Sock knitting resources and ideas for machine knitting

WORK IN PROGRESS

The only sock(s) I have ever knit have been as demos in my classes. I actively dislike wearing them, and it winds up being a sheer necessity in our winters to actually break down and wear them. I have had an ongoing interest in 3D knitted, explored some pleating, have always been fond of holding techniques. This year has not allowed for as much time exploring and producing as I might have wanted, am hoping to increase both activities in the coming one.
Forums of late have buzzed with knit socks, here are some possible online resources: from machineknittingetc.com:
studio-tips-and-techniques-issue-37-charting-socks
singer-sock-book-seamed-and-circularmachine-knit-news-machine-knit-socks-supplementempisal-sock-patterns

From assorted sources: visualizing shaping sequences: aspect ratio was disregarded in order to combine several images into a large one, particularly noticeable in the middle image on the top row ūüėČPatterns from manufacturers: Superba manual ¬†Passap Duo 80From a Brother pub. The original paper version actually came with knit leader patterns

There are many ways to seam join such shapes. Seam-as-you-knit is another option. Diana Sullivan offers a video on the technique. Considering its limitations: the seaming needs to occur on equally shaped segments, this would eliminate any shaping to allow for widening parts of the leg as one moves toward the knee, so the height of the sock would need to be shortened, planning for fit. If one desires a true rib at the top of the completed sock, IMO seams at least for the rib are unavoidable, and one must take measures to make certain cast ons and bind offs for ribbed bands match in look and width. The same issue with shaping occurs when knitting socks tubular. For a tube to grow or decrease in diameter retaining its circular form, the only way to achieve the result is to increase or decrease evenly across knitting bed(s) involved, far easier to achieve if one surrenders the seamless idea and allows for a seam in the design. Here A sections would be knit first, B sections would follow with seaming along the dotted lines. The toe is a 3D shape achieved by holding, with no seaming necessary.
If one is fond of holding intarsia techniques and cumulative joins, this book is available  for advice and ideas on knitting the swan socks see https://knitterstoolchest.wordpress.com/category/circular-knitting/
a video link is included, as well as this schematic

machine knit sock and slipper pattern resource
socks, heels, and more 
eliminating short row holes
general instructions 
penny socks 

Sock calculators: http://roued.com/supersockcalculator.php  https://www.goodknitkisses.com/sock-calculator/  https://www.storey.com/crochet-calculator/toe-up-sock.html

From Knitty, an online hand knitting magazine: universal sock article 
A hand knitting resource on choosing your sock heels 
From Drops design, HK, a spiral sock , and a side to side version, both food for thought in terms of adapting for machine knitting.

For folks who prefer videos, a search on youtube will offer lots of choices, and Roberta Rose Kelley offers 2 that provide a wealth of ideas and information, on tubular socks, the other on adding afterthought heels , using decker combs on Passap machines, transferring ribbed band stitches using a garter bar 

Small scale experiments for larger ideas: the spiral sock
Mary Thomas’ book of knitting patterns was first published in 1943, my edition in 1972. This is the usual cover photo¬†on page 38 a repeat and instructions are offered for a spiral tube sock. The latter has no heel shaping, but traditional toe shaping can be added. The knit/purl design can easily be executed single bed by folks who own a G carriage. My mini sock was knit on 30 stitches +1 for sewing. The blocks can be varied in width depending on the required circumference of the finished tube. The¬†extra pattern stitch in the chart is to allow for seaming a half stitch on each edge and maintaining the pattern. *After every 6 rows knit transfer the right-hand needle of every ribber group to the main bed, on the main bed transfer the right needle of every group down to the ribber**, ¬†repeat * to ** for the desired length. There are a number of ways to deal with the toe part of the stocking.¬†I would opt for transferring stitches to the main bed and knitting one row,¬†using holding remove half the width onto waste yarn then¬†bringing half the stitches on the alternate side into work. The toes may then be worked using stocking stitch, scrapping off, and seaming or grafting the stitches held on scrap to each other. My working repeat, with a 12 stitch repeat usable on punchcard machines as well isolated by the added green border testing the tiling, making certain any programming would line up Cast on for a ribbed band at top of the sock ¬†in any preferred configuration. Be certain cast on stretches enough to accommodate the finished width of the tube as it stretches to fit the leg. Transfer stitches between beds in the desired knit/purl configuration. When the desired height is reached transfer all stitches to the top bed, drop the ribber, switch sinker plates, knit a row on all stitches, divide for toe shaping. Here one half away from yarn end and carriage is knit with waste yarn and dropped off¬†when shaping is complete, After toe shaping is finished and waste yarn is added, the work is removed from the machineBecause all transfers are made in one direction, as in any knit fabric where that happens, the fabric will biasHere the toe shaping is seamed, the twist in the body of the sock begins to showOne side of my knitting was looser than the other, something to watch in any “real” piece. Thin yarn knit on tension 4 is probably also not the best suited for any socks in terms of wear. After seamingand worn by a few cotton balls ūüėČ

