at the Arctic handcraft and design show

Last spring I decided to apply for a stand at the Arctic handcraft and design show held in Hrafnagil just south of Akureyri. The show was held from the 9th to the 12th of august. I’ve never done anything like this before so it was a little bit like jumping into the deep end of the pool to see if one knows how to swim. But no matter what, I was determined to enjoy the experience  and have fun.

It takes a lot of planing to take part in a show like this. Of cause I used the computer to help me design the stand. I wanted to have the stand as a sort of chapel where the Lopa sweater would be like a candlestick on an altar. And I also wanted to display that my software can be used in many ways by having images of sweaters designed partly or fully in

The 3d CAD images of the stand.

This is what it looked like as a 3d model.

The image of the real thing.

And here is what it looked after 5 hours of labor.

On the big screen I had images of 2 sweaters with the same pattern and I had the computer come up with random color combinations on a short interval on one of them. And on longer interval the pattern was changed on both of them. You can see a short demo here:

The first day I had a computer turned to the audience for them to experiment, nobody used it so the rest of the show I got a bigger screen turned to the audience and the computer turned to me with the same content on both screens. I then held micro courses in the usages of and that worked much better.

A lot of the guests had heard of but never tested it, so I tried to bring them to the screen and as I started showing them how to use it more audience came to the stand.

I was very happy with the response I got from these micro courses, people that had not tested the program where surprised at what the program could do. I must of have held about 100 of these courses and in the end I was a bit tired but happy.

About 18.000 people visited the show and 100 exhibitors had stands there.

I got some feedback regarding the software and hopefully I will be able to respond to it soon. For example some wanted to be able to select more colors, so in response to that I have changed the color view so one can have as many colors as one like. One liked to have wider selection of stitch count over the shoulders and I have also implemented that. These changes will be available the next time I publish. One asked me if it would be possible to connect my program to a 3d printer and print out the sweater. Well maybe in the future, who knows. A Finnish version is on the way and hopefully the possibility to print out the pdf knitting instructions in German.

Now I’m thinking how I can bring to tablets. I don’t have the answer but I know it is possible and it will take a lot of time and effort.

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Size proportions in a Lopi sweater

In the last post I promised to wright about the results of comparing calculated yarn usage  and the real usages. I was going to draw a lot of known patterns in to my software and compare the usages. I soon ran in troubles because my software was not flexible enough. It was impossible to select the right stitch count for various parts. So there was only one thing to do, make it more flexible. And that is done and published.

This summer I read “Knitting without tears” by Elizabeth Zimmerman and it got me thinking about proportions. One thing lead to another and I decided to examine the proportions in  the classic Lopi sweater. What I did was to take the newest Lopi pattern books and extract all the stitch count, round count and all measurements I could in to an excel spreadsheet. I then made a chart for each proportion and had excel calculate a formula.  I grouped the patterns in to men’s, woman’s and child sizes.

The best way to get the right measurement for my software is to find a sweater that fits the person and measure it. Lay it flat on a table and measure it. There are only 3 measurements that needs to be taken. Sleeve length from armpit, body length from armpit and half the length around the fullest part of the bust.

The measurement around the bust is the foundation for all the  proportions in the sweater. To use the formulas substitute the X with the measurement around the bust in centimeters and then you have the multiplier. Use the multiplier to multiply the bust stitch count to get the the stitch count for the neck, sleeves or shoulders.

Lets take the men’s shoulders as an example.
The measurement a round the bust is 105 cm.
The gauge is 13 stitches to 10 cm so the bust is 120 stitches.

This is the formula for man size’s

The stitch count around the shoulders is then :
Multiplier = 7,1977 *( 105 Power -0,336) = 1,51
Then to get the stitch count in the shoulders => 120 * 1,51 = 181 stitches.

Or you can have do it for you.

Following are the results : ( Click on an image to enlarge it.)

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Yarn usages calculations in a stranded multicolored sweater

I’ve given yarn usages a lot of thoughts for the last two weeks. My aim was to estimate yarn usage in a sweater without knitting it. I wrote functions in the program to count all the stitches and strands in a multicolored sweater recipe. By strands I mean the yarn between stitches in pattern of the same color in a multicolored pattern.

I read somewhere that in a single color sweater you should count the stitches and multiply them by 3 times the stitch width. I’m having trouble verifying this because I can’t find a recipe for a single color Lopi sweater.

So I want to find the right index to use as a multiplier.

Each stitch can be divided in to 4 equal parts. And each of them a sector of almost a circle. The sum of the sectors add up to 1,52 rounds. Then we need to find the diameter of the circle.

When the yarn is totally slack the strands are very close, so you could estimate that stitch width is equal to 4 times the yarn diameter. To test this I used the pencil method. I used Lett-lopi that gives the gauge of 16 stitches to 10 cm with a 4 mm needles. I wrapped it 4 times a round a pencil and measured it against one stitch. One stitch is less than 4 rounds it’s probable somewhere between 3 and 4 rounds. A gauge of 16 stitches to 10 cm gives a stitch width of 100 mm / 16 = 6.25 mm. Then I measured the diameter of the yarn by wrapping it a round a pencil until the rounds filled 50 mm. I counted 23 rounds so that would give yarn diameter of  2,17 mm. That is more like 3 times the stitch width.

So now I have the diameter of the curve that makes up the quarter  either by extracting the yarn diameter from the stitch width or as this stitch is 3 times the yarn diameter I can say that the diameter is 2/3 of the stitch width.

At last I have a formula I can try :

Yarn for one stitch =  stitch width  * 2/3 * Pi * 1.52 = >  stitch width *  3.182 .

And then for the strands I’ll use multiplier of 1.2 because there needs to be a slack in them. I will make a test in the software and compare them with as many classic Lopi recipe as I can.

Please comment on this post if you have any knowledge that might help me. In the next post I will wright about the results.

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Have you heard of ?

On you can design your own sweater, it’s easy and free.

You can :

  • Choose size
  • Select gauge
  • Select needle size
  • Select yarn
  • Select colors
  • Draw pattern
  • Print out a graph and instructions on how to knit

Screenshots :


Tutorial part 1 

Tutorial part 2 

Tutorial testing different color combination 

Sample pdf document here.

Knittingpattern is now available in :

  • English
  • Icelandic
  • Russian
  • Ukrainian
  • Danish
  • French
  • Swedish

Coming soon :

  • Spanish uses Silverlight from Microsoft.

Microsoft Silverlight is a free web-browser plug-in that enables interactive media experiences, rich business applications and immersive mobile apps.

See this for compatibility on the System Requirements tab.

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