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cross stitch
4043 views   8 replies   Latest reply: June 12, 2014 at 9:29:23 AM

 
Member since:
Jun 8, 2014
Posts: 55
janicec message #1
cross stitch
June 9, 2014 at 8:22:48 AM
 
I just found your site yesterday.  I really like it.  Since you allow requests, I've listed a few.  Would like to combine best features from a couple of other free online cross stitch sites into yours, which I have to rate as all-around higher.

I like how I can choose symbol and color:  A different site, however, has less bold symbols (lighter in weight), they are easier on aging eyes, since it allows more space around the symbol within the colored block. 

Another site let you choose exact stitch counts for both width & height, which is helpful when I am just trying to insert something into a chart, and don't want the dimensions to be forced to be relative.  In fact the picture that I worked on yesterday became much taller than the original.  Within another software I had to keep adjusting the size, then saving it into a jpg file, so I could determine the pixel count.  But it was a long process until I got the number of pixels to be close to what I wanted (like the original pic).

I like your Easy Read feature on screen view.  Is it possible to have that feature where the view contains color & symbols as well?  And even better would be to be able to print in PDF that way (again aging eyes).

I wouldn't have been so bold as to make suggestions, however since you allow requests, I appreciate it.

Thanks,
Janice 


 
Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 1054
Stitchboard Support message #2
Re: cross stitch
June 9, 2014 at 11:58:04 AM  (in response to janicec message #1)
 
Hi, Janice, and welcome!

Let me go through your request list one at a time...

Regarding symbol "boldness" and aging eyes (Laughing), I like this idea.  (My eyes are aged too!)  The entire symbol set is custom built.  We've had a few other questions about it and have also discussed it here. 

Let me throw out a couple ideas we've come up with and you can give your feedback (I wish we could get more feedback!)  One idea would be to have a starter symbol set and allow a member to change it (making their own custom symbol set).  Or, for someone who wants to take the time, we could offer a "blank" symbol set and allow a member to "build" their own by selecting various symbols and deciding what order they'd be in.  And, sure, I could also make it so I only use smaller, more consistent size symbols.  (I think this is basically what you're saying you'd like to see).  Or, let me know if you have any other ideas.

So I can absolutely address "less bold" symbols.  And, in fact, when I originally built the symbol set, I did not do too well at centering all of them, so you'll see some are to the left a bit, or right, or a bit high or low.  I've known I needed to correct the positioning and have waited until I finished some other additions and get more feedback on what people would like to see.

By the way, one feature coming up at some point will be the ability to set symbol size.  (Maybe this would solve your "boldness" idea?)  You'd be able to reduce the size of the symbol so it would not be filling the boxes.

Next, regarding the entering of the stitch counts.  This is also something that would not be difficult to add.  I kind of just arbitrarily set some options, with arbitrary limits.  Like I've noted in other messages, I've tested the PatternWizard with 3000 stitches across and it handled it just fine.  Technically there's no stitch limit within the software.  As for setting exact width and height, I can certainly allow this and will discuss it with Melanie.

Along the same lines, you comment about the software making an image higher than it should be.  The software tries to keep the image proportional.  However, it tries to make it proportional when it's stitched.  So the screen pattern might look like it's too high sometimes but it should stitch up properly.  However, there are a lot of variables.  Like in non-cross-stitch, it depends on needle size, tension, etc.  We've spent a lot of time discussing this and have really determined that there's no easy way to universally handle it perfectly.

One feature that's on my "to-do" list (still almost 100 things) is to look into allowing a member to select horizontal/vertical ratios.  This gets more technical but it would allow an advanced user to alter the proportions of how it creates the pattern.

One final thing about the current version of the software.  It takes the selected horizontal stitch count (and yes, this number could be entered by the member) and calculates the vertical count depending on the x/y ratio of the pattern symbol for a particular stitch, trying to keep the stitched item proportional.  So this is why there's no fixed vertical setting.  If I allowed entering a vertical stitch count, I don't see how it would work.  It would either have to alter the image to fit the given width and height, or add more unstitched area (open space).  Feel free to let me know more about your needs to enter exact dimensions.

