2022 versions now released!

We've been working really hard for the last few months, adding new features, smoothing out bugs, speeding up things, and we are delighted to be able to tell you about the 2022 edition of WinStitch.

Dark Mode in Windows If your screen is set up to use a dark color scheme, the app will adapt to dark theme. In preferences, there is an option to force this, and an option to ignore it. Happy

pastedGraphic
Revised Toolbar As you can see, we have  increased the size of toolbar icons, to aid readability. The color of these icons can be changed to any color you like.
 
Half Stitches By request, we have added the type of 'half stitch' which looks like a tent stitch/Gobelin stitch.
..and you can flood fill an area with these stitch types too, if you want to turn an existing block of color into this stitch type.

pastedGraphic

pastedGraphic



Importing: Transparent PNGs are now respected - if a pixel is transparent, no stitch is generated. (unless you apply a different mask manually)
Import Screen is resizable Import screen and preview screen now combined.
Added ability to suggest colors on Import screen  ..this allows people to tweak/change the colors that will be used, and omit unwanted ones Can automatically invent blends  using the 'suggest colors' button. Importing using a blend does not 'use up' one of the maximum colors. (if you say 'no more than 30 colors', then you can end up with 35 palette entries if you also include blends of some of the 30)
pastedGraphic
Added Mosaic annotations: A,B,X,+, SC and CH  to illustrate crochet diagrams Added Info and Alert annotations  which can draw attention to chart areas.. (not stitches, but insertable images ..these are not rotatable or flippable)pastedGraphic

Extra grid line type , which can be set to a variety of frequencies (usually would be between thick and thin)
and there is a
new setting (Thicker Grid lines) that will make the grid lines thicker when you zoom in (currently they are always 1 pixel wide, but with this setting they will be 2 , or 3 pixels wide if space allows)
pastedGraphic



Text Layers 

As well as layers of stitches, and inserted images, you can now insert a text layer, using any font installed on your machine, in any color. The size of the letters is expressed in terms of 'stitches'.
You can independently save these layers for later re-use.
 
You can now 
centre layers  using the 'center' tool, second from the right. You can now Convert Image Layers into stitches. using the 'camera' tool, second from the left - an image layer will be converted into stitches at the current location, using colors that already exist in the palette.


Palette is now formed of resizable columns , and shows colorways as well as original colors
From left to right, you see:
  • Color of the thread.
    The way it is currently shown in the grid (symbol/stitches etc)
    Symbol allocated
    Number
    Name
    Stitch Count
    Alternate color (for printing)
    3 Colorways
  • pastedGraphic


Added
Right-click menu options for backstitch When you right click on a line of backstitch while in 'backstitch mode', a popup menu will now appear (previously it would delete the stitch)
When placing backstitch, a
small red dot shows where the backstitch will begin when you click.
pastedGraphic

2021 Editions out now!

We are happy to release the 2021 edition,
(with apologies for not having said much on the blog this last year.
Its been a bit.. unusual..?)
Pasted Graphic


We've added some amazing new features, based on the most requested things during the last year.

MacStitch is Big Sur and M1 chip compatible.

The 2021 edition focusses on integration:
A new (optional) file format to allow any other software to read our files.
(This ensures that your work will be usable in the future , whatever happens)
Excel Export
PDF Export improvements
Pattern Keeper compatibility

Diamond Painting gets some love.
Pasted Graphic 1

Backstitch can be differently coloured and stranded without having to double up the colors in the palette.

And more

To see what's new, check out the 'Whats new' page, by clicking HERE.

Lifetime customers have been emailed with a direct download link already.
If you have an existing version and would like to upgrade, please click HERE.

2020 Editions now available!

A little later than we would like, due to the arrival of OSX Catalina, we are pleased to release the 2020 edition.
Building on the success of the 2019 version, we have added nearly all the features requested by customers over the last year. Happy

To see what's new, check out the 'Whats new' page, by clicking HERE.

Lifetime customers have been emailed with a direct download link already.
If you have an existing version and would like to upgrade, please click HERE.

