Coloured gel pens!!!!! I love using these when editing my patterns – I use different colours for different days so I can tell right away which are the most recent and which one have already been transferred to the pattern document. Plus they’re so cheerful!!
I use MSWord to create most of my patterns and like to save time by not typing the same thing over and over again. To begin with, I use a template for my patterns that contains the most common elements of the pattern:
- formatted titles
- standard headings (like Size, Yarn, Needles, Gauge, Method, Skills Used)
- contact info
As I was once again looking up and typing in yarn information into a pattern yesterday – I thought, “Nuts!” I can do this more efficiently. I talked earlier about using AutoCorrect in Word to enter knitting needle equivalents so, here I’m going to use the same Word feature to enter yarn information into my pattern.
I use the following format for listing yarn in my patterns:
Knit Picks Gloss Fingering (220 yds / 201 m per 1 ¾ oz / 50 g skein; 70% merino, 30% silk) in Robot
So, here’s how it I created an AutoCorrect entry so that all I have to do now is type 4 letters followed by a space and all of the above information is inserted into my document:
Click Tools, AutoCorrect Options…
The AutoCorrections Dialog box opens.
Click the AutoCorrect tab.
In the “Replace:” box, type a unique short form for the yarn.
(I used kpgf – notice I used all lower case letters to make it easier to type in the short form.)
In the “With:” box, type (or copy from a previous document) the description for the yarn as you want it displayed in the document.
(When I copied the information from a previous pattern, I copied the information into Notepad first to strip any formatting codes that might?? cause issues.)
How to Use It:
In your pattern document type the short form and press the spacebar. Just like magic, the short-form text will disappear and all the yarn information you entered appears instead.
Hope it’s helpful
Check out the Cable Knitting Resource page for a little entry on charting cables.
I’m procrastinating just a little because it’s hard going back to scribble notes after 6 months — not recommended!!
I decided to only have the centre panel test knit for this design since there is no body shaping to the top itself.
For now, I publish all of my own patterns.
It’s hard to know which is better — booklet or full page format. Some people love the booklet format because its very transportable; others keep all of their patterns in plastic page protectors so really like full page patterns best.
The first 5 PurpleSage patterns were published using MS Publisher using a half-page booklet format.
Certainly there are pros and cons to the Publisher program itself, but since I don’t create drafts in that program and there are some issues when I copy from Word and Excel into Publisher, I thought I would use a full-page, 2-column Word format for the Celtic Jenna Rose sleeveless top pattern.
The pattern writing is actually taking way more time than the designing / knitting. One of the reasons, of course, is that the presentation of the pattern is so important — it’s not only the accuracy of the numbers and directions and clarity of same, it’s also the format
- booklet vs full-page
- columns vs full-width
- picture placement
- fonts and styles
- which techniques to include
and then there’s the photography! I spent most of yesterday afternoon with “Kes” .
She’s a little worse for wear — little chip off the nose and a “birthmark” on the cheek and hairless — but she’s been a wonderful help! Much easier taking pictures of her than of me through the looking glass!
Irish toddler Sweater (August 12 post)
I started the sample knit for this design and decided that, as much as I like seamless garments, this one would have to have underarm seams — with the cable patterns and centrepiece design it became too complicated to write the directions for all 5 sizes.
I did consider charting it exclusively, but reading charts is not an easy knit for some people.
So, a frogging I went and I will start anew on straight needles and see how it progresses.
Okay, back to work for me!
Again, thanks to DD for pointing me at this website Color Palette Generator.
Type or paste in the URL of an image (if you’re using Flikr be sure to use the photo’s URL (#2)only, not the html code (#1) under the image) into the URL of image box.
Click the Color Palette-ify button and voila!
I pasted in a link to a pic of a tiger lily from our front yard and it generated both a dull and a vibrant colour palette from the picture. What a way to pick colours for a project – whether it be a striped sweater, log cabin quilt, entrelac, fair isle, quilted clothing, striped afghan, even a colour scheme for a room! So many options.
This is one of those, “I thought it was a good idea, but…”
I have found that my WIP Binder sits on the shelf while I have my notes, pattern versions, swatches, etc. lying about to the point where it was even driving me crazy! It was a good idea originally as I was organizing all my bits and pieces, but once they were filed in the binder it just became awkward. Since it contains all of my projects, swatches, notes, etc., it’s become pretty bulky and just cumbersome when I was looking for one little thing. So, off with the old and on with the new.
On the front of the folder I clip a checklist of my design process (19 steps at the moment if you don’t count 7a. and 7b. as separate steps!).
