Super duper bonus fun

So I know on the first and third Tuesdays I usually release a pattern, but today I wanted to do something a tiny bit different.  Today I’ve updated the version of Curls 2 to include links to the Stitch Maps for each of the patterns.

So at this point, I’m guessing you’re having one of two reactions.  Either you’re thinking ‘yay, it’s about time, I loved them in the first Curls and have been wondering where the heck they were for Curls 2‘ (in which case, if you already have Curls 2 in your rav library, head over there right now and download the updated version), or you’re wondering ‘what the heck is a Stitch Map’ (in which case, read on)!

So, stitch maps are charts without the grids.  But more than that, they’re charts that show you the relationship between stitches in a much more concrete way than traditional charts tend to.  The easiest way to understand it is just to show you an example.  Here’s what a feather and fan stitch looks like as a Stitch Map.

cbbed20a7e97172fSee how the stitches tip and lean back and forth and make lovely wavy lines?  Very much like your fabric will if you knit this stitch pattern?  Nifty isn’t it! stitch maps are about as close as you can get to seeing the fabric before you put yarn on your needles.  They let you visualize the finished result amazingly clearly.  You can actually see that quite well in the stitch maps for Curls.

1822d0435a143aa

 

See how the shape of the fabric really shines through?  That’s what makes stitch maps so awesome!  You can see how your fabric will behave in a way that a traditional, gridded chart just doesn’t allow.  You should totally go over to StitchMaps.com and read all about them…they are really quite amazing and you’ll have a lot of fun playing with them.

To celebrate adding stitch maps in, I’ve got both Curls and Curls 2 10% off on ravelry with the code MAPPED through the end of the day (eastern time) on Friday.  This works on both the electronic version and the paper + electronic combo (while supplies last…ravelry is running low on the paper ones and there won’t be any more until the new print run arrives).  Just put whichever versions of the book or books you’re looking for in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MAPPED.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Someone will ask, so just as a preemptive measure… Yes, the first Curls already has stitch maps included in the electronic version available on ravelry!  And yes, if you already have the electronic version Curls 2 in your ravelry library, you’ll get the update automatically (ravelry’s got a great article on how to find your updates if you hit any snags).  And yes, Stitch Maps really is super cool, it’s free to play with (and there are fancier versions if you want to subscribe), and you should totally go experiment!

So how about you guys, have you played with any of the chart visualization stuff that’s out there these days?  I know we’ve talked about Stitch Maps both today and in the past.  And then there’s Knit Companion that I know lots of folks love.  And now there’s Knitmastery (from the folks who make the charting software I use…so I expect it’s absolutely glorious).  Anybody have any favorites?  Any others I should know about?  I suspect there are other grand things out there I don’t know about yet!

Make me a Map

Those of you who have the electronic version of Curls have already seen the little bonus in there.  Many of the patterns sport a special little symbol that, when clicked, takes you over to a stitch map for that pattern.

Stitch maps (the latest creation by super genius JC Briar) are a new way to think about charts.  They’re charts without the grids.  But more than that, they’re charts that show you the relationship between stitches in a much more concrete way than traditional charts tend to.  The easiest way to understand it is just to show you an example.  Here’s what a feather and fan stitch looks like as a stitch map.

cbbed20a7e97172fSee how the stitches tip and lean back and forth and make lovely wavy lines?  Very much like your fabric will if you knit this stitch pattern?  Nifty isn’t it!  And you can play with it a bit more.  You can turn on row guides to help you follow each row all the way across the chart.

d224eaf7ad8dd7cbOr you can turn on column guides (very helpful if you want to trace out how columns of stitches behave, and a fabulous tool if you want to figure out where you can put a stitch marker or plan out where to place increases without disturbing your pattern).

ccee1adad7d8bf6dStitch maps are about as close as you can get to seeing the fabric before you put yarn on your needles.  They let you visualize the finished result amazingly clearly.  You can actually see that quite well in the stitch maps for Curls.

1822d0435a143aaIsn’t that pretty?  Looks an awful lot like the curl it makes too!  There’s a part of my brain that almost wants to put it on a totebag…but that impulse is probably best suppressed.

Anybody can play with stitch maps for free, and there are all sorts of bonus features if you subscribe.  Go play around and see what speaks to you!