.....Needleprint is committed to giving high value to stitchers .....
in addition to reducing our carbon foot print by 30%. This is how we thought of INFINITY CHARTS. These are charts in PDF format and EDITABLE format for you to download with no postage or guilty air miles. Even better, you can download charts ready to recompose, recolour and change initials (or whatever your heart designs!) in Jane Greenoff's PC Cross Stitch Designer or MacStitch Charting Software. You become the Designer. Infinity Library Motifs are Copyright Free. If you don't have Jane Greenoff's Cross Stitch Designer Software you can buy it now. It comes bundled with editable versions of the Beatrix Potter and Mary Wigham Quaker charts for $20, $14, £10, 2000 Yen.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Special Stitches

Just as you have created a motif library, it is possible for you to create a library of stitches with representations of the different stitches you may have to work on a sampler. It is not important that the symbol you have created looks like a proper stitch diagram in itself, it is only there to represent a certain stitch. However, it is important that the symbol should occupy the same amount of space relative to a cross stitch, as the worked stitch itself. Here are some examples for you to see. On the left hand side you can see two very different examples of symbols for Algerian Eye. The version at the top is the one you see on the Judith Hayle Composition Infinity Chart - it is more diagrammatic, and I think it is easier to read. The bottom version is a more literal interpretation of the stitch, and it may be the one you prefer. On the right you can see symbols for Four-Sided Stitch and a Kloster Block. Because some of these symbols incorporate backstitches there may be a blank border of stitches surrounding the motive so load the motifs in a work file and see how they are composed. Once you ahve the motif downloaded, you can simply copy and paste and paste unitl you have the desired number of symbols you need for your chart.
To help you I have created a stitch library for you to download. You need to click on the link and save the file to the following folder C:\Program Files\FOCUSMM\JGDESIGNER\ - where is the name you gave to the folder called User (and you may still have it as User).
Click here to download the Stitch Motif File.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Backstitch or double-running stitch is a common feature of many samplers. To create backstitch on your chart is very easy - though deleting it and copying it can be less than straightforward and at the end of this post I will describe a few pitfalls which I hope won't swallow you up.
To include backstitch in your project click on the zig-zag stitch below the various cross stitch symbols. Once you have chosen the colour you want to use, then you can start backstitching right away.
However, there are a number of choices you can exercise which will aid the legibility of your work. You can define the colour of your lines and the width. It is worthwhile experimenting until you find the backstitch that is right for you.

Here are some examples of how the backstitch looks at the thickness I chose for this example. The important thing to notice is that the line can be drawn from the mid position as well as the end position. You might find it easier to increase the magnification of your chart while working backstitch since it is easy to start or end your backstitch a half stitch away from where you probably intended. A line, once drawn, can only be deleted in its entirety, either by enclosing with the lasso and deleting, or by drawing the stitch again over the top. You cannot delete parts of lines. If you have a long line of stitches which you have created incrementally, you will never be able to delete it by drawing over the top, unless you remember precisely where you drew the original sections. To insert a long line of stitches, I usually work out the placement and first mark the limits of the line I want to draw with a special colour cross stitch which I later delete. This means I can draw the line all in one go. (And so delete it all in one go, if necessary.) The importance of closely defining motifs or elements when you are copying them for pasting or for adding to the motif library have been repeatedly stressed. However, for copying sections containing backstitch you will need to leave a gap of one stitch all around, otherwise if you copy on the line, it may or may not transfer correctly. If you are planning to print out a chart containing backstitch to work from then you will need to print out in colour, or find a way of annotating a black and white print to indicate the colour of the backstitch lines.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Organizing Multi-coloured Motifs

As you can see, I am still struggling with my perfect design. I think it will look much more subtle if more than one colour for each motif is used. Now that we have a system where one palette key controls the colour of each motif allowing its colour to be changed as quickly and easily as our minds, we can continue to make things easy for ourselves.

So let's organize the second colour used on each motif to be governed by the palette key directly below the main colour.

As you can see I have given each motif two colours and the secondary colours all lie below the first (main) colour. This will save a lot of time working out which colour is which for each motif when we want to make new changes. Remember we can always identify the colours associated with each motif by clicking on Palette on the top Tool Bar and choosing Find Colour to sample a colour in the motif. Then we know that all the colours in one column on the palette are associated with that motif. Now we can do the maths. The palette size allows control of 49 two-coloured motifs (remember we lose the first palette key because that governs the background or fabric colour of the chart) - or 24 x three or four coloured motifs. Now we have reached the limits of advanced colouring, we can start to talk about portraying various stitch types in the next few posts.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Quick and Easy Colouring and Recolouring of Sampler Motifs

A couple of nights ago I asked you to consider colouring each of your motifs uniquely before saving them to your motif file. It may seem anathema to set up a lovely motif library and then give your motifs uncoordinated and arbitrary colours. But the thing is it doesn't matter. What does matter is the ability to colour and recolour quickly when you are designing a new project using your motifs.