My checklist also has a p lace to record
- the start date and end date for each step
- other To Do items e.g. credit Test Knitters or special printing instructions for buyers
- tags for the pattern
- price for the pattern
I also clip my Ziploc bag containing my garment to the portfolio with a butterfly clip – everything in one place and easy to grab. Instant access is what it’s all about.
Large cereal boxes cut open at the side work well for storage. I cut along the one long side and across the bottom only. This flap is folded up and used as a label for the project. I tape up the original top of the box and tape a little extra cardboard along the edge to strengthen the new opening. The cereal boxes can be stored like this or in plastic storage bins to keep them together or for easy transportability. I think I’m loving it!
Ok – this is try #2 to post this — I thought I was being clever and composed off-line in Word but when I pasted the text in Blogger had all sorts of issues with extra codes, so I had to paste all the text into Notepad and copy it back — here goes!
Using MSWord’s AutoCorrect to Fill in Needle (Hook) Sizes
An FYI to the Mac crowd: I’m advised that the mouse directions in the tutorial work in Word for Mac users but that the keyboard equivalents do not.
So I finally became annoyed enough at having to pull out my knitting needle equivalent chart every time I was writing my patterns to actually do something about it, plus I was procrastinating just a little (actually typing everything out is my least favourite part of the design process). So I’m sharing
This solution is for MSWord (I’m sure other software programs have equivalents? Please feel free to share your comments or advice here!).
Crocheters, I’m not forgetting you; I’m using knitting needle sizes in this example only because that’s what I’m working with right now.
One caution: if there is a possibility that you may use the same text in other instances, e.g. you’re writing your Master’s thesis and it includes metric measures, every time you type the AutoCorrect entry you are about to create, it will expand it to the full entry. Your thesis may read:
“in the given event, a shaft 5mm [CA/UK 6, US 8] in diameter was utilized to determine the normal and shearing stresses for a point on the outside surface at angles of inclination…”
so be forewarned!
Tutorial: AutoCorrect to Insert Knitting Needle Equivalents
Note: Keyboard equivalents are given in brackets
In MSWord, click Insert, AutoText, AutoText… (Keyboard: Alt+i, a, x)
This opens the AutoCorrect Dialog box.
In the AutoText dialog box, click the AutoCorrect tab (Keyboard: Ctrl+Tab 3 times)
The cursor is already flashing in the Replace: box; type the size of the needle – in my example (below): 3mm
Click in the With: box (Keyboard: press Tab)
Type the original needle size as well as the equivalents – in my example: 3mm [CA/UK 11, US 2.5]
Note: The original needle size plus the equivalents need to be typed in the With: box because Word will actually remove the original text i.e. 3mm, and replace it with the text typed in the With: box.
Click Add (Keyboard: press Alt+a)
Notice that the last entry stays in the Replace: and With: boxes making it easy to modify and add all of your needle / hook sizes at this point.
Be sure to click Add (Keyboard: press Alt+a) for each new entry.
When you’re finished, click OK (Keyboard: press Enter)
Try it out:
Type the needle size as you entered it in the Replace: box, press the spacebar. TaDa!!!!! The text from the With: box should magically appear. No more looking up or typing all of that extra data.
It’s one of those things that always seem too much trouble to do, until you reach a certain point…it’s all good now!!
First, a little about row and column measurement. When you click and hold the mouse pointer on a row or column divider line (e.g. the line between the 1 and 2 or between the A and B), Excel will show, using row height as an example, Height: 12.75(17 pixels). Row heights in MSExcel are measured in points (pixels) and Column widths are measured in characters(pixels). While the points/character measurements are shown first, Excel actually translates everything into pixels.
There are approximately 96 pixels to the inch (2.5 cm) — and Excel does not do partial pixels….and therein lies the problem.
Close your eyes and jump to the next paragraph if you don’t like seeing the math thing:
Sample Gauge: 36sts over 4 inches (10cm)
36 / 4 = 9 sts per inch (2.5cm)
since there are 96 pixels / inch (2.5cm), 96 / 9 = 10.7 (the width in pixels of each stitch)
You can open your eyes now
So, your gauge requires that each stitch (Excel column) be 10.7 pixels wide. Since Excel does not do partial pixels, each of your Excel graph paper stitches (cells) is off by 0.3 pixels.
At maximum, the gauge could be off by as much as 0.5 pixels. On a graph for a sweater that is 120 stitches across the front and 120 stitches across the back, this discrepancy results in an error of over 1 inch (2.5cm) in the total garment circumference.
Depending on your garment design, it may be close enough for charting designs, but if you want to use it for actual stitch counts, decreases, etc. there’s enough error here that it’s only really useful if your gauge divides out to be an even pixel number.