Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles

Work in progress

There are a number of ribber fabrics that are produced by altering the settings on the ribber’s carriage to slip for an even number of rows in both directions. This requires manually changing the ribber setting from slip to knit and back for the length of the piece. In electronic machines, where the pattern advances with every pass of the carriage, there is another option. For example, to produce DBJ with the backing in one color, settings would be changed manually every 2 rows, using color changer on the left 

Some things to remember: when 2 carriages are selecting, each carriage needs to move far enough at the end of the needle bed so as not to be locked onto the belt. Extension rails are required. On the Brother ribber bed there are stops that keep the combined carriages from going off the  beds. There is one on each side (magenta arrow on left, blue arrow on right), and to remove the ribber carriage off its bed, it in turn needs to be tilted forward prior to reaching the stops  in order to clear them on either side.

Altering the KC sinker plates and arm: remove 6 small screws from the sinker plates, leaving only their arm

The carriage with the altered sinker plate in place in turn will then be used to replace rows that were to be knit with the ribber set to slip in both directions <– –> . In my sample it operated from the right, with the combined carriages (KC2), from left. 

For consistency I am editing the original post and will continue to refer to the coupled carriages= KC2, the altered single bed one= KC1 KC is the abbreviation commonly used in publications for Knit Carriage. The change knob, which affects end needle selection,  is marked on the KC as for I (end needle selection, indicated by black arrow) and II (cancel end needle selection). Initials KR in publications are often used to refer to ribber carriage in setting discussions. My beginning swatches were knit using ayab software’s ribber setting, which matches the KRC (2 color double jacquard separation) function in the unaltered 910. With my first try I made no effort to consider which color gets chosen first in the color separation (ayab = black, 910 = white). There is a limit as to how far the single carriage from the right (KC1) can travel on the needle bed to the left, because the combined carriages on the left (KC2) are held in place by the pin.

It would be possible if needed to separate KC2 and push further out on the extension rail, but perhaps not practical, so there are some constraints on the fabric width able to be produced.

My first swatch has some manually created pintucks on the knit side (white only knitting extra rows, joined together by all knit rows with pink). The reverse, purl side, is knit by the ribber set to N/N, all in one color. The stitches held on the ribber while the white only knits on the top bed are visibly elongated (left swatch bottom). There is some color confusion on the knit side on the first couple of rows of DBJ, solved in the second swatch. My repeat for the planned width using Ayab: 

Knitting on 910 a single repeat may be programmed, start knitting with color intended for white squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. For more similarities and difference between the original and the altered 910 see ayab diary post.

To knit using Ayab: begin the knitting with the color intended to be used for areas marked in black squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. Preselect first row from left to right with ribber set to knit (N/N), it will remain set that way for the remainder of the process. When on right, set coupled carriages (KC2) to slip <– –>, knit one row to left, both carriages stay on left. Knit the next 2 rows for DBJ using KC1 with altered sinker plate operating from right, using color intended for areas marked with white squares. The main bed only will knit. Set change knob to end needle select (KC I) to insure first and last needles in use knit. Return the KC1 to the right, on the extension rail, and knit next  two rows with KC2 operating from left.  Repeat, changing carriages and consequently colors every 2 rows. 

Blisters or pintucks are created when one bed knits more rows than the other, whether as simple knitting or in pattern. Periodically the knitting is sealed by at least one row knitting across all stitches on both beds. In this version, sealing rows must occur in pairs to allow for color change. The first chart shows a tentative repeat, planning for black squares to create the blister shapes, drawn in 2 row blocks to allow for color changes every X even number of rowsThe image color inverted, so white areas will create the blisters in slip stitch (col 2) while black squares will knit (col 1)Most published patterns for these fabrics will also include an all knit rows to seal the shapes knit on the main bed only

By using 2 carriages to select needles, one (KC1) may be set to slip <— —>  in order to knit X number of rows on the top bed only, while the pairs of carriages (KC2) are set to normal knit on both beds, its cam button set to select needles, KCI. Selection will continue, but no patterning occurs as a result. A proof of concept swatch knit on only 24 stitches, the pink knits for 4 rows, the white for 2; the pink yarn is a cotton, the white an acrylic/wool blend:

An expanded pattern repeat, planned for a larger test swatch. Here there are 2 black squares added at each end of the repeat to insure that those stitches on the top bed are knit on all slip stitch rows. The new color is a wool, this time knit for 6 rows in slip stitch prior to sealing with 2 passes of the combined carriages with the contrasting color. 

Single bed slip stitch rows appear on the knit side in color 2, the reverse, purl side is in a single color (1), and formed by the all knit rows. Its stitches are in turn elongated, since they are held and not knit while the opposite bed knits for multiple rows. In the sample, the first and last stitch on each side were on the ribber, creating a single white slip stitch edging. One can adjust such details to suit. The first preselection row was made after cast on with both carriages (KC 2)set to knit, moving from left to right with color 1, where they stay. KC 1 with altered sinker plate was threaded with color 2, and begins from and returns to left hand side.

A detail shot of the edge: note the white, single, elongated stitch uppermost, and the pairs of contrast color ones in the “border” Designs with deliberate placement of white blocks representing each blister can be created. It is a good idea to test tolerance for each of the yarns involved as a hand tech or repeat such above before planning  significantly longer repeats. All black rows are required at intervals if the fabric is to be knit changing ribber settings for all knit rows. The same rows could be left blank if using carriages in the above manner, and lack of needle selection would be an indicator for switching to the double carriages for the 2 sealing rows, while not having to track the count for the slipped ones.

I am always interested in automating stitches to facilitate as many details as possible in creating fabrics that imitate hand techniques, without relying on row counts and a lot (in this instance) of “hooking” stitches up manually . The swatches below were part of a series of posts on  ruching as a hand technique 

The hand tech chart mirrored, as the springboard for my automated fabricBoth led to my exploring the possibility of  a cousin, working double bed, and using the 2 carriages. The process began with a proof of concept swatch. Two colors were used to highlight what the stitches knit with each of the 2 carriages are doing. Both KC1 and 2 were set to knit in both directions. I began with KC2 knitting the needle set up for the fabric in a dark color, on a small number of stitches 

KC2 operated from left, KC1 from right. With KC2 returned to left, KC1 knit 8 rows. It is best to work out the limit for how many rows will knit on the top bed without stitch problems prior to any automation of functions.  *Two rows were knit with KC2 in the dark color, 8 rows with KC1, ribber racked to proper position**,  * to** were repeated. The elongation of the stitches on the purl side results from the fact the ribber knits far fewer rows than the main bed, and in addition, the stitches on the row knit on its second pass in the pattern are pulled on across the bed at distances matching the racking positions. The plan is to automate the texture, knit it in one color, and find a way to track correct racking positions: cast on may be in any preferred method. With the pitch set to P it is easier to transfer stitches between beds to desired configuration. Every needle is in work on the top bed, for a multiple of 10+6 ribber needles with stitches that will be moved with racking 

placement of stitches on respective beds
change pitch after transfers, ribber moves slightly to right final configuration prior to patterning and racking sequence begins

Starting racking position is 5. Racking handle markings for Brother begin with 0 on left, 5 at center, 10 on right. The ribber is set to half pitch, since part of the needle bed will be knitting an every needle rib. An often overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to, is found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. The red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move. Since racking for my experiment will only be to 3 different positions, I began by choosing to use 5 pixels center, left, center, right for the full repeat sequence, but later amended the repeat to numbers of pixels equal to specific racking indicator number. The needles will be selected prior to the next row knit, a reminder of racking selection. Sequence will actually be 5, *0, 5, 10, 5,** 0, 5, etc. The racking indicator 

My first Ayab repeat was planned for use with 2 carriages: KC1 (single carriage) is set to knit but to not select end needles (KCII), and will be producing the multiple rows gathered to create the blisters/ hems. KC2 (coupled carriages) are also set to select needles, both KC (knit carriage, cam button also on KCII) and KR (ribber carriage) are set for normal knit. They will create the sealed stitches joining up the blisters/ hems. The same color yarn is threaded in both. Blank squares will knit because a carriage set to knit overrides needle selection or lack of it in stitches on needles in work position. My repeat is 46 stitches wide. Because the knitting is started with the ribber already in racking position 5, the first move in the pattern is turning the handle to the right, toward 0. The concept illustrated

set up and ready to go, racking position 5 

4/19/18 As is true in any knitting, things can go quirky. I began to have a single needle on the main bed not knitting on rows knit with the combined carriages, then ran into dropped stitches in racked groups. The problem was initially not with the software, but appeared to be a ribber issue, which after checking balancing was resolved.