Twisted headband meet fisherman rib, seaming, variation ideas

The machine knitting forums in both Ravelry and Facebook have recently been buzzing with versions of twisted headbands in varied techniques and yarn weights. Tanya Cunningham sparked the discussions by showing her bulky tubular knotted version. In her blog, one may find clear instructions on fold and assembly.
I chose to knit mine in full fisherman rib, making the fabric reversible, so that facing side at the start did not matter when seaming. I wanted a single thickness and a lightweight but warm fabric that would lie flat, perhaps being worn under jacket hoods on winter walks. My first band was knit with a punchcard carriage with a magnet placed for using it on my electronic. I forgot I had removed its row counter when it was last used for knitting with 2 paired main/ribber carriages in order to clear the end of the bed. As a result, I was unable to use the row counter, as that fact eliminated the tripper for it.
Part of my plan was also to avoid bulk at the twist as much as possible. Increasing the stitch count for such warmers can easily approach more of a hat shape, and a ‚Äútop‚ÄĚ could be added to complete the piece if it is intended to be worn as one.
In terms of inspiration, there are endless sources for twisted bands available, most for hand knitting, but sometimes they can be adapted to machine knitting easily enough, especially if one also owns a G carriage. One such source is Dropsdesign , simply enter headbands, knit, in the search field.
Head sizes and what each of us determines as comfort can vary tremendously. A table of head circumferences may be found at craft yarn council, and for much more detailed charts see
The twist will take up some of the finished lengths.
My first band sailed through on my Brother 930 standard:
Cast on 22 stitches in 2/18 silk wool, tension 5/4, at the same tension as the body of the band, intentionally loose.
Knit to head circumference, checking the length on the machine with weight off periodically after weight hits floor (scientific measurement), and periodically after the weight and comb are moved up.
Transfer stitches to main bed
Knit one row single bed at a looser tension (I used 8 in this version)
Bind off around gate pegs, OK if tighter than the bottom, it will be part of the seam
Twist and fold,  rehang one side of the chain, alternate loops from the loose cast on
Knit a loose row across all layers and bind off,
Turn inside out.
Variations in color are due to the wonderful lighting in my apartment on another gloomy, rainy winter fall day.
Visualizing the necessary folds: make certain not to twist the fabric, fold it in half. Colors are used to represent portions of the finished, continuous  rectangle, dotted lines the approximate center line when it is folded

For my second effort, I switched the yarn to a yummy feeling 2/14 wool that was plagued with random dropped stitches on the Brother, no matter what I tried. That piece wound up lightly felted by hand after intentionally adding more knit length. I eventually gave up and moved over to my Passap, where things went smoothly knitting on 4/4. A reminder: in this fabric, one bed knits every needle while the opposite bed makes loops on every needle. It is helpful if the first stitch on each bed knits as carriages move to the opposite side.
Passap setting EX/ EX beginning on right and moving toward the left will tuck on the back bed (ribber setting), knit on the front (main bed setting) while tucking on front and knitting on the back when moving from left to right. Operating from the same side, the Brother settings to match would actually be the reverse of those illustrated in the ribber manual. Starting sides are in Brother instructions are often based on cast ons with 3 circular rows. I prefer 2 as I have explained in the past, it avoids a float forming between stitches on one side of the fabric. In this instance, it matters in set up only in terms of planning ahead as to which bed will form knit stitches first and having the first needle in work on that bed to ensure that the stitch will knit. In matching patterns between brands, cam settings could matter more. End needle selection brings stitches out to knit in patterning, but if KC is used here, all needles in work will be brought out to knitting position, so that is not a solution for having those stitches knit. Another thing to note in the instructions is one that might be missed upon a quick view. The Brother setting shown is for full pitch. That is because their instructions are for full fisherman knit for when every other needle is in use. If every needle were in use, the setting should be on H, not P There is also the option when one wants to insure end stitches knit in patterns such as tuck to bring end stitches out to hold manually prior to knitting the next row.
A gauge swatch in double bed tuck should be at least 80-100 rows in length. One can sometimes “wing it”. It is important if you do that, that the length is measured between the beds as close to needles as possible, and down from there without weight and after the fabric has relaxed. Do not assume it will stretch to fit, the result may be several inches too small.
A comfortable length for me in the blue wool consisted of 310 rows, knit at T 4/4. Stitches were quite small, so after transfer to the back bed, I knit a row to the opposite side at tension 8 before binding off. I also placed contrasting color yarn markers at the center point of the cast on and bind off to make seaming up evenly easier, and held things together with a double eye tool so as not to accidentally twist the piece.

The number 4 band is my first sample, knit on Brother standard. Number one got pulled on to the planned length based on the “it will stretch” assumption. A metal ruler/yardstick was marked with tape at the desired height, while on the machine the marker was reached, but when off it, the final measurement was a whole 16 inches as the knit relaxed, far too small for most human adults! Number 2 is the brother version felted by hand to hide dropped stitch and edge stitch repairs, knit and shrunk to a measurement longer than head circumference for finished width, taking into consideration the fact that stretch is lost in felting. The fit was tested on my own head during shrinking and before drying. The number 3 band is the “comfy wool” one knit on my Passap. When I taught my course, after weeks of swatching the first “garment” involving a variety of automatic and hand techniques, students were required to knit a “baby hat with earflaps” exactly as given in printed instructions, using any stitch pattern and yarn of their choice. It provided an interesting exercise in gauge and proof of the need for swatching before beginning plans for actual garments. The results varied from so small the hats would only fit a small doll to ones too large for any human head.
Knitters are often resistant to swatching, but making assumptions about results can result in not the best use of both time and materials. If working in tubular stocking stitch the tension used should be the same as for knitting of that yarn in that stitch single bed. Tuck stitch is short and fat. In every needle rib there are stitches being worked on both beds, so double the number on the top bed would be actually worked than when using needles on only one bed. Loosening the tension by several numbers on both beds does not equate to matching width for similar numbers of stitches to the ribbed version. Here is a resulting mini-band, testing the same seaming technique used in the fisherman-rib samples. It was 20 stitches in width, 80 rows in length. I cast on at a loose tension, matching that used in the body of the stocking stitch tube and¬†knit a row to seal before setting for circular knitting.¬†¬†When the top is reached, transfer stitches from the ribber to the top bed, knit at a looser tension tow to the opposite side prior to binding off and seaming (here I used 10). The technique should be usable on bulkier bands as well.The elongated stitches at the top of the “band” are due to an extra needle in use on the ribber. To review, the proper settings from the Ribber Techniques Book:

Long stitches meet transfer lace

Eons ago, when I was exploring long stitches I shared directions for a tuck stitch combination fabric At about that time I came across this image on Pinterest.
It combines transfer lace and long stitches, has characteristics that make some lace patterns unable to be reproduced on home knitting machines. Upon inspection, one will see that the number of stitches varies in different parts of the repeat. Aside from creating eyelets, the smaller triangular shapes increase in width, the fan shapes are decreased by half on their top row. Long stitches are created across all needles in work, then they are reconfigured so the center single stitch of the triangle and the center 2 stitches of the fan shape realign in the same position. The number of stitches at the start of the pattern and after the long stitches are created remains constant. Trying variations on inspiration sources can lead to success, failure, somewhere in between, but also increase learning and skill that will carry over into other knitting techniques, even if the results are never used for a finished piece.

The Brother ribber is used to produce the long stitches. A bit of review: the bracket lever has 3 positions:

Dropping the ribber down 2 mm on each side gives enough clearance for thicker yarns. ¬†At a seminar, I saw Susanna use the position to create transfer lace in ribbed fabrics, something I have been threatening to try for decades, but have not yet. Here the lace carriage is shown in position, clearing the ribber’s gate pegs. My preference is to create a chart in order to visualize and plan an “attack” prior to any knitting. White squares represent needles emptied by transferring their stitches to the right and to the left respectively. One must remember to keep empty needles in the work position to form eyelets. I found making the transfers easier an the process more visible if I dropped one side of the ribber to the second, 17 mm. position

The ribber remains set to slip <– –> on all transfer rows, and any all knit rows on main bed only.¬†The ribber is set to N <– –> for three rows. On the first pass, all its needles will pick up the yarn, creating loops on every needle
With the ribber carriage alone, ¬†still set to N/N, free it and make two passes to and from its starting side. The first pass releases the loops, the second returns it for coupling with the knit carriage. Below the long loops can be seen. My needle tape is “somewhere”, has not yet been returned to the ribber after my racking handle adventures were completed.Return the ribber settings to slip in both directions, and repeat the process. Dropping the ribber to the lowest position at any point can verify goings-onHere one row has been knit on the main bed only, anchoring the loops, returning carriages to the opposite side prior to starting transfers once moreA word of caution: if loops are picked up on any single row¬†that in theory was set to slip and was to be worked on only single bed, check to make certain the tuck lever has not been accidentally brought up to the tuck position. Although tuck <– –> can serve for a free pass on the main bed, having this setting on the ribber will create loops on all needles in work My test swatch had a couple of different# of transfer trials in horizontal segments and a few operator errors. It was knit in wool for the “spring” of the fiber, and unpressed formed pleats of sorts, while with a hard press it flattened out considerably, with not as much of a wave as I might like. My later effort led to a fabric that was different from the inspiration one, but far more interesting to me than the one above. I began with a schematic, originally planning only 4 eyelets, then adjusted for 5 (yellow line marks the change)¬†I cast on 55 stitches 27 left, 28 right. A¬†ribber comb and weights are required.
Having a chart with any numbering that makes sense to you is helpful.
I used a water-soluble pen to mark the center needle location for the start of transfers on either side, in this case, 18 left, 1 and 19 right. The 55 stitches include 2 full repeats of 18 plus a half (9) on each side edge.
Brother has 2 #1 positions, one on the left and the other on the right of center, separated above by the red line. The fact is something to be kept in mind with stitch counts for hand techniques where needle selection is not automated across the needle bed but is reliant on accurate counts by the knitter
A 3 prong tool was used to make transfers, the pattern could be translated for use with lace carriage if one desired to do so.
At the bottom of the swatch I stopped after 4 transfers before creating the long stitches, and then switched to 5 guessing I would like the transition better, also a clearer stopping place occurred when a single stitch was left with doubled-up ones on either side of it.
I did not find it necessary to drop the ribber at all to check on the progress of transfers. Below the swatch is shown on both sides, both relaxed (to my eye the more interesting) and after light pressing

It appears to me to be the sort of fabric that is worth revisiting after a break. ¬†ūüėČ

