DAK lace module 2, template use, other software

I am taking a break from lace, the two posts so far on using the module reflect my own experiences outside the program’s environment. The latter will continue to be the focus of my future posts when exploring the use of the software, with testing specifically aimed at adapting or using any of the Stitch designer features and output on Brother knitting machines.

Almost a decade ago I had a temporary leaf lace obsession, and it appears to have resurfaced. This pattern was offered in a Japanese machine knitting magazine, with no accompanying MK repeat. When transferring stitches by hand it is possible to move multiple stitches within a single row as well as to move stitches in opposite directions within the same row, making the published repeat executable When automating the repeat edits are possible and very easy using the lace module, these first drafts were created in Numbers,  I have to admit the first time I tried to knit both the associated png, mirrored and not, I experienced patterning errors. Whether due to operator fatigue, static, or any other possible cause, on a different day both designs knit successfully, and my appreciation of the module is growing steadily. The results for this, a complex shape, are quick and awesome when compared to the amount of time it would take to draft the pattern outside the program.
The design process, beginning with Dak: in this instance, the lace tool was used with what I will call the drag and stop method, initially on the fabric texture using the smart symbols.  At any time during the drawing process, several image view options are available and may be changed back and forth by deselecting features in this menuAn stp was created, the template is marked 74 rows in height, filled in as the stp was generated, right side facing Numbers and Gimp reduced the template to a png 14 stitches wide by 52 rows long, needed to be mirrored using the number one button on the 930 for successful knitting, matches the original illustration. Dak makes slight modifications very easy. The untested brick repeat, 28X104, developed using Arah followed by its png changing that central shape
The amended design drawn in repeat in dak visualizing the knit, The print preview template: and converted for use on Brother electronics using Numbers and Gimp the resulting png, 14 stitches by 68 rows, also knit using the number one button on the 930 the proof of concept swatch The brick repeat developed in Arah, now 28 stitches by 136 rows,  its png comparing the initial three knit results for differences, the samples were knit using the same yarn at the same tension A test for the second brick repeat, here visualizing results with a screengrab of the stp. The test swatch is for a single repeat width, the initial yarn used ran out, hence the color change, the second yarn was thinner and broke, but there is enough to get a sense as to how the overall alignment of the knit shapes will appear, including that horizontal chevron between the shifting leaves. The png required mirroring when used on the 930. I became curious about reverse engineering from punchcard to an stp file: my first choice was of a “straightforward” but slow to knit pattern, 34 LC passes are made before any knitting rows follow.  Ayab users have access to a huge library of knit-ready pngs, this was one, it also happens to be 24 stitches wide, so suitable for punchcard users. The published repeat as given is shown on the left, mirrored for use on my 930, left and right transfers are then marked in red and green respectively to check transfer placements. The right half of the image is then copied and dropped down a single row reaching the necessary configuration for Dak, allowing for the stp to be created. deselecting yarn colors in Dak provides a clearer view of transfers the 24X36 original png:  A proof of concept swatch: the yarn was too thin for the many transfers and broke, so on the right, there are fewer stitches than initially planned. At the bottom there is a single instance of 2 rows knit after all the transfers, there are 6 rows knit after each transfer series in the remainder of the swatch. Color changes could be added in multiple places to interact with the wavy shapes The template for the stp as first attempted is something quite different but would work if the pairs of blank rows between pairs of transfers are eliminated over its length except at the very top
it would need to be drawn eliminating the pairs of blank rows between transfers to match the original repeat because all those carriage passes are consecutive. Drafts with no blank rows between alternating transfers are not accepted by the program and ruled out in any template preview as well. The complexity of working with a “simple” repeat: over the years I accumulated a notebook full of copies from Japanese magazine pages with what I believed to offer interesting potential, this repeat happened to be one. The markings for the knit rows on the right, and the two blank rows at the bottom identify it as suitable for Studio punchcard machines, and it would appear to be easy to translate for knitting on Brother thanks to those 2 blank rows between transfer cell markings. Developing the Brother repeat in Numbers for beginning with transfers to the left. The repeat is recognizable as a mesh variant, more information for mesh design repeats may be found in the post, the lace carriage is used for 2 passes, and then for 4 passes alternately the repeat on the right was created in Gimp.  The 12X18 png was mirrored for use on my 930, some cables were added. A 1X1 crossing in the thin yarn used in the sample would have been nearly invisible. The placement, in this case, is at the top of the full repeat, after the first knit row before returning to transfers for design row 1, an easy way to track the hand technique. The 2X2 crossing used might need help with definition and placement in a wider vertical knit strip Creating the stp: the size of the png was used to create the image file, which required cropping, in Dak this would be the menu language after activating the proper tools. the stp size is 12X16, The template generated for a Brother punchcard machine illustrates the problems and some of the confusion if the template repeat is used for actual knitting, especially on the punchcard machines. Drawing the eyelet and dragging the mouse one cell to the left is the intuitive way to draw for transfers to the left. The symbols appear to be right-side facing by default and if they are in turn mirrored by the program prior to saving, when the templates are generated, the intent for use of the design would match. The numbers on the left are in the punchcard template, adjusted by cropping the two extra rows in the Brother electronic template by the software, do not reflect the actual design row numbers. The starting row is wrong for the Brother lace carriage operation from the left to produce the first row transfers to the left in actual knitting. As far as determining sequences for knit row placement, that is left up to the punchcard knitter’s experimentation. The minimum repeat for a punchcard to roll continuously is 36 rows, that fact needs to be considered if punching cards. The repeat shift for the first transfers to happen toward the left is illustrated on the right.  As initially given, with the lace carriage starting on the left, the first transfer row would be to the right. In many cases, this may not matter, but in this instance, where the knit rows happen after 2 or 4 LC passes respectively, the template offers another instance of the fact that the knitter using it needs to have previous understanding and experience in creating the particular stitch type. This version does not have an accompanying swatch. Analyzing the electronic template for interactive knitting: it is correct in marking rows for LC operation from the left with the first transfer row made to the right, matching the above chart.  The LC operation is continuous Eliminating the rows marked with red would yield a workable punchcard repeat, with loss of the cues for the proper sequence for LC passes.
In this case, it would be best to redraw the adjusted electronic repeat prior to punching any holes.
Getting that first row to transfer to the left can be achieved by mirroring the first stp draft, using the second selection,  the resulting electronic template yields the repeat with transfers in the direction intended, as seen in the proof of concept swatch and its repeat For good measure, the repeat is also drawn as stitches and produced the punchcard template with a first blank row identical to that generated when using symbols Using the pencil tool to draw the transfers differently resulted in a series of error alerts, so not an option.

For Brother knitters mirroring the self-drawn stp and altering the electronic template may be the way to go. Also, be alert that Brother and Toyota punchcard knitters cannot knit interactively because the interactive knit rows present in the mylars cannot be present in the punchcards, a fact that is acknowledged by the software company nearing the end of the content on the lace module. No mention is made of the fact that for successful knitting the knit carriage on Brother needs to be set to KCI or II for the pattern to advance properly during interactive knitting and that those rows need to be omitted if entering the pattern on a mylar sheet or are using the repeat for download to a machine outside the DAK environment and you prefer not to have the knit carriage selecting needles as well as the lace carriage.
In summary, the information on the tool presented in the manual for the module:

 

DAK lace module 1, template use, other software

Working with lace designs: lace poses interesting challenges in machine knitting. The name is associated with a variety of fabrics, but transfer lace is the specific topic for the moment.
Reminders with respect to transfer lace knitting:
in Studio simple lace the transfers and knitting occur for each row of the design  with each pass of the carriage
transfer lace patterns in Studio km begin with 2 blank rows, end with markings for transfers
Brother transfer lace begins with needle selection markings for transfers, ends with two blank rows. The knit carriage does not advance patterning rows unless the change knob is used to select needles as well.
Hand knitting charts typically illustrate the knit side, while in machine knitting the knitter is working looking at the purl side, so if charting for duplicating the same transfers, the HK pattern requires mirroring
The Brother lace carriages usually operate from the left, Toyota from the right
Some download programs automatically flip patterns horizontally, great if you are working with texts in most cases, but a consideration if you wish to control the direction of other stitch type formations, and lace patterns drawn in the program may need to be flipped as well in order to knit properly on Brother with the lace carriage operating from the left side
When I design, out of habit, I try if possible to work with repeats suitable for punchcard machines as well.

Facebook members who participate in machine knitting forums have access to the information generously shared by members. Sheila West published a video on drawing lace repeats on a DAK knit stitch symbols ground as opposed to the more traditional charting using lace symbols on a blank design grid, and there is also an associated downloadable PDF.

Softbyte support has been responsive and at times helpful in communicating with me, reviewing issues I encountered.