How to change Language

We are sometimes asked how to make the apps run 'in English' when they start up in French, German, Spanish etc.
There are a number of techniques that can be used to make that happen. Read More...

Catalina

With every release of a new version of OSX come changes and incompatibilities.
Catalina on the Mac will no longer support 32 bit applications.

MacStitch has been 64 bit for almost 2 years, and MacStitch 2019 currently has no reported issues with Catalina.
We have supplied upgrades to regular users within the last 2 years.

if you have an older version than MacStitch 2018:
We advise you not to upgrade to Catalina, or to upgrade to the 2019 edition before you do.
The upgrade price is £10 for versions from 2013 to 2017
It is £20 for any version older than that.
Click here to go to the upgrade page.

2019 editions now available!

After a long wait, we are pleased to announce the arrival of our 2019 editions of WinStitch and MacStitch.

Much work 'under the hood' has been done over the last 6 months leading to this release, to handle changes to operating systems , in particular OSX Mojave.

The new version supports OSX versions from 10.1 to Mojave, and if your machine is using Mojave in 'Dark Mode', the app will display in dark mode too.
New features include the ability to add alternate 'colorways' to a design:
colorways

To export several styes of chart in the same PDF file:
pdf2
New viewing modes for Diamond Stitching use:

lowertoolbar

New thread sets shipped as standard.
Export to up to A0 size
New preferences
Bug fixes in areas you didn't even know existed, and more!

Existing customers can upgrade for £10 to £20 (depending on the age of the existing app) , while 'Lifetime' customers have already been sent a free update link by email.

Mojave and MacStitch

tumblr_inline_pjogxkEYJv1u4wei9_540
Following each yearly release of macOS, there is nearly always an issue to be addressed to keep MacStitch compatible. 
(This may involve code signing, Gatekeeper, security, permissions… the list keeps growing. )
This year saw the release of Mojave and it has brought a problem with drawing images to the screen and printer in MacStitch. (Such as black selections when pasting, or in exported PDF files)
We have therefore spent a lot of time in 2018 working around the issues it introduced, but customers with versions 
from 2017 and older will encounter problems if they upgrade to Mojave. 
With regret, we do not plan to update versions of MacStitch older than ‘2018’ to work with Mojave - each was created and tested to work with the most recent OSX available when they were released and will continue to work if you do not change OS or computer. 
If you choose to upgrade to Mojave, you will also need to upgrade MacStitch to at least the 2018 edition. Discounted upgrade links are available on our web site, and below.
https://sites.fastspring.com/ursasoftware/instant/macstitchupgrade

nb: This year sees the introduction of ‘Dark Mode’.
It will be some time before we have amended all the screens and controls of MacStitch to be compatible with the Dark mode option.

New Gogo Threads

tumblr_inline_pjm4t4ZnEv1u4wei9_540
Our friends at Gogo Cross Stitch App (an app that lets you ‘cross stitch on your phone’ without the cloth, needles, or silks) have introduced some new colors to their range.  We have produced a set of matching threads for this, and you can download them from here:
http://www.ursasoftware.com/freestuff/GOGO_Cross_Stitch_App.threads.zip
(Just unzip and drag the threads file onto your open WinStitch or MacStitch application to install, or drag the file into the usual ‘threads’ folder.)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.moxygames.gogocs&hl=en_GB

Making Money

This is a question received recently but it crops up now and then, so here it is as an FAQ:
‘I’m considering buying MacStitch and I wanted to make sure first whether I’m allowed to sell patterns made with it on Etsy and other marketplaces and if there is any special version requirement for it.
Thanks in advance, A’

Answer: Of course you are! Happy We don’t even ask you to mention the software you use. Loads of people are doing it, and you don’t need any special version, although the Premium edition has better tools for generating PDF files. Good luck!

'Canvas' Discontinued

Our ‘Canvas’ application ( a cut down build of our 2014 editions) has been discontinued.
It was a 32bit application and also is incompatible with Mojave.

