I had previously posted on an Armani inspired knit scale like pattern that sometimes was described online as a machine knit “crocodile stitch”. A fellow raveler just shared on her project page an interesting variation that includes variations in scale of the scales themselves, and makes all transfers onto a center point, eliminating the vertical separation that appears at the center of my version.
A simple chart, from a random Japanese publication
of note: in the above pattern, all transfers are in the same direction. My test swatches were knit on bulky 260 KM. Held stitches form loops on top of needles brought out to E position. The original stitch formerly in the needle hook grows in length, behind the newly formed loops. When patterning is automated using the tuck cam setting, the non selected needle will not be worked. The original stitch gets longer here as well, while the loops that in the hand technique rest on top of the needles, will now be held in the hook of the needle along with the last knit stitch. The latter fact is the limiting factor determining the number of rows that may actually be tucked, especially on Japanese machines. Yarn used and needle gauge also matter. Tucked fabrics, like lace, need to be weighted evenly for loops formed to knit off properly.
How to for my swatches:
knit base row (s), set up repeat so some stitches knit every row on each side creating a border, set machine to hold stitches
row 1: transfer every 4th stitch to the right. If you are in the habit of pulling needles holding multiples stitches to D before knitting the next row after transferring multiple stitches onto a single needle, this is ruled out when the carriage is set for holding, as those stitches would then not knit as intended on the next pass. To produce an eyelet, emptied needles are returned to B position after each transfer sequence
rows 2, 3, 4 bring alternate every 4th needle as shown in chart into hold, knit 3 rows
row 5: push held needles back into work (D on brother km), knit one row across all needles. Held stitches will knit off as a group, check that they have done so uniformly
rows 6, 7, 8: transfer alternate every 4th needle out to hold, knit 3 rows
row 9: begin sequence again, repeating rows 1-8
When transfers are made in a single direction, the fabric will bias in the direction of those transfers. In the bottom section of the photo below, the resulting lean to the left is easily seen. If a bias leaning fabric is desired, this is an easy way to get there. However, if the goal is to achieve a balanced fabric, then the transfers need to happen in opposite directions as seen in the top segment of the swatch.
the number of held/tuck stitch rows has been changed to 4 rather than 3. When the row that knits off the loops occurs, the total number of knit rows for the sequence will be an odd one, resulting in the carriage being at opposite sides of the needle bed at the end of each pattern repeat. Transferring stitches may then be made toward the carriage: COR – transfer to right, COL transfer to left. This makes it easier to track direction when working the fabric as a hand technique.
Next up: automating the pattern for standard gauge machines using the lace carriage, and tuck patterning in the knit carriage as well.
My preferred, e wrapped 1 to 3 increase
The how: begin with transferring 2 side stitches onto the center one
knit row 1
insert tool as shown
turn clockwise, place yarn twist on needle to left of center one
insert tool as shown
twist counter clockwise, bring twisted stitch behind float on right of center, lift twisted loop and place it onto the empty needle to right of the center
pick up a loop from the triple stitch below last 2 knit rows as shown, and lift it onto center stitch
knit 2 rows, continue in pattern according to chart
Just about 2 years ago, I had an obsession with leaf shapes in lace, and wrote a series of posts on approaches to both designing them and rendering them in knit on more than one machine. One such early post. Recent publications are reflecting the increasing interest in bulkier knits and combining ladder “lace (created by needles remaining out of work) with shapes floating within the resulting open spaces. I thought I would address some of the issues in such fabrics, while returning to a leaf as the focus “shape”. My samples are knit on a Brother 260, using hand techniques that require only the basic set of transfer tools.
Long verticals in knit may have problems with the edge stitches separating from the rest of the knit, i.e. in FI vertical stripes. In plain knit, the edge stitches may stretch, become distorted, and may encroach on the ladder space. A series of actions taken on the edge stitches of ladders will help prevent that, here I am choosing to use a simple 1 X 1 cable cross every 2 rows to stabilize them. Having the cables coincide with the rows on which transfers are made to create the chosen shape makes tracking them easier.