I prefer to download manuals for software when the option is available making it possible to review them when not running the program. In my enthusiasm to do so, it appears I downloaded the manual version offered in the last tab, which happens to be for section 5, graphic design studio, which by default was not helpful in using the lace module. When I initially looked for help, the information that became available was for the wrong module, 5. In using the program on Oct 21 I have not been able to replicate that issue when opening other modules.
When the program is first installed, the manuals are listed in a series of tabs, ending with that for section 5. For Stitch Designer, choose section 3, the manual appears and a way to download the associated PDF is also provided.  There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window. 
Interactive choices using the help menu: Contents  Manual: When manuals are chosen in any module, there is an option offered to download the associated pdf by clicking on the arrow key specific page numbers based on the index may be entered and jumped to.
Tutorials: Update: The lace module is an extremely attractive solution for speeding up the lace design process whether from published charts or DIY. The left mouse button is used to draw as usual, but the right mouse button is used when drawing shared transfers in fine lace on Brother, or simple lace in Studio km.
My initial experiment and observations:
each time the program opens a new session, the normal drawing pattern appears. Selecting the Lace tool icon in the left menu bar will change the default palette to include the necessary symbols. In working with stitch symbols this is the range of available, It is possible to show any repeat tiled as well. For lace the number of stitches and rows should be close to those required by the design, its overall size may be trimmed if needed when the design is completed.
The left mouse is used to apply the symbols, I have read the right mouse has a different function and is used to draw shared stitches in Brother fine lace or in filling in simple lace designs for Studio machine models.
To select the lace mode simply click on the small icon on the left menu bar, a grey border on its left and the upper edge will indicate it is active, the palette and cursor will change. The designer may enter patterns on this view as well, but I prefer to work with symbols
It is best to begin testing with a small repeat when exploring new techniques, find his format easier to use than drawing on “stitches”. There are several options for the canvas ground color, the default is in blue. As a first step, saved as an stp, Dak opened my saved file as pictured in this view.  Wrong approach: The pencil tool must be active to continue to draw, left mouse click to place symbol, right mouse click to erase, clicking on any symbol in any one row will call up pertinent information on its location in the repeat
Is there another way to draw symbols while working on a lace design file?  use the lace tool, using the pencil tool with each type of lace symbol is not recommendedDAK row numbers do not refer to design rows, they reference row counts as would be seen in any row counter registering carriage passes
Other views for the repeat: as yarn colors and as stitch symbol palette If a symbol is missing from the drawing, the program alerts the knitter to the error.  Here there are no eyelets represented.  There was no warning for the error in the last row of the test stp, where in the last row two stitches were being moved in opposite directions on the same row. If the content is considered accurate, this window will appear, the safe button will be highlighted, click OK I found this lack of warning for some errors in later designs as well, it is a topic under review by the developer. When choosing machine knitting options lace is not offered as one,  fair isle is used To print a template for use on another machine the stp file may not be used for copying to clipboard and converting to stitches in another program. In the print menu, saves are possible for templates akin to graph paper references for working further on both electronic and punchcard machines. For the electronic printout, the choice of the machine appears to need to be set to 950i wrong side facing is chosen for the purl side view.  Stitch pattern print previews, using default settings for layout:
the stitch pattern picture was basically a numbered graph paper image with no content, pattern text, and not particularly useful
other previews:
the suggested electronic repeat: The templates for electronic models have 4 rows between transfer sequences rather than 2 as is usual for Brother. They are needed for interactive knitting where the KC passes are represented onscreen as well, Dak knitters likely set the knit carriage change knob to select needles on KCI or KCII.
For punchcard end-use, change the machine setting for print preview to Brother/Knitking standard punchcard, click ok. When you choose Fair Isle, DAK will reverse your design and that may mean that there will be two eyelets side by side or double stitches transferring because the transfers are being made in the wrong direction. DAK will invert the pattern from left to right if it has the knit method Fair Isle or Wrong Facing. If it has the Right Facing method it won’t be flipped. The knitter still needs to sort out whether right side facing or wrong side facing makes any difference in their particular brand machine outside the Dak environment. The need for added mirroring for correct transfers depends on the download program ie Ayab mirrors any programmed image automatically, or the specific brand machine ie punchcard vs. electronics may behave differently. An easy test is to use the repeat on a small swatch, if side by side empty needles appear on the needle bed, the pattern needs to be reversed. Any lace designs suitable for a punchcard machine, when they are knit on my 930 require mirroring unless the png is saved mirrored horizontally in the paint program used to create it prior to download to the machine.  the repeat:
The numbers on the left correspond to carriage passes, not design rows. While the electronic template represents the interactive kitting repeat and differentiates between rows for use of the LC and KC, leaving the KC rows unlabeled, that distinction is not made for punchcards in any way, and marked numbers are not in sequence. Published Brother punchcards contain additional symbol columns for added guidance on settings and carriage passes.
Assuming the knitter knows whether the programmed repeat will need to be mirrored or not to knit properly on their specific model knitting machine, the 24 stitch punchcard version should work on both model machines.
The numbering on this punchcard template skips 2 numbers for knit rows between transfer repeat segments as seen in the first sample, and in this later repeat, the number sequence interruptions are marked in red. In punching long cards especially, renumbering the whole would make the repeat easier to follow. This stp pattern was also created using the pencil tool in combination with symbols. In the print preview, there were 2 errors in the Dak printouts, the three blank rows rather than 2 in the outlined section between transfers, and transfers in 2 different directions occurring on the same row with the same carriage pass. I have no way to test whether the same issue would occur in interactive knitting using my own stp file. My repeat, drawn in Numbers on the right, is numbered in design rows. When choosing print, the global options allow for editing items out such as company name, date, format by simply clicking in the associated boxes choices can also be made on how to represent stitch units If the plan is to create a punchcard template and the repeat is too wide, an error message appears Paper size measurements in page set up other than US letter

other associated menu choices It is possible to save the template as a bmp of the full image. The size of the file is shown to the right of the pixel count number settings for the clipboard or bmp file, which will vary in proportion to the stitch and row count. Click on the floppy disk icon to save.  My hack for reducing the onscreen size of the templates for screengrabs I could trace in a spreadsheet was to use a 600 mm setting for punchcards, and 350mm for electronics instead of selecting a paper size. The actual printing to scale is not an issue at the moment, but it is possible to print templates to full size, involving a bit of trial and error with individual printer settings and math.
The proof of concept swatch, knit on a Brother 930 KM, mirroring the image was not necessary, the dropped stitch was a surprise design feature when the swatch was very lightly pressed its.png Regrouping after a review of my pencil tool repeat by Softbyte support: the original stp has an error in it on row 11 where yours truly had eyelets being created by having the same stitches moved in opposite directions in the same row. It is interesting that I was able to save the stp without receiving an error message as seen in this instance below when the pattern was being redrawn with transfer symbols on the wrong row, The amended final repeat,   in turn, produced a correct punchcard template using the print preview As an additional lace template test, I repeated the process on a portion of an stp file shared generously shared by a DAK FB group knitter along with photos of a completed, lovely lace sweater using it.  The results are shown sideways because of the repeat length. The 950i template places four rows at the end of each lace sequence, while as seen in the published repeat of a different lace beside it, there should only be 2. The carriage passes made by the KC in traditional lace knitting though they advance the row counter, do not advance the pattern unless it is selecting needles as well, ie in trims that combine lace with the slip stitch setting. Exceptions to the 2 blank rows rule occur when the lace shape reverses direction such as in zig-zags, or when plain knit or pattern rows are planned deliberately to mix and interact with the lace design. Please see the previous post for more on lace charting and explanations for those in-between added pairs of rows variations. Brother knitters outside the dak environment may use the templates as they are, but setting the knit carriage for pattern selection as well on KCI or KCII.

