I’ve been wanting a sign on the door to MDK World Headquarters for a while now. The other tenants in our building have signs of all sorts.
At the moment, our sign is waterproof and sturdily affixed to the door.
But you can see what I mean about our door possibly needing a more visible sign. Now that our building has a new roof, the need for a laminated, flood-proof sign is (somewhat) reduced. (Granted, the Cumberland River remains one block away.)
It might as well be a knitted sign.
The challenge: our logo is one of the least knittable logos I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t have a straight line anywhere in there.
Still, I wasn’t going to let that shut down my dream of a knitted door sign for MDK.
How to Turn a Graphic into a Knitting Chart
I knew there had to be a way to distill a graphic into a knitting chart. People do this stuff all day, right?
A knitting chart is a simple thing: each square equals one knit stitch. Actually, the squares are rectangles, because a knit stitch is wider than it is tall. If you use regular square graph paper, your knitted graphic will end up looking squooshed. (Here’s downloadable knitting graph paper created by The Knitting Site.)
I began by trying to make a chart in Photoshop: importing knitting graph paper, then loading the MDK graphic over it. The result shows the challenge of rendering our logo on a grid:
It was going to take a fair amount of futzing to reduce the graphic to the stripped-down pixels I needed to knit this sign.
So I dug into the internet. It took about one minute to discover an app that is truly, completely, amazingly awesome:
STITCH FIDDLE. [Imagine the sound of trumpets and chirping birds of happiness in background.]
Stitch Fiddle is the creation of a couple in the Netherlands, Sander and Jannetta. (Click to see their fantastic Stitch-Fiddled pullovers.) (This makes me want to make some legible knitting.)
This tool got me the chart of my dreams in only a few minutes.
The thing with a knitting chart is that you need to have figured out the gauge you’ll be using to knit the chart. So that’s a bit of calculation. Stitch Fiddle will generate a chart at whatever gauge you tell it—clever!
I uploaded the MDK logo, added the dimensions I wanted the logo to be, the gauge I needed, and selected two as the number of colors I’d be knitting.
All the curves are boiled down to the essence of knittable rectangles. Good times! It would have taken me forever to fudge up this chart by hand. And it still would have looked wonky.
If you squint at this, or look at it from ten feet away, see? It’s our logo!
Stitch Fiddle can create much more complex charts than this. But I was so chuffed to find this solution to my problem. Thanks, Sander and Jannetta!
I dove into the MDK yarn archives for the yarn for our sign.
Sincere Sheep Cormo Sport! It’s bouncy, beautiful, and sincere.
The background is Cumulus.
The tomatoey orange red, Kung Hey Fat Choi, is a real zinger.
I’ll duplicate stitch the logo—you’re not going to catch me doing intarsia on this thing.
The curling of the stockinette here is mighty! I am not ruling out a bit of log cabin around the edges to get this thing to behave.