When is the chartmaker coming??
|Posted by Charles Jaimet on Jul 20, 2011|
The charting tool works but we've hit a snag.
Because it converts shorthand instructions to a chart it has proved difficult for many knitters to use. A drag and drop system might be more intuitive, and I will likely build one in time, but for the moment our focus is getting Megan's patterns published so other projects have been put on hold.
So, the chartmaker is up and running right now. It is a bit tricky to use but anyone wanting to have a go at it is more than welcome to email me. You will need to have registered to use the color chartmaker so I can upgrade your account, then you're good to go.
Really there is only one problem but it's the central one. If you enter a perfectly formatted set of instructions the chartmaker spits out a lovely chart. No problem there.
But what makes a set of instructions perfectly formatted? There is a fairly standard system for writing simple knitting instructions (k3, p3, k2-tog...) but beyond that things get difficult. c2b, for example, is a cable symbol. Does it mean a cable that takes up two stitches or four? rep from * should be straightforward. Put a * in your instructions then put rep from * at the end of the repeat. But add an extra * or put the * in the wrong spot and it throws off not just that row but also the stitch count.
Problems like that compound and after a row or two the whole chart just looks a mess.
I have been working on having the system return useful advice when a knitter makes an error in the instructions but often the error is not an actual error but rather a different style of instructions, one the chartmaker has not been programmed to recognize.
The upshot is that there are a few knitters using the system but most have found it too frustrating to bother with. I have a feeling that it will always only appeal to the small segment of knitters who are quite patient and technical.
Megan uses it for all her charts, so we know it works. How user friendly it is, though, is another matter altogether.
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