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: color separations 1

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

4/30/2018: the feature described below  in 2012 disappeared from later versions of numbers, I am presently using version 5.0. Later versions offered these options for working with rows and columns. The highlighted row will be duplicated, a slower process than simply splitting cells. A positive feature is that an individual table may be changed while still within view on other tables on a single sheet, without globally affecting the document. 

While playing with more table options today I sorted out a way of creating blank rows between design ones, possible charting use still tbd. Though the results from such charting are not capable of being downloaded directly into knitting software, they are a good way to sort out repeats and begin understand and create any necessary color separations. By holding the command key, rows on the table can be be highlighted and hidden as a group. I chose all even numbered rows. The repeat then is drawn. When it is complete, rows originally targeted for hiding are “unhidden”, leaving the design motif with a blank row between each design row, at twice its length. Hiding could take place at irregular intervals as well. 

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, cast ons and bind offs, 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. For an open stitch cast on directions and photos see later post
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.
The 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. Colors are 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

sideway views: knit sidepurl side

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

For later review of cumulative posts on topic see: revisiting drop stitch lace 

For design method for staggered shapes in drop stitch see Ayab software related post The difference from those directions for knitting without the particular software: in other electronics, a single repeat in both height and width is adequate. In machines such as an unaltered 910, first preselection row can be from right to left, so no accommodations need to be made for shifting last row to first of the design repeat. For machines accepting electronic download,  program repeat with first design row containing black squares in it, adjust spacing between repeats as preferred. This particular version is 80 stitches wide 

In an unaltered 910 with the ability to double the width of the programmed repeat, mylar users are not excluded from exploring a similar fabric. The repeat above may be rescaled to half the width,  drawn that way, and then use the twice as wide built in feature. Gimp does an “interesting” thing when scaling this design to half width, note the right side of each repeat is an odd number of squares, the left side an even. The repeat may be used as is or redrawn, adding or eliminating black squares if symmetry in each shape matters.  Paintbrush produces the same image, mirrored.

The explanation: further analysis of the original design reveals the fact that some of the pixel numbers in the design black square blocks are uneven in width. In this instance 3.5 is half of 7, and half pixels cannot be rendered, so the software assigns the split to 4 and 3.

Online Pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more

last review/ update: 12/19/16
I welcome being contacted re any problem links
generators that require color changing every 2 rows using a color changer (or 2 carriages)
generator used by Fabienne
other generators that can help with shaping garments, or some basic knit motif design
knitting pattern
top down circular raglan calculator
iceleandic round yoke design does not work any longer in later version browsers, on Mac even with installation of silverlight, on ravelry it was noted the program does operate in internet explorer
online tessellations motifs
charts: lace, cables and more
math calculators for knitting
free online manuals, magazines
only the intro is in german: a nearly hour long presentation by Fabienne
another approach for Brother models KH‑930, 940, 950i, and 970: and the associated group on ravelry 
970 how to hack instructable 
for additional cumulative information, software compatibility and hardware specs see Claire Williams’ website
color reductions/ conversions for large, non repetitive images Mac
online generators
photoshop tutorial
pattern generators/ web design
open source charting program
quick screen shot

1/21/2016: Online weaving program by Andrew Glassner ; associated blogpost 

11/26/17 a simple, user friendly free motif design paint program for Mac, runs in Sierra: Paint Brush

Atkinson dither github (free)

I have linked before (March 14, 2013) to this github as a way to achieve atkinson dithered images for possible use in knitting. I received a post with questions on how to achieve this successfully. I work on a Mac, latest OS. The resulting dithered files were not read when downloaded by any app other than Preview, and resizing within program was poor quality. Here is my work-around: it is always best to resize any of the images to be processed in color or grey scale, before indexing modes or dithering. Once that is achieved, import image into github without changing output size in the program itself, and download. Your own image size will be retained. Now time for another freebie intervention: XnConvert will accept the file, convert it to BMP or other readable formats if preferred, resulting in a knittable image.

the sized image


via github_XnConvert_.bmp

GIMP color reductions for 2 color “portraits”

The many faces of Rocco

The image is used with the kind permission of Rocco’s owner. I have used this image before, when I posted previously on some ways to reduce colored images to B/W for possible knitting using a Mac computer, please see post on 013/03/14/ color-reduction- conversions-mac-os/. Gimp offers some alternatives to the familiar dithers, and is available, free, for both PC and Mac platforms.