This is another lace stp pattern built using the pencil tool method. The charted symbol diagram was published in a Japanese magazine along with its published punchcard design. There is an intentional extra row at the bottom of the repeat, making it “wrong” if the intended use is on a Brother machine as a test for how the template might handle it in the print preview. Template previews were created using the setting for Brother standard punchcard bulky or Brother 950iFacilitating correct DIY designs, in addition to the warnings if there are missing symbols or any other problems with the design and their respective row locations, the module provides a warning about that extra row, explaining that if the generated pattern is used as is, the bottom row should be moved up or the LC should begin pattern selection from the right. The electronic preview continues to have a series of 4 blank rows between transfer segments. The punchcard template has 2 blank rows between each transfer segment and matches the published pattern with a 3-row exception toward the top of the card. The renderings below begin with the DAK punchcard template on the left with its confused numbering, the extra empty row at the bottom of the repeat was eliminated. The overall repeat is mirrored. It is followed by the published pattern associated with the chart, pixels are then marked for left and right transfers, followed by my amended final repeat, which when knit on the 930 required mirroringLace tool use instructions begin on page 299 of the third module user manual, Stitch designer. From the manual: when the Lace tool is clicked, lace patterns can be created by using the LMB or RMB to click and hold on the stitch cell where the eyelet needs to be, after which the mouse can be dragged in the required transfer direction and let go on the stitch that needs the corresponding decrease. Intermediate transfer stitches will be added automatically where appropriate. If the button is clicked and the stitch pattern has a method that is incompatible with lace, the warning that is shown on the right will be displayed. The Wrong side facing texture is probably the most natural choice because this is generally considered the normal method of knitting on Japanese knitting machines. Sections of Lace and Fair Isle may be used in the same stitch pattern and either Fair Isle or Wrong side facing texture are good choices when working with lace patterns.
If either of the Right / Wrong side facing texture methods is used, and there is only one color per row, it can be transparent or opaque. If there are more colors per row, the opaque color is seen as the real yarn color, while the transparent colors are regarded for memo purposes.
The lace smart symbols have an associated ‘texture’ which is used to see a representation of the finished knitting. This representation is not entirely accurate as decreases have to be shown on a single stitch cell instead of over the two adjacent cells that are affected. However, the bias of the transferred stitches, as well as the lace eyelets are well represented to give a good idea of how the stitch pattern will look when knitted.
The symbols that are specifically used for machine lace knitting are displayed with a light green background in the Symbols Organizer. The same repeat as above was redrawn, with that extra bottom row eliminated  The associated template preview for the punchcard nearly matched the one that was obtained with the pencil tool chart, had some differences: the previous image was mirrored although no dak settings were changed. As in all punchcard template numbering, the knit row numbers are skipped in the sequence on the left, so they will not match design row numbers, the small flower motif is placed differently  This sample was knit using the pattern drawn with the pencil tool, pre mirrored for use on the 930. The convention for lace designs is that they must contain an even number of rows, the one on the right is 47 rows, knits properly, but is suitable only for a border. Here a pair of extra rows were knit, followed by design row 1A wider swatchWhen attempting to use this repeat for a continuous one, unless the total number of rows is an even number, the second repeat will reverse the direction of the transfers, resulting in mispatterning and multiple side-by-side empty needles. Changing the total repeat to 48 rows by adding another blank row places all transfers properly. The 12X48 png
Adding extra knit rows at the top of the repeat ie. 6 or 8 may make the alignment of the 2 shapes to each other more pleasant.
The challenges in DIY lace patterning are many.
The same design was redrawn using only the lace tools. The appearance was the same as in the previous draft, the print preview template was two rows shorter, 46 rows long, no longer mirrored, with the flower shape slightly lower than in the other sample, it is shown here alongside the Gimp png draft for exporting the png used in the samples. Knit in continuous pattern with 6 knit rows added before restarting with pattern row 1 with LC on the left A half drop repeat is also possible. To achieve this test of a repeat drawn in a paint program, I  knit 2 rows after the last “flower” eyelet and had to flip the repeat horizontally before continuing for the top half of the repeat, producing a very different look.  There is a transfer error in the knit swatch on the right where I “repaired” a dropped stitch. Edits would be needed if one is determined to make this pattern automated as a continuous design.
Options for manipulating stitch designs in dak appear to be the following. Interested in developing an automated brick repeat for the above design, this was produced outside dak as a guideline for entering the symbols in stitch designer Using the lace tool, the areas marked in red highlight cells where wrong symbols for stitches in those areas were initially created using the lace tool. Use of the pencil tool was necessary to replace the incorrect symbols. The stp was saved with no error warning, but the resulting repeat was identical to my self-drawn one with the top half of the bricks knitting in the wrong direction resulting in mispatterning and double eyelets.
Saved stp files may be opened and further edited using either or both the lace tool and the pencil tool.
With respect to the use of the pencil tool, from the manual: “It is possible to place lace symbols onto the stitch pattern manually by activating the Pencil tool, then selecting and placing each symbol where required. However, this can easily lead to errors as the placement of each symbol needs to be well understood.
The “Check once for color changes etc.” option in the dialog can be clicked after which dak will either display “No errors found” or it will display error messages such as the ones shown here.
Clicking “OK” returns the program to the workspace where errors may be corrected. DesignaKnit does not mark the pattern when these errors occur. After correcting, “Check” can be run again to ensure all errors have been eliminated. Using the Lace tool to create lace will greatly diminish the chance of errors.”
I have encountered instances where no error messages were received, the stp was saved successfully for supposed knitting, have been told there are edits and future updates underway for both version 8 and version 9.
the right mouse button is used when drawing fine lace designs, which is not part of my present explorations
In theory, the Lace tool will:
insert the eyelet, transfer and decrease symbols in the direction of the drawing
insert a double decrease symbol where the lace transfers occur  onto a single stitch from opposite directions
prevent the placement of eyelets on adjacent stitches within the same row
warn of invalid lace sequences when saving or checking the pattern
remove the eyelet, its matching decreases, and any transfers  in that sequence with a single click of an eyelet symbol with either the right or left mouse buttons
Brother knitters need to keep this in mind when using the lace pattern in the dark environment, the knit carriage will need to be selecting needles as well. If using the templates to generate patterns for use with other download programs, the traditional use for Brother lace and punchcard machines is to have the knit carriage not selecting needles. To use the given template for the electronic in that manner, 2 out of the four blank rows between each series of transfers may be eliminated and the pattern from the electronic template if within the punchcard repeat restrictions, may be used on punchcards as well. Having plain knit rows not selecting, in my experience, makes for easier unraveling and returning to an all knit row when rows need to be unraveled to correct errors or knitting falls off the machine.
All punchcard templates keep the number sequencing for the electronic repeats, removing the extra interactive knitting rows and their numbers from the electronic template, reducing the repeat to design rows, which results in the numbering sequence on the left not matching the actual total number of rows in the repeat, making it ineffective if following those numbers when punching cards.
Making things work: the dak repeat for the brick arrangement, there are single blank rows before selection for the shifted pattern begins,  my edit in a spreadsheet, the yellow cells mark rows missing in order to get the lace carriage back to the left side before the next pair of all knit rows.  The full repeat was trimmed to 12 stitches in width, 48 rows in height, opened in ArahPaint, and drawn in brick repeat, shifting the top by 6 cells. The green lines mark the original single blank rows followed by the pairs of added blank rows with no markings, the needed corrections the Arah image was saved as a png, knit on my 930 using img2 track, and mirroring
The proof of concept swatch for the now fully automated pattern   When a repeat is sorted out it is easily modified to create other variations. Here the small flower shape is eliminated, as well as the first transfer sequence to produce stacking triangular shapes. The repeat is now 10 stitches wide by 28 rows high, so suitable only for electronics.  The swatch was lightly pressed, prior to that, there was actually an interesting 3D quality which can be common to many unblocked lace patterns. If the knitter wants to retain that quality, the quandary is then encountered as to whether one also may want the piece to lie flat, particularly at the sides and the top.
The above repeat was mirrored for use on the 930. With lace as with other fabrics, the repeat may be tiled and programmed to the width of your knitting, here for use in a 30 stitch swatch. While in other fabrics a plain knit border may be added by placing black cell vertical cells on each side of the wide repeats, this cannot be done in lace, because those selected needles will attempt to transfer multiple needles in a single pass, which is not possible. Brother offers edge stitch plastic cams to help with that.  The cast on in this instance is a provisional one, with several rows knit prior to beginning the use of the lace carriage. 

My DAK explorations 1

WORK IN PROGRESS

Resources for users or those curious about the program are offered below. There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window, are not available until the program is purchased and installed, each may be downloaded as a PDF. DesignaKnit Professional contains 5 modules:
Standard Garment Styling has built-in sweater patterns that may be adjusted to custom measurements and gauges
Original Pattern Drafting: allows for using a pattern designed in garment styling to custom features such as knitting the design sideways or making pieced such as the front and back different lengths
Stitch designer is a paint program. A grid may be created to match the stitch gauge for a sense of aspect ratio of the design in the finished piece. When the type of knitting for the project is selected, warnings as to possible errors in any rows provided
Interactive Knitting: with the proper cable connected to the computer and the knitting machine the design is followed row by row, voice prompts may be activated so as to receive warnings when to change colors as well as counters for the number of rows between shaping ie increases and decreases while knitting sleeves
Graphics Studio: convert graphics to stitch designs, including color separations for DBJ, color reductions, scaling for large non-repetitive designs
When the program is installed and opened the manuals are found listed after using Help 
in a series of tabs, ending with that for section 5. There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window.
Online references:
a quick summary of version 9 upgrade features
https://softbyte.co.uk/DK9UpgradeForms/DK9_upgrade_features_F.pdf
videos DesignaKnit9 graphic studio
https://softbyte.co.uk/dk9englishvideotutorials.htm
the DAK Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/523785160964950
members of the group have access to teaching material shared by Sheila West https://www.facebook.com/groups/523785160964950/user/1164753159
Youtube tutorials for DesignaKnit 8
https://www.youtube.com/c/Knittitude/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=0
a search for DesignaKnit9 tutorial yields mixed results, including many for version 8
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=designaknit+9+tutorials
Graphic design studio search https://www.youtube.com/results search_query=designaknit+graphic+design+studio
offered courses at knititnow, search https://www.knititnow.com/Courses/#
login required as well as fees

Brother magazines for a while published accompanying pat files for DAK, they can be found http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=DAK+files+Brother
also for Studio http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=Dak+files+for+silver+reed
and Passap http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=Dak+files+for+passap

I am a complete novice at the use of this program, tend to start learning new tools by comparing them with what I am familiar with, which in my case are spreadsheets and other paint programs. I have decades of playing with changing file formats depending on end-use. My questions on aspects of the program’s use are not intended as criticism, they are born of curiosity and the attempt to explore a new tool.
I am using Dak on a PC, at the moment my blog posts are created exclusively on my Mac. There is much that is fluid in addition to learning the software.