my first schematic (Excel chart)
imagining in repeat
my first swatch
for decreasing stitches in work on right or left at the top of the chart I used a simple decrease
using the “fully fashioned” option would provide a different look along that edge
For my test swatch I used a crochet cast on across 17 + 4 for single full pattern repeat, + 4 edge stitches on either side = a total of 29 stitches. To create the transition from 1 to 3 stitches in the center of the leaf, I e wrapped an additional 2 empty needles
#1 reflect the e wrapped increase just above the cast on, #2 show results of the same technique at the top of the established “leaf” pattern
the chart repeat amended for a different start
#1 shows pattern beginning on a group of knit sitches, as opposed to a single center one for leaf
#2 shows a full “leaf” repeat as charted, red arrow points to e wrapped yarn traveling in front of the shaping
#3 red arrow indicates the same is happening with the float, while the green shows my desired twist, with stitch to front
Sorting it out: a third swatch, with an amended way of e wrapping. To make sampling quicker, I modified the repeat, eliminating cables, decreasing the number of stitches at the widest part of the leaf, making fewer eyelet transfers. The results show how much the shape of the “leaf” may be varied with just a few changes. Note the twist and location of floats in relationship to stitches just above #1
I will document the 1X3 increase method I liked best out of several trials in my next post.
If having a single pivot stitch for the repeat is not important, the chart below is amended again to accommodate that
if eyelets are eliminated to create a geometric pattern and/or for the sake of speed, increases may be created on both sides beginning on row 12 of the above chart by picking up from the row below
With the advent of Mac Mavericks, function of some open source design software linked to XQuartz was lost. Macosforge now provides an updated X11 for OS X 10.6 or later (including Mavericks). X11 is required to run Inkscape, a vector program, and ArahPaint5, a paint and drawing one that can be viewed being used in this video. Version4 is also included in a package with a free demo for ArahWeave. All have potential for creating and working with images, particularly useful in development of large format motifs for download to knitting machines.
Some Studio punchcard patterns
Pattern 113 (bottom left) has a single blank row between groups of multiple transfers (indicated by punched holes). These correspond with single rows knit at the completion of each set of transfers. They are highlighted with red lines in the related punchcard image below .
Essentially the same repeat, found in a different publication source, was interpreted for use in the 910 electronic in my previous post, nearly a year ago. Pattern 112 (middle left on first image) has some noticeable differences. To start with, at the end of each set of transfers, there are 2 blank rows (red), as opposed to one in #113, making it suitable for use on Brother KMs almost “as is”. Studio punchcards for this type of lace generally begin with 2 blank rows (blue highlight). Brother cards generally begin with the first row of punched holes for row 1 of pattern. The Studio first 2 blank rows rows would normally be moved up to the top of the punchcard if punching your own, or simply, if the card is pre punched, a different row # selection may be chosen for the first selection row.
In the middle of the repeat, where the first set of transfers is completed, there are several (six) unpunched rows,
and at the punchcard top there are 4 blank rows. These last rows, added to the first 2 rows (blue) will total another set of 6 unpunched rows at the top of the alternating pattern repeat. These multiple blank punchcard rows result in knit only rows when using Studio KM. In Brother, the knit carriage does not advance the card unless cam buttons are in use ie for tuck or slip settings. Generally, if multiple plain rows are desired, this is indicated in Brother appropriate row markings on card, and need to be tracked by the knitter.
Lace cards generally require few punched holes, but may be considerably long. To insure 2 rows between each set of transfers I highlighted them on my card in light blue pencil, helping me place repeats properly. Following the highlighted markings above, the first 2 blank rows (blue) are dropped, set of 6 is reduced to 2, and top 4 (Brother lace usually ends with 2 blank rows) are reduced to 2 as well. My resulting punchcard is shown here in 2 segments that were to be joined with snaps for continuous use. I found in knitting the samples, that I was having a problem with the single row near the join being read correctly when using only snaps, the problem was solved when I taped the 2 cards together across their width. This particular punchcard roll was sold as for “Brother”, but markings are for Studio. Brother selection row 1 is marked on right. Thick pencil markings indicate the viewable point where rows are knit at the completion of each transfer sequence. These make it easier to know where to roll back the card to knit rows, as opposed to relying only on any of the row number markings. I prefer to unravel down to knit rows when correcting dropped stitches or other “mistakes”.
I omitted the extra knit rows (4 out of series of 6) in my own sample (shown lightly pressed). This eliminates the visible break between eyelets in the knitting reference swatch jpg.
If you have a machine which selects needles to the forward position, you may use a punchcard, mylar sheet or program to select needles for indicating cable placements. On the single bed, the selected needles act as the signal to actually create the cable crosses. Working double bed, the needle selection on the row before the cables are crossed may serve to remind you to put extra needles in work on the ribber, thus providing extra yarn for the crossings. Previous posts on topic
Keeping crossings all in the same direction and having ladders to mark vertical placements makes the process far easier. The stitches on either side of the cable may be knit, dropped every X# of rows and latched up to create a purl ridge on either side of the cable, at times there is enough slack in the ladder created to achieve the same. End needle selection needs to be cancelled (KCII) in any pattern with needles out of work. In simple patterns using selection to keep track, ladders are not needed to stay in a clear vertical.
