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Creating a pattern
3321 views   3 replies   Latest reply: July 2, 2014 at 2:25:03 AM

 
Member since:
Jun 28, 2014
Posts: 10
Kittyzcool message #1
Creating a pattern
June 29, 2014 at 6:32:45 AM
 
Hi - I wonder if you can help - I'm trying to create a pattern for crocheting a Union Jack single bedspread which is roughly 240 stitches wide and 350 long. I found an image of the Union Jack and resized it to 250 x 350 pixels but when I create the pattern it is creating a pattern with 450 rows. I've tried many times to create a pattern to my dimensions with various images of different sizes and have managed to create patterns with everything from 240 x 160 to 240 x 650 but can't get anywhere near 240 x 350 unless I stretch my original image out of proportion so that the Red Cross going horizontally is thicker than the vertical one - can you tell me where I'm going wrong - thanks.



 
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Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 4496
Stitchboard Admin message #2
Re: Creating a pattern
June 30, 2014 at 12:54:09 AM  (in response to Kittyzcool message #1)
 
Hi!  If I'm understanding your issue correctly, this is what I believe the problem is.  First, you've chosen crochet, and unless you're specifically using a square cross stitch to make patterns (and unless your gauge is perfectly square), your pixels will not be a direct 1:1 ratio.  Instead, the system is keeping your correct aspect ratio and making the pattern the correct number of stitches x rows that will keep your image from becoming distorted, while still keeping your stitch horizontal or vertical (depending on stitch type chosen).

The Free Pattern Wizard isn't really made to resize to a specific size both horizontally and vertically...that's why you can only give it the number of stitches across, and not the number of rows.  The reason for that is if resizing were allowed, people would think they'd be making a perfectly-sized image, only to discover their image would instead be wildly distorted.  Think of a picture of a grazing horse being resized to be longer vertically, only to produce a pattern of a horse with ridiculously long legs and a very long, fat body, or, resized to be wider, as a horse with crazy short little legs and an elongated body!

Unfortunately, the only answer is to work with your image and resize it in a graphics program until it equals the exact dimensions you want.  But as you've found, if you change the image to the size you want vertically and horizontally without worrying about the aspect ratio, you run the risk of something like your vertical or horizontal Red Cross being stretched out of proportion.

I would definitely suggest working with your pattern in a graphics program, but understand you may not be able to get it to exactly 240 x 350 stitches.  You have to remember that 240 x 350 pixels is not a direct relationship to, say, a stitch that is wider horizontally than vertically, which is what crochet essentially is, unless you're crocheting a stitch that really is turning out perfectly square.

What you could do to compensate is pad your image with a matching or contrasting color on the sides (or top and bottom), designating the Free Pattern Wizard to produce an image 240 stitches wide, and then the Free Pattern Wizard should compensate by, yes, adding the stripes, but then your image will compensate accordingly.  All you'd really have to do then is figure out how to work it out to your correct dimensions with the padded color.

I'm guessing it will take a bit of messing around with the image, but if you do pad it, you won't get the flag image exactly the way you want it, but you'll get it with the correct aspect ratio.

If you don't have a graphics program, there are two free ones available that are quite powerful:
GIMP, which is available here:
http://www.gimp.org/
and paint.net, which is available here:
http://www.getpaint.net/

I hope that isn't too technical or confusing...if it is, please let me know!  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 28, 2014
Posts: 10
Kittyzcool message #3
Re: Creating a pattern
July 1, 2014 at 12:44:44 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #2)
 
Thanks for all your suggestions - I've never done an afghan before and I'm finding it all rather confusing - I eventually got my husband to use a graphics program and produce a chart that was 200 wide by 400 long (so he could keep the flag in the correct 2:1 ratio) thinking I would just add a border to it but now I've stupidly realised that I hadn't taken gauge into consideration and when I crocheted a test piece of single crochet I've realised that crochet stitches aren't square! My test piece of 30 x 30 measured 14cm x 11cm. So now I understand why your program was coming out with many more rows than I thought I needed. If I use the graph he produced for me I'm assuming it will come out skewed? (I haven't dared tell him this yet) Now I'm also thinking that I would be better off using a tunisian stitch instead of single crochet as the stitches are lined up and not offset like single crochet - would I be right in thinking that this would give a better representation of the image?
I went to produce a pattern for tunisian stitch with your program and it's giving me options of vertical or horizontal and I have no idea what the difference between these are, could you tell me. I haven't done a test piece yet for tunisian though but I did think that a blanket in single crochet might be too heavy and tight as ones I've done in the past have been using double crochet which comes out quite drapey - what are your opinions on this - the yarn I'm using is a UK DK 100% cotton.
Any advice or help you could offer me would be greatly appreciated.


 
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Member since:
Jul 1, 2009
Posts: 4496
Stitchboard Admin message #4
Re: Creating a pattern
July 2, 2014 at 2:25:03 AM  (in response to Kittyzcool message #3)
 
Glad to help!  Kiss

Okay, so that's the important thing to know...your gauge.  Smile  Usually what you'd do to determine that is to work a 10cm x 10cm swatch.  (Here in the US that makes it 4 inches x 4 inches, which is quite close to the 10cm x 10cm.  Smile)  That's the best way for calculating the number of rows per cm, where you take the number of stitches and then rows in your 10cm x 10cm swatch and divide each by 10.  (We Americans use the number of stitches/rows per inch, so we divide by 4.)

You're absolutely correct that crochet stitches aren't square.  And you're also correct that that's why your pattern had more rows than you had expected.  Smile

There are a couple of options.  For one, you could use the pattern as it's generated and add a border on the top and bottom or the sides, whichever doesn't turn out the way you want it.  Tunisian is just another option, and some of the Tunisian stitches are vertical, some are horizontal, but either way, I suspect you'll have similar issues.

Double crochet sounds like more of what you'd want, but you'd really have to be careful with that, as your pattern definitely won't turn out properly, as (I'm sorry to say) we don't have a setting for double crochet at all at the moment.  If you were to use double crochet, it would elongate your pattern vertically as you stitch it.

If you wanted to try it in single crochet, if the pattern is coming out too long, you could set the number of stitches to a smaller number...for instance, try generating it with 150 stitches instead of 240...see how many rows the pattern produces, and then when you're happy with that number, you could crochet borders on both sides after or actually remember to do X number of stitches on each side in that contrasting or matching color.

You could also try Tunisian with the same idea in mind, working your 10cm x 10cm swatch beforehand and finding out if you have more rows or more stitches, so you'll know if your stitches are vertical or horizontal.  Smile  You may find there is a Tunisian stitch with a drape you like much better than single crochet.  Smile  (In that case, I'd suggest something like TSS - Tunisian Simple Stitch.  There is also TKS - Tunisian Knit Stitch, but that stitch is very, very tight and curls a lot.)

TSS is a stitch that actually used to be used for afghans years ago, so you may find it has the drape you prefer.  And with the newer hooks that have cables attached, it makes it easier to make larger, afghan-sized items.  Smile

You may also want to consider the option of making the actual flag in TSS or single crochet...and the outer borders could be double crochet.  Smile

Hope I've been able to help you!  Kiss

Please do let us know what you decide...and we'd love it if you'd post pictures of whatever you do!  Even if it's other work you've done besides this afghan...we just love to drool!  Kiss


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.

 
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