As a cross stitcher you’ve probably already heard about the value of such cross stitch software as Pattern Maker and Photo Pattern. By taking any good quality photo, you can scan it or take a picture with a digital camera, using your digital picture to convert it into a cross-stitch design.
However, cross-stitch software can be used for more than just cross stitching. I use it for doing crochet patterns, as well as knitting ones.
Yarn crochet designs—You can create a crochet design by more than one method.For example, you can cross stitch a design on a piece that is done in single crochet, as single crochet stitches form squares. Then you simply cross stitch on the crocheted piece. You can also crochet in the Tunisian stitch (also known as the afghan stitch) and work your design by cross-stitching on top of the piece. If you don’t want to cross stitch on a completed background, you can also crochet your design, changing colors as you go, working the entire piece in the Tunisian crochet stitch.
However, unlike a cross stitch pattern, you’ll want to limit the number of colors in your design. This is because you don’t have that many different colors of yarn as you do DMC embroidery floss, and, it’s also easier to do. Try to limit your colors to about four. First, import your design into your cross stitch software. When asked how many colors, limit them at no more than 4-5. Often, I make a silhouette of a design, such as the one of a boxer dog that I did several years ago (see photo.) Then, doctor up your design as you would any cross stitch pattern, cleaning up the edges and getting rid of any stray colors the software may have imported into your design.
Crocheters hooked on MoEZ crochet often use cross stitch software in designing their crochet patterns. I got hooked on MoEZ crochet about six years ago when I stumbled upon a website that made large crochet hooks made out of wood. The hooks range in size from the MoEZ green hook at 8 mm to the Ultra Maroon one at 22 mm. This type of crocheting is so popular, it even has a message board and Yahoo group where crochets share and trade patterns they make from their cross stitch software. (http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/cinnaminn_s/moez1.html)
Thread crochet designs—I also use Pattern Maker to make my thread crochet designs. For thread crochet patterns, you really only need one color, keeping your design even simpler. Note that silhouette designs work best with thread crochet patterns.
Knitting designs—–Because knitting in the stockinet stitch (knit one row, then purl the next row) produces a rectangular shape you may be surprised to learn that you can also use cross stitch software such as Pattern Maker to make knitting patterns. One of the unique features of Pattern Maker is the ability to convert the squares into rectangles, resembling the shape of a knitted stitch. This is a handy tool when designing patterns for knitted mittens and sweaters with colorful designs.
There are probably other uses for cross stitch software that I haven’t yet explored. If you enjoy being creative and love to not only design cross stitch patterns, but also make crochet and knitting designs, then it’s worth investing in cross stitch software such as Pattern Maker.