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

WORK IN PROGRESS 

My last post, written prior to this update, revisiting-gimp-in-knit-design

I lean toward experimentation as a way of learning and finding what steps work for me. These notes are not intended as full tutorials, they simply share some of my explorations. There now are excellent videos online, the amount of information can be overwhelming and tends to work with many more colors and significantly higher resolution images that those usually suitable for knitting, where images are often binary and small scale. I add to these work in progress notes as I have time, so the information in them will evolve over time with editing and at times rethinking the process used.

October 2019
A new manual and program update for Mac OS are available (2.10.14 in 2020). The program launches in an all in one dark window with grey tool icons. As I become aware of any other changes I will attempt to share them. My use of the program is limited to working with imagery for knits and for my blog, my progress doing so up to now can be viewed via a category search. A lengthy tutorial on using 2.1 in Windows computers for beginners by Michael Davies posted a year ago but new to me may be found on youtube.
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 a very different appearance upon launching the program version 2.10, in single window displayIt is possible to switch to a lighter theme color by going to system preferences/ resourcesI actually found I have been working long enough in the dark theme to prefer it and restored it.  These notes were taken when I first downloaded the program: images being processed appeared 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 superimpose 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.

There is now an integrated search function, click on / on your keyboard, and the search window appears

2 sample entries:

Document history can also be found on the right,a right mouse click on any of the thumbnails will show possible document actions

Experimenting with more changes to defaults: adjusted image size to start with. The default width and height is full HD resolution. Setting @300 PPI is best for printing, can be brought down for simple pixel work. The problem with doing that is that if a high-resolution image is then loaded into gimp, the result is not workable. I take photos of my swatches in high res, scale them in GIMP prior to publishing them on my blog, the greyscale result at the bottom represents one such load for processing. 

Color settings may also be changed. Since Ayab and imag2track do better with 8-bit integer color processing the new test defaults for me are shown below, which will mean only indexed images will have a colormap. Gamma changes automatically with bit adjustments,  ie. 32-bit color floating point will adjust to linear light gamma,  is the highest resolution possible.
A word of caution: after choosing the 8-bit option and not liking the quality of my imported images, I tried restoring the original 32 bit floating one without success even after saving, quitting the program and restarting it several times. I then chose to reinstall the program and to continue working in the default settings for now. The download turned out to be for version 2.10.14, this is the new default appearance after launch on my computer

A new way to navigate menu options: a right mouse click in the workspace, once an image is loaded, will now make menu choices available within it

I use both Ayab and img2track, depending on the desired fabric outcome. There are active FB groups discussing the use of Gimp and both download programs as well as activity on Ravelry, where questions on tips and techniques become threads and have the great benefit of contributions by both Adrienne Hunter and Tanya Cunningham. Knowledge shared by both has rescued me out of many sticky or problem spots in my own knitting.

In reference to Ayab, in one such thread on multiple colors per row knits, it was mentioned that color separations for 3 or more colors are done in shades of grey, and in terms of technical details “You need a pattern image which is 8-bit greyscale, each color is coded in a range of the 8bit values. So for 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color a; 64-127 color b; 128-195 color c; 196-255 color d. It seems to be OK to give the image some color, so long as the gray component of the colors divides up as given.”
As a matter of personal preference, I like to work with color in my repeats. The specific placement of each of the 3 (or more colors) can be planned in the color changer so that the yarn matches the corresponding color in the chart. That led to thinking about color numbers, shades of grey, and saving palettes.
Binary images have only 2 possible intensity values, normally displayed as black and white with values of either 1 or 255 for white, and often 0 for black. Thresholding a greyscale or colored image can be used to separate the image from the ground, the color object is often considered white, the rest (black) is the ground. That convention may have led to the selection of white as color one in automatic separations such as the KRC Japanese one, where white is selected first. A greyscale or color image a pixel can take on any value between 0 and 255. Searching for numbers to match greyscale shades:
Of note, the assigned numerical values are different depending on the source.   The indexing options remain unchanged. These are results from reducing the number of colors used in each of the above. The results could be saved as .pngs, each of those opened and the dropper tool used to select colors and use them in turn in new canvases where the motif is being designed. What about saving the color information as easy access palettes? Doing so in this release is fairly intuitive.The palette options include Generate optimum palette for the best possible palette with a default maximum number of 256 colors (classic GIF format). You can reduce this Maximum Number of Colors, although this may create unwanted effects (color banding) on smooth transitions. You may be able to lessen the unwanted effects by using dithering, in image processing, however, in most knitting patterns the color may be limited to 4 or under when working in multiple colors per row. Use custom palette: this button lets you select a custom palette from a list. The number of colors is indicated for each palette.
Useful information on the indexed palette and  palette editor.
When attempting to create and export new palettes in order to make them available in the future, an error message may be received. A folder needs to be activated for the saves to occur. 
Both options below the writable folder heading should be checked, the red dot will then turn to green. To make the necessary change: folders may be found in system preferences at the bottom of the default listClick on the + to the left of the icon to expand the view of the available choices

