Monday, November 28, 2016

Online Form Programme Editor Now Available


I've created a new form programme editor.  Try it here: http://bikibird.com/formprogrammeeditor.html

There are still a few more features I want to add, but it is very functional as it is and I thought it was better to share it now than wait. However, it is very new and I’m still shaking out bugs. If you noticed any problem in the form programme editor, please let me know and I will try to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Question about PASSAP Card Reader Techniques

I recently received some interesting questions about custom knit techniques, also known as card reader techniques.  I thought I'd share them with you.

1.To design custom knit techniques myself, I need examples which show how they work. Do you have any?

Answer:

Perhaps you are interested in seeing the built-in KTs decoded in more detail so that you can use them as a basis for creating your own custom card reader techniques.  I actual did take a copy of the data on the console chip that contains the KTs and started analyzing them a few years ago.  Unfortunately, that work was put aside in favor of other projects.  I may go back to that project some day if there is enough interest in it.

2. I designed a knit technique using http://knitting.bikibird.com/CardReaderTechniques/CRTForm.html, but it doesn't do what I want.  Here is what I have so far:

Technique Type: Cast On

Knitting Instructions:
n bx 1
st
cx bx 2
st
n bx 1
n bx 2

When I use the knit technique all the instructions repeat, but I only want the last instruction "n bx 2" to repeat.  How can I fix this?

Answer:

The CRT design form does not include a KT instruction for repeating a set of instructions only once. However, it is possible for card reader techniques to do this.  I don't know why I left this out the original version.  I do plan on revising the CRT design form soon (hopefully by the end of the year), but I'm currently working on a form programme editor that will be free online at http://bikibird.com. Once that's done I'll work on revising the CRT design form and document more about card reader techniques generally.

All of this is part of a project to revitalize my other website, bikibird.com, and turn it into the home of great web apps to make your hand and machine knitting easier and more creative. Please consider supporting bikibird.com financially through Patreon. Your support will help keep these apps free for everyone to use and fund future apps, patterns, and tutorials. Together we can make great things.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Form Programs Explained (Revised)

It's been a really long time since I've posted, but now I've got something exciting to post about. 

In 2009 I published an article about the meaning of the codes that make up a form programme.  I had figured out the basic subroutines that make up the form programme as well some of the increase/decrease codes.  It was enough to put together a pullover generator, but it was not the complete story.

I’m happy to report that all of the shaping codes are now documented in a revised version of my Form Programmes Explained article. Many thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her research. It’s been a joy collaborating with her. I’ve often heard it said that no one could ever crack the form programmes. In a sense it’s true; it took two of us.

I’ll be working on a new and improved online form programme editor next.

All of this is part of a project to revitalize my other website, bikibird.com, and turn it into the home of great web apps to make your hand and machine knitting easier and more creative. Please consider supporting bikibird.com financially through Patreon. Your support will help keep these apps free for everyone to use and fund future apps, patterns, and tutorials. Together we can make great things.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Now through October 31st: Special reduced price for Journal Six in celebration of its 4th anniversary. $30.00 (USD) Off!

Journal Six is computer aided design software specifically made for the Passap e6000.  Check it out at http://passappal.com

Features:

* Sophisticated image processing allows you to create high quality stitch patterns in minutes

*Sketchbook component allows you to embellish your stitch patterns or create "from scratch" stitch patterns with powerful drawing tools including curved and slanted text

*Takes full advantage of the download capabilities of your knitting machine for stitch patterns and card reader techniques or print cards for the card reader if you prefer

*Draw downloadable charts for custom knitting instructions at the console, similar to the old Form 6 software

*Easy to search database for projects, stitch patterns, knit techniques, and form programmes

All this and more is waiting for you at http://passappal.com

Try the free demo today and join the fun!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Free Knitting App for Your iPhone, iPod, or iPad

This one is more for hand knitters, but I know many machine knitters who do both.  Let's face it: a pair of needles and a ball of yarn are certainly more portable.  My new app, Magic Count , which is  available at the Apple app store for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, takes row counting to your mobile device. The interface is clean and elegant with a short learning curve. Unlimited counters are available to track several projects simultaneously.


Counting is as simple as tapping. Yet, this row counter also does sophisticated calculations and features pop-up reminders for shaping instructions, motif placements, and miscellaneous notes. Do you need to increase or decrease stitches evenly over a range of rows? Rather than breaking out the calculator, just enter the information on the shaping tab to add reminders at the appropriate row counts.

This app even handles shaping instructions for circular knitting where you are knitting the front and back of a sweater at the same time. Shaping may occur at the beginning and/or end of the row or distributed across the row, on all rows or alternate rows.

