Frequently Asked Questions
General
• Will the patternWizard always be free?
• Where can I find more information on using the freePatternWizard?
• How can I reduce the number of colors that are used in my final pattern?
• With all the options, it looks complicated. Do I need to fill in everything?
• What causes stray, unnecessary stitches and is there a way to get rid of them?
• Must I be logged in to create a pattern?
• How can I ask a question about using the patternWizard?
Features
• What are some of the upcoming features?
• Can I create a pattern by filling in "graph paper" or do I need to upload an image?
• Why can't I highlight the Filet option in Crochet?
• What is the "artwork" feature in section 8 and why can't I select it?
Errors
• Why do I get an error when I try to create a pattern?
• Why do I keep getting the error, "Sorry you sent an invalid image file type or size"?
• Are there any bugs in the program?
Other
• Do I need to enter credit card information to use the patternWizard?
• Who is behind the development of the patternWizard?
Q. Will the patternWizard always be free?
A. Yes! We plan on continuing to enhance and develop this free version. We're very sensitive to having access to a program for free, only to find out that there's an ulterior motive and all of a sudden being expected to pay to use it. This simply won't happen with the patternWizard. There will always be a free version and we won't remove features at a later date. Like I said before, we'll continue to enhance it. There are some functions that we call "Premier" features to which you can "subscribe" by paying a nominal amount to access for an entire year. These generally are features that cost us in the way of additional server time and/or storage. [Top]
Q. Where can I find more information on using the freePatternWizard?
A. Several places. One good start is here at the patternWizard page by clicking on the Help option at the top. We step you through most of the options and how to use them. There's also a lot of additional information in our freePatternWizard Support Area in the Community. There you can post your own questions, discussions, and read other members' experiences and questions. [Top]
Q. How can I reduce the number of colors that are used in my final pattern?
A. There are several ways! First, you can simply set your desired number of colors in section 5c. The patternWizard will respect your setting and begin combining colors to give only the maximum of your setting there. Second, you can vary the Color Sensitivity setting in section 8. A higher value will produce fewer colors. Third, you can manually select colors by clicking on the "I will choose my colors" option in section 5b. A palette will show up once you click this and you can choose the colors you want. The patternWizard will then produce your pattern using only the colors you give it. Note that in either of the last two options, the patternWizard may choose fewer colors. It depends on the colors in your original photo. [Top]
Q. With all the options, it looks complicated. Do I need to fill in everything?
A. No! You can actually begin by doing three things! First, select your image by clicking the button in section 1 and choose which one you want. Second, select a stitch category in section 2. That's really all you need to do! The third and final step is to click on the "Let's See My Pattern!" button in section 9. (All the rest of the options relate to fine-tuning but you can actually test it with the three steps I just gave!) [Top]
Q. What causes stray, unnecessary stitches? Is there a way to get rid of them?
A. The technical term for this "junk" is "compression artifacts". They're usually caused by using a compressed image such as a .jpg photo. Unless told otherwise, .jpg images are often compressed to make the file smaller. BUT, this introduces stray noise, which the patternWizard will read as stitches. The stray stitches can also be caused by sending a large image and having the patternWizard reduce it, or a very small image and telling the patternWizard to magnify it. The best and sure-fire solution is to send the patternWizard an image that is not compressed (like .gif, .png, or .tiff), and is the actual dimension of the final pattern. So by using a .png or .gif image that's 120 pixels by 100 pixels and requesting a pattern that's the actual size (120 stitches across), it should generate a pattern with no stray stitches. There's also a new setting in section 8 called "Stray pixel cleanup" that will help. Finally, by fiddling with the brightness and contrast, you can often eliminate many stray stitches. The blur, smoothness, and edge detection settings also affect this. It's really a matter of trial and error in a lot of cases but it's more of a sure thing if you send it a clean, non-compressed image in the first place. [Top]
