Casting on, binding off double bed

 WORK IN PROGRESS

Old manuals often have a translation from other languages that may be from amusing to confusing or even incomprehensible. Method 2 below illustrates the “broken toe” cast on. The term partial knitting has nothing to do with its more familiar application to holding techniques.

The tubular cast on is probably the most commonly used and published one for rib start for garments. It tends to have an uneven edge, but steps can be taken to compensate for this. In every case, on the first row, the yarn travels from a needle on one bed to a needle on the other. Remove the single bed sinker plate. Push the ribber up to work position, connect both carriages with the connecting arm. Make a couple of passes with the coupled carriages to ensure needles are aligned properly. To drop the yarn between the beds prior to threading it into the carriage threading it through a double-eyed bodkin will make it easier for it to be dropped between the beds. It is commonly advised that the cast on zigzag row be done on the tightest tension possible. That also varies depending on the yarn, whether the cast on is to be decorative, or if the loops that are commonly considered undesirable are in turn to be chained through to match a latch tool bind off at the top of the piece. It is often recommended that for circular cast ons 3 circular rows be used. That produces one side of the rib with small “floats” and an appearance that differs from the reverse side. Arrows in this illustration point to that third row
Only two circular rows do the job and avert that problem. Conversely, 4 tubular rows may give extra firmness and strength when using very thin yarns. For the final row set both carriages to close the zigzag, increase stitch size to rib setting and knit one row. At that point, stitches can be rearranged on the needles if needed.
For a tighter cast on row sometimes a thin elastic is threaded with the main yarn and used for only the first zig-zag row. Do not hang ribber weights until the cast on is completed.
Other variations: set up knitting on a single bed only with waste yarn and cast on comb and weights, end with a row of ravel cord. Then using both beds, start with garment yarn, follow instructions for tubular cast on. When knitting is complete tug waste yarn lengthwise to set stitches before removing ravel cord.
On the double bed, after the zigzag row, lay a piece of ravel cord right on top of the zigzags, dropping the ends between the beds and anchoring the ends with a clothespin or other small clip. It will be enclosed in the knit as you continue to work. Upon completion of the piece, pull lengthwise on both ends of the cord to set stitches before removing it.
Cast on using e wrap single bed: knit several rows in waste yarn, either in EON rib or single bed. If single bed knitting is used, poke the ribber cast on comb through the waste knit or use it to cast on a single bed, making it the future home for weights. If a rib start is used, the stitches then would need to be transferred to the main bed. A row is then knit in ravel cord. Proceed with a single bed e wrap cast on, dropping the ribber if needed. When the e wrap is completed, bring the ribber bed back up if it had been lowered. Transfer stitches in your desired arrangement. Thread the yarn, proceed in rib.
It is also possible to e wrap on empty needles set up for rib on both beds. The diagrams show movement from left toward the right. Loops are wound clockwise as seen below,  or counterclockwise when moving from right to left with the yarn around the needles, being careful not to make the loops too tight

.If working in fine yarns, 2 tubular rows may be needed after the wrapped cast on.

Another shared class hand out from eons ago follows. The broken toe cast on is often used whenever both the knit carriage and the ribber are both used to create the fabric but stitches are dropped off one bed or the other at regular intervals, such as in drop stitch lace. The placement for the comb if the ribber stitches are to be dropped is illustrated below. Red and yellow show the areas held down by the comb’s wire that will remain on the main bed when the ribber stitches are dropped. Below it, the wrong placement of the comb for this purpose is shown. The reverse would be true if the main bed stitches were going to be the ones to be droppedCasting on the double bed previous blog posts
racked cast on tips
Picot cast on for every needle rib 
transitions from EON (every other needle) to FNR (full needle rib)
ribber e wrap cast on   video by Roberta Rose Kelly

A decorative cast on with lots of hand transfers on the ribber bed  by Emanuela Mammarella.