Finally, regarding the ez-read on pdfs...

This is something that was discussed very early on.  I'll look again into this possibility.  There are a few technical reasons why I didn't do it in the current version but it could be done.

So thanks again for your input!  I need members to make more suggestions and tell us what they like and would possibly like changed.  The entire program is custom built from the ground up so almost anything is possible!

As I continue to add new things, the freePatternWizard will be more and more of a leader.  I'll be taking advantage of new technologies coming up and there'll be some new "live" viewing options, and some features and options that are not available anywhere.

Feel free to let me know more suggestions!  And thanks for using the program!

Terry






“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Walt Disney


 
Member since:
Jun 8, 2014
Posts: 55
janicec message #3
Re: cross stitch
June 9, 2014 at 1:40:53 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Support message #2)
 
Terry,

I just read your "welcome" email.  I'm only recently retired (sort of) and hoped to find a friend to do cross stitch with, but no luck.  Yes I've sewn for 50 yrs and crocheted, knitted a little, etc, but I find cross stitching relaxing, and was glad to pick it up after about 30 yrs on the back burner.  However, I need to change whatever I don't quite like, and substitute "pieces in" instead.

I tried myphotostitch.com, which lets you set your own stitch width & height.  But their chart color choices are too bold/dark, so I had to cut/paste the charts into another software, then format to make them lighter before printing.  Not only was it hard on the eyes, but used an awful lot of printer toner as well.  The picture is not well defined, so they must work with a smaller base count of stitches.  And they offer a max of 50 colors, which isn't bad.  Oh, and some of their symbols are numbers within a circle, within the block, hard on the eyes.

Then I found pic2pat.com.  The pictures are much closer to the original print, and I like their lighter weight symbols, but they do the proportional thing, AND their charts are symbol only, not in color.

So I decided yesterday to see if I could find something else, and found you.

Thank you for your quick response to my long query.  Where do you live, I think we could be friends, I live in Orlando, FL.

You spent a lot of time addressing each of my items.   

Responding to your ideas above:

I like the idea of a starter set of symbols to choose from.  If you don't mind, look at the symbols on pic2pat.com.  I like the weight of them, but since they are not in colored boxes, don't know how that would be.  Ability for the consumer to set the symbol size, or maybe color (probably limited to only a few choices, otherwise would get overwhelming) would be a good idea too.

I see patterns that state they are whole stitches only, so there must be a demand for them (maybe that is another option), but I like detail and even insert quarter and three-quarter stitches in my own stitching where they weren't called for.  I also do a lot of color blending (two different threads within the needle).

Is there a way to pick up outlining?  It could be done separately on the (gridless) screen view only, so not to make the chart confusing.  I've seen some kits that actually have a grayed image that shows the outlining, which is better than just the text.

I like the idea of greater stitch parameters.  I frequently break a picture into quarters and run it through to make 4 charts so I can do large enough pictures.  So if 150w can be extended further, great!  Allowing a consumer to set the hori/vert ratios, would be okay, personally I'm fine with ratios, but it might be easier for others to just allow them to set the individual hori and vert stitch counts.  They could take measurements from a print and just key both numbers in.  If they send it to the screen and it looks awful, they can change and resend.  If you could just make this as an option, leaving the proportional method as the default.

Thank you for allowing input.  Was a pleasure "talking" with you.

Janice


 


 
Look at that smile! (Photo guaranteed unretouched)
 
Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 4499
Stitchboard Admin message #4
Re: cross stitch
June 10, 2014 at 2:10:00 AM  (in response to janicec message #3)
 
Janice,

Hi, so glad you posted with all of your questions and suggestions!  Smile

I can't speak for the technical end of things, but I've cross stitched for years...please feel free to post your pictures in our photo albums!  Drooling is always fun!  Wink

I have some of my work in the photo albums, and much of it is cross stitch, so feel free to check it out if you'd like.  Smile

Also, feel free to post as you'd like in the cross stitch area of the community.  I'm not sure how many cross stitchers we have here at the moment, but it would be so nice to have some active conversations about it!

