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

Revisiting pleats on the knitting machine: single bed

work in progress 

I am recently pondering self folding shapes, which begin with pleating. Presently, in fashion and knitwear, skirts and clothing with ruffled or folded fabric variations abound. In 2013 I wrote a post including downloadable files of one of my early handouts and working notes. This is the same information
It is possible to knit shadow pleats combining them with holding position to knit wedges which will produce a more circular shape . The shaping can occur in both thick and thin areas.

When working in stocking stitch, if a soft looking pleat is desired, the knitted fabric is simply folded to form the pleat and joined to keep the fold. Crisper folds require the added techniques described above. In hand knitting fold lines are created by slipping stitches on the fold line on the “public side”. Assuming the latter is the knit side of the fabric, this is often indicated by “sl 1 with yarn in back” for front fold line (and as another slip st  option, for with yarn in front for back fold line). A purl stitch is more commonly worked on the same side of the knit for the opposing, inner fold. Both the slipped stitch and the purl one are purled on the return purl row pass. It is also possible to work the former purl stitch as a purl, resulting in a garter stitch is fold inner fold.

To review, parts of pleats: 

knife pleats may be put next to each other, and pointing to the right (S) or the left (Z)

Box pleats are composed of alternating right and left knife pleats, pointing away from each other. Inverted box pleats are composed of one left and one right knife pleat, pointing toward each other.

Accordion pleas are a series of knife pleats in which the back of one pleat forms the face of the next 

The subsequent posts followed with the information in on pleated skirts made with lace carriage transfers (from Brother Knitting Techniques Book ) as well as on ribbed folding fabrics, and automating pleats single bed (‘holding’/slip stitch shaping).

Some authors and publications include hems in the category of pleats as “horizontal”. To my mind they merit their own category. Some related techniques that may be used at the bottom, in the body of the knit, at the top, or only on part of the surface may be found in my previous posts hems 1, hems 2, and ruching .

Ayab: short rows automated with slipstitch

I have recently been reviewing some of my ideas for using slip stitch to achieve fabrics normally created by hand pulling needles for short rows. The samples for most charts below are found in previous posts on topic. My hacked machine is presently being put to bed for a while as I work on some production pieces on KMs that allow me to produce predictable lengths of knit. I will not be providing proof of concept swatches for every chart.

A bit on defining short rows

The carriage movements are partially illustrated below, beginning with the first row pre selection from left to right (red line/ arrow), which happens to be the only option when using ayab. Ayab also mirrors automatically, so either mirroring the rendered repeat or using action mirror in software is required for the holding sequence to be correct. The lines indicate direction of carriage movement on each design row. Blocks need to be even numbers in height, and may be adjusted in width. The full swing of the fabric in each direction needs to be programmed.
here the holding sequence works toward the center Ayab will mirror it if drawn as is, which will place carriages in position for first preselection row to start from left, decreasing stitches in work 

For increasing stitches in work rather than decreasing them, this illustrates the direction in which the carriages need to be moving. In this instance the image needs to be mirrored to erase the software’s automatic doing so 

Single bed pleats This repeat is planned for each square representing both a single stitch and single row. Since the width of the knit piece needs to be programmed when using Ayab, this approach may be used for anything from ruffles to sideways skirts. Additional information on designing is offered in previous post, used as is  

With a bit more planning and even using a garter bar, this is executable as well
For a possible all knit surface variant the repeat on the left is drawn, due to auto mirror no mirroring is required to obtain the knit rows in the directions illustrated the right. Knit as is, the resulting eyelets including the larger one at the center can serve as “design features”. Motif on left, mirrored as it would be by Ayab on right. With narrow pieces of knit, pay extra attention to beeps and flashes. Clearing the end marks on the needle bed may also be necessary to keep needle selection accurate, watch for yarn loop formation on either side as the result of  having to travel that far from the end of the needles in work. “just for fun”

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Knit charting using Mac Numbers

from 2012, Numbers 3.2.2: printing graph paper to desired cell dimensions

I chose to change preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeters, inches and points). Online conversion between units of measurement and PostScript points may be calculated (if needed) using calculators ie.

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 sidebar at right

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 table to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag the Add or remove rows and columns button symbol on bottom right and all units on sheet will be resized to displayed measurements

as you do so you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document.

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.

The last online manual for numbers 09 is available here. The program has changed significantly in appearance and in some of its functions since then.

I have been exploring numbers out of necessity since upgrading my Mac to the latest OS, thus losing availability to Office, and therefore to Excel. I recently published a post using Numbers for color separations in knits , and decided to attempt to explore the program further. Here I am reviewing and sharing some of the process and information I now use in creating my blog’s knit charts. There is no recent, full manual for the program.

The format bar that may be familiar to users of older versions