A racking tale: Passap/Brother 3

WORK IN PROGRESS 

While browsing through  E6 Passap model magazines I was intrigued by the pattern in this edition with models for childrenshown below on the right The instructions for the stitch pattern include a knitting technique to be programmed via a card reader. The results of entering it would be altering the pattern internally with the goal of providing racking directions on the console with each pass of the locks. The Duo has a 40 stitch wide punchcard capacity while the black and white squares repeat is 14 stitches wide, so not for use on it. DIY techniques for the E6 are a whole other topic, so let us analyze the Duo instructions. Keep in mind that in Passap the front bed moves when racking, it is the patterning bed. In Brother the “front bed” is actually the ribber, while patterning occurs on the top bed, so needle arrangements will be reversed. Brother has only needles, so pusher selection is not pertinent in diagrams. The out of work needle positions on the back bed need to be matched in the same arrangement and location on the Brother ribber. Transfers are made more easily be made to the knit bed after completing the cast on and the first KC preselection row is knit. Be sure to return any preselected needles to their original position. If the needle pitch on the ribber is changed to P to make the transfers easier, remember to change it back to H before proceeding, this is a fabric with every needle configurations on both beds. Translating Duo directions to black and white squares in order to develop a repeat for use on Brother: N/N is easy. The Duo is using buttons on the front bed and selection in response to their arrow setting to alter and progress through the pattern. The set up is with 7 needles up, 7 down, creating a 14 stitch repeat. BX on Duo (LX with patterning on front bed E6) is the equivalent of slip setting on Brother. No arrow keys, Passap on N, everything knits. Brother equivalent is a row of black squares (or punched holes if applicable) for each row on the N/N knit setting. BX <– will reverse the needle selection from whatever it was immediately before the previous rows of N/N, and remain there for the full racking sequence. After the first 32-row repeat is completed, at the end of the 12 racked rows, there will then be 4 all knit rows between racking sequences, two knit rows at the top would match 2 rows knit at the start. Once again, the BX<-for one row sets up the alternate blocks of racking. I chose to start my repeat with the 930 cast on in racking position 10. The chart shows racking positions on each row, reversing direction after having reached #4. E6 knitters may use the same repeat, matching the Duo racking starting on 3 left to 3 right and back

The repeat viewed tiled:My samples actually produced a mirror image of the repeat, this is how that would have appeared flipped horizontally in the magazine
I first used a blue Italian import 2/14 wool, which knit well, but I had a hard time seeing the stitches being formed on each bed and missed a couple of dropped ones. The 2/24 acrylic to its right knit resulted in occasionally dropped stitches that were actually solved by swapping out the needle retaining bar. A sample in the yellow 2/13 wool used in previous posts simply would not stay on the ribber well for the number of rows in this pattern.
After swapping out the needle retainer bar,  knitting went smoothly. On the right in the photos below, the same racking sequences and needles out of work on the ribber are used, but the knit carriage was not set to slip, so essentially, every stitch on every row on the top bed was being knit. In addition to needle preselection, one should also check the type of stitches actually being formed. One of the disadvantages to knitting ribber fabrics is that several inches may be produced before one can actually evaluate the pattern being knit by peeking between the beds.I will have to revisit a previous post with some interesting racked textures that now appear to me to be related to this one,  beginning with this one, from a publication for the dubied machine this case the back bed knits every stitch, every row, a single function on all needles. If produced in the illustrated orientation, the racking bed (ribber) switches from knitting to slipping stitches. In Japanese machines, the ribber carriage cams must be switched manually from slip to knit to reproduce the pattern. To begin with, the repeat is rotated so it is the knit bed that will have the needle out of work selection was hesitant to rack four positions after only 3 rows of all knit, so I began with 4 rows knit, 4 rows slipped, with needles set up as shown above. The racking happens after every 8 rows by 4 positions, and the first all needle preselection row at the top of each repeat is an easy marker for moving the ribber. Pitch is in H, the top bed can be moved even though all needles are selected because the ribber needles are in B position, and there are no potential jams. I chose to start at 10 and move from that to 6 and back. Solid black and white lines can be used, since the needle selection on the top bed is fixed and altered by movements of the beds in relation to each other, not the programmed pattern itself. The repeat with main bed set to slip <– –>, the ribber set  to N/N and the resulting swatch:

Using the same yarn, reducing the tension a bit, and knitting 3 rows, slipping 3 rows, racking 10 to 6 and back to 10. A partial view of my needle bed:All needles used in my swatch:As end stitches knit on the ribber alone, a small edge weight may be required on that side. As stitches on the main bed are not worked in the slip stitch rows, they become elongated. Racking by 4 positions is not possible unless there is enough fabric so as not to pull so much that stitches will not knit off. If the yarn does not have some “give” that can make the changes in position harder, some yarns may break easily. The long stitches:After the needles are preselected for next row of all knit, rack to the next position; the long stitches will then lean to one side or the other The resulting swatch, shown on both sides: The texture becomes more pronounced after the swatch rests. If acrylic is used, remember not to press the knit. An attempt to identify stitch actions:This is the swatch knit changing ribber settings to and from slip <– –> to N/N on appropriate rows.  I found the method above far simpler

Racked patterns 5: Passap/Brother 2

I have been asked whether this particular fabric discussed in the post could be produced on the Passap. The only way to find out is to try it. The lesson already learned: use a yarn that is crisp or capable of retaining memory for maximum effect. Here the swatch is knit in a 3/14 cotton. To start with, racking was from position 0 to 6 and back. Racking every 2 rows at the bottom of the sample, every row at its topNow adding needles out of work with the expectation of folds at approximate center of each foldThis was my set up, after planning the repeat and transferring a couple of stitches on each end to the back bed for better side edges Racking started in center position 0, then swung to 3 left, to 3 right, ending on 0. I long ago got frustrated with the Passap numbering, marked the racking positions with a permanent marker from 0 on the right to 6 on the left. The knit result is definitely a rolling fabric, though a bit less so than the Brother sample which was able to move across more racking positions Reviewing some racking facts: several posts previously written that include information for racking designs on both brands
2018/07/19/more-scales-and-chevrons-in-ribbed-racked-4-fabrics/
2016/01/13/racking-2-vertical-chevrons-herringbone/
2016/02/02/vertical-racking-3-automating-half-fisherman-in-pattern-2/
2016/01/09/ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/
2018/10/14/fisherman-english-tuck-stitch-rib-1-checks-patterns-brother-passap/
2015/11/22/racked-ribber-cast-on-and-rib-configuration-tips/

Brother racking controls: the handle, racking indicator, and pitch lever There are ample illustrations including from Brother Ribber Techniques Book in previous posts on procedural steps. Passap: racking handle is up for full pitch (point to point), down for half-pitch. It is turned one full rotation for each unit/ number change in ranking positions. Partial rotations may be suggested when some of its accessories ie their transfer carriage are used. As stated, Brother has 10 positions, Passap only 6. Passap E6 manual shows racking patterns possible with console built-in designs on pp. 118, 119, 120, 121, techniques used in racking patterns number 257-272. The console gives prompts for the direction in racking sequences. Self-programmed designs would need a separate knitting technique entered into the console as an additional “design”. This can be done with a card reader combined with a pattern download from a computer. Programs that automated the function to any degree are no longer on the market. Typically, in published patterns for either brand, if the starting point for the racking sequence is important, it will be given along with the frequency of movements such as in this design from the Duo 80 bookProgramming the front bed on Passap or main bed on Brother with tuck or slip selections begins to enter far greater common ground. Decades ago my advanced knitting curriculum included Passap weekend workshops in addition to Brother course classroom and studio hours. I spent a lot of time exploring techniques, often my manual includes scribbled notes. Manual guidelines for E6 patterning, beginning with advice for knitting them 

I have to admit I cannot always now decipher some of my note-taking or my own handwriting. The additional confusion that comes into work in cross-brand translations is the fact that some E6 techniques may only be used as programmed by the factory, others may be “combined with stitch patterns”. Getting it down to black and white squares when stitch patterns in E6 and are to be translated for other KM brands is a bit more complex, easier done from the Duo 80 instructions when an E 6 is not available for test knitting. The Duo manual is low on swatch and pattern assortment, but a small book, available online can provide inspiration for many textures, the Passap system’s particular strength. Some Duo symbols and their meaning
Many designs are based on one or both beds having needles out of work. Transferring stitches from one bed to the other can be done from needle diagrams on the Duo 80 and punchcard machines after the cast on row is closed. If the specific technique in the E6 offers a pusher selection after the first SX/GX row (262,264, 265, 269, 270, 282) transfer stitches then with locks on left, otherwise, transfer after the second SX/GX pass to the right (257,258,259). After the pattern is set up in E6 place all the pushers in rest position completely out of work.
Pushers corresponding to needles out of work on the back bed need to be in the back rail so as not to cause mispatterning if arrow keys are used. In Japanese electronics, transfers can be made after the first KC pass, making certain emptied needles are placed completely out of work. Set up the knit bed first, so alignment relationships are correct for out of work selections on both beds.
As in any ribber pattern, if the major part of the piece is being knit single bed, the tension will need to be adjusted to closer to that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn. Passap knitters have the added option of changing stripper in use to another color.
When designing your own patterns and starting the movements on either side of the machine, it will take some sorting out as to what arrangement of needles in work is best on the Passap back bed or Brother ribber is best for side edges as one bed moves beyond the last stitch in work on the knit bed. There should be no stitches on it without stitches behind them as the racked stitches travel from each side to the other if the goal is pieces that will be seamed ie. front and back of a sweater.
The E6 console may not always give the proper selection for needle set up for the front bed as seen in one of my swatches. There are never instructions for the back bed needle or pusher positions. Those need to be hand selected based on diagrams after the front bed is set up, and following the diagrams provided with each technique to produce the specific fabric illustrated. That can be disregarded in one’s experiments with needle arrangement and lock settings and how they relate to the movement in the racked stitches.
If one needs to stop the process at any point it is a good idea to devise a method of keeping track of where the stop occurred and whether a racking movement has taken place yet or not. Forming personal, consistent habits is also useful, ie. I find when racking with color changes I rack before I change the color consistently. Racking when using multiple colors often happens at the end of the color change sequence ie. 2 colors, rack after 4 rows. A bit more attention needs to happen when racking is for only a few positions. I tend to start mine on the far right at 0, so I can move the one or 2 steps and am stopped by the machine on my return, giving me an error margin on only one side.
A few Duo/Passap comparisons