Racking on EON rib: some considerations

WORK IN PROGRESS 

Manuals can sometimes make my head hurt, and as a result, I often rely on previous experience which in turn can lead to assumptions that may require clarification, even in my own mind.
A question came up on Ravelry about racked ribs on every other needle. My instinctive answer was that racking would need to happen by 2 full numbers at a time for the proper swing to occur. Here is an attempt to explain some of what happens, and why that is not always true.
To start with, manuals usually have the knitter start with the carriages on the right-hand side of the machine, perhaps to prepare them for fabrics that will need to travel to and from the left if the color changer is in use (“Japanese” machines). If the latter is not, there is no reason not to begin knitting from whichever side you prefer. Then we get to 3 circular rows. The third row is not needed, it gives floats on one side of the rib that may or may not be noticeable depending on which side of the knit is the public side. If 2 circular rows or a racked cast on is used, that may set off the start of patterning in the wrong direction from that published.
The usual depiction of the zig-zag row with the cast-on-comb in place on the machine is this The intent when knitting ribbing is not to have needles point to point, smashing into each other as one travels from side to side. On every needle rib, the Pitch lever on P will set just that up, H for half-pitch will place needles so they move smoothly halfway between those on the opposite bed. On every other needle rib, the P position will set up needles in the center of the spot left empty by a needle out of work on the alternate knitting bed. In racking, as the ribber moves, its stitches will align (usually) to the right or left in turn of stitches on the main bed creating a sort of crossed texture. If the needle set up remains as above, and racking is performed one step to right or left followed by another in the opposite direction to the starting position, the stitches on the main bed remain in the same space, there may be movement between the purl columns, but not across them. For a single position racking to occur the needles on the ribber need to be brought closer to the stitches on the opposite bed. One way to achieve that is to set the ribber for half-pitch. That will bring its stitches off-center and more to one side than the other of the space on the opposite bed. The zig-zag will lean slightly to one side The next step is to ensure that as racking begins, you are not moving stitches back into the same empty space on the opposite bed, but rather crossing into an adjacent one If that is understood then one can make the choice of moving left or right and be off and running in the pattern, aside from the starting side or some of the other directions given in patterns or manuals. Cam buttons and patterning may be introduced as well. This is how a row of knitting might appear after racking. The difference between the top and bottom of my test swatch is that the bottom was knit in half-pitch, using 2 single alternating number positions (ie. 5,4,5,4),  the top was knit in P setting, racking by 2 number positions (ie. 5,7,5,7) in each direction. One row was knit between movements. Both carriages were set to simply knit.This page from the Ribber Techniques book shows fabrics knit on EON, adding tuck cam buttons into the mix and slightly different needle arrangements, varying the look of the finished knitting. Most Brother racking patterns are accompanied by diagrams such as the one included above. They are shorthand for what is happening on both beds. If the knit starting side is different than the one recommended, as long the necessary movement direction against the fixed stitches on the main bed is recognized, the starting point can be chosen to be on either side of the main bed needles (ie. starting on row 3 on left, above blue line of the chart as opposed to row 1).If multiple side-by-side stitches are in work on the ribber, the half-pitch setting applies as well. When tucking is added, for increased stretch, it may be necessary to compensate for the width of the resulting fabric by casting on on every needle and then transferring in the desired configuration between the beds. Transferring is easier done in full pitch with a return to half-pitch prior to continuing to knit. The bind off is likely to require considerations for added stretch as well. Slip stitch narrows the fabric. Such adjustments are usually worked out in test swatches.
Using the half-pitch in EON brings the needles on the ribber closer to those on the main bed, which in turn may have an effect on yarn weight use when building up loops in hooks ie in fisherman or half fisherman rib variations. Sequential racking ie. 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, etc will not produce crossed stitches with single position shifts on EON. This attempts to imagine where actual crossings would occur, every 2 position shifts in either direction. The starting point for cast on may also require a change in position, based on the number of positions available; for example, Brother has 10, Passap has 6.By the way, the racking position indicators are slightly different in the Brother standard vs. the Brother bulky machines

Machine knit fringes 2/ pretend hairpin lace

WORK IN PROGRESS

Hairpin lace, familiar to many crocheters, is based on a central column with side loops that can be produced in strips, in turn, joined together in different configurations to compose open inserts, shawls, garments, serve as trims and joins.
A double-sided machine knit fringe can serve the same functions. My first swatch is knit using the #1 punchcard. Tension is totally dependent on the yarn used, the fabric may be executed on any machine, but as is often the case I am writing specifically for Brother.
The needle arrangement includes 2 center stitches, an even number of out of work needles to determine the width of the long loops, and one stitch at each end that is knit for the duration, then unraveled to loosen loops for various joining methods or uses.
To start with 2 needles are cast on in the center of the piece, knit one row on them alone. This will produce a small tab that is woven in upon completion of the strip, as are yarn ends, and creates a base so whole loops may be added in equal numbers on each side. Bring the side stitch on the carriage out to work, knit one row to the opposite side, bring outside needle on that side out to E, set machine for preselection row, knit back to the opposite side. Proceed to knit with both tuck buttons pushed in.
A separate cone or ball of yarn will be needed in matching or contrast color to anchor stitches in the central vertical column. Bring the row counter to 000. Multiply the number of loops required X2, since it will take 2 passes of the knit carriage to complete each pair, one on each side of center.
I brought the side stitch on each side prior to knitting the next row out to E, rather than settling for using KCI alone, found that kept the side edges stable and I was not getting dropped loops. If long strips are to be knitted, control over what is happening on each side matters in their assembly. The separate strand of yarn is used to e wrap around the needle that comes forward with each pass of the carriage. Even though the illustrations for the technique show equal loop withs, they can actually be created asymmetrically as well, or the central column may actually be moved on the knitting machine as one advances through the piece. The dots on the metal bed are from another piece

the first selection of a needle forward by punchcard¬†e wrapping with second yarn before moving to left¬†e wrapping with second yarn prior to returning to right, completing a sideways figure 8, end stitches out to E before prior to each carriage passUsing the finished sample as an insert brings up the topic of joining knits. Here there is a single stitch on each edge. The unbound off the stitch at the top on each side can be hooked on and secured with the first pick up. Stitches in the sides of knits form “loops and bumps”. The loops are formed carriage side as the row knits, can be used as possibly the least satisfactory single stitch increase. Opposite the carriage, as that same pass is completed the yarn will twist and create the “knot”, an easy and often acceptable single stitch increase. Which of the two is used to pick up for joining depends on yarn thickness and desired effect. Swatching will serve as a guide. Being consistent gives the best seam/join, without bumps and lags. The single edge stitch side border needs to be stabilized if it is going to serve as the detail at the bottom of the piece.