4/22/18 And today’s problem is the software, with persistent, intermittent  selection errors. I did achieve a sample by manually pushing wrongly selected needles out to D by hand on problem rows, which tended to be 5 and 7 in all black areas. Some reminders and observations: ayab auto mirrors all images, so if the above repeat is entered, the software will show this, but will actually be knitting this, the “image as it would appear on the knit side of the fabric”. The auto mirrored image however, provided clues as is for direction of turning the racking handle in the proper direction for the desired position.
 proof of concept swatch

Next on the drawing board: a fabric using the same technique, but that I might like more. This image was portion of a greyscale pin of a pattern book from a Russian pinI tested a concept for recreating it as a hand technique, trying to sort out how many rows I could knit before racking and the racking sequence. The best result was with a single sealing row, which in turn required changing the ribber slip setting for one row only,

so it’s back to the drawing board. I think any automation is best done using the ribber to do the all knit rows, the main bed to needle select racking positions. Results will be added to post on combining KC patterning with racking

The present set up with 2 carriages may be used for solid color backed quilting . Using the altered KC1 operating from the right with no yarn in feeder should work to drop stitches in drop stitch lace where the repeat is altered to allow for the knit carriage with no yarn to do the stitch ditching while selecting needles as well. A related color separation and swatch may be found  in the last segment of the post: revisiting-drop-release-stitch-lace/

 

Revisiting knitting with 2 carriages single bed, 910 vs Ayab so far

Work in progress

The question has often been asked as to why knit with 2 carriages. For me, it  became a personal favorite for knitting fabrics requiring color changes every even number of rows. I tend to push the limit with materials, and found the Brother single bed color changer to be quirky. When using 2 KCs there is no pushing the wrong button for the proper color in the sequence, or accidental choosing of an empty slot and dropping the knitting. Some of the loops at color changer side edge or yarn getting caught in wheels or hooks is also eliminated. Each carriage can be set for a completely different function from the other with no manual cam button changes ie single color knitting vs FI, its own tension depending on desired effect or fiber (ie striped shadow pleats), etc. Floats along the vertical edges of the knit as a result of the striping happen on both sides rather than all on the color changer side. The principles apply when using the lace carriage and combining it with tuck, slip or FI settings in the KC. If one is following a published punchcard pattern for such fabrics, frequently there are guidelines as to when to change colors, but no explanation as to why the cards are punched the way they are, so understanding what happens enables one to interpret directions for electronics. When going from published 2 carriage punchcard machine repeats to electronic, the repeat needs to be adjusted to compensate for the change to row by row selection. In punchcard machines the needle selection does not advance when you switch to operating the carriages from the opposite sides, so the pattern for those rows knits twice.

Many of the stitch world books seemed more concerned with larger repeats than with some of the more labor intensive, specialty fabrics. The punchcard books, now downloadable for free are worth having and studying no matter what your machine. They do need to be brand specific. Studio and Toyota ones may be used, but adjustments may have to be made in terms of starting rows, or even flipping the card over vertically.  Download links for punchcard patterns, with symbols used and pattern samples can be found in my previous post

I have added an new category to my side bar to make this topic search easier: Patterning with 2 knit carriages .  Included are color separations for some fabrics suitable for this method of knitting.

I am presently knitting my samples on an altered 910, using an EMS kit purchased last December. I have had selection problems related to my hardware, but some of the 2 carriage operation or lack thereof has been evaluated and duplicated by others. My successful experiments with 2 single bed carriages selecting so far:

Lace and slip stitch: both carriages selecting in their usual positions 
<http://alessandrina.com/2018/03/05/lace-edgings-on-brother-machines/>
Start with 2 knit rows in programmed pattern 
with KC on left, preselect to right, set to slip <— —>, knit first 2 all knit rows, ending with KC on right, proceed with selection with LC on left
Will not work if the pattern is adjusted so KC knits the first 2 rows and parks on left, with attempted use of LC from right. LC will not select. 
Operating LC with KC plain knitting (no pattern selection) may be done with LC selecting from either side, with repeat adjustment <http://alessandrina.com/2018/03/05/lace-edgings-on-brother-machines/>

Lace and weaving: 
<http://alessandrina.com/2018/01/02/lace-punchcards-meet-ayab/>
both carriages selecting in their usual positions 

Lace and tuck stitch: the fabric worked out for use with mylar sheet

Ayab actions for carriages, use LC on left, KC / tuck <– –> on right
a charted ayab repeat for my swatch 

I came across this image on a pinboard, and imagining the possibility of knitting it led me back to a previous post illustrating a similar stitch structure, knit on an unaltered 910. The pin:


working out the first repeat in the blogpost

The swatch (sideways view) shows the repeat as illustrated in the upper segment of the above chart, and then lengthened X 2, with color changes every 4 rows (the length X2 is not presently an available action in Ayab)

In the past, when I tried to knit with 2 KCs, one on the left an one on the right, both selecting needles, I was unsuccessful, but in light of the above experiments I decided to test the idea with the RKC (the one that would operate from the right) selecting and then knitting the first 2 rows of color, in turn resting on right side. I then operated the second KC from the left, alternating carriages every 2 rows. Knitting at a slower speed and moving each carriage perilously far out on the extension rails did the trick.

To use the repeat in Ayab, in order to keep the proper color sequence, the last design row is shifted down to row 1 position. There is an error in the repeat, marked by arrows I did not notice until I had completed the swatch. The repeat may be used as is, and color reversed via action inverse in Ayab, or color reversed prior to loading the image, which I chose to do personally. 

This is grabbed from the ayab screen: the knitting is actually mirrored automatically by the software, so what is shown onscreen is what appears on the knit side of the finished piece. Something to keep in mind in situations where placement and direction might have some importance. 

Things to notice in swatch : as already mentioned, there is an error in the repeat in terms of my intention. Placement for the slip stitch blocks could certainly be planned for an asymmetrical effect, varied in size, and more.  Slip stitch is significantly narrower than stocking stitch. That would need to be allowed for were the stitch to be used in a garment or gauge dependent knit. 

Examining the purl side of the knit, which is facing as one machine knits: the intentionally dropped stitches at the start  on both sides are there because I had cast on extra stitches that were outside the parameters of the programmed repeat width. The left side edge, next to LKC (left knit carriage) is visibly shorter than the right. The two yarns used were of different thicknesses but knit at the same tension. The LKC would have merited from a looser tension, and an edge weight on the very last stitch on that side would help with adjusting the length the white edge “floats” from one color change to the other as stripes are created . Handling of side floats in striped knitting is dependent on the row height of such stripes.  
There are a great number of interesting ribber fabrics that can only be knit by manually changing the ribber settings to slip in both directions, so that the main bed only knits for X # of rows, with the ribber carriage periodically set to knit again. If the function happens for an even number of rows at a time and in both directions, the sinker plate for the KC may be altered for use with the ribber in the up position, to knit the main bed stitches only. Its change knob should be set to KC I to insure that the first and last stitch are knit. I knit this sample using the altered KC selecting from the right, the KC engaged with the ribber sinker plate selecting from the left. I will address the altering process and steps involved in the knitting in a separate post. 

 

Fair isle variations

Work in progress

A previous post shares information on gauge swatches and testing yarn for them. These are random FI samples from my collection, most from my teaching days. None of them were ever intended for use in finished product. They were knit to illustrate some of the possibilities for the different techniques using each of the cam button combinations. Some were knit during class demos. The colors made them easily identifiable as mine, from a personal yarn stash. The contrast helped identify how stitches were formed, the lack of helped evaluate some of the results from that as well.

In the first swatch, marking for measuring stitches per inch is done by leaving a needle out of work. Width between resulting ladders should be checked at various points after the swatch is treated in the way you plan to treat (block) the finished fabric. Adding a third color per row would require altering the pattern to a color separated slip stitch one, or one may add that color with duplicate stitch. Spots below are colored in with permanent fabric marker. At the height of the art to wear movement one artist in particular was producing limited edition knitwear by knitting the same design in black and white, and in turn over dyeing the white for different effects in each piece in the series. Eyelets at the bottom of the swatch are tension markings for the piece. The vertical line created by end needle selection (normally used in FI to avoid separation of colors et vertical edges) is interrupted in rows that are knit in only one color. 

Recommended max for floats is usually 5 stitches.  How much the floats droop and cause potential “problems” on the purl side depend on fiber content. Sometimes such floats are intentionally created and worn on the outside of the garment as planned design features. The longer blue floats are seen below in the areas of the ladders where only the yellow is knitting, creating a wider span of the alternate color.

These repeats are as simple as one can get. A reminder: if using them in pieces of a garment ie baby leggings, etc. take note of which yarn feeder each color is in. Even if the repeat is correct and placed properly, the surface of the knit will appear different to the eye if colors placement is reversed in alternate pieces

Color may be added or “taken away” as seen in post on bleach discharge on knits 

Here a factory punchcard is used. Thinner yarn in lighter colors may have some bleed through of darker colors traveling behind them, as seen on the left. Not an issue with the thicker wool on the right. Forgetting to set the card to advance can result in vertical lines, which could alternately be planned as a design feature.

The longer floats seem manageable in these yarns, there is a bit of hooking up on the bottom right. The yarn traveling up the swatch on the right is an alternative way to mark for gauge measurements. A previous post provides some information on float control.  

