A complex published transfer lace to electronic repeat for download/ GIMP editing


Lace on the machine can render beautiful fabrics that closely resemble hand knitting, but programming very long repeats is a challenge both in placing every hole in the correct square in a punchcard, and in programming individual pixels on a mylar or as pixels for download correctly. I found the “leaf lace” repeat below shared frequently on Pinterest, and thought I would test the approach discussed in the post on using numbers and gimp to create images for electronic downloads . Because it is 16 stitches wide, it is not suitable for punchcard knitting, which requires a factor of (4, 6, 8, 12) and up to a 24 stitch maximum width.

The published pattern on the left is shown as shared on Pinterest. In turn in was captured, opened in Gimp, and magnified. After a threshold adjustment, it was converted to a BW indexed, scaled to its 16X96 original stitch and row count, and then saved in 100% magnification result for the possible electronic download.

On far left below is the first BW processed single repeat isolated from its source. To its right it has been adjusted so first row is a preselection row for the lace pattern, and the full repeat ends with blank rows (Brother KM characteristic). The latter in turn was saved as an image for download. Since the leaves change direction in the way they lean, spacing between each pattern swing in the repeat is actually 3 all blank rows, not the “standard” 2, including at the top. The bottom half begins with the first row resulting in transfers to the left, while after the the first 3 knit rows the  transfers will begin to the right.  The plan was for me to use Ayab for knitting a proof of concept swatch.  In order to achieve that, the full repeat is first flipped horizontally (ayab will auto mirror it,  so starting with it this way it will be in the correct orientation when knitting). The mirrored repeat may be used in unaltered  machines as is with LC operating from the right, KC operating from the left (not possible in ayab without adjustments). The full repeat consists of 16+14+18+16+14+18= 96 passes of the lace carriage, for each 12 rows knit. My sample was programmed horizontally for 3 full repeats, the width of my planned swatch. I added one additional needle in work on each side, with the LC end needle selection cancelled, allowing for full pattern as programmed with a single stitch all knit border on either side A tightly twisted cotton yarn did best in terms of handling the multiple transfers and not resulting in split stitches or breaking. I had occasional selection errors, seen in center panel at the top of each repeat (my common experience with the interface), but the repeat itself appears to be sound.Lace repeats that have even numbers of rows for both and LC transfer and knit ones are easy to follow. Punchcards are also easily annotated and if knitting is interrupted needle selection is easy to return to or restore if necessary. In electronics, there may not be a any memo to indicate row #  location for each carriage pass in pattern, or when to switch carriages. Because in this instance there are so many transfers (some of multiple stitches) between knit rows and dropped stitches are best corrected as noticed during knitting if possible, I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts to help keep track of actions. Each block outlined in red here represents one full repeat, read from their bottom up, with blue borders at the center and red at the end of each half sequence . A visual check at the end of each segment’s # of rows in the series is well worth it to prevent unnoticed runaway dropped stitches and large holes. A check in boxes next to # could indicate completion of transfers. and a number added manually in that same row for that sequence, record the row on which knitting was interrupted ie. stopping on row 8 out of 16 to fix dropped stitches would be a reminder 8 more LC passes are required before the next visual check. 

9/23/18 In now have been experimenting on a 930, where each pass of the LC is actually tracked, akin to following numbers on a punchcard.  Built in patterns also offer a memo window, which will alert the knitter as to when knit rows are due In testing the pattern with img2track I found the LC passes are still counted, but the memo window is absent upon download. I generated a chart in Mac Numbers, reads from the top down, expanding on the one above. It illustrates the number of LC passes (left column) required to produce any significant length of fabric.  Patterns such as these are not for the faint of heart, and require a friendly yarn. 2168 passes of the LC (33 full repeats, outlined in green; red line separates half repeats) are accompanied by 396 rows of “actual” knitting. In actual knitting, the pattern advances from row 1 to 96, and back to 1 again. A check off list can be much simpler if one is desired. The numbers on left appear in the LC window in a 930, when reached 2 rows are knit with the KC. The numbers at the top reflect completed repeats. Boxes can be checked moving to right as those rows are completed Another option is to download the pattern in img2track, and then enter memo information prior to knitting it. Two youtube videos that show how to enter memos in machine models that allow it, 930 included  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0tXNT76v10    and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR8MheT5Bao. The number 2 may be entered after numbers on left appear in the LC passes count window, and provide an easy guideline to follow. And this is what testing lace patterns can look like. In this instance a tighter stitch tension, a bit of change in weight, and visually checking after each row of transfers brought me some success. This is not a stitch pattern that lends itself to easy “repairs”. 