Please admire the lovely colours I have not chosen for the motifs in my motif folder. See instead how they are all completely different colours. Note that their colours have overwritten the colours that were in the first three places in the palette. If I had introduced another colour, it would have gone into the fourth palette place - and so on.

The motifs are now in my new project file and I plan to work them into a stunning design. I have worked through a number of colour schemes, but it just isn't geling for me, so I have decided to play safe and colour them all the same colour - this lovely chartreuse - I know that will work.....perhaps.... So now here we are, wall to wall chartreuse. See that the first three places in the palette are all the same colour - but there are still three separate palette places for my motifs, each motif is governed by one of these palette places.

So, now the idea of wall to wall chartreuse seems less exciting and I have decided to go back to the idea different colours for the motifs. The trouble is, how do I know which chartreuse relates to which motif? Easy. Click on Palette on the top Tool Bar, then click on Find Colour and a dropper appears. Just click the dropper on the motif you are wanting to recolour and look down at the palette to see which of the greens is highlighted, and there you are.

There is also another way of finding the link between colour and motif and that is by right clicking on a colour in the palette and then clicking on the Turn on/off option. Now look to see which motif has vanished, and you have identified the link. Well, now you are clear on that, I shall just get back to recolouring my motifs until they are to you tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Don't be a Loser - Back Up is Best for Motifs

I know Bertie was really upset when, after working really hard and long setting up her motif library, she accidently pressed a delete key. I know I was going to talk some more about colour toight, but I do feel a responsibility for all your hard work and we'll talk now rather than too later about how simple it is to back up your motif files. You don't need me to shout at you, we've all lost precious data at one stage or another still have the lines on our cheeks gouged by bitter tears. Let's create a new folder in C:\Program Files\FOCUSMM\JGDESIGNER by clicking File>New>Folder on the Windows top Tool Bar.

And we'll name the new folder something like Backup Motifs.

Now all we have to do is Control+Click on all the motif folders and when they are all selected, simply drag and drop them into the new folder. When you back up next time you will be asked if you wish to replace existing folders and you will answer: Yes. Now we'll all vow together to back up motifs whenever we make changes to motifs folders. Raise your hands and say after me : I do solemnly promise to make regular back ups of motifs folders ..... and all my data on a regular basis. Now that is what I call Advanced Motif Managment. Back to colours tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Making the Most of Motifs

Yesterday we did a bit of housekeeping and set up some files ready for us to save motifs. Tonight we are going to isolate the swan from the Beatrix Potter Sampler, tidy up it by cutting and pasting it to a workfile, recolour it, and save it as a motif in our special custom library. This means when we are designing a new project we no longer have to toggle between files. We can simply go to Function on the top Tool Bar and pick out easily the motif we want. And there is an even bigger bonus in store for you which we'll talk about at the end of the post, but first let's get down to basics.
To create a motif we could simply lasso anything on the sampler and save it directly as a motif. However, many of the motifs need extraneous stitches clipped away and so, once we have lassoed our object, we copy and paste it to another file.

I have set up a file called Work for this purpose and I click on File on the top Tool Bar to bring up the list of the four lastest files so I can simply toggle between the files I am using.

Once it is cleaned up in the new file, I am going to recolour it blue by double clicking on the palette tablet which is its colour and then by choosing another one to replace it. Now, I am going to lasso it very precisely so the lasso touches all the edges. This means when I come to paste the motif from the library, I know where the limits of the motif are for exact placement in the new projects. To save it as a motif, I click on Functions on the top Tool Bar, choose Motifs and then select Save As Motif.

I am now asked to name my motif, so I am going to call it Swan. When I have OK'd that I need to save it in the Motif Library.