E wrapping every other needle as shown above with separate strands of yarn for 2 stitches on each side may be used to produce a no-roll edge on the sides of any knit fabric.
Knot vs loop:Using thinner yarn for knitting after the join even if on the same number of stitches, will gather the fabric More on seaming and joining knits 1 and 2. Extensive accumulation of images (crochet) for inspiration and possible technique links may be found on Pinterest 
On the left is a sample using an asymmetrical width, latched join method, while on the right loops are twisted broomstick lace fashion, and there is a crochet stitch joinstrips of different colors usedgathering tightly on one side can be the start of circles and shells

Japanese design books include their own symbols, here is part of a schematic for a shawl. It precludes an understanding of crochet symbols. The latter are simply illustrated and there is more convention for their meaning than that for knit symbols, particularly as more and more designers are adding homegrown ones to self-published patterns¬†The convention for joining strips of machine knitting by crocheting or latching side loops together suggest having a ladder space (white square, one or more may be used) and a side edge stitch on either side in segments of the final piece ie. afghan strips.When binding off at the top of the piece, the first and last stitch on either side is skipped, leaving them open so that they may, in turn, be unraveled. The easiest method if the goal is to join pairs of strips is to line up two of them side by side, unravel side stitches from the top-down, only enough rows to match the number of loops that will be latched through each other, and proceed for the length of the piece. Depending on the yarn, work can be rehung on the machine, followed with a latch tool bind off, a segment at a time if needed, while maintaining a continuous piece of yarn. Steps may be repeated for a crochet pretender edging at both ends if the number of needles on the machine will support that. Another alternative for the horizontal edges when no fringe is planned is to bind off with a crochet hook as follows: knitted edge: slip stitch in each knitted stitch, open section: chain 1, 1 single crochet stitch into first jumbo stitch, chain¬†1, 1 sc into second jumbo stitch, chain1 repeating across the row. If desired, sc again across all stitches. A row of single crochet may be needed to balance cast on edge as well. Then there is the option of “winging it” and making a personal decision about other suitable alternatives.

When strips approach traditional hairpin, if you wish to work bottom-up or arrangements of loops are planned to be varied, whether by crochet sequences or rehanging loops on the knitting machine, unraveling may be done while also threading a length of yarn through the loops akin to a lifeline in other¬†types of knitting, making them more manageable. A hand knitting video by Bernat Yarns¬†illustrates the principle on conventional hairpin laceThe technique is sometimes referred to as a cable join. The video also provides a reminder that if all the latching through is done in a single, same direction, the fabric will bias. To avoid that, start latching on right for one pair of strips, on left for the next pair. Finishing side edges by latching is shown in the Bernat¬†#4 video¬†along with adding a fringe to finish the top and bottom of the piece. ¬†If you enjoy crochet patterns longhand in the “old fashioned” way from out of print sources, here is a reference for inspiration, with hairpin illustrations # 448-456.
A join and side finishing, one side of each strip chaining strands of ¬†loops through each other, the outside edge twisting loops akin to broomstick lace:A partial illustration from Pinterest from an unknown source showing how the loops coming together to make shapes might be charted out: the ovals represent chain stitches, the v slip stitches, the different colors the finish of a complete strip’s edge Tuck lace is a fabric produced with needles out of work in combination with tuck patterning on the main bed. Patterns for it can serve as the starting point for either the center strips in double-sided loop fabrics or they can be worked in repeats with wider ladder spaces between them for a far quicker “pretend” version. This is one of my ancient swatches for the technique from a classroom demo, using the 1X1 punchcard, shown sideways to save space.
The¬†card is used at normal rotation. Any time there are needles out of work, end needle selection is canceled to maintain patterning throughout including on end needles of each vertical strip. Tuck <– –> is used resulting in texture as opposed to simple stocking stitch and ladder fabric (center of the swatch). In the right segment, the ladder threads are twisted, in the one on the left they are not. This is what is happening: for twisted ladders on an even total number of needles have an even number in the selected pattern (4), and an even number out of work (6). This is one fabric that definitely benefits by the use of some evenly distributed weight and a good condition sponge bar.Here the stitches are arranged with an odd number in work (3), an odd number out of work (7)

A way of working out needles out of work vs patterning/ in-work ones for both tests: the first is knit on a multiple of 10+4, the second on a multiple of 10+3These fabrics will narrow considerably when off the machine, here is an image of the above swatch after a period of “rest”

 

GIMP update for Mac

A new manual and program update are available. Docs are now on a white ground, while the program launches an all in one dark window. I am not yet aware of any other changes. Mac users are included in the latest version update, will need to get around security settings for installing software from non-Apple approved developers. Long-time users will face this upon launching the programImages being processed will now appear as shown below:Previously clicking on the red X dot would ask if the image was to be discarded, and on the acknowledgment of the fact, the program would continue to stay open,

now that same action will quit the program completely. Clicking on the X beside the image will bring up the discard option, quitting the image and work on it as opposed to quitting the program.  It is possible to work on multiple images at the same time. Drag and drop superimposes the new image fixed onto the center of first. Choose file open and processing multiple images is now available, with the ability to toggle between them. Working on 2 images again, copy the smaller image on its own screen,return to the screen with the larger image intended to be in the background, paste the smaller image for a floating selection that can be anchored anywhere on the ground, edit/ undo may be used repeatedly if need be, and done

Discard each image individually to keep the program running, use hide command if the larger update window is in your way or distracting,click on the gimp icon again to restore the view.