Swatches: this E6 design introduces needles out of work. The E6 swatch in color below on the far left has a slightly different needle arrangement than the DUO one to its right. Technique #257 has a * beside it, which usually indicates the repeat must be altered to produce the fabric. 120 is the page on which the swatch photo appears Altered designs are listed on pp. 129-131of the E6 pattern book for all stitch types. 

The original on the left is mirrored, the selection is fixed, the height is multiplied X 6. The lengthening does not influence the design, it tells the console how many swings in each direction are planned. The console, in turn, gives visual and sound prompts for each racking movement, in this instance,  by one full turn clockwise. The prompts often start the pattern in the center 0, and begin and end with half a sequence.  The front bed is set to slip stitch, so black squares knit. Both beds will knit every needle/pusher in work throughout. After first preselection row on either brand needles and pushers in non selected areas need to be put out of work, accomplished by transferring them to the opposite bed. The design process is the same as having a fixed row on a punchcard machine, with a single selection being repeated over and over. The racking position indicator on the duo shows the start of the pattern at 0 position, Brother equivalent = 10. In the duomatic the carriage is set for plain knitting, no patterning is required. The needle out of work selection is different than the E6 sample, but the racking sequence is the same. Brother options: fixed needle selection if the fabric is created fully as a hand technique does not require any programming. Electronics could be used with the repeat drawn X6 in height so that the racking direction is reversed after the first sequence is completed and the return to row 1 of the repeat is preselected. Machines that allow for it can have info added to memo windows or even on mylars to help accuracy in long pieces. Punchcard machines could punch a single row on #1 for accurate needle selection if it falls within the 24 stitch limits or hand-select them, mark racking numbers in repeat, and go on from there.  My sample was knit in a tightly twisted cotton, and when off the machine had an interesting and unexpected fold 3Dquality

The setup is essentially the same, with white squares representing needles and pushers that need to be out of work. Tech 258 uses LX (slip) on the front bed, back bed si set to N. The duomatic pattern has a different OOW needle arrangement, the front lock is also set to tuck =  FX (E6=KX), adding another layer of texture and complexity. Needles are also out of work on the back bed.

E6000 264* is used both as a pattern and a technique number uses the X6 as well for accompanying prompts. Needle/pusher selection is for 3 in work and 9 out of work for 2 rows, then reversing it for to 9 in work, 2 out of work for 2 rows, thus accommodating the alternating color change. The Duo on the front bed performs a similar selection with the BX <– arrow key, racking is every 4 rows in both. It takes 24 rows to reach the full racking position reversal. These were the pusher selections, each repeated X 2, creating the wrong fabricWhat is knitting in terms of black and white squares if one continues:this repeat is what is required to match the technique diagramAfter the first row of pusher selection transfer 3 stitches on either side of the center 3 in each group of 9 to the back bed. This shows the proper selection, each is repeated twiceI continued to knit with plain knitting on the back bed for proof of concept, every other needle selection, and slip (BX) stitch <– –> there would compress the “wave” since half as many rows would then be knit on that bed in each color. As always, forgetting to set the lock/carriage to slip will result in knit stripes as seen on the right of my sideways swatchBelow the pattern alternates blocks of 5 black squares, 5 white, color changing every 2 rows and reversing racking direction after every 24 rows. The full repeat is 48 rows. If rows knit in the zig-zag are counted, they amount to 12 because each color slips it is not knitting for 2 rows. Note that to achieve the color reversal at the halfway point of the repeat the same color (2) knits for 4 rows, at the top of the repeat color 1 does the same.

Below tuck patterning is introduced in both beds. The front bed is knitting tuck on every other needle for 2 rows each,  easy to reproduce on Brother AX<– on the back bed will knit when pushers are up for 2 rows, tuck on the same needles when they are selected down, also for 2 rows. Brother knitters could try to set the ribber carriage to tuck in one direction only, or simply set it to knit every row

Though tech 264 states it may not be combined with a stitch pattern, I programmed built-in # 1002 X 6 in height, back bed set to slip (BX<–) every 2 rows. Racking occurs every 4.  Full repeat is 48 rows. Back bed pushers should be in work so they stay inside the edge from knit stitches on the front bed. This was a quick test. The knit side is unremarkable, the mess on the left edge on the upper right of the top photo is because I began with 2 needles in work on the back bed like in the illustration above. As I racked counterclockwise the stitches on them kept pulling away from the side edge (back bed, left). The technique continues to give racking prompts as written by the factory, so none would exist for the rows with no racking in the pattern
Back to acrylic yarn, light color for more visibility creative yarn snag on the left midway, full swing movement is shown, each is 48 rows in height. As always it helps to check whether stitches are obliging by staying on the needle bed. The top half of the swatch is shown.
In turn, I programmed # 1000 X 6 in height but pusher selection was all up for one row, one down. I left it alone, and lastly, worked with pusher selection on the back bed, BX <–. Patterning advances a fixed repeat every row or every other, determined by original hand-selected up for selection and down above rail for out of selection. The front lock is left on N (disregard front for setting it to LX) there is a whole other world of possibilities, while the console racking sequences can be used from built-in techniques.  Any ribber needle selection on Brother other than the use of lili buttons would have to be done manually.

The range of fabrics with programming additional patterns in tuck, slip, or combinations thereof along with needles in and out of work on the either or both beds increases the possibilities for fabrics with texture and dimension exponentially. 