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

Threshold adjustments may not be made in indexed images to alter above image, so it’s back to grey scale. Reductions to grey scale may be achieve through Image_ Mode_ Greyscale or choosing Colors_Desaturate_OK options. Desaturation offers additional choices



rocco desaturated, in “knittable portrait size”

using edge detection and its algorithms

Difference of Gaussians

what happens if in addition color_ invert is used with Roberts

adjusting B/W with Treshold

after a bit of “tweaking”

Image_Mode_Indexed, rendering it “knittable in 2 colors”

getting silly with filling ground with pattern behind floating head

Free Pixel art patterns for both Photoshop and Gimp may be found at Texturemate . To get them to work in GIMP if they are multiple sets, I would suggest combining them all into a single folder which may then be added to preferences, renaming or numbering patterns if the series #s repeat. The tutorial may be found here. The same patterns may be added to PS, a method for doing so may be found here.

As for camera portrait apps: Snapdot (originally 1.99, free in 2018) will render dotted “artworks”

I had no luck reducing this to one bit recognizable 1 bit B/W in PS, but here is the GIMP version in “knittable ” size

Onebitcamera, another fun tool, has not been updated for latest versions of Mac OS and associated devices

More GIMP charting (3)

These are quick notes from some of my continuing experiments, not explicit how tos or item patterns. Possible lengthening of designs dependent upon knitting technique is not considered; the “charts” were created keeping aspect ratio of original motif. The initial images are copyright free.

from scanned B/W source, 200 pixels X 227

open document

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

Image Scale 200 wide down to 50

areas were “cleaned up” using single pixel pencil, when satisfactory capture window with grid enlarged for working graph,  or remove grid, export in format for download

this is a partial repeat of a large black and white .png image

working with a smaller, random selection

Open image

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

enlarge, show grid, decide on accuracy of repeat,  when OK , graph or export and knit, no clean up required for this one

Filter_Map_Tile_magnifying result  will test accuracy of repeat

the motif was a random crop, with obvious issues, more work would need to be done with the original image to isolate the proper section for tiling accuracy to occur

a multicolor image 143 pixels X 112

Image_Mode_Indexed _3 color (manual change from 4 to 3)

Image scale to 100 pixel wide

Enlarge for viewing grid and/or cleaning up; result yields 2 repeats that could be used 50 sts wide each, leaves could use a bit more detail

a partial image grab, pre any “corrections”

if color separations are needed for software that can superimpose  colors and do the necessary color changer manipulations cues a link on color separations for screen printing provides some ideas. Another method

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select


Create new document same dimensions


repeat for each color

the results: the flower is actually in the “wrong place” even with what appeared to be same document settings

easier and “on the spot”:

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color one (flower)


Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result

Re-open original image

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color two (leaves)

Edit _ Cut

Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result


GIMP software 2

This is the method I used to achieve the “color separations” in the previous post:

File new: create in canvas size for knit repeat: deleting the default 0 gives a working surface that is 64X40/ OK for small motifs

Change magnification to 1,000, hit return

GIMP Windows_Dockable items_ navigation will provide an easy slider to adjust sizing as needed

