Galhenat asked some great questions in her comment on my last post, so I’ll answer them here:
“Just out of curiosity, what do you do when recharting? Fixing any known errors I suppose, but does the design really gets altered?”
When I say “re-charting”, it can mean a couple different things. In general, if I have to do anything with the design’s chart files, I use the term re-charting.
Sometimes I need to totally do a pattern over from a hand-drawn chart: I must start a new computer file, and individually place every symbol and backstitch line on the grid. I guess this would be re-charting in its truest sense. It’s very time-consuming, and has the greatest chance of error.
Other times, if a design was originally created in my computer program, I may just need to edit symbols (Some years ago, I created my own fonts for charting…prior to that, I used fonts created by Just CrossStitch, so technically, I would be violating copyright by using those fonts now.)
Editing symbols can be done relatively quickly, so, as was the case with the Cloisonné Ornaments, the turn-around time was much less than with a design like Peacock Tapestry, which had to be totally re-charted.
In any re-charting situation, I try to make any error corrections (hopefully without adding any more?!). I also try to keep as many of the same symbols as possible… although sometimes I have to change quite a few of them. Because I want to keep everything as close as possible to the originally published designs, I resist the urge to “improve” designs when I re-chart. (The only exception that I can recall is when I re-charted Angel Procession for the Leisure Arts Christmas Collection book and simplified the wings to reduce backstitching.)
“I just envisioned recharting as “typing” the handdrawn chart into a charting program and nothing more. It seems that I am wrong in thinking that it is this simple? Do you want to share which charting program you use? From previous posts I recall a program that seemed to be more a drawing than a charting program, or was that only for designing?”
I use the 2-D portion of an older version of a CAD program called Vectorworks for designing/charting. Drawing-wise, it’s very accurate, and I can get it to do what I need, but it’s nothing like the needlework designing programs that I’ve tried. Everything must be done within the software’s CAD framework, including manually dividing the chart into sections and then exporting and placing them into publishing software (I use an older version of Quark).
Producing a multi-page pattern that can be printed (either by a traditional offset printer or by an individual downloading and printing a .pdf file) is a rather involved process. Needlework designing software that I’ve tried automatically divides up the chart, and generates a color code, etc. and it’s ready to go. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t use those programs; they didn’t have the functionality/versatility I required for designing, so I went the more laborious route of traditional layout. (Oh, and I use Macs, so my choices for needlework design software were very limited.)
So, when I re-chart, I don’t just re-create/alter the chart itself, I must also re-do the entire pattern layout. I’ll need to do this for all of the Leisure Arts pattern re-releases.
“BTW, those handwritten charts, are they in your handwriting or did you delegate?”
All of my hand-drawn charts were done by me. 🙂 And I’m very glad I don’t have to do that anymore! Some charts, like Peacock Tapestry, took well over 40 hours to draw.
I hope I explained everything OK. Thanks again for the excellent questions, Galhenat!