On Saturday I had the great pleasure to teach a Cables class to 20 knitters at Apple Yarns in Bellingham, Washington. Over 3 hours I shared with them what I could about cables and such. Now I don’t know about other instructors, but when I teach people anything, I try and go beyond the simple technique and give them the tools they need to apply those skills in everyday projects. In this case, it was showing them how increasing their understanding of cables and how they behave might give them the confidence to adapt a pattern or perhaps to even design something themselves!
Now designing isn’t easy, but if you’re persistent enough and have a passion for it (or just 1 particular idea), it’s a great thing. There’s nothing better than having an idea come to life with needle and yarn! Thankfully for designers, there are quite a few tools out there to assist in some of the more tedious and complex tasks as well. For the tedious there are lots of options, but there are very few options when you want to put all of it together – tedious, complex, visual, etc. I’m glad to say that help is on the way!
You might remember a post I did a few years ago about Jacquie Howard – a friend of mine who created the ChartMaker. It’s a program that you can download (PC only) or work with online at her website that allows you to create knitting charts. I have used it exclusively since I discovered it, and told everyone who would listen about it. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out. Here is my Barrington Braid done with Jacquie’s program …
With Jacquie’s program I was able to create my own “cables” and insert them into the chart where i needed them. Had I had the program when I was originally developing the Barrington braid, things would have been a loooooooot easier! The program is very intuitive and extremely easy to learn and use. Finished charts ca be saved or exported for use in patterns. A comparable program (which is not as easy to learn) retails for $189US!
Well, now Jacquie is working on developing the program more and taking it to the next level! She is asking for your help in this process, and I am forwarding that request to you through her. I am not being paid or getting any special consideration for doing this – she doesn’t even know I’m doing it – I just believe this is a great tool for professional designers and anyone wanting to express their creativity. Here is her request in her own words from her Facebook timeline …
Dear Knitting Friends,
A few years ago I wrote a little online knit chart maker that was quite well received. Ever since I have been trying to get around to improving it and finally, with some help, we are getting there. Now it’s turning out to be a lot more than just a chart maker and I am anxious to know if it’s something you’ll enjoy using!
Please visit www.stitchrs.com If you like what you see and sign up for an invitation you’ll get an email with access to a short (I promise!) survey. I would love to hear what you have to say! Thank you!
Dear Non-knitting Friends,
I would be most grateful if you would share this post with friends and family who do knit. Thank you too!
Both Jacquie and I would appreciate it if you would check it out and possibly fill out the very short survey at the end – if you are so inclined!
If you’re involved in the VKAL, there is a new chart up for you to knit. There will be a new video up soon, along with a new contest for the next giveaway – something from The Verdant Gryphon!
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them on the Social Media boards we’re using for this and/or email me directly! Have fun!
If you’re not involved in the VKAL, you can still sign up! The videos online will guide you through the entire process of knitting the Barrngton 5.0 – done in double knitting – and you’ll be eligible for the giveaways we have going on throughout! Here is the link to sign up …