Taking advantage of the “wavy” first row to produce a ruffled effect: zigzag row at rib tension or one number less than rib. Set carriage to tuck, and the other to knit. Make one pass with both carriages to the opposite side. Reverse carriage settings, make a second pass to the opposite side. Repeat one more pairs of rows, reversing carriage settings with each pass (as in fisherman rib setting). Experiment with more tucking variations or a greater number of rows in pattern before proceeding in rib. Before the closing row, depending on the configuration chosen, slipping on one bed and knitting on the other may make for a more pleasing transition. Playing with needle/pusher arrangements

Shadow pleats knitting

This fabric is beginning to appear in runways again, is fairly easy to construct on any machine. Select two yarns of different weights and textures, the heavier being approximately two to three times the thickness of the thinner one. It is possible to use multiple strands of the thinner yarn to achieve the difference in weight. The “thicker” yarn is the one you will see on the “right” side of the fabric. Select a tension suitable for the thicker yarn, it will remain fixed throughout the piece. The knitting sequence can be varied. To begin with, test an equal number of rows of each color/ thickness i.e. 6 and 6. Adjust as needed for the desired effect. Rows of weaving or slip patterns can provide the “thicker” areas of knitting, with plain stocking stitch the “thin”. If Fair Isle patterning is preferred, elongate fair isle and knit pattern in alternating sequences, with single or double strand in the front feeder to produce the “thick” and the plain knit “thin” with yarn in the back feeder only. For more on this technique see the previous post

Instructions below are from the Brother Techniques book, which is now available for free download online


A different fabric can be produced double bed to achieve what may be, depending upon yarn selection and tension, a similar effect. Although these folds are called tucks (those who sew may be familiar with the term pintucks in that craft) they are actually knit using a slip stitch technique. Colors may be changed at regular intervals here as well, and when combined with use of the plating feeder the color effects can be varied even more.  Depending on which side of the fabric is the “right” side, either the ribber bed (when the knit side is the right side) or the main bed (when the side facing you on the machine is the right side), one carriage is set to slip in both directions for the height of the folds while the other is set to knit. Once the desired number of rows is reached, both carriages are set to knit. To review:
1. begin with an every needle rib, at a tight tension, working at least one closed row
2. follow by setting either bed to slip, and knitting 4-10 number rows in stocking stitch on only one bed. The tension for those rows will have to be adjusted to the same used for stocking stitch for that yarn.
3. Return to every needle rib for at least one or 2 rows forming the backing and locking the knit together after reducing the tension. The “locking” stitches will be elongated.
Repeat steps 2 and 3.
Just as in rolls created single bed by hanging a previously knit row on every needle at regular intervals with stripes of stocking stitch in between, the yarn type and tension determine the quality of the roll. Too many rows in the “roll” will result in its wanting to flatten out and it will look more like a hem than a roll. This double bed fabric falls in the category usually referred to as pin tucks. This page from the Ribber Techniques Book explains the method for one version

Tuck stitch/ combination fabrics


Work in progress

I am presently attempting to knit my samples using a 910 with an EMS kit ayab interface. When possible I will provide punchcard and electronic repeats, and an Ayab repeat for each.

White squares in first chart represent tuck stitches, the dark blue row, the pass that knits every stitch, the lighter blue the pass that knits and in turn drops every stitch. The main knitting is happening on the top bed. Loops and dropped stitches are formed on the ribber. This pattern is not suitable for use with color changer, since patterning for each of the 2 repeat segments occurs over an odd number of rows (7 each, for a repeat total of 14). Punchcard knitters repeat X 3 in height, electronic knitters use only one of the 2 repeats, outlined in red.
Preselect first row of pattern from either side on a punchcard machine or an unaltered 910, from left if using ayab.
*With the KC set to tuck <– –>, the ribber set to slip <–  –> knit 6 rows. The last row will be all knit (darker blue).  Cancel slip on the ribber carriage, setting it to knit  <– –>
knit one row on both beds to the opposite side (lighter blue, preselection will happen for the first tuck row in the next sequence). Disengage the ribber carriage still set to knit from the KC, take it across the ribber bed to release the loops. Reset the ribber carriage to slip <—->
move carriage back to reconnect with the KC. ** Tuck sequence begins again. Repeat  * to ** ayab repeat for 30 stitch swatch, requires color invert same repeat, not requiring color invert after loading into softwaretuck fabrics are usually more interesting on their purl side

Casting on, binding off single bed

There are many ways of casting on and binding off both single and double bed.  Brother publications are now easily available online. The images below include some of the material that was included in my handouts as black and white copies. I am now also adding scans from both the Brother Manuals and the respective books for Techniques on both the single bed and double bed.  The advice on methods differ slightly depending on the source, and at times one explanation makes more sense when offered in one way rather than another. Some of the techniques are illustrated below more than once, offering different ways of exploring.
Any cast on or bind off can begin on either the right or the left side. If the yarn is to be used to manually knit off stitches, then one must begin on the side where the yarn end resides. If long stitches are chained through each other, then the yarn end needs to be opposite to the starting side, so that it can be used to seal the last bound off stitch.

