I love doing colorwork knitting. When I was younger, I learned how to do pixel art and grew quite fond of it, and colorwork knitting is like pixel art that’s made out of yarn.
Because of the similarities between pixel art and colorwork knitting, I find it really easy to create colorwork patterns using a computer.
The program that I use to create pixel art and knitting patterns is called GIMP, which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program. It is completely free to use and works on multiple platforms such as Linux based platforms, OS X, and Microsoft Windows.
You can download GIMP here: https://www.gimp.org/downloads/
Once you have it downloaded, open it up. You should see this, or something quite similar:
Go to the left hand corner of the window and click on file, then go new. This will create a new empty image for you to work on. For a small project, an 800 x 600 px image will work well. If you find you need a larger canvas, try 1600 x 1200 px or 2400 x 1800 px.
When creating the new image, underneath the section where you can set the width and height, there are two buttons. Those toggle between portrait and landscape mode.
Once you have made your new image, click on Filters at the top of the window, go down to Render, and from there go to Pattern and choose Grid. A window will pop up, asking you to choose the settings for the grid.
The only settings you’ll need to change are the spacing settings. Underneath the spacing settings there is a little chain. Click it to break the chain and then set the spacing to 20 x 24 px. After you’ve done that, click OK.
Now you have a grid to make your pattern on!
The next thing you can do is choose the colors that your pattern will be made out of. Go to your toolbox window and click on the colors.
A window will pop up which will let you choose the color you want to use. You can use the sliders to adjust the hue, saturation, and value of the colors.
For the first color, I’ll go with a soft green.
For the next color, I’ll go with a pretty lavender.
To toggle between the colors you’re using, click the arrows beside the colors on the toolbox.
Next, select the Fill Bucket in your toolbox window. This will allow you to fill in the sections of your grid by clicking on them. If you ever make a mistake while working you can hit Ctrl and Z on your keyboard to undo what you did.
As you can see, I’ve made a border using the lavender color:
Now I’m going to fill the inside with green:
Now that I’ve done the green, I’m going to make a flower pattern using the lavender again:
If you want to use more than two colors, you can choose a new color, and then switch between your recently used colors by clicking on the palette here:
Don’t forget to save your work frequently by clicking Ctrl and S!
If you ever find that your canvas is too small after you start working, you can go to Image and then Canvas Size to set a new size for your canvas.
After you’ve done that, reset your foreground color to black and your background color to white, and then go to Layer and click Layer to Image Size.
Then you can redo the grid by putting the grid filter on again. Make sure that the spacing is 20 x 24 px and then click OK.
Now you have a larger image that you can work with.
If you ever need to adjust the magnification levels of the image, you can use Ctrl and the scroll wheel of your mouse to do so.
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