Charting Software and News

As I’ve been struggling to do much at all, it’s natural that I’ve got very little to say.  I’ve done a few rows of this, a few rows of that, but nothing too complicated, in the realm of knitting.  I’ve not done a huge amount of cross stitch either, just a little green dragon and an Oriental lady is in progress, the latter being the most complicated piece I’ve done so far!  It’s immensely frustrating – my fingers keep twitching, demanding activity!

Many years ago, we obtained a cross stitch magazine which had a nice freebie on it – a program to allow charts to be designed.  It’s an excellent program, provided you’re prepared to learn to limit floss colour numbers and size of any picture imported into it.  That’s true of all charting software, of course.  Anyway, Jenny asked me to let somebody know more about it and I had to remind her that it isn’t actually available (as far as I know) unless you’re lucky enough to come across it in a charity shop or similar.  That said, Ikuta Software & Design Studio provide a very nice package which serves a very similar function, though without the same number of “bells and whistles”.  In fact, they offer two packages:

  • KG-Chart for Cross Stitch, and
  • KG-Chart for Bead Weaving
They are almost identical.  The difference being that one refers to DMC floss while the other refers to Delica Beads and TOHO Best Beads.  Apparently, they are working on a commercial version of the bead weaving version.  At the moment, both packages are available free, though you can opt to make a donation to the programmer.  I recommend both for anybody who would like to try their hand at designing.  You can always move on to a more sophisticated commercial product later, if you wish.

More Crossed Stitches

I mentioned in my last post that I couldn’t post a picture of the cross stitched Giant Panda.  Well, I now have a scan of it:

Giant Panda

Giant Panda

I’ve now got to think hard about what I’m doing.  I’ve translated a photo into a cross stitch chart but that’s much bigger and will take a long time to complete, especially as I can’t afford to buy 58 skeins of floss in one go!  There are lots of other charts in the booklet we got from  The World of Cross Stitching magazine but I have to think carefully as I don’t have a limitless range of floss colours…  I also don’t want to go mad with the black floss as the new skein Jenny bought has shrunk significantly now.

In the meantime, there are all those knitting projects to complete!

Crossed Stitches

During the last few days I’ve been playing with something new…. cross stitch!  Jenny has always loved doing cross stitch but I’d only ever dabbled with tapestry before.  I always assumed that I would never be able to do cross stitch.  Then, we bought the magazine The World of Cross Stitching, because it included a free booklet of Oriental motifs.  I looked through the booklet and fell in love with many of the designs, created by Joan Elliott.  Foolishly, I decided I’d quite like to try my hand at one or two of the simplest designs…

These are the first two I’ve done, and they aren’t perfect:

I miscounted a row in the butterfly and I wasn’t consistent in how I created the stitches.  I thought it was just a case of putting stitched Xs on the Aida!  I’ve since learnt better so future projects should be better.  I have also done a Giant Panda but I got left and right muddled so all the stitches in that are worked backwards, but at least they’re consistent, and I got the row count wrong at one point, again.  Jenny has hijacked that project though so I was unable to scan it…

Scarf Working

In the midst of all the other projects I’ve got on the go, I started developing another new scarf on Saturday.  It’s destined for our younger son’s partner so there’s definitely a desire to get it right!  It’s based on the feather and fan lace pattern with one or two twists of my own.

Dawn's Lace Scarf

Dawn's Lace Scarf

I’m using Cygnet DK, Shade 3501 – Mulberry Mix.  While it may be 8-ply yarn, the lace pattern makes the scarf much lighter than might be expected.  Hopefully this pattern should be a good, gentle introduction to lace knitting for those who have never tried it, whatever their level of experience.  I’ll release the pattern through Ravelry as soon as I’m satisfied with it.

Sock It To Me… The Sequel : Part 2

I’ve completed the first of the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Just have to knit the second one now!

Stitch Switch

I’m feeling kind of proud of myself this morning.  While working on Jenny’s sock, I discovered that I’d made a mistake in the last round I’d knitted.  I had gained an accidental Yarn Over and also knitted what should have been purled!  The thought of tinking back over two and a half needles was really unappealing…  I wasn’t in the mood to go hunting around for guidance on fixing the problem, either, and I was briefly tempted to ignore the error.  However, I decided that there must be a way to fix it, if I thought about it carefully enough.  In a fit of daring, I decided to try to sort out the error!

First of all, I slipped the stitch onto a crochet hook.  I then used a cable needle to lift the loop of the stitch below (that wrapped round the legs of the knit stitch).  Drawing the stitch through the loop, I had the two parts separated.  I then managed to convert the knit stitch into a purl stitch and replace it back on the DPN I’d removed it from.  I felt a great deal of satisfaction in working out what had to be done for myself, without guidance 

Sock It To Me… The Sequel

I’m making progress on the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Since starting these socks, I’ve learnt something new.  Apparently, there’s a rule that the pattern instruction Sl 1 means Slip 1 stitch purlwise unless otherwise stated.  Having encountered patterns where this is stipulated and those where some other action is dictated, plus several where no guidance is given, I naturally assumed that you slip stitches in the manner of other stitches in the row – i.e. slip knitwise on a knit row or purlwise on a purl row.  When I reached the heel flap and turn heel, I followed that assumption.  Not having reference books or a computer handy at the time (we were out and about), I had no chance to investigate the undefined instruction.  I find it odd that the pattern includes the definitions:

ssk (slip, slip, knit) Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right needle; insert left needle into fronts of these 2 sts and k them togther


sl = slip

but the sl definition doesn’t simply add the word purlwise for clarity!  Why?  Why assume the reader knows the rule or can look it up?  It seems very odd to me…

Well, all my slipped stitches are done wrong, except the SSKs, but I’m not going to “fix” them!  I actually like the effect I’ve got, especially as it cushions the back of the heel.  What a pity, though, that the confusion arose because the pattern writer thought that one eight letter word was superfluous…

Sock It To Me…

Yes, I’ve finished my first ever pair of socks!

Sock WIP03

Sock WIP03

I’m delighted with the result.  And now I know how much more comfortable they are than bought socks, I’m going to be making more!  In fact, I’ve already started making a pair for Jenny – Lion Brand’s Classic Cable Socks.  A bigger challenge, using DPNs and a cable needle… but so far, so good.  I’m making them in Cygnet Yarns DK Shade 150, Heather, on 2.75mm DPNs (the smallest I’ve used so far).

Edit to add WIP photo:

Here’s a WIP photo of the Classic Cable Socks:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01