The motif placement tab calculates placement of buttonholes, cables, and other design elements within a row. Use the simple reminder tab for anything else that needs tracking.

When the counter advances to a reminder, the reminder page appears automatically. The reminder page features a highlighter that highlights each section of the instruction as it is worked.

I am especially pleased with Magic Count; it solves an essential need for knitters and is a pleasure to use. I hope that you, too, will find this app useful and enjoyable.

Magic Count is free and includes a 5 minute tutorial video to get you up and running quickly. Learn more.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Naomi's Newest Cardigan

Naomi's  Open Front Cardigan
Naomi made this stylish open front cardigan using  knit technique 115 (plain fair isle) for the front & back and stitch pattern 1127 with knit technique 137 (double bed tuck) for the sleeves.

She drew the shapes on Journal 6 as  downloadable charts so that she would have custom knitting instructions at the console.

Plain fair isle  is very stable and suitable for jackets,
coats, cardigans, and the like. The double bed tuck fabric used for the sleeves is surprising light.



Congratulations, Naomi, on a beautifully tailored piece.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Resolve to knit more in 2012.  To encourage you, I'm offering a $30.00 (USD) off coupon for Journal Six. Just enter coupon code KNIT2012 when you place your order. Offer good through January 31, 2012.


Come join the fun. There's never been a better time to buy.


Journal Six Sale

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anniversary Sale!

Happy Birthday Journal Six!  It was three years ago today that Journal Six was first launched. In celebration, I'm offering the best design software for the PASSAP E6000 at a temporarily reduced price.  Hurry sale ends October 31st.


Come join the fun.  There's never been a better time to buy.


Journal Six Sale

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yarn EstimatorNow Available! New for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Yarn Estimator calculates how much yarn you need for a knit or crochet project. Also calculates how much yarn you have left and how much yarn the finished project actually used. This handy utility will save you money at the yarn store. Learn more...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Journal Six Version 7 Now Available

The best design software for the PASSAP E6000 Knitting Machine just got better.


New Features in this release:
  •  New image conversion mode, "sketch." Sketch will create a line drawing stitch pattern using the colors selected.
  • New image conversion mode, "outline." Outline will create a black and white outline stitch pattern.
  • Corrected security issues for users who do not have full administrative rights to their machines.
  • Tutorials link added.
Download the demo today and experience all that Journal Six has to offer!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Journal Six Version 5 Now Available

Version 5 of Journal Six is now available. The best software for the PASSAP E6000 knitting machine is even better.
  • Share projects with your friends with import/export options
  • Creating stitch patterns just got easier
    • Color suggest button to optimize color palette to your image
    • Use existing stitch patterns as fill patterns in the sketchbook
    • Resize fill mode for the sketchbook
  • Improved charting
    • Tailor's chalk tool allows you to lay out guidelines
    • Easily resize your chart
    • Add reference lines for "REFER" prompts at the console
New features demo:



Already own Journal Six?  Your free upgrade is waiting for you at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JournalSixSupport/files/Patches/

Enjoy,
Jenny.




Saturday, December 4, 2010

Passappal.com Up and Running

Oops, passappal.com was down for a bit this morning.  For those of you who suffered an inconvenience, I apologize.  The problem has been resolved and is unlikely to return.


If you continue to get an error message when you load the page, try holding down the the shift key while pressing your browser's refresh button.  This should clear the browser cache.


By the way, be sure to check in tomorrow for big news!


Happy Knitting,
Jenny.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New YouTube Video

I posted my first YouTube video today!  It's an updated version of the basic slideshow that introduces the features of Journal Six.  I used a new software to create it called Demo Builder.  It worked really well and I hope to release a series of tutorials in the near future.



The funny sounding voice in the video isn't me; it's Microsoft Anna.  Believe it or not, she does a much better job narrating than I could and allows me to turn out the videos much more quickly than if I had to do my own voice overs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Princess Photo Rugs

I recently saw the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog.  The animation was breathtaking, the songs were delightful, and the story had surprising depths.  What has this to do with knitting?  Not much, but I've thinking a lot about princesses lately and so has Betty S. of South Australia.  Take a look at this gorgeous rendering of Princess Di as a photo rug:



For another take on the princess concept, Betty also offers this charming rug ideal for any young princess:


Betty says Journal Six saves her days, not hours in design time.  I say keep up the good work, Betty!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bold Knits From Irene W.

Many folks purchase Journal Six for its superior photo conversion technology. There is no doubt Journal Six is the quickest and easiest way to go from photo to a highly detailed, high quality stitch pattern.