These are the formats that can be opened as stitch patterns, converted to stitch patterns using Graphics Studio Stitch Designer, or opened as a background image in Original Pattern Drafting and used for tracing a garment piece: BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PCX, PNG, TGA, TIF, WMF, P?M. There is no export option for saving the repeat images in stitch design file formats for use in other than the native program. Passap CUT files are completely excluded.
I lean towards looking for workarounds to accomplish what I want if the task is not native to the program I am using.
One way to achieve conversion for DAK file formats for use as a png or bmp download with other cables and software is to isolate and select the repeat unit, copy it to clipboard, paste in a paint program, export as png or other desired formats There is a handy option in Dak when thumbnails is chosen from the image menu, one can browse through saved folders containing compatible file-formats including the images in those Brother magazine downloads. The small preview will identify the specific file size. When you left-click on your choice, it will appear enlarged at the bottom left of the view window, it has been moved from its corner in my screengrab, left-click OK on the enlarged image, it will open in the program window. Minimize the size until no further reduction is allowed by using the magnifying glass or the scroll function in the mouse. This is a different operation from scaling the original to a different size. The save-as option for the image offered at that point are:
For choices emulating export in other paint programs, right-click on the image, choose copy, open a paint program (Arahpaint is my favorite at this moment), and from its image it menu choose paste. Using Arah’s color exchange, the image may then be converted to black and white for 2-color work and is saved in a format usable with other software and in other machines. Here the image has been pasted in Gimp using the same process, but if the image needs to then be reduced to BW, Arah is the easier and predictable tool to use.
Activating the working palette, referred to as yarn colors: from the manual It is possible to achieve color exchange easily in Dak as well. Most operations appear to rely on an understanding of its symbols and what might be considered a language one must learn in order to use the program effectively. By activating the view yarn button palette, the items that may be viewed and changed are:
A: represents left mouse click on that color
B: represents a right mouse click on that color
C: click will swap A color to B color
D: needle hook alone represents non selected needle, pusher, or simply color depending on the machine model
E: color worked on patterning needle ie contrast in fair isle, knit stitches in tuck or slip setting It is useful to establish working history using the same design motif. In the first image, left-click on red, the from color, right-click on white, the to color, click on the double arrow to make and apply the change
The process is repeated with left-click on blue, right-click on black, and on double arrow. White squares appear in the final color choice boxes in the bottom image
The print dialogue allows for saving patterns as bmps. One is walked through the following steps with a series of windows. To save the repeat as bmp
choices may then be made about file name and the location for the save, If there are no “short” needles in the image being processed as in the last screengrab above, there will be an error message onscreen, pointing out problems in the numbers of colors present in rows ie more than 2 for FI.  This is fixed by clicking on either the “needles” of one of the two active colors in the yarn palette to make one color the ground, the other the contrast. The results from this process for printable bmp files are shown below, not for a bmp that may be used to knit the pattern on an electronic machine using a different download method. Here the resulting stitch pattern picture is shown in color reverse as well.  Using other print options: for this repeat, the color change page is blank since the fabric is being knit as a 2-color fair isle, without added color changes  Printing pattern text will do exactly that in longhand form, for each stitch and each row of the repeat 

Dak is the only program I know of for home use that allows for visualization of the knit design with approximations of knit stitches, seen here in both the BW and the original color version of the above FI design, shown as knit stitches on the public side. The image needs to be a minimum size for the appearance of the details as is true in most paint programs for grid views.   At this time I am continuing to knit on my machines with punchcards and using Ayab, or img2track on my electronics, have no immediate plans to change that, hence my interest in using DAK software features while keeping in mind the possibility of using the final repeats on other machine models.

The information on using the stitch designer lace module originally written here has been moved to its own post along with new content, updates, and corrections.

ArahPaint meets Gimp in knit design

WORK IN PROGRESS

Questions regularly turn up asking what software we use as individuals to design repeats for our knitting. Up to this point, I have worked exclusively on a Mac unless downloading to my Passap with Wincrea, an ancient laptop, and as old a version of windows.
I have been a Gimp user for eons, it is my go-to along with Numbers to create the charts in my blog and to graph my designs and ready them for download.
ArahPaint is a free paint program, part of a far larger weaving one. I have used it intermittently for features not achievable in Gimp at all, especially prior to its latest Mac updates. My Gimp working notes may be found in blog posts including the latest 2021/07/18/gimp-update-for-mac-2/.
The scope of AhrahPaint is smaller than that of a full photo editor, but its functions are well worth exploring from simple designs for use in any craft including hand knitting, cross-stitch, etc for scaling images to size, drawing in repeat, configuring those repeats in many arrangements easily, for color reductions, and much more for end-use in machine knitting.
There is a very good downloadable manual, but not generous in providing small details applicable when working in a low res bitmap such as that found in knit design.
My goal here is to provide some starting ideas on using the program for new users and a few comparisons to Gimp features for those who have worked with that program in the past.
Links for anyone wishing to try Arahpaint on a Mac (or Windows), including video tutorials
Sept 20, 2021: a new version of the software is now available for download, it is larger in file size https://www.arahne.si/learn-support/software-demo/
A “fast pattern” supplement http://www.arahne.eu/pdf/fastpattern-EN.pdf, black and white images are used on pages 20-24,
The user manual appears unchanged
The drawing in repeat window now offers new Preview, and Browse options. If Paint is part of the complete weaving program, there is a library of patterns for the user to browse through. If it is used as a stand-alone, the choice provides the opportunity for the user to browse through their personal library of images before continuing.  The information available to me as I began this post:
the download button is at the top left of the webpage
https://www.arahne.si/…/softwar…/arahpaint-for-mac-os-x/
https://www.arahne.si/learn-support/
https://www.arahne.si/…/user…/detailed-users-manuals/
http://www.arahne.eu/pdf/apaint4-shortcuts-EN.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/c/arahpaint4/search?query=arahpaint
https://www.arahne.si/public/news/  with more info and videos on version 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daOsTulCKbk for anyone inspired by weaving drafts as a source of knitting pattern repeat
Arah menu options provide a quick view of menu differences between it and Gimp Tools as listed in the shortcuts pdf, the order is slightly different than in the program view When exploring design potential in any paint program, it is best, to begin with, to use a small repeat that can be clearly identified when tiled in various configurations, resized, and pixel edited. If drawing is with the goal to produce a BW bitmapped image for download of 2-color patterns, drawings can happen in those colors to start with. If color separations are planned in the development of the design, then 2 color images including black may be preferable.
The Arah default dot size for pixel drawing is 1X1. The 8-bit palette mode both for colors and greyscale uses up to 256 shades, greyscale values may also be measured in percentages of black ink coverage. Images may be converted from one color mode to another as in Gimp.
Begin with a small image size To work on the image, magnification will be required. This may be achieved in two ways on the Mac, one is to click repeatedly on the magnifying lens icon in the toolbox, the other is to press any number from 0 to 9 on the keyboard, the zoom will instantly change for 1 at 100%, to 6 for 600%, to 0 for 1000. The latter is minimal for building repeats on a viewable grid, the magnifying lens may be used to reach a comfortable starting view. The zoom level for both increases and decreases may be changed during drawing operations as well.
In addition, the image may be also be magnified to fill the window, and the program may be used in full-screen mode on your device by making the very last selection in the View menu. At zoom levels higher than 300%, the program shows a grid between pixels, if the grid view is enabled.
To show or hide the grid, choose View, Show Grid
To change the grid properties, choose View, Grid properties
The grid color can be black, gray, or white.
The second level grid determines every how many thin lines a thicker one will be drawn
Setting the grid: the default grid is subdivided, grid color and spacing may be custom set through selections in the View menu Altering the thicker line placement to suit personal preferences or to match electronic or punchcard published repeats more easily, simply type in new values and close Punchcard knitters may use this feature to create a template on which draw. Factory supplied Brother punchcards are by default 24 stitches wide, the maximum repeat width, and 60 rows high with the minimum design height of 36 rows for the card to advance continuously in the card reader.  The grid spacing is 6X6. With values changed to 6, the template is created The default cell shape appears to be square, without the option to create rectangular cells. Changing the grid option to lose subdivisions: deselect show grid 2. In addition to the image grid, like Gimp, ArahPaint 6 also allows for positioning aids: guides. They are horizontal or vertical lines that are temporarily displayed on an image. To create a guide, double click on the dark blue arrow displayed on one of the rulers in the main window. The guide is then displayed as a dashed line, which follows the pointer. To move a guide after it has been created, hover a mouse pointer over the blue arrow and click and drag it to remove the guide to a new location. To delete a guide, double-click on the arrow. After a guide is created, another triangle in a different shade of blue appears below it. Use that to create the next guide, repeat as often as wanted both horizontally and vertically. To remove all guides choose View, Remove Guides. One use for the lines can be to mark plain knit rows between transfer markings in lace punchcards as illustrated in this Gimp image

To test the program, draw a basic shape whose changes may be easily recognized. Color palette tools are in the palette areas. Foreground (upper square) and background color (lower square) are used in drawing operations. They are numbered 1 and 0, not to be confused with the same numbers assigned to colors in the working palette. The starting palette may be altered to include black. Double click on the foreground color at the top, the #1, not in the space below the palette icon. A color selection window will appear, choose, click OK. This change is lost if one quits the program. If satisfied with the drawn repeat, use the selection tool to isolate the final motif.  The new working image after cropping to selection:

Drawing in repeat instructions reproduced from the manual Starting with the single triangle: block alignment Standard brick alignment using offset in pixelsPillar repeat also using offset in pixels Other offset options through the use of fractionsPlaying with mirroring positions, producing a minimum 2 by 2 repeat,  the result looks akin to the pillar repeat drawing above, but tiling again to check for alignment may yield surprises that can be viewed as design features or errors,  Changes to mirroring arrows may be made when drawing in repeat on the top left of the window as well  Once an image is drawn in the repeat of your choice, if only the Random option is used, with new picture left unchecked, the pencil may be used to draw on pixel cells, and changes will be made across all repeat segments. Each step may be undone individually. Many of these functions are paralleled in Gimp symmetry drawing.
The possibilities are endless. As always, good note-taking helps in being able to reproduce your chosen process with new images.
If you begin drawing a repeat using a single color on a white ground, then decide you would rather work in only black and white, simply double click on the foreground color, the palette window will appear, choose the new color, and all pixels in your repeat will then change to the selected one Repeats may be built in a more controlled manner using the image duplicate menu, its symbols immediately reminded me of the Passap Alter Direction options: choose a simple repeat to start with. Here a diagonal line was drawn along the center of a square, the bottom half bucket filled a half drop was added and the repeat was tiled to test alignment The duplicate tool enables the repeat of an image or part of an image in a fast way. All duplicate tools with the exception of Mirror X-1 and Diamond work similarly to the drawing in repeat tool if the new picture option is enabled. The mirror X-1 works the same as the normal mirror, except the last pixel of the image is omitted from the image there is also the option for Y-1, here both mirroring options are in use, note the areas in both that retain double pixels, Eliminating those double pixels can be achieved by cropping. The first mirror is for Y-1, the cropped image is tested for tiling by drawing in repeat Drawing lines: use the straight-line icon button to activate the tool, select the line thickness by selecting a number of pixels to be used then move the mouse pointer to a line starting point on the canvas and press the left side of the mouse, dragging it until the line is of the desired length and angle. When the line is at that desired length release the mouse.