Varying the colors, fiber content, and considering complementary borders is worth exploring thoroughly at the swatch level, before committing to a larger piece. Truly contrasting yarn used at the bottom and top of the area to be measured for row gauge makes the process easier. As attractive and quick as single bed FI can be, keep in mind that long pieces knit in yarns with “memory” such as wool, will tend to roll to the purl side vertically even after blocking, and certainly with wearing of pieces such as scarves or shawls. 

tone on tone chenille and all rayon, with “color reverse” by switching yarn positions in feeder less effective with a flat yarn as the alternative to the chenille 
Using the same card:  every needle, 4.5 mm machine electronictransferring stitches to every other needle, odd needles in work on one side, even  numbered needles on other using worsted weight (2 needles in center in work side by sidemotif twice as wide, every other needle across fabric width 

It is possible to vary designs by using the 3 functions of the card reader: locked, normal rotation, and elongation. Designs with long vertical features tend so separate at the edges where the 2 colors meet. Lining the fabric with a fusible makes the knit lose stretch, but it may be an option for stabilization, mock quilting, and float control. Hi contrast colors are best for sorting out how stitches are formed. Embroidery alters the “step ladder” effect outlining the shapes. Hand techniques (in this case cables) can be combined with FI. In Brother it helps to be familiar with pattern, as needle selection may have to be manually restored after the technique is performed to stay in pattern hooked up floats not just for float control; note puckering on knit side where they have been hung up in groups swatches were worked from bottom up, starting with positive/ negative comparison, sorting out possible placement of ladder with the intent of adding ladder lace details. Cancel end needle selection because of needles out of work, but bring needles into D or E positiong to avoid separation of colors and/ or dropped stitches at side edgesfrom bottom up: transitioning from ladder resulting from single NOOW, to 2 NOOW, hooking up floats on opposite sides, ending in “lace” pattern aloneHere stainless 32 gauge wire is used as the second “color”, making the piece moldable and shape retainingThere is a vertical, single stitch line due to end needle selection in the contrast color formed on either side of any needle(s) out of work that can provide a visual guide for altering the fabric. This swatch was knit with wide NOOW spaces, then sewing machine stitching  joined the contrasting vertical lines to form a 2 color “fringe” on the knit side (left) and purl side (right)Variations with fibers: wool with raffia on bottom, fishing line on top The same swatch continued on, using 3M elastic as the second colorSwitchingThe same repeat in a rayon chainette and wool, followed by some felting. The rayon “bubbles” more visibly when the wool creates the wider floatsreversing color positions
The punchcard is limited to varying the vertical repeat automatically in 3 ways: locking the card, normal rotation, and double length. Repeat width is fixed. Felting can produce interesting surfaces if one yarn is capable of being felted (green), and the other not (blue). The stitches knit with the latter will create puckers/ blisters. Since the knit will shrink in both width and height, the repeats here were used at double length. Note the added drooping of the blue floats on the purl side.A punchcard can be further manipulated by masking areas with tape. It is not a good solution for production knitting, but adequate for testing out ideas before committing to punching a full, new card. The surface blisters here are much more dramatic. The green floats do not felt as much as in the previous swatch, and are considerably wider. On the right, far side you can see some of them were latched up, creating yet another design detail.   The reverse of both swatches showing the resulting difference in relative width A factory supplied punchcard pattern, also felted. The fringe is created by ending on one side (in this case on the right) with a group of needles out of work and the outermost 2 needles in work, essentially producing a large “ladder”.  Some needles close to the edge of the knit  were brought in and out of pattern to create the “zig zag”. Knit side on left, purl side on right, no clearly visible, separate floats

A Brother 910/ Ayab diary

This is a work in progress post. I have now edited and included its previous version so the most recent observations appear first, the oldest last.

At present there is no English text manual for using the software, or a quick start guide. I am sharing some of the differences and similarities in actions I have noted between the unaltered 910 and those of the hack, beginning with settings, and including a few tidbits gleaned from support as I encountered patterning problems. They may be of interest to those making the transition after previous knitting experience and familiarity with the machine, or to anyone curious about the program and some of its features and differences.

Yellow text in this first image from a publication on the 910 indicates matching functions I have identified so far in ayab software.

the full illustration from the 910 manualactions on the unaltered 910

When the pattern selector is down, the pattern is centered on green #1 (right of  0). This means if the pattern is an even number, say 24 stitches, then the pattern’s limits are green 12 and yellow 12. If the pattern is an odd number of stitches the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13, the center being green #1. With an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side.

AYAB

I purchased my hardware kit (now temporarily off market) from developer : to purchase , wiki , interface , install . Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook, and GitHub .

At present there is no cover readily available for the machine once the unit is installed, so the left side of the main bed remains exposed.

Though beeps heard upon preparing to preselect the first row from left to right are described as a triple beep, I hear them as a triple set of multiple beeps with pauses between. Not taking the time to “hear” them all will result in patterning errors from the get go. Be sure to hear the beep and see the flashing of the unit before reversing carriage direction. Clear the left turn mark at least periodically while knitting. If you have experience with any production knitting on the unaltered machine you may feel the knitting speed is slowed when using the software and cable for downloading each row as opposed to that with which the mylar scanner accomplished the same task.

Ayab can be set for infinite repeat in length, the function was automatic on the mylar unless one made the choice to stop at any point. A single repeat on the mylar was enough to program across the width of the needle bed, with ayab the full width of the pattern must be programmed, so designs need to be tiled accordingly.

Installation of software can be achingly slow on Mac desktop (I am using High Sierra OS). SiLabsUSBDriver  is also required. Security settings need to be checked / changed even if no warning is given by the computer leading one to assume there have been no issues with download or the install. The driver will reside in the library/ extensions.

The hardware install is fairly straightforward.

The USB connection needs to be made prior to launching the software for the port to be recognized. If port questions come up, click the “Refresh” button on the AYAB screen. When things are working correctly, you should be able to see a port name from the pop-up menu. The plug-in power supply supplies power only to the needle selection.

The popping noise or clunk is heard usually but not always, when you cancel AYAB and restart and is produced by the solenoids. I have been reassured it “does no harm” by support.

The launcher box remains open throughout knitting.

To start knitting:
1. Load your pattern in the width of the planned repeat
2. Set all the AYAB settings at default (2-color, start at row 1, single, center). Check infinite repeat if you want to knit more than one vertical repeat
3. Knit carriage is on the left, outside the turn mark
4. In the AYAB software, Configure/Knit
5. Wait until the software says “Please Init carriage” at bottom of screen
6. Bring the carriage across the left turn mark and stop before crossing any needles, wait for the triple set of beeps.
8. Continue across the first row and stop, wait for flash and beep, then proceed with movements to and from each side, again waiting for flash and beep that indicate each row download is complete.

If knitting a repeat in single height, currently (0.9 sw and 0.9 fw) when you are one row ahead of the last selection the row numbers disappear as “Image Transmission is finished. Please knit until you hear the double-beep sound”. The marker on the image jumps down to the beginning. You knit across and it does the selection for the last row and gives the long-beep sound. Knit one more row to actually knit that selection. When all needles are selected to B, you cancel your settings and you’re done. 

In some instances clearing both turn marks seems to help avoid errors and insure consistent patterning. Beware of moving the carriage back and forth for any reason, ie to fix a yarn loop, dropped stitch, etc. The movements in my experience have been counted as rows, resulting in patterning errors as would happen when using a punchcard machine. If working on a desktop as opposed to a nearby laptop you may be missing any visual cues for row advancement  provided by the ayab screen.

The image displayed on screen may be magnified and reduced to fixed amounts, but at present there are no programmable cues as might have been used on mylar ie. for color changes, lace vs knit carriage actions, etc.

When exploring the menus, creating an easy to view repeat helps to sort out available actions

The single setting is used for all single bed fabrics. The row numbering starts from 1 not 0, and focuses consistently on the row whose pattern is being selected, not the row being knitted; design row start line placement

start needle design stitch position on needle bed 

single design alignment test: left, center, right of the same repeat on an alternate start stop needle configuration 

As mentioned, with an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side. It also automatically mirrors all patterns, so lettering  and images appear on the knit side as drawn. The mirroring however,  is a problem with lace. If working from an established pattern, the lace repeat must be mirrored again either before loading the pattern or prior to knitting it or lace transfers will be made in the wrong direction. It is possible to operate the LC from the right side using Ayab, but if  knit carriage is also set to selecting needles ie. if set to slip stitch, and is used in combination with the lace carriage, the LC will not select when operated from the right, and the pattern will not advance properly (documented by others as well).

I used to constantly use 2 knit carriages in a lot of my accessories. At this point that function is not possible due to patterning errors or loss of patterning when the second carriage operates from the right.