View: show grid, snap to grid

RGB mode

Draw test motif repeat, using one pixel pencil tool in B to draw, W to erase

The program allows for combining all items in one window, I prefer not to

test motif

Save file in native format .xcf  for backup and future changes

Use color markings to outline repeat

Adjust magnification with navigation slider if needed for easier editing

With crop tool, crop area within colored markings; menu_image_crop to selection

Use filter, map tile to view repeat in multiples- adding a 0 to both x and y pixel number values is an easy way to achieve that. The tiled image is in turn easily gridded if such a graph is required- simply go to view, highlight show grid, grab the resulting image, and save

If the repeat is satisfactory: back to image cropped screen, click within window, go to file export menu, choose file format, and save as png, bmp, etc for download, or simply screen grab the image in an easy to see size if punching a card or requiring a single repeat chart. I do not own Dak; GIMP does have a .pat read and save, but I have no way of testing whether files are in any way compatible between the 2 programs.

Most electronics are able to take the motif repeat and separate it automatically for a 2 color DBJ knit. If a separation for 2 color DBJ is required for use with a punchcard, or for any of the fabrics already discussed one needs to return to the xcf magnified document.

For the simplest DBJ separation, each row will break down into 2 colors, which in turn need to be knit with 2 passes for each color. This method is the one that is most likely to increase lengthening of the knit image, but one that “always” works.

To lengthen the repeat X2, cropped repeat area needs to be converted to 2 colors or  go to image, mode, click on convert

Gimp 2.8.22 : Image, mode, select Indexed 

Open Image Scale window; use image scale tool, clicking once again on selected repeat areaGIMP 2.8.22: highlight number you wish to keep constant

To break aspect ratio and control one of the 2 values, click on chain like symbol on right, it will appear “broken”change the second value

Click on scale image. If the intent is to continue editing by using the pencil tool, the image mode needs to be returned to RGB before proceeding with editing.

Adjust numbers to desired scaling, height doubled for the original repeat would be 18 pixels in length, here is the result

To separate the rows revert to RGB mode, unselect repeat area by clicking outside its parameters.

row 1/color 1 in DBJ needs to knit in the largest number of “squares”, so my color inversion will begin on design row 2, for color 2; because these are individual pixels, numbering is not possible; I use color guides for  row that need to be inverted and repeat outline, and use navigation bar to enlarge for easy selection individual rows with crop tool

After selecting desired row with the rectangle select tool go to colors_invert, seen here for first row of color 2, repeat for length of motif. The result is suitable for use with double length KM built in features, and color changer. The black squares represent programmed pixels in download, or  what is drawn  on mylar/ punched in card.

If the double length of the separation is required: image _mode _indexed removes red and yellow squares, repeat process described above: select motif, use scale tool over the same area, scale image to 8X36. The caveat here is that one needs to be in the original canvas area: with a beginning canvas that was 64 X40, there is enough room for doubling length once more. Undo scale, use scale tool again, dragging upper and lower corners, keeping an eye on changing numbers in window for scale tool, type correction to numbers if needed, click on scale , autocrop to selection for export in desired format or screen grab and print to desired size

working with more colors, toward similar goals

adding colors: 3 colors per row motif, drawn in RGB mode

to make it the required triple length

resulting image when scaled to triple pixel height

the still manual color separation: whiting out unwanted colors in each row

double the length again

colored squares represent pixels in download, square in mylar, punched holes in card

GIMP software 1

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image retouching and editing program released as free and open source software. There now is a Mac OS Mountain Lion compatible version. The downloads may be found here, and more links for: features, supported file formats, help tutorials. One limitation is that for “color separations” to work by inverting colors one needs to reduce images to 1 bit B/W images, a definite advantage is the speed relative to working in spreadsheet programs. Another drawback is that one is using single pixel designing, so adding numbers for rows and stitches in the particular format is not possible. My June 10th post on illusion knits illustrated an example in creating repeats for them, here are sample results/charts

quilting double bed (for more on topic see May 30th post)


the accompanying swatch, which shows the difference in width resulting from using tuck setting <—> (top) and  slip <—> setting (bottom)
double jacquard

images of working settings and gimp windows for my separations