Ribber trims/edgings 1

An example of a common ruffle/ frill is produced with variations using both beds: cast on for every needle rib, knit X rows at full fisherman rib, followed by X rows at half fisherman, and then possibly by plain rib for X rows, EON rib or even following with transfer to single bed for X rows, bind off. The yarn used in this swatch is a wool-rayonExaggerated frilled starts: no cast on needed, working on every other needle patterning on both beds.  A few rows will produce a curly edge, more rows a ruffle proportionate in depth to the number of rows.  

Passap KM: AX/AX or AX/KX 4-10 rows, continue in plain rib N/N
AX/KX 4-10 rows, knit 1 row N/N, transfer to 1X1rib, continue to knit in plain rib
racking cast on
BX/KX 6-10 rows, continue in plain rib
Pushers in upper work position (UWP) will make the needle knit while those in the lower nonworking position (NWP) will respond to lock patterning settings. E6000 either program front bed for the pattern (1000), or bring every other pusher completely out of work to avoid having them return to work position after the first pass. The motif repeat for 8 stitches/rows usable on any machine

Working it on Brother becomes a bit fiddly. Whether working on a punchcard or electronic KM, it is possible to introduce patterning on either or both beds as seen below.  I preferred the look obtained with the racked cast on at the start. Setting up the Brother machine: program the repeat, half pitch for every needle rib, air knit to place the pattern on the bed so that the first needle on the left (or right if you prefer) is preselected forward and will produce a knit stitch on the first row knit.  The yarn used is a 2/24 acrylic Both beds are set to knit, lili buttons will be in use. On the ribber bed, the second needle from each side will knit, so starting on the left side on the ribber the first needle to the right of the first needle in work on the main bed is brought into work. It will need to be the second needle in work when the carriage moves from left to right in pattern knittingnow another needle on the ribber is brought in to work on the far left, it will tuck with lili selection when moving from left to right remember the ribber rule with lili buttons: an even number of needles must be in work, this shows the start and end of selection on the ribber on alternate needle tape markings, as required It is sufficient to continue with no circular rows after the first zigzag one. The start will be “loopy”, but will improve when the bottom row is stretched vigorously. In this Brother version, the first row of the pattern needs to be selected toward the carriage and yarn after the first pass by the paired carriages. Beginning COR, a row is knit to the left side. The knit carriage is removed from the bed and brought back to the right. COR: a “free pass” can be made with the machine set to tuck in both directions as well as to slip. Using tuck avoids errors in recalling to switch cam button functions.  Using KCI (or II) the carriage with no yarn makes the free pass preselection row to the left, where the carriages are coupled again. I used KCI for my swatch. Before continuing to knit make certain lili buttons are engaged, that both carriages are set to tuck in both directions, and continue in pattern for X rows. Switch both carriages to N/N and continue in every needle rib (or knit 1 row N/N, transfer and continue in EON rib or single bed). If stitches are transferred for EON rib or stocking stitch knit on a single bed, the yarn tension will need to be adjusted.
To review: lili buttons on ribber, checking needle selections on both beds. Cast on with no circular rows, zigzag only, option 1: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> loops will build upon every other needle for single rows, so the frill can be continued for any desired height
option 2: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> to desired # of rows, knit 1 row N/N, transfer for 1X1 rib
option 3: combination slip/tuck
With no circular rows after zigzag note the edge, and the amount of stretch

Using a racking cast on followed by same carriage settings as above
COR zigzag row right to left
COL rack 1 to left (increase 1 number on racking lever), KCI (pattern pre-select), program row 1 of pattern, knit one row to the right
COR rack to right (decreasing number) set both beds to tuck, knit X rows (I chose 10).  After completing the desired number of rows continue in every needle rib or knit one row with carriages set to N/N, transfer for every other needle rib, and continue on EON rib.Both pieces compared for width and rippling

I was plagued with random dropped stitches after my transfer to EON rib, one seen above left.
I finally sorted out that I had been using a ribber arm from an older model punchcard machine. When I replaced it with the later model arm shown at the top in the photo below, etched by the factory with #2 (outlined in magenta), I no longer had any problem.

The latch opening plate use and installation

Here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 mark. The change in height is noticeable, brings the unit closer to needles when on the machine during knitting

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down

From the Brother Ribber Techniques book: frills and more:pp113-115An intro to scallops: p.120

A previous post on checking ribber alignment 

 

 

 

Casting on, double bed

The Brother KR850 manual, pp 19-29 has clearly illustrated how-tos for this process. Old manuals often have a translation from other languages that may be from amusing to confusing or even incomprehensible. Method 2 below illustrates the “broken toe” cast on. The term partial knitting has nothing to do with its more familiar application to holding techniques.
The tubular cast on is probably the most commonly used and published one. It tends to have an uneven edge, but steps can be taken to compensate for this. In every case, on the first row, the yarn travels from a needle on one bed to a needle on the other. Remove the single bed sinker plate. Push the ribber up to work position, connect both carriages with the connecting arm. Make a couple of passes with the coupled carriages to ensure needles are aligned properly. To drop the yarn between the beds prior to threading it into the carriage threading it through a double-eyed bodkin will make it easier for it to be dropped between the beds. It is commonly advised that the cast on zigzag row be done on the tightest tension possible. That also varies depending on the yarn, whether the cast on is to be decorative, or if the loops that are commonly considered undesirable are in turn to be chained through to match a latch tool bind off at the top of the piece. It is often recommended that for circular cast ons 3 circular rows be used. That produces one side of the rib with small “floats” with an appearance that differs from the reverse side. Arrows in this illustration point to that third row
Only two circular rows do the job and avert that problem. Conversely, 4 tubular rows may give extra firmness and strength when using very thin yarns. For the final row set both carriages to close the zigzag, increase stitch size to rib setting and knit one row. At that point, stitches can be rearranged on the needles if needed.
For a tighter cast on row sometimes a thin elastic is threaded with the main yarn and used for only the first zigzag row. Do not hang ribber weights until the cast on is completed.
Other variations: set up knitting on a single bed only with waste yarn and ravel cord and cast on comb and weights, ending with a row of ravel cord. Using both beds, begin with garment yarn, follow instructions for tubular cast on. When knitting is complete tug waste yarn lengthwise to set stitches before removing the ravel cord.
On the double bed, after the zigzag row, lay a piece of ravel cord right on top of the zigzags, dropping the ends between the beds and anchoring the ends with a clothespin or other small clip. It will be enclosed in the knit as you continue to work. Upon completion of the piece, pull lengthwise on both ends of the cord to set stitches before removing it.

Cast on using e wrap single bed: knit several rows in waste yarn, either in EON rib or single bed. If single bed knitting is used, poke the ribber cast on comb through the waste knit or use it to cast on a single bed, making it the future home for weights. If a rib start is used, the stitches then would need to be transferred to the main bed. A row is then knit in ravel cord. Proceed with a single bed e wrap cast on, dropping the ribber if needed. When the e wrap is completed, bring the ribber bed back up if it had been lowered. Knit a row to the opposite side. Transfer stitches in your desired arrangement. Thread the yarn, proceed in rib.
Since my trial swatch was quite narrow, I opted to skip the waste yarn or rib cast on and transfer to top bed prior to e wrapping; the yarn used is a 2/8 woolbefore the next pass make certain there are no needles in work on the ribber, they will pick unwanted loops,  also, give a tug at the yarn on the carriage  side as you begin to knit the next row in order to avoid loops as seen on the right below. Knit to opposite side.Transfer stitches in the desired needle set up. With waste yarn, ravel cord and weights prior to its start this cast on may be used for wider flat ribs ie 2X2, 3X3, etc. Here the comb is in place,  ready for 1X1 ribthe resultsIt is also possible to e wrap on empty needles set up for rib on both beds. The first pair of diagrams show movement from left toward the right. Loops are wound alternating clockwise or counterclockwise directions as seen below, being careful not to make the loops too tight.working from the right to the left sideThe e wraps may be made with variations of movements that are counterclockwise or clockwise. Depending on the variations there can then be two distinct sides, requiring a choice to be made as to whether the purl or knit sides of the final fabric will be facing out. With a clockwise wrap a row of purl loops (red arrow in swatches)) will show at the bottom of the “wrong”, purl side. To reverse them, wrap all stitches counterclockwise.

Here all needles are wrapped clockwise, a slip knot on that first needle on left would steady the yarn, needles are brought to holding position on both beds for easier knitting on the next row row is knit carefully to the opposite side
the comb is then hung. Make certain its teeth are placed properly across the row holding stitches down. Here they are not on the right, resulting in the issue marked with black arrows at the bottom of the corresponding swatchtension adjustments may be required. Knit slowly and check that stitches are properly knitting off.  Bringing needles to hold on both beds for a few rows prior to knitting them may help prevent random dropped stitches.

This is the set up alternating clockwise and counterclockwise wraps on both needle beds.  This cast on has a good deal of stretch, looks  the  same on both sides, its test swatch is shown on the right. 
If working in fine yarns, 2 tubular rows may be needed after the wrapped cast on.

Another hand out from eons ago follows below. The broken toe cast on is often used whenever both the knit carriage and the ribber are used to create the fabric but stitches are dropped off one bed or the other, such as in drop stitch lace. The placement for the comb if the ribber stitches are to be dropped is illustrated below. Red and yellow show the areas held down by the comb’s wire that will remain on the main bed when the ribber stitches are dropped. Below it, the wrong placement of the comb for this purpose is shown. The reverse would be true if the main bed stitches were going to be the ones to be droppedCasting on the double bed previous blog posts
racked cast on tips  included racked cast for every needle rib, and samples knit on Passap,  for 2X1 and 2X2 commercial ribs
Picot cast on for every needle rib 
transitions from EON (every other needle) to FNR (full needle rib)
ribber e wrap cast on   video by Roberta Rose Kelly

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

Studio tips and techniques #13

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

The start of playing with needle/pusher arrangements, with both beds knitting in pattern. Instructions will follow in a future post on ribbed trims.

Shadow pleats knitting

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

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


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

Tuck stitch/ combination fabrics


Work in progress

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

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

Casting on, binding off single bed

There are many ways of casting on and binding off both single and double bed.  Ultimately, if it is important to have the top and bottom of the piece match as closely as possible in finishing, the only way to achieve that is to start with waste knitting and a long enough yarn end (wrap around all needles at least 4 times to be “sure” not to run out). After binding off, rehang the bottom and finish on the top bed, or treat the first row of the knit above the waste knitting with the same method as the cast off at its top. Brother publications are now easily available online. The images below include some of the material that was included in my handouts as black and white copies. I am now also adding scans from both the Brother Manuals and the respective books for Techniques on both the single bed and double bed.  The advice on methods differ slightly depending on the source, and at times one explanation makes more sense when offered in one way rather than another. Some of the techniques are illustrated below more than once, offering different ways of exploring.
Any cast on or bind off can begin on either the right or the left side. If the yarn is to be used to manually knit off stitches, then one must begin on the side where the yarn end resides. If long stitches are chained through each other, then the yarn end needs to be opposite to the starting side, so that it can be used to seal the last bound off stitch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Using the sew off method to join open stitches to a finished  edge

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

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

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

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