The first preselection row in Ayab is made from left to right. For any pattern that requires a start from right to left, ie one with color changes every 2 rows, there are 2 options. One is to place the design row start line at the very top row of the repeat. That row will be selected left to right, the first design row will then be preselected right to left, and the 2 color rotations using the color changer on the left can proceed accurately.  The other option is to shift the last row in the programmed repeat down to row 1 position prior to downloading the pattern, and saving that as the working repeat.  I prefer the latter, since it eliminates having to recall the change in start line. An example of the shift is seen as applied to the automatically shaped lace trim

The ribber setting: a reminder, later color changers were also capable of being used on the bulky machine

Brother DBJ KRC setting including on the 910: white is the background (color 1), punched holes, black squares or pixels are considered contrast (color 2)

This is the KRC color separation described for DIY use on a punchcard machine: 

some of the possible backings (vertical striper requires extra steps)

Previous related posts: http://alessandrina.com/2015/04/18/a-simple-shape-an-exercise-in-dbj-brother-km/ and http://alessandrina.com/2017/10/26/dbj-and-color-separations-some-previous-posts-links/

AYAB color sequence is reversed from the Brother convention of white pixels being color #1, and black pixels being color #2. It chooses black as color #1, white as color #2. The first pass to the right is set up with the “black” yarn. Actual position in the color changer can vary depending on how the yarn is threaded in the mast. The first pass to the right preselects for the first row of black squares, which will be knit on the first pass from right to left. In one option, the ribber needs to knit the yarn in order to get the carriages threaded with yarn to the other side, the KC makes a free pass, with nothing knit. This is achieved by having the main bed set to slip <– –>, and the ribber to selection to be used in the remaining DBJ fabric. After knitting across and waiting for beep, knit back to color changer, the beep happens again as you reach the opposite side. Press the button to change yarn to “white” and continue in pattern, changing colors every 2 rows. Depending on your choice of start to the piece, another option may be to have the ribber set to slip as well on the first preselection row from left to right, thread the “black” with the carriages on the right, using it to knit that first design row, moving toward its empty slot in the yarn changer, where you will then pick up the “white”. Check cam settings on both carriages before moving back toward right. Thinking of the pattern in terms of black and white and matching the sequence as described frees one from the factory KRC convention.

KC I or II may be used, needle arrangements can vary depending on the look one prefers on the edges. It is helpful to have some previous experience with ribber use and understanding of how stitches are formed. Patterning resulting from choices on end needle selection on either bed may be considered a boon or a distraction, at times even create a smaller, secondary pattern (arrows)

The circular setting: was intended for tubular fair isle, some of my experiments to produce other fabrics may be found in earlier posts. The ravelry group discussion on topic including using the setting in knitting socks, with an extensive tutorial by Adrienne Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/ayab/3346844/26-50#38

3/15/18 After more testing I have come to the conclusion that end needle selection cancellation on my 910 LC is working properly, but is not operative when I am working with the my Ayab interface.

3/5/18 While working on a post on shaped lace edgings on Brother machines  I encountered 2 new issues. One appeared to be I was unable to restore end needle selection on my LC while sorting out the repeats. The other was that if 2 carriages are in use, the lace carriage will not select needles if operated from the right, while if is the only carriage selecting needles, it will work from either side. This is a property that is not isolated only to my set up.

2/28/18 I have continued to intermittently knit swatches on my hacked 910. The software continues to be a boon in terms of avoiding the mylar and producing test fabrics quickly. At one point it was suggested I flash the Arduinogo to the Tools menu, Load AYAB firmware. Choose 910, Uno, 0.9. It takes a few seconds to reload the firmware (the part of the program that’s in the actual Arduino.  The changes from 0.8 to 0.9 were minimal, but it’s best to make sure you are using the latest.  EMSL preflashes them in testing so it’s not normally necessary for the user to do it.” Mine had not been. Doing so has not changed any of the behaviors that make me reluctant to even attempt to knit anything other than short fabric tests.  The trick now has become to keep enough patience and distance to be able to not assume that any patterning issues or fabric inconsistency are due to the software and not my own inattention or faulty notes. A recent observation: if an odd number of needles are being used the rule is that the larger number will be on the left.

1/21/17 I have been reworking some of my previous posts to accommodate for the fact that Ayab preselects the first knit row only moving from left to right. After being contacted by a design school student in Europe with respect to creating specific designs in 2 color drop stitch using ayab, there is now a dedicated post on topic. Nothing has changed in terms of my having reliable and consistent patterning for any significant knit lengths using Ayab. In addition, the knit carriage movements in the 910 when using the software now behave like the Brother punchcard knit carriages. Any change in movement in the opposite direction or jiggling of the KC for any reason, can make the design advance pattern rows. This was never true for the unaltered 910 machines, which were wonderfully reliable if the knitting was interrupted, if carriage were moved outside the knit edges for any reason, did not need to clear end marks for any reason other than on the first row of knit, were able to preselect first row from either side, making patterns that required use of the color changer usable without design first row adjustments, and the list goes on. The Facebook group is an active one, and worth joining for anyone seeking more observations, advice, and inspiration.

1/7/18 Over the week end it appears my software has now begun pre selecting  first with errors, and now correctly on that first pass from left to right, so I will now be reviewing any instructions I have posted this past month in case settings need to be changed for anyone trying to execute the same fabrics, beginning with  lace.

1/4/18 My Ayab software set up rows work this way: the first pass from left to right only gets the carriage to the right, selecting only first and last needle if change knob is set to KC I. The second pass from right to left preselects the first row of pattern. The third pass (from left to right), knits the first row of pattern, selects the second, and so on; subsequent selection is correct, no rows of the design are skipped. It has been pointed out to me that this may be a unique feature to mine, or one unreported by others. “First preselection row should occur on that first pass from left to right”. My posts on using the software are based on the first pattern row knitting from left to right, not right to left as would happen if the very first pass from left to right preselected for the first row of knit. At this point in time it is also not possible for the first preselection row to occur moving from right to left. This in turn needs adjustments if patterning needs to occur in 2 row sequences from the left ie. in knitting mosaics and mazes unless preselection happens from right to left,  a result of my version’s “quirk”. Since I also knit on an E6000 the first 2 rows feature to complete preselection for the first row of pattern is a familiar one, and from the beginning I assumed it was an intentional feature in the Ayab software as well. It actually solves the problem if the first selection row needs to happen toward the color changer. Fixed starting sides can be problematic depending on the type of fabric being knit.  Lots of options to explore.

12/28/17: tuck lace meets hand technique 

12/25/17 my first try at lace: the LC is the one to select for transfers, the KC knits to complete the formation of stitches. Brother punchcards for lace usually begin with selection rows, end with 2 blank rows at their top. Using Ayab the repeats need to repeat across the width of the piece. One nice added feature is that when doing so, blank rows may be planned and left at both sides, creating a knit stitch border and eliminating the problem of paying attention as to whether end needles are selected or not, or what other measures to take. This fabric creates large eyelets, there will be 2 empty needles side by side for the duration. Some of the old pattern books referred to it as one of the “mock crochet” ones.

the resulting fabric, knit and purl sides

one more to try: a large diagonal eyelet lace combining lace and tuck 

1/22/18 swatches with preselection from left, similar results for shapes that are shaped with single row increments in height. Double height, the fabric creates tiny pintucks, not blisters as can begin to be seen at top of swatch; KC slip <—, ribber slip —>;

shapes as seen in test swatchverifying presence of pockets 

For a full post on quilting in one or 2 colors please see later post 

12/23/17 The “quilted” fabric produced below is different than the one achieved by specifically designed color separations, the fabric has an interesting blister like effect, the knit areas have more horizontal texture. Because of limitations due to the eventual needle selection errors I am experiencing with the software, my swatches are limited in length or have interrupted patterns. My new repeat two of the “pockets” have beads dropped into them to highlight their location 

12/22/17: settings given below are for first preselection row from right to left, not for left to right,  testing out the waters with the circular settings, using the repeat. Please check later posts for reviewed content 

I tried to go for “quilting, but think that may require switching levers on the ribber, so to start with, this was knit in an every needle rib, with ribber set to knit <—->, main bed set to slip —>, producing a fabric with very subtle pintucks, which may be more interesting in 2 colors
Quilting: KC slip <—, ribber slip —>

The pink and white swatch is  in “drop stitch lace”,  was also knit using the circular setting. Instructions for color separations for fabric, how tos, tools, tips and samples may be found in my posts on topic, with the same repeat used in http://alessandrina.com/2015/06/16/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-2-brother-km/ 

the image resulting from my own past color separation its purl side, turned sideways

Previous posts have covered manual color separations for fair isle, quilting 1, quilting2, and a summary of series on drop stitch lace. A later post on drop stitch lace using ayab .

One of the differences in using Ayab, is that knitting set up begins on the left, with first preselection row happening on the second carriage pass from right to left. This makes sense if the goal is to set up patterning for moving toward the color changer. Passap E6000 uses the SX/GX (2 Rows) for set up, with its color changer on the right. The knitter may set the carriages or locks for any chosen setting (knit for knit rows, slip if the extra 2 rows knit are not desired as part of the pattern, or those suggested by console or other instructions). In the original state 910, the starting side is of no consequence as long as one is outside the set line, and preselection happens on a first, single pass. The same is true of preselection in the punchcard, one may start on either side. In some fabrics such as slip stitch worked holding techniques, or if  the color changer is in use and making moves in even numbers of rows toward and away from it are required, starting side matters. The Ayab circular setting does the color separation for the fabrics above, but other cam and lever settings may need adjustment, based on sorting out what selected needles are doing when knitting starts. For the “quilted” swatch above the left part button on the KC, and the right one on the ribber were used. Sometimes the guide to color selection or cam settings, is whether the first square in the imported image for download is black or white. With the loss of the built in color reverse on a hacked machine, it is easy work when swatching and testing to color reverse the repeat by using invert, available in the color menu, providing the alternative repeat. In Gimp the grid color may be adjusted as well, if you choose to work in black and white as your starting palette. For the individual image, Image/ configure grid changes the preference for single use. 

