Advanced Grid Maker

Tips, tricks & tutorials for using Freakn’ Sweet Apps’ Advanced Grid Maker to generate knot tying instructions, reference images, and size estimates.

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Graph paper with 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 0.5 cm, and 1 cm grids. Sized to print on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Great for homework & project planning. Print as much as you need. Print only what you need.

I love interweaves but I can’t do them from sight or memory yet – I absolutely need a reference image and run list.  Here’s how to use Advanced Grid Maker to create instructions for the gaucho fan and herringbone knots.

One of the most useful features of Advanced Grid Maker is the ability to create custom designs. The Set Over and Set Under features let you switch individual crossings anywhere in a knot and are a great way to add detail or stability to a pattern.  Here’s a quick example.

When using Advanced Grid Maker to design a knot, it can be hard to tell if the knot is properly formed. Here’s a quick example of using the Remove Non-Loop Strands feature to tell if a strand’s working end meets its standing end, forming a loop.

One of the most helpful things about Advanced Grid Maker is using Strand Width and Strand Gap to estimate the size of a knot and the length(s) of cord needed. Here’s a quick example – combine these with Resize and Stretch for even better estimates.

One of the best parts about Advanced Grid Maker is its use of color to create both the pattern image and run lists. Here are tips for the Colors and Shadow Color fields plus a example of how color affects a knot’s appearance.

One of the coolest parts about Advanced Grid Maker is the interactive image it creates. With  the Resize and Stretch features, you can resize the image to either resize a knot or stretch it into different dimensions. Here’s a quick demo of both.

I love Advanced Grid Maker and am the first to admit it’s not pretty or intuitive – it’s one of those tools that needs explaining. If you’ve ever wanted to use AGM but felt lost, here’s an introduction to creating run lists for Turk’s Head knots.

I’ve been tying knots for 5 years and can only do a few from my head. Video and image tutorials are great, but I find run lists to be the most helpful. Here’s how to use Advanced Grid Maker to create run lists for pineapple knots. Fair warning: it isn’t hard, but it isn’t straight-forward either.

A few years ago, John Allwine – creator of Advanced Grid Maker – was generous enough to help me learn about the pineapple interweave. Before you can use a tool like AGM, you need to decide how many strands or colors the knot will have and the ‘type’ of pineapple you want to tie. Here’s a quick reference for 2, 3, and 4 strand pineapple types.

Counting bights is easy, but counting parts is something I struggled with until I stumbled across one simple explanation – I wish I could remember where. Since it’s helped me a lot and may help you, here’s how to count the bights & parts – aka leads – of a knot using a 5B 7P Turk’s Head as an example.

I love knots because they’re technical & creative. At the heart of every knot is math – something I’m still learning. Because the Turk’s Head is the base for so many other knots, it helps to know the math. It’s pretty simple and once you see it visually, it’s easy to remember.