Anyone preferring video format when learning can find excellent presentations by others online. Roberta Rose Kelley is a prodigious YouTube contributor along with Diana Sullivan , and Susan Guagliumi has also expanded her online presence there as well as both on her earlier website and blog

CASTING ON  as mentioned is possible in either direction. Remember that the needle head will have to pass through the chain stitch or e wrap, so do not pull the yarn too tight as you move across the row of needles. If you are going directly into pattern knitting after casting on you will find it easier to have some waste knitting to hang weights from if needed, and to avoid problems with stitches forming properly for the first few rows after your chosen start. To do this, cast on with some waste yarn, end with a ravel cord row, cast on once more with “garment” yarn. There will be a waste ravel cord stitch and a new e wrapped or chained cast on stitch on each needle. Waste yarn can be removed upon completion of the piece. I prefer to do so a little after a short distance, to make certain no errors occurred. If weights are used it is best to move them up frequently. The rule for casting on is the same as for many other machine knit fabric: no two directly adjacent needles on the same bed with loops on them will ever form a separate stitch on each needle on the following pass of the carriage. Simply making a pass with the carriage over the needles will create a series of side by side loops. If a cast on comb is used, it is possible to continue knitting, but when the comb is removed the stitches will run. That said, it is an easy method to use particularly when a piece is begun with waste yarn or is intended as a quick test swatch.

An open cast on may be achieved single bed using the ribber cast on comb.
There are other cast ons that will produce an edge that will not run but are not stable as permanent edges on the beginning of a finished piece.
Slip stitch cast on: bring every other needle out to hold position, knit one row at stocking stitch tension, knit one row. Now bring the in between to previously selected needles out to hold, knit a row to the other side. Do this at least once before continuing, the more rows used the firmer the edge.Weaving cast on only works on machines with weaving brushes ie Brother. I tend to knit with weaving brushes down no matter what the fabric unless using them results in problems ie the particular yarn being used has a tendency to get caught up in them.
Every other needle cast ons (EON) can be a quick way to make a gathered top for a hat knit from the top down or to gather the inner edge of a flower or other shape. The nylon cord cast on shown below is an alternate for open stitch cast ons when no combs are available. Any yarn that does not break easily, is smooth, and does not shed fibers when removed may be substituted for ravel cord. A ravel cord may also be placed over the gate pegs, in front of the needles as shown in the cast on the illustration below for a single row after troublesome cast on rows. Two or three rows of knitting then follow, and the waste yarn is removed prior to continuing to knit. 

E-wrap cast on: the comb is not necessary. If the first row after this type of cast on is completed has issues knitting off properly, bring all needles out to hold for a couple of rows prior to knitting each of them, and that should solve the problem. With any cast on, any too loose loops may catch on gate pegs, if too tight, the yarn may break or the “stitch” will not knit off the needle over the closed latch and hook.  The last needle on the side next to the carriage may be left empty and will pick up a loop when the next row is knit. Variations of this technique may be used to produce decorative edges.A variety of e wraps and chains that may be used to cast on or as hand embellishment or added within the body of the knit. EON configurations of the same wraps on the standard with same movements allow for use of significantly thicker yarns

1-3  e wrap loops as shown
4      e wrap every other needle then weave over empty needles and under e wrap
5     e wrap every needle
6     e wrap every other needle with color 1, e wrap every other needle with color 2
7     e wrap every needle with color 1, chain every needle with color 2, may be done every other needle as well
8     chain every other needle with color 1, continue on alternate needles chaining in reverse, or use color 2

Chain or crocheted cast on: the illustration is from Brother, cast on comb is not necessary

It is possible to produce a looser chain in a variety of ways. The easiest may be to cast on using a needle or latch hook from a bulky machine. A video of an alternate method that involves wrapping the previous needle for cast on and previous gate peg or needle for bind-off in order to achieve matching width at the top and bottom of the piece may be found here.
Cast on problem-solving hints

BINDING OFF
From a Brother magazine, this copy is quite dark. I no longer own the original magazines to rescan and thus make any changes in clarity, but the text is clear