Q. Must I be a logged-in member to create a pattern?
A. Not necessarily. Users who are not logged in will be limited regarding image type, size, and the options that are available to them. As we continue to add some of the new features, it will become more evident why it will be useful to log in. For example, as of version 2.10.0, the patternWizard allows users to save information, settings, and preferences, and you need to be logged in to do this. And remember, registration is free. [Top]
Q. How can I ask a question about using the patternWizard?
A. We prefer you ask in our freePatternWizard Support Area in the Community. This way others can read your question(s) and answer(s). You can also ask your question by clicking on the "Ask Us" tab at the right side of this page (just below this "FAQs" tab). [Top]
Q. What are some of the upcoming features?
A. We generally don't discuss upcoming features but there will be A LOT of updates coming. A couple things I can tell you is that you'll eventually be able to see a live preview as you tweek your settings, do manual retouching down to a stitch-level before actually creating your .pdf, deal with "widow" rows and columns (where a page has only one or two rows or columns of stitches), and have the program combine colors that are similar so your final pattern uses fewer colors (artwork setting in section 8). These are only a few of the coming new features. [Top]
Q. Can I create a pattern by filling in "graph paper" or do I need to upload an image?
A. The current version creates charts from images and scans. Once I implement an editor, which will allow you to modify your output before actually creating a pattern, you will actually be able to start with blank "graph paper" and manually fill it in. [Top]
Q. Why can't I highlight the Filet option in Crochet?
A. The Filet option is a Premier feature. To subscribe to this feature for a year, go to the subscription page. [Top]
Q. What is the "artwork" feature in section 8 and why can't I select it?
A. First, you can't select it yet because it has a bug that causes the pattern key sheet(s) to show improper colors and symbols. I know, I know... I'll fix it as soon as time permits but in the meatime, I've disabled it. What this option does is take a drawing or image and combine similar colors. It's called "artwork" because it's best used on original artwork or drawings. Instead of a blue line, for example, being read by the patternWizard as maybe 8 shades of blue, it combines them all into a single blue color. This is actually done using my own three-dimensional color algorithms with the HSV (hue, saturation, and value) color values instead of RGB. Sorry you asked? Yes, I'm an old geek. :) [Top]
Q. Why do I get an error when I try to create a pattern?
A. Possibly for a number of reasons. The program tries its best to describe the problem. Keep in mind that there are just some images that are currently incompatible with the patternWizard. Sometimes if you use a graphics/photo editing program on your computer to re-save the image it will work. Often changing the image to a different format (like from .gif to .png) it also might solve the problem. I see a log entry EVERY time there is an error so over time, future versions of the patternWizard will be more tolerant. [Top]
Why do I keep getting the error, "Sorry you sent an invalid image file type or size"?
A. More information can be found in the answer above and in a detailed explanation in our Community. [Top]
Q. Are there any bugs in the program?
A. Yes! I see them all the time (well, sometimes) when I'm testing a new feature. I try to fix them as they crop up but it would really help if you report a problem (like a white screen with nothing happening) in our "Whoops. I found a bug" area of the patternWizard Community support area. You don't really need to report a problem where the patternWizard reports an error in red at the top of the screen since I get a report from the server in this case, but feel free to do so. I always say, if I can duplicate a problem, I can fix it. [Top]
Q. Do I need to enter credit card information to use the patternWizard?
A. No! Unless you're specifically subscribing to a Premier feature or making a donation and want to pay by credit card or PayPal, there are no payments necessary to use this program. A nice list of all the features showing the 66 free ones and 5 Premier ones is here. If you are asked for a credit card and have not gone to our subscription page or clicked on a donation button, chances are that you've clicked on an advertisement and gone to an advertiser's site. [Top]
Q. Who is behind the development of the patternWizard?
A. Just a nutty, obsessed 61-year-old (a.k.a. old-fart) programmer who loves mathematics, his wife, who's a stitching and beading fanatic, and their cat (sometimes she helps, sometimes she enjoys the programmer's lap time and slows things down a bit. But that's ok). :) [Top]