improve patterns / overlapping tiles

Jo Pol

Attached animation serves multiple purposes:
1) how to deal with overlapping tiles
2) how to improve published patterns
3) enter patterns from scratch

Many patterns were published before the overlap was implemented. Please help us to replace them.

Sorry, I don't know how to add subtitles. Maybe someone else can jump in. The story:
Start with identifying a more logical unit for the pattern. The corners of a rectangular unit can overlap its neighbors. Type the corresponding characters in the second text field. Select the alternating tiles. Move the purple tile until you have proper diagonals. Then move the green tile to move the diagonals together. Finally reduce overlapped stitches in the top(!) corners to a dash.

You will have to replace more stitches in many patterns. That is not recorded. Use two browser windows, one with the old pattern, one with the new pattern. Then you can copy-paste the corresponding stitches.

For new patterns you can prepare with pencil on squared paper. Draw something following lines and/or diagonals in a way that gets close to what you want. The rest is the same as improving published patterns. Note that many traditional patterns already may have a look-a-like in the available catalogues. Many published patterns can also benefit from a less warped layout, such a layout was not possible when published.

Mail both the old link and new link, than we can update the catalogue.

Veronika Irvine

I would like to add my two cents before these changes take place. 
The animated GIF is awesome and I think it is a really great improvement over the videos.  It could be displayed in a popup from within the tool and gives lots of useful information.  I suggest a replay button because some users may get confused when the animation loops.

However, regarding modifying the patterns to use overlap, just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Every ground in lace can be represented by  which I will call the simple layout.
Some grounds have additional symmetry which allows a smaller base tile arranged as bricks and a smaller subset of grounds have sufficiently large holes relative to the rest of the ground that they can be represented with an even smaller base tile arranged with overlap.

There are pros and cons to having a smaller base tile.  The pro is that there are fewer stitches to change so you don't have to type as much.  The con is that it is harder to play with different stitches in "copies" of the pattern. 

Take for example the Torchon ground.  It can be represented as one bold node using overlap or brick layouts.  But if you want to play around with chaotic stitches, you need to figure out how to create more bold nodes which is not easy. Also true if you want to play around with dropping stitches in the net.  With the simple layout, you can easily increase the number of bold nodes.  You just need to copy the pattern definition, paste the copy below the original and clicking on the simple layout image.  Done. Twice as tall.  You can also copy each row and paste the text to the right on the same row to get twice as wide.

My suggestion is that grounds with small base tiles should have a simple layout.  Only use the brick and overlap where the number of nodes you have to edit for playing with stitches is large.

Kind regards,

Jo Pol

I also the link for the original pattern.

The pros and cons discussed by Veronika also depend on the audience. What concerned me in Pierre's demo was his trouble to find which stitch he wanted to change. I hope to tackle that problem with a more familiar base tile.

I didn't know how to record "identify a logical unit". I now attached an annotated screenshot for that purpose. The original pattern (the bright stitches) uses a brick tiling. The large green rectangle encloses a tile for the simple layout. The smaller green rectangle is used in the animation, but most of all: it reflects what you will find in most lace makers text books. Once you have the smallest base tile, it is a matter of sketching the desired bounding box and a little more (or less) typing or copy-pasting.

Indeed for a simple Torchon or net ground I would also use a larger base unit. Though patterns like rose grounds and spiders also have opportunities to play with different stitches in neighboring spiders, I tend to start with the smallest base tile.

The loop was automagically created by the first online tool I found to convert my MP4 into an animated GIF. A nice side effect: the MP4 was 2.6 MB, the GIF only 0.6.

Marian Tempels


Loved the gif!

I usually try the tiles to represent a unit of work. E.g. like the smallest green box in Jo's picture (# 313). I prefer to define the ground in these tiles, rather than the "bricks" version. The unit makes it easier to define the stitches, as the pattern resembles the order in which I would make the lace.
Some overlaps are "naturally", as the corners in the rose ground. 

Indeed, for some of the nets on mae-gf I made the tile deliberately bigger - to encourage playing with different stitches in one ground.

However, I can imagine that some users might find overlaps confusing. And other users might have difficulties identyfing the sttiches especialy in the bricks-variants. Some patterns can be defined using only one row or column - that's leads even to more difficulties identifying the stitches.
I remember a tiling from the old days (see here).... Intended was this

In the early days there only were bricks" or "tiles" to choose from. If I have some (lots) of spare time, I might change the examples dating from that time to ones that are closer to units of work.
I agree with Veronika that there should be no need to make small overlapping tiles just because we can. (And also not just because I find it exciting to discover one that overlaps ....)

Groetjes van Marian

Jo Pol

Tried to remove the loop from the animation with various online tools. One did it, but increased the file size dramatically. Another could reduce the file size with another 50% to 305KB but I saw no option to remove the endless loop. Somewhere I saw it should be possible to drop the loop with GIMP and some of you using it. Could anyone give it a try?

Veronika Irvine

Here is the output from GIMP, no loop and 575 KB.


On 11/21/2020 7:52 AM, Jo Pol wrote:
Tried to remove the loop from the animation with various online tools. One did it, but increased the file size dramatically. Another could reduce the file size with another 50% to 305KB but I saw no option to remove the endless loop. Somewhere I saw it should be possible to drop the loop with GIMP and some of you using it. Could anyone give it a try?

Jo Pol

I made a mistake and am discovering how important it is to document the proper procedures. To be continued as it takes me a while.

Jo Pol

Fixed the flaws in the procedure at the start of this discussion and prepared a new help page. You can preview the content for that help page: Within this context the animation does not appear in another tab, but in the same tab.

Feedback is welcome.

Jo Pol

The new help page might not be perfect but is published and available from the (i) button on the "Tile layout" section.