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I promise myself every year that I will knit fall inventory during the summer, invariably that seems to not happen, and I find myself scrambling during September and October. I have had a line of ruffled edge shawls for some time. This is my way of interpreting some of the recent shapes in clothing into a shawl/vest format. Below are some shots taken on a dress form, with intent to visualize some of the possible ways of wearing it
a graded, smaller version and different color-way
both are knit using multiple strands of very thin, rayon/cotton blends, pattern is tuck stitch, with variant used in the ruffle, which in turned is knit sideways and seamed onto the piece while it is being knit.
another color way
Working on Excel 2008_Mac OS
On a work sheet 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. 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.
general preferences pane
default 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 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.
chart tool bar with icon (to right of red line, click on image for magnification)
on the standard toolbar
If the chart toolbar is in use, left click on arrow at right, the customize toolbars and menus is the second option offered; a right click will allow you to modify toolbars as a first choice, and offers the commands as option 3
Clicking on the icon now in the toolbar will show one work sheet, 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 diamond upper left hand corner to select whole sheet, now that the whole sheet is selected to 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 desired width, repeat the process between any 2 numbered rows to define height
The format menu may also be used; first select the whole sheet, then on home tab, click on format, 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, 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 content. Whether printing the whole document or part, the print area needs to be hand selected. Click on cell upper left where you want to begin, drag mouse and release on last cell bottom right on which you wish to stop. The selected area will now appear colored blue, and outlined by a broken line. In file menu, choose print area, and in turn to its right “select print area”. File print should in turn be operable now, along with a preview of 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 at
Previous posted links and more on using excel for virtual designing of knit charts and motifs
I chose to change preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeter inches and points)
default cell size in cm and points
Click on table at top of your document screen, to right of function icon; select first choice on left, second row
a place to start
Uncheck alternating rows on menus on right, revise options
Click anywhere on screen, use command all to select all table cells. Choose row and column size, typing in your desired values or using arrows provided, hit return. Click anywhere on sheet to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag _l symbol on bottom right
and you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document. Click on circular target icon on upper left, drag _l symbol on bottom right, and all units on sheet will be resized to displayed measurements.
For thicker, darker,or even differed colored and types of lines changes are easily made working with borders menus
Clicking on any cell leaves only your graph; selecting print from your file menu prints exactly what appears as the sheet number chosen , and /or have saved; additional adjustment options are offered on right
Click on white part of your sheet, only your chart will be viewable and ready for printing. If a PDF is desired, choose Export to -> PDF from file menu.
In creating charts using symbols I like to use square grids, 28 pts=1.02 cms=.4 in, and working at 50% magnification.
I had a ravelry request for a punchcard template. In a previous post
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 punch card at scale; included are beginning added markings for Brother machines that could easily be altered to suit other makes; lines at 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 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 light box super easy
downloadable punchcard worksheet
In Numbers the closest I could get to punchcard cell size was using point values, 19 for rows, 18 for colums, printing was off.
Another use: creating cell blocks for custom needle tapes to track actions such as holding that may be used as guides (standard KM needles are 4.5mm apart). My color printer is defunct, so this is the grey version. Color coding may be easily added for more complex fabric manipulations.
Joella Knitworks was a publication in the 90s on Passap knitting. A recent ravelry question led me to dig up a copy of an article I wrote for the newsletter in 1998, for anyone interested, here is a PDF copy on topic, using tech 129 joella_whole
My stash of copies of articles spans decades back to the time when both publications and seminars were thriving. I am not certain as to print source for this, but its writer is given credit. Carriage/lock settings for comparable fabrics are given for Superba, Passap, Brother, Studio, Toyota, and their aliases: KMsettingsPDF
A document I put together from multiple sources when I taught an intro to Passap double bed fabrics workshop handout
more to come….
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 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 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
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 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…
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 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:
Getting my thoughts together on 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 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 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 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 whole image is within your window view
Using line shape: click on upper left corner, press shift key_a drawing line will appear with a + symbol at its bottom right_click on first square on the bottom right , a line will appear where black squares represent # of stitches to be held each row
bucket fill in appropriate side of 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 new window; copy image from the first window, paste into new window, move it and place in desired location on your screen
return to first window, flip image vertically (image menu/ select transform and direction)
again copy, paste, move into 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 locked symbol in turn to alter aspect ratio, change both pertinent numbers
the repeat twice as long, 6 X 12
going 3D, possible spiral
shifting things around in order to add “automatic wraps”, begin knit with COL
in further progress
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 table: add rows above or below in the chart, new row will be a copy of 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
For a while there was agreement on “international symbols” for charting knits. With the proliferation of programs now and methods for self charting and publishing using fonts and personal icons things can get a bit confusing. Hand knitting in the circular akin to machine knitting, results in stitches always worked on one side of the fabric, another consideration. In the last Russian pattern in the previous post I was unable to get the repeat to work properly regardless of any common meaning I tried to assign to several of the symbols. I have used Intwined for some charting in the past, am finding it problematic again in Mavericks Mac OS, and my go to for the moment is the latest version of Numbers (3.2), which appears to include changes that make it even more intuitive and easier to use than the previous version. My symbols library includes the Aire river knitting font, and an assortment of wingdings and oddball characters found in some of the Mac’s built in libraries.
