Guest Author - Kate Pullen
Wild Stitches is a system that works on a variety of levels. At its most basic, it offers users the opportunity to access a library of designs that can be varied and customized; whereas at its most sophisticated it is a full garment design tool. In addition to the garment design facility Wild Stitches also has the ability to write crochet motifs and other customized stitch patterns. This, of course, will be of particular interest to crocheters. Wild Stitches therefore will appeal to both keen knitters and crocheters looking for a never ending supply of patterns, through to experienced designers looking for a software package that will help them with their business.
If you are not familiar with sewing garment design or pattern drafting software, then this is very different to simple sweater or knitwear calculators. Garment design and pattern drafting software allows users to set up a 'sloper' (a customized virtual image of your body measurements) which garments are designed against. This means that you can check for things like balance, necklines and sleeve type instantly. Wild Stitches offers all the design facilities normally found in sophisticated pattern drafting software, however all targeted at the knitter or crocheter.
Throughout the system it is possible to change yarns, needle and hook size, and of course enter tension gauge. There are default numbers already entered using the Yarn Council standards. This is useful when planning a project as it allows users to work out the approximate amount of yarn required before working a true tension gauge. It is important to remember that the default crochet stitch is single crochet.
Wild Stitches is available at three levels, Home, Stitch Kitty and designer. We'll look at each section in turn:
Wild Stitches Home
This is the version for the home user. Wild Stitches Home is a complete knitting and crochet pattern generator. Users have the ability to access a library of core patterns which can be adapted or printed off as they are. Each garment comes with a number of options, a vest top, for instance, can have one of 12 front necklines (and 4 back necklines). Combine this with the choice of armhole styles, closures and other options, the amount of flexibility is immense.
All garments are created around some key body measurements. Whereas we are used to just using chest measurements and perhaps arm and back length, Wild Stitches allows the user to enter many more measurements such as bicep, shoulder, neck and other measurements meaning that even the most hard-to-fit body shapes can be accommodated. This might sound complicated, particularly if you are used to just using one or two measurements when knitting or crocheting, however it isnīt too hard, and Wild Stitches gives plenty of help. Explanations are given as to how to correctly take the measurement, and on screen prompt boxes will query any strange measurements. Entering a neck measurement, for instance of 45 inches instead of 15 inches will be queried rather than just allowing users to put in incorrect figures. This need only be done once, as you can save your measurements for future use.
Where appropriate, darts are included meaning that shaped garments can be made, with the darts completely customized to the wearer. Creating darts in knitting and crochet requires intermediate skills, for instance how to work short rows. Darts might not be appropriate in all crochet designs.
Crocheters will be interested in the fact that full sized pattern pieces can be printed, meaning that these can be used to block finished pieces, or to hold crochet against while creating a garment. The full size pattern pieces can also be used to ensure that the pattern is correct before making as it can be held against existing garments.
Part Two of Review