A=1 pixel, B=2, C=4 with line dragged and released randomly, D= the line was moved and the mouse was not released until the steps were all the same size. The thick lines option works only at line width 1, which will keep the single pixels connected If you double click on the line icon, the Straight-line icon is activated. Now you can draw horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. If you move a mouse horizontally—it doesn’t need to be perfectly straight, the drawn line is horizontal. If the angle between a line and the horizontal axis exceeds the angle of 23 degrees, the drawn line will be diagonal at 45 degrees. If you move the mouse toward the vertical axis, the line will be drawn as a vertical line. The straight-line tool may be used to draw clean diagonals. If the paint tool is then used to fill spaces between some of the drawn lines, the line tool reverts back to the original and will have to be reactivated if you wish to continue using it.
Returning to patterns with repeat constrained
A: a new file is created for drawing a punchcard repeat 6 stitches wide by 60 rows high
B: a freehand drawn pattern
C: the motif is drawn in repeat, X4 in width to match the 24 stitch repeat, X2 in height to get a sense of vertical alignment  D: as long as the new picture option is not checked, the image allows for live pencil drawing, E, with additions which may be edited and undone if needed. Work until satisfied, screengrab the enlarged image if the goal is to use it as a guide to punch cards, scale print it to an easy-to-follow size. Electronic machine knitters use the Tools, Find repeat option to isolate the minimum programmable final repeat, exchange colors if needed The same process, using an 8X8 repeat drawn in repeat X3 in width to 24 stitches and X5 to 40 rows in height meeting the punchcard minimum height Again, electronic machine knitters use the Tools, Find repeat option to isolate the minimum programmable final repeat, exchange colors if needed

Many knitters find inspiration for knit designs in weaving drafts. The Arah Youtube video on developing drawing such repeats shows an option for preview in the draw in repeat window not available in my present version of only the ArahPaint. The resulting working repeats are likely to be large. Reset allows for changing repeat mirroring arrangements. Using find the repeat may help develop a sequential series of repeat segments in different sizes, producing different tiling effects, and the option of hand selection of even smaller areas followed by cropping and processing is always possible.
A sample effort producing a tenfold repeat of the original: Finding the repeat first on the complete resulting new image on left and testing its tiling, followed by finding the repeat again, cropping to the selection and tiling that as well on the right If the goal is to knit a scarf, 72 stitches wide, crop either repeat to a chosen 72 stitches in width, tile in length in either program to visually check alignment. If knitting in DBJ for approximately 1200 rows is the goal, one may obtain a visualization of the results ie for 1296 consecutive rows. A black pixel border could be added to the 72 stitches by copying and pasting the image on a larger canvas that will accommodate that border, or the border may be added by filling in pixels vertically to the edges of the original. Some repeats to play with: the 120 X 96 png  Its shorter, top half  The bottom half, 120 X 48, isolated in Gimp, tiled in length X4 to get a sense of some of the possible differences I cI can see the process becoming addictive once a single personally pleasing starting repeat is developed, and its, in turn, becoming a possible source for collections of designs. October 2021: I have recently purchased both a PC and DAK software. At the moment I am not planning the purchase of any cables, the initial patterns developed using the lace module are adapted for use on Brother electronics for proof of concept swatches. Arah is an easy, accurate, quick way to develop accurate brick repeats for lace patterns, which can be complicated to produce accurately in other ways. One such repeat

COLOR EXCHANGE
In the process of reviewing old Passap files in cut format, the conversion for some of them to .pngs using Graphic Converter on the Mac was successful but left me with oddly colored images that would, in turn, need conversion to black and white for 2 color knitting downloads to other machine models. I have had limited continued success with the color exchange in Gimp. Also, pixel-based images drawn in color in spreadsheet programs such as Excel or Numbers might need far less and quicker editing using the Arah option including reducing “clean up” with pencil tools.
Reviewing the palette tool, from the manual Double-clicking on colors in the palette area will lock them, if this is unintentional, simply double click on the same color again to undo.  The color exchange was easy and straightforward with self-drawn images in the opening palette when creating new documents in Gimp. It failed when working on a segment of published patterns. The Arah manual helped me find the solution. Converting the images from true color mode to color palette mode: the original image and its palette, this is not a “correct” working repeat, Converting for use with an expanded palette
To change the color of the foreground, double click on it, choose black from the upper left corner of the colors window, the image and its foreground color will change accordingly.  Repeat the process with the background color changing it to white, saving the file yields a quickly created png for use in downloads to programs such as img2track Testing with a repeat segment from another image The successful exchanges Spreadsheets such as Excel and Numbers are familiar to many as design tools for developing knit repeats. If colors are used, one is faced again with the necessary reduction to black and white pixels if the intent is to work in only 2 colors. The maximum of 3 and 4 colors per row in machine knitting are handled differently depending on the program used for download. Color exchange reduction with 2 images drawn in Numbers using more than 2 colors:
This repeat would work fine with a reduction to 3 colors, but the proof of concept uses a reduction to 4 colors for both repeats. The two shades of green will need to be exchanged separately, each shade is processed using the sliders on the far right, also note the crosshair.  A spreadsheet pattern for different end-use  to exchange the red the cross-hair was moved to the bottom right, the slider up to the top

When scaling small repeats in Gimp in height only I found the results to have errors, seen in these images, while ArahPaint will multiply the motif cleanly only in height when needed, seen here with the original multiplied both X 2 and X4The Arah scaling appears to be quicker and far more accurate also when used on some published images that would require a lot of clean-up after resizing in Gimp. That said, when working with very large images Gimp offers the opportunity for controlled scaling to any size, keeping the image aspect ratio or not. This reference is described in translation as a pattern design course for Silver Reed knitting machines.  The publication offers many large-scale repeats that are suitable for punch lace, but also for what translates to “braided patterns” which when studied may be intended for fair-isle with enormous floats or for DBJ. No stitch and row counts are given, the goal is to match the manual 54X56 stitch and row count.
The published swatch photo, obviously not a thread lace pattern The initial scanned page segment on the left is 2160 stitches in width, 1588 rows in height. The isolated, cropped, repeat is shown to its right In Gimp, reducing colors: A converting to indexed: B Use scale image to desired dimensions, checking first that values are a full multiple of the expected final repeat pixel count. If not, scale first to a full multiple of each value with aspect ratio off (broken chain link), then scale again with aspect ratio on (intact chain link), edit with a superimposed grid, cleaning up the repeat: C.  Save the final image, C, open in Arah, check set the number of colors, there should be only 2 colors in use, Add a third color, white, to the palette, click on the + symbol, use sliders to convert the magenta to white, click OK single click on the yellow above to place it in this selection, double click on it use sliders again to achieve the white, click OKThe final window prior to saving the BW image ArahPaint will also scale larger images in pixel units. Resizing may be achieved through the use of the image menu Resize option, or simply clicking on the appropriate tool, also copied here in the window that will appear. The chain link, circled in the bottom right, left whole retains proportion, broken by clicking on it will allow for scaling differently in height and width as in this instance I found the final Arah scaling to be less accurate and requiring more clean up than the repeat obtained using both programs

