A slew of new symbols

Posted 20 Aug 2020 by JC

K1 below, bunny ears yo, left and right “center” crosses... what do these symbols have in common? Absolutely nothing, except now they’re available at Stitch-Maps.com.

Let’s start with k1 below and p1 below:

  • k1 belowk1 below
  • p1 belowp1 below

They offer a way of creating brioche fabric that some knitters prefer over brSl – for example, here’s a simple stockinette brioche fabric, in two colors:

Stockinette brioche stitch map Stockinette brioche swatch photo

Next up, you’ll find bunny ears yo and bunny ears back yo in the Decreases section of the key:

  • bunny ears yobunny ears yo
  • bunny ears back yobunny ears back yo

They’re not actually decreases. But they are related to the “bunny ears” decreases, so it kind of made sense to list ’em all together. Here, bunny ears back yo and p1 below combine to create the start of symmetrical lace Vs:

Symmetrical Vs stitch map Symmetrical Vs swatch photo

Finally, check out these “center” crosses:

  • 1/1/1 LCC1/1/1 LCC
  • 1/1/1 RCC1/1/1 RCC
  • 1/2/1 LCC1/2/1 LCC
  • 1/2/1 RCC1/2/1 RCC
  • 2/1/2 LCC2/1/2 LCC
  • 2/1/2 RCC2/1/2 RCC
  • 2/2/2 LCC2/2/2 LCC
  • 2/2/2 RCC2/2/2 RCC

They’re three-strand crosses in which the center strand winds up on top – making possible stitch patterns such as this beauty:

Pattern 6.15 stitch map Pattern 6.15 swatch photo

Details, as always, are in the key. Enjoy!

Smoother searching

Posted 3 Jun 2020 by JC

Today’s new feature is on the subtle side.

Previously, Stitch-Maps.com would display search results – on the main pattern Browse page, on the page for browsing through collections, or on a page for browsing within a collection – by redisplaying the entire page. This was a little awkward. Sidebar panels that you had opened might get closed; the place to which you had scrolled on the page might get lost.

Now, just the search results get redisplayed. You still get to see your open sidebar panels, wherever you might have scrolled to on the page. As a result, searching feels smoother. It might even be a touch faster.

screenshot of search in progress

As with many other user interface bells and whistles, this one relies on JavaScript. And you might need to refresh your browser to see the full effects. As always, I’ve tested these changes on a variety of browsers – but possibly not yours! If you see any weirdness, funky behavior, or plain old bugs, please let me know.

Licensing the symbol set

Posted 20 May 2020 by JC

Let me be clear right up front: I love stitch maps. I love how drawing a chart without a grid can bring clarity to many stitch patterns. Having one symbol per stitch, letting each symbol point to those of the row below into which it’s worked... well, for me, it’s magic.

That said, I know a lot of people are still fond of grid-based charts. And drawing them is a lot easier if you have access to a good tools. Stitchmastery is an excellent choice that comes with many symbols. But if you want total flexibility? You want to use a general-purpose vector drawing tool, like Illustrator or Inkscape.

And this is where we roll back around to stitch maps. If you’re going to draw charts with a general-purpose tool, you need to get your hands on a symbol set. You can draw your own, of course – or, as of today, you can license the symbols used here at Stitch-Maps.com.

The deal is this: when you license the Stitch-Maps.com symbol set, you get nearly 300 clear, consistent symbols in the form of PDF and SVG vector data files. Each symbol is a named “group,” and each group includes an invisible rectangle. These rectangles are crucial, as they let you easily snap symbols to a grid. Consider, for example, this chart for Gathered Daisies:

gathered daisies sample chart

I drew it in Illustrator, using symbols from the Stitch-Maps.com symbol set. Using Illustrator meant I could define the grid as I wanted, number the rows as I wanted, and add color as I wanted. Using the Stitch-Maps.com symbols meant I didn’t have to draw symbols from scratch.

The symbols are all drawn at a scale of eight grid squares to the inch – but since we’re talking about vector drawing tools, you could of course scale the symbols larger or smaller as you wished, while keeping perfect clarity. And from Illustrator or Inkscape you could save your finished charts in any format you like.

So, are you intrigued? If you’d like to know more about using the Stitch-Maps.com symbol set, email me. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Searching by knitspeak snippets

Posted 30 Apr 2020 by JC

Now this is a fun one! Today’s new feature is the ability search by little snippets of knitspeak, like “k1 tbl” or “[yo, k1] 5 times.”

Give it a try: go to the Browse page, or to the detail page for any collection, and find the “Knitspeak snippets” section in the “Search options” box.

screenshot: empty input box

Enter any bit of knitspeak, and you’ll see all the stitch patterns whose written instructions include that bit of knitspeak.

screenshot: k1 tbl

Along with those search results, you’ll also see another empty input box. Enter another snippet into that box, and you’ll see all patterns that contain both snippets – for example, both “k1 tbl” and “RT.”

screenshot: k1 tbl AND RT

What if you want to find all the patterns whose written instructions contain either “w&t” or “turn”? Easy: in a single box, enter “w&t | turn.” The vertical bar (found on most keyboards above the “\” character) means “or,” and you can have as many of them as you like in one input box.

screenshot: w&t | turn

This allows all sorts of trickery – for example, all patterns that make use of twisted stitches and short rows:

screenshot: k1 tbl | p1 tbl AND w&t | turn

But wait, there’s more! Start a snippet with “^” (the character above “6” on most keyboards) and that snippet will be excluded from the search results. So this will search for patterns that are not worked in the round:

screenshot: ^Round

This will search for patterns that feature yarn overs, but not the most common single decreases:

screenshot: yo AND ^ k2tog | ssk | p2tog

Of course you can combine any of these “Knitspeak snippets” search options with other search options. Here’s a way to find patterns that use “brSl” symbols but haven’t been tagged as “brioche”:

screenshot: with brSl but not tagged as brioche

Or patterns named “Feather and fan” that don’t have yarn overs:

screenshot: named Feather and Fan without yo

Note

All the comparisons are case-insensitive, so “sl1” will match “sl1” or “Sl1.” But other than being case-insensitive, the comparisons are very literal.

  • “Row 1” (without an “s”) will not match “Rows 1 and 2.”
  • “k2 , p1” (with an extra space before the comma) will not match “k2, p1.”
  • “LT” will match “1/1 LT” and “multiple of 5 sts” (because of the “lt” in “multiple”).

Why are the comparisons so literal? Because they’re done on the actual knitspeak for each stitch pattern, exactly as it’s shown on the pattern’s detail page and – more to the point – as it’s stored in the site’s database. Doing comparisons on the knitspeak stored in the database is what makes the searches so fast and so powerful.

Speak up!

As always, I’ve tested on a number of browsers, with Javascript both enabled and disabled... but who knows what I missed? Who knows how your browser might behave differently? If you notice any weirdness, please let me know! Or if you have ideas for making this feature better, please join the conversation on Ravelry.

Searching by row repeat

Posted 28 Apr 2020 by JC

Need to find a stitch pattern with a specific row repeat? You can do that now, in the “Search options” box on the Browse page.

screenshot of row repeat input box

For example, entering “8” reveals that, of the 6947 patterns currently on the site, 813 repeat every 8 rows. This could be handy if you’re trying to find a stitch pattern that’ll coordinate well with one you’re already planning to use.

Bonus: if a stitch pattern repeats vertically, its detail page now shows its row repeat as a link in the “Details” box – for example, for Primrose Edging:

screenshot of details box

You can click that link to find stitch patterns with a matching row repeat.

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