just an update--nothing special.

after Warren's glowing recommendation i ordered the Jacqueline Fee book and i just got it......excited about the process of working through it.  i've been working on a hooded pullover sweater and decided to rip everything out.  holding the back panel up....i was overcome by a tremendous dissatisfaction......the work so far was just sub par and only excuse i can lob is work has been a madhouse with 3 people off schedule for awhile so i've been providing coverage at the hospital above and far beyond my normal 80 hrs/week.  when my feet hurt, i can't knit worth crap.  i am finishing up one project almost on time.  a dear friend has redecorated her bedroom and bath and wanted washcloths in a brilliant blaze orange colour but in a pattern that would satisfy her "Goth" and "DeathMetal" bent.  so, 6 were done using the skull and crossbones pattern Jeff Shafer has posted here and 6 were more traditional.  i thought of doing the remaining six using logos for bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Biohazard, and Christian Death but have been too tired/lazy/unmotivataed to fight with Excel to chart 'em.  working the skull and crossbones was fun the first two times, but i contemplated falling on my size 35 bamboo needles for the last 4 times.  no pattern is THAT fun, y'knowhutimean?

y'all be good and stuff,



Warren's picture

A big OUCH on ripping out the sweater.  You've probably already noticed that one of the sweaters in the book is hooded.  Once I make the basic sweater, the hooded one will be what I tackle next.

Hope your work pressures ease up soon! 

Billy, this may sound like a stupid question, and I assumed It could work, but how exactly do you use excel to chart patterns, fair isle or otherwise.  please share !!!

Having worked for many years as an accountant, I've always considered Excel (and Lotus 1-2-3 before it) to be the most useful program ever written.  And it's great for knitting too!  I use it a lot for charting patterns, either my own or printed patterns that come with instructions but no chart.

First, I set the column width and row height to match my gauge (since stitch and row gauge are generally not the same).  It's the proportion that matters rather than absolute values, so if my gauge is, for example, 7 sts = 9 rows = 1 inch I might set the columns at 19 pixels and rows at 15 pixels.

I usually chart the design by changing the background colors of the cells until I get the effect I want, but since I don't have a color printer I then enter symbols, letters or numbers in the cells and reset the background to white before printing.  Also, be sure to insert borders around the cells so that you can see the grid when it prints.  If you are working with effects other than color, use whatever symbols you like for various stitches, such as for purl, o for yarn over, / for k2tog, \ for ssk, etc.

Depending on the project, I've sometimes found it useful to paste several repeats of the pattern vertically and enter notes along the side regarding increases or decreases so that I have the color changes and shaping all in one diagram.

Happy designing!