Free Stitch Design Software For Hand and Machine Knitting – WinCrea
Win_Crea is a wonderful Windows freeware program for the Passap E6000 knitting machine. It is very similar to Stitch Painter and the Stitch Designer module in Designaknit. With some limitations, this software gem can be used by all machine knitters and hand knitters.
It is a very simple program to learn. In less than an hour, I was able to combine two clip art images, change a few colors, and add some columns to make the blanket image below. No, I do not have lots of experience with the software. This design was my maiden voyage. If you have used any basic bit-mapped graphics program, you will quickly grasp Win_Crea’s tools and menus.
Win_Crea can open files in .cut (Passap), .bmp, or .wmf formats. It can save in .cut and .bmp. This means all those huge collections of clip art gathering dust in your software cabinet can now be mined for knitting ideas. Once a file is imported, the software will allow you to rotate, change colors, flip, stretch, zoom in/out, add/delete columns and rows, and overlay one image on top of the other.
When your design is done, save it as a .cut file, then do a screen capture to keep the grid. When I tried using the Save command from within Win_Crea, the .bmp file stripped out the grid. A PrintScreen preserves the lines. Open the screen capture in your favorite graphics program, crop the excess screen capture, and print out the image for reference. If you know of a better way, please share in the comments. At the moment, I don’t have a color printer so I wasn’t able to see if printing from within Win_Crea keeps the stitch lines.
Some points to keep in mind:
- WinCrea is limited to 180 stitches because the E6000 has 180 needles. It is also limited to 255 rows. I assume this is due to memory issues in the E6000. If your design is wider or taller, you will need to break it into multiple files.
- The download feature only works for the Passap E6000. For all other makes of electronic knitting machines, you will have to manually enter the design.
- Since knitting is made up of rectangles, not squares, take advantage of Win_Crea’s ability to specify a specific gauge stitch/row proportion. You will find this option under Settings – Swatch Data.
Did I mention it’s free?
July 8, 2008