Translating Passap model book pattern/use on Brother 1

A facebook member recently shared this photo, followed by a “wish I could make it” comment, it is from the Passap #60 pattern book.I began a spreadsheet on my blog intending to update it over time that may be useful when traveling between Brother and Passap 
The style in the photo is that of a generously sized dropped shoulder sweater. I will not share pattern instructions but will try to interpret some of the possibilities for knitting it as written or for achieving similar textures on the Brother machines To start with, you will note the recommended test swatch size is 100 stitches by 100 rows. When gauge matters as in dbj or heavily textured knits, this is a necessity. In turn, math calculations also become easier in metric. If using the knitleader I have sometimes reduced the swatch size to 80 stitches by 80 rows. Even for scarves where calculations may matter less, when transitioning from smaller gauge swatches to larger stitch counts there can be surprises. What knits on 60 stitches may refuse to do so on larger stitch counts, requiring tension and gauge adjustments. Although Passap promoted that it knits easily with no weights, I always cast on with ribber cast on comb, and then, if needed, the addition of weights may be easily made.
Strippers, which push down on the knit from the lock as it moves from side to side, have no equivalent in Brother, where weight is an absolute necessity when working ribbed fabrics. Stripper handles come in varied colors: orange is for double bed work, black is for single bed work, blue is for very heavy fabrics. A suggested rule of thumb is that if you are knitting on both back and front bed in a stitch pattern where several needles in work are opposite needles out of work use black strippers ( 3×3 rib or cables and Aran work would be examples). Sometimes spacing between the 2 beds will make black strippers harder to use, other times 2 different types may be used concurrently for best results.
As the size of the piece changes ie. in shaped sleeves, any weight must be adjusted proportionately to keep the gauge constant in order to avoid sizing surprises.
The Passap is a true double bed. The image on the left is of the Passap locks and on the right, of a stripper. The position of the beds is reversed to the Japanese, the knit bed is in front, the “ribber” in back. The locks (carriages) pr select pushers, they, in turn, select needles akin to Brother pre-selection. That is the reason why the Passap needle set up diagrams include more information bits than those for Japanese machines. Additional details for any of the above are only provided in publications if they are necessary to create the particular stitch type. That said, one is free to add a knitting bed or alter lock settings simply based on the goal for the piece and an understanding of what black and white squares “do” in a pattern download. Looking at the Passap back lock, one can see the larger variety of the equivalent of cam button settings in Brother. The Passap buttons also referred to as arrow keys at its very rear make altering and automating patterns on the back bed easier and possible in a far wider assortment on any number of needles. The Brother lili setting, the equivalent of the #1 punchcard, must have an even number of needles in use on the ribber.
The arrow keys on the back lock reverse the Passap position of the pushers. Pushers that are down are brought up, pushers that are up are brought down. Arrows reverse when knitting in the direction of the arrow (think Brother preselection row), but cause needles to perform that function that same row. The O button releases any arrows, therefore pushers remain in the same position. N will knit disregarding arrow selection on the back bed. One arrow key reverses the pattern every 2 rows, 2 arrow keys do so every row.
Slip setting with pushers on Passap E6000 back lock is also BX, on the front lock it is LX. That differs from diagrams in the model and pattern books and magazines, which generally refer to Duomatic (Passap punchcard) settings. The assumption in the directions for the E6 is that the built-in techniques will provide you with LED prompts for any of the lock settings matching them to the right of schematics for the DUO, rather than that you would attempt to knit the pattern in some other way or on a different KM brand.
Scrolling down the pattern: Pintuck Pattern A: Deco card 77, E 6000 # 1130, technique 251No pushers are illustrated. Back bed (N) knits every row. The front bed is set to slip in both directions (BX on Duo, LX on E6), pushers will be selected in the pattern by the console. When using Tech 251 two rows are knitting on the front bed forming pintucks where there are black squares in the stitch pattern. Brother probably would reach its limit with the original 1130, might be able to handle a thin yarn in a repeat slightly wider and taller. The Passap repeat becomes twice the length but is unaltered in its width. My swatch has an extra repeat before switching to normal knit, the red line highlights where the trim would have ended. The blistered pockets will appear as knit textured shapes on the purl side. The knit side will show a pattern of elongated stitches created when those needles are slipped. The red line in the photo shows the approximate ending for the repeat used in the trim in the magazine, I was on a roll and kept on knitting.
Pintuck pattern B: Deco repeat is 20 stitches wide (Duo cards are 40 stitches wide)The directions at the time the model books were written for knitting with the console were designed to have the knitter work with built-in patterns and then to use the alter possibilities to manipulate them to achieve the same result as the punched holes might in the final repeat in the Duo. The Passap console had a card reader that operated with sheets that were in turn inserted into a sleeve and were drawn on with “special” pens. C6, proprietary early software that operated with a dongle, came a bit later.  There was a large factory built-in pattern library, and the manufacturer, Madag, supplied free files for the Duo pattern books in formats that could be used with the program for “easy” download. The 910 had variation buttons and instructions for combining multiple patterns using the factory-supplied mylar sheets. The intent was to allow the knitter to maximize the use of both. I honestly have avoided altering patterns that way intentionally most of my knitting career, finding I simply prefer programming black and white squares for the function intended, which for me is easier to visualize and reduces errors. The trend explains the E6000 instructions in the magazine, but in fact, the 20 stitch repeat as drawn can be downloaded and entered as-is, bypassing the alter loop manipulations. Technique 253: a pintuck is formed where there are white squares. For each row of squares, one row is knitted on the front bed. Pushers will knit for one row, rest for 1 row. 1124 is the console built-in pattern used in my test swatch and below it, its mirrored image tiled repeat to get a sense of the movement of the triangles:note: the direction of the chart pattern repeat for 1124 is reversed in the blisters. It appears as drawn on the knit side of the fabric, where stitches are slipped and elongated to create the pintuck texture on the purl side 

In the Duo HX setting the front bed normally knits or slips according to the design for one row, and slips the next row. Again, the chart illustration is for the Duomatic and the lock there takes over the function performed automatically by the E6 technique. The back bed in this instance knits every row. In the E 6000 the front lock is set to LX (slip <– –>). The fabric created may be referred to as blister or pintuck (nothing to do with tuck stitch/brioche). The bubbly texture appears on the purl side. Stitches that slip on the bed with needle or pusher selection elongate, pulling extra rows together eventually, helping to form pockets that are sealed periodically by all knit rows. With pushers down, no needles selected, the front (knit) bed skips/ slips associated needles. With the back bed (ribber) set to N, its stitches will knit every row.

Pusher selection is down when front bed slips (akin to no needle  preselection on Brother)This selection happens between each pattern row, as the design is advanced This shows the pattern as knit on the Passap, reduced to black and white squares Taking a closer look at the pintucks on the sweater body Going for the safe repeat on Brother machine: color makes a significant difference in how visible the pattern will be. Both yarns are supposedly the same weight, the white was hard to knit, and there was a needle that dropped stitches regularly. The blue yarn knit with no problem here the repeat is rendered twice as long, and the texture becomes more visible a sideways view:The last swatch in the series: I am now able to use Ayab once more, img2track is having issues for me with its use on the 930. My repeat, therefore, is planned for the maximum width I may wish to test knit on the 910 machine, emulating tech 253. Every other row there is no needle selection on the main bed except for first and last needle if KCI is used. On those rows the ribber only knits, there are more rows in the blister “pockets”. I knit the sample quickly, not checking every row, and in this instance had two dropped stitches on the main bed, and no breaks. Yarns with memory ie wool are the best for texture retention, acrylics such as my blue yarn would flatten permanently if pressed, resulting in a very different fabric. It takes experimentation to sort out whether the extra step is worth the effort or is problematic during lengthier knitting

In summary: Passap E6000 knitting techniques 250-255 are used to produce pintucks.  When using 250, 252, 254, the pintucks are formed on the back bed on the needles that are opposite those with the pushers selected down in accordance with programmed black squares.  The corresponding odd numbers 251, 253, 255, select pushers down according to programmed white squares (253 in the manual should say white, not black squares). Since the pintuck is formed on the back bed, setting it on FX (Tuck) may also be used, the pintucks then become blurred, producing a fabric which is wider. Width of the resulting knit may be significant when producing garment panels. One option in cross-brand might be to use every other needle selection on ribber, with its carriage to tuck in one direction, knit in the other, resulting in a spotted pintuck. My Passap manual is filled with scribbles, often including notes on alternate fabrics produced with same technique numbers.

Returning to the specific sweater pattern: below the back bed is set to GX in the first 2 instances, which is akin to setting the Brother ribber to slip in both directions, no stitches are knit. There are no pushers or needles illustrated on the back bed, so the implication but not necessarily the fact is that these are single bed fabrics. How to transition between them and the double bed would need to be considered (see notes at end of the post). The pattern is an elongated one, using slip stitch and color changes every 2 rows, carrying one color at a time. Again, on the E6 front lock Duo BX is LX, arrow key function on the front bed is replaced by the technique console instructions. The E6 front lock has no buttons or arrows.
Tech 176: knits one color selection for 2 rows, then the alternate color selection for 2 rows; Pattern 1100the Brother equivalent in the next sample the same repeat 1100 is programmed via the console and enlarged  <–> X2, which means in the number of stitches onlythis is what will be knit, translatable to Brother, also with color change every 2 rows

Tech 183: long stitch backing, back bed knits every stitch, every row. Brother would require the separation to be made for the elongated triangle to match the Passap knit where each design row color knits twice in succession. Ribber or back bed settings could be altered to suit if preferred.
The shawl is what some may call a scarfThe above is the first illustration showing pushers on the back bed in alternate positions of rest (down) and work (up, toward the front of the machine) in groups. The pushers here at the end on either bed create the colored border on each side. The selection is opposite to the one on the end needles on the front bed. When the latter pushers are up, the back bed are down (slipping/not knitting), when they are down (not knitting the color in the yarn feeder), the back bed are up. This is an instance where to achieve the same, hand selection would need to happen on the Brother ribber on every row, or 2 sets of paired carriages, each carrying a color, could be used. Tech 181: is used for double bed fair isle with background color only on the backside. To seal the edges usually the first and last pusher on the back bed is brought into work, here 2 are used, creating a 2 stitch contrasting color border. Color is changed every 2 rows. To me this is an instance of because it is published, you may still not want to knit it. This is the first-row initial needle and pusher position on the front bed It is altered every other row (same is true on the back bed with the arrow key in use). My blue yarn is the body color, the white the border one. I only knit a very few rows, but that is enough to observe what is happening:  the blue knits everywhere but on the stitches intended for the contrasting border when the border stitches knit only on each side, floats are formed the width of the needle bed between border stitches for two rows they are then enclosed by the next row of blue every needle riband there is considerable bleed-through of the white on both the knit and the purl side of the fabric

Tech 183: is double bed fair isle with striper backing. It essentially knits the elongated pattern 1130.

One then comes to actual knitting and putting the pieces together. Instructions are not always clear. There are several transitions in this piece. The trim at the bottom of the front, sleeves, and back is a double bed every needle rib that transitions easily from one textured pattern into the next. Its purl sides face the outside. The same is true for the back and sleeves, both are both knit from the trim on up. The front top portions are knit sideways as are the button bands, and they are in turn joined to the mixed stitch type “front border”. The “front border” is puzzling.  Since the geometric pattern shows on the “knit” side, the trim by default then would have the slip stitch front bed pattern showing on the outside in order for it to transition directly to DBJ, not the pintuck. Looking closely at the photo there is a clue that that is indeed the plan in that the edge closest to the cast one has the triangles at the start facing in the opposite direction of that in the test swatch purl vs knit side.
I also see extra colored hems in addition to patterned “FI” ones. The back bed can be set to slip (GX), the patterned section knit on the front bed, then the back bed returned to knit to seal the hem. This is not indicated in the schematics or the written directions. The same can be done with added solid color changes (purple and blue in the photo), knitting several rows on the front bed, then sealing it with a return to N on the back bed. That same row can also be planned as a selection row for DBJ. I am still knitting my swatches in 2/24 acrylic, which is also not always the best to use. If I were to knit the piece, the cast on would get some work on it, as well as the tension adjustments for each fabric segment.

