And now in the third and last part of this series, I’ll give you the fourth way to make knitting charts and introduce a couple of chart editor or designer programs to you. None of these programs is for free but most of them have demos you can try out. I’ve randomly picked four programs that seemed interesting to me. This is not a sponsored blog post, so I’m not receiving anything for this. I only researched this out of own interest in the subject.
The first is Knit Foundry’s Knit Visualizer. The latest version seems to be of 2008 and the website states it works on Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X (Lion). I’ve tried the demo version of this software on Windows 10 and it works just fine.
Since I only have the demo version, there are a couple of features I can’t test and that does include any form of saving my created chart or exporting it. Therefore I can’t tell you what the exported version looks like. Personally, I would like to be able to test that feature in some form before buying that software, to see if it does what I like and if the result is the way I want it.
It does seem to have a lot of features for adapting your chart. You can print the key with or without more detailed explanations of the stitches or even not at all. Notes can be added as well as written instructions which are generated automatically.
There are a lot of stitches available and more symbols that you can add to the stitch library. With what is already there I would not be able to do the cables I was looking for. But the way I see it, you should also be able to use a different knitting symbol font if you want – in Knit Visualizer you can simply pick a font installed on your computer to use (under View – Stitch Library Manager).
Charting colorwork is also easily possible. You just have to add new stitches via the previous mentioned Stitch Library Manager and change the background color of a knit stitch, rename it to CC1 (for example) and you’re done.
It is a quite powerful tool and easy to use. But it is also a little pricey at $185 (about €166) and not something everyone would be able to afford.
Intwined Pattern Studio
Next up: Intwined Pattern Studio. There is, unfortunately, no demo version to try out but you can look at a few videos and get the basics of how to use to program and what it can do.
It has a pretty extensive stitch library. But you can also add your own stitches if you can create the symbols for it. There is information on how to do that on the program’s website. You can find a lot of information about the program and on how to do something on that website but you may have to look around for it a bit. It took me a while to find the information on what stitches the program supported and how to add new ones.
With Intwined Pattern Studio you can write the entire pattern in the program if you like. It comes with a document editor. You can not only add text to it like you would in a word processor but also external images (of the finished product for example). On top of that, you can add the chart, the key, and the instructions to it at any place in the document. If you edit the chart back in the chart editor, the image of the chart in the pattern document is updated as well along with its key. You can add to the written instructions within the document and add information about gauge or anything like that However the instructions will not be automatically updated when you change the chart in the chart editor. You would have to repaste them and then add anything else to it by hand again as well.
The finished document can be exported as a .pdf. You are also able to export only the chart in various image formats.
Here is their list of features and their demo videos.
The software is available for purchase for $44 (about €40) – a pretty reasonable price for its capabilities, I think.
You can mark repeats within a chart, paint a chart with smaller charts (check out the video for more information on that), mirror sections and lots more. If you already know your gauge and know how large your knit piece should be, it can generate the chart size and stitch count for you.
In EnvisioKnit you can also create your pattern. However, you have much less freedom than in Intwined Pattern Studio. You can export the pattern as a word document file and then edit it further in a word processor.
It is possible to create custom stitch symbols from within the editor and it’s pretty easy. You can’t add symbols at a slant to the stitch and also I was only able to replace other stitches and not create entirely new ones.
EnvisioKnit is available for purchase for $99 (about €89).
The last editor I’ve tried out and wanted to tell you about is Stitchmastery. It is available for Windows, Mac and even Linux – which makes me very happy because my laptop runs on Linux.
This is the first chart editor I’ve found that included the cable stitch I was looking for (1/1 RT tbl, 1/1 LT tbl). Creating new stitches is also possible, here is a short video on how to do it.
Again you can mirror and copy sections in the chart. You can add borders to mark repeats or just annotate a part of the chart. As with the previous editors, Stitchmaster will also generate the written instructions for you. You can export the chart as an image or text file. In the demo, this is, of course, disabled as with the other editors before. To write the pattern itself you would have to use a word processor as Stitchmastery does not support that.
One really nice feature is that Stitchmastery can validate your chart. It checks if the stitch count stays the same and warns you in the outline view by marking rows where the number changed.
Stitchmastery is available for purchase for £60 (about $78 or €70).
Which program did you like best? Are there any features I didn’t mention that you like especially? Which other programs do you know of? Please let me know in the comments below.
So, this was my first series. A lot of work went into this but it was helpful for me and I hope you enjoyed it as well. I don’t yet know what next week’s blog post will be about, so come back and find out!