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Tools for making, manipulating, and viewing cross-stitch patterns.

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What is this?

This is "stitchcraft", a collection of interoperable terminal-oriented tools for generating cross-stitch patterns.

How good is it?

"stitchcraft" is free-as-in-mattress. It is several bits of software the author created to satisfy her own needs; if it's useful to you, great!

How can I install it?

If you are familiar with building OCaml packages with opam:

dune build in the top-level directory of your cloned repository and follow any directions given in the Error lines until the build succeeds. Once that happens, you should be able to dune exec the individual programs from the project's top-level directory.

Pinning the package with opam pin and then installing should work as well.

If you are not familiar with this toolstack:

Stitchcraft is written in OCaml and uses several OCaml tools including the dune build system. See documentation there to get started.

A better user experience for such folks may come someday.

How can I use it?

Stitchcraft bundles several subcommands under stitchcraft, further subdivided into several categories. stitchcraft --help should help you find what you're looking for.

If you're interested in writing your own OCaml program using these libraries, you'll probably be interested in stitchy/lib, where core type definitions and several helpful operations are defined. Try a dune utop in the top-level stitchcraft directory to play around with what stitchcraft offers.

Importing Graphics

ih is a fabulous command-line tool for automatically generating cross-stitch patterns from raster images. There is a fork of ih available at which adds a -o json output mode; the output of ih in this mode is a list of layers, which can be imported into a Stitchcraft workflow with the assemble tool.

Design Goals

All tools are built around the central stitchy library and a simple JSON-based interchange format. As a tool of last resort, it is possible to hand-build patterns understandable by Stitchcraft, but I hope it's easier to use the libraries to build tools instead.

Current Features

  • tries its best to not fuck up when confronted with unicode
  • looks cool on your terminal
  • generates usable PDFs

Future Features

  • PDF export for large numbers of threads (currently the symbol and materials pages will overflow)
  • a few included glyphsets for getting started
  • nicer listing preview graphics
  • Zoom in stitchcraft view terminal

Anti-features / out-of-scope stuff

  • taking raster images and converting them to patterns. ih does a great job and can interoperate with stitchcraft.
  • vector font scaling and rasterization. kxstitch does this well.
  • backstitch support in stitchcraft view terminal. I anticipate any other terminal users also hating backstitch.


Most early work on this software was done at the Recurse Center, and supported financially by a fellowship from that organization. I am deeply grateful to RC for all its support in the past, present, and future.

The fonts included with this software were originally packaged by VileR and are available in their entirety at VileR has kindly packaged these fonts and provided them under a CC-BY-SA license.

This software depends heavily on notty, camlpdf, and various small and useful libraries from

Lastly, the authors and maintainers of the OCaml language and its tooling have made an environment that I find joyful to work in. Thank you for helping me make things!


Tools for making, manipulating, and viewing cross-stitch patterns.






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