Pattern 1130 is also used in the same issue # 60 in the body of a man’s sweater. In using Tech 250 pintucks are formed where there are black squares in the stitch pattern, for each row of squares 2 rows are knit on the front bed, elongating the pattern X 2

The Passap magazines generally also included a strip of heavier stock paper with samples of the yarn recommended for the particular pattern ie this one from another issue, which facilitated substitutions and provided a better sense of color than the garment photosBrother ribber and DBJ settings reviewed  including for solid color backing.

Because of the Passap capacity for heavily textured stitches, many of their early pubs included several patterns for use with tuck or slip stitch settings. This issue is dated 1990, may be found with accompanying pattern instructions in French online, the sweater on the right uses a pintuck pattern with appliqued pockets in a  different knit structure the repeat is 20 by 20 stitches wide, E6 Tech 253 is suggested, white squares form the pintucks, the same technique used in my sample knit using console design 1124Working with simple shapes such as triangles can be an easy way to help one begin to understand how various techniques build up stitch or row counts, altering the original. Several of my DBJ posts are written using a cousin of pattern 1130 and include images of corresponding swatches executed on the Brother machine. In Brother, with rare exceptions (such as when needles are left out of work while in pattern) black squares (punched holes) knit, white squares (unpunched areas) slip. Slipped stitches are held until a black square or punched hole is reached, getting longer while the stitches on the opposite bed knit every stitch every row with that bed set to N/N. It is helpful to be using a yarn that does not break easily. Pockets are created of varying depths. As with any knitting, the color reverse option may produce an interesting variation or a “disaster” depending on the original motif. In the above chart, if knit as is, white squares would be slipped for 1-9 rows. Blisters of knit stitches will appear on the purl side. Tiling helps visualize the movement of the design in repeat.

In the color reversed image the number of consecutive white squares is now increased along the center lines from 9 to 11 its tiled viewthe expanded view of the original repeat emulating tech 253 now increases the height of the pattern to 40 rows from 20and its color reversed equivalent

In both expanded repeat variations of the “pinwheel” black squares create knit stitches. In double bed knitting, this seals the layers created by each bed together. The original design would create large pockets/ blisters, while in its color reverse version white areas would slip for one row, keeping the pinwheel effect, but the fabric will be predominantly sealed together. Thin yarn use is best, I used a 2/13 wool.
The original 20X20 design is shown on the knit side Left, its color reversed result on the knit side, Right. The elongated slipped stitches are noticeable on both purl sidesUsing the expanded 20X40 repat I did not have a slipped stitch issue such as yarn breaking, but because the pockets were so deep and so many stitches on the ribber were knitting for so many consecutive rows, the ribber stitches began to refuse to stay on their bed. I got this far: large knit area can be seen, as well as slip stitch loops Can the same expanded repeat be used in another way? The color reversed version results in a subtle large scale pattern that might be quite interesting in a shiny rayon or other fiber To review: Passap E6000 knitting techniques for pintucks are numbered 250-255. When using 250, 252, 254, the pint tucks are formed on the back bed on the needles that are opposite those with the pushers selected down in accordance with programmed black squares.  The corresponding odd numbers 251, 253, 255, select pushers down according to programmed white squares (253 in the manual should say white, not black squares).

On any machine, the size of the pleat creating the ripple/ pintuck depends on the number of rows that can be knit on the all knit bed before the fabric begins to ride up and becomes difficult to retain on the needles in work. Tolerance depends on knitting machine brands as well as the type of yarn used. Bold patterns read better than smaller ones. Weights are usually helpful. The Brother Ribber techniques book (now available for free online) addresses the topic on pp. 20-22.I have added a few patterns from published sources in a flickr album , most take into account any single stitch not being slipped for more than 4 rows. Doubling the length if using electronics is not recommended. These fabrics may be created in combination with needles out of work.

 

A return to short row shapings: bumps and slits meet entrelac

My recent revisiting of holding techniques led to my coming across handouts and notes from the late 1980s and early 90s, including the working notes below for an entrelac fabric. I sometimes read instructions I assembled long ago, and they seem to be in a foreign language at first. Entrelac was referred to as basketweave as well. On the knitting machine, it is usually executed removing part of shapes onto waste yarn. In these shared instructions it is knit completely on the machine. Blocks can be any size, knitting is started on a multiple of the stitches planned for each shape repeat. The number of colors used is limited by imagination and patience for weaving in yarn ends and dealing with issues at the start of each new shape, familiar to anyone who has tried intarsia. Weaving in those yarn ends may be performed during the knitting of larger “diamonds”.  It is helpful to understand the basics of short rowing prior to attempting this technique.

In a post in 2011, I shared a link to excellent directions found at howtoknitasweater.com , written by Cheryl Brunette. Here are 2 of my teaching samples, executed on 4.5 mm machine. In my teaching days, my demo yarns were in distinct colors, easily spotted, and not often preferred or even liked by students. They could be instantly recognized, so no one ever tried to use them in their class assignments, and colors were out of range for the comfort level of attendees at my workshops, so swatches tended to remain mine for the duration of those sessions and far beyond.

a rearview with ends woven in

It is best to start with a few rows of waste yarn, and the choice can then be made as to whether to cast on and go immediately into pattern, or ribs, stocking stitch, or other beginnings and endings may be chosen.
The blocks will appear square to rectangular depending on yarn choice and gauge, some writers refer to them as “diamonds”, they are joined together as you knit. My test swatches are all executed on Brother machines. My own working notes: Visualization: here pattern rows II and III are shown in repeat, along with the direction of the carriage movement, and the lean in the shapes created with the purl side facing This attempts to identify the shapes by assigning numbers, in their order of knitting. As mentioned, the fabric may also end with added rows of knitting on top of the last row of shapes as they are formed

These photos do not document each step, are meant as an aid in parts that may be a bit tricky when starting to experiment with the technique

The set up for starting triangles:  note the similarity to some of the surfaces created in the last post. When using short rows, part of the stitches in work will knit many more rows than others on the machine. Accessories such as the cast on comb will tend to ride up on one side and drop off When the end of the first row that row is reached, as contrast color is added, stitches need to be cast on on the far left in order to keep the work on the bed a constant number of stitches. The usual method suggested is e wrapping, this is picking up from the row below. I found either method produced looser, longer stitches on the far edge continuing across the row:reaching the far right: 

binding off across the row by transferring stitches when moving from right to left

The colors were chosen for contrast, the yarns are slightly different thicknesses, the white is a 2/24. The latter is usually used double-stranded when knitting on the single bed unless intended as a “thin”. Bleedthrough at joins and some of the other features ie eyelets at corners might be reduced simply by making a better yarn choice. As for those “wisteria” eyelets, they could become part of an intentional pattern between bands of basket weave. Once the principle is understood many other variations become possible.

Many details in any technique wind up relying on personal preference for use of or added editing. Studying results on swatches can help one determine whether larger pieces are worth the effort, and what habits and their results may need to be changed. Contrasting colors help with evaluating edges in patterns such as these. This method relies on transferring groups of stitches by hand on the needle bed. The process could get far slower and impractical if the “diamonds” increase significantly in size. At the intersection of the shapes, there will appear an eyelet (1), also seen in hand knits, which disappears if the fabric is not stretched or pressed. How stitches are rehung in any part of the process can change the look of what is happening there as well. Picked up finished edges if tight will draw in the shape on that side (2), holding happens in 2-row sequences, and small eyelets happen there as well (3). Consistency matters. Though the shapes lean diagonally in the finished piece, they are picked up along straight edges, forming a square to a rectangular piece of knitting, with the usual grain, allowing for the addition of other techniques within the blocks

Trying to imagine where stitches may need transferring to waste yarn or “off label” tool? Alternative shapings at sides: what needs to be cast on or bound off?

