I posted on this subject July 11, 2011, new to the party is a mac os app ($1.99) Knit evenly . I actually purchased the developer’s Jknit pro months ago, but lost enthusiasm for tracking my projects that way, no fault of the software, which is amply reviewed by other knitters.
A recent forum post brought up the question that rises periodically on how to reduce colors in photographs, scans, etc. so as to be able to in turn use the image in a low resolution medium such as knit. There are very many ways to achieve this. The post had specifically asked for low cost or free alternatives using Mac software, so I began playing, and compiled the following document detailing some of my process, addressing large scale, non repetitive images in Color reductions for knitting.The document samples were simple, straightforward conversions, with no further “tweaking”.
Mac Os: iPhoto, Preview, further software downloads:
99 cents One bit Camera
A tutorial for owners of Photoshop
With thanks to my test subjects: Rocco
Youtube video channel for Knitalong Cafe.
A video on this topic. I work using Mac OS 10.10 at the moment. When I first wrote on this topic, I downloaded a then free converter The app, Aztec Code Generator, is now no longer free (11/2015), but costs $ 1.99 to purchase. There is a still free, online QR generator
my beginning code
the original image size was reduced to 60 pixels square, and in turn to 40 pixels square respectively, then magnified to 600 times for superimposing the single stitch grid as described in video; screen captured image saves are needed for saving gridded images
the 60 stitch repeat
the 40 stitch repeat
using the aztec code generator to control output size
X1,000, cropped and gridded
not all units are created equal: areas numbered indicate where some of the horizontal units are 5 wide rather than as most 4, and closer inspection will reveal the same for some vertical units. Reconfiguring the grid ie to 4X4 pixels would be an alternative way to “resize” the image, but fails because of the disparities when the unit is applied overall
trying the same process on this BW jpeg, the resulting repeats require further clean up and editing along edges of shapes
using GIMP: 40 stitch repeat, no additional scaling, converted to 1bit BW, could use a bit of clean up, I prefer to work with a black grid
please note these scroll graphs are not accurate working repeats to be knit as they are
11/2015_Knitting’ low resolution is reflected in the number of stitches and rows per inch or per repeat. In this instance Gimp was again used to scale and process the image
Today’s generated image: happy holidays QR code, Aztec code generator, 300 pixels square including white border
scaling, gridding for 30 stitch repeat
for 24 stitch repeat: note loss of detail as stitch and row count is reduced
The above begs many questions. Upon investigation it appears there are 18 2D bar code variants, some static, some dynamic. Qrme is a UK site that provides information on trackable QR codes, forums and more. Their page shows scaled in size codes modules.
XnConvert is a free software file conversion program. Long time Passap users may remember discussions on use of its sibling, XnView in early KM PC days. Convert for the Mac runs in OS10.8. A friend requested a Passap.cut file from me. Graphic converter (not free) did not handle even the file viewing when I was trying to verify file integrity before e mailing. Convert read the same file, and offered a variety of format options for saving. I have been able to use the program to convert pal easily, but not any DAK Pat or Stps. Very early Madag cuts were not recognized, but the libraries available dated by months were. A mixed bag, but this may be a convenient way to create an easily viewed thumbprints library for .cut patterns otherwise identifiable only by their names or launching their design program.
I have reached the point where decades old (89 and earlier) magazines that got “saved” are now being peeked at, and if not given away, then recycled. There may be some bleed through here from pages I have “saved” once again. Browsing through I found some designs not appropriate for machine knitting for one reason or another, but still creating interesting surfaces and the chance to explore using intwined’s other features. The program will create text from a chart, or chart from typed text with some limitations. One of the latter is a very large cable as seen in the attached document. PDF exports can happen within the program if one is specific in the sequencing of creating its documents. The 1989 pattern had only text for the repeat; I typed it, and had the chart pretty much created for me except for the problem row 5. Here is the resulting Intwined created PDF with some of my comments: cable_diamond. The following is the graph I edited, with my illustration for the execution of row 5
the blue line separates the slip stitch section, which can serve as a border on each side of the cable panels, the red lines the edges of the 12 stitches involved in the cable. The green stitches are put on a cable needle and brought to the front of the work, the next 6 stitches are knit first, then the ones from the cable needle to complete the crossing.
the swatch: knit side
the purl side
Inkscape is a free vector program that may be downloaded here. The program runs in both windows and mac environments. In Mac OS 10.7-10.10 the downloaded DMG file requires XQuartz to run in OS X 10.6.3 or later (including El Capitan). For a knitter’s guide to using the program, see youtube series.
One of the critical differences in viewing work as it progresses on the knitting machine, is that the “front” view of the fabric unless the work is removed from the needles through a variety of techniques and turned over on the needle bed, is the purl side. Early machine manufacturer punchcard book publications made an effort to help hand knitters make the transition. A chart from brother publishing knit_sym96 illustrates one such effort. Here the middle icon in the how to work column is the stitch formation one would need to achieve on the MK to get the same “look” as the HK samples. Some symbols apply to both types of knitting, some should be mirrored horizontally to make sense, and in the case of the crossing stitches at top right of the second column there is a bit of confused identity.
Over the years there has been an interesting transition from hand written stitch by stitch instructions to the introduction of symbols ranging from home grown on graph paper, to simple word processing and later software generated ones. Some international differences occurred in published works, and international agreed upon symbols for both knit and crochet eventually evolved. There are many design programs on the market now, I have linked to some in past posts. As knitters have venues for publishing their own repeats and patterns and tools have multiplied, symbols do not always necessarily have the same meaning, and stitch codes are no longer universal.
I have been wanting to find a way other than using excel to build a stitch library usable for machine knitters in an easily accessible program that would do some of the “work” for me. I have experimented with 2 programs. One was knitbird, which I would not recommend for this purpose, the other Intwined Studio which is proving far more flexible and worth the modest investment for me. I work on MacOS10.8, the Intwined version for this OS is beta. There are some small glitches, but this is a tool worth exploring. The option is there to add one’s own symbols to the stitch library. I have begun working on a machine knitting set with icons created in a combination of other programs and Inkscape, the one suggested in the tutorial by the developer. Some charts created with Intwined may be seen in my previous post on sideways pleated skirts. Below is a chart including some MK symbols in my personal library, also using the option to color background for them in program itself rather than editing the chart image after the fact.
The combination of color with symbols in published patterns for both hand knit and crochet is beginning to proliferate. I find the visual color cues help track patterns more easily, have done it in HK in the past, one such example is my chain cable experiment in my January 3rd post.
Some illustrations for lace symbols HK vs MK may be found in my post February 25, 2012 “back to lace”.