 

Pretend/ mock cables 3

WORK IN PROGRESS

A facebook group query brought up the possibility of creating cables in an “easier, quicker” way than by crossing stitches by hand. Over the years different authors have suggested a “sewn” method for pulling stocking stitch columns together in order to achieve the cabled effect. The illustrations are usually of the work done on a ribbed fabric, but it also may be achieved in simple stocking stitch, with ladders marking the edges of the mock cable, and providing a visual line to follow and count spaces when smocking the fabric up. The width of each column, the yarn fiber content, and personal preferences will determine the success” of the results.

I was reminded of “magic cables”, a technique made popular years ago in a copyrighted pattern series by Ricky Mundstock, ie this one from 1969 (illustrated online). The concept originated in a Japanese publication years before, relies on hooking up tuck loops to create the cable like effects.

I tend not to knit from published patterns, set out to understand what makes the fabric work in theory, and then sort out whether I have other preferences of my own for creating it. I began to experiment with a totally random tuck card. Tuck is chosen for the background  because it is short and fat, giving the taller all knit rows for the “cables” the possibility of an additional gather, adding to their depth. I chose a purely random repeat, which is a good way to start for DIY if hesitant on the process. White squares will not be selected, will tuck for 2 rows, have a knit stitch (black dot in card) on each side of them. Max on Brother, unless using very thing yarn would be white bars single square in width, 4 rows in height (yes, there can be exceptions on rare occasions)

The card is cropped to the 24 X 44 stitch in width and height for the repeat to be worked in electronics. The area colored blue on far right indicates possible all knit rows for hooking up “cables” during knitting, mustard color indicates ladders created by an out of work needle on each side of the central, all knit column. The ladders make it easier to identify each all knit column. The tape over holes idea does not work for masking a punchcard, since that blue area would need to be all punched holes. The tape over would result in “unpunched” ones.

This takes the revised card single repeat and indicates some quick possibilities for altering it

I added 2 more stitches to establish a slightly different pattern. The grab form my work in Numbers was then opened in gimp and scaled to 26X44 for the possible knitting pattern. If working with black and white squares, the image will need to be colored reverse for knitting. I abandoned this repeat for my final swatches in favor of keeping markers for hooking stitches up along the all knit column inside the ladders as opposed to the knit body of the remaining shapes. Here the non selected needles are placed along the knit column itself, on alternating sides. The final repeat after correcting a pixel error I discovered while knitting:Ayab does not repeat across the horizontal row, each stitch in the width you are planning to knit needs to be programmed. For a test swatch I decided to work with programmed 72 stitches (knit on fewer). This would be the downloadable file

 magnified and gridded to visually check again prior to knittingThis is what is seen by the knitter when the image is loaded, 

but any image loaded is automatically flipped/ mirrored horizontally by the software. Direction may not matter in the overall pattern, but here we have needles out of work, which if selected on the basis of what is seen as opposed to what is knit, would be in the wrong location. First preselection row is also only possible from left to right. The easiest way to empty the proper needles is to do a transfers after that row, to either side, restoring needle selection prior to continuing to knit. Also, since there are needles out of work, end needle selection is cancelled (KCII).

In my first swatch I tried the idea of hooking up stitches in opposite directions, but was not pleased with the result, wanted to reduce the amount of hand manipulation involved. In the later swatch I hooked up every other selection onto the same side. Arrows here indicate direction, not proper needle position. 

Alternating side hooking up with some yarn and needle change issues Hooking up to one side only was quicker to execute and appeared more pleasing to me. Both swatches had blips from an errant pixelSteps in knitting the above fabric. The actual knitting will happen with what is shown as the repeat with white pixels on the dark ground, seen looking at the center vertical all knit column of the repeat when knitting the fabric. Allow the non selected needle on the left side of the column to tuck, providing a marking row for picking up stitches, knit until the needle on the right side of the column is not selected. Prior to knitting across that row pick up the tucked loop and stitch on the left side 
Lift both loops up onto the non selected needle on the right side of the column, bring that needle all the way out to hold (three yarn loops in hook)

Continue knitting until the next non selected needle in the column appears once again on the right, pick up from below left marking spot and repeat. For DIY insert all knit columns on your chosen repeat, and proceed as above.