You can see I have taken my own good advice and renamed all those JG motif folders with a Z prefix so that my folder is right at the top of the list. And I have set up a file called Quaker in my folder to hold the Quaker motifs. So I just save to that.
Now, I can open any file and simply call back that motif by choosing Function>Motifs>Load Motif and I know by the name of my file where to retrieve the motif. And look, I am given the stitch dimensions of that motif - how helpful. Now I can paste the motif exactly into my new projects, knowing that the corners of the paste box line up with the edges of the motif. And once it is there, I can recolour it with a double click on the palette. No more paint cans and backgrounds turning purple, no more stitch by stitch colouring of diagonal rows (yawn, yawn, double yawn). OK - we are done with that. Now I want you to take on a really big idea. If you take time to recolour each motif with an arbitrary (I know you hate purple - never mind) but unique colour before you pop it into your motif file, then when you bring a number of them back you can change the colour of each individual one when it is in situ until you have the right colour combination you desire. And if you want to make two or more motifs the same colour in your new project, it is no problem, you can do that. And having done that you can easily change your mind - items that you have recoloured the same shade can be separated back to individual colours again. Tomorrow, I shall show you how that actually works in practice. But if you want to start recolouring and setting up your motif file tonight, you might want to think about colouring your motifs uniquely. Trust me, I'm a stitcher!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Naming and Organizing Motif Files and Folders

The first thing you can do today is to step out from behind the anonymous mask of User and insert something of your own identity into the software - it is yours, after all. On your computer find and click on the following folder: C:\Program Files\FOCUSMM\JGDESIGNER. In this folder you will see another folder called User. Click on the name of this folder twice (not on the folder itself which will open the folder) and you will see that you are able to edit this file name. You can now change it to whatever name pleases you. I have changed mine to Jacqueline's_Motifs so you can see. Here is a tip - if you would like to find your folder quickly in the motif library list (which you saw yesterday) then you need to do something to ensure your folder is at the very top or the very bottom of the list, and not hidden in the middle somewhere - and as we progress, you will find that you can add even more folders, so having them all together is a bonus. Either prefix your folder with a letter before J in the alphabet - or - go through the other folders and rename them all by prefixing the JG with Z - or ZZ if your parents gifted you with the name Zyna.

When you have renamed the folder, double click on the folder itself to open it and you will find a file inside called....User....well, you know what to do with that now, don't you? You can give this file any name you want. However, when you have experimented with that, pause to reflect how you might start to organize the motif collections which will be coming through soon. Maybe you have purchased all the Ackworth School Quaker Motifs and you might want to file some of them away in the motif library. So, might it be a good idea to have a file called something like Quaker? Maybe you would like to separate Quaker motifs from Quaker alphabets, in which case you need two files. How do you do that when this is a propriety file format and you cannot access it directly? Let me tell you how you can work round this with a few clicks and in no time at all you will have created 20 files for yourself, at least (otherwise you are not trying hard enough!).First we need to set up an empty file which you can use as a template file to create as many new files as you ever will want, when you want them. So right click on the file called User (or formerly called User) to copy it, now go up one level so that you can see the JG folders, click on the folder called JGTransport to open it (it doesn't have to be this folder, it could be any of the others).

Paste the file you have copied here.

Now rename it New_Motif_File, right-click on it and select Copy, go back to your folder and open it, then paste the file into your folder.

Now rename the file to whatever you want. You can keep on going just by pasting and renaming to heart's content now. Don't worry if you find you haven't chosen the most apt names this time round, it is easy enough to rename your files when you see how exactly you will be using them.

Now create new folders for yourself by using the Windows Tool Bar and choose File>New>Folder.

Name one of your folders Motif_File_Template_Folder and paste a New_Motif_File in there. You will only use this file for setting up new files and you will be able to find it more easily in the future than by trying to remember which JG file you stored your template in. In fact, now you have created this template folder, you can go back to JGTransport and tidy up after yourself by deleting the New_Motif_File from there. Isn't it great to be in control! Tomorrow we shall start to pop some motifs in the files you have created today.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Advanced Motif Handling

Now you have built up confidence with the basics, I'll concentrate this week on covering motif handling which you will find a great benefit when it comes to recolouring, creating new motifs and saving them so you can find and access them more quickly than copying and pasting between files. If that sounds rather 'Hmmmmm - don't know I'm ready to go there' - just bear with me, I'll get you there by the end of the week and you won't even know you put your stitching down to get there.
Some of you may have discovered already that you have files of motifs tucked away with your software. If you haven't found them yourself already, this is what to do: Click on Functions on the top Tool Bar and when the menu drops down you will see Motifs. Click on this and you will see Load Motifs. Click on this again and you will have a panel which lists all the motif folders that come with your software.