Troubleshooting ideas: a small weight might be enough to elongate those shorter closed edges to make them easier to rehang and to be a bit longer. Claw weights usually available with machines may be far too heavy, then DIY ones come into play. A common suggestion  at MK seminars used to be that of purchasing fishing weights, which commonly come in a variety of sizes often with openings or wire eyelets at their top, and using bent wire or even paper clips so one hooked end can be inserted into the hole on the weight, the other is used to hang it in turn onto the knitting. This is an exampleSuch weights are made of lead. That is a concern, there are products on the market that may be used to coat them. This one is easily found in home improvement stores and online

This round sample in the absence of the paint was covered in heavy-duty duct tape. It weighs 2 ounces, just half of one of my factory-supplied claw weightsIt does a good job of weighing down those straight edges along the bumps, making the stitches easier to pick up. When rehanging those stitches, uniformly hanging the loops, not the knots along the edges involved will give a smoother join.  Here a paper clip is used as the “hanger”It is easy to get into a rhythm and think you “have it”. A reminder: the shapes at each side are triangles, not the full shape. Row II starts on the right, begins with decreases followed by rehanging, row III starts on the left, involves increases and working stitches in hold to its right.  Losing track will produce the start of an extra shape, which may perhaps be a “design feature”,  but not a good thing if the goal is a straight edge on both sides. Unraveling is easy if the problem is noticed soon, but is problematic if more rows of shapes have been completed. Lastly, a swatch ending in all knit rows. The only remaining issue is the fact that those side triangles are formed by stitches that are looser than across the rest of the piece. This yarn is thin and a poor choice, but fine for getting the technique down and beginning to understand what happens to stitches, how one needs to move from one side to the other, and what happens along the edges of each individual shape In switching to a thicker, space-dyed yarn, the effect is lost to a degree because of the length between color changes. This sample begins to address keeping some slits, but the repeat needs further sorting out Following the same idea in visible colors: the yellow wool is another too thin wool (2/20), which makes the edge that will need picking up slow and tedious to deal with because of very small stitches. If I were to make a piece, I would work on the partial shapes in the magenta to make for a smoother color transition start. I used the foundation triangles and row II, with 2 rows of knitting when they were completed to help close the spaces at the top of the eyelets in the magenta. Some striping between repeats at the end of row II is worth considering in alternate colors, for more rows, or even in a thicker yarn. 

It is possible to develop shapes,to consider the number of stitches required and whether the fact that other than garter stitch knit stitches are not square,Then there is the world of making each section /shape as large or as small as desired, shaping them by increasing or decreasing stitches adding and subtracting them as needed by casting on and binding off, partially joining them, knitting and joining them when completed with seam as you knit techniques, changing color within each shape or at the end of every row/section of adjoining ones, working the piece in one color only or using a space dyed yarn for random color patterning. Quilting diagrams can be a boon for inspiration for seam as you knit.

I found this on Pinterest, it strikes me as masterful use of related techniques

Lots of hand-knit inspiration and free patterns: https://intheloopknitting.com/entrelac-knitting-patterns/#freepatterns

This book explores the technique to the maxSome of its swatch images are shared in this review of it , there is also a sequel

Three slip stitch entrelac pretenders using slip stitch patterning and holding

A return to short row shapings: bumps and slits

One is limited to imagination, skill, and patience when working short rowed fabrics. The techniques may be used in borders, on isolated areas, symmetrically or not, and the yarn, in turn, may be able to be pressed, stiffened, felted (which minimizes any slits), or otherwise processed to achieve desired effects. The scale of the shapes affects both the final look and purpose. Development for large sculptural pieces is very different from that used if one is aiming toward a comfortable, perhaps even flattering variable in a garment, but both can blend for interesting one-offs or even collections.

The usual conventions apply: stitches are brought to hold opposite carriage side, or floats will be created, indicated by yellow curved linesThat is a rule that may be broken when planned angles require decreases every row and a decision is made that such floats and their respective width are acceptable.

There are many more variations of the patterns I have previously referred to as “wisteria”. This is one, using different (2) width repeats in a systemic manner across a piece. I find myself going to a spreadsheet prior to any actual knitting nowadays. Low tech can achieve the same, and be as basic as colored pencils on graph paper. Representing actual rows knit would make for a very long chart. This is a compressed version with red representing rows knit on that portion of the needles in work, the other colors for each of the 7 and 9 stitch repeats respectively some sense of how repeats would line up, again not to proper scale To knit: cast on and knit at least 4 rows on the desired width for the planned piece. I prefer to end COR, but directions could easily be reversed for a start from the opposite side.
The row counter may be set to 0 and used for each segment, or the tripper for it can be turned off as preferred. With labor-intensive fabrics, I sometimes calculate based on a minimum number of repeats rather than row counts. The gauge can be even more difficult to calculate even if rows are tracked somehow. In addition, the choice of yarn, its weight, whether each segment is weighted down or not, the tension in masts and carriages all can make the result uneven or harder to predict. Use of claw weights is a personal preference. I prefer to avoid them whenever possible. They can help control the length of the slits at their side(s), but sometimes distort the length of the knit stitch on either side of them. COR: set the carriage to hold, bring all the needles to the left of the first group of 9 needles to hold, knit 12 rows (even number), returning to the right.
COR: push back to knit groups B (7stitches ) and C (9 stitches) to the left of A into work
Knit one row to left
COL: bring A (9 stitches) and B (7 stitches)  to the right of C out to hold, knit 11 (odd #) of rows on C, ending with COR once more (one row had already been knit on those stitches, so the total remains constant).
Repeat in groups of 3 as described in the last 2 steps across the row ending COL
Knit a few rows, ending COR
Bring the first group of 9 stitches on left out to hold, knit one row to left
Bring all stitches to the right of the first group of 7 stitches out to hold, knit 12 rows, ending COL
Bring the next two groups of 9 and 7 needles out to work, knit one row to the right
Bring the remaining stitches to the left of the new group of 7 out to hold, knit 11 rows (odd #), ending COL. Continue across row. At the end knit a few rows, ending once more on the right.
I found at least 3-4 rows were needed between sections of segments to achieve shapes that did not meet to create extended slits with threads across them and to achieve a look I preferred. The interim all knit rows could serve as the opportunity to add other stitch types or techniques including purl ridges on the knit side, which could be achieved easily enough with a G carriage, but may prove perilous with a garter bar.
The needle bed or the needle tape may be marked with a water-soluble pen between needle groups to help make tracking easier.

Proof of concept purl side knit sideslightly scrunched upwith a touch of steam and light pressing

Planning your own pattern in scaled-down numbers of stitches and rows is good practice, may also lead to pleasant surprises. As with any tests, keeping notes while in progress is well worth it. What may be obvious while knitting may escape recall after the fact.  Then there are “little things” that factor in as well. For decades I knit on a 910 or a punchcard machine. On the 910 settings stay as preferred unless changed manually. In my electronic default, the repeat direction was set to be as seen on the knit side, on the punchcard, it is fixed as seen on the purl. At one point I received an orphaned, frozen 930 that I was able to get moving following online video advice. I have often forgotten to set the number one variation button or to change the default isolation to an all-over one in knits where that mattered critically. If programming a repeat, the starting side for a preselection row matters and it will change based on which side of the finished fabric reflects your planned motif.
The start of an idea with points to be considered,  some observations and questionsWorking it out on a spreadsheet: arrows indicate the direction in which the carriage needs to be moving, I prefer to start COR, the image can be flipped horizontally for starting with COL. The repeat is outlined with a thick border, is too wide for automating for punchcard, but as hand technique variations can be endless. To produce longer slits and raised shapes, add even number of rows to the red colored blocks, for more distance between raised motifs, add even number of rows to the side to side all green areas, maintaining the directional arrows. This is the isolated repeat for converting the pattern to a file suitable for downloadand its mirrored version for knitting from the opposite sideMy test swatch was knit on the 930, using img2track. Because not every needle on the bed is in work throughout the knit, end needle selection must be canceled (KC II). The knit carriage after the preselection row is set to slip in both directions. Because only a few rows are knit on the red blocks in the chart, the result is subtle. The white yarn used in many of my tests happens to be a 2/24 acrylic, so on the too thin side, and likely to be well flattened if pressed.
Often, the edge stitches on the carriage side will tend to be a bit tighter than those formed away from it. The same repeat may be used to create very different fabrics. Eliminating the all knit columns on either side of center produces a piece with “ruffles” on either side of center as the outer edge of each shape is no longer anchored down. The principle was used in knitting “potato chip” scarves popular in both hand and machine knitting for a while. Having a repeat on one side of an all knit vertical strip creates a ruffled edging. Note the effect of the added all knit rows on the “wave” of the piece on the right.

Many patterns are published for hand knit variants as well, Lion Brand Yarns offers the opportunity for learning both knit and crochet stitches. Some patterns are free with login (website info access is also free). Here are 2 such designs with slits and bumps to the maxThe shapes for the “bumps” may be changed, moving away from rectangular formats. Small repeats are used for the purposes of illustration here, but they, in turn, may be scaled up, rendered asymmetrical, vary in placement, and more. My design steps began with this idea