For the latch tool bind off without using gate pegs, suitable on any machines including plastic beds and Passap see video
Single eye tool bind off
I have always been hesitant to sew off or bind off live stitches directly on the machine, prefer working several rows of waste yarn, and then continuing either with the work remaining on the machine or after scrapping it off.
When using this method, a stitch is made manually through the stitch on the last needle on the carriage/yarn side and is then transferred onto the next stitch.  Both are knitted through, and those two steps are repeated.  The main problem is maintaining even tension and equal stitch size. One can bring the emptied needle from out of work forward to holding position for a more even length of yarn, bring the yarn under, around and over it, knit it through the adjacent needle with 2 stitches on it,  return the empty needle to out of work position, dropping the wrapped yarn.  Knit through the two stitches, and repeat the process.  Use a small weight and practice to keep the tension even. Continue until the last needle has 2 stitches on it, secure yarn as usual.
As an alternative *transfer the stitch on the second needle from the end #2 onto the end needle #1. Then transfer the double stitches back onto the second needle from the end #2. Put the now empty end needle #1 out of work*.
Repeat across the row

A crochet hook could be used in place of the latch tool.
Sewn bind offs on the machine, and after several rows of waste yarn.

Slow, less often used, figure 8 cast off was introduced to my knowledge by Kathleen Kinder. It is slower, supposedly has a lot of stretch. Bring out the first needle and hand knit a new stitch. Make that new stitch a bit larger than the ones already on the needle bed.
Start on carriage side use the transfer tool, inserting it from back to front from left to right, toward the center of the end stitch on that side. Swivel the tool clockwise, the tool will now be in front of the gate pegs.
Do not remove the first stitch from its needle. The stitch on the tool is now twisted, creating a sideways figure 8. Use the tool to hang the twisted stitch on the adjacent needle, the two needles involved now share the transferred half stitch.
The second needle now holds 2 loops.
Knit the half stitch through the one behind it prior to hand knitting a new stitch, or (easier) bring the second needle out, hand knit a stitch through both loops on it.
Continue across the row with actions illustrated  from right to left.

A quick swatch shows the potential amount of stretch in this bind off. I tried dropping the stitch remaining on the right after its shared with the needle on its left and both “stitches” were knit through by hand about halfway and just proceeding across the remaining row without dropping until the bind off was completed. The latter was easier and faster for me. Once the knitting was completed I could see no difference between the two methods.

Some specific video references found online:
Sinker post bind offs using single eye tool and latch hook Susan Gguagliumi
A variety of sinker post (gate peg) bind offs Susan Guagliumi
Binding off around needles rather than gate pegs Susan Guagliumi
Latch Tool Bind Off around gate pegs single stitch at a time Diana Sullivan
My least favorite, loop through loop Diana Sullivan

Finishing tips
Seaming, joining, picking up stitches 2
and seaming, joining, picking up stitches 1

 

Machine knit bind offs, single and double bed

WORK IN PROGRESS

A DBJ discussion re Ayab use recently brought up the topic of ribber bind offs. My plan for this post is to gather information and illustration on a variety of methods, beginning with those illustrated by Brother, then moving on to others I have come across over the years in a variety of publications.  Once the ribber stitches are moved to the top bed, any single bed bind off may be used, whether through single or double loops. Some techniques produce more pleasing results than others. For folks that prefer to view videos, these are some offered by others on this topic:
latching off through looser stitches any KM, my least favorite,
wrapping around needles , familiar to Passap owners
several sinker plate bind offs. The very last method illustrated is my favorite go to, around gatepegs whether single, double or more, though I do it a different way. The version in this video seems slower and more clumsy to me

This edited illustration, also from a Brother manual, shows how the yarn is threaded through the stitches in numbered sequence according to stitch configuration for the ribbed fabric

Other approaches to binding off with needle and yarn: working single bed this is sometimes performed on the machine seen here working from left to right. It is referred to as back stitch or stem stitch sew off method, and is illustrated in many of the old machine knitting manuals. It is easier to achieve if after the knitting the last row one knits at least 2 or 3 more rows in waste yarn to make the stitches more accessible. The knit side shows single loops in view upon completion. Dropping small groups of stitches off as one makes progress across the row may make the technique easier, helping with placement of the other hand to hold the work. On the machine the fixed distances between needles and gate pegs help to keep the tension even. The back stitching may be done off the machine, but maintaining even tension there may be a bit harder.

