In the middle of this charting program exploration I have had time to do a bit on my Clarke’s Law sampler. But first to answer a question. Aileen read my last couple of posts and wondered what I would consider a complex double running stitch pattern. I answer with pix of my current piece, plus a snippet of this pattern done up using Pattern Maker Pro, from yesterday’s review.
The nickel shows scale (click for better size shots of each). This strip is stitched using one strand of DMC floss, color #498 on 32 count linen (16 spi). Not particularly fine, but fine enough to show the patterns. The entire stitched area is about 15.75 inches across. From the top of the dark red twining strip to the bottom of the the D of ADVANCED is about 8.6 inches.
The top strip and the cross stitch words were all done using two floss strands. The outlining of the motif in the wide grape strip was done using two strands, and the squared background was done using one. (I’ve since found historical precedent for the squared background treatment).
All of the strips between the words will be relatively light in value, done in some combo of plain or voided double running stitch, but they won’t be as wide as the grapes (well, maybe the last one will be just to balance). I won’t do another dark band in long armed cross stitch (either foreground or voided) until after the entire quotation is done. I think it will take another three bands of text before the whole quotation is complete. Then I’ll fill out the cloth with a mix of styles, perhaps doing some in two-tone. It’s all fly by night here. I’ll also figure out something to eke out the line ends where the lettering comes up short. I think that NOT centering each line of text works better for my purposes, especially because I’m breaking text between lines in an unorthodox manner.
Now back to writing up the results of my stitch charting program explorations. Which for my knitting and crocheting readers, will have value. Either of the programs I described yesterday can be used to graph out colorwork repeats, or linear crochet (filet and tapestry styles). Pattern Maker Professional also allows you to assign a True Type knitting font (like the one from Aire River) to the symbol palette, and then using the program in symbols-on-graph mode, to compose knitting charts. Here’s a sample from PM showing a simple double 1×1 twist cable:
Where this falls apart though for knitting is if you try to display both colors and textures at the same time. The purl symbol will always be associated with one chosen color, the knit symbol with another. Although you can override the program and display more than one symbol per color, this program links symbol and color in a way that you can’t have multiple colors per symbol. Numbering rows is also problematic.
As I write up the rest of the sampled programs I’ll include their potential for use by knitters.
Have you thought of using a simple photo/graphics program? It might require more initial work, but after a while, it would be a lot of copy and paste, I would think. And I think that Photoshop Elements is the obvious one on the pay for it end, but an open-source version is Gimp. I haven’t worked with that one myself, but I’ve heard very good things about its flexibility.
Don’t think of them as just photo-editing software. PSE can be used with digital scrapbooking, and a lot of that goes way beyond what you do with just the photos.