Following the goal to achieve bilateral placement along a central vertical knit strip, with vertical knit strip borders at either side, here shapes point in the same direction
Aiming for shapes pointing in opposite directions, following those arrows for “pretend knitting”,  a repeat is highlighted with a dark border on the left, while to its right placement for extra rows of knitting is suggested (must be even numbers). The repeat is then isolated and “grabbed” for use in GIMP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In gimp the bucket fill was used to fill all colors to black, the image was converted to bitmap BW, scaled and then knit. This is the final repeat usedI ran into an interesting problem for the first time. I had entered the row and stitch counts on my chart, used those counts to scale the image used for my repeat down to size for knitting, kept getting floats where there should not have been any, could not understand what the error in the repeat might be. What was happening is that because of the wrong row number used in scaling, there was an extra pixel row in the first test swatches resulting in knitting errors. The final repeat is 29 stitches wide, 38 rows high. This is the resulting swatchOnce more, the repeat could be reduced down to eliminate side knit strips, or limit shapes to one side only for a one-sided ruffle. What about repeating the same slit horizontally across a row? Repeats become very long, arrows are once again guides in knitting direction.  An even number of rows (green) at the end of the outlined repeat will return the carriage to begin knitting it from the right side once more. An odd number of rows added at its top will prepare for knitting the motifs beginning on the left.Again, motifs may be brought closer together, laid out directly above each other, brick fashion, mirrored, or as otherwise desired. Adding rows at the center of the shape will make the “smaller” eyelets at the corner larger as well as the ones created by its outer edge. Possibilities are endless. If automated slip stitch is used, it is the selected needles that knit. This is my final test repeat, flipped because I insist on forgetting to turn on the #1 variation button on my 930, and I like to begin sequences from the right.BringingBPushing unwanted needle groups back to D position will make them knit rather than being held, is another way to vary the texture distribution across any single rowIt is possible to add color changes between or within pattern repeats as well as needles out of work. A free pass may be made to the opposite side by bringing all needles out to hold, and once there, returning the next group of stitches to be knit into work. If electronics are in use for automated patterning, the carriage may be removed from the needle bed and brought to the other side before continuing.  If a punchcard is in use, an odd number of rows will need to be programmed for one of the colors in order to maintain proper needle selection. Repeats in charts below are for illustration purposes, not fully worked out repeats. Adding color stripes, with or without ladders Needles out of work with lateral transfers alternated with needles returned to work will add eyelets to the piece and allow for every needle stripes of colors (or plain knit). If a lot of eyelets created from needle transfers are in play, it may be necessary to change the direction of those transfers.It is also possible to combine patterning and holding. As needle groups are brought in to and out of hold, the needle selection must be maintained in order to keep correct patterning. There also seems to be a sweet spot in most machines for how far back a needle needs to be pushed for it not to “bounce” to an undesired position, thus picking up and knitting in the wrong color or dropping stitches off. Some variations also found in as to how far the active knitting needs to be cleared with each carriage pass on each side. One row in my test swatch has obvious extra stitches in white, my feeder B color. I am not certain as to cause. Introduction of patterning adds yet another layer of complexity to track. Once again I am using 2/24 yarns.

WordPress issues

Last April I encountered unwelcome text and characters within posts. The problem appears to have been resolved by intervention from my web host. There are still occasions of residual extra spaces or shifting of syllables and words within text content, and the omission of some of the accompanying images from the reader’s view. I have been reviewing and editing as I can. If the image problem especially is encountered by you, please alert me via email or post comment, and I will attempt to resolve it. TIA.

Earlier on I wrote posts privately over extended periods of time, and shared when to my mind I had gathered my thoughts on the topic and completed editing for the moment. “work in progress” headings came about to make the information available while in development so anyone interested may follow my thinking and see that it takes time, effort, swatching, and even periods of distance from the topic at hand to complete our goal fabrics or create new, related ones. Sometimes the text is composed outside this platform. I have now learned it best be plain text as opposed to rich to avoid character problems.

On occasion, there is a return to previous topics, with the addition of related new headings and content or simple text and new image addition within the body of previous shares.

New security measures are in place the latest WordPress software update. An excessive number of consecutive visits to the blog is likely to receive a gateway error message. The same measures may at times be limiting the number of edits I can make traveling through my history or successfully at any one time within a single post. Results were found in my latest one, leaving text or images in a place that were intended to be altered, moved or deleted by me until some time expired between my dashboard logins. I will work on sorting out how best to prevent such unintended content in the future and to develop operator habits to prevent its happening in the first place. Yet another opportunity for learning.

“Wisteria” meets hems

I have previously posted on a series of fabrics related to this swatch, including suggestions for possibly automating some of their variations. The earliest blog post includes some of the history for this fabric, is repeated here. In the 80s there used to be a yearly machine knitting seminar in my area that was fairly well attended. There were droves of machine knitting publications for sale, demonstrators, and device creators with their wares. Susan Lazear, the founder of Cochenille, was just beginning to develop her knit design software ideas on Amiga Computers, DAK was getting off the ground as a competitor, and a fellow Californian, who happened to be Japanese (Yo Furuta), used to travel here with the Pandora box of foreign language knit magazines. At the time translating knits from one language to another amounted to guesswork and some leaflets. Subsequently, there were fliers, then articles, and even books on translating from Japanese to English and more than one on multiple language instructions for knits and crochet.
One year there was a “guess how this was done and you get a prize contest” for a technique appearing on a sweater with only Japanese instructions. The design was dubbed wisteria by some, has been reincarnated as a trim, insertion, bandings on sleeves and cardigans and is reappears in magazines and on the runway with some regularity. For more information see horizontal cable  (2012)wisteria cousin revisited: holding vs slip stitch,  wisteria 2, and fern leaf  A foreign language video tutorial with wider ladder spaces executed on a Silver Reed knitting machine

Recently I have been giving more thought to 3D knitting folds, and in an online search I came across the hand-knit designs by “Olgajazzy“. I became curious about developing a machine knit relative of the texture shown in her Kune Kune shawl and began my own search for a way to add hems to the above fabric.  I am sharing photos of the test swatches in progress and some of my observations, not intending them as a full tutorial. Before adding variations to any technique it is always helpful to have practiced the simpler version. Having needles out of work can help make certain the correct width groups are brought into hold each time. Ladders do change the look of the final fabric and soon the choice becomes as to whether they are unnecessary or used as a purposeful design feature.
As with any eyelet fabric, if all openings are created in the same direction the fabric will bias. To avoid that, the direction of transfers is altered in direction at the completion of each row of repeats. With transfer lace that is achieved by transferring in turn to the right and then to left, here stitches in hold are worked from right to left and then in turn from left to right to achieve a more balanced fabric. Cast-on and bind-off must be loose enough not to draw the top and bottom of the fabric in too tightly, and it is possible to make them decorative. Test swatches began and ended in a waste yarn of sharply different contrast color, making it easier to observe what is happening to the stitches creating the fabric. In this sideways view, missing a row of hemmed segments at its top, the difference in height on one side as opposite the other is quite noticeable. The reverse side shows the same issue. Areas can be identified where the held stitches have been hung up to create hems. Note that as the knit grows in length, at the completion of each row of repeats there is one segment with no hem on alternating sides. A longer test swatch follows
I created my hems on the carriage side, immediately prior to bringing the following group of stitches into work opposite it, and knitting a single row across that new group of 3 segments. The highlighted area indicates the stitches to be hung to create the hem.  The eyelet on the top, right,  will be smaller than the one at the opposite side of the stitches to be hung upStart with waste yarn and ravel cord if preferred. Work the first segment,  hang the first hem. First segments are generally knit for an even number of rows. The second hem is not hung until the third group of stitches has been knit. The process is repeated across the width of the knit Reversing the direction of segmentsWhat about a related edging? One to try: cast on with waste yarn and ravel cord (if desired). End with COL. Knit one row with the main color to right. COR bring all but group 1 stitches out to the hold position. Knit an even number of rows. COR: hang hem, bring the second group of stitches into work, knit one row to left. COL: bring the first group of stitches out to hold, work the second group for the preferred number of rows, end COR. COR: hang hem on stitches worked on the carriage side, bring next group on needles to their left into work. Knit one row to left, bring the now sealed hem on the group of stitches on the right to hold, and continue across the needle bed, working a hem on the last group as well. Reverse direction as illustrated above.
The same edging could be used and followed by other stitch types. The cast-off at the top might look better if done using a different technique but is not capable of matching the bottom edge because of the direction of the knit stitches composing the folds. These fabrics are time-consuming, requiring skill and concentration, especially when knitting large pieces. There is always the option of using such techniques in an isolated area of the final piece or in edgings and borders, keeping in mind the possible changes to gauge when combining stitch types.

Passap knitters are not left out of related explorations. Slip setting (BX) and pusher selection are used. The lock change to N overrides the pusher set up to achieve a row (or many more) of plain knit across all needles in work. It is the equivalent of canceling cam buttons in Brother while maintaining pattern needle selection. N tends to be king no matter on what bed or KM brand. Since both beds in Passap are fixed, the back bed (equivalent to Japanese ribbers) is set to slip (GX). An interesting variation is found in Passap #60 p. 24 (1995). Directions are given for both the Duo and the E 6000. The technique relies upon hand selection and changes in cam settings in both. Early magazines and manuals translated from other languages at times require additional interpretation. Shapes in many are “out of date”, but in terms of knitting techniques, they provide a boundless source of inspiration. This is one of my early graphics trying to imagine what is happening in chart form, which also references the repeat in the Passap garment, followed by plain knitting 

The sides of the piece bow in and out respectively, so when the sweater is seamed the curved areas will meet to create a fairly flat side seam. Choosing a yarn that will “lose memory” when pressed helps create a flat finish. Yarns such as wool will tend to roll toward the purl side, and this is likely to occur on the edges of the eyelets as well. Both can work depending on your goal for the finished piece of knitting. Ladders created by leaving needles out of work make for a more open, very different look. They also can be easily counted to check on how many rows have been knit.