12/19/17 I am continuing to really appreciate the speed and ease for sampling pattern ideas. That said, I  have also again experienced selection issues varying from lost selection to repetition of the same pattern row indefinitely, frequently after more than 50 rows are knit, and in spite of increasing attention being paid to beeps and flashes. Short pauses also seem to put the software into time out mode. I have not done enough knitting to evaluate whether moving the carriage past both turn marks with any frequency prevents those selection issues. Support is responsive, with new tools come new learning curves for everyone involved.

There is a popping noise /clunk that I have now learned is routine and  “likely from the solenoids being engaged or disengaged, when they’re first powered up, or released at the end.” It is a noise I have never heard in standard 910 use. I usually power down equipment when not in use, and have been told “For the sake of longevity on the knitting machine, it’s probably better to err on the side of disconnecting the USB cable when you power down the machines.”

My present knitting efforts are to come up with some sort of variation of this fabric, published in an early Empisal Ribber Pattern Book, shared in a Facebook forum post.  I have used racking in a variety of experiments, but never traveling over a MB pattern as in this instance. There is now a dedicated post on topic 

12/17/17 I am brand new at using the system, my comments here are logging my personal experience and observation as I am learning a new tool, not intended as a guide. Please follow forums for advice from folks with more experience and knowledge.

The ayab interface from EMS is now up and running on my 910. The process was easy and straightforward in terms of hardware. Software install on the Mac is very slow initially, but the launcher operates quickly after that.  I am using the system connected to an iMac presently running OS 10.13.2. There initially were issues with port failure when attempting to use the program to download. No security warning was received when the driver download was completed, but rather, the image below, which I took at face value, so I did not immediately access the preferences security panel to make any changes thereIt took some sorting out with EMS support and finally accessing preferences security settings and “allowing” the install to solve the problem. Apparently there may be some change in message received within a half hour of the install. So, easy fix, check system preferences security settings regardless of pop up window even if lacking  familiar and obvious warnings such as

At present there is no cover available to fit over the kit and its wires, so the left hand side of the machine remains exposed. There is a row counter built into the software, but I tend to rely on the built in on the 910. Any DIY cover should take clearing the row counter and the knit leader trippers into consideration. There is some conversation about 3D printed ones, or even metal. Tiny detail: the kit comes with electrical zip ties to help secure the plastic shields on both sides of the board.  Clip the ends, and twist them so join sits either on top or under the interface, thus keeping them clear of KM parts, and, particularly, the belt drive on the left.

There are a series of beeps and flashes that indicate that the pattern row has indeed been downloaded and is ready to be knit. 910 mylar users are familiar with the sound coming from the reader as each row is scanned. Prior to using the Ayab system I was initially concerned about beeps for each row adding to machine operating noise, since I am familiar with the Passap screech and at one point was also with the Studio electronic version. The Ayab beeps are actually on the soft side, and background noise or inattention may actually lead one to miss the cues. LED flashes occur in pairs indicating the row is ready to knit as well. Again, any cover may hide the light or soften the beeps even more, making the cues available via the screen more essential.

The kit comes with a 3 ft. cable. I have rearranged placement of my machines to make using both the Croucher cable, switchbox, and wincrea on the Passap, and the Ayab system on my 910. My initial wish was for a longer cable, which is possible to use. That said, there are several knit from screen clues that if you are operating the machine any distance from the computer get lost and become hard to see, including indicators for row numbers and the pattern advancement lines on your motif.

So far I have small FI samples and DBJ  samples. Ran into a problem after 60+ rows of each with mis patterning occurring, but that may well have been operator error. I have used my 910 for production accessories, and was very familiar with a personal optimum speed. I believe I almost unconsciously with the initial samples, may have picked up speed and interfered with the accurate download of pattern rows. When I slowed down and was much more deliberate, waited for each flash and sound, a test got me to RC 110 with no issues before I quit for the day.

11/27/17 This punchcard was shared by someone trying to reproduce the implied fabric on their 910. It is intended to be used as a combination lace and weaving card, so on the punchcard machine 2 carriages would be locked on the belt. If even number of passes are made with each carriage, there is the issue of the card not advancing each time when the opposite carriage makes its first pass. So far I have not been able to get this repeat to work for me as drawn, to produce results anything even resembling the “finished swatch” published photo. It did work for me using the LC carriage for 3 passes, releasing it, and following it by 2 rows knit with the KC set to tuck in both directions, a very different fabric. If the LC  is released after an odd number of rows, then technically when the KC is first in use,  the right to left and back to right selection is not interrupted, it is moving in the direction the LC carriage would have moved, and the punchcard row is not repeated. First row with LC selects, second row transfers, selects next row. Third row transfers, selects every other needle for the first tuck row on the next pass of KC, and LC is released. The fabric then tucks for 2 rows as punched, on every other needle. The second tucked row is completed with KC on right. The first LC row has now been preselected, as the *LC heads back to right (1) it transfers the selected needles, selects them again, but since they are now already empty, nothing happens to any yarn, and the next row of transfers is selected (2). Second set of transfers is made to right (3) as first tuck row is preselected. LC is removed. KC tucks for 2 rows (4, 5), selecting first LC transfer row with the second pass.* Repeat. The marks on the left should indicate carriage movements for each carriage, but they are off as well in my version of the fabric. My final repeats were for use on the 910 with a mylar.

the pattern book swatch imagemy tuck swatch

Lace is a challenging enough fabric without adding weaving yarn floats, and definitely combining them requires a clear understanding of what the yarn is doing on the needle hooks as one progresses through the repeat. I will be starting a separate post reviewing card markings  in punchcard pattern books, and translating them for electronic use. For further information please see post on 589

I have always been interested in machine knitting hacks and began sharing information from the internet on the topic as early as 2013. I own the 910 Brother model, and when the ayab hack first became available, assembling electronic components was beyond my skill and interest. I have a good supply of mylars, but have always knit more complex fabrics on my E6000, which has the Croucher cable and switch box for download to and from a Windows laptop, using Wincrea .  I had known a preassembled kit for the 910 hack was in development from a trip to CA, which included a visit to the Bay Area Machine Knitting Guild  back in April 2016.  A recent post on Ravelry alerted me to the fact that Ayab was “alive and well”, and that an assembled kit is now available and on the market. The hardware kit developer , to purchase  , wiki , interface , install . My understanding is that the software is still being developed in Germany.
Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook.  My compiled list of online pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more: 5435

I have purchased a kit,  and will share my experiences with it as time passes. In addition to bypassing the mylar use, the idea of having software that will render  color separations that would normally have to be hand drawn for larger repeats than would be practical, or for complex fabrics, is an exciting one.

An artist whose work I admire, using the interface early on is Claire Williams , her tutorial  updated 2016 with DIY assembly of the original “kit”.

Taking knitting machines apart

Once in a while, beyond deep cleaning, even taking the machine apart may be needed. I tackled my own punchcard machine recently, here are photos of the action in progress
Needles now back in, needle retainer bar restoration left to go. In case you choose to tackle the process on your own, some clear instructions may be found at Knittsings for Brother machines , and on Susan Guagliumi’s blog for Studio brand

For folks that prefer videos Roberta Rose Kelly has a series of maintenance related ones on youtube.

Lace edgings on Brother machines

The initial goal here is to produce a knit fabric using lace transfers in the familiar way, but the knit carriage will now be set to slip <–>, selecting needles with each pass. In routine lace patterning the KC is set for plain knit, does not preselect needles, advance the mylar, punchcard, or other electronic patterning.

If this image, where all blue squares represent knit stitches and white squares unworked ones, was provided with the intent of its being produced as a piece of knit on the machine, the initial approach might be to use a single prong tool to move the edge of the blue in one stitch to the right for a decrease, and out one needle to the left for an increase. When the decrease is made on the bottom curve, the needle from which the stitch was taken is put back out of work. When an increase is made, a stitch is moved to work on left, and the last stitch on that side is transferred onto it. As knitting continues, that now empty needle location will create an eyelet.

I decided to wing it for the first swatches. This illustrates the same knit shape. Blue rows represent all knit rows and stitches, the empty pairs of rows leave areas to insert lace eyelets in pattern.

Arrows indicate the movement of the lace carriage on left, knit carriage on right. Red squares now represent transfers to right, green ones transfers to left

A second transfer to the right is included in the pattern close to the left edge of the trim to create eyelets next to the decreases, matching those eyelets created by stitches moving out in the increase segment of the chart

A theoretical series of right and left transfers is then inserted, creating a shape in the center of the trim’s width

Now reducing it all to black and white squares or pixels for first preselection from right hand side using an electronic. This repeat is not suitable for use in a punchcard machine even though it is 24 stitches wide. Electronics advance a design row with each pass of the carriage when cam buttons are pushed in and with both carriages set to needle select. Punchcard machines in those circumstances do not advance when the alternate carriage is brought into work from the opposite side. This charted repeat is usable as is on an unaltered 910, with the first preselection row from right to left. LC operates from the left, KC from the right.

