Inkscape is a free vector program that may be downloaded here. The program runs in both windows and mac environments. In Mac OS 10.7-10.10 the downloaded DMG file requires XQuartz to run in OS X 10.6.3 or later (including El Capitan). For a knitter’s guide to using the program, see youtube series.
One of the critical differences in viewing work as it progresses on the knitting machine is that the “front” view of the fabric unless the work is removed from the needles through a variety of techniques and turned over on the needle bed, is the purl side. Early machine manufacturer punchcard book publications made an effort to help hand knitters make the transition. A chart from brother publishing knit_sym96 illustrates one such effort. Here the middle icon in the how to work column is the stitch formation one would need to achieve on the MK to get the same “look” as the HK samples. Some symbols apply to both types of knitting, some should be mirrored horizontally to make sense, and in the case of the crossing stitches at the top right of the second column, there is a bit of confused identity.
Over the years there has been an interesting transition from handwritten stitch by stitch instructions to the introduction of symbols ranging from homegrown on graph paper, to simple word processing and later software generated ones. Some international differences occurred in published works, and internationally agreed-upon symbols for both knit and crochet eventually evolved. There are many design programs on the market now, I have linked to some in past posts. As knitters have venues for publishing their own repeats and patterns and tools have multiplied, symbols do not always necessarily have the same meaning, and stitch codes are no longer universal.
I have been wanting to find a way other than using excel to build a stitch library usable for machine knitters in an easily accessible program that would do some of the “work” for me. I have experimented with 2 programs. One was knitbird, which I would not recommend for this purpose, the other Intwined Studio which is proving far more flexible and worth the modest investment for me. I work on MacOS10.8, the Intwined version for this OS is beta. There are some small glitches, but this is a tool worth exploring. The option is there to add one’s own symbols to the stitch library. I have begun working on a machine knitting set with icons created in a combination of other programs and Inkscape, the one suggested in the tutorial by the developer. Some charts created with Intwined may be seen in my previous post on sideways pleated skirts. Below is a chart including some MK symbols in my personal library, also using the option to the color background for them in the program itself rather than editing the chart image after the fact.
To download Inkscape: site. The workaround to get the program to work in Mac OS10.8 may be found here.
The combination of color with symbols in published patterns for both hand-knit and crochet is beginning to proliferate. I find the visual color cues help track patterns more easily, have done it in HK in the past, one such example is my chain cable experiment in my January 3rd post.
Some illustrations for lace symbols HK vs MK may be found in my post from February 25, 2012 “back to lace”.
1, 2, the PDF, and video.
A way of sing Kindle app to track knitting (PC) and knitting with the iPad.
There are many knitting programs that will perform the necessary calculations, as well as a variety of knit calculators. The diophantine formula is the basis for what is known to some knitters as the “magic formula”. In the early 1980s, Alles Hutchinson authored a small book on the subject. There is a bit of personal leeway in the results, and the formula may be used in calculating even complex shapes with the proviso that one has the patience to break such shapes into series of simpler ones.
There are many online resources for information and calculators to sort out the math, including a triangle calculator. The original website’s offerings are now closed, but the info remains available here
Using the gauge to match the previous post of 4S and 6R per inch the calculation for the pie divided into five triangles breaks down into the web calculator result pictured below:
The longhand method for the same calculation follows and also translates to: bring into hold 2 stitches for 4 times, 1 stitch for 80 times. Stitches in shaping are proofed as above: 88 stitches shaped over 84 rows.