My first attempt at developing a pretend repeat to later be used for chevron 24 stitch tuck stitch :
A: using straight lines, draw several after determining the spacing to be left blank between them, here they are not all intended to match. Bucket fill the stripes intended to be knit stitches, reactivating the straight line tool after each fill
B: when satisfied with stripes and shaping, crop the original to 12 stitches in width
C: using drawing in repeat, mirror to create a 24 stitch shape. Save images along the way in case any “wrong” selections are made, draw in repeat (not shown) at least X 2 in both width and height, looking for errors in alignments D: correction is needed a the top of the repeat E: after your best shot, draw in repeat once more, leaving the setting at random, edit any wrong pixels using a white pencil, the edits will happen across the repeat
F: the new repeat
G: drawing F in repeat makes it appear correct
H: making the repeat as small as possible for use on electronic machines; the find repeat tool does not work on every repeat, particularly very small ones, and it works seamlessly at other times or will require only small adjustments. It is worth testing on images and keeping its use in mind. Here it makes a selection, the image is cropped to the selection, saved, and drawn in a larger series of repeats to check the alignment. Planning a repeat suitable for a punchcard, the uncropped repeat F is opened in Gimp, and pattern fill is used in white areas to ready the file for tuck knitting. The image is then map tiled to check alignment once more, and if satisfactory, it can be saved, ready to be knit The process can be so quick that it can be easily repeated to make new adjustments to meet our needs.
Making things work to get a “cleaner repeat”: the pattern fill is 2 rows wide by 2 rows high, so having both black and white areas of the design a multiple of 4 is a place to start. In the above, the shape outlines are in single row steps, so it is inevitable that the 4-row fill is episodically cropped by single pixels. Doubling the height of the initial single step repeat in Arah begins to solve the problem. In keeping the 24 stitch width restraint, the result, a now 56-row repeat,  will now have variations in the width of the black pixel areas which will produce knit stitches on a tuck ground  With experience, one can quickly imagine ways to clear errors and alter images. Electronic machines free us from repeat width constraints. Widening the zag repeat to 48 stitches, working in Arah, check vertical alignments first, edit intersections whether in a tiled image or the original, ultimately the 48-stitch by 80-row repeat is opened in Gimp, filled with the tuck pattern, and saved for knitting Pattern fill may be accomplished in ArahPaint using brushes made from selection and then enabling those brushes with bucket fill. This functionality is shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uacuqK5SjA
The technique illustrated here with a screengrab from the video offers a very interesting alternative option for those who enjoy working with dithered color-reduced black and white images. Working on a possible tuck repeat using only Arah Paint: draw and save the image you wish to superimpose on the ground and save it. I chose to use the color red for visibility. Draw a new image, keeping magnification constant, ie using 0 for 1000 X. Draw a repeat unit for the brush you wish to use, choose repeat from the View menu, click on the stamp icon shown outlined in red, and the available brush will appear immediately below it Use load recent to retrieve the shape that is to be superimposed, say no to saving changes. Make certain the superimposed color is in the background-position, and that the brush box is checked. Using bucket fill to place predetermined patterning behind the shape   To prepare the pattern for download, use Find Repeat, Crop to Selection, change the red to black for knit stitches on a tuck ground, and save the image for a knittable 2 color result The same process may be used to develop a design placed over a lace mesh ground. The final superimposed shape, however, needs to be white rather than black to produce knit stitches, and the final repeat may need to be shifted along its vertical axis to suit the brand machine on which the knit will be manufactured. Brother lace designs begin with a row containing black pixels, end with two blank rows. In Studio lace knitting, the reverse is true Lots of knitters appear to be interested in large, nonrepetitive images. Depending on the machine used and its memory, the repeat may need to be split horizontally or vertically. Before electronic machines, many art-to-wear pieces were created knitting repeats broken down horizontally into the punchcard widths, completing the height of each panel and then joining the strips together. Nowadays there are online tools for many tasks including dividing large images. For DIY, in the first instance, Arahpaint is used to split the “large” file in half horizontally, the resulting image saved. The action happens from left to right, so to achieve the split for the second half, the full-size original is flipped horizontally, split, and flipped again. Followers of my blog have seen the images of my friend Rocco recurring intermittently over the years. Dividing the image horizontally  The same may be done vertically in a matter of seconds beginning with Image, Halve Y, and then using the mirroring tool to flip the image as needed

Color separations: the critical difference in the use of the Arah rectangle tool from that in Gimp is that it cannot be used for sequential selections of pairs of rows in color separations such as those for DBJ or mosaics. In those instances, the Arah image, scaled to the appropriate height may be saved, then opened, and processed in Gimp. For DBJ with each color in each design row knitting twice, design the shape and scale in length in Arah, save and open in Gimp for the separation, see post on working with Gimp update for Mac  Mosaics: draw the desired repeat in Arah, double it in height, save the image, open in Gimp and proceed with mosaic color separation The color separation, in turn, is very easily and quickly changed to all black and white using color exchange in Arah,

Gimp update for Mac 2

The previous post on this topic: 2019/10/07/gimp-update-for-mac/
I have been spending more time exploring version 10.22 and am becoming more familiar with new features and design options. There are slight variations in behaviors depending on the Mac OS version. Windows updates happen more frequently. GIMP 2.10.24 for Mac OS is now available.
Gimp has a wide range of paint tools The most commonly used in creating repeats for knit design are Pencil, Paintbrush, and Bucket Fill.
The Pencil tool is used to draw freehand lines with a hard edge. The main difference between it and the Paintbrush is that although both use the same type of brush, the pencil tool will not produce fuzzy edges.

Present experiments are placed in alphabetical order. Topics:
Brushes and patterns 

Colors exchange
Colors threshold see grid options
Grid options, Guides, Color separations
Symmetry Painting

BRUSHES AND PATTERNS
There are many very good videos on using multiple versions of GIMP on Youtube. Most focus on working with very large images in huge numbers of colors, and brushes or patterns in the tutorials are often larger than the maximum stitch count on our home knitting machines capable of electronic download and with needle counts of 180-200. In addition, punchcard machines have a 24-pixel width repeat constraint. The content of such published material and tutorials can be overwhelming, but isolated techniques for the required binary bit mapped knit scale are easy to sort out.

Many knitters designing small repeats use very simple programs and enter pixels singly or copy and paste in small groups. Some simple, quick functions in Gimp can simplify and speed up the progress considerably. Punchcard knitters may use the same techniques to set up their 24 x X custom length repeats and tile the results to visualize how they line up when knitted in multiples.
Some content paraphrased from the online Gimp manual: in GIMP, a pattern is a small image used to fill areas by placing copies of side by side. You can use them with the bucket fill tool. They vary in size, are used for filling regions by tiling, that is, by placing copies of the pattern side by side like ceramic tiles. A pattern is said to be tileable if copies of it can be adjoined left-edge-to-right-edge and top-edge-to-bottom-edge without creating obvious seams, such patterns are used in standard knitting repeats. The same effect may be obtained by using the Filter, Map, Tile option on the drawn image.
With the bucket fill tool, you can choose to fill a region with a pattern instead of a solid color. To make a pattern available, place it in one of the folders in GIMP’s pattern search path which includes two folders, the system patterns folder, which you should not use or alter, and the patterns folder inside your personal GIMP directory. The .gbr (“gimp brush”) format is used for ordinary and color brushes. 
Photoshop ABR brushes are also easily imported for use.
Pressing the refresh button causes GIMP to rescan the folders in your pattern search path, adding any newly discovered patterns to the list. This button is useful if you add new patterns to a folder, and want to make them available without having to restart GIMP.
GIMP includes a set of 10 “paint tools”, which, except for the ink tool, use the same set of brushes. The brush pixmaps represent the marks that are made by single “touches” of the brush, which is desirable in working with knit scale bitmaps. Brushes can be selected by clicking on an icon in the brushes dialogue, the current brush is then shown in the Brush/Pattern/Gradient area of the Toolbox. Clicking on the brush symbol there is another way of activating the Brushes dialog.

When you use the Copy or Cut command on an image or a selection of it, a copy appears as a new brush in the upper left corner of the “Brushes” dialog. This brush will persist until you use the Copy command again. It disappears when you close GIMP.
Building a personal brush pattern library on Mac: open software preferences locate folders on the bottom left, click on plus sign aside folders icon at the bottom left, it will change to a minus sign, and folders become visible select brushes, two options will appear. If a proper choice is made for the addition of pattern files, a green button will appear single click on the filing cabinet icon on the right,  a familiar Mac finder window will appear double click on the patterns folder, its own window will appear,  right-click in the window below the last entry, a smaller window appears, choose the add new folder option. It will appear as “untitled”  and will be added to the existing folders, rename it “my brushes” or any other choice, and the new folder will be added within the brushes one Its place in the brushes list will be determined by its initial letter, the contents are in alphabetical order. For future use, any saved brush may be dragged and dropped into the named personal pattern folder icon, or into the folder after it has been expanded or opened in its own window. My opened brush folder After brushes are added, the refresh button below the brush dockable dialogue may bring them up without having to restart the program. After saving these 3 images as .gbr files and placing them in the appropriate folder they appear as available for use  To install .abr files on Mac:

create a new photoshop folder within the Gimp brushes one
Download the chosen files, drag and drop the images or folder from the downloads folder into the chosen Gimp one, they will be available after a Gimp restart
The free files I tested were very large in size, did not scale down to use for knitting cleanly, and even though they appeared to be BW they opened as RGBs making the conversion to BW indexed quite dithered. They are composed of assorted leaves and snowflakesWhen exporting self-drawn brushes, the option is offered for adding spacing surrounding the shape, here a 10% addition was chosen Patterns may be saved in a similar way. Since GIMP 2.2 you can use .png, .jpg, .bmp, .gif, or .tiff files as patterns.
Saving patterns from large to tiny may be achieved using the same method as in saving brushes. To save personal patterns, instead of choosing the file cabinet icon in preferences, one may choose the folder icon, following a similar series of steps to those above, including verifying contents of the newly created folder Use Windows, Dockable Dialogues, choose Pattern. The patterns will show on the right of the Gimp window and are viewable once you click on the fill window below the tools on the left as well.

