I only recently began cross stitching after the birth of my son, and soon became hooked! in time i developed a desire to design my own charts but graph paper and coloured pencils seemed too much like hard work. all that counting had my eyes baffled! i picked up DMC pattern designer and i can honestly say it is the best cross stitch software i have come across. it is so easy to use and i was designing and printing off my own charts in less than an hour. it has 100 motifs already on it which i found useful for adding borders etc. however, the best feature in my opinion is the fact that you can import any photograph or image from your hard drive and turn it into a chart with the click of a button. it also puts together a key so you can see at a glance which DMC threads you will need. since i bought this software i have been stitching my own home made charts rather than buying them. DMC cross stitch pattern designer isnt just for the experienced stitcher as it includes a tutorial which, with the help of video clips and animations, teaches every aspect of cross stitching in an easy to follow way. for this reason, it is perfect for both novice and experienced cross stitchers alike.