More on charting, foreign symbols, and cables

This topic has come up as part of previous posts. I recently reviewed links and thought I would re-group them a bit differently here, adding some new.  Please click on continue reading to have the list appear as active links if they do not immediately do so in your browser. The latest additions are at the post bottom.

pixelated lettering

letters in knit stitches

care labels

I have been trying to navigate Mac Numbers again, but in playing at my own latest charting with software after the Yosemite update, I find I am drifting back to using Excel once more as my primary “graph paper”. Charts published in foreign languages and magazines, and particularly those in Russian (where the same symbols appear to have different functions depending on the publisher) provide challenges in translating for using charts provided in hand or machine knitting.

Some sources from/for different countries that may help with interpretations:

Anna Burda magazine symbols PDF includes HK how-to illustrations:  ab2  2/1/15

 Verena chart from older pubs easily found on Pinterest

A partial volume of an out of print book on Japanese symbols 

4/24/15: Sconcho is a GUI for creating knitting charts that come with a built-in stitch library. A manual is available. Custom stitch symbols may be created in Inkscape to form personal vector shapes.  X11 may be required to run Inkscape on your computer as well, all are free.

6/14/2020 a free for iPhone and iPad app Knitting Chart  also includes crochet symbols



Knit charting in Mac Yosemite; visualizing knit cables

Some previous blog posts on topic





Updating to Yosemite has provided some interesting issues for me. The first was Safari pretty much becoming unusable. It took a Mac expert and a chunk of his time to resolve the issue. There are still hiccups in other apps. I thought I would revisit some of the methods I have mentioned as usable in knitting charting on Mac via a bit of discussion on cables and visualizing them.

Intwined began having issues in Macs with any custom-built stitch libraries in mid-year 2013. The last update offered and installed in September 2013 has continued to have some functionality issues in later Mac OS versions (Mavericks, and now Yosemite), stripped of any custom stitches built previously, not allowing for their addition. It has become only an occasional go-to for me now. Charts created in the program are easily recognizable.

Inkscape (recommended for creating icons for use in Intwined, a free vector program) will require XQuartz update for Yosemite. Their previous release allowed for its use in Mavericks. is an open-source, free charting software with built-in stitch libraries that may meet many of your charting needs in any OS version

Excel behaves as in the past (my version: Office 08)

Mac Number has once again deleted some familiar menu options, added new ones. My primary font for knit symbols is no longer available, and some of my accumulated knit symbols from other font sources continue to work on the mac, but are unsupported if using the iPad version of the program, where they appear as the original  keyboard strokes, rather than the assigned symbols

GIMP 2.8.4 (2.8.8 did not), HyperDither, appear functional as in past.

Tracking and visualizing custom cables outside the parameters of built-in libraries or fonts/symbols in alternative software, using Numbers 3.5: one of the problems that can be encountered in charting cables is that programs with built-in stitch libraries may not provide for cable crossings specific to your pattern. The charts below have not been proofed executable in a swatch at this point in time, are simply a way of exploring drawing methods, my working notes from some quick experiments, not a step by step tutorial. I have no way of confirming results in previous versions of the software or OS.

available “shapes”

To make them editable, click on the shape, go to format menu, highlight shapes and lines-> make editable. Click on the shape and in turn on the format symbol below in the image below, and windows become available for style and arrangement choices

The knit and purl symbols on the left of my first chart utilizing line with arrow shapes are standard ones. The right side uses a dot for purl stitches instead of a line, and that began to make the whole more readable to me. One drawback is “shapes” do not seem to respond to any copy and paste demands and I had to draw each individually. I preferred to place them outside my chart. Guidelines then appear to suit for easy resizing and the resulting edit may then be dragged and dropped into the appropriate location in the chart, readjusted as/if needed. Color palettes for drawing appear limited to the built-in shades; toggling between available colors may be accessed by clicking on the dots below the pen tool in the first illustration above.  In the chart, purple lines indicate stitches brought forward, yellow the stitches brought to back when working the cables. The number 10 in the left-hand column should be a one.

