Posted 26 Mar 2018 by JC
Stitch-Maps.com now handles brioche stitch patterns, via the
brSl abbreviation and the and symbols.
The full story
Brioche stitch patterns are notoriously difficult to chart. Part of the problem is that each stitch in a typical brioche pattern is essentially worked over two rows. Showing exactly what happens to each stitch over the course of those two rows tends to result in cluttered charts that don’t reflect the “gestalt” of the pattern. You get to see every little twig and branch of every tree, but the forest gets lost.
And so in adding support for brioche stitch patterns to Stitch-Maps.com, my primary goal was to find symbols that would result in clear, expressive, easy-to-read stitch maps – that is, to keep the stitch maps as simple as possible, so that the patterns could shine as brightly as possible.
Curiously, after a good deal of trial and error (oh, so much error!), the solution turned out to be a pair of symbols:
Both mean precisely the same thing: “brioche slip,” that is, slip a stitch purlwise and yarn over at the same time. This results in two loops that need to be treated as a single stitch on the following row.
Naturally, you may be wondering why two symbols are necessary – in particular, two symbols that look an awful lot like those for knit and purl. Here’s the thing: when you enter
brSl as part of your stitch pattern’s knitspeak, Stitch-Maps.com will figure out automatically whether it should display or , depending on how the stitch is worked on the following row. If the stitch is knit on the following row, Stitch-Maps.com will display . If it’s purled, the site will display . In this way, you’ll get symbols stacked on top of , and symbols stacked on top of .
And this stacking is the key to clear and expressive stitch maps. It’s what lets the ribbed nature of many brioche patterns to shine. Let’s look at a few examples.
S-Twist is one of the first patterns in Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant. It’s also one of the simplest. At a glance, you can see that on most rows you’re just maintaining plain brioche rib. It’s only on row 3 that you create the actual S-Twist pattern via increases and decreases.
Fanny and Feathery – also from Knitting Fresh Brioche – is somewhat more dramatic. Check out those 1-to-9 increases!
This pattern is new. It’s a brioche version of Thistles. I haven’t tried knitting it yet, but it looks promising. And I am tempted to create brioche versions of other lace patterns.
Given my apparent fondness for Knitting Fresh Brioche, you may also be wondering why the abbreviation for and is
brSl, and not the more common
sl1yo. In a nutshell: it’s a limitation of the knitspeak parser at Stitch-Maps.com. The way it processes knitspeak, it wouldn’t be able to distinguish between
sl1, yo. And so a new abbreviation became necessary. I hope you don’t mind.
I also hope you’ll give these new symbols a try. Map some of your favorite brioche patterns (or make up new ones!). And, as always, if you encounter any weirdness with this new feature at Stitch-Maps.com, please let me know!
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by JC
This new feature is a goodie for all you organization buffs out there. You know who you are. You’re the ones who like having a place for everything and everything in its place.
Stitch-Maps.com now lets you curate collections. Think of a collection as a place to put stitch patterns, as an organizational cubby of sorts. When you create a collection, you get to decide which stitch patterns belong in that cubby, using any criteria you choose. A collection of Victorian stitch patterns? Or short-rowed doilies? Or patterns you want to swatch someday? Sure, why not? Knock yourself out.
You might be wondering how collections differ from tags. After all, you can already search for stitch patterns tagged with “Victorian,” or with “short rows” and “doily.” And you can mark favorites that you’d like to swatch. But collections go a couple steps further:
- You can put anyone’s stitch pattern into one of your collections. In contrast, you can’t tag other knitters’ patterns. So my Victorian collection contains patterns that weren’t tagged as being Victorian.
- You can provide a description for each of your collections, saying... well, whatever you want, really. But it might be nice to describe the common thread that runs through all the patterns in the collection.
- You can choose a visibility for each of your collections. Just as with stitch patterns, anyone can view your public collections; only you can view your private collections; and other knitters can view one of your hidden collections only when you give them the collection’s direct link.
I’m sure you’ll find ways to use collections that I haven’t thought of. But, for starters, consider these ideas:
- To gather together related stitch patterns, for your own use or to share others, if you really do have that organizational bug.
- To gather together hidden stitch patterns that others have shared with you. This way, you can easily search through them on the collection’s main page.
- For premium subscribers: To gather together hidden stitch patterns you want to share as a cohesive set – for example, all the stitch patterns in one of your project patterns, or all the stitch patterns that you reference in a class that you teach.