However, Journal Six is for all kinds of knitting.  Today we are going to look at some wonderful geometric knits created by Irene W.  with the aid of Journal Six.

Fun and fabulous...


Elegant and sophisticated...




Subtle and understated...




And just plain fierce...



This last one is based on a Chinese paper cut design.  What a great idea!  Thanks for sharing, Irene. I love your bold design sense!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Look

We've got a new look for the blog!  Check out the new tabs at the top for products and the photo gallery.  I hope you like it.  


If you have a picture to contribute to the gallery, send it to admin at passappal dot com.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Are You Knitting With Journal Six?

Have you knitted something with Journal Six?  Why not show it off here?  Just send a picture of your creation to admin at passappal dot com.  Please include information about the yarns and techniques you used as well as any tips you want to share with fellow Journal Six users.  I'll include a link to your website or favorite charity if you like.  Feel free to include some biographical information, if you're comfortable with sharing a little personal information.


In the coming weeks, I'll post some of my own projects, too.  

Friday, April 2, 2010

Naomi's Lime Jacket

Naomi knitted this jacket from downloadable charts she drew in Journal Six.  It features figure flattering princess seaming...


and sleeves with slit cuffs...



Here's a view from the back:







And the side:


The graceful shaping and the attention to simple details make this a stunning and elegant piece.  

Naomi reports that Journal Six gives you more freedom in design and shape compared to merely inputting the numbers found in old Passap magazines.  




Well done, Naomi!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Stupid Console Tricks

Well, I wouldn't exactly describe this as useful, but it sure was funny.  In my experiments in learning how to emulate FORM 6 functionality in Journal Six with downloadable charts, I actually managed to get the console to display my name:



Here's a closer look:



Amazing...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Journal Six Version 4 Now Available!

Brand new for 2010! Journal Six Version 4 is now available.  This is a free upgrade for current users.  If you purchased Journal Six prior to February 25, 2010, please go to Journal Six Support to claim your free upgrade.  (New group members will be approved once their purchase has been verified.)

Version 4 now allows you to back up and restore the Journal Six database.  This helps you keep your patterns safe and also makes  it easier to move them from one machine to another.


Curved and slanted text tools have been added to the stitch pattern sketchbook.  Here's an action shot:
Double click the picture for a larger version.

I've saved the best for last.  Version 4 introduces a new feature called downloadable charts.  Downloadable charts allow you to draw the shape you want to knit and download it to the console for custom shaping instructions while you knit, similar to the old Form 6 software.

First you draw the shape using the sketchbook:

And then you download:

You can even use the chart as template during stitch pattern designing:

Well that's enough programming for me.  I'm off to enjoy knitting-- with Journal Six, of course.

More information about Journal Six can be found at http://passappal.com.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photo Rug by Betty S. in South Australia

Look at this fabulous photo rug knitted by Betty S. in South Australia.  What a wonderful, one of a kind, piece of art!  Believe it or not, it's just a two color design.  She used Journal Six's stipple mode when converting the photo to a stitch pattern to capture all the shades of gray.  Good job Betty!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Console Back

Just a quick note-- I'm happy to report that my console is back from the hospital.   Knit & Sew did a great job!  I highly recommend their service.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dead Console Update

Just wanted to give a quick update on my dead console situation-- I packed up my console and sent it off to Knit & Sew to see what they can do.  I have high hopes that they will be able to save it.


I also managed to pick up a console on eBay for a reasonable price.  So, I'll have a back up as well.  The chip set may need updating since the serial number on the console is low.  I'll have to see once it arrives.


Anyhow, I'm feeling much better about the situation.  I also want to give a quick thank you to the folks that wrote me with sympathy and suggestions.  Your support means a lot to me.


Hopefully I'll be back to knitting soon.  In the meantime, it will leave more time for developing new features for Journal Six.  As always any new update I release will be free for existing users.


--Jenny.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dead Console

Well, my console died last week. Words cannot express how bummed out I am! I'm going to try to get it fixed, but I have no idea whether it will work again. So, I'm on the look out for a replacement/back up console. If anyone knows where I can pick one up for a reasonable price, let me know.  Please e-mail me (admin at passappal dot com) with terms.


Thanks,
Jenny.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

E6000 Chip Sets


Well, the old Woolley's site disappeared a long time ago.   It's a shame because they had some great technical information on the E6000 that is hard to find elsewhere.  The link in the title will take you to a chart explaining what the various versions of the E6000 chip sets did and which serial numbers they correspond to.  Thank goodness for web.archive.org.  They literally back up the web!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Journal Six, Version 3.0 Now Available


I released Journal Six, version 3.0, last week. This version corrects the installer so that Journal Six will install under the 64-bit version of Vista. I have also included support for SilverKnit. If you own the SilverKnit device for your Silver Reed electronic knitting machine, you will be able to send stitch patterns to it from Journal Six.