Cleaning up lines and adding color if needed may be done in Photoshop or GIMP; this makes forward stitches a bit clearer

bucket fill provides an added way to follow the movement of stitches

Utilizing the pen tool in shapes menu to draw custom cable crosses and filling them using the option within the numbers program moves toward an all color chart_ far quicker than using lines and bucket fills. The red segment indicates knit stitches traveling in the back for the cable cross

A lot of information is available on creating reversible cable fabrics using ribbed configurations. I thought I would play with knit/ purl blocks rather than vertical rib lines. The initial chart was begun in Intwined, with bucket tool filled in Photoshop to extend colors within cable crosses. The red border outlines the pattern repeats. Alternate right side rows are shown; all wrong side rows are worked as the stitches appear (knit stitches are knit, and purl stitches are purled). Here the cell colors happen to be reversed from their use in the above, the yellow is used for knit stitches, the green the purls. I opted to indicate knit stitches by color only, no symbol.

This is the resulting swatch, in random acrylic yarn, with varying numbers of rows in between cable crossings my plan is to create a scarf in significantly thicker alpaca yarn, a strictly HK fabric. The photo shows both sides of the fabric.

Creating knit graph paper on mac, using Excel and Numbers

Working in Excel 2008 and Mac Numbers 3.2, reviewed 12/2022

My blog is a living document. I tend to keep old posts as they were originally written, which can help reflect the evolution in the resources from those available at the time and my changing and at times growing skill in using them.
There have been many interim posts on using Numbers in knit design, whether as a stand-alone or in conjunction with other programs ie Gimp.
At times I revisit topics as separate posts, or I correct or expand the information in ones previously published, true here, at the bottom of the post.
On a worksheet, columns are usually standardized to accommodate approximately 9 font characters. Width and height are measured in points and units such as inches or centimeters: 1 point equals approximately 1/72 inch or 0.035 cm. The default row height is app. 13 points. In developing knitting charts smaller units of measurement are preferred. Preferences (general) may be changed from the default (inches) to cm, or the smaller unit mm, and saving.
Online conversion between units of measurement and PostScript points may be calculated (if needed) using calculators ie. cell measurements in mm and points When opening an excel document, to view only one page: on the bar at the top of your spreadsheet click the View menu and then in turn choose the Customize Toolbars and Menus. The window below will appear, click on the commands tab. Scroll down to “Zoom to One Page” on the list, “click and drag” it to your toolbar, releasing your mouse button to place it using the vertical line that appears as your guide to determine its placement.
the chart toolbar with the icon (to the right of the red line, click on the image for magnification)on the standard toolbar

If the chart toolbar is in use, left-click on the arrow at the right, where Customize toolbars and menu are the second option offered; a right-click will allow you to modify toolbars as a first choice and offers the commands as an option.
Clicking on the icon now in the toolbar will show one worksheet, and adjustments may be made as follows for producing your graph paper or knit chart, clicking again will show multiple sheets once more.
Click on the diamond upper left-hand corner to select the whole sheet, now that the whole sheet is selected apply your unit choice to the whole document: place your mouse on and hold it between the cells indicated by any 2 of the letters (separator will appear), drag the boundary on the right side to define the desired width, repeat the process between any 2 numbered rows to define the height. The format menu may also be used; first, select the whole sheet, then on the home tab, click on format, and select format row height or format column width alternately to specify desired measurements The latter method may give better control over unit specs in some instances.
If the intent is to use the program as virtual graph paper on which to add color, symbols, etc one may continue editing,  and working with borders and border drawing options line thickness most suitable for printing may be selected, along with types of lines and colors. Common ratios for knitting are 4:5, and 2:3 (height to width) with stitches being usually wider than tall. Single-page workbooks to start your chart editing and saving for printing

Selecting the whole document for printing by going for the select all command in a variety of ways did not print the whole document for me or even recognize the content. Whether printing the whole document or part, the print area needs to be hand-selected. Click on the cell upper left where you want to begin, drag the mouse, and release on the last cell at the bottom right on which you wish to stop. The selected area will now appear colored blue and outlined by a broken line. In the file menu, choose the print area, and in turn to its right “select print area”. File print should in turn be operable now, along with a preview of the selected area to be printed. If you wish to have the graph paper as a permanent file, proceed as above, but from your printer screen select PDF, then save as

An online PDF generator for printing graph paper for knits (including shadow knitting) in 2 ratios and orientations may be found a

