CHARTING SOFTWARE – ARAN PAINT

A couple of weeks ago when I wrote about charting knitted texture patterns, a couple of people were curious about Aran Paint, one of the lesser-known programs I mentioned. Here’s an example of what it does.

I’m starting with a twisted stitch texture pattern in Baulerches Stricken 1 by Lisa Fanderl. This is the first volume in a set of three German language knitting books that present traditional knitting patterns gathered from various regions of the country. This series is certainly interesting, but as with many stitch treasuries, presents the patterns using its own rather ideosyncratic notation and symbol set. In this case, the pattern is shown using plain old typeset characters, some linked with bars to indicate the direction of the twisted or cabled stitches. I’ve played with some of thetextured and lacy patternsfrom this series, but to work with a minimum of fuss, I usually had to re-graph them first.

This particular pattern is shown on p. 129 It’s a simple 10-stitch wide panel, and features some twisted knit stitch ribbing manipulated to look like a series of bells connected by chain links. I’m afraid I don’t have my swatch or a knitted sample, but this did look quite nice run as panels up the front of a baby sweater, close together in the upper bodice area, and set progressively further apart by an increasing number of stockinette stitches towards the lower edge.

Here are the results of graphing with Aran Paint:


Screen shot of mock-up


Final Graph

The program also produced this set of prose instructions as a text file (it also outputs the same material in HTML):

AranPaint-BS1-129a.ara (10 Stitches x 26 Rows)
Repeat these 26 rows for the length required.
Row 1: K1, T2F, P1, K2, P1, T2B, K1.
Row 2: P1, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P1.
Row 3: K1, P1, T2F, K2, T2B, P1, K1.
Row 4: P1, K2, P4, K2, P1.
Row 5: K1, P2, K4, P2, K1.
Row 6: P1, K2, P4, K2, P1.
Row 7: K1, P2, K4, P2, K1.
Row 8: P1, K2, P4, K2, P1.
Row 9: K1, P2, K4, P2, K1.
Row 10: P1, K2, P4, K2, P1.
Row 11: K1, P2, K4, P2, K1.
Row 12: P1, K2, P4, K2, P1.
Row 13: K1, P2, T2F, T2B, P2, K1.
Row 14: P1, K3, P2, K3, P1.
Row 15: K1, P3, C2F, P3, K1.
Row 16: P1, K3, P2, K3, P1.
Row 17: K1, P2, T2B, T2F, P2, K1.
Row 18: P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1.
Row 19: K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1.
Row 20: P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1.
Row 21: K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1.
Row 22: P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1.
Row 23: K1, P2, T2F, T2B, P2, K1.
Row 24: P1, K3, P2, K3, P1.
Row 25: K1, P3, C2F, P3, K1.

You can see that the thing is certainly useful, but that it has its limitations.

  • The program doesn’t include twisted stitches (like knit one through back of the loop). All of the original pattern’s knits are twisted, but I couldn’t show that on my version. YOs and eccentric cable crossings also aren’t included.
  • AranPaint includes its own “artificial intelligence” that prevents one from graphing only every other row, or from placing a cable unit such that it commences on an even numbered row. For example, if you’re working in the round and want to move one stitch over on two succeeding rounds without a plain round between them, you can’t graph it in AranPaint.
  • Symbol keys or glossaries don’t print at the same time as the pattern. While that’s not a big deal, and you can retrieve the keys from the publisher’s website, doing so is a pain and means an extra trip through cut-and-paste land.
  • You can’t easily get output for the mock-up I show at left above. To do this, I had to open AranPaint, take a screen capture, edit the capture down for size in Visio, save it as a *.jpg, then use Macromedia Fireworks to trim the resulting *.jpg down to something that is web-manageable.
  • There’s no undo function beyond “remove last stitch.”
  • Moving elements can be a pain, as there is no drag and drop.

All of these limitations being said, the program is still quite handy. Although I usually use my Visio template system for most “hard core” graphing, I do enjoy doodling with AranPaint, then having the resulting piece turned into an editable texture pattern. Here’s one of my doodles:

and the prose version:

AranPaint-doodle.ara (9 Stitches x 36 Rows)
Repeat these 36 rows for the length required.
Row 1: P2, C5R, P2.
Row 2: K2, P5, K2.
Row 3: P2, K1, C3B, K1, P2.
Row 4: K2, P5, K2.
Row 5: P2, K1, C3B, K1, P2.
Row 6: K2, P5, K2.
Row 7: P2, C5R, P2.
Row 8: K2, P5, K2.
Row 9: P1, T2B, K3, T2F, P1.
Row 10: K1, P1, K1, P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 11: T2B, P1, C3R, P1, T2F.
Row 12: P1, K2, P3, K2, P1.
Row 13: T2F, T2B, K1, T2F, T2B.
Row 14: K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1.
Row 15: P1, C2B, P1, K1, P1, C2F, P1.
Row 16: K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1.
Row 17: P1, T3F, K1, T3B, P1.
Row 18: K2, P5, K2.
Row 19: P2, C5R, P2.
Row 20: K2, P5, K2.
Row 21: P2, K1, C3B, K1, P2.
Row 22: K2, P5, K2.
Row 23: P2, K1, C3B, K1, P2.
Row 24: K2, P5, K2.
Row 25: P2, C5R, P2.
Row 26: K2, P5, K2.
Row 27: P1, T2B, K3, T2F, P1.
Row 28: K1, P1, K1, P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 29: T2B, P1, C3R, P1, T2F.
Row 30: P1, K2, P3, K2, P1.
Row 31: T2F, T2B, K1, T2F, T2B.
Row 32: K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1.
Row 33: P1, C2B, P1, K1, P1, C2F, P1.
Row 34: K1, P2, K1, P1, K1, P2, K1.
Row 35: P1, T3F, K1, T3B, P1.
Row 36: K2, P5, K2.

Before you write and ask, remember – symbols and abbreviation setsused in AranPaint write-ups and graphs can be found here.

4 responses

  1. I did not find the full version of this program, you can give me to download the full version ?? that exports would work patterns, please!

    1. I am sorry. I am not the author of the software and cannot make distribution.

  2. I used the older version and created work arounds for these issues and they worked great. I want the updated version AranPaint Plus but can only find demo versions. Any one?

    1. No idea. I see the demo. In the original round the demo was widely available, but to get the full, paid version you had to follow links inside the demo program, as outlined on their help page. Obtaining the program any other way would be an unauthorized breach of copyright. Have you tried that?

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