By this point, you’re probably ready to give collections a try. Here’s what you need to know:
Check out the navigation bar at the top of each page. Where it used to have a
Browse link, it now has a
Browse menu with two options:
Stitch patterns and
Collections. Select the latter, and you’ll have the option of browsing through all the public collections on the site, with search options similar to those on the page for browsing through stitch patterns. Each collection will be displayed as a quartet of thumbnails, with a number showing how many more aren’t on display in that quartet.
Click on the quartet (or the collection name below the quartet), and you’ll see the collection’s main page, complete with the collection’s description and with options for searching through the collection’s stitch patterns.
Four icons let you curate collections:
- Add to a collection
Find this icon next to the name of a pattern. Click on it, and up pops a modal dialog. In the dialog, choose the name of the existing collection to which you want to add the pattern, or enter the name of a new collection.
- Remove from this collection
Find this icon next to the name of a stitch pattern, on a collection’s main page. Note that clicking on the icon just removes the stitch pattern from the collection; it does not delete it from the site altogether.
- Edit collection
Find this icon on a collection's main page. Click on it, and you’ll be directed to a page where you can edit the collection’s description, tags, and visibility. Premium subscribers can also specify custom links, as for stitch patterns.
- Delete collection
Find this icon on a collection's main page. Note that clicking on it just deletes the collection, not the stitch patterns in the collection.
And now, for the fine print
- Only subscribers get to curate collections. Not a subscriber yet? Now’s your chance to sign up.
- Basic subscribers can mark their collections as public or private. Premium subscribers can mark their collections as public, private, or hidden. In other words, your visibility options are the same for collections and for stitch patterns.
- You can’t increase a stitch pattern’s visibility by putting it into a collection. For example, if you put a bunch of your private patterns into a public collection, that collection will appear empty to other knitters. Ditto if you put someone else’s hidden stitch pattern into your collection. But placing your hidden patterns into a hidden collection lets you share those hidden patterns with other knitters simply by handing out the collection’s link, rather than having to hand out the links for the individual patterns.
Questions? Comments? You know where to find me.
Posted 30 Mar 2017 by JC
By request, Stitch-Maps.com now has symbols for a 3/1/3 cable crosses:
- 3/1/3 LC
- 3/1/3 LPC
- 3/1/3 RC
- 3/1/3 RPC
And for 2-to-5, 2-to-7, and 2-to-9 gathers:
- 2-to-5 gather
- 2-to-7 gather
- 2-to-9 gather
The latter make it possible to map beauties like this one from Pitsilised Koekirjad by Leili Reimann:
Complete definitions for all these symbols can of course be found in the key.
Posted 12 Jan 2017 by JC
Over the past few months, chrisfourfalcon has been posting some really nifty stitch patterns making use of “bunny ears decreases.” I think my favorites are Little hearts:
And Bunny Ears Mesh:
Up until now, Chris has had to make do with 3-to-2 gather symbols. But bunny ears decreases are so special – they reduce three stitches to two and create a symmetrical result – that I figured they deserved symbols of their own:
Bunny ears dec shows that three stitches become two that lean away from each other.
Bunny ears back dec shows that three stitches become two that lean towards each other.
These symbols make it possible to create stitch maps like this one for Little hearts:
The key, of course, details how to work these decreases. Enjoy!
Posted 2 Jan 2017 by JC
Here’s a sweet little improvement to the affiliate program that debuted last August: you can now shorten the affiliate links you create.
Simply click the “Shorten” button, and a long link like https://stitch-maps.com/about/abbreviations/?aid=jcbriar&atag=news becomes a short link like https://stitch-maps.com/to/Wrp/. Both lead to the same page, of course. (Go ahead, try them!) It’s just that the shorter one is, well, shorter.
For either link, clicking the “Test” button opens the link in a new browser tab. Clicking the “Select and copy to clipboard” button selects the text of the link and – if your browser is willing – copies that text to your system’s clipboard. (If your browser isn’t willing, you can always copy it to the clipboard yourself.) You can then paste the link into your patterns, or social media posts, or whatever.
Why create short links? You can probably think of reasons of your own. But for me, it’s because I’ve been toying with QR codes lately. Imagine, for example, printed class handouts with QR codes that students can scan to get to specific pages at Stitch-Maps.com. And the way to get smaller, more reliable QR codes is to start with shorter links. Sure, it’d be possible to shorten links at bit.ly or goo.gl, but I don’t care for their privacy policies. At Stitch-Maps.com, you can rest assured that your short links will remain private.
Questions? Suggestions? Let me know!
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