Charting knits using Mac Numbers program 1

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 the screen and a resized document will appear

drag on symbol  small rectangle with 6 dots (upper right, bottom left, marked 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 contexts. 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 a color from the window that appears, select color, the cell will fill with color, having a palette within the document will save confusion, and save trips 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 the 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 the 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 a 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 the 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 in any selected area, without affecting the remainder of the spreadsheet. 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 uses 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 to understand and create any necessary color separations. By holding the command key, rows on the table can be highlighted and hidden as a group. I chose all the 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 the line at bottom of any numbered, grey row cell on the left of the table, and resize to match the remainder of your document, when the 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 used in knitting multiple colors per row drop stitch “lace” fabrics.
The method may also 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 at the top and bottom edges, cast ons and bind offs, need special consideration and planning.

In this instance, the design has been separated for the dbj method wherein each color in each design row knits twice. The second row in each pair of rows is then cleared of any pixels which results in no needle selection, providing an opportunity for the loops formed on the main bed to be dropped with the assistance of a stitch ditcher.
The fabric may also be executed using the original separation, but the opportunity to use an accessory to facilitate stitch dropping is lost’
The method for swatching: cast on for every other needle rib, knit 2 circular rows followed by one row of all knit rib, and transfer all main bed stitches to the ribber. For an open stitch cast on directions and photos see later post.
COR Set up needles on both beds for every needle rib with an extra needle in work at each end on the main bed, cancel end needle selection (KC II). With the main bed needles in the B position, set the knit carriage to slip in both directions so as not to pick up loops across the whole row as the first pass toward the color changer is made, needles will be preselected for the first pattern row
COL: the ribber remains set to knit every needle, the main bed to slip in both directions. A piece of tape in front of needle butts of needles in A position aside from the edge needles in work helps keep from accidentally moving extra needles into work when dropping whole rows of stitches
change color, as the carriage moves to the right, selected needles will pick up loops on the main bed that will form 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 due to the all blank rows in this type of color separation
COR: use any convenient tool to bring all needles involved out to E, and use the same tool to return all stitches back to the B position, dropping the loops on the main bed which will form the long stitches. With this type of color separation, it is also possible to use a modified Studio P slider Directions on altering the studio tool for use on Brother machines to drop stitches from right to left before continuing to knit.
Check that all needles are empty and that loops free and between the beds.
As the carriage moves to the left again toward the color changer, the ribber only will knit all stitches (does so every row), needles will be preselected for the next row of long stitches, selected needles are not knitting.
Colors are changed every 2 rows
The pattern and the “color separations”, were achieved using GimpImages 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 the 910 mylar sheet
A downloadable PDF of basic info 185_brother
sideway views: knit side purl side The emerging pattern can be seen, and to be noted is the elongation factor involved as in many color separation DBJ fabrics
For a later review of cumulative posts on the topic see: revisiting drop stitch lace 
For the design method for staggered shapes in drop stitch see Ayab software-related post.
In other electronics, a single repeat in both height and width is adequate and machine selections will determine whether the design is knit as a single motif or as all-over patterns.
Ayab’s preselection is always from left to right. In unhacked 910s, the first preselection row can be from right to left, so no accommodations need to be made for shifting the last row to the first of the design repeat.
For machines accepting electronic downloads, program the repeat with the first design row containing black squares in it, and adjust the 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. In Gimp scaling this design to half-width, note the right side of each repeat contains an odd number of squares, the left side an even one. The repeat may be used as-is or redrawn, adding or eliminating black squares if symmetry in each shape matters. The free program 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.
A Passap sample

Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Passap KM

A recent Ravelry forum thread resulted in this response from me re drop stitch patterns with multiple colors per row: “some random thoughts on these techniques: they are often much easier on the Passap, particularly the E 6000 because the machine is capable of separating colors for techniques that would require software or lots of hand/brain work to be done manually and entered. The drawback is that the pattern books offer no explanations of the programmable techniques, simply offer a number to the program to reproduce a specific illustration in their publication, and need to be analyzed by DIYers if one chooses to apply them to their own patterns.
Sorting it all out can help reproduce the fabrics when using other KM brands.
In the case of multiple color patterns: to retain some of the knit structure for each color accompanied by long stitches in the same color on any single row, some of the stitches need to be knit only on the ribber or Passap back bed, with the alternating stitches in the same color dropping after they are knit on the patterning bed.
Distinctions are sometimes made in Passap knitting between release stitches and summer fair isle. For these techniques, weights are recommended. All stitches are transferred to the back bed after cast on and before beginning a release pattern.
The racking handle is down, black strippers are recommended.
The back bed pushers must be in the rest position after the pattern is set up.
All stitches are released from the front bed before binding off on the back one.
E6000 Tech 256: knit 2 rows with yarn, 2 without yarn, dropping stitches
Tech 129: N/LX end release, single color
Tech 185: N/LX 2 rows color 1, 2 rows color 2, end release
Self-drawn reader technique for 3 colors  Self-drawn reader technique for 4 colors Tech 117 for color separated designs and entered for 3+4 colorwork. From my E6 manual with my scribbled notes In tech 185 when combining the technique with a stitch pattern, the white squares for each design row K1R, skip 3, the black squares slip for 2R, K1R, skip one, with each 2 col row expanding into 4. Stitches are picked up on patterning bed EOR (odd #), not on even, resulting in both knit and dropped stitches in each color, in the pattern. BX with left arrow key/LX, 2 rows with yarn, 2 with no yarn to drop loops on the front bed. The “long stitch” Tech 184 or “pintuck” Tech 250 may also be used for release stitch.
The front bed stitches must be released before any shaping as well as prior to binding off. The edges of the resulting knits can be uneven. The side opposite that in which color changes are happening, right on Passap, left on Japanese machines, tends to be looser than the other. When color changes happen the floats on the edge between them can pull up the fabric on that side, so a small wight may have to be added and moved up every few rows on that side every few rows to keep that from happening.
Passap knitters: see summer fair isle pp 41-43 E6000 pattern book for illustrations of some 2 colors per design row stitch patterns…I am guessing also that separating colors for selective stitch dropping can help where one wants to retain some stitches while dropping others in that same row using pusher selection selectively (such as in the Superba-inspired bubble sample).
Below is a quick E6 sample: the fabric was pressed, had been much more textured prior to doing so, and is shown in sideways format; casting on and binding off would have to be considered in planning an actual fabric, as the patterned portion is a very different width than simple stocking stitch in the same yarn.
An Australian woman, Faye Butcher, developed a tool intended for dropping stitches without disrupting pusher selection on the front bed It may be used to drop any individual rows, but with some practice, it can be shifted from one side to the other, preceding the locks as they move to the opposite side, dropping loops formed on the previous row ahead of new ones being knit making the process very quick.
The Passap test swatch
purl side knit side Passap stitch formation is more predictable and even than in Brother knitting.  I prefer to drop at regular intervals, in my experience with longer pieces, not all stitches may ravel properly after doing so in a test swatch.
End release does not work in every design,  ie if long stitch shapes are distributed on knit striped grounds.
A Brother sample using the same design repeat as in the Passap swatch.

More “circles from squares”

My latest wraps based on this principle are from a variety of fibers, and  knit on the Passap 6000;  the Passap allows for more tucked rows,  which in turn  provide the wider width for the “ruffle” at the top and bottom of the piece

altering the height of the “bottom ruffle” to about half  changes the angles in the drape in the front

my previous posts on the topic of attempting to achieve circular knits on the machine: