Ruching 2: more working with stitch groups

Going straight up: color blocks in the chart below illustrate needle groups that get picked up and transferred onto the next colored row on the machine, not specific references to needle tape or any other markings. When repeating the operation in the same needle locations, having NOOW, thus creating ladders, makes it easier to keep track of groups. The yellow lines represent needles taken completely OOW at the start of knitting.  Any of these fabrics may be made in a single color, or varied color sequences. Sometimes changing the color in swatches, and using sharply contrasting ones in tests helps one understand the structure of the resulting fabric a bit more easily

an illustration of what part of the stitches to pick up

the result, knit side

its purl side

playing with spacings and rows, no ladders, knit side

purl side

playing with ladder spacing

its reverse

and using the FI setting in addition

its reverse

Some tips on ruched FI knitting: fabric will shrink considerably in length, so most motifs will need to be elongated to accommodate that. Having a pattern that may be tracked easily by watching the floats on its reverse is helpful as may working in bands where the colors swap spaces (changing yarn feeder positons). Because the fabric bubbles, knitting rows in only one color at intervals may track hook up row, while not visibly disrupting the pattern on its knit side. If small groups of stitches are to be picked up and rehung, markers with segments of nylon thread or yarn may be placed on the corresponding needles and be temporarily knit in. In addition the needle tape or needle bed may be marked with water soluble pen to indicate locations for rehanging. Depending on the pattern, number of stitches involved, and personal preference in terms of floats, needle selection in brother machines may have to be restored “by hand” to keep the design uninterrupted.

A few more: playing with striping and segment sizes

its reverse

in this red squares indicate row of additional ruching in center of solid striping

its reverse

going all one color in the middle

its reverse

all on one edge

its reverse

hooking up smaller numbers of stitches

its reverse

going part way, gathering one side, using thick and thin yarns

its reverse

as design bands

its reverse

going mini

its reverse

online samples by Kevin Quale

http://www.kevinquale.com/index.php?/knitting/swatches/

Ruching 1: fern “pretender”

Ruched or manual pull up effects can be created by rehanging stitches at regular intervals in a straight, diagonal, or random arrangement on plain knitting or patterned fabric. The pattern below could be considered a “fern pretender”, but is considerably quicker to knit. Again, for any textured fabric a yarn with “memory” is recommended for texture retention over time or after pressing, washing, etc.

Depending on how far over whether in this fabric, cables, etc, or how many stitches are moved on the needle bed, adjustments may have to be made either in tension or in the number of stitches moved. Adding striping and changing its sequences or combining different yarn weights may vary the look of the fabric considerably, and because it is a hand technique, motif repeats may be varied in size, scale, or location of hooked up stitches. The working charts represent the side facing one on the machine, so by default, all stitches are purl. Dark grey represents needles out of work, which will create ladders in the final fabric. All other squares are knit stitches. Green illustrates location of needles where the top purl bar of the stitch will be in turn picked up (in this case with a 2 prong tool), and where the tool will rehang those same stitches to create the desired texture. Red lines outline the repeats.

smaller repeat

the larger

The swatches are pictured below as they came off the machine, no pressing or steaming. The smaller repeat curls considerably, the larger lies much flatter. The longer ladder “floats” bear watching when rehanging the marked stitches to insure free gate pegs and stitches knitting off properly. I prefer to knit nearly all fabrics without any additional weight, using my fingers to pull down on what needs it as I move across the knit. The larger swatch required a tension change of + 2, in addition to the longer span of knit rows.

knit side

the purl side, with notable curling on the smaller repeat sample

In any fabrics requiring needles OOW, unless waste yarn and weights are a necessity, one may simply do a crochet cast on across the required number of needles, then drop off cast on stitches where NOOW are needed, pushing them back to A. In binding off using the latch tool chain bind off, treat empty needles as though they had stitches on them, and top and bottom edges will match in width.

Working with larger stitch groups and color changes:

The pattern stitch is in groups of 5;  knit 9, 10, or 11 rows (depending on yarn and tension). Beginning on the left hand side pick up 5 stitches from the first row, and hang them on the next group of 5 needles to their right on last row knit. Skip the next 5 stitches, pick up the next 5 with a transfer tool, and hang then on the next group of 5 needles to their right, repeating across the row. After the whole row is hooked up, repeat process, reversing the direction of hooking up. Starting side may be based on personal preference, consistency throughout is helpful. This pattern may be worked on an inset, resulting in ruffling on either side, or on a fixed edge as well, with ruffling on one side.

The groups of 5 colored squares indicate each set of stitches and needle placement, the arrows the direction and order in which the stitches are moved.

the swatch, knit side

purl side

same technique, used as a band rather than all over pattern

its reverse

“wisteria” cousin2 aka “fern leaf”, hand tech.

In seminar days this was referred to as  a”fern leaf” pattern. Holding groups in these sequences gives a bit more swing to the side of the finished piece. The difference between these fabrics and the ones that look like this swatch

is that when the row of held sequences is completed from one side to the other, at least 2 rows are knit across all stitches before reversing the holding direction and moving toward the starting side to complete the repeat.

In addition, there is often a tension change between the groups that pulls the fabric inward and enhances the texture. In my sample the held segments were knit at tension 6, the tight rows at tension 3. The pattern is a multiple of 8 stitches +2. To knit: cast on the required number of stitches, the first four rows are tight, so waste yarn and ravel cord followed by cast on and tight rows is recommended. At T3 knit 4 rows, COR. Set the machine to hold stitches. T6: bring all but the first 8 needles closest to carriage into hold. Knit 12 rows. COR: on the side opposite to the carriage but closest to the needles in working position, bring a group of 4 more needles into work. Knit one row. COL: on side opposite the carriage bring 4 needles into hold. You will now again be working on a group of 8 needles. *Knit 11 rows. COR: on side opposite carriage bring 4 needles into work, knit one row. COL: on side opposite carriage bring 4 needles back into hold.* Repeat *to* until the last set of 8 stitches are in work on the left hand side, knit 12 rows, ending COL. T3 knit 4 rows. Reverse process, moving in opposite direction, beginning with knitting 12 rows on the first group of 8 stitches on the left.

the fabric swatch

If the goal is to retain the texture, a yarn with “memory” ie wool is recommended; if a yarn such as acrylic, which has the capacity of being “killed” when pressed (sometimes the desired effect) is used,  the result may be seen below

same swatch, after some light steam pressing

lacing up a sample with knit icord

I had previously shared other images of this type of fabric, they may be found  in my previous post, described as “horizontal cables”http://alessandrina.com/?p=2838. The sequences there illustrate use of other results from varying the number of stitches and rows in each held group, as well as the biasing that results when all rows of groups move in a single direction.

Holding/short rows: hand tech to chart to automating with slip stitch 1

These directions apply to Brother Machines; designs could be used as they are and programmed into Passaps, other brands would require some adjustments. In these samples the holes resulting from holding for 2 row sequences are considered part of the design. Vertical strips in different colors could be knit and later joined. The final result is a “zig zag” pattern. Written directions may read: to begin, cast on and knit 2 rows. **COR: set machine for holding. Place in hold all except the first 2 needles on the right (carriage side). Knit 2 rows. Return to work  the next group of 2 needles on the left to work, knit 2 rows. Repeat until only 2 needles on the far left are in hold, return them to work, knit one row (color 1 in chart below). COL: pull  first 2 needles at far right to hold, knit 2 rows, repeat until last 2 are left in hold, knit 2 rows (color 2). COL: bring next 2 needles into work, knit 2 rows, continue until the last 2 stitches are returned to work on the right, knit one row (color 3). COR: pull first 2 needles on left into hold, knit 2 rows; repeat until last 4 stitches at right are put back into work, knit 2 rows**, and repeat from **. Knit 2 rows at end of desired number of repeats, bind off.

the sorting out hand tech sequences to achieve shapes sample

When producing my charts for using slip stitch to automate holding I like to draw what I would actually be knitting for each row, each stitch and row being a filled square, so the colored areas below represent knit stitches/rows on each row, the blank squares the stitches in holding. I test the repeat as a hand technique first, before in my case marking the mylar, then essentially fill in the knit stitches with color, keeping in mind the location of the knit carriage and the direction of the knitting. The colored squares are then programmed as punched holes, black squares or pixels, and the pattern may be knit using slip stitch <—>. Needle selection needs to be cancelled, otherwise the yarn will be knit on the side of non selected needles on that last stitch, creating a long float. The selection row needs to be toward the first 2 knit rows sequence. Here they are knit beginning on the right for 2 rows, so selection row is made from left to right.  Odd rows move, knitting, from right to left, even rows from left to right. At this point I prefer mac numbers for charting.

the final repeat, working chart

the mylar

the swatch

the  above repeat could be considered composed of 2 pairs of stacked, mirrored triangles, here is an instance of playing single “triangles”

the mylar

and accompanying swatch

“wisteria” cousin revisited (“holding” using slip stitch)

My previous post on the related topic.

I revisited the above fabrics in another experiment recently. This first sample was produced as a hand technique after casting on with 2 needles in work, 2 out of work. In the bottom half there were variations from 8 down to 4 rows of knitting before additional groups were introduced, beginning on right side of machine, with the first group on right taken out of work after bringing the second on left into work and one row knit on both groups, so sequences are always on single groups of 2 except for the one row where the new pair is brought into work and knit. When proceeding in this manner the single long float will appear between the lines of knit stitches. The top of the swatch was knit in a manner similar to the method  described for the second swatch series in the above post. The yarn is an acrylic, barely steamed.

Automating these fabrics is limited if only a punchcard or mylar were available. In the repeat below if all “holes at edges” were wanted to match the size of those in the remainder of the row, the single 4 stitch segment areas would need to be redrawn, double their present length. Though the width of the fabric may be limited in terms of a garment or shawl, an inset is possible, or if turned sideways, the fabric may serve as a trim. Having an interface that allows programming the width of the needle bed and “infinite” length, gives one much greater leeway also in terms of segment widths. Here I am basing the repeat on groups of 4. The grey markings are ghosts from a previous test repeat.

The resulting fabric was 32 stitches wide, centered on the machine;  in the bottom segment all needles (in my case 16L to 16R) are in work, KCII (cancel end needle selection) row is from left to right, with knitting beginning from right to left, with machine in turn set to slip <—>. Adding NOOW creates 2 more variants. In the middle the the fourth stitch on the left of each group is transferred to its right, its corresponding needle taken out of work, so knitting will be on groups of 3 stitches, with a single needle ladder between them; in the top the third needle on left of each remaining group of stitches is transferred to its right, now having groups of 2 empty needles between each pair of stitches, creating a wider ladder.This swatch was lightly pressed, flattening it considerably: a consideration when choosing yarn type.

Simply doubling the length and width  of the repeat on the mylar, which in theory should give a larger repeat, does not work for these fabrics: the transition row as each new group is brought into work needs to be a single row event or floats will be created on the second pass of the carriage, so this in one instance of draw exactly what you want to knit unless you wish to manage the floats created by changing those needle selections manually when needed if doubling motif length.

From Stoll Trend Collection Europe Spring/Summer 2012 a sample fabric utilizing the floats between repeat segments as a design feature

a how to video on above fabric

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBrW5wddgbg