Open the image to be filled
Click on the paint bucket tool, select the Pattern fill type. Click on the paint bucket, then on the pattern you wish to use on right, hover over the canvas with the paint tool, click on it and the image will fill in the chosen pattern.
Or click on the pattern icon, scroll through to the desired pattern, click on it, then on the paint bucket tool, hover over the canvas with the paint tool, and click on it to fill.  The + or _ option scales the size of the pattern view, it is handy when tiny or very large repeats are chosen. The canvas for the pattern fill needs to be large enough to accommodate the pattern in repeat.
If the fill fails, check to see that the bucket fill mode was not somehow changed from normal to one of the many other options Here the skull is used to fill a 400X400 canvas, an even multiple of its size If the canvas is not in a full multiple of the whole pattern, part of the repeat is cropped  Using the same rose image tiled using the Filter, Map, Tile menu produces similar results when full multiples of the image pixels are not chosen, ie. here the tiling is on an 80-pixel wide canvas as opposed to a full multiple of 25 ie 100  Designing tiny repeats:
Begin with the image in black and white indexed mode. 
To draw my repeats, I used 1800X magnification, with grid view, exported the files as png, and dragged them into my own Gimp patterns folder.
If the goal is full punchcard repeat illustrations, then by default the width of the image to be filled needs to be 24 pixels wide, and a minimum of 36 rows high. If working with tuck stitch, punched squares are black pixels, unpunched ones the white, creating the tucked loops. Using the bucket tool to fill the image is accomplished with a simple, very quick stroke  The rectangle tool may be used to isolate a segment of the first repeat and the area may then be filled with a different pattern. Brushes may be resized as needed, pasted on the previously filled image, guides are helpful in their placement.  Grids and Guides: my view was magnified X 2800, the canvas measured 24 X 36 pixels.
Magnification may be set using the pull-down below the image window, where any number listed may be chosen or typed in and set by hitting the return key, or by choosing the zoom tool. Click only on the image, the zoom is applied to the whole image. If the pointer is used, click-and-drag the mouse pointer to create a zoom rectangle. The biggest dimension of the rectangle will correspond to the size of the image window. You can get to the Zoom Tool from the Image menu through Tools, Zoom, or by clicking the magnifying glass in the toolbox Anyone needing an adjustable grid superimposed on an existing image may use the Configure Grid command to set the properties of the grid and display it over the image while working on it.
One can choose the color of the gridlines, and the spacing and offsets from the origin of the image, independently for the horizontal and vertical grid lines. The configure grid dialogue:  The five different grid styles: Intersections, dots: the least visible, a simple dot at each intersection of the grid linesIntersections, crosshairs: a plus-shaped crosshair at each intersection of the grid lines  Dashed: dashed lines in the foreground color of the gridDouble dashed: dashed lines, where the foreground and background colors of the grid alternate, looks the same as above when the image is in BW indexed mode. It is also hard to discern the separate colors in RGB mode because the dashes are so small and so close together,  Solid: shows solid grid lines in the foreground color of the grid Foreground and Background colors: in RGB Mode, click on the foreground color to select a new color for the grid, click OK Spacing: for use illustrations see GRIDS: OPTIONS
Width and height: select the cell size of the grid and the unit of measurement
Offset: moves the origin of the first cell, by the fault the grid begins at the coordinate origin, 0,0
The Snap to Grid command enables and disables snap to grid. When snap to grid is enabled, and a selection is moved or placed, the grid points pull on it when it approaches making accurate placement easier. If the magnification is high enough, the placement of your pencil or brush will be outlined in a dotted line. Here the snap to the area for a 3-pixel pencil is shown highlighting its possible placement location.  This command is found in the image menubar through View, Snap to Grid.

GUIDESto configure guides, simply click on one of the rulers in the image window and pull out a guide, while holding down the mouse Left Button or side. The guide is then displayed as a blue, dashed line, which follows the pointer. Releasing the mouse will place it.  As soon a guide is created, the “Move” tool is activated and the mouse pointer changes to the Move icon.
You can create as many guides as you like, positioned wherever you like. If the grid is set to a 1X1 square pixel default with a line border, at any point the Image, Configure, Grid option may be used to change the ground view  To move a guide, activate the Move tool in the Toolbox, then click on the guide (it will turn red), and drag it to a new location. Click-and-drag the intersection of two guides to move them together. Create as many guides as needed, positioned appropriately for the design. To delete a guide, simply drag it outside the image. 
Holding down the Shift key moves everything but a guide, using the guides as an effective alignment aid. You can remove all the guides with the Image, Guides, Remove all Guides command.
Working on punchcard repeats whether in designing for cards or to create a BMP for electronic download using a published repeat, guides may be set to outline 6X6 blocks as seen in factory issued Brother punchcards, or to create custom templates.  For example, lace designs have few pixels. Horizontal guides may be added or moved at intervals between repeat segments, making certain the two knit rows are left blank as one continues in entering the proper pixels. The vertical guides help in orienting and locating the pixels in design blocks to match the source.  With guides in place, pattern fill may be used, adding shapes using the tools, or brushes to place motifs. A sample of a knit repeat using the rectangle tool and the paint bucket tool combination to create filled rectangles placed in relationship to guides, creating a tuck pattern with interspersed plain knit rectangular shapes Built-in or custom brushes may be superimposed on a bucket-filled ground. Create an image in the desired width and height, here 24 X 24, magnify at least X 800 for a grid view.
Fill with a pattern.
Place the chosen brush on the patterned ground, adjust the size and placement of the brush until satisfied, save the image.
Consider the end-use for the pattern. For example, the designs below left would be suitable for tuck stitch, the same designs would need to be color reversed if the plan is to use them to knit thread lace. Both the original and the new image should be set to BW indexed mode. Developing a brick version of the repeat is easy and quick. With the original image open, create a new image with the same width but twice its height, 24X48.
Set the magnification for both images to the same number, adjusting the number of both if needed so the longer canvas is in full view.
Configure the grid as preferred on the new image, make it visible. Snap to grid is useful, may not be necessary when working in such a scale.
Copy the full starting image and paste it on the bottom of the new.
Guides may be put in place to adjust for the pattern shift in the top half of the new image. A single, center guide, in this case, was sufficient.
The full image copy is still available, align and paste it again, its left side to the right of the center guide, anchor it.
Paste its right side to the left of the center guide and anchor that in placealso. Undo and repeat steps if needed.
Check the alignment of the full repeat by map tiling, if satisfied, export it as PNG or BMP for future download.COLORS EXCHANGE
Color exchanges to test designs in different colorways may be made easily and quickly using the program. To test the concept begin with a simple repeat already tested for tiling originally saved in indexed black and white colors This icon shows the default foreground and background colors  The black is the foreground color, the white is the background.

Using such small images I often work in 800X magnification. Open the image, choose sizing, scaling, or magnification if necessary, convert to RGB mode then from the colors menu choose map, color exchange. The color exchange window will appear. Here the white “from color” is left undisturbed. Select the dropper next to the “to color”, then click on the image on the color you wish to change, a palette window will appear. Make your choice, the color exchange window will now have substituted the chosen color for the black, click OK, and white design areas are now changed to the chosen blue globally. The process may then be repeated with the second color if desired.  The color exchange window will show white as the default “from color”. Click on the white bar, choose black from the palette window or use the dropper to select black from the image. The from color will then appear as black. Repeat selection with the dropper from the right of the “to color” bar on any black pixels in the image, choose the color from the palette window to replace it, the color exchange window will display the new “to color”. Click OK, job done. The process may be repeated multiple times on the same design or used on large-scale ones, giving one some idea as to whether or not to really commit to the estimated colors. I recently had reason to review old PC files from my Passap knitting days and came across several cut files that when converted to png format appeared in colors rather than black and white, leading me to experiment with color exchange again.  The image for the first experiment is part of a crib blanket by Cheryl GilesThe process: do not alter the original image ie. by resizing, which seems to change the color mapping responses
load the image in RGB mode
working with the foreground color, click once on the white, use the color picker to choose a color, in this case, orange, a palette window will appear, click OK, the background color will change accordingly,  double click on the now orange background to call up its palette window, keep that window open, go to colors filter, map, color exchange
double click on the from color, the white, in the exchange window
match its values to the saved palette window working from the top down, you may find some of the remaining numbers self-correct
in the original image orange, is now exchanged for black continue, repeating the process with the alternate color, in this case, yellow. At that point, the in-process image will appear as solid black. Click on the black in the exchange window to color twice, choose white from the palette selection, click OK, and the conversion is complete. It is possible to colorize images originally drawn in black and white. The color exchange options will remain fixed throughout the process. The image may be worked on continuously and exported when color exchanges are completed, or saved and imported again after each step. The color exchange here happens consistently on the chosen background color, changing that quickly becomes familiar and easy. There are times that the repeat being processed will turn black onscreen, trust in the process and continue.
The default color exchange window using color options in the default palette. The steps for changing the background to red: the image will turn black as you work, click on the TO color selection picking a color from the default palette to replace the white, in this case, the red, you can click OK, but do not close this last window if you want to continue, the color change will be lost Changing the black to white in summary Export the image. The transitions: Developing custom palettes in order to visualize different colorways while using the same repeat:
load the image,  right-click on the paintbrush icon, choose palette editor, this window will open with selections for possible palette choices click on your choice, then click on the palette icon, your color choices will appear, click on the white, to create a new background color.It will change it to the chosen value in this window when you click on that. The new color choices appear in the palette in the future unless a choice is made using reset it to the original. Two selections may be made for new colors at the same time, but the map, color exchange option will continue to work on the background color only. These were my choices for added colors. Continuing to work with color changes, changing the white in the BW repeat to blue the black to orange My success with series of other images in using color exchange has been spotty. Online forums reveal this is a recurrent issue with no clear solutions. Suggestions include stipulating that the cause may be the version of Mac OS in use. Color reductions using ArahPaint achieve consistent results easily and quickly. There are advantages to hybrid conversions. 