I hope everyone in the Northern hemisphere is enjoying the summer. I haven't been in much of mood to knit, but plenty of ideas are bubbling away. I record them in Journal Six. Then when the weather changes and I'm in a knitting mood, they'll be there, ready to go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Form Programme Generator

This is a screen shot from my new form programme generator. With it, you can generate sweater fronts, backs, and sleeves in a variety of sizes. Before working with the generator, you will need to draw a picture of your shape with measurements in centimeters and chart out the rows and stitches showing the applicable increases and decreases. Many knitters prefer to use pre-published form programmes, but just as some sewers draft their own sewing patterns, so too some knitters prefer to draft their own sweater designs. If you don't have access to many published form programmes or have some unique sizing issues, I think you will find this generator very useful. Enjoy, Jenny.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Downloable Form Programmes?

I was recently asked whether it would ever be possible to download form programmes to the E6000 Console.

The short answer is no. If you have the chip set that came with Form 6, you will find you can get to PC START from the FORM prompt, but it is expecting Form 6 data rather that a traditional form programme.

Form 6 uses an entirely different format for shape data than the form programme numbers. In many ways it is a much more simplified system, mostly just a listing of needles in work and rows counts. The way the program works is that you draw a shape with the pixels representing the stitches and rows. During the download the pixels are converted into instructions for increasing and decreasing.

A disadvantage of Form 6 shapes is that if you want to adjust the width or length of the piece, you have to draw a new picture of it. To me, the form programmes are better because you can change some measurements without re-doing the whole programme.

Theoretically, I could program Journal Six to change a bitmap of the rows and stitches into Form 6 data, but I personally think form programmes are more flexible. I don't have any plans to add Form 6 emulation to Journal 6 at this time. Update: See post from February 25, 2010 regarding downloadable charts.

I do hope to make a form programme generator and post it on my website to make it easier for folks to write their own program for basic shapes such as sleeves and sweater fronts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Journal Six Updated


I updated Journal Six to allow stitch patterns to be exported as bitmaps so that you can use them in other programs or share with your friends.

If you haven't tried the demo lately, you may want to uninstall the old demo and install the new one.

If you've been thinking about purchasing Journal Six, what are you waiting for? This feature rich program will totally change how you interact with your knitting machine.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Automatic Short Row Pillow

My earlier post on form programmes generated quite a bit of controversy. Apparently, some people insist that form programmes are uncrackable and that anyone who claims they understand what the numbers mean is clearly lying or deluded. Sometimes old beliefs are hard to let go of. Once folks believed sun revolved around the earth and Galileo begged to differ. I am no Galileo and certainly he paid a much heavier price for bringing his piece of knowledge to the world than I did. A few hot e-mails cannot harm me much. I do wish, though, that people would be more open to new ideas.

That said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I offer my automatic short row pillow as that proof. This pillow is knit with the aid of a form programme I wrote myself. The piece is knitted in six wedges with the front and back being knitted simulatenously. The form programme takes care of all the shaping and so this pillow is very easy to knit despite its complex shape.

And thus, another form programme is brought into the world. Knit this pillow to remind yourself about Galileo, the infinite possibilities of the universe, and the importance of staying open minded. (but not so open your brains fall out :-)

Enjoy,

Jenny.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fom Programmes Explained

Ever wonder about all those strange codes that make up PASSAP form programmes? Well, so have I. After studying many programmes and doing endless experiments at the console, I believe I now understand much of the structure of the programmes and details of the codes. I've written up my findings as an aid to understanding published programmes and to allow you to try your hand at writing your own programmes. Enjoy!

By the way, you can store form programmes in Journal Six so that you may recall and use them when you knit your projects.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Card Reader Technique Generator

Happy Holidays. Here's a gift for PASSAP E6000 knitters...

Some of the old PASSAP Model books show strange little card reader diagrams that are to be entered through the card reader in lieu of entering a knit technique number. Card reader techniques extend the abilities of your E6000 knitting machine and are a neat, but little known, feature of this wonderful machine.