A collection of fringes 1

Fringes are not a personal favorite of mine on machine-knit garments in their “simplest” forms. I can recall using them rarely. Here a cut Passap version was applied to a piece made in my student days, ¬†a ruana for which I no longer have the measurements. It was composed of wool DBJ, worked in 10 panels, using a mylar¬†sheet on a 910 for patterning, hand pieced, and is still being worn by its owner. I made a few items with twisted strands inspired by those seen in wovens produced by my weaving friends. I have no photos of those, failed to document my work for quite a few years. One excuse was the quality of any photos I attempted, and even back in the day, professional photographers charged $180 an hour plus model fees if used. It seemed that adding the cost of such photography to limited edition runs that were planned for sale would make the wholesale price higher than the market would bear. We all make choices based on information we have at that particular time, which was long before the recent easy to use photo technology.
There now is a very good video by Diana Sullivan showing a machine knit version of twisted fringe produced on the machine.
For a while, I was on an i-cord kick. I liked the look, but they were very time consuming on production items, lots of ends to weave in, and there was a balance to be sought between far too many to be practical and too few and skimpy to be attractive.Here a ladder space created by needles out of work is left between vertical fair isle repeats, producing a fringe in 2 colors. The design was not planned, a standard punchcard was used for the purpose of the demo.¬†¬†A planned repeat would have more impact. End needle selection is on, which is usual in FI, not for most patterns with tuck or slip stitch settings combined with needles out of work, is also true here so that a vertical line on each side of the needles out of work between repeats aids in sewing the strips together. Width is limited since the fabric will be gathered by seaming and become significantly narrower and likely turned sideways. Both sides are shown. Joining could be planned to occur only at the bottom of a piece if desired, stitching lines will be less visible if thread color matches that of the yarn¬†A needle in work away from the edge produces a side “fringe” followed here by felting partially, cutting the single edge stitch, and finishing the felting process
Adding thicker or multiple strands of yarns in long loops on edges, isolated areas, or all over Let us not forget knit weaving with several strands of yarn, adding strips of the result as one knits, or simply hooking on strips of fake fur or thrums (the bits of yarn that litter the floor after you cut your weaving off the loom) at chosen intervals

Finished edges on woven or lace trims, strips of fabric, even roving along with self-made tassels may all be added at any point. Jolie tools, intended to aid in picking up dropped stitches can sometimes be helpful in picking up close to the woven edge (and pricking or piercing body parts on some days). The tool is available for both standard and bulky machines¬†Most often every other needle use is best. Here a lace and pom pom trim are used, purchased fringes of all sorts could be applied the same way anywhere in the piece, joins to knit can be seena length of roving may be twisted in its center and applied as you knit. For a while mittens using it as a lining for warmth were popular. A video by Carole Wurst shows a method used in socks¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FWmH6XW_FU. Roving will felt together to varying degrees over time, as seen here in another of my ancient swatches. The “sparkle” is there as a result of using an angelica/wool blendthe same twist in the center/ knit through method may be used with torn strips of silk or other thin fabrics, mine here are 1.5 cm. wide. Background yarn may knit fine at standard tension commonly used for it, testing will determine it and the spacing required to meet your goal

How-tos: to begin with, this is the “passap” version illustrated in the Duo Manual. One may choose wider knit bands between the floats that will be cut or folded over and doubled up

The thickness of the yarn chosen is of critical importance. When I first attempted to knit a version of it on my 930 I encountered problems. To start with, I kept dropping off the stitches on one side or the other. I checked the ribber alignment, proper placement of the cast on comb, switched ribbers, carriages, continued to have problems. After all that, the solution turned out to be simply adding another¬†4 stitches (2 on each bed) toward the center of the piece (I did not count). Here I used a 2/24 which obviously does not have enough body to use as an edging. The Brother equivalent for the Duo setting is half¬†fisherman rib, where one carriage knits in one direction, tucks in the other on every needle for every 2 rows knit, while the other bed’s carriage does the same, but in opposite directions. I used 3 needles on each side rather than 2 as in the Duo repeat, starting with the first needle in work on the left on the ribber, the last needle in work on the right on the top bed. One may¬†begin to knit on either side, but when manually setting the cam buttons lead with settings so that first stitch knits as it moves to the opposite side. Using waste yarn at the start of the piece will produce a better cast on edge for the trim. ¬†Operating from the right:

A 2/11.5 acrylic provided more of a tension adjustment challenge but made for a better fringe.The first and last 3 stitches on either side were transferred to the top bed and bound off, the center stitches were not, allowing them to be unraveled if desired ie in case the fringe is to be folded in half. Those extra center stitches also provide a guide for cutting either down their center (bottom of photo) or on either side of them (toward the top). I found the latter method to produce a cleaner cut lineSuggestions for going wider with racked half fisherman rib on Japanese machines: begin with needle arrangement below, out of work needles can be as many as needed, set up and cast on with preferred racking position ie on 5, knit several rows in waste yarn making any adjustments needed so stitches knit are formed  properly, weigh appropriately. Add needles on the main bed and remove one on the ribberContinue the test including in pattern, switch to a couple of rows of plain knitting and end with one knit row using ravel cord in a contrasting color. Cast on for fringe, knit 2 rows. Set for tuck rib, knit 2 rows, rack to position 4, knit 2 rows, rack to position 5, continue racking for the desired length, end with 2 knit rows and bind off or scrap off in case any additional length might be needed. When knitting lengths of trim, ending the piece on open stitches and waste knitting will give one the opportunity to either unravel or add more rows if needed.
Knitting fringes with a center band and cutting side edges will form variations on “feathers”. Pretend “hairpin lace ” produced on the knitting machine also uses related ideas.
An aside tip: if knitting pieces with strips of stocking stitch between ladder spaces often the side edges of the vertical knit columns will not hold and become wider and distorted. Using a single stitch in from each side of the columns on the ribber as well and racking one to left, one to the right from the original position every one or 2 rows will stabilize them. This swatch was knit in a very slippery rayon/cotton blend over 20 years ago using single neighboring stitches on both beds the edge that holds the fringe together is to be very narrow (or even added as one knits) and one wishes to work single bed there are several options. With 4 ply and a “matching color” 2 ply I began with the top needle arrangement, and then switched to the one below it, knitting on a 4.5 mm machine.¬†A permanent cast on needs to take place in preferred method over needles in work knit 2 rows. The stitch on the second needle from the left is going to want to stretch and tends not to be stable. To reduce that happening, there are 2 options involving a second strand of yarn. Here using a 2 ply helps serve that purpose and keeps the fringed strands closer together. The slower method is to remove the second stitch from the left on a tool after every 2 rows knit, then bringing the separate yarn strand behind the now empty needle first from the right, then in turn from the left, returning the removed stitch to the machine, knitting 2 rows. I found that too slow for my patience, switched to just laying the second strand over needles before knitting each pair of rows, and decided to eliminate the out of work needle on the left side, moving the second stitch in work to its leftThe single stitch on the far right of the chart need not be bound off. There will be 2 options after the work is off the machine. One is to unravel the single stitch column on the far right if loops are the goal, or cutting it off, ¬†leaving a fairly good trimmed edge here, and what, in this yarn, appeared to me¬†to be an acceptable edging. ¬†The 2 edge stitches on the left in my swatch did roll, making a very tight edge. Adjusting tension used to change that¬†effect would be another choice. Yarn use and personal taste contribute to a range of “successful” results when using any of these techniques.¬†This version creates a true i-cord edging on one side, produces a double fringe. Begin cast on with 5 stitches on one side, 1 at the opposite side to accommodate the desired width. As I knit my sample, I added a second stitch on that same side to make for an easier, more stable cutting line. Any changes in tension will affect the width and rigidity of the i-cord, and more markedly any stitches on the opposite side, and the length of the cut loops. As when knitting any slip stitch cords, the tension needs to be tightened by at least 2 numbers from that used in knitting the same yarn in stocking stitch. The carriage is set to slip in one direction, knit in the other, producing a float the width of the knit. Cast on. Beginning with COR knit one row to left, set the carriage to knit in one direction only (I happened to use the right part button, either can work). The process that draws the left side vertical column together into a cord : * transfer the fourth stitch from the left onto the fifth, move both stitches back onto the just emptied fourth needle, leave the fifth needle in work, “knit” 2 rows*. ¬†Technically, ¬†the 2 passes of the knit carriage to and from the left will produce only one knit row. ¬†I used the 2/11.5 acrylic, on the skimpy side. Thin yarns may be plied for the best effect. ¬†Here that second stitch has been added on the right, a few rows have been plain-knitThis shows the length of the slipped row, and that a loop is formed on the return to the other side on the empty but in work needle # 5. The transfers from needle 4 to 5 and back have been made, leaving the empty needle 5 in workAt the top of the piece I transferred and doubled up the stitches on left, bound them off, the yarn end(s) can be woven back into the cord. The side¬†with the transfers is the “public” one, the finished fringe is usually hand sewn on, but it may also be used to cast on or be applied to several places in the knit both close together or at various intervals. Tension changes may be observed viewing from left to right, as well as the difference in length of loops as opposed to after cutaway edge. The third stitch in work on the right may make for a more stable cutting line if looser tensions are preferred. Because the sinker plate used on the single bed has brushes and wheels in use, the width of the fringe can be considerable, without having to be concerned about stabilizing the center as it is when working double bed.


Introducing patterning single bed: knit weaving is perhaps the best way to control the number of plies, color mixing, designs in vertical bands, and for knitting 2 fringe lengths at the same time. The 1/1 brother card is the most basic, but small repeats can be isolated for more interest or syncing with designs in garment pieces. To start: cast on and knit at least 2 rows on the chosen needle arrangement. Hang claw weights (or smaller) on each block of stitches. Combining strands for weaving adds fullness to the fringe. When any fringe is removed from the machine it should be stretched lengthwise and steamed to set the stitches (which I did not do in any of my swatches). As with other samples, the odd small number of stitches in the center or on the side are cut off to release the fringe. A sample arrangement: odd number of needles on either side and center, even number of needles out of work in-betweenVisualizing the punchcard or electronic needle selection on the same number of needles in work as above helps. Here the first and last needle on each side knits at the start. End needle selection is off; if it is not the outside automatic needle selection will give that edge a different look. Using both settings will help determine if one is more preferred than the other.A closer look at both sides of my ancient swatch knit in 2/8 woolLong loops are best in a thicker yarn, here they are shown in an every other needle arrangement using mohair on 2/8 wool ground related post reviews some of the methods for creating the loops, there is at least one other. Published directions have taken it for granted that thinner yarn is in use: if working on a machine with a ribber use the gate pegs on the ribber as your gauge. Wind the yarn around the needle, then down to sinker plate below it with ribber down one position, then around the same needle, down to the same gate peg, then up and around the next needle, continuing across. When the row of loops is completed, knit several rows, lift ribber up to release loops.
My test is with yarns of 2 thicknesses, one half the number of plies in the other. Cast on with background yarn, knit at least 2 rows. I wrapped the 4 ply on every needle on the main bed counter clockwise when moving from left to right (think e wrapping in either direction), clockwise when moving from right to left, bringing it down and around the corresponding gate peg. I found it easier to work with needles that were to be wrapped moved forward from B position. The loops prior to being lifted off sinker plates The first ribber height drop produced short loops (2.5 cm)With ribber in the down most position (4.5 cm loops)I found that just by knitting 3 more rows in this yarn I could lift the loops off the ribber sinker plates easily, dropping them between the beds and repeating the process. No need to raise the ribber back up. Whether these loops will bear being cut or be too slippery to stay in the ground will be determined by yarn choices.
There are times when a fringe is desired on one or both sides of the piece. Simply leaving needles out of work and an additional one in use to determine the width of the fringe can have skimpy results and an unstable edge stitch on the knit body. This is my solution for solving both: I began by knitting a couple of rows in the background yarn, then added a strand of yellow, and eventually the third strand in light blue, e wrapping the extra¬†strand(s) in the direction away from the carriage.¬†In this case, knitting¬†ended opposite the fringe, only these stitches were bound off, not the single one on the far right The single stitch column was trimmed off, leaving a fairly full, stable fringeCut lengths of yarn¬†may be added to edge or in the body of the knit, eyelets could be used as markers or for an all-over fabric, guiding placement. This illustration is from Annie’s catalog¬†Fringes could also be crocheted or hand-knit, used to cast on the piece or be stitched in place upon its completion. I do not have the source for this, will credit it if I can find one