PDF and the 'Rich Black' Issue

Currently, MacStitch and WinStitch generate PDF files for emailing, and onscreen viewing, with colors described in RGB terms. 
Some professional printers translate those into CMYK colors before going to press.
In the process, in order to get deeper looking blacks for photos, they print black as ‘black plus some extra cyan,magenta, and blue’. Overprinting, in effect.
This is known as ‘Rich Black’.  But it’s not great for text and thin lines, especially if the printing process is not as accurate as it could be.. lines and text can smudge.
So we are now looking into ways to tell the Printers 
not to do that for lines and text.
In the meantime, if this kind of thing causes a problem for your work, there is a fix you can apply yourselves, instructions are below:
Using 
Acrobat Pro - Choose Convert colors’ from the Print Production’ tool bar on the right hand side. 
Then in the convert colors dialogue box, select ’Preserve Black’ in the ‘Convert options’ section near to the bottom. 
Change the output intent if required , then click OK. 
This will convert all colors which are ‘rich black’ to 100k  (full black, no cyan/magenta/blue)

Erase Backgrounds

We just added a nifty way to remove unwanted background from imported images. Simply select the area you want to keep, and choose ‘Erase Background’

Designs by RingCat

tumblr_pbig6rMUjD1r311doo1_1280
Finished the cute avocado and cat pun. An avocato.
This one has been featured on the official dmc facebook page Happy
You can find the pattern here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/583770812/avocato-cross-stitch-pattern-pdf-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_2

Windows defender - too keen?

We have become aware of people having trouble installing anything (not just our app!) on their Windows 10 computers. Symptoms include being told the hard drive is full during installation, or messages about Favorites folder when the app is running.  This is Windows Defender being ruthless about what it allows you to do. In some cases it has been known to block installs completely, even of Microsoft’s own products such as Office!
If you have trouble installing, Defender can be turned off temporarily during install. That will allow you to install properly, and the desktop icon will be created without the (incorrect)  ‘drive full’ message.
Defender can and usually should be turned back on afterwards.
However, if you then get message after message about ‘favourites’ folder being used (which is a normal part of windows use), you may want to grant our app permission to run unimpeded.
To do that for WinStitch (or any other trusted application), you need to ‘Add an Exclusion’
  • Go to Start  > Settings Updates & Security  > Windows Security Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings > Add or remove exclusions.
  • Under Add an exclusion, select the files, folders, file types, or process. The exclusion will apply to subfolders within a folder as well.
  • Select C:`\program files x86\winstitch 20xx\winstitch.exe

iPad & iPhone App available!

Cross Stitch Markup for iOS has been released!  This is a companion app to WinStitch and MacStitch, which lets you mark up your designs for sewing while on the move, without sheets of paper or fiddly PDF files.  It reads CHART and MOTIF files, and you can markup on screen at the touch of a finger.  Whats more it is completely FREE! (No ads, no nags, no paid upgrades)    get your copy now!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cross-stitch-markup/id1434170027?ls=1&mt=8 tumblr_inline_pesj6juoPv1u4wei9_540
tumblr_inline_pesj74jNmp1u4wei9_540
tumblr_inline_pesj7cIqxf1u4wei9_540

BitDefender and 'unable to unpack files'

Bitdefender can overreact to apps it does not recognise. If it decides that WinStitch is a problem on your machine, it can prevent us installing the threads and palettes and other support files. (We place those in Documents - it’s not supposed to be a ‘protected’ folder, but BitDefender seems to feel it should be.)
If this happens to you, here is how to enable WinStitch for BitDefender. 
(With thanks to Beth Davis-Hofbauer who worked with us patiently to find the cause)
Open BitDefender.
Click ‘View Features’   Under ‘Safe Files’, choose ‘Application Acess’
If you 
are having trouble, WinStitch will appear on that list , showing as ‘blocked’. Change that to ‘Allowed’, and all should work properly!
tumblr_inline_peyn5dIZH71u4wei9_540

Inspiring Design


tumblr_pgzesalrVk1x4odjlo1_1280

A Quote

Definitely the best products for designing cross stich out there!  I use MacStitch and WinStitch.  Customer services are excellent too – honest and very helpful.  Please feel free to post this wherever you like if you think it’s appropriate!


Nicola Kucharski
—