If you want to go beyond merely collecting pre-existing card reader techniques, you may want to try the card reader technique generator that I've posted at passappal.com. The generator will generate a card reader diagram which you may use to mark a reader card. Of course, Journal Six users will want to enter the diagram in the technique library so that it is available for direct download into the console.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Journal Six, Version 2.0 Now Available

Well, I've been busy, busy and version 2.0 of Journal Six with Sketchbook is now available. Price remains the same and previous purchasers of Journal Six will receive the upgrade for free. Journal Six is simply the best software for PASSAP E6000 owners. Try the demo today and decide for yourself.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

F is for Finished

Wow! Exciting news! I finished programming the sketchbook. Like the above stitch pattern? It took me all of five minutes to whip it up. I'm really pleased with how fun and easy designing with the sketchbook is. I think you will be pleased too. It makes a fine addition to Journal Six.

I still have to update the user manual explaining how the sketchbook works. So, probably still a few more days to a week until I publish the update. Thanks to all who have provided support for this project.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Star Doodle

Work on the sketchbook continues. Here's a little doodle I whipped up in a couple of minutes. Looks promising, doesn't it? Many of the tools are done including the long desired text tool.

I've also been working on some cool symmetry tools. It took me a while to get the math right. Figuring out rotations and reflections does not come easily to me. I'm having flashbacks to geometry and trigonometry classes. Sines, Cosines, Euclid, and Pythagoras, you are all back to torment me!

I will be so happy when I get this module released. Still probably another month before that's likely to happen, though. Leave me a comment if there is a feature you'd like me to include.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sketchbook in Progress

Well, I've been working diligently on the sketchbook. Here's an in-progress screen shot. I'm starting to get really excited about this project! The users have asked for this feature ever since Journal Six was first released. I've always been hesitant because there are so many wonderful graphics programs available and I didn't want to spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. However, as was pointed out to me by the Journal Six community, those graphics programs can be expensive and they aren't optimized for stitch patterns. The goal of the sketchbook component is to provide a painting program that is specifically designed for creating stitch patterns quickly and easily.

Although the picture shows a lot of progress, there is still a great deal of work left. I can't guarantee when or if the sketchbook will be released. If I do release it, it will be a free upgrade for existing Journal Six users.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Test Swatch

I am often asked, "what do you get if you try to knit the test stitch pattern and knit technique that may be downloaded from the settings page?" Well, here it is. It's purpose is to verify that your equipment is set up properly and capable of downloading. It certainly serves its purpose, but it isn't very exciting. The stitch pattern is just the word "DEMO" and the knit technique is a two color fair-isle technique that interprets each pattern row as four rows of knitting, essentially doubling the stitch pattern in height compared to most PASSAP techniques.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thinking About a Sketchbook

The current version of Journal Six creates stitch patterns from pre-existing images using many sophisticated processing options. You can go from an image to a high quality stitch pattern in a matter of minutes. Hatch and stipple modes work beautifully with photographs.

The assumption is that you already have an image to process. What if you are starting from scratch? Currently your only option is to use a graphics program such as MS-Paint, Photoshop, etc. This is a solution that works well, but these programs are not optimized for stitch patterns.

I'm toying with the idea of adding a sketchbook with some paint-like functions optimized for stitch patterns. Above are some icon drawings I've done for a possible sketchbook. I'll let you use your imagination in regard to what they might eventually do.

Now the big caveat: I can't guarantee that this will ever see the light of day. If you buy Journal Six, buy it for what it does now, not for what might be there tomorrow. If the sketchbook does make it into Journal Six, it will be a free upgrade for existing customers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vinca Hand Towel

Those of you who have studied the user manual for Journal Six will recognize this image. I recently knitted it up as a four color cotton hand towel.

It only took a few minutes in Journal Six to go from a backyard photograph to a 100 by 100 stitch pattern. I used knit technique 209, which results in a gauge where the the pattern rows are approximate twice as tall as the stitches. The Aspect feature made it easy to preview what my stitch pattern would look like knitted.

Designing was easy. Knitting was another story. I used Brittany cotton for two of the colors and the other colors were some left-over yarn an ex-weaver gave me. This was a challenge to knit because the cottons were of different thicknesses. Slow and steady wins the race, though. I'm glad it's done, but I don't think I'll be mixing yarns like that anytime soon again.

This is now the prettiest towel I own.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Journal Six Released!



Journal Six was finally released last week! I'm so excited and just a bit relieved. What an effort it was. It took about a year between its inception and completion working in nearly all my spare time.

There have been just a couple of sales so far, but I'm optimistic that things will pick up as word of mouth spreads. I have such fond feelings for those brave early adopters. They encourage me so much.


I will occasionally post things I've knitted with Journal Six as well as development notes for future releases. I hope you will find this blog informative and occasionally entertaining.