An alternative repeat for combining 2X2 cables and 2 twisted stitches is illustrated below. The repeat is suitable for punchcard use, must be drawn in multiples to meet machine requirements (at least 36 rows in length). Spacing between twists and crossings may be far more varied in machines that use mylars or programs
for a 22 stitch repeat or vertical panel, with ladders added
If using the ribber, stitches marked for “ladders” may actually be transferred to the ribber to create the purl ridges on either side of the cables and twists.
I live in the northeast US, and the past few weeks have been taken up by a whole lot of time moving snow and not knitting or even thinking about knitting. A raveler however, recently asked about pile knitting which got me contemplating knit fabrics again. I thought I would start a thread here on some of the techniques and possibilities involved, editing and adding further information as I can.
Pile knitting may be done on any machine. The quality of the fabric varies, depending on the method and yarns used. Loops are often created every other row, and “normally do not pull out”. They may be made either on the main bed, or on the ribber. Some of the techniques result in a much looser fabric than others. In those instances, using a ground yarn that will felt, and slightly felting the finished knit will make the fabric much more stable. If it is to be used in garments, by default, it is best to make those pieces larger than required, and to plan to use them in cut and sew use.
Beginning with the machine manuals and suggestions:
Two weights of yarn are used: a lightweight yarn for the pile, and a fine yarn for the background. The usual set up is for every needle rib, half pitch . The finer yarn is threaded into the auxiliary feeder.
Studio machines use the P Carriage with the P pressor attached to drop the loops. If using a punchcard or mylar, the punched holes create the design, the unpunched holed knit the ground. Singer P carriage information (from SRP60N ribber manual) singer_PCarriage
Toyota had a small accessory offered for knitting pile using the ribber and the simulknit setting. Both yarns knit on the main bed, the ribber only catches loops in the “S” yarn. Manual available for Toyota pile knitter
Kathleen Kinder was credited with first using FI designs for pile knitting, resulting in loops being created every row rather than every other. In the method, loops are still required to be dropped after every row. Cards with bold areas of each color are most suitable. Since the fabric has a tendency to spread horizontally, doubling the length may become necessary if the goal is to retain more of the motif shape.
A natural follow up is to use double jacquard cards and color separations to achieve multiple color pile. A color changer is a must when using multiple colors. Loops will be formed every row here as well, may be dropped every row, or just before each time the color is changed.
Pre selection of needles in Brother poses an interesting problem: patterning needs to be retained, dropping stitches disrupts it, and there is no accessory such as the P Carriage to make the process quicker. One option for altering the P carriage for use on Brother was offered here http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-99816-1.html
Fair isle, like any slip stitch fabric is “shorter and skinnier” than any produced using the same yarn colors in plain knitting, single bed. Cables also narrow the fabric considerably. Begin with tension set at least 1-2 numbers looser than usual, and make tension swatches large enough to include all cable variations. After the cable crossings, be sure to return the needles to correct pattern selection before knitting the next row. Do not pull the whole group out to holding (E), as the whole group will then knit the color in the B feeder, and you will have a striped “mistake” on the next row knit. Leaving any needles OOW in the knit will select the needle on each side of the ladder to come forward, knitting the color in the B feeder. This may not work for you in terms of how the motif is affected by the vertical line created. If ladders are required, the vertical line in the B color may be eliminated by canceling end needle selection (KC II), or by dropping those stitches before you cable (which will give you a bit extra yarn for those crossed stitches). Ladders may be also latched up is you like, but watch where those floats are going in the fabric.
Making your own cards: try to control the length of the floats. Pre punched cards with lots of punched holes can produce areas to be cabled by selectively masking areas with tape (both sides of cards). Conversely, you may punch diamonds, squares, etc. in the center of other shapes that would normally have floats too long for FI, to produce a B feeder color area for cabling.
Like color, most often, needs to land on like color, so stitches need to move further than they would in a one color knit. Reversible ribbed cables share the principle of like needing to land on like (knit on knit, purl on purl). Starting out with a single row punched card, mylar, or program repeat, with the card locked, provides a quick test for tension, keeping track of patterns, etc. There are many, so at least initially, cabling on a constant number of rows apart, may help avoid errors.
beginning to visualize the crosses
another of my “quick reference – some to try” handouts