Monday, January 10, 2011

The ABC of knitting alphabets

Been suffering from a nasty cold for two weeks and majority of the time spent home I've been mainly sleeping. Like a baby. Having some mad dreams. Mad I tell you. Did you know that toddlers take their heads off before having a wash? I do now, thanks to my informative yet entertaining fever dreams. 

But now I'm starting to get tired of just sleeping and thought I'd share my way of creating knitting patternings from alphabets and simple pictures. In it's simplicity it's sheer genious. 

 You'll be needing MS Paint and Excel (or similar). Easy as A B C..

Open Paint and look for a font you'd like to use. Note that you can manually change the font size to be bigger than font sizes offered on the drop down menu, just type in 150 for example for massive big letters.  I used the font AR JULIAN, bold, font size 200 in a lovely shade of green.

Next go to Excel and create a chart that matches the amount of rows and stitches you want for your patterning. You can see the amount of cells selected in the field circled with red here. I wanted my patterning to be for 28 rows and 21 stitches. Select and copy the chart and paste it to Paint next to your letter.

Resize the letter to match your chart.

Now move the chart on top of the letter and remember to select see-through option.

Go through the outlines of your letter. Check all the cells that are mainly covered with your contrast colour already (in this case green) and fill in the remaining parts of the cells with the same contrast colour using the "bucket tool". For all the cells that are mainly in the white area use the same function or the eraser tool to erase any left over bits of the contrast colour leaving them white as the background.

After doing this you can still see the outlines of the letter (here in yellow and blue) and if they really bug you, you can zoom in on the picture and erase them away. Your chart is ready for you to start knitting!


Now I'm off to bed. Hoping to be well enough to do a bit of knitting tomorrow and maybe share a new pattern with some ABC's involved..


  1. Thanks so much for this great tutorial. This is the first one I've read where I can actually "see" how it's done.

  2. I was wreckin my brain trying to come up with a simple way to explain the bit about filling the cells, hope you get the idea.. and if not, please advice how would you say it to make it clearer.

    And thank you so much for feedback, good to know this might be off use!

  3. this is great! I have tried to do this myself...and not so much :( I'll keep at it, there has to be a way to do this using MS Office 2000.

  4. Thank you so much for your informative instructions. I am knitting a teddy bear blanket for our first grandchild ( a boy) I decided I would like to knit his name into the blanket. I have done very well with your instructions and have finished all the letters except the "N". That is giving me a problem but I will figure it out with the help of your ideas.

    1. Glad to be of help! One extra tip is to use a very bold font, although thinner ones may look well on the chart they might not be as readable when knitted, so always safer to go with a bigger font :) Happy knitting and hope to see some pictures when you're finished!

  5. I'm knitting my first hat and wanted to add my son's name on it, will save me such a hassle of labeling his clothes for daycare.

    Your idea is brill, means I can fit it on perfectly :), thanks for sharing and hope you didn't have any more mad dreams.

  6. An initial is a good idea but I would caution against putting a child's entire name on anything. There are too many crazies out there that could call a child by name. Please, be cautious. I appreciate the tutorial. It's wonderful. I'm going to make lettermen-style sweaters with their initial on it for Christmas for my grandkids.

  7. Alternatively you could work in Excel, inserting the letter as a graphic object using the "text box" option. Format the letter to have a solid outline with no fill, so you can see what you're doing. Then shade the relevant cells in your spreadsheet.

  8. Brilliant!! Thank you!!

  9. Thank you so much for posting this!

  10. Thank you for this information! I am trying to pyt letters and numbers in a scarf and hat set. This will come in handy!!