my hand knit version
Taking it to the machine: chart’s beginning
tweaking it a bit, taking in consideration only the purl side will be facing
flipping it to achieve same direction transfers as HK
knit on 260 bulky KM
The large hole at the bottom left of the image is not due to a dropped stitch, but rather to yarn breakage. The sample was knit in a worsted weight wool, and I found I needed a far looser tension than I would normally use for the same yarn to allow the double transfers to knit off properly. Eliminating the combinations of knit and purl within any one row as seen in the hand knit version avoided retooling those stitches as well.
Last year a photo of a model (Jessica Hart) wearing a particular sweater began to appear acrossTumblr and Pinterest. The stitch was interesting, which led me to looking for similar structures, without much success for quite a while
from a sale site for the garment
a published stitch version on russian blog
purling all WS rows produced a very different fabric, I did find a reference in another publication for the dot being a purl stitch on RS, knit on WS, again a different fabric
a translation via ravelry (see credit in chart) led me to developing the charts and directions below
A: shows the offered repeat in symbols; a multiple of 6 + 7 stitches is required
B: symbols and translation
C: all symbol expanded chart showing both RS and WS rows; I find too many symbols confusing
D: choosing colored squares to represent knits on WS rows; arrows show direction of reading chart during knitting
the resulting swatch: knit side RS
a relative, found on a different blog, chart not yet deciphered
I recently saw a semi circular HK shawl pattern that used graduated lace shell motif bands, and went hunting for a possible such repeat with the intent of subsequently knitting it on the machine. Taking into consideration the chart lenght required if using the lace carriage, I began with a “small” hand knit possible repeat
pictured below is a mylar repeat worked out for use with the lace carriage with 2 programming options: A, B. Notations in this instance were made using a free mac program (for my the first time), Skitch, which allows one to work with screenshots and basic image-editing tools all in one place. The middle column of numbers indicate the number of passes required for the lace carriage for each repeat prior to pairs of rows of plain knitting. The transfers are made all in one direction, so the spacing between each set of transfers and knit rows is different from the traditional 2 rows of blanks. I find it easier to have multiple blank rows before selections for transfers as a place to pause, check my stitches, and have clearer starts if knitting needs to be unravelled; this repeat takes that into consideration
option A was knit with a ladder, NOOW set up:
the resulting swatch in acrylic yarn, steamed, fairly straight edges
option B eliminates the ladders, a ridge is created by the transfers highlighting the “shell shape”. The sample clearly illustrates the issue with lace fabrics where transfers are all in one direction: note the resulting bias, which could be a problem or a design feature, depending on one’s perspective. It is particularly noticeable in the area of the color change. The top yarn is a rayon, the ridge created by the transfers flattened with pressing but is still in evidence, the occasional noticeable problems are operator errors (and laziness in changing bent needles), not pattern ones.
shortening the repeat: I found this one a bit more confusing to follow, black horizontal marks on right edge of mylar are a visual cue to rows on which knitting needs to occur; note there are no occurrences of 2 consecutive blank rows, only singles
the fabric is identical, with the same problems in terms of biasing
taking out the swing, moving in 2 directions, and back to a hand technique: the black squares indicate groups of stitches that will be moved to create lace holes. In the boottom segment selected needles are transferred to the right, lace holes will move in a curve, transfers double up on the same needle location on the bed. In the top segment, beginning with the doubled up stitch from the last transfer to right, direction of transfers is reversed, moving toward left, and always beginning with the same needle position. Markings on mylar on the far right indicate direction in which the stitches are transferred. This repeat is 7 stitches wide by 12 rows in height, could be adjusted to suit. Adjustable transfer tools make the work progress faster.
the corresponding swatch, without blocking, much more “straight”
a mylar repeat for use with lace carriage, 910
in the image on left the repeat is hi-lighted by the green border; in the one on the right there are visual cues for operations. The vertical lines indicate which side of the bed the lace carriage needs to be placed for the next group of transfers, the horizontal lines mark the end of the transfer sequence, when a single row of knit occurs. Respective carriages need to be taken off the bed after most passes to allow use of the opposing carriage and maintain proper direction of moves, a different sort of “hand technique”. Below is a swatch, the red spot is a poorly corrected dropped stitch.
the technique is manageable for experienced knitters, this was my second try at a hurried repeat (weight adjustments and dropped stitches on first) and photo as I get ready to travel to the opposite coast.