I occasionally see free cross stitch patterns (quite nice ones!) that are available for Kindle, so if you'd like to join our Crafty Bookworms circle, I post them as I see them.  No worries if you don't have a Kindle reader, by the way, as you can get a free reader for your PC or just put everything on the Cloud, which is also free!

Looking forward to hearing more from you and seeing your work!  Smile


Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Jun 8, 2014
Posts: 55
janicec message #5
Re: cross stitch
June 10, 2014 at 9:34:56 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #4)
 
Hello Melanie,

Am impressed with how quickly you & Terry have responded to my queries.  Wow!

Looked at your cross stitch offerings, particularly like the circle of roses with beads.

Can we put wip in our photo album, I've always got multiple things going?  I'm a wip kinda girl. I'm always changing parts of a chart, so it sits until I decide what I want to incorporate into my new and improved design.  Perhaps the embarrassment of a wip being there for a long while will act as a jump start to get back to it.

I'll have to look into the cross stitch area of your community.

Thanks again,
Janice 


 
Look at that smile! (Photo guaranteed unretouched)
 
Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 4499
Stitchboard Admin message #6
cross stitch
June 10, 2014 at 10:00:31 PM  (in response to janicec message #5)
 
Janice,

You can put anything at all crafty in your photo albums, not just stitching things, either...if you take a look around, you'll see there are some very talented people here who not only do amazing stitching, they also make other amazing things, as well!  We have a lovely album of scrapbooking pages that were uploaded by Kazzee, one of our talented members!  Kiss

So to answer your question, yes, WIPs are just fine!  Smile  It's wonderful to see things in the process of being made.  Smile

LOL, and I always change things around, too.  I'm almost never happy with something exactly as written!


Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Jun 8, 2014
Posts: 55
janicec message #7
cross stitch
June 11, 2014 at 7:37:14 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #6)
 
Thanks.

Wondering, how frequently does the Pattern Wizard get updated?  Is there a set schedule or is it constantly being tweaked?

Just noticed the 300 st width updated 06/08/14.  Thanks so much.

Janice


 
Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 1054
Stitchboard Support message #8
cross stitch
June 11, 2014 at 1:53:59 PM  (in response to janicec message #7)
 
Janice,

You'll sometimes see updates every day for a small stretch of time.  Then sometimes it may be a few weeks, or rarely, even a month.  It all depends on the amount of programming and testing involved in the next update.  I think the paper size option was one of the longest projects since I wound up re-writing a lot of pdf code to better handle many of the new upcoming features.  I figured that was the time to prepare for the future.  And in the case of the paper size addition, I had to run just over 2,000 pdf patterns to test most the combinations and do format tweaking.  (By the way, my running of patterns does not count in the count you see on the freePatternWizard page.  That count is truly only successful patterns created by users).

While I write new code, and test things, I also often find small problems to fix or minor improvements that I can make on the spot so I do it and release a minor update.

I think my record was to release updates at least once a day for about 10 days straight.  I don't always post update information so if I fix a minor bug, I may just bump up the version number and date but not say anything about what's changed.  I only post a message when there's a new feature, option, something has changed on the screen, or I fixed a major problem or bug.

This is also an advantage to running the program online versus downloading software since the newest version is always at the web site.

The other thing about constantly making updates and bumping up the version number lets me keep track internally of what changes have been made each time.  Then if something doesn't work all of a sudden, I can go back to my notes and see what I may have done to cause the problem.  (Kind of along the lines of ripping out stitchwork! Laughing)

So bottom line is that I release a new update whenever I can.  No real schedule.  And yes, I have a to-do (my WIP) list and am constantly changing priorities and adding things.  For example, I'm currently tweaking crochet word charts and hope to have the first version live in the next few days.  Then I'll turn to beading word charts, which will use most of the new code so it should come up faster.

Hope this helps.

Terry




“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Walt Disney


 
Member since:
Jun 8, 2014
Posts: 55
janicec message #9
Re: cross stitch
June 12, 2014 at 9:29:23 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Support message #8)
 
Terry,

You are appreciated!

Janice 

 
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