Thanks to one of our users, we found 2 issues in our alpha pattern generators which didn't work quite correctly with 0-knots. We managed to find a solution with our moderators very quickly. It would take me a lot more time to figure it out all by myself, so big thanks to the whole team for looking into the issue and providing valuable feedback! 🙂
If you've never heard about 0-knots (noknots, left out knots, ...), there's a feature in our alpha and normal generators that allows you to create patterns with "holes" inside them. You can do that just by writing a '0' where you would normally put the name of the knot (normal patterns) or the name of the colour (alpha patterns). It's pretty popular amongst normal patterns, but wasn't used very often for alphas and we might've found out why 🙂.
I'll divide this blog post into 2 parts, to cover both of the issues separately:
1. We found out that the alpha generator was preventing our users to submit shaped alpha patterns, because there was a restriction in place that shouldn't have been there. Maybe you've already noticed it in the past, it was a critical warning saying: "First knot on line X doesn't start where the last line ended.". It may sound a bit ambiguous at first, but was a historical warning that was added a long time ago when the shaped alpha technique wasn't very common. It was there to prevent submitting patterns that aren't knottable, which is not the case for quite some time now 🙂. So the solution for this issue was quite simple - removing the critical warning altogether. We'll still be checking if the patterns you submit are knottable, but we'll be doing it during the review because this warning was just a bit too strict and it's pretty tricky to automate this kind of logic reliably. So from now on, you should be able to submit any shaped alpha patterns you can think of! 🎉
2. The second thing we addressed is actually a new feature in our draw alpha generator. Up until now, it didn't support 0-knots at all! 🙁 When you opened up an alpha pattern containing 0-knots, they were all "replaced" by the first color that was used in the pattern, which meant that if you wanted to edit and save the pattern, all the 0-knots would've been lost. From now on, you should be able to both see and input 0-knots directly in the draw alpha generator! 🔥 All you need to do to use this special knot is right-clicking on the "pixel" in the grid (on desktop) or doing a long press (on mobile).
These improvements will allow you to create shaped alpha patterns that were not possible to create before and should also make it easier than ever to do! 🙂 We really hope you'll like these new updates! 🔥 And as always, thanks for reading and happy tying everyone! 🎉