Previously posted links and more on using excel for the virtual designing of knit charts and motifs

Numbers 3.2.2,  updated to version 12.2.1 in December 2022
I chose to change my preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeter inches and points)

default cell size in cm and points

Click on the table at top of your document screen, to the right of the function icon; select the first choice on the left, the second row a place to start Uncheck alternating rows on menus on right, revise options
Click anywhere on the screen, and use the command all to select all table cells. Choose row and column size, type in your desired values, or using the arrows provided, hit return. Click anywhere on the sheet to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag the _| symbol on the bottom right and you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document. Click on the circular target icon on the upper left, drag the _| symbol on the bottom right, and all units on the sheet will be resized to display measurements. For thicker, darker, or even in different colored and types of lines changes are easily made working with borders menus. Clicking on any cell leaves only your graph; selecting print from your file menu prints exactly what appears as the sheet number chosen, and /or saved; additional adjustment options are offered on right

Click on the white part of your sheet, only your chart will be viewable and ready for printing. If a PDF is desired, choose Export to -> PDF from the file menu.
I had a Ravelry request for a punchcard template. In a previous 2011/12/14/more-low-tech/, I shared a method that got me in the ballpark using a word document, for having a printable, near-scale graph. Here is an editable excel workbook resulting in as near as I could get to printing the punch card at scale; included are beginning added markings for Brother machines that could easily be altered to suit other makes; lines at the side can serve for comments or notes.
Going about printing in a different way: I captured an image from my excel template saved it, opened the image in photoshop, adjusted the image size as below, and when printed the output was nearly dead-on in terms of size and would make tracing motifs from it onto a punchcard over a lightbox super easy A downloadable punchcard worksheet
Using Numbers the closest I could get to punchcard cell size at that point was using point values, 19 for rows, 18 for columns, and printing aspect ratio remained off.
December  2022
In the initial try, the repeat used is a part of an electronic one, adjusted to a random 24-stitch segment, and it is 30 rows in height.
It is placed over a hacked lightbox of sorts, with a Brother blank punchcard taped over it to hold it in place. As can be seen, marking the card in the location of future punched holes would be fairly easy. Longer repeats may require the card to be shifted up very slightly at some point, which may work well, and avoid adjusting the original file height dimensions by very small point values and printing again.  
I have created all my numbers tables for charts up to now using the ruler units set to points. Matching the results of those experiments to a printed template for marking the card in punched hole locations was slightly off and required a bit of shifting to the card during the process.
Creating the spreadsheet using cm ruler units rather than points I came up with a template I am sharing, measuring 24 cells in width, and 60 rows in height as most standard factory-supplied blank cards.
The program will separate the design into more than one page if needed when File Print is chosen.
On the left, the 60-row table is divided into 2 sheets/pages.
The center shares the settings for the size of the table, the row and column size, and the print settings with Fit unchecked.
Punchcards actually are marked with a square grid. Using a ruler measuring in mm, they are fixed at 108 mm in width by 300 mm in height.
On the far right, a blank punch card is laid over the printout of page 1 of my document on an improvised lightbox, with what appeared to be accurate placement results: New downloadable documents should open with the corresponding points ruler setting unless you have already been using the program with the centimeter ruler setting. I cannot test the Exel documents.
For designing:
punchcard blank_excel
punchcard blank_numbers
With ruler units set to centimeters:
print card_numbers09
print card_Excel
Changing rulers in Numbers, from the program’s manual: Added info and results in the post Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2 7/21

CUSTOM NEEDLE TAPES may be used as guides to track actions such as sequences in short rows or hooking up stitches (standard KM needles are 4.5mm apart). My color printer is defunct, so this is the grey version. Color coding or notes may be easily added to blocks for more complex fabric manipulations. A reference for some conversions of mm to points based on needle spacing, each 4.5 mm unit = 12.75 points, print the results at 100% in landscape orientation with fit checked Some tables to test, editable to suit your needs. Keep in mind the size of the print area in the document is indicated immediately beneath the page orientation illustration, in points.
The last table in the document is designed for use on 35 stitches arranged in mixed-width segments. It has been printed and is shown here on the machine, placed under a random needle group, with corresponding needle selections in and out of work. The topic was revisited here. A variety of printable tapes for multiple gauge knitting machines is offered by Claudia Scarpa in her blog post.
Working in cm, taking into account that needles are 4.5 mm, 0.45cm apart eliminated the conversion to points.
The program alters a couple of the values for the width of the table cells slightly, as seen here for 1-10 cm needle spacings To maximize the available printing space, under sprint setup change all margin values from any preset default to 0.54 Although the print setup shows page numbers in cm, the page orientation measures are given in mm, the width in landscape orientation is 279mm=27.9cm, with 26.8mm available drawing space when page margins are set to 0.54  The 2.26 mm cell unit tape in place on the machine  A document for DIY needle tapes only_numbers


Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 3

SPLITTING THINGS UP leads to a series of quite different fabrics, sometimes creating interesting secondary solid color shapes when striping is added to any of the forms; repeats will need editing to avoid extra rows to keep the designs balanced, or have them added across their width for extending shapes, such as in creating ruffled effects. I have worked on these charts using Numbers, image capture, and resizing and editing again in photoshop if needed. The images below are not intended as a “sit and knit” tutorial, but rather as a start for creating your own designs, on the desired number of stitches, I randomly picked 22

some possibilities on method: SPIRAL original shape

splitting in 2 parts

changing positions and stacking, all knit row edited to bottom of repeat

a mirrored segment

added to first repeat, center line double row edited out for knitting

MITER: original repeat

split repeat

moving parts around

areas for adding plain knit rows in desired numbers across the knit (yellow), keeping in mind how this will affect color changing sequences if striping is used to create secondary patterns; repeat usable for machines with color changer on right

mirroring the whole repeat horizontally for use with color changer on left

Changing colors at regular intervals including every 2 rows will yield secondary, geometric patterns; all knit rows may be added to the right or left of the shapes maintaining color changes, for different effects; if these are planned in extended “white areas”, the holding sequence needs to be maintained every other row; slip stitch setting may be used to automate, with repeats reworked for use on 24 stitch punchcard machines. I find when exploring any of this initially, working repeats as hand techniques helps me understand necessary sequences and editing before committing to punching holes, filling mylar squares, or programming pixels. Swatches and notes, swatches, and notes…

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 2

Visualizing the shapes (using charts in Mac Numbers)A spiral gore is the first or second half of a miter gore, conversely, a miter gore has 2 consecutive spiral gores, knit in a mirror image. GOING ROUND: numbers 1-12 represent knitting sequence for wedges, thicker lines at segment edges = rows across knit width at end of each sequence, 2 rows or many more depending on planned design shape

Previous posts on related topics:

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 1

Getting my thoughts together on this topic I searched for any of my previous posts that may be related, here is a list

Even in my earliest days as a hand knitter, I liked charting out my sweater shapes ie sleeves, necklines, etc on graph paper and tracking my place by marking the appropriate row or every other row on the charted image. Many of the formulas for charting math in garment shaping may be emulated by drawing a line on the chart where each square represents a stitch and a row, connecting points, and filling in squares. Averaging out grid shifts is also the guideline to increasing and decreasing for shaping on pixel charts. Though this may be a bit of egg before the chicken, I got sidetracked playing with software yet again.


Working premise: using holding to shape a wedge over 36 rows. Stitch multiples  are brought into hold opposite the carriage (floats will be created if they are brought into hold on the carriage side), in the instances below each graph row represents 2 rows knit, my fabric width at the start is 100 sts

Set image size _ pixels equal stitches and rows required

Magnify X 1000 (this is what I prefer for viewing and editing, less magnification may be used)

Activate 1 stitch grid/ show grid/ snap to grid

Make certain the whole image is within your window view

Using line shape: click on the upper left corner, press shift key_a drawing line will appear with a + symbol at its bottom right_click on the first square on the bottom right, a line will appear where black squares represent  # of stitches to be held each row

bucket fill in  the appropriate side of the wedge to represent knit stitches

create a new, larger canvas that will accommodate desired multiple stacked repeats and possible knit rows in between shapes in a new window; copy image from the first window, paste  into the new window, move it, and place in the desired location on your  screen

return to the first window, flip the image vertically (image menu/ select transform and direction)

again copy, paste, move into the desired location, and insert knit or (patterned) rows (green) when and if desired. On electronic machines, the final image would have to be doubled in length, so those “knit row” pixels/squares would have to be adjusted accordingly to half the desired number