and here from right to left

Some references advocate this method for binding off rib after transferring all stitches to the main bed. A row is knit across the transferred stitches prior to stitching through the now single thickness

The process, whether executed on the machine or off is, to my mind, easier with waste yarn knit after the transfers. Here is an illustration of single bed knitting removed from the machine. The top of the last row of the body of the knit may then be bound off using a crochet hook or latch tool chain using a continuous thread,or the needle and yarn sewing method may be used.  There is a limit as to the length of yarn used so as not to pose problems. Very wide pieces may prove to be a challenge, requiring more than a single yarn end to complete the bind off. My own yarn end max limit for sewing up or off is about 18 inches

Taking it double bed: EON needle is transferred to the top bed.  From right to  left: COR stitches that appear as knit ones  on the purl ground are brought out to hold,  the knit carriage is set to slip from left to right, purl stitches will slip.  Set carriage to knit both ways, continue with waste knitting, drop piece off the machine, continue as illustrated in circular fold over method

Here any waste yarn is folded over, exposing the tops of ribbed stitches. The threading and stitching sequence is numbered, illustrated for both one by one and two by two rib. Depending on the planned seaming  choice, an extra stitch may be added on either or both sides of the knit so that half a stitch or a whole one can be absorbed into the seam, resulting in a continuous rib configuration on the outside of the garment

Drat it aka “figlet” moments: knit leader mylar sheets +

Such moments may well have to be a new blog topic. In the hope of actually soon having enough time to return to knitting on a more regular basis, I have been reorganizing my supplies. This can be a good thing. I have “found” missing ribber comb wires, tools I had forgotten about, have drawer units that are helping with organization of all the “stuff”,  and that for a while will be contributing to my having to make regular searches for all sorts of things. Then there were all those mylar sheets for knit leaders with garment shapes on them for pieces I cannot even remember making with lovely multi colored lines all over them. One in particular had very fine lines, I guessed perhaps from ink other than that in my go to water soluble pens, so I thought to give removal a shot with some alcohol. Hence a warning: the lines did not disappear on the “outside”, so I flipped the darn sheet over to give erasing a shot on its reverse side and discovered quickly by the lovely blue on the cloth that the measurement grid was quickly and completely removed in any area touched by the alcohol. Another lesson learned. Perhaps an earlier one of great benefit might have been not to wait decades to erase knit leader mylar sheets, no matter what the marking tool as I now explore ” would I ever make this shape once again, ever?” and “what will take these lines off?” on other sheets.

Previously captured and “found” while exploring text issues in earlier posts, is now fondly remembered and shared

at 60 inch length of a lace shawl

Text problems within posts; wordpress issues

After the latest version update in WordPress I have begun experiencing finding à‚ , commonly in areas where a space bar or return key might have been used or in spots where post was edited, at infrequent times with other added characters added as well. The issue is encountered in older posts from several years ago as well as brand new ones now when reviewing them. The problem appears to be a global one across my site.  I will share when the issue is better understood by me and perhaps solved, along with any method used to achieve any corrections.

5/4/2019 I have often edited or created content in rich text formats, then in turn copying an pasting in the visual editor. It may be that any content that  was not simple text generated the symbols upon import, and that those were filtered out successfully in older versions of wordpress, but not the new one. I now have a work around that still requires for me to review each post, but the process is amazingly faster. There is a wordpress plug in https://wordpress.org/plugins/tinymce-advanced/ that allows for a search and replace option in visual editing mode. It is available for both classic and Gutenberg. If it is used, each symbol or character set can be found throughtout the whole document, a blank can be entered for the replacement of all, and offenders are quickly deleted from post content.
Of course, now that I got this far, I see there will be a brand new release on May 7th with the announcement “One of the most highly anticipated features for v5.2 is the Site Health Check. This feature adds two new pages in the admin interface to help end users maintain a healthy site through common configuration issues and other elements that go along with having a robust online presence. It also provides a standardized location for developers to add debugging information.” uh uh!

I am also not alone in not being fond of gutenberg, some links to forum discussions: https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/gutenberg/reviews/

At  this point my apparent option is to hand edit every post I have written. The most frustrating part of the process is to locate graphics that now seem to have disappeared, a separate issue. Sigh!