COLORS THRESHOLD: see GRIDS OPTIONS
GRIDS: OPTIONS
Punchcard users may use this method to visualize which holes to punch, though this particular repeat would need to be reduced in stitch count in order to be usable. Similar charts may be adapted and used for other textile techniques such as cross-stitch or even filet crochet.

Grids help with the precise placement of pixels when designing using pixels to represent stitches and rows. The grid is not visible until it is activated via the View, Show Grid option in the Image menu. To create a custom grid, the Image, Configure Grid from the Image menu brings up a dialogue that allows you to do so. Snap to Grid causes the pointer to “warp” perfectly to any grid line located within a certain distance. In most instances, when drawing repeats a 1X1 pixel grid works well on a canvas magnified enough for it to be visible when filling in cells, I recommend a starting magnification of X800.
Anyone needing an adjustable grid superimposed on an existing colored image may now adjust the grid size to suit while viewing the resulting changes. The beginning image and grid size both need to be large enough for the grid to be visible. Use the show grid, configure grid commands  The intact chain-link fixes the width and height aspect ratio of grid cells Considering the possible smallest repeat, breaking the chain link, changing values progressively while viewing the results brings one closer to matching units  The image itself may be scaled concurrently to tweak grid border alignments. The final grid size below is 18X18,  the image size is shown after scaling from a width of 277 pixels (with a broken link at that time) to a final 270 pixels in width The screengrab of the above center, with a superimposed new grid; note the image, in this case, was also offset for better placement, a 3-pixel pencil was used to isolate the border of the possible smallest repeat Using Filter, Map, Tile to check alignments  The repeat reduced to 12 stitches, suitable for punchcard, and tiled to check alignments. Translating the colored image to BW indexed may take several steps and some clean-up if only Gimp is used to process it. With the colored large-scale isolated repeat, the image is opened in Gimp. The Threshold tool transforms the current layer or the selection into a black and white image, where white pixels represent the pixels of the image whose Value is in the threshold range, and black pixels represent pixels with Value out of the threshold range. It may be activated from the pull-down colors menu or from the toolbox.   The color image will temporarily disappear, adjust levels. Scaling to repeat size: check the image size, making certain the present dimensions match a multiple of the final repeat count for stitches and rows. If adjustments are required, breaking the chain link allows for each count to be adjusted independently from the other. In the final scaling, use the closed chain link, adjust numbers, magnify the repeat, checking it with a superimposed grid for any missing or out-of-place cells. Check the alignment, then save the single repeat, which in this case is 14X14, ready for download Color separations: there are occasions where very small repeats need to be scaled in height only for color separations. I have found such scaling to be inaccurate using the option, such as here, both of the small, single repeat, and in scaling its tiled version. The triangle motif was used in many of my early posts on color separations for DBJ and its backing options.  On a long enough canvas, the grid may be adjusted to 1 pixel by four in height. With that number of cells filled in with black in this case, if the 1X4 unit is captured with the rectangle tool, it will appear in the brush menu and will be available for use with the pencil tool for drawing with single strokes until one quits the program unless the unit is saved for future use as described via preferences  Using RGB mode, the two-color redrawn image is redrawn, A. The grid may be adjusted to 1X 1 again, B. Using magnification, I often use X1800, pairs of rows may be selected for either color invert or value invert color options. The first will add a third color, seen in the chart bottom, the second will yield a 2 color image, seen in the chart top, B.  I have had no success with using keyboard commands for the action using my OS, find it easier visually to deal with the three colors than with the 2, especially in longer repeats. C: the extra color pixels in the rows with black pixels are filled with white. D: the third color pixel rows are filled with black. D the final repeat may be color indexed to BW and saved for download.  The appearance of the final repeat when color reversed Another comparison of the 2 options for altering every other pair of rows in the specific color separation for a mosaic repeat. There is less filling in of cells with a different color, but in large files especially, I feel the result would become far more visually confusing to track. For more details on the specific mosaic, see  2021/01/27/mosaics-and-mazes-charting-meet-numbers-gimp-3/

SYMMETRY PAINTING
Information summary from the online manual on working with symmetry:
you can access this dialog from the image Menu bar through Windows-Dockable- Dialogs-Symmetry Painting, its icon appears below at the top right A drop-down list offers four options. As soon as you check a type of symmetry, axes appear as dotted green lines in the image window and you can start painting with the brush you have chosen.
The default position for the symmetry axis is the middle of the image window. You can place the axis where you want using the Horizontal axis position and Vertical axis position.
Disable brush transform: when you transform the drawing, the brush itself will end up transformed as well. For instance, in a mirror transform, not only will your drawing on the right of the canvas be mirrored on the left, but the brush itself is obviously “flipped” on the left. If for some reason, you want the drawn lines to be mirrored (or other transformation) but not the brush outline itself, you can check this box.
“Tiling” is a translational symmetry, which can be finite (with a maximum of strokes) or infinite. In the latter case, it is the perfect tool to create patterns or seamless tiles, at painting time. This mode covers the image with strokes.
Interval X Interval Y: these are the intervals on the X and Y axis, in pixels, between stroke centers.
Shift: this is the shift between lines on the X-axis, in pixels.
Max strokes X, Max strokes Y: these are the maximal number of brush strokes on the X and Y-axis. Default is 0, which means no limit, according to the image size.
Using a large image, testing few iterations, helps one understand the process. The pepper brush is provided in the program and is used in the tutorial on the Gimp site. Most such tutorials are intended for working on far larger and higher resolution images, while knitting is binary and at the opposite end of the spectrum in scale and required image size. The original brush is 220 pixels in size, the maximum number of needles per pixels on standard machines programmable at one time is 200. For exploration, any of the built-in brushes may be used, I began by scaling the pepper to 50 pixels, then moved on to a self-drawn, equal size flower motif. When choosing canvas file size, consider a multiple of the brush size. Drawing repeats uses the pencil tool.   Working with potential knit repeats the scale is reduced further. Magnification is useful for the evaluation of repeats. The smallest repeat segments for use on electronic machines may be isolated. The filter map, tile option easily verify how the repeats line up overall. Cropping a 24 stitch width and tiling that also visualizes the suitability of the repeat for use on punchcards with the 24 stitch limitation.  Grid view helps identify any need for “clean up”.
This rose is 24 stitches wide by 25 rows in height Open the chosen file in Gimp. Create a new file in a canvas size considering a multiple of the original.
When the Copy or Cut command is used on an image or a selection of it, a copy appears as a new brush in the upper left corner of the “Brushes” dialog. This brush will persist until you use the Copy command again. It disappears when GIMP is closed.
With the single repeat opened in Gimp, magnified several times, click on the image and use the copy command. The image will appear in the symmetry dialogue. The position may vary depending on whether the program has been closed and relaunched between episodes of testing the process. Create a new file, large enough to accommodate a multiple of the original number of pixels, adding pixels for spacing between or above and below designs, set the magnification to the same number as that of the clipboard image, left-click on the brush icon, choose the image saved in the clipboard and a type of symmetry and accompanying settings, click on pencil tool, the motif will appear as on the above right, paste the image on the new canvas, undo and repeat setting adjustments until satisfied with the distribution of motifs.
Some ways of varying repeat positions working with motifs in networks were illustrated in the post To develop a brick repeat I began with a canvas twice that of the original rose, 48X50 pixels, isolated the smallest repeat, used the filter map tile option to test its all over alignment The 24X50 repeat: To decrease crowding, using the original image, the new canvas is now 40X60, with the shift decreased from 12 to 8 pixels. The result did not tile properly when mapped, using magnification 800X with a viewed grid the final repeat, 29X60 was isolated Being more deliberate with the math leads to a full, successful repeat 

Working on the gridded image, drawing straight lines to isolate color change areas in chosen colors followed by flood filling, one may begin to visualize changing the ground color behind the motif repeats Using that small triangular 8X8 repeat open in Gimp, or draw any small shape if designed by hand, remove the grid. Before using it as a brush, reduce mode to 2 colors, magnify X800. Open a new file. I found the latter needed to be increasingly small as well for the repeats to be placed accurately. After tiling using symmetry, filter, map, tile from the filter menu to check for multiple repeat alignment.   Again, preemptive math will yield images that avoid further processing. It is up to the user to recognize any problems,  the repeat here needs to and can be isolated correctly from the file on the left, it is actually only 16 rows high. Here the adjusted repeat is created on a 24X16 canvas with the same symmetry settings, and filter/mapped/tiled There may be multiple ways to achieve the same result with each motif. Here the same repeat is executed two different ways  The above repeat was cropped and adjusted to 16 stitch width and 8 row height, the file saved, and the process repeated  Using symmetry once more, remember to adjust the pencil size.  For the pinwheel shape I was unable to use color exchange successfully on the above images, but with the saved 2 colors indexed red and white repeat both img2track and ayab appeared to load the repeat successfully. The map color exchange was successful using the steps described at the top of the post when beginning with the repeat drawn in a black and white version.  

A different approach, experimenting with built-in brushes: symmetry preferences remain constant, the brush size is reduced. The results are best if the canvas is created in black and white indexed mode to start with, and shapes reduce with varying degrees of success. The numbers reflect brush sizes in each dot pattern. Different types of symmetry may be applied to the same image

For afghans or wall art, if one is attracted to large shapes, drawing in mandala symmetry on large canvas size is as gratifying and immediate as when using a spirograph, the results happen in seconds, these were drawn using 32 points. Steps may easily be undone along the way as one attempts to make the images more complex.