- November 8, 2015
I’ve received a few emails about the prices on the site, so will explain the present situation here for anyone wondering. I have decided to close this store and am in the process of liquidating my inventory. I don’t have a set date for the closure right now, and it may happen at any point in time. I hope no one’s too disappointed, but rest assured that anything you are able to order is in stock and will be shipped promptly. Thank you!
- January 30, 2015
As I’ve mentioned before, I like to design knitwear by charting the main pattern pieces. Doing so allows me to plan stitch pattern placement exactly and anticipate how shaping will affect various elements. For years, I used Garment Designer and Stitch Painter to generate these charts (and wrote about it briefly).
In the recent past, however, both GD and SP were updated to use dongles. I won’t be the first or the last to express my dislike of dongles, but I lived with it nevertheless. However, the recent Mac Os 10.10 made both applications completely inoperable. It has been a few months now since I upgraded to Yosemite, and the situation remains the same.
So, since last fall, my little 2007 Macbook had to be dusted off and brought back into service. It works, but I find it less than ideal to work on.
Which brings me back to Illustrator, which is used far and wide to create schematics and stitch pattern charts such as the one above. Of course, it can most certainly be used to create full garment charts. It’s easy enough to calculate how many stitches and rows are needed and create a grid accordingly. But, as I wrote in the post linked above, my method entailed drafting the pattern shapes such as one would for a sewing pattern and exporting into Stitch Painter. It’s a very quick and precise method and there is virtually no guesswork involved. I started to wonder if a similar process could be devised using Illustrator.
As you’ve probably guessed already, it can.
Begin by drawing your pattern pieces. If you aren’t familiar with patternmaking, that’s ok – these are essentially schematics, drawn actual size. If you are interested in learning to use Illustrator for patternmaking, I recommend Lauren Dahl’s excellent course Creating PDF Patterns. But it isn’t necessary if only a basic pattern is needed.
Once the pieces have been drawn, use a colourful fill without a stroke.
With the piece selected, go to Object>Rasterize. Also make a note of your gauge, and the highest and widest measurements of the piece. These last measurements can be seen in the upper right hand corner next to ‘W’ and ‘H’.
The Rasterizer option box will come up. Choose the lowest resolution and a white background.
With the piece still selected, go to Object>Create Object Mosaic.
Each tile will represent a stitch; in order to determine how many stitches to cast on, multiply the widest measurement of your piece by your stitch gauge per inch and round to the closest number. Likewise, multiply the highest measurement of your piece by your row gauge. For the example above, I am using a gauge of 5 stitches and 7 rows per inch (50.0696 x 188.23 rounded down to 50 x 188). These numbers belong in the ‘Number of Tiles’ section.
Next, decide how large the tiles ought to be. The symbols I use are all based on a single cell size of 18 points wide by 12 points high, so I’ve multiplied 50 x 18 to arrive at a result of 900 points.
As for the height, 188 x 12 results in 2256 points. Please note that as my document preferences are in inches, I need to specify ‘pt’ when typing in the desired measurement. It will switch back to the default measurement once the measurement has been entered.
After a little while, your piece will be comprised of many rectangles. Go to Object>Ungroup.
The result will be close to what is needed, but will need to be cleaned up. I find it easier to delete the empty rectangles, but don’t delete them using the selection tool. That takes too long. Yes, I’m impatient.
Instead, double click on the magic Wand tool. Check the fill option and set the tolerance to zero.
Using the Magic Wand, click on any white rectangles to select all the white rectangles and delete them.
At this point, only the coloured rectangles remain. It has to be cleaned up further to make it knitter friendly by placing the increases and decreases on right side rows, but the general shape is quite close.
Here it is, mostly clean. Mostly, because I’ve made an error on the second armhole decrease.
One of the advantages of this method is that Illustrator can be configured to count stitches and rows. To enable it, go to Window>Document Info. Under the fly-out menu on the upper right hand side, make sure ‘Object’ is selected. Select a single row or column to see how many stitches are present (under ‘Paths’). Note that it must be a single row or column otherwise Illustrator will count everything.
Another advantage is how easy it is to create a schematic alongside the chart. The original pattern pieces could be used, but wouldn’t be as precise as the method that follows – the pattern had to be simplified to adhere to knitter logic, and this results in some changes to the original shape. Using the pen tool and a new layer, trace the pattern piece.