This is a sweater by Patty Boutik, for sale on Amazon, introducing eyelet striping and selective use of the repeatFor use of the stitch family in a variety of scale see the work of Mary Callan

If one is a fan of straight edges or lines, they are not left out either, and slits can be placed at one’s discretion. This fabric is worked out differently, in groups of 2. After the first segment is completed, COR if the starting group 1 worked is on the right, bring group 2 into work, knit one row to left, immediately bring group one into hold, and continue across row. That “float” is created as the yarn traveling between the last stitch on the right now coming into hold and the first stitch to its left knits for many more rows gets pulled on as the piece grows.  If hems are added to the piece it can be done in many ways including in contrasting color, across individual pieces as in the edging shown earlier in the post after knitting one or more rows, and sizes of eyelets and any added hems can be varied as well. If the”float” is hung up at the same time as the hem it will be less noticeable. From Stoll Trend Collection Europe Spring/Summer 2012 a sample fabric utilizing the floats between repeat segments as a design feature

In a world of glitch knitting and asymmetry in design and fashion, random “ruching” may be applied here as well Hems in knitting can be created on any number of stitches, anywhere on a garment, by definition join segments of the knit together permanently. Folds are freer. Here is an attempt at a different wisteria cousin with organized repeats. More on creating it will follow in a subsequent post now that holding techniques are back on my radar

Mosaics and mazes charting meet Numbers, GIMP, and DBJ

WORK IN PROGRESS:

A category search for machine knitting/mosaics and mazes design will lead to my previous blog posts on topic.
Previous posts on working with Mc Numbers include: knit charting using Numbers 2  which covers basics, keyboard shortcuts, and more,
Numbers to GIMP for creating images for electronic download  , charting knits color separations 2, charting knits, color separations 1, lace mesh motif charting, charting knit repeats using numbers 1, visualizing knit cables, knit graph paper 

To knit these fabrics use one light color and one dark for major contrast is recommended. Matching the dark yarn to dark squares and reversing their positions may produce interesting optical variations. The resulting knit has reduced floats and is not as bulky as traditional Fair Isle. Many patterns published in punchcard machine pattern books will produce such patterns when knitting single bed, changing color every 2 rows. White squares need to be 2 rows high, no more than one square wide. A page from one such reference:What appear as a maze designs in the swatch photos below would actually be unsuitable for use in the mosaic separation discussed in this post. The cards are designed for tuck (or slip) with color changes every 2 rows. The approach for planning and charting out such fabrics would be a very different one

There are a few rules in designing your own: in mosaics, the odd grid rows should contain single or dark-colored squares plus any cells used to create horizontal lines. The even grid rows usually have single or adjacent light squares but only single dark squares. As with any other fabric access to electronics allows for use of small repeats that can be color reversed or lengthened X2, whereas punchcard knitters need to meet the usual constraints in motif size in width and height. Tile features in software can often give clues to errors such as skipped cells or edges at top and sides of repeat that do not line up, avoiding having to actually test the repeat in knitting to evaluate the same.

Pre-drawn motifs that require color separation are available in a variety of sources. Kathleen Kinder published 2 books with repeats one for 24, the other for 20 and 40 stitch punchcards, inclusing isolated electronic repeats as well.

The original “swatch” inspiration for this post and its repeat were pictured in Mosaic Knitting page 110the numbering system reflects every other row worked alternating sides of the workit is shown here with a superimposed table grid with its  cells outlined in a thick border and positioned in front of a scaled screen grab of the original motif (arrange/ aspect ratio turned off)use command key to select a series of cells to be filled in with color, I chose to use black the cell borders can be edited as wished. Here borders were removed by selecting none, then, in turn, the outer border was highlighted in an easy to identify thicker red line

Below are more variation on borders and numbering for the start of the machine knitting repeat. Adding digits to the Numbers original repeat serves as a guide to appropriate size scaling in GIMP. One way to obtain the repeat size is to type digits in at least 2 cells at the desired location in any row or column. Select both cells, click on the yellow dot, and drag it to the last cell in the series here I went into autopilot: the repeat is isolated. The lengthen X 2 requirement can be achieved later in GIMP or as here via the table/ arrange/ size option in Numbers (wrong step for mosaic/ mazes)
I change the outer border to one point dotted to have a guide for a screengrab The captured image may then be imported into GIMP, image mode is changed to color indexed, B/W bitmap, and it is scaled to the appropriate size. The view grid, snap to grid options are in use.
I worked in 1800 magnification, created a new canvas 2 pixels wider than the original on the left, copied and pasted that image onto the new canvas. In the center illustration, RGB mode is once again in use. The added green pixels serve as guides for using rectangle select to capture each of the rows containing them in turn and then using invert value from the colors menu to reverse background and foreground within each of those rows.  The completed color separation is shown on the far right, with those 2 extra rows on its left side the last image needs to be once again converted to BW mode. The 2 extra rows of pixels on left are cropped off, the image is scaled to twice as long for use with the color changer, and the original 12X14 repeat is now 12X56
the actual BMP

this is the charted and tiled original repeat. There are classic differences from what is typically thought of as “floatless fair isle” in it. The very last row ie is in one color only.  When those 2 passes are made with the “no knit” color with the change knob set to KC I, the first and last needle will be selected. Push them back to B position prior to knitting the next row to avoid side to side floats.  Because of the maze component floats of as many as 7 stitches are created on the purl side in one of the 2 colors. A quick proof of concept swatch: this is a slip stitch fabric, note the difference in width between the patterned area vs the plain knit. If one has a ribber and the appeal lies simply in the lines created by both mazes and mosaics, those features can be retained with DBJ, and the fabric will lie flat. There will be limitations as to the thickness of the yarn used. a “pretend” longer repeat
The question has come up in forums as to whether the DBJ separation can be used for mosaics and mazes. The “Japanese” one, which prevents elongation by knitting each color for each row only once does not since these shapes rely on knitting the same needle selection twice in each color. The default separation in the Passap or the designer self-drawn one that will knit each identical spot in the motif separation twice. The design is elongated. Susanna wrote a technique for use on the E6000 for having the console perform the color conversion for true mosaic knitting. The repeat shown earlier in this post separated for DBJis compared here with the earlier wrong separation for “mosaic knitting” and found to appear identical. The process was a quicker way than that of dealing with different colors for ground and design
different pairs of colors, same results Back to the drawing board: row height is as in the original repeat being extra careful, not necessary, the process can be inverted once more to check the repeat color separation the actual knitting repeat, double-length before downloading to machine the corresponding proof of concept swatch,  with shorter floats than when the DBJ separation is used single bedtiling of the original repeat and its color reversed image illustrate the optical difference between switching dark and light color starts This repeat is from Kathleen Kinder’s (24 stitch) Floatless Fair-Isle book, p.86the repeat of the design separation on the right is intended for use in electronics with color reverse and double length chart separated using GIMP for mosaic knitting matches her repeat Recently on Facebook mazes turned up as a topic in machine knitting once more. Most maze generators online that I have found are designed for printing out game solving images ie here is one from http://hereandabove.com/maze/mazeorig.form.htmlfor knitting purposes unikatissima and Laura Kogler offer alternatives. Years have gone by since I first wrote on mazes and mosaics. The repeat worked with below was used in my post 

here I am revisiting the same image. To begin with, a repeat is isolated and processed in numbers (top row), and then in turn in Gimp. Always tile repeat to check for any errors and to see if the final image represents what is desired
the repeat (8X16) is then doubled in length for knitting after that single all-white row was edited out (middle images). The repeat is now 8 rows wide by 32 rows in height
One of the yarns is chenille, the other a wool. The chenille is slightly thicker and fuzzy, so some of the yellow rows are almost hidden but the pattern is definitely there. Here the design is knit using both slip (bottom) and tuck (top) settings. Again, there is a noticeable difference in width produced by each stitch type.Observations: make certain that after the image is isolated in Numbers cell size is converted to square/ equal measurements in width and height before importing and scaling its screen grab in GIMP if not already so. It will likely load in RGB mode, convert to Indexed before scaling. Added colored squares are only possible if you return to RGB mode. After rows with colored squares are cut, return the image to indexed before saving as BMP for knitting. If any pairs of rows do not have 2 consecutive rows of cells in either color check your pattern. In DBJ the final repeat should be 4 times in numbers of rows in height to the original one, and thus divisible by four.  The separation first doubles height for each row for 2 colors. Then height is doubled once more to allow for color changes every 2 rows. In Mosaics and Mazes, the color reversal happens on every other row in the original design. When that is completed, the height will be doubled for actual knitting to allow for color changes every 2 rows, with the final row count double that of the original motif. Rules for tuck knitting apply here as in any other technique. If white squares in the final chart have black ones on either side of them, the appearance is that tuck would be possible. Examining needle preselection is an easy way to assess that possibility.  Reversing the colors used in actual knitting may yield interesting changes in the appearance of the fabric. 

Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram (shared with her permission), as mentioned in my post on numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/

Origami folds inspired pleats 1

I have long since wanted to experiment with a variety of folds in knits other than “simple pleats”. A friend on Facebook has been working successfully double bed, has published a tutorial.
I am sharing some of my earlier starts looking at some concepts beginning with the single bed.
For a diagonal pleat, I began testing the waters by bringing some needles to hold position every other row, and creating a “moving ladder” or eyelet in the center space between tucked stitch columns. The modified eyelet performed better than the simple one in creating a fold.The next question for me is always how to automate any part of the process. Tucking for 2 rows seemed more likely to create a sharper crease. Since the transfers associated with the ladder space are all in the same direction this is a fabric that will definitely bias. The swatch below shows the results, the blue arrows point to operator error in ladder placement, the red arrow at the top of the swatch points to multiple rows of knitting. Multiple rows of stocking stitch at either end are likely to flare out and “ruffle”.The fabric had an interesting twist and roll if tugged in opposite diagonal directions when first off the machineThis is the working repeat, suitable for a punchcard machine. On the far left it is shown for use with electronics and color reverse, with green grid highlighting black squares indicating holes which would need to be punched in a card, and lastly, as a tiled repeat looking for any errors in repeat sequences.Below the actions taken in part of the overall repeat are represented. The model year Brother machine in use may require you also flip the image vertically before knitting it.  This is what is planned for the purl side. One of the issues with self-published patterns is the adaptation of or use of symbols that are different than that in any published consensus. The transfers to left are commonly indicated this way in lace knitting. If the needle that is emptied is left out of work, a ladder will form. If it is left in work the first pass creates a loop on that needle, the next pass to the opposite side completes the stitch, resulting eyelet on that same needle. Picking up from the row below is usually represented this way This shows my swatch in progress. ? indicates operator error, in evidence if needle count on each side of the future tuck stitch or ladder space is checkedpicking up loops from the row below to keep ladder width constant transferred stitch (blue) and 1 needle ladder (pink) marked by arrows Check that stitches have knit off properly Needles with transfers or moved stitches may be brought out to hold position (E in Brother machines) for easier knitting. If this is done, be sure not to disturb needle selection or lack of it in location for next pair of tucked rows.

If one is exploring a DIY search for creating fabrics, the journey is often one of trial, error, and an investment of time with not always yield good results, but may yield pleasant surprises and an opportunity for learning and new ideas. These were some of my trial swatches in thinking of more varied directional folds single bed I was led back to slipping or tucking every other row for creating some of those folds, and the possibility of having both actions happening on the same bed automated in some way. Often forgotten and unused in the Brother machine settings is its capability of tucking in one direction and slipping in the opposite one. These are the 2 possible settings. It does make a difference in resulting fabrics which stitch type happens first as one travels back and forth across the knitting bed. Arrows in opposite directions are chosen for each stitch type. Setting up a working repeat with blue representing tuck, purple slip (or vice versa). The distance between the vertical column, in this case, is fixed and seven stitches in width for a center folding repeat width of 16, color reverse is required 12 stitch version color reversed for actual knitting This is the purl side of the fabric with both stitch types happening on the main bed.  It pretty much flattened out with some light pressing, not much of a pleatThis is what happens once the ribber needles are brought into actionSet up the cast on as preferred. I used plain knitting, weighted it, and began my pattern work from the right-hand side of the machine. COL my preselection row was made from right to left. White squares in the chart with black ground and green grid become non selected needles on main bed. Transfer nonselected stitches down to the ribber. Set the ribber to slip to the right, those stitches just transferred will slip moving to the right, knit on the return pass to the left. The knit carriage is set to knit until that first row is completedCOR the ribber will knit on the next pass to the left. Set the knit carriage to tuck while the ribber is knitting
Continue in pattern to the desired length. Fabric narrows considerably, so several panels may be required for items ie. skirts. The repeat on the knitting bed should also be adjusted to allow for as close to invisible seaming as possible. The stitches on either side of the single needle in work on the ribber may be inclined to drop off. I was unable to use tuck on those same needles for any significant length for that reason. It pays to visually check for stitches knitting off properly to avoid this The start of vertical pleats, with the slip stitches folding to the purl side, the tucked stitches folding to the knit side on the machine,  just after binding offtwo fabrics side by side
Different fibers can produce varying results in fold and drape. Setting either bed function for the wrong direction will produce an all knit fabric (top of the red swatch). This starts to address incorporating hand techniques and manual ones from the diagonal swatch and the one with vertical folds while also developing a design repeat to aid with planning or actions to be taken.  It  will be altered in future experiments The yarn choice is a poor one. The fiber is a very softly spun rayon, which could benefit also from being knit at a tighter tension, and since rayon has no “memory” it fails to have any spring back and is flattened out permanently with pressing and steam.  This swatch is knit in wool, trying to sort out what does what and by how much. I am starting to get a bubble, but not a dramatic folding effect and the repeat is off as worked. The bottom folds more so than the top. The filled eyelet technique has a hand-tooled tuck column on the reverse side. The top is automated tuck stitch. A different repeat: the bottom with carriage set to knit with needle selection as a cue to hand transfers, the top set to tuck automatically. Transition rows need to be considered further and altered where the twain meet Returning to simpler creases and folds: a first experiment in racking double bed with NOOW. The setup and racking positions were not pre-planned. I knit 4 rows without racking at unplanned intervals as well; they produce a noticeable change in texture. The fabric is reversible, I actually rephotographed it adding a marker to make certain I had not shot the same side twice. The needle set up:the resulting swatch presented sideways for the sake of space:working with single needles out of work rather than two, with even spacing between them on each bed  both swatches flattened to note differences between  needle arrangement folds getting more organized, with a planned repeat: the needle set up cast on with racking position on 5, rack every 2 rows, move from position 5 to 0, to 10, back to 0, to 10, end on position 5; the yarn is a 2/17 wool, definitely retains a more 3D quality than the acrylic 2/24. The fabric may benefit form 2 rows not being racked added at position 0 and 10Here the arrangement here is with 2 needles out of work, racking every 2 rows in the same sequence. The resulting fabric has clear “spring” and foldsRRReturning to the previous needle set up, now racking every row from position 5 to 0, knit 1 more row with no racking; rack to position 10, knit one more row with no racking, reverse direction, end knitting on position # 5This last in the series is a personal favorite. I found racking from the center to 10, to 0 and back easy to track. One moves in the opposite direction when not allowed to go any further in the continuing direction by the machine. Single needles out of work appear to be enough to create the folds.
Exploring starting the pattern at 0, to 10 and back. The bottom segment is knit with no needles out of work, the middle with NOOW on top bed only, the top with NOOW on both beds. Dotted lines separate each, and outline a second, smaller shape occurring along with the beginning of changes in the larger one. I had issues with edge stitches on the main bed. My final needle set upRacking starting position on 7:Consider playing with racking positions within the total number of needles in work on the main bed. For other possible needle arrangements and more on pleats created with needles in/out of work on both beds please see 2015/04/22/ribbed-pleated-folding-fabrics/

Ribber trims 3: one trim, four variations

I found this on a random sheet tucked away with references from some seminar or other eons ago, its origin is not known to me
I like to chart out my repeats and plans for executing fabrics, along with ideas for possibly varying them in ways other than suggested, this was my  beginningThe sequence in photos, beginning with the cast on, 2/24 acrylic yarn,  zigzag  row with inserted ribber comb,  halfpitch 1 row is knit across all stitches to complete cast onknit one more row to return to the opposite sidethe setting is changed to full pitch, stitches are transferred between beds to match  diagramsthe center needle in each group of 3 is brought out to hold for one row, knit one row to return to the other side center needles are pushed back to D position in order to be knit on return pass to the opposite side this tool makes that needle selection faster and easier when the 20 rows had been knit in pattern drop stitches on each side of center stitch transfer ribber stitches up to main bed I knit 3 rows rather than 2, to return to right side  for bind off here is the swatch, still on comb for “setting stitches”

I found the above results upon completion disappointingly wimpy, then tried the same steps in tightly twisted and slightly thicker cotton, achieved better results, but was still not happy. That set me thinking about an alternative way to produce a similar fabric with changes in needle arrangements. The full series of swatches is seen below. The yellow is knit in a 2/8 wool, the beige in the same weight cotton as the white on the right. All swatches were knit on the same tension, for the same number of rows.

The adjustments on the original pattern are as follows. At half pitch begin as above with zig zag to left, 2 circular rows, knit back to right. Set pitch to P, transfer between beds

knit back to the opposite side, transfer each of the side stitches on the top bed onto the center needle in each group,

bring those needles out to hold for easier knitting on the next pass knit one row back to the right,  making sure stitches  have  knit off  properly. When you have returned to the right side, set the carriage to tuck from right to left only (left tuck button), RC000loops will be formed on the center needles as they would have been formed over the needles as if holding was in use

when the 20 rows are completed the carriages will once again be on the right,  all stitches will have been knit on the previous rowtransfer all ribber stitches to top bed, knit 2 rows, bind off. None of my swatches were blocked other than by some tugging, particularly along the bottom edge. The spacing between stitches is narrower because ladders created by single needles left out of work are formed by yarn lengths that are shorter than those that happen when stitches are knit and then in turn dropped. The height of the swatch is also affected, and the half fisherman texture in the wool swatch, in particular, is more evident.

More variations to try in a multiple of 3+1: using either method or a DIY cast on, dropping (yellow) stitches marked with a * at the end, or transferring them to right or left and setting the main bed to tuck in one direction only.When the work is removed from the machine, stretch cast on outwards, then give each “scallop” a really good pull downwards. Steam lightly over the scallops to set them. Variations of the double bed trims may be worked on the single bed as well.