More to follow

  

 

More on Brother DBJ, including KR 260 bulky KM options

WORK IN PROGRESS

Any repeat suitable for a 2 color 24 stitch DBJ separation published or self drawn for a 4.5mm machine is suitable for DBJ on the bulky. At times yarns ie 2/8 to 3/8 wools that knit stocking stitch at tension 8-10 on the main bed and are too thick for every needle rib on the standard may produce a fabric that is not too dense, and still has some drape at lower settings for tension on both beds on the bulky. Electronic standard knitters can double the size of the repeat prior to separating the 2 colors, and then work on every other needle both beds, proceeding as usual for DBJ. Thicker yarns begin to make too thick a fabric for wearables, may work well for other uses. If some drape is required, the ladder back method becomes the preferred one in bulky KM DBJ. I no longer have available the bulky dbj samples from my teaching days, my 260 KM is not set up, so for now this post will not include swatch photos. As always swatching is a necessity to determine whether the resulting knit is one that meets our expectation, preferences, and often, patience.

To review: the 260 KH carriage will be familiar to Brother punchcard 4.5 mm machine users, and has the option for creating thread lace (“split” cam button in center position), which is not commonly available in Brother models.

The Brother 270 electronic knit carriage offerssimilarsettings

There is no automatic method for eliminating end needle selection ie KCII, rather, adjustments for it are made on the underside of the carriage, as in other punchcard machinesIn terms of DBJ, the electronics allow for the familiar KRC 2 color separationKR 260 parts as described in the ribber manual, followed by possible settings for cam levers are illustrated below. The absence of lili buttons is immediately noticeable. There is no automatic every other needle selection on the bulky ribber carriage shown, as opposed to that choice being available on the standard KM.

slip to rightslip to leftslip both directionstuck to righttuck to lefttuck both directions

hand selection tools for either bed, 4.5mm on top,  sometimes interchangeableevery needle selector for standard, operates similar to Jac 40, EON here for use bulky, adjustablea 17.5 inch workshop cut model in a plastic for 2X2 selection on bulky nowadays 3D printed custom options are also beginning to be available

The DBJ setting that requires the least intervention on either standard or bulky machines is the one produced with the separated motif being knit with the ribber set to slip all needles in one direction, and to knit every needle in the other. Reproducing the lili effect is done on the KR 260 is achieved with hand needle selection. For birds eye, where every needle is in use on an even number of needles in work on the ribber, select every other needle on the ribber beginning  with the second needle on the right for preselection row, push up to holding position. The ribber carriage is set to slip both ways, will knit hand selected needles as it makes its way to opposite side. Now select every other needle on the ribber beginning with first needle on right, bringing those needles up to hold. Stitches on those needles will knit on the ribber as the carriage makes its way back to the left and to the color changer. Colors continue to be changed every 2 rows as in any standard 2 color birds eye fabric. 

Ladderback or modified Jacquard is at times used on standard machines specifically for the effect created on the fabric reverse side, and most often used with bulkier yarns in order to be able to make a garment with more drape than it may have in regular jacquard, or to knit large designs with no long floats. This technique on the KR 260 ribber involves hand manipulation of the ribber stitches to reduce the number of stitches created on the ribber as well. Ribbing is often set up in order to produce a band that is not hugely different in stretch and width than the body of a garment, with further transfers for the ladder back configuration when it is completed. No more than one needle is usually in work on the main bed beyond needles in work on the ribber bed. If an additional needle on the main bed is required, it should be on the left hand side. The rib is knit as tightly as possible, tension is loosened as one progresses into the jacquard portion of the piece. Common arrangements are 1X1, 1X3, 2X2, etc.  When needles are arranged in “even groups” ie 2X2, 2X4, 4X2, etc, the lili setting or manual needle selection to emulate it on the 260 may be used. Tuck settings may be experimented with as well, but tend to create a more noticeable vertical line between ribbed repeats on the knit face. The larger the number of needles in work on the main bed between ribber needles in work, the more the main bed tension needs to approach that used for the yarn when it is knit single bed. 

In EON ladder back an increase on the ribber is usually necessary after 4 increases on the main bed. On the bulky this may be needed as often as in every 2 rows. The hand needle selection must remain constant throughout the piece to maintain the birds eye backing or any of its variants, which are based on pairs of needles alternating functions every 2 rows. Striper backing is achieved by selection of the same needle for each of the 2 colors used, slipping the opposite color needle locations. First needle selection on right is easier to track by marking the location of the first needle used on that side on the needle tape or needle bed as a guide for subsequent rows. 

