. The red segment indicates knit stitches traveling in back for the cable cross

A lot of information is available on creating reversible cable fabrics using ribbed configurations. I thought I would play with knit/ purl blocks rather than vertical rib lines. The initial chart was begun in Intwined, bucket filled in Photoshop to extend colors within cable crosses. The red border outlines the pattern repeat. Alternate right side rows are shown; all wrong side rows are worked as the stitches appear (knit stitches are knit, and purl stitches are purled). Here the cell colors happen to be reversed from their use in the above, the yellow is used for knit stitches, the green the purls. I opted to indicate knit stitches by color only, no symbol.

This is the resulting swatch, in a random acrylic yarn, with varying numbers of rows in between cable crossings my plan is to create a scarf in significantly thicker alpaca yarn, a strictly HK fabric. Photo shows both sides of fabric.

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.

http://www.unitconversion.org/unit_converter/typography.html

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

one_page_landscape

one_page_portrait

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

http://www.theknittingsite.com/knitting-graph-paper/

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

http://alessandrina.com/2013/10/29/charting-knits-in-excel/

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.

PUNCHCARD TEMPLATES

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

http://alessandrina.com/2011/12/14/more-low-tech/

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.

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 3

SPLITTING THINGS UP leads to a series of quite different fabrics, sometimes creating interesting secondary solid color shapes when striping is added to any of the forms; repeats will need editing to avoid extra rows to keep the designs balanced, or have them added across their width for extending shapes, such as in creating ruffled effects. I have worked these charts using Numbers, image capture, and resizing and editing again in photoshop if needed. The images below are not intended as a “sit and knit” tutorial, but rather as a start for creating your own designs, on desired number of stitches, I randomly picked 22

some possibilities on method: SPIRAL original shape

splitting in 2 parts

changing positions and stacking, all knit row edited to bottom of repeat

a mirrored segment

added to first repeat, center line double row edited out for knitting

MITER: original repeat

split repeat

moving parts around

areas for adding plain knit rows in desired numbers across the knit (yellow), keeping in mind how this will affect color changing sequences if striping is used to create secondary patterns; repeat usable for machines with color changer on right

mirroring whole repeat horizontally for use with color changer on left

Changing colors at regular intervals including every 2 rows will yield secondary, geometric patterns; all knit rows may be added to the right or left of the shapes maintaining color changes, for different effects; if these are planned in extended “white areas”, the holding sequence needs to be maintained every other row; slip stitch setting may be used to automate, with repeats reworked for use on 24 stitch punchcard machines. I find when exploring any of this initially, working repeats as hand techniques helps me understand necessary sequences and editing before committing to punching holes, filling mylar squares or programming pixels. Swatches and notes, swatches and notes…

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 2

Visualizing the shapes (using charts in Mac Numbers)

A spiral gore is the first or second half of a miter gore, conversely a miter gore has 2 consecutive  spiral gores, knit in mirror image.

GOING ROUND: numbers 1-12 represent knitting sequence for wedges, thicker lines at segment edges = rows across knit width at end of each sequence, 2 rows or many more depending on planned design shape

Previous posts on related topics:

http://alessandrina.com/2011/06/18/knitting-math-and-pies1/

http://alessandrina.com/2011/06/24/taking-it-to-a-garment/

http://alessandrina.com/2011/03/29/the-doilies/

http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 1

Getting my thoughts together on topic I searched for any of my previous posts that may be related, here is a list

http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/18/holding-stitches-short-rows/

http://alessandrina.com/2014/02/24/holdingshort-rows-hand-tech-to-chart-to-automating-with-slip-stitch-1/

http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/

http://alessandrina.com/2013/01/21/automating-pleating/

Even in my earliest days as a hand knitter, I liked charting out my sweater shapes ie sleeves, necklines, etc on graph paper and tracking my place by marking appropriate row or every other row on the charted image. Many of the formulas for charting math in garment shaping may be emulated by drawing a line on chart where each square represents a stitch and a row, connecting points, and filling in squares. Averaging out grid shifts is also the guideline to increasing and decreasing for shaping on pixel charts. Though this may be a bit of egg before the chicken, I got sidetracked playing with software yet again.

GIMP

Working premise: using holding to shape a wedge over 36 rows. Stitch multiples  are brought into hold opposite the carriage (floats will be created if they are brought into hold on carriage side), in the instances below each graph row represents 2 rows knit, my fabric width at the start is 100 sts

Set image size _ pixels equal stitches and rows required

Magnify X 1000 (this is what I prefer for viewing and editing, less magnification may be used)

Activate 1 stitch grid/ show grid/ snap to grid

Make certain whole image is within your window view

Using line shape: click on upper left corner, press shift key_a drawing line will appear with a + symbol at its bottom right_click on first square on the bottom right , a line will appear where black squares represent  # of stitches to be held each row

bucket fill in appropriate side of wedge to represent knit stitches

create a new, larger canvas that will accommodate desired multiple stacked repeats and possible knit rows in between shapes in new window; copy image from the first window, paste  into new window, move it and place in desired location on your  screen

return to first window, flip image vertically (image menu/ select transform and direction)

again copy, paste, move into desired location and insert knit or (patterned) rows (green) when and if desired. On electronic machines the final image would have to be doubled in length, so those “knit row” pixels/squares would have to be adjusted accordingly to half the desired number

Row by row charting for double height to represent each row of actual knitting: the process

starting with a repeat 6X6

convert image to bitmapped (repeat at upper right below is a different one, should match the one being resized)

scale image: click on locked symbol in turn to alter aspect ratio, change both pertinent numbers

the repeat twice as long, 6 X 12

going 3D, possible spiral

eliminating squares

shifting things around in order to add “automatic wraps”, begin knit with COL

in further progress

save in image in format for downloading to machines via cable and knitting using slip stitch setting, or export or screen grab for printing and knitting from chart visually as hand technique. If printing images colored cues may be added for carriage/lock setting or color changes, etc.

the question: what about numbers and excel?

NUMBERS

using the line tool (shapes) will get the line in place, shaping is “eyeballed”

knit squares are filled in

so you want to double the height only? Apple for some reason when they  “upgraded” to the latest version of the program (3.2) has eliminated the split table feature, so the only way I can see is through using table: add rows above or below in the chart, new row will be a copy of selected row

EXCEL

the insert row option will add rows only below selected ones, I have not found a tool equal to the line shape in Numbers