Now you can have a great time tonight looking in these folders to see what is and what isn't useful to you. When you have finished exploring, you will have come across a folder at the end of the list called User and in it is a file called User. Well,you probably won't tip me a $1 to be told that, Heavens to Murgatroyd, you are the User and this folder and file are for your use. But you may be more ecstatic to hear that you can reclaim your name and you can call your folder and file what you jolly well like, and you can have as many files with as many names as you care to give them! And this is exactly what we'll do tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Wingdings and Things

A couple of nights ago we looked at how you could export your chart so that you could share it with other people. By printing the chart to a pdf file you are in a position to start to format it nicely. However, to share all the pattern information, you need to give your users a key. If you look under File on the top Tool Bar you will find options to Print Key and Print Thread Card. I suggest you try them out and see what is produced. It maybe that they are sufficient to your needs in which case you can go back to your designing now and not waste your time reading the rest of this post. If, however, you are a bit Hmmmm about these printouts, you may want to go it alone and print out your own custom designed key. How do you do this? Well, you can set up a Word document for your key which will do a good job for you - or you can use publishing software if you have it. The only difficulty is, how do you replicate all those symbols? It is possible to recreate some of the most legible of them by using Wingdings2 for the main part. If you choose to format your output charts by yourself in the future, then print out a set of Wingdings and choose your pattern symbols to match. What do you call someone who is fluent in Wingding?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Having more than one file open

I just want to pick up on a very useful question which arrived yesterday about the number of files you can have open. You can only have one active file open at a time, but if you click on File on the top Tool Bar and run down the drop down menu you will see that you can access your four most recently used files in a similar manner to which you would switch windows in other programs, so that you can toggle between all four very easily when you are working and when you are copying from one file to another. All you need to do is just save the current file before clicking on another file to open it. You can set up your work files by, at the beginning of a work session, browsing through your files and opening the files you are most likely to need, then they will be sitting at the top of this list ready and convenient for you to use.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Exporting your Infinity Chart

It is always useful to know how to export your chart so that you can compose it with your own custom made notes and key charts etc. and then share it. Let's have a little talk here about copying etc. Using Needleprint library motifs or charts, you can customise them to make your own individual designs and having done that you can share them with friends and guilds, and even sell them commercially. All I ask is that you do not use the motifs to copy or create near copies of existing samplers in Museum collections or replicas of our products. It is wonderful to perpetuate the Quaker motifs in your own creative designs, but unkind and totally unnecessary to deprive Museum collections of important license income.
OK, let's get back to Exporting. The most versatile and easiest way to do this that I have found is to print the chart to a PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat installed on you machine to do this, but the download is free.) Choose File on the top Tool Bar, then select Print Chart from the drop down menu. Now click on the Setup box and instead of choosing your regular printer, look for Adobe PDF and print in the normal way to this file.

Once you have this file, you can open it up with Adobe Acrobat and choose Export on the top Tool Bar there and save the file in JPEG format which you can then open in a Word File - or any other formatting program you use. If you have Photoshop, then you can simply open the PDF file directly into Photoshop without bothering to export your PDF file as a JPEG. And to bring everything perfectly together in a lovely layout with notes and symbol keys we just need to become fluent in, no I mean Wingding... starting tomorrow.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

More Print Options for You

It is good to have some pictures again to help explain what we are trying to do. The first thing you can see here is that I have copied a motif from the Beatrix Potter sampler and pasted it into a new file. So it takes up very little space in my work area. Before going on to print it, I have picked the Lasso Tool from the right Tool Bar and have used it to bound the area I want to print. And it is precisely these blocks which will appear on the print-out. The question is, how will they appear? Just to refresh, to get to this Print Option block, I have selected File from the top left of the Top Tool Bar and run down the menu to choose Print. The uppermost tab on the block is the Page Sizing Tab which we have already explored. And so I have moved on and selected the next tab in the Print block - Options. Here I can opt whether or not to show Centre Marks. I think they are very useful and so have decided to print them. These appear on the outside border of the chart as 4 triangles pointing to the centre of the chart. I have also opted to centre the chart on the page - it is always easy on the working eye to have a pleasing, symmetrical arrangment on the page. If you do not choose this option, your chart will be positioned at the top left of the printed page.

Let's move on to the next tab, now, Chart Type. I am printing this chart on my Laserjet printer so I have chosen to print black and white symbols - and I can do this even though my chart is still being displayed in colour. The Aida option will give you a background which simulates Aida Fabric which may be of interest to you.