The row counter will show double the number of rows than if the fabric were produced in Fair isle. Four passes of the carriages complete one design row. The motif will appear elongated to a degree depending on yarn and techniques used. Ladder back and vertical stripe backings may produce vertical separation lines in the fabric that may be quite noticeable depending on color, tension, and yarn used. Watch closely for dropped stitches or split ones. Splices and knots in yarn may tend to brake due to use of added weights and tension. Plan on adding new yarn at sides and use ends to seam up, or use Russian join before point where a new yarn end is required, and continue knitting. The latter has become my favorite even in lace knitting on the standard machine. A recent tutorial on the technique may be found here <https://www.mybluprint.com/article/this-method-of-joining-yarn-ends-is-pure-magic>

Check alignment and oiling requirement of machine frequently. 

Other backings: one color backing. Main bed is set as normal for DBJ, but the ribber is set to knit for 2 rows of one color, and to slip for 2 rows with the other color. This means on any machine (unless using 2 electronic carriages as described in other post) the operator has to change ribber settings every 2 rows. It will now take 4 carriage passes to complete 2 rows of knitting. Floats will be formed in the non backing color, may be caught on the ribber on slip rows, so check frequently, begin with small repeats, always test new yarns or even a different color or dye lot in same yarn on swatches prior to committing to larger pieces. 

Patterned backing: selection of ribber needles in blocks of alternate colors, or selecting ribber needles in between those selected on the main bed applies here as well. Yarn thickness and end product serve as guides as to whether the fabric serves one’s purpose or preference.

In large areas of solid color on garment face if bleed through is noticeable, a pattern of 2 black rows alternating 2 white ones may need to be programmed, with color changes continuing as in pattern areas. If the goal is simply to match density or drape, then continue in settings used for design area without color changing. Most punchcard double jacquard separations and “rules” apply to both standard and bulky machines.

A separate post will address ribber bind offs at first, and perhaps cast ons at a later date. I was never quite content with ribbed edgings on my bulky knits. There are always several options for achieving a look that pleases us more, or a technique that will alter the unwanted results. In this instance, one is to knit a row on the main bed after several rows of waste yarn, continue with the body of the garment piece, rehang that first knit row, knit the rib upside down, and bind off. The latter can happen on the machine, by hand off on waste yarn with a “sewing” needle, or removing the work onto hand knitting needles and going that route. The 260 ribber manual recommends the following method. 

Having the waste yarn U style with opening on right with bind off beginning on that side, or finding a way to mark the first needle on the ribber in the sequence may make finding that needle position easier when the knit is off the machine.

This illustration, also from a Brother manual, slightly edited, shows the sequence for how the yarn is threaded through the stitches in numbered sequence according to stitch configuration for the ribbed fabric

Ribber fabrics with main bed tuck patterning

WORK IN PROGRESS


Tuck stitches on either bed will force apart the space between vertical rows of stitches in every needle rib, whether the tucking is executed on either or both beds, in one or 2 color knitting. The fabric lies flat, and depending on fiber and thickness of yarn used, the effect can be lacey and have lovely drape. In published repeats, often tucking does not happen for more than 2 rows, making knitting fairly “safe”. In thinner yarns elongation may be used to force the fabric even further apart for a more “open” look. Patterning in suggestions below occurs automatically, and on the main bed only. Needles out of work on the ribber may be planned within repeats to produce a fabric with knit textures on what appear as both knit and purl surfaces. There are designs in pattern books that are promoted as being specific for this purpose, but nearly any tuck pattern may be used once limitations are recognized.

The advice from the Brother Ribber Techniques Book and the KR850 ribber manual respectively is shown below. If a knitting with a very fine yarn, the close knit bar is recommendedAn often forgotten accessory: (I admit I have never used them)

Fine knit bar for using thin yarns

Typical patterns for the fabric from punchcard volumes

In electronic patterning a single isolated repeat will suffice. Punchcards illustrated above show the minimum required length for each. In matching needles out of work on electronics, it matters whether the default setting produces what is seen on the card on the purl or the knit side. Flipping the repeat horizontally may be required.  “Air knitting” with needle selection can help plan exact location on needle bed, as well as repeat width and in choosing of location and type of side edges. Again, having ribbed vertical stripes on each side will help the latter lie flat.