Visualizing possibilities: chart for side by side columns actions on purl side is shown. The black columns with arrows coupled with photos show the direction of the hook ups in the back, purl side of the fabric, and  potential “cables” as seen on knit side using the column repeat illustrated above. 



This is a garter stitch version found on Pinterest 

Ayab: short rows automated with slipstitch

I have recently been reviewing some of my ideas for using slip stitch to achieve fabrics normally created by hand pulling needles for short rows. The samples for most charts below are found in previous posts on topic. My hacked machine is presently being put to bed for a while as I work on some production pieces on KMs that allow me to produce predictable lengths of knit. I will not be providing proof of concept swatches for every chart.

A bit on defining short rows http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/18/holding-stitches-short-rows/

http://alessandrina.com/2014/02/20/wisteria-cousin-revisited-holding-using-slip-stitch/

The carriage movements are partially illustrated below, beginning with the first row pre selection from left to right (red line/ arrow), which happens to be the only option when using ayab. Ayab also mirrors automatically, so either mirroring the rendered repeat or using action mirror in software is required for the holding sequence to be correct. The lines indicate direction of carriage movement on each design row. Blocks need to be even numbers in height, and may be adjusted in width. The full swing of the fabric in each direction needs to be programmed.

http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/
here the holding sequence works toward the center Ayab will mirror it if drawn as is, which will place carriages in position for first preselection row to start from left, decreasing stitches in work 

For increasing stitches in work rather than decreasing them, this illustrates the direction in which the carriages need to be moving. In this instance the image needs to be mirrored to erase the software’s automatic doing so 

Single bed pleats http://alessandrina.com/2013/01/21/automating-pleating/. This repeat is planned for each square representing both a single stitch and single row. Since the width of the knit piece needs to be programmed when using Ayab, this approach may be used for anything from ruffles to sideways skirts. Additional information on designing is offered in previous post, used as is  

With a bit more planning and even using a garter bar, this is executable as well
http://alessandrina.com/2013/02/28/garter-bar-short-row-trim/
For a possible all knit surface variant the repeat on the left is drawn, due to auto mirror no mirroring is required to obtain the knit rows in the directions illustrated the right. Knit as is, the resulting eyelets including the larger one at the center can serve as “design features”. Motif on left, mirrored as it would be by Ayab on right. With narrow pieces of knit, pay extra attention to beeps and flashes. Clearing the end marks on the needle bed may also be necessary to keep needle selection accurate, watch for yarn loop formation on either side as the result of  having to travel that far from the end of the needles in work. “just for fun” http://alessandrina.com/2017/06/11/crochet-meets-machine-knitting-techniques-working-with-short-rows/

Category search 
http://alessandrina.com/category/machine-knitting/short-rowing

 

Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles

Work in progress

There are a number of ribber fabrics that are produced by altering the settings on the ribber’s carriage to slip for an even number of rows in both directions. This requires manually changing the ribber setting from slip to knit and back for the length of the piece. In electronic machines, where the pattern advances with every pass of the carriage, there is another option. For example, to produce DBJ with the backing in one color, settings would be changed manually every 2 rows, using color changer on the left 

Some things to remember: when 2 carriages are selecting, each carriage needs to move far enough at the end of the needle bed so as not to be locked onto the belt. Extension rails are required. On the Brother ribber bed there are stops that keep the combined carriages from going off the  beds. There is one on each side (magenta arrow on left, blue arrow on right), and to remove the ribber carriage off its bed, it in turn needs to be tilted forward prior to reaching the stops  in order to clear them on either side.

Altering the KC sinker plates and arm: remove 6 small screws from the sinker plates, leaving only their arm

The carriage with the altered sinker plate in place in turn will then be used to replace rows that were to be knit with the ribber set to slip in both directions <– –> . In my sample it operated from the right, with the combined carriages (KC2), from left. 

For consistency I am editing the original post and will continue to refer to the coupled carriages= KC2, the altered single bed one= KC1 KC is the abbreviation commonly used in publications for Knit Carriage. The change knob, which affects end needle selection,  is marked on the KC as for I (end needle selection, indicated by black arrow) and II (cancel end needle selection). Initials KR in publications are often used to refer to ribber carriage in setting discussions. My beginning swatches were knit using ayab software’s ribber setting, which matches the KRC (2 color double jacquard separation) function in the unaltered 910. With my first try I made no effort to consider which color gets chosen first in the color separation (ayab = black, 910 = white). There is a limit as to how far the single carriage from the right (KC1) can travel on the needle bed to the left, because the combined carriages on the left (KC2) are held in place by the pin.