For use with Ayab software two other things need consideration. Ayab mirrors lace repeats, so either mirror the repeat of the original design, or choose action mirror in the software prior to knitting. This is a screen grab of the repeat used for my initial swatch test. I later changed the section where the diamonds cross in at the center of the eyelet repeats In addition: those first 2 rows need to be all knit, so the top row of the design was moved down to row 1 position.
KC preselects left to right, knits black squares to left, preselects same needle selection again to knit those same stitches traveling back to its home on the right, creating the two knit rows that in “normal lace” would be worked with the KC simply set to knit.  As the KC now knits the second row, it preselects needles for the first row of transfers, rests on the right
LC transfers to right as it travels to left, preselects the next row of transfers. As it moves back to left it transfers to left, preselects for first of 2 all knit rows, rests on left
The sequence is repeated  until the piece reaches the required length.
End needle selection is off on both carriages. As LC travels to left, because of no end needle selection, the first needle on the right is not selected. An option is to manually pull that needle out to insure it knits. I decided I actually preferred the chain created by those single stitches knitting only every other row, but was not happy with the elongated stitches on alternate rows edge stitches on the increase side. These would be the carriage actions To review: end needle selection is off on both carriages. As LC travels to left, because of no end needle selection, the first needle on the right is not selected. An option is to manually pull that needle out to insure it knits. I decided I actually preferred the chain created by those single stitches knitting only every other row. I had a serious yarn tangle on the right about halfway up the swatch, with some of the evidence visible in the approximate center of the swatch photo 

changing that crossing of the diamond outlines, still winging it

My fiber is now a crisp cotton, unmarked weight, tension 8, and it is much easier to observe areas that may still be a problem to me as the designer. Ideally I would prefer the lines created by the transfers marked in cyan to match the quality of those immediately below or to the ascending part of the diamond on their opposite side, that would require changes in the transfers sequences and space between knit rows. The LC non selected stitches on the straight creating an every other row slipped stitch are still something I like.  The difference on the edge stitches in the ascending angle are happening because with each transfer out, there is a single thickness of yarn on the new edge stitch and moving the stitch over a needles space elongates it. Longer loops btw are also created when single increases are made by bringing needles into work on the carriage side prior to knitting a row across all needles. In the trim’s decrease edges, the transfers in each new edge stitch have double the yarn thickness contributing to a different appearance, highlighted with magenta arrows. There are 2 rows that have no edge transfers programmed intentionally in the center before reversing direction, so that area has no resulting edge eyelet.  The last shot at adjusting the repeat, with improvement in those cyan marked areas. Plain knit rows may be added between each repeat, the edge of the knit will be different than in the remaining trim on each side

Going back to the wheel that has already been invented, how can pre drawn published mk lace repeats be used instead of “winging it” endlessly or not having the confidence to perform the necessary assigning symbols and proceeding with the required separation? Still trying to work with a pattern that knits for 2 rows, transfers for 2, a chart from Stitch World:marking the 2 all knit rows that will be plain knit by programming black squares The pattern is actually for an all over lace. All the transfers in the central diamond actually are happening in the same direction. If the repeat was programmed in the usual manner, beginning with LC on the left, those transfers on the first design row and in the whole of the center diamond shape would all be to the left. I can live with them all being to the right, and would be interested in more eyelets at the edge of the trim. Here is a new repeat, with the increased eyelets at the curved edge Remember if using ayab to mirror the above repeat (seen on right) prior to preparing to knit it There is a disruption for 2 rows in the very center of the diamond, where no increases or decreases occur on the shaped edge prior to reversing the shaping. It was there in the earlier sample marked with arrows as well, but not as noticeable where the edge was created with the addition of single eyelets on increase and decrease rows.

Not finding any other candidates to alter for this purpose in stitch world at the moment I am left with the option of going back to the Brother punchcard book collections, and reviewing what needs to be changed for those same patterns that work so well with the KC set to plain knit but are now to be knit with the KC set to slip <—–>……

3/7/18

a lace punchcard repeat with transfers in opposite directions Assigning colors to transfers: red to left, blue to right. In theory the same repeat could be used flipped horizontally for operating the lace carriage from the right. Yellow lines highlight the 2 blank rows in card that will be replaced by black squares/ pixels (remember rules are different for slip and lace in punchcard knitting)Since the goal is a trim, things are rearranged for knitting to begin on the full 24 stitches There are 2 ways to get the above repeat to work, one is by adding extra blank rows. I chose to reverse positions for transfers, moving left transfers upon row, and red down one row. With lace carriage operating from the left this is my new repeat, with edge shaping added for trim edgeKC is set to slip after the first preselection row, first set of transfers is selected on its second pass to the right. The first transfers with the LC are made to the right, the second set to the left. If knitting the repeat using Ayab remember the above is mirrored by the software, so choose action mirror prior to configuring

I knit a swatch using the thinner yarn again. The difference in increasing angle can be seen here as well, the pattern is short, so the outer curve of the trim reflects that 

This would be my test repeat for knitting the same trim in ayab with the LC operating from the right. The software would mirror it, no action needed. The last row is shifted to the bottom to allow for the knit carriage finding a home on the left. First row knit would preselect 2 needles only, with KC then set to slip in both directions, the next two rows should knit, preselecting the first row of transfers to be made by the LC operating from the right.

I am unable to test the repeat. I have had intermittent problems with patterning in the sofware from the time I installed the kit. In multiple efforts and restarts I am now getting no selection at all or wrong selection with LC operating from right, while rows advance in the software and beeps continue. I have knit lace with the LC on the right before, but not with the KC selecting needles as well. Possible solutions and causes to be determined. 3/8/18 I have been told upon testing by others the same issues have been encountered that I did when using the KC to select from left and the LC from right, and the problem appears to be the result of a bug in the software to be addressed in future updates.

3/10/18: an adaptation of Susanna’s automatically shaped trim for Brother KM, p. 223 of “A Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics”. This chart shows the first rows of the published punchcard. Please note: using my own lace carriage, when I tested canceling end needle selection, the problem was not solved. Brother setting recommendations made for a similar transfer pattern in an edging published by them, are given and repeat is pictured at end of my post.


Row 1: LC moves to right, no needles selected
Row 2: LC moves to left, preselects next row of transfers
Row 3: LC moves to right, transfers preselected needles to right (red dots), selects needles (if any) for next pass to left
Row 4: LC travels to and transfers to left (green dots), preselects for first row to be knit by KC In this particular pattern the direction of the arrows match the direction of the transfers with movements of LC operating from left
Row 5: KC from right, set to slip <—  —> knits all needles in D position, repeats the same selection as it travels to left (yellow marks)
Row 6: KC travels back to right, in the second shaped knit row, preselects for the next transfers to be made by the LC
Row 7: LC travels to and transfers to right, preselects for next row of transfers
Row 8: LC travels to left, transferring to left if any needles have been preselected on the previous pass, and the process continues

The numbers on the punchcard chart do not reflect actual row numbers in knitting because when row 4, 10, etc is reached, on the next pass (a blank row in the card), the card does not advance and the previous selection is repeated. For each carriage to make an even number of passes to travel to and from its original position, the total length of the repeat must be an even number of rows.

Here are the 24 stitch repeats adjusted for knitting on the electronic. A for an unaltered 910, B indicating direction of transfers (red to right, green to left). Arrows mark the problem row, and my solution to it C on the far right, along with the repeat adjusted for use with Ayab.the ayab screen image for working the edging  Both KC and LC are set not to select first and last needles in my directions. When the decreases start to happen on the left of the chart, because the end needle selection for transfer to right again does not happen in areas marked with magenta arrows,  there is an extra stitch that remains on the left that does not get transferred (orange dot) so it is not knit off and simply get held as subsequent rows of knitting take place. Restoring needle selection in the LC is not a solution for the problem, so the final repeat has been amended by me to get that edge transfer. The pattern starts on  cast on 20, not the full 24 stitches. Ayab knitters: use the LC to begin selection from left. The first pass will select for a knit row, push those needles back to B, and the LC will select for transfers to right on the next row as it moves to the left. When knitting is to take place there is a clear distinction in the number of selected needles (black squares). The KC will be set to slip <–  –>. Make certain to remember to return the remaining 4 of the 24 total stitches back to B so the full repeat is in work on the needle bed before continuing in pattern, otherwise there will be needles there to accept stitches moved over for increases to left.

The two extra passes of the LC in this method result in a 2 stitch border on the increasing and decreasing angles of the piece, creating a much nicer edge than that in the samples at the top of the post. The eyelet so close to the right edge stitch which also winds up being slipped every other row made for very messy loose stitches in the thicker cotton that I could not control. The sample did better when I pulled the non selected needles on knit rows out to hold prior to moving across them with KC. 