 

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 2; knitting with 4 carriages

When switching between N/N and tuck/ tuck on the ribber it is not necessary to switch the tucking lever from its up position to the lower one. The ribber will knit every row when used in either of these settingsIt is possible to knit this type of fabric using color separations such as those seen for one type of DBJ where color one for each design row knits 2 rows, followed by color 2 for corresponding design row also knitting for 2 rows. Each color may be drawn and programmed once, followed in turn with elongation X2 on both punchcard and electronic machines. I prefer to work with the elongated images, believing it makes it easier for me to correct errors or knitting problems, should they occur. This color separation is the default on Passap. In Brother electronics it would need to be hand done and programmed. It is best to start with simple shapes. This triangle series has been used in several of my previous posts. The chart shows the transitions in the process

Brother DBJ settings using tuck on either bed, not addressing hand needle selection on the ribber for production of reversible fabrics. The yellow color highlights cam settings that require changing by hand for every other pair of knit rows, and making the changes with each color change. With the exception of the bottom 2 the same settings were used in some of my brioche variation experiments. The resulting fabric, knit in reverse order from chart (top setting down to first). The dropped stitches happened when I did not notice the ribber weight was resting on the floor, with no resulting weight on the fabric. There are single repeats of each motif. Two more possible DBJ variations

A full range of DBJ variations of the same repeat, including ones using slip stitch and shared in a previous post, executed in both one and 2 colorsPassap knitters have the option of arrow keys and stitch type on the back bed that make fabrics possible with ease that are daunting to reproduce on Brother machines. There is a category search on my blog that will lead to a collection of posts on the topic of knitting with 2 carriages selecting patterns.

I have often considered the possibility of using 2 coupled knit and rib carriages for some of my patterns but found it limited knit width because of carriage stops on the ribber bed, the unwillingness to have my ribber carriages fly off the bed, and the added limitation imposed when both carriages are selecting needles. Now that setting changes were required every 2 rows on the ribber I found a solution of sorts. It is one of those try at your own risk tips, but for me it made several of the last swatches in brioche achievable far more quickly and accurately.

As in any knitting with pairs of carriages, when needle selection is happening from opposing sides, the turn marks need to be cleared on each side of the machine as the opposing carriage begins to move across the needle bed to avoid breaking the belt.

I happen to be knitting present swatches on my orphaned 930, which still knits producing interesting sounds. It came with no carriages. I am actually using a knit carriage from a 910 and one from my 892E punchcard machine, with a magnet glued to the proper location facing the rear rail. I removed the stopper pins from either side of the ribber bed, placed lace lace extension rails on both sides as well as the color changer with all change buttons released as seen in this illustration. On the left, as the carriages move beyond the end of the needle bed, the return signal lever is tripped, making a characteristic noise. A that point the turn mark on the left has been cleared, and it is safe to operate the carriages from the right toward the left
The right side of the machine is more problematic. The extension rail will store the knit carriage safely, but the ribber carriage has to move out enough so without its stop it would fall to the floor. My solution was to jerri rig an extension the appropriate height so the ribber carriage could slide out as much as needed while being supported. I was able to knit the hundreds of rows required for many swatches with no problem other than operator errors. Here the pair of carriages on the right are seen resting far enough off the machine to clear the belt, at an adequate height for them to slide off and on easily. At first I secured the connecting arm to the connecting pin with an elastic “just in case”, but that proved unnecessary. 

I have been asked lately about the lili setting used in all my ribber carriage illustrations (center position). I tend to use that as a default to prevent errors and for consistent quality in my ribbed fabrics, especially if matching gauge ie in garment pieces or bands is needed. That said, for the carriage to travel far enough on the right in this set up, the slide lever had to be used on I. The plastic tray helped reach the appropriate height, and made for easy slide off and on. There are a few minutes of maneuvering when setting up first selection row. As always it is good to begin with familiar yarn and previous experience with double bed fabrics.

Some of my own operator errors are due to the fact that I still am not used to the fact that the 930 appears to revert to factory defaults with each new design entered, that I have to remember to switch from isolation to all over, that the image is reversed on the knit side like on punchcard machines unless the reverse key is used. I spent decades using the 910, where once the selections were made and once the pattern variation buttons were set, that became the default until buttons were changed for specific applications.

The 2 pairs of carriages may also be used for vertical striper backing using lili buttons on Brother machines, and for both slip and tuck variations of same. I will add information in a separate post. More “patterns” are possible as well, emulating some of the Passap possibilities for its back bed settings.