It would be possible if needed to separate KC2 and push further out on the extension rail, but perhaps not practical, so there are some constraints on the fabric width able to be produced.

My first swatch has some manually created pintucks on the knit side (white only knitting extra rows, joined together by all knit rows with pink). The reverse, purl side, is knit by the ribber set to N/N, all in one color. The stitches held on the ribber while the white only knits on the top bed are visibly elongated (left swatch bottom). There is some color confusion on the knit side on the first couple of rows of DBJ, solved in the second swatch. My repeat for the planned width using Ayab: 

Knitting on 910 a single repeat may be programmed, start knitting with color intended for white squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. For more similarities and difference between the original and the altered 910 see ayab diary post.

To knit using Ayab: begin the knitting with the color intended to be used for areas marked in black squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. Preselect first row from left to right with ribber set to knit (N/N), it will remain set that way for the remainder of the process. When on right, set coupled carriages (KC2) to slip <– –>, knit one row to left, both carriages stay on left. Knit the next 2 rows for DBJ using KC1 with altered sinker plate operating from right, using color intended for areas marked with white squares. The main bed only will knit. Set change knob to end needle select (KC I) to insure first and last needles in use knit. Return the KC1 to the right, on the extension rail, and knit next  two rows with KC2 operating from left.  Repeat, changing carriages and consequently colors every 2 rows. 

Blisters or pintucks are created when one bed knits more rows than the other, whether as simple knitting or in pattern. Periodically the knitting is sealed by at least one row knitting across all stitches on both beds. In this version, sealing rows must occur in pairs to allow for color change. The first chart shows a tentative repeat, planning for black squares to create the blister shapes, drawn in 2 row blocks to allow for color changes every X even number of rowsThe image color inverted, so white areas will create the blisters in slip stitch (col 2) while black squares will knit (col 1)Most published patterns for these fabrics will also include an all knit rows to seal the shapes knit on the main bed only

By using 2 carriages to select needles, one (KC1) may be set to slip <— —>  in order to knit X number of rows on the top bed only, while the pairs of carriages (KC2) are set to normal knit on both beds, its cam button set to select needles, KCI. Selection will continue, but no patterning occurs as a result. A proof of concept swatch knit on only 24 stitches, the pink knits for 4 rows, the white for 2; the pink yarn is a cotton, the white an acrylic/wool blend:

An expanded pattern repeat, planned for a larger test swatch. Here there are 2 black squares added at each end of the repeat to insure that those stitches on the top bed are knit on all slip stitch rows. The new color is a wool, this time knit for 6 rows in slip stitch prior to sealing with 2 passes of the combined carriages with the contrasting color. 

Single bed slip stitch rows appear on the knit side in color 2, the reverse, purl side is in a single color (1), and formed by the all knit rows. Its stitches are in turn elongated, since they are held and not knit while the opposite bed knits for multiple rows. In the sample, the first and last stitch on each side were on the ribber, creating a single white slip stitch edging. One can adjust such details to suit. The first preselection row was made after cast on with both carriages (KC 2)set to knit, moving from left to right with color 1, where they stay. KC 1 with altered sinker plate was threaded with color 2, and begins from and returns to left hand side.

A detail shot of the edge: note the white, single, elongated stitch uppermost, and the pairs of contrast color ones in the “border” Designs with deliberate placement of white blocks representing each blister can be created. It is a good idea to test tolerance for each of the yarns involved as a hand tech or repeat such above before planning  significantly longer repeats. All black rows are required at intervals if the fabric is to be knit changing ribber settings for all knit rows. The same rows could be left blank if using carriages in the above manner, and lack of needle selection would be an indicator for switching to the double carriages for the 2 sealing rows, while not having to track the count for the slipped ones.