When working on electronics the 24 stitch limit in width for the repeat is no longer there, extra knit stitches may be easily added to the right of the pairs of eyelets along the non shaped edge. Having those extra stitches knit on the right side of the repeat made it possible for me to use my cotton again, giving me a controllable edge on that side without having to pull stitches out to make them knit. To my eye, I find the extra passes with the LC and those extra knit stitches on the right are well worth the effort and planning in the finished piece

the ayab repeat  

Something to try: I found instructions ascribed to Brother
for another version of an edging using a pattern that has the same eyelet sequences along the shaped edgings. Their recommendation for a 950i is to remove the non selection mechanism on the lace carriage, and mention was made of the “rubber wheels on the carriage” being uppermost, allowing the end needles to be selected. My lace carriage has fixed, old fashioned brushes, not rubber wheels, and my eliminating end needle selection did not solve the problem with that single stitch in the center of the repeat. And if there is not enough to keep track of, this also combines fine lace and traditional transfer lace, would work fine as just lace.

3/15/18 after more testing I have come to the conclusion that end needle selection cancellation on my 910 LC is working properly, but is not operative when I am working with the my Ayab interface.

Double jacquard using punchcard machines

Each row of double jacquard consists of  at least 2 rows of slip stitch patterning, one with ground yarn, the other with contrast. The rows knit per each design row varies with the number of colors used in the design. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from producing such fabrics, but the color separation is done by hand or using software, and then the cards are punched. Size of repeat is less important in creating interesting knits than choice of yarns, colors, and technique choices. In early art to wear days, pre electronic home knitting machines, large, non repetitive images were created by breaking down the large images into several vertical panels the width of the punchcard repeat plus seaming allowance. Upon completion, they were  joined side by side to create the final image. Ribber settings for DBJ apply across models in principle, may need adjustment depending on the age and brand of the machine. If working on a bulky machine, consider  using ladder back method.

The common method suggested in instruction manuals for Japanese knitting machines can be viewed in this punch card, laid over a colored template. The limit in repeat width is the fixed 24 stitch. To fit the design on a single 60 row factory punchcard, the maximum is 30 rows in motif height, because one row of pattern requires 2 rows of punching in the card. The step by step separation follows.

Helpful tools: on one blank card color each section of the card, representing color row sequences. This may be used later to check color separation. Box the edge numbers in pairs, beginning with numbers 56, 57, skip two rows to numbers 60, 1, and so on. This separation splits the first and second row of color 1 between the first and last row on the punchcard.

On a second blank card, prepare a master.  First row is left blank, then 2 rows are punched out, followed by 2 rows left blank, repeat, ending with a blank row. Again working upward, number each row you have punched out on the left hand side starting with number 54, then 55-56, 57-58 etc, ending with a single row, 23. This will result in number markings matching both sides at the bottom of the card, below the #1 factory mark. My own master began on the left with the # 53. I also added corresponding design row numbers for each row on the far left. (1 and 2, 3 and 4, and so on). Written notes on right: an even number of rows need to be knit in each color, so in this method pattern must be an even number of rows in  height, boxed numbers represent rows knit in ground color.

Take a blank card and put the master card on top, fastening the 2 cards together with snaps.You can now mark holes to be punched. Copy the first 2 rows of color 2 on rows marked 54 and 55 (or 53 and 54 in my case), repeat in pairs for the required height. I like to mark the card to be punched with colored pencils that differ sharply for each color. They have the benefit of being erasable, and can help with keeping each row distinct when punching.

When the completed repeat is marked, unfasten the snaps and move the card down by one row.  You will now see that the marks you have made through the top row of each set on the master card. Mark through each lower row any blank squares in the row above.

Again, after completing the repeat unfasten the snaps and slide the master up by 2 rows.The card will now be back to its original position, and up by one row. Now you will see the marks you have made on the blank card showing through the bottom of each row of the master card. Mark through each upper row on any square opposite the ones marked in the row below. 

After the repeat is completed, make certain to punch across 2 final rows for the card to create the overlaps for a continuous pattern, as with any other stitch type. Punch out all marks, and you are ready to knit. To check your design visually lay the finished card over the colored master, correct any errors if noted. Your card is now ready to knit DBJ.

First preselection row is right to left with color 1, it will knit from right to left, moving toward the color changer  where colors are then changed every 2 rows. This color separation will not work for fabrics that require the same needles knitting for 2 rows.

A second master that may be used with the same approach, for a different type of color separation: 

This separation works with any number of rows repeats. The design will be elongated because each design row knits twice in each color, with 4 rows completing it. Fabric will be thicker as well, so use thinner yarns when working it. Draw shapes in colors that are chosen for clear contrast, not because they are to be used in the finished piece. Here I am back to those triangles used in earlier posts. The choice of which color you begin with, whether in the separation or in the knit is ultimately up to you.

With the masked card, the first row is marked on the very bottom of your new design, I began with the red, which would produce the equivalent of this

Remove the mask. Beginning with the second row from the bottom, mark in contrast any square not colored in the row below Punch all colored squares and you are ready to knit.  I prefer to not rely on built in elongation if I am making a garment or a long piece of knit. If errors are made or correction of dropped stitches, loops, wrong color selection, etc. is required, unraveling rows is complicated enough without having to also sort out exactly where you need to be in relationship to where the card did or did not advance. Black squares represent punched holes, a segment one separated by the red line in repeat width could be used on a mylar or for electronic download 

Another master for the elongated design, advancing every row, numbers represent rows being filled in, beginning with odd in this orientation, and even with the card rotated for marking even # rows in color 2

This is the same repeat, color separated and elongated X 2; proceed as with the directions above, but in this instance each row in each color is marked twice. The expanded repeat: 

I have used these images to illustrate color separations in far older posts.

The reason the resulting separation here looks so different from the one above is simply that in this latest series of charts the color selections have essentially been inverted. The inversion creates a mirror mirrored back to the original orientation with the inverted colors in place, and the color reverse is now recognizable 

As a matter of course it is helpful to be consistent in choice of starting color when separating motifs. Any single repeats isolated from above are usable in electronic machines, reduced to black and white squares. Electronics vary in the built separations in terms of choosing black or white squares for the first row knit, whether you download an original image or work with built in ones. With preselection of needles in Brother or pushers in Passap, with an easy to count color repeat and some air knitting,  planning starting color of choice and needle placement can be sorted out for more confidence when actual knitting starts.

If you would prefer to work on graph paper that matches the size of your punchcard, there are a downloadable PDF and word doc with some guidelines in my previous posts more-low-tech/ and creating knit graph paper. The posts were in 2011 and 2014, with illustrations drafted in earlier versions of OS and apps. Working in Pages I was now able print an image just about to perfect scale to part of a blank factory card. Here is part of the first repeat in this post traced through the  punchcard holes onto it: 

I then exported 2 documents, one to Word, the other to PDF. The first printed  image and the PDF one (opened in Preview) printed to identical scale using my Epson Printer. Here are the new docs for you to try, they may need tweaking. My measurements, adjusted in Pages were 11 cm by 18.2, for 30 rows in card height: PDF  no numbers card, Word doc exported from Pages no numbers card . I have found squares of the  blank card BMP provided may be filled in in either GIMP or Paint, using the paint bucket tool, but printed size is not in scale to the printout of the original in the pdf.

If scale does not matter and you prefer convenience, this is a numbered “full” punchcard template as PDF scaled to fit on a single page  punchcard numbered , and as an editable Excel document exported from Mac Numbers: punchcard templates_ excel

Quilting using Ayab software


My last post reviewing the quilting on the machine topic so far. Ayab does not allow for the first pre selection row to be made from right to left. In any fabric where preselection needs to occur from that direction, with pattern instructions written with that requirement, in order to match the fabric the solution lies in shifting the last row of the repeat down to the first. If you are working on an odd number of needles and set up matters, pay attention as to whether the program places the extra needle on the right or the left of 0 before you commit to placement on your needle bed, the software is not consistent in this. Here the odd # is placed on Left, in a later swatch on the right. From Adrienne Hunter the tip “I think you are expecting that the odd number will always be on the left. But that’s not it, the rule is that the larger number will be on the left, which may be even or odd.

Ayab settings: 
I began with this partial repeat from an older post

To avoid any confusion with which KC (Knit Carriage) slip buttons to push, simply push in both. The selected needles that should knit in slip stitch will knit, and the ones that should slip (not selected) will slip. Knitting starts COL, prep the interface, travel to right. With COR proceed to left. Machine can be set to knit those first 2 rows, or to slip both beds if you do not wish to have the extra 2 knit rows. Now with COL set main bed to slip <–  –>, ribber to slip <–

My first repeat for a “square” pocket was wrong. The total number of rows in height needs to be an even one. It takes 2 passes of the carriages to complete one circular row. The first repeat below is 17 rows high; so I got as far as one series of pockets followed by mis patterning that was the fault of the design, not the program. The software gives one the opportunity to easily check for stitch and row counts. Though I loaded images 60 stitches in width, my samples are knit 40 stitches widethe amended repeat, now 16 rows in height 

I had a problem when I first paused to stuff pockets with the software advancing a row even though I was outside the left mark, but no issues after I restarted the process and continued. Because the pockets are knitting stitches separately on each bed except for where shapes are joined, the resulting knit approaches stocking stitch qualities and tension settings. It lacks the stretch of every needle rib, where twice as many needles are in work. The joins on the knit side (L) nearly disappear unless fabric is stretched, while joins on the purl side (R) are more visible. 