To import a new palette, select windows/dockable items/ palettes in the top menu or select the option after right mouse click in the work area To obtain a 6 color palette in the grey range, I reduced a greyscale image to 6 indexed colors and then used the settings below for the import after right-clicking in the palette dialog and choosing import palette from the resulting menu.The opportunity is there for editing the palette, it is the first item in the palettes dialogue. To use the palette double click on your chosen one, a new palette editor dialogue opens upSelecting any one of the colors will automatically change the foreground color for working on the image ie choosing color 3 of the 6Switch the foreground and background-position and select an added color to make both of those 2 colors available while workingUsing this feature with palettes containing multiple colors makes far quicker work when designing in RGB. Set pencil to desired pixel size, click on the desired color in any sequence to choose it, and then click again to place it on the working canvasRight-click on any of the palette icons, for this dialogue menuWhile experimenting I reached a point at which my pencil refused to draw in anything but gradient shades without my having changed any settings. The problem went away when I “found” the fade length and set it to 0. So much that is new, that it’s hard to know what is operator error and what may be a “bug”Another tool dialogue option to explore for ease in coloring pixels in specific palette colors The Windows version of the software has had several small updates not available on the Mac yet. The latest was for 2.10.18 announced on 2-24-2020. As a result, searching for tutorials may provide instructions, views, and options not yet available to us, for example, transform dialogue in WindowsA sample in Mac, with the rotate dialogue which now appears as a separate window copied and pasted on the upper right of the image belowand another view from the image menu selection in the top dialogueSymmetry is now an option for drawing in repeat in a variety of ways, making mirroring, tiling, and more possible while creating the design. My experiments were on 40X40 files, magnified X800, with the grid in view. Some of the available choices: Some quick doodles using a single-pixel brush note the lags in some of the mirroring
Other than drawing freehand I have had no luck working predictably with larger designs, even if saved as brushes or patterns. One problem is that the pivot point is 2 pixels in each direction, not one, so repeats with single stitches/rows along their center axis would still need editing. In a previous attempt to explain mirroring in a forum post, I used Passap 1273 as my sample pattern. Copying and pasting the image on a larger canvas leaves one unable to change the direction of the newly pasted image alone, the whole potential repeat is affected by the command. The image in question here was 16 pixels wide by 16 high, the goal to mirror it to a 32 by 32 repeat.

There was no problem with transforming the original and pasting each in place, here it is also scaled twice as high and wide
tiling is compared for both the original repeat and the same scaled X2, with both the final tiled images 128 pixels in width and heightThe best I could achieve with symmetry was a relative with 3 out of 4 motifs placed mirrored in the desired direction, but also off-center and in need of editing  Freehand drawing the full repeat as given using symmetry is doable, but I found it a bit dizzying.  Copy and paste around the central axis is not a solution.  A compromise could be reached by freehand drawing for a different, final image which can be easy and immediate to produce. Some of the transitions: The mandala option reminds me of spirograph drawings, the number of points can easily be changed Tiling may be useful in brick or offset repeats, but my limited experiments did not produce anything worth saving or sharing.

Text:  any font installed in your computer can be made available by going to preferences once more, clicking on both options in the font folder, green light on= you are set to goI have no idea yet whether symbols can be laid out on a custom grid so as to create a whole chart using them, but can imagine that large versions of symbols, webdings and wingdings could potentially become pattern repeats. A very quick repeat from a webding 40 stitches wide

and a 24 stitch one