And we'll move along again to the next tab - Grid. I have chosen the Full Monty - to print both thin and thick grid lines. I could have chosen just the thin lines in which case the periodic thick lines so easy for counting off stitches would not appear, but maybe if you are printing a small excerpt they might not be necessary or aesthetic. The Just Thick lines is an interesting option which shows just the periodic markers with no grid lines in between. If someone can think up a use for this option they might like to share it. And the last option is no lines at all. Which you might like to use in combination with the colour Chart Type option to give people a quick impression of how your finished sampler will look when stitched, if you are not able to produce a stiched model for this purpose. Moving down a little - Show Thin Lines Dotted - you have to be joking....or have I missed something here? Show Border? It gives a pleasing edge to your chart. Show Centre Colour Lines is a very useful option when printing in colour. Because I have opted to print black and white symbols on the Chart Type, I choose Print in B/W here. And finally, the last row, Separating Lines Thin - only if you have eagle eyes, choose Thick if you prefer an easy life.

I won't go into the final tab now which relates to how Backstitch is printed, but we shall look at some Blackwork in a later lesson when all will be explained. Tomorrow we'll look at how you can export your chart.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I only want to make a small chart - how can I make the desk-top smaller?

The grid available for charting is very generous indeed and you might feel swamped or lost if you are only making a small chart. So how do you cut your working grid down to size?

The answer is very simple. You can't.

If your problem is that you have trouble locating your small chart in the vast expanse of grid - then work up in the top of the grid space - or use that nifty tool, the locator window which we explored in an earlier post, to help you zoom into your work area quickly.

If you are concerned that you will have reams of paper printed out that will be blank, please don't be concerned, the software will only print your active area. However, because I know it easy to drop a stitch accidentally way off chart which will generate a bigger print area, I usually define the print area by using the lasso tool. This also allows you to have more control over the size border you print around your chart.

Luned will tell us the Latin for Make a Virtue of Necessity or we shall send her back around the hockey pitch......or maybe she will send us back around the hockey pitch - I know the answer is there somewhere.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Fifteen times round the Hockey Pitch

I do apologise, I am working away from home and don't have the Jane Greenoff software loaded on my laptop, so I can't show you what I wanted to tonight. However, before you throw your jolly old Panama hats up into the jolly old air, this is not a declaration of holiday. Oh no. You know those streaming, wet days at school, when you thought you would be let off churning up a boggy hockey pitch and could pull out a novel in the library to read in peace in quiet....what happened, then? It was 15 times round the hockey pitch, start sprinting now, while the games mistress looked admiringly at your mud splashed, livid chapped knees from under the cover of the games pavilion while sipping from a flask of hot cocoa, wasn't it? Exactly. But it is all for your own good, believe me. And what you can do tonight is just one whole barrel of fun and when you are through you will be thinking, that was jolly character forming, thank you, Jacqueline.
Last night we looked at printing your chart and if you return to those first instructions you will see a little further up the menu the option to print the list of Symbols. OK, so do that. Now you have that printed out, go through all the symbols and just black out all the nasties, symbols you wouldn't like inflicted on you, if you were working from a chart. Now you have an easy-to-find working set. Save this list somewhere safe, but before you do, have a spring clean of your symbol palette and you will save yourself literally hours of frustration and toing and froing at later dates.
When you are charting the chances are you are not going to use more than 20 colours maximum. So, open up a new file : File:New and save this chart as New Chart Template. Switch this chart into symbol mode and starting one symbol away from the Background colour on the top left of your palette, go through the first 20 symbols working to the right and exchange each of them for a more legible symbol from your list. If you need to revise how to do this, see the post a couple of days ago entitled Going Symbolic. When you have done this, save your chart. Now every time you set to work on a new project, open up New Chart Template and immediately save it as ProjectName. Set up your colours in the first 20 palette places and you will never have to go hunting for printable symbols again. See, I told you it would put roses in your cheeks! (or your knees...)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Basic print options for your Infinity Charts

