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Thanks for all the positive feedback on the lace series! I had no idea it would get such a response - I'm trying to catch up with emails, but in the meantime, cheers to everyone who said such lovely things, and big thanks to everyone who's provided clarifications and otherwise picked up my slack. To answer a common question, I do not use any kind of knitting software, either for drafting patterns, for sizing, for chart-making or for drawing the illustrations. I've never tried Sweater Wizard, et al, though I know lots of people have good experiences with them - I guess I'm just a luddite in that I don't quite trust them. Then, too, in the patterns I'm trying to work out right now, there are lots of fiddly little details that couldn't really be translated - gauge math and sizing math are easy enough that pen and paper work fine for me, and it's a lot easier for me to visualize exactly what I want that way.

I draw all my charts in PhotoShop CS like this: create a 25x25px jpg for every symbol you use. Open those up and copy and paste them as needed into a new layer in a blank document with gridlines every 25px. To get a printing grid, open a blank 25x25px document, draw a 1px line at the very top and at the very left side, flatten it and save it as a jpg. Choose "select all", set it as a pattern, go back to your chart, and fill a new layer with the pattern. Then choose "select color" in that layer, choose "highlight", and hit clear or delete to take away the white background and leave only the black grid visible. The same process can be done with a 250x250px grid and thicker lines to mark off every 10 squares. Flatten the image and resize at the end.

The diagrams I do are all drawn in Illustrator CS - I just take an ellipse and subtract a smaller ellipse from it to get a stitch shape. I fiddle with it until it until it looks right, and then create "building blocks" - stitches arranged as in k2tog, stitches arranged as in ssk, etc - and then just duplicate and paste away. I futz as I go to make sure everything lines up and looks right, and occasionally you need to scissor and slice to get things in the right arrangement, but they're pretty easy and quick to make.

Thanks for your generous comments about the stockings, too! I did knit two, but the first one had a lot of issues I was still working out and wasn't very pretty. That's why it's hidden inside the boot :)

The lace series picks back up tomorrow, I think - it takes me a couple days to get each entry together. In the meantime, check this out:

The center panel of the sampler stole, seven and a half repeats of the pattern, is done. What a difference a bit of pinning makes, eh? Here's what it looks like on the needle:

The garter stitch base creates a very compact, very drawn-in fabric (even more exaggerated since I'm using US0s instead of the US2s called for), and the unstretched piece is ripply and sort of...nipply, for lack of a better word. I've pinned it out only gently for the photo above - it's got a couple inches still in it in either direction, I think - but it already measures about 13x32 inches. There are two small (I think about 150 rows each) borders on either short side, and then the edging to go.

My mom's birthday is the 23rd. If I get serious about this and start knitting like usual (rather than lazily knitting a row here and a row there once in a while), it might be doable.


That unstretched lace looks kind of like the man-eating stuff that comes oozing under the door in "The Blob."
I use Sweater Wizard some, but I've gotten some strange directions out of it, and some yardage estimates that seem way off (or else published yardages are exaggerated because no pattern writer wants to be told their directions didn't allow for enough yarn?). Anyway, I too find myself doing a lot with paper & pencil. One nice thing for sketching designs is knitting graph paper, in which the boxes, like stitches, are wider than they are tall; if you Google "knitting graph paper" there are several sites where you can input your gauge, which is great for making full (or half, etc.)-size drawings with every inc, dec and pattern stitch plotted.

beautiful. your lace is so impressive!

Birch is going to be my first big lace project and I have decided to do it in the stockinette version which i rarely see, mainly because I feel my Yo's are all wonky when i purl the next row because I purl a tad looser then I knit, plus it will be easier on the hands. i just need to finish casting on the 299 stitches haha

I'm so how could I say, you've got a real talent, sorry for my english, I don't speak or write for a long time.

Nifty blocking board! Is that just a cork bulletin board? Did you just pin wet lace right on top of it? I'm looking for solutions to upgrade from my "two beach towels method".

Hi... Your blog is my new favourite site and I check it every day. Not only is your knitting beautiful, but your posts are so educational. I'm enjoying the lace series, as well as the instructions in Photoshop. I'm trying to become very proficient in Photoshop CS, and you're teaching me things that I want to know. Thank you!!

Your stole is beautiful so far! Thanks for sharing how you make your images! It sounds like a lot of work but I'm glad you do it. It really helps me understand!

thanks for the photoshop instructions - i'm going to try that out tonight. i love charts and hate knitting without them, so your timing is perfect. ;)

and what do you have your stole pinned to? is that a corkboard?

thanks for the chart making info. that will not only come into good use for my job, but for my own personal patterns as well.

i agree with the pen, paper, and calculator approach to designing. the pattern softwear just doesn't do it quite right for my taste.

Gorgeous lace. I'm sure you'll have it done in time for your mom.

Eunny, I just have a question for you. What do you do for a living? How on earth do you get so much time to do so much knitting and blogging and knitting swatches etc???

it's beautiful, and thankyou for your lace series, it's so helpful. Now I'm desperately trying to think of something I could do with a lace shawl.

I agree nipply is the most apporiate word

The unblocked lace reminds me of those cardboard egg carton/trays... It's lookin' beautiful.

Beautiful creation - you're mom will love it!

I am greatly enjoying the lace series, too!

Ok Eunny, I just got the yarn (actually enough for 2 pairs of argyle socks), now I needs me the pattern.

Beautiful lace! And thanks so much for the lace series.

Oooh, your stole is beautiful! And if anyone could finish it by the 23rd, it would be you :)

Sorry for whining, but when will the pattern for the almost argyle socks be around? I'm just so excited about them and don't really have the patience to wait for it! :D

Love the lace series too, honestly! I love learning new things.


I had figured you used Illustrator/Photoshop but was wondering what you did exactly. Thanks for sharing your process!

Another thanks for the lace series. I've been reading w/o comment for awhile and am very impressed with your knitting but this lace series is just what the doctor ordered for me. I'm an intermediate knitter doing her first lace project: open leaf from B. Walker's Vol. 2 in a simple rectangle scarf. I figured I took on enough with it being a 12 row repeat. I'm really looking forward to your talking about blocking. I've read a lot of good info about it. But really curious how much stretch one gets, or at least how much I'll get. Again, this is one grateful knitter appreciating all your hard work in writing this up.

Cool of you to share the tools of your design process.. I do think pen and paper are still fundamental, but nice to see how these techie tools make the translation better. I agree, pinning makes all the difference in the world, and your work keeps me inspired to try more and more complex lace.

ripply but nipply... tee-hee! seems like it could apply to a whole host of things.

Wow, I'm not sure how you can call yourself a luddite after that explanation of how you create your drawings!

I love your lace and I just got some knitpicks in the mail today so I'm starting some, and I know I'm quite away from this, but could you possibly show us how to join another ball of yarn? Because it is lace, won't the ends be harder to weave in? I'm a bit perplexed about what to do about weaving in. Thanks.

You are just amazing! I'm always amazed at your knowledge, especially at your age. Thanks for all the time you put into your entries--they are great!

Your blog is the best on knitting technique I know. Your instructions are always very clear, and you cover the subject completely, from choosing the yarn tonbinding off and putting together!
I have been knitting for a long time, but never lace (It was considered totally old-fashioned here in Germany, you could not even get proper yarn). So I am looking forward to your lace series.
I love everything you knit!

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