Row by row charting for double-height to represent each row of actual knitting: the process

starting with a repeat 6X6

convert image to bitmapped (repeat at upper right below is a different one, should match the one being resized)

scale image: click on the locked symbol/ chain link, in turn, to alter the aspect ratio, change both pertinent numbers

the repeat twice as long, 6 X 12

going 3D, possible spiral

eliminating squares

shifting things around in order to add “automatic wraps”, begin knit with COL

in further progress


stacked repeat

stacked repeat

save in image in format for downloading to machines via cable and knitting using slip stitch setting, or export or screen grab for printing and knitting from chart visually as hand technique. If printing images colored cues may be added for carriage/lock setting or color changes, etc. The question: what about numbers and excel?


Using the line tool (shapes) will get the line in place, shaping is “eyeballed”

knit squares are filled in

so you want to double the height only? Apple for some reason when they  “upgraded” to the latest version of the program (3.2) has eliminated the split table feature, so the only way I can see is through using the table: add rows above or below in the chart, a new row will be a copy of the selected row


the insert row option will add rows only below selected ones, I have not found a tool equal to the line shape in Numbers

Lace mesh motif charting_ Mac Numbers_ a touch of Excel

October 2021: I periodically return to old posts and find much has changed since they were written in terms of software or in my thinking on the specific technique.
Rebuilding the working 24 stitch repeat from the colored chart here is now quick and easy. More detailed instructions on using both Numbers and Gimp may be found in my posts in subsequent years.
In summary, the expanded colored image of the repeat was cropped to 24 cells wide, 92 cells high. A table with cells measuring 20 by 20 points, 24 units wide, and 92 units high was created with a red grid. The image of the repeat was sized to match the same width and height as those of the table. The table was then arranged in front of the image, and black was filled in cells over the colored cells below. The new table was then screengrabbed with all interior cell borders removed, but with a thin border around all content, opened in Gimp, changed to indexed mode. Because lace has so few black dots I find scaling to punchcard size is more accurate if colors are inverted first, and again after scaling to the 24 by 92 required repeat, shown on the right. the associated png  Previous content:
The symbols here were disregarded in building the repeat here, but they matter when developing designs for use with the lace module in DAK.
This lace “separation” was based on a mesh technique, created using Mac Numbers, for use on a Brother knitting machine, with the Lace Carriage operating from the left side. The final design requires 4 passes by the lace carriage followed by 2 rows of plain knit throughout. 
Hand knitting: a brief list of symbols, and a few of their associated directions The hand-knit motif inspiration and symbols remain unchanged in this post, The colors were assigned for coding the direction of transfers to maintain the mesh transfer sequence splitting rows, is an option eliminated by apple in later versions of numbers copy and paste the above in a “blank” part of spreadsheet creating a new table; resize cells by selecting all in the new table, and clicking/ dragging on the bottom line of any of the grey, numbered row cells on left to number/ measurements of cells in the original document. Release the mouse, and all cells will be uniform in size.
In later versions choose the round symbol on the top left of the table to select the whole table or select all cells in it, in the table menu on the far right, cell size may be adjusted to any numbers one desires. If the final file is for scaling in other programs, it is best to have both numbers match. I have grown fond of 20 by 20 as I continued to work between numbers and Gimp. Note: after elongation, on first and all odd-numbered rows colors occur, but no symbols. On even rows, there are both colors and symbols. On odd rows (no symbols) now “erase” the green, on even (symbols) erase the red, results below,  on the right

mark the outside of motif on the above right with a third color, beginning on the second row; cut and paste complete motif in a “clean area of your sheet so it is surrounded by blank space, this will save a lot of “erasing” (technically this creates a new table)select and copy blank rows as wide as your motif (blue outline on left)click on 3rd color square beginning at the bottom left, use the insert copied rows command, adding 2 blank rows between pairs of rows that will become markings for lace transfers,  moving up the design, ending with 2 blank rows as well the resulting “separated” mesh repeat is now 92 rows long:  spacing between repeats and number of knit rows at its top may be adjusted to suit preference/ taste. Red and green squares are what is punched, or black squares on mylar sheet, etc. Note: red containing rows have no symbols now, while green ones still do, another visual check with repeats this long, it is worth marking up the final template like that encountered on the card or mylar as described in previous posts: a pdf tree_lace for downloading and marking to suit, depending on mylar sheet or punchcard use. Each colored square represents a punched hole of a black cell. The resulting swatch:

the full repeat could be used singly, to create a border, or to become a  part of a much larger one 

the same motif  created in Excelany change to repasted motif affects the whole document in that area, unlike as in creating a new table in numbers as I recently “discovered” (a very convenient difference)
to elongate the design,  so far my solution has been to mark as above, click on third color cells on the left, beginning at the bottom, then using the insert row command. Doing so yields results that can be seen in the partially expanded chart below the remaining process may be carried out, using slightly different tools to achieve the same results.

A bit of seasonal lace mesh_charted_Intwined

a possible hand knit star motif, color coded transfers

flipped for machine knitting

planning the repeat for transfers with LC on left

correction for missing row  required, marked in red

rows to be punched or squares for mylar markings

(motif could be relocated for brick configuration)

2 knit rows follow any with no needle selection by LC

the result


Color separations for knits_ Mac Numbers(3), some Excel

Double jacquard in 2 colors is a good place to start sorting out color separations. There are many methods for this. Japanese electronic machines and Passap tech 179 use a split row 1, col 1 method, which provides the least elongation of motifs upon knitting the piece. For some how-to and problems with these separations and knitting them please see this post. Getting familiar with the tools makes it possible to in turn separate colors for fabrics other than DBJ. The working area needs to be considerably larger than the original design repeat for moving segments of charts around. Some of the changes made to the original design area affect the spreadsheet across all rows (or if applicable, columns) in that area, and copying and pasting in other parts of the table, outside those spreadsheet rows does not do so by default. A 2 col motif will require 4 rows for each row knit (unless one is using double length in machines capable of it), so a 20-row motif would require at least 80 for the fully expanded separation. When I began experimenting I worked on multiple page spreadsheets, with multiple projects within the same document. I would suggest single project documents/ tables, however, so that inserting rows in either excel or numbers does not “accidentally” alter other projects that are saved, within the same row range, but out of working view. Both programs export to PDF and other file formats. Selective screen grab can capture segments for saving, scaling, or printing. Mac users have multiple options built-in for screen grabs. UPDATE July 12, 2014: the table split into rows command is gone from numbers version 3.0+


Begin with a small motif (even # colors per row, in this case, 2) that has been tested for repeats lining up correctly

select, copy and paste single repeat: this can be done through menu options or simple use of command C, command V (Mac)

choose color 1, and color 2 for the order of separation. In DBJ in most instances, it is best to begin the knit with the largest # of stitches in any one color, the reverse of the blue/yellow below in my chart below.

A: motif pasted, selected, Table menu select split into rows. Selecting and pasting the same motif just created on the same rows but different columns will copy its format A2 while going outside those rows in the document, copying the original size motif and pasting in adjoining rows to split ones will bring with it that format, seen in A3

B: copy and paste A (split rows) below its image/row range, motif will take on the formatting of that section of the document, resulting in large working squares once again

C: purple squares act as markers for odd rows, white for even. Chosen color (here = yellow) 1 will be “erased” on row one and odd-numbered rows (purple marker), and color 2 (blue) erased on even-numbered rows (white marker square). One of the ways to achieve this is to select cells to be erased, followed by clicking on fill-in format bar, and choosing no fill or white. Separation may be visually checked: if colored rows were to tumble down on each other, there should be no overlap of different colored squares. Colored squares punched or programmed using this illustrated method require elongation X2

D: C is split once again. This separation may be knit as is on any machine capable of the repeat width, without elongation. I prefer to avoid using double length in my knits if I can, find that makes it easier for me to accurately return to rows when unraveling and returning to any rows after errors in knitting

SPLIT ROWS (Numbers, eliminated in later releases)_INSERT ROWS (Excel)