Tonight I am going to go through some basic steps which will allow you to print your chart. The print facility has quite a few options, but at first let's go with some basic assumptions the progam makes until you get the hang of things, then I'll talk you through how you can customize your printing to suit your own personal preferences. So the first thing to do, if you have a black and white printer, is to review last night's post and then change your file from colour to symbols. If you have a colour printer, then you can simply leave your chart in colour mode. Select File from the top Tool Bar, then look down for the Print option on the menu.
You will now have a pop up table which is bristling with options. You don't need to understand them all at once to run off a basic print. The software is making some reasonable assumptions and let's just go with those for now. But have a look at the first set of options that are uppemost here. The main choice to be made is the Scale Factor or degree of magnification you require for your chart. Just run through checking on the different circles and as you do that look below at the panel which tells you how many pages you will require for printing at that magnification. When you have done that choose the default Scale Factor 5. Now look at the two panels to the left of the Pages Required Panel. You will see that for Page and Chart there are two values given - these are small square counts - you can think of them as stitch counts if that helps. You will see for the Chart that the square count is 310 x 280 which is slightly more than the stitch count, since there will be a border added around the stitching. This number will not change when you change the Scale Factor, unlike the count for the page which will change. The higher the Scale Factor - the higher the degree of magnification - then the lower the Page counts will be. Try it out for yurself. Then put the Scale Factor back to 5 again. The important thing to point out to you is that there will be no overlaps on your chart pages.

Well, let's just see what these defaults look like when used to print a sample of your chart. First you need to tell the software something about your printer, so click on Setup.
Identify your printer from the options and make sure the feed is from the right tray etc. When you are happy you are all set up - and you have your printer switched on, haven't you? - then click OK.
Why waste paper for a trial. Just click on the Print Range option to set up for printing the first page only. Then if you are happy, you can come back and print off the other pages.
We'll look at a few more useful print options tomorrow

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Going Symbolic!

If you don't have a colour printer and you want to work from a hard copy of your chart, then you will need to convert your chart from coloured blocks to black and white symbols. The way to do this is to go to the top Tool Bar and click on Chart. Now when the menu drops down you will see the B/W Symbols option. Click on this and the moment you do so your chart is magically transformed into black and white symbols ready for you to print off.

To change any symbol is like changing a colour. You simply double click on the symbol key in the palette and you will be given a menu offering you a choice of symbols - and it kindly tells you which symbols you already have in use on your chart. To change the symbol, double click on a new symbol from the menu and the symbol on the chart will change but the symbol on your palette remains unchanged - how perplexing is that. Hmmm! It is only when you click on another symbol key on your palette that the last change you made is registered. I am a charitable person and try to see the logic in everything. Try as I may, I can see no logic here at all and it is just something like freckles that I have learnt to live with.

The useful thing about the Beatrix Potter chart you have is that there are only two colours - red and ecru and the symbols are set to a dot and a triangle which are easily distinguishable. If you don't like dots and triangles, then you can change - there are 200 symbols in the library. But please, please there are some symbols there that should never, ever see light of day on a chart. Select symbols with clear, clean, simple shapes. Avoid any symbols with more than one dot or three lines - and I never personally use numbers. If you think I have left you with no choice after that, then I will make amends later when I show you how you can make your own custom symbols. But that is after we print out our first chart tomorrow.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Locating the centre of your chart

In the next few posts we shall be putting together the building blocks which will enable you to print out a useful working copy of your chart. For many of you it was quite a new, and perhaps awkward, experience to have to work from the upper left corner of a chart when commencing your Mary Wigham sampler - many of us are so accustomed to beginning at the centre. But centre lines are useful whether you print out your chart or work from the screen. And in this post we shall concentrate on locating and marking the exact centre of your chart.

The first step is to check that we have centre lines in place. Look at the top Tool Bar, towards the left, and choose Grid. If you browse this menu you can see that there a number of general grid options to explore - whether to have no grid, a thin grid (with no periodic marking of a defined number of stitches), a thick grid (with only the periodic marking) or a full grid with thin and thick lines marking off defined blocks of stitches - and no, it doesn't have to be blocks of 10, choose Grid Count and you can change to any number to suit your own preference. Play around with these options and see what help they might be to you. Now look at the bottom box labelled Centre Lines (yes, we do spell things funny in the UK if you come from the US, but not if you come from France....or the UK!)Make sure the Centre Lines Box is checked.

This will give you a cross hair through the centre of your chart. And look up a little and you will see that you can specify the colour of this cross hair to whatever colour on the spectrum will grab your attention best. Choose the colour you prefer.

Now we have centre lines on the chart - if you cannot see them, use your Locator Window (which you found in the View menu in an earlier lesson) to home in on them. Now all we have to do is to find the right place on the chart for the lines to intersect so you have marked the centre. Simple! Just begin counting, very carefully, each individual square from the left, ..... OK I'm joking! This time go to the top Tool Bar and chose Functions and the moment you do, out pops a menu and right at the bottom it says Auto Centre. Magic! Click on that and you will see the chart whizz off and do exactly what it says on the Menu.

How easy is that? Isn't it good to be in control?
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