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.  😉

Racking on EON rib: some considerations


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