Adventures in Pattern Writing: Episode 2, Cue the Panic

Who’d of guessed that these socks
would cause so much trouble?

If you follow my blog regularly, or if you browse back through some past posts, you know that last July, I designed and made a pair of Green Bay Packer socks for her birthday. Ever since they came off the needles, I have been meaning to transfer the pattern from scribbled notes and crude graphs into an actual pattern, usuable by someone not residing inside my head.

Last November, I finally took the time to convert the graphs from paper and pencil drawings to an Excel spreadsheet. I then converted one of the graphs into jpeg form, to make it easier to insert into my finished pattern. and promptly allowed myself to become distracted by something else (I’m hoping it was at least something shiney).

About a month ago, during a very slow day at the Motor bank, while my co-worker was shopping online, I took my notes and typed them into an almost readable format. And by “almost” I mean, the basic instructions typed into a Word document with notes like “insert instructions for heel  here,” “probably should figure out the actual stitches and rows per inch,” “Chart A to go here,” and “find a better way to word this” scattered throughout the pattern. At least I had all the pattern pieces were saved now.

Or so I thought.

The other day, I sat down to finally try to put all the pieces together, and went to pull up my charts. They weren’t on my laptop, or my desktop, or my thumb drive, or my other thumb drive.

Cue the panic. I wasn’t even sure if I still had the paper verisions. Was I going to have to start all over on these charts. I mined through my previous posts to see if maybe, just maybe, I had posted all of the charts on my blog.

The one chart I could find.

 Nope. Just the heel chart. Okay, well, at least I had a method to retrieve the heel chart. That was something. Then it occured to me, last fall there was a stretch of time when the screen of my laptop was out of commission, and I used my old laptop. Maybe, possibly, hopefully the charts were saved on there.

So, I dug out the old laptop, and the charger and let the machine charge while I went into work. I got home, booted up the machine, and, thankfully, the Excel file with the charts was safely saved.

Thank you. But the fun wasn’t over yet.

I only had the files saved as Excel sheets, and inserted them directly into the Word document using copy and paste was creating all sorts of trouble for me, charts extending over several pages, distortions. And of course, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember how I did the last time.

After some research (and cursing), I did figure it out. I think I actually used a different method this time, but seeing as it worked just fine, I’m not going to fret about it. The charts, in both Excel and picture format are now safely stored on my laptop, and my desktop, and both my thumb drives.

And, in case future me ever desperately returns to this post, wondering how I managed to convert the stupid Excel cells into a much more Word (and pattern) friendly image, here’s what I did:

From Excel, highlight the cells you need and click copy.

Go into the Word document, select Edit, and choose the “Paste Special…” option. This gives you the choice if you want to paste the chart as an Excel spreadsheet or as an image (or some other ones). So simple, why on Earth did this cause me so much stress?

Now, future self, go buy me a beer for all the stress and time I just saved you. And stay tuned for Episode Three of Adventures in Pattern Writing, where I attempt to put everything together.


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