A “diamond” 12 stitch repeat as it would appear across the bottom of a punch card with the option for first preselection from either side, followed by appropriate cam settingsThe repeat adjusted for preselection from left, illustrating row shift on right
The repeat adjusted for knitting across an Ayab 60 stitch swatchThe bottom of swatch, with absent pockets, shows what happens if wrong slip/knit combinations are in use. Knit side is shown on left, purl side on right, with a bit of cotton ball “stuffing” poking through  
While trying to work with the circular and other settings I found an easier way to achieve one color quilting, still working with that “diamond” from my early post 

I use GIMP to create most of my images for download to either the Passap or now also the 910. In order for the elongation not to be muddy with an image outline in multiple colors, or to cleanly tile it, the image will need to be converted. To draw or paint, begin in RBG mode, then change image to BW palette for scaling or tiling 
make certain the number you wish to remain constant is highlighted
click on “chain” to break aspect ratio
change the second value to desired one click on scale, here is the single repeat, without the necessary last row shiftto tile the image across the width of your swatch make certain the value you want to remain constant is highlighted 
“break the chain”change width to stitch count of your swatch

the tiled image will appear in a different part of your screen, it will be the repeat usable for the first preselect row from right to left. More on using GIMP.

For use with ayab with a repeat that is already tiled but needs “correction”, using snap to grid, dot to dot, copy and paste all but last row onto a new image at the top of a new canvas with the same pixel width and height. Then copy and paste the last row from the above tiling to the first, blank row of the new image. You may also simply work on the original image if you are comfortable with moving the larger cropped image around, pasting it in place at the top, and then editing the first row by hand.  Finish with “export as” in your preferred format for download The smaller diamond would also be workable, but resulting shapes would be very small. The initial, unaltered tiling:for use with Ayab:
Ayab setting is for “single machine type”. The carriage settings: opposite part buttons, right on KC, left on ribber, are set after the first 2 preselection passes, with COL

the resulting elongated diamond fabric, knit and purl sides respectively

Thickening the outlines of the “diamond” varies the joined outlines; solid geometric  shapes may also be created and used as seen in other posts. I like to work with same or similar shapes to understand what the different settings do to their knit structure and scale

Working in more than one color: using the color separated repeat double height. The first chart below illustrates it as it would appear on the bottom of a punchcard. Here first preselection row would need to happen moving from right to left, toward the color changer, with subsequent color changes every 2 rows  
adjusted repeat/ top row shift to bottom for use with Ayab’s preselection from left This fabric requires changing ribber settings manually every 2 rows, thus creating a solid color back. Set the ribber to slip /levers up when most needles are selected on the top bed, set ribber to knit / levers down  in both directions when a few needles are selected on the top bed. The latter selection forms the “stitching” lines on “quilt”. The first color to knit after preselection toward the color changer knits the black squares on rows 2 and 3 in the chart above, so it will create the dominant color in front of the fabric, the second color change will knit the background / white squares on rows 4 and 5 above, and seal the edges of the diamond / black squares 
Reminders: no matter what stitch type, if you forget to select proper cam buttons after N/N settings you will only get plain knitting (stripes at bottom of my swatch). If you are working on a Mac make certain to set your energy saving preferences to insure it stays “awake” for the duration of your knitting time. I happened to knit my samples with cam button set to KC II. KC I is the better setting, giving a slightly different seal along the edge away from the color changer. 

What of using the ayab circular setting and letting the software do some of the “work” for you? The setting was developed for tubular fair isle, so the main bed  with slip stitch <–  –>  knits alternating colors. When the one color knits on the main bed, it skips and forms floats in front of needles not selected for that color. The process is repeated with each color change. There will be a pair of  floats on the inside of the knit for each completed design row. For some how-tos to achieve color separations involved, and more info on tubular knits including Passap techniques please see previous post

The goal is to had been to use the ayab circular setting to produce quilted fabrics, joined at intervals rather than as an open tube with a different pattern on each “side”.  When attempting to utilize anything “off label” for a use other than intended, lots of trial and error can be involved. Ultimately the choice needs to be made as to whether the final technique is worth using simply because you can. I habitually double check my settings and fabrics at least once, a day or more after I knit my samples and post. The work in progress posts actually show some of the editing as it happens, with corrections and mistakes included. The heading goes away when I think I am done with the topic. A day after my pink and white adventure I tried to reproduce the fabric with absolutely no success. This was as close as I got, with different carriage cam settings, the knit side is shown. 

After quite some time and a collection of expletives in 2 languages it appears the solution to my inability to produce the fabric is because the ayab setting I used for knitting it was not the circular one. After a software patterning error and a program restart, I apparently selected ribber rather than circular machine type and proceeded happily to success. To produce the fabric in my re do: the ribber “machine type” setting was chosen 

the green yarn is thinner than the pink, so the bleed through of the white on the reverse side is greater. The remaining information applies. My first samples using a single stitch outline, length X 2 for the “diamond” were a disaster in terms of stitches falling off, the fabric being a squishy, shortened mess.

Back to the drawing board: I thickened up the outline of the shapes, grading up and down in 2 rows in height sequences, needed for getting to and from the color changerI chose to continue to test on a narrower repeat. An added consideration: in knitting fair isle, the first and last needle on each side is normally selected whether by using change knob on KC I in 910, or adjusting knit under carriage in punchcard machines. One can program black squares on either side of the full pattern repeat for the width of the fabric to insure that any number of edge stitches knit every row on each side. Working on a smaller repeat, now 47 X 24note: the odd # and even number needle positions for this new repeat are in reverse order from the one at the top of this post. Here the odd # is placed to the right of 0, not the left
If for any reason you choose to work in color reverse, the black border on each side will be lost.The amended repeat to keep that knit border (black squares/ pixels filled in; this was my working repeat It takes a few tries to sort out what may work. These were my first effort switching ribber settings around until I reached  creating pockets.The color choice needs to be made re solid color for backing and sealed areas of the fabric; for me it was the pink. This is where things get a little fiddly. The fabric settings once the first design row is preselected: KC is set to slip in both directions throughout (remember to change main bed to slip if preselection row have been with KC set to knit). I began with pink for my “sealing” stitches/ solid backing color.

After return to left, change color (white),  no stitches are knit on the ribber, only on main bed

here the floats become increasingly apparent the ribber  now dropped a notch on the right side 
stuffing pockets with cotton balls the ribber is returned to up position, knitting continues 

A: setting operator error creating solid color row. B: same, ribber not set to slip in both directions, resulting in white joining all selected needle. C: stuffed pockets, tending to make fabric wider and shorter   A, B: extra sealing rows (2 in white). C: stuffed pockets and a bit of peek through cotton. D: points to bleed through backing color of white floats on the inside of the pocketsA helpful tune: pink down, white up in reference to right ribber slip lever.

The question now follows: which color separation does Ayab perform automatically for DBJ?

 

Matching patterns across sweater body and sleeves


There is a resurgence of circular yokes on the runways and market at the moment. My previous post discussed some of the considerations in knitting them. For those not up to working that particular way, there are variation in carrying the patterns around the body in “continuous” lines.

If raglan shaping is used, angular lines are created where patterns meet. All knit is essentially vertical striping. Raglan shaping should match both front and back of sleeve, the wider the raglan shape, the less sharp the stripe intersection. Striping in a traditional cap sleeve creates designs that move horizontally across combined body and arm at rest.

When designing a sweater with a shaped sleeve cap, knit a sample of your stripe pattern. An online stripe generator can help visualize stripe formulas, color ways, etc. If knitting fair isle use row counts for FI pattern height for stripe placement. It is helpful to have a 1 row, 1 stitch graph to plot repeats out. It does not matter if the grid is square or rectangular, providing that vertical and horizontal numbers are based on your gauge. Draw a line from armhole point to armhole on both pattern and sleeve, and there is your match. Work stripe pattern up from armhole line for your cap,  down from line for sleeve repeats.

In my theoretical sweaters the sleeve’s wrist edge is technically below the armhole to waistline length, so stripes need to be plotted accordingly, from armhole down.  The same method is used if single motifs or other variations in striping are involved. For single motifs, if matching them in body and sleeve cap, begin by designing them so they fit in the cap’s crown. Place motif in body and sleeve on same line, and plan the remainder of the sweater calculating from the armhole as for stripes, basing placement on numbers of rows in each design segment.

A collection of references to visit online:
Ravellings on the knitted sleeve By Jenna Wilson
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATfall04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/FEATwin04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/FEATwin05TBP.html>
math calculators for knitting
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knit-evenly-calculator/id370449748?mt=8
“magic formula” http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603triangle.aspx
http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603mfcalc.aspx#
http://www.getknitting.com/mk_0603frilled.aspx#