When the tile measurement was set, the overall dimension of the piece changed, as can be seen next to ‘W’ and ‘H’.
Correct the measurement next to ‘W’ and ‘H’ before proceeding with the schematic.
Draw horizontal and vertical lines wherever a measurement is needed. The shoulder width above is 4.1659, will will be rounded up to 4 1/4″.
I’ve used Illustrator for this tutorial, but there is probably open source software available which can be used similarly. If you or someone you know is familiar with other types of vector software and know how it can be used, please let us know in the comments. Thank you!
- September 10, 2014
© Jared Flood | Brooklyn Tweed
Yesterday was launch day at Brooklyn Tweed. Launch day is always very exciting but let’s face it – it is all the more exciting because we’re talking about the fall collection and fall is to knitters what christmas is to children. Whenever we work on a Brooklyn Tweed collection, we are given themes and mood boards ahead of time of our design team meeting. For fall, our mandate was to create a collection inspired by fishermen’s sweaters.
Jared, who is easily the best boss I’ve ever had, isn’t particularly strict with us (the team consists of Jared, Michele, Julie and I). While we may be given a certain departure point as a guide, we are free to interpret our theme as we fit and to remain true to our own aesthetics.
With that in mind, I began to work on my concepts. As usual, I began by sketching overall shapes – I occasionally begin with a stitch pattern, but rarely. I am a seamstress at heart and usually shop for fabric after choosing the kind of garment I’ll make next.
© Jared Flood | Brooklyn Tweed
It had been a while since I had designed a circular yoke. They’re a favourite of mine as they allow for quite an oversized fit while remaining tidy around the shoulders. The sample shown above has 10 1/2″ of positive ease on the model but if less ease is desired, choose to knit a smaller size in relation to your own bust measurement. Zenith‘s finished circumference at bust is 36½ (40, 43½, 47, 50¾, 54¼)”, but it should be noted that the yoke chart is longer for the larger sizes in order to keep the ratio correct.
In closing, I’d like to add a big shout out to Wannietta for knitting the sample. Honestly, she has knit so many of my samples over the years – the first was Shimmer Aran, way back in 2003 – that she deserves her own blog post. I promise it won’t take two years
- September 5, 2012
Several snippets of news today – and well there should be, after so many months of silence…
Some time ago, I began to reconsider having a yarn line; for a variety of reasons, it was decided that it was time to let it go. So, as of today, the process of liquidating the yarn in stock has begun. Everything but the magazines, patterns and Briggs & Little yarn is 30% off the original price – the magazines are 50% off. Please note that all orders will ship from Canada, that supplies are limited and that sale prices cannot be applied retroactively. So, stock up!
In other news, I should add that the title of this post is not an analogy and that I am indeed back in school full time. Earlier this year, I enrolled in beauty school with the goal of becoming a hairdresser. Everything is working out great on that front, and I have been immersed in the world of hair for a little over 3 months. It’s about to get even more exciting later this month as we begin to learn the craft of hair colour…
With these announcements, some of you may wonder what lies next for me within the knitting world – I’ve wondered about this myself. However, a friend (pictured above – recognize him?) asked if I would be interested in joining his in house knitwear design team. Our first collection is finally unveiled this morning, which means I no longer have to keep it a secret. You can see the look book here…
- April 20, 2012
After I took the vintage machine for their little airing, my friend remarked positively on the Pfaff. That little compliment along with having sewn curtains for Monique a few weeks ago did it – it was high time to get old 262 going again.
(in case you’re wondering: sewing curtains on the other machines is fine, but it feels like I’m pushing it too hard when I sew at maximum speed for a certain length of time. The Pfaff 238 must have spoiled me, as it was such a beast. The 262 isn’t as strong, but still has a 1.12 amp motor which will fare better with curtains and denim than the Janome’s 0.7 amp motor.)
Anyhow, try as I might, the 262 does not want to be reasoned with – it only wants to do a zigzag. Since opening her up, I’ve joined a couple of groups of vintage sewing machine enthusiasts and created the video above so that they could weigh in as to what the problem might be.
I apologize to those of you who have no interest in sewing and/or vintage machines – I’ll be back on track soon. In any case, all my knitting is secret at the moment so I wouldn’t have anything to tell you about even if I wasn’t so enthralled with gears.