Racking mechanical problem and possible repair saga

I enjoy the technical aspects and structures of knit fabric, learned to do simple, common minor repairs in a studio where there were not technicians during lab hours or even studio hours. That said, I had a broken knit carriage that was going to be my source for learning to work with its inner guts that never made it to any useful reassembly in spite of the passage of a couple of decades. I have a lot of hesitation in taking equipment apart, though out of necessity and with the help of online videos and information I have been able to go increasingly further with more confidence. Still saving carriages full of springs and “things” for someone else ūüėČ

Over the years I have not used my KR850 ribber frequently. Last year at some point I produced a collection of racked, ribbed 3D effect scarves, giving it a major work out. I traditionally kept my ribber off my Brother machines, used my Passap for double bed and DBJ, and my line of accessories for sale was often knit single bed on my standard or bulky machines. As a result, I rarely needed to adjust the ribber bed position relative to pitch. I had purchased the ribber used.
As I have returned to knitting more frequently of late and wanted to expand posts that included racking I found suddenly the first movement upon reversing racking direction failed, requiring 2 full turns of the handle before advancing to the next position. Not too long after the pitch lever was not moving properly as well. The operation and service manuals for the ribber had not provided much advice, nor could I find any helpful information online. I highlighted pertinent areas with color in the images below. From the service manual: I asked on Ravelry for advice or shared experiences. A possible culprit was suggested to me, and I was pointed toward the parts manual, where I was faced with this, which at first seemed pretty daunting

When I tried to turn the screws marked in red I found they were loose. After I  took apart the racking handle, braving far more disassembly than turned out to be needed, housing little screws and washers in separate small plastic containers along with their comrade larger parts, I found perhaps I could have reduced the effort considerably. I did not take photos during the process, as I was not brimming with confidence in the result. Enlarging a portion of the above helped me understand how parts related to each other a bit better.

The rectangular piece (red) was loose inside the machine. Removing # 57 is a necessity in order to get at the location for reinsertion of #10 in the slot under #9, to be held in turn by the screws #11. I marked critical areas with colored arrows in sequential photos¬†It really may not have been necessary to even remove the bracket lever. The #10 piece of metal was loose inside the machine, might simply have fallen out if I had turned the bed on its side and given it a mild shake after removing #57. This is with the piece in question in its housing where it belongs (white arrow), shown in relation to the needle retainer bar (black arrow) and screws marked with red arrows that hold it in place.¬†The piece is obviously thinner than the space it lives in, so for screws to anchor it properly, a flathead screwdriver or other improvised tool needs to be inserted under it, lifting it into position and holding it in place with its holes lined up with outside of bed so screws can grip it and be tightened properly. My racking handle and pitch lever seem to be working properly once more. I had hours of intimacy with my ribber, it has now been thoroughly cleaned and oiled and has all its screws no longer off or loose, we are far better acquainted. No regrets, but the “repair” as illustrated above would have taken a matter of minutes.

A racking tale: Passap/Brother 3

WORK IN PROGRESS 

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

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

Using the same yarn, reducing the tension a bit, and knitting 3 rows, slipping 3 rows, racking 10 to 6 and back to 10. A partial view of my needle bed:All needles used in my swatch, I began the stitch transfers down onto the ribber needles on the far left, continuing across the knit bedAs end stitches knit on the ribber alone, a small edge weight may be required on that side. As stitches on the main bed are not worked in the slip stitch rows, they become elongated. Racking by 4 positions is not possible unless there is enough fabric so as not to pull so much that stitches will not knit off. If the yarn does not have some “give” that can make the changes in position harder, some yarns may break easily. The long stitches:After the needles are preselected for next row of all knit, rack to the next position; the long stitches will then lean to one side or the other The resulting swatch, shown on both sides: The texture becomes more pronounced after the swatch rests. If acrylic is used, remember not to press the knit. An attempt to identify stitch actions:This is the swatch knit changing ribber settings to and from slip <– –> to N/N on appropriate rows. ¬†I found the method above far simplerCoincidentally this morning a Duo pattern using different set up was shown in Ravelry, and I was asked whether producing the same on Brother might have any advantages. ¬†The Duo results, shown on a project page, are very similar to the above. The advantage in my opinion of using this method on Brother machines is that there is no need to change lock or carriage settings, and racking when the preselection for the next knit row first appears creates an easy marker for when to move from the previous racking position to the next.¬†The Brother repeat (KCI on electronics is OK even though there are needles out of work on the knit bed) Racking is from position 10 to 6 and back just as in the¬†previous blue swatch, after the first preselection row at the start of ¬†the following repeat sequence. I began the stitch transfers down onto the ribber needles on the far left, continuing across the knit bed. The final look will vary with the choice of yarn and its color. Both swatch sides.If for some reason horizontal direction matters simply cast on with racking position on 6, and continue to and from there to 10 and back. Below is a horizontal flip of the same swatch image, a way to quickly decide whether doing so might be preferred.

Racked patterns 5: Passap/Brother 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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