NUMBERS: any # colors per row: SELECT, INSERT COPIED ROW

select motif, paste again in an area of document outside those rows

select single row of colors beginning at either top or bottom of motif, use Insert_copied rows, in this case, each row needs to be expanded to 3, one for each color

starting at bottom inserts rows below, starting at top inserts rows above

repeat the process for one row at a time, for number of rows required

here 3 cols per row, each row needs to be expanded to 3, so insert row is used X2 for each color

when the expansion is complete proceed with “erasing” as described in 2 col chart above, erasing first col 1, then col2, then col 3 for each row

use separation as is elongate X2, or split again for knitting without elongation


yellow squares indicate starting and ending points for inserting rows; click on any square within a row, a row will be added across the whole document, copying the colored squares in the row above; I began on row 8, working my way down, stopping at row numbered one will have one row missing in elongated repeat on right; yellow squares are markers /reminders for beginning and ending row insertion commands

3 colors, separation requiring elongation for knitting

Both programs have options for changing viewing magnification, so grids may be of one size to start with, and viewed as preferred. This is also helpful in scaling screen grabs. The excel menu bar has a paint bucket that may be be used for coloring cells selected both singly and in groups.


Split the column and insert copied column (numbers) will aid when wanting to chart twice as wide; in excel: insert column on the blank square to the left of motif will insert a blank column in that area throughout the document; same command beginning on the right of the first colored square on the left, or of the last colored square on the right, will repeat the colors in the motif, adding blanks to the remaining “squares” for that whole column in the document


A: original motif, B: split columns for twice the width, selected and pasted elsewhere for C, inserting rows, rendering it also twice as long

the image below shows some of what can happen when any motif is repasted in areas affected by its new formatting ie. rows split at the bottom in E, columns split to the right of A, and if table column and rows are added by dragging on the “handle” on the document’s bottom right, colored squares are copied and extended into stripes. Unwanted areas of color may be selected, using Edit_ clear all will remove the colors, leaving the border lines intact

to remove text: select affected cells, use Edit_Delete


orange squares show sequence used: in order from left to right, beginning with selecting # 1, insert a column, working across the repeat, resulting in twice as wide.

tools are often self-evident, and experimentation helps sort out a way of working so they become familiar, and one may sort out of the many ways that are often available to complete the same task what is the easiest for them

both programs have options for changing viewing magnification, also helpful in scaling screen grabs

to my knowledge there is not a way when there are 2 colors in any one row to swap them for each other, even with formulas and rules, a feature that would be very convenient in other types of color separations.

Charting knits using Mac Numbers program 1

A free manual for the program may be obtained via Apple, with extended documentation. I thought I would share some of my notes in trying to work with it in creating knit charts. They are not intended as complete tutorials, but simply perhaps as a place to start for those owning the program. Having some familiarity with excel makes some things easier, Numbers reads Excel documents already created, will save/export files in its format as well

to create a chart: open a new document, a table will appear with wide, rectangular cells which will need to be readjusted

clicking on the square with 9 dots to the left of column A will highlight the whole sheet

the formatting bar

click on inspector (white i in blue dot) located above format bar

adjust column width and height to .4 and .4 or desired values hit return

click on the screen and a resized document will appear

drag on symbol  small rectangle with 6 dots (upper right, bottom left, marked A and B) to  increase # of column or rows, or copy and paste as they are needed

there are many ways to add color described in the manual in multiple contexts. For this purpose, I like to begin by creating a palette within the working table. To do so click on an individual cell, go to fill in the menu bar,

click on it, choose a color from the window that appears, select color, the cell will fill with color, having a palette within the document will save confusion, and save trips back and forth between

repeat until you have a row of chosen trial colors, same can be done with font symbols or numbers for easy access throughout the process, I have created a master document with all symbols in fonts I like to use to the left of the table,  in sizes suited for the working cells, for easy copy and paste as well

copy the individual color (cell) will work with paste  to place color in the design motif area, dragging the handle at the bottom right of the paste will produce single cells, rows, columns, or squares/ rectangular shapes in that color

copy and paste motif created both to change color segments, and to test motif repeat alignment

isolate final repeat for actual knitting, programming, or punching


here I miss the pencil drawing option in excel; a tutorial on border drawing Numbers, and some illustrations  using the motif in the downloadable document (post1) with variations

using select, copy, paste; border markings  illustrated

altering the repeat to a dropped one

brick stitch_ easy changing to visualize shifts in the pattern