I am always interested in automating stitches to facilitate as many details as possible in creating fabrics that imitate hand techniques, without relying on row counts and a lot (in this instance) of “hooking” stitches up manually . The swatches below were part of a series of posts on  ruching as a hand technique 

The hand tech chart mirrored, as the springboard for my automated fabricBoth led to my exploring the possibility of  a cousin, working double bed, and using the 2 carriages. The process began with a proof of concept swatch. Two colors were used to highlight what the stitches knit with each of the 2 carriages are doing. Both KC1 and 2 were set to knit in both directions. I began with KC2 knitting the needle set up for the fabric in a dark color, on a small number of stitches 

KC2 operated from left, KC1 from right. With KC2 returned to left, KC1 knit 8 rows. It is best to work out the limit for how many rows will knit on the top bed without stitch problems prior to any automation of functions.  *Two rows were knit with KC2 in the dark color, 8 rows with KC1, ribber racked to proper position**,  * to** were repeated. The elongation of the stitches on the purl side results from the fact the ribber knits far fewer rows than the main bed, and in addition, the stitches on the row knit on its second pass in the pattern are pulled on across the bed at distances matching the racking positions. The plan is to automate the texture, knit it in one color, and find a way to track correct racking positions: cast on may be in any preferred method. With the pitch set to P it is easier to transfer stitches between beds to desired configuration. Every needle is in work on the top bed, for a multiple of 10+6 ribber needles with stitches that will be moved with racking 

placement of stitches on respective beds
change pitch after transfers, ribber moves slightly to right final configuration prior to patterning and racking sequence begins

Starting racking position is 5. Racking handle markings for Brother begin with 0 on left, 5 at center, 10 on right. The ribber is set to half pitch, since part of the needle bed will be knitting an every needle rib. An often overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to, is found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. The red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move. Since racking for my experiment will only be to 3 different positions, I began by choosing to use 5 pixels center, left, center, right for the full repeat sequence, but later amended the repeat to numbers of pixels equal to specific racking indicator number. The needles will be selected prior to the next row knit, a reminder of racking selection. Sequence will actually be 5, *0, 5, 10, 5,** 0, 5, etc. The racking indicator 

My first Ayab repeat was planned for use with 2 carriages: KC1 (single carriage) is set to knit but to not select end needles (KCII), and will be producing the multiple rows gathered to create the blisters/ hems. KC2 (coupled carriages) are also set to select needles, both KC (knit carriage, cam button also on KCII) and KR (ribber carriage) are set for normal knit. They will create the sealed stitches joining up the blisters/ hems. The same color yarn is threaded in both. Blank squares will knit because a carriage set to knit overrides needle selection or lack of it in stitches on needles in work position. My repeat is 46 stitches wide. Because the knitting is started with the ribber already in racking position 5, the first move in the pattern is turning the handle to the right, toward 0. The concept illustrated

set up and ready to go, racking position 5 

4/19/18 As is true in any knitting, things can go quirky. I began to have a single needle on the main bed not knitting on rows knit with the combined carriages, then ran into dropped stitches in racked groups. The problem was initially not with the software, but appeared to be a ribber issue, which after checking balancing was resolved.

4/22/18 And today’s problem is the software, with persistent, intermittent  selection errors. I did achieve a sample by manually pushing wrongly selected needles out to D by hand on problem rows, which tended to be 5 and 7 in all black areas. Some reminders and observations: ayab auto mirrors all images. If this repeat is entered (I added a single square as a marker for racking position 0), the software will actually be knitting this, the “image as it would appear on the knit side of the fabric”. What to program? anticipating the above getting mirrored by the software I entered this resulting in this

That said, remember that turning the racking handle to the left is toward increasing numbers on the indicator, to the right is toward decreasing numbers. For me that is counterintuitive. Mirroring the image again, and working with the repeat below can help with tracking racking movement even more. With the single dot on right, turn handle toward it, to the right, and the movement will be towards 0. With movement of marking row to left, turn racking handle to left, toward 5, and so on. 

Next on the drawing board: a fabric using the same technique, but that I might like more. This image was portion of a greyscale pin of a pattern book from a Russian pinI tested a concept for recreating it as a hand technique, trying to sort out how many rows I could knit before racking and the racking sequence. The best result was with a single sealing row, which in turn required changing the ribber slip setting for one row only,

so it’s back to the drawing board. I think any automation is best done using the ribber to do the all knit rows, the main bed to needle select racking positions. Results will be added to post on combining KC patterning with racking

The present set up with 2 carriages may be used for solid color backed quilting . Using the altered KC1 operating from the right with no yarn in feeder should work to drop stitches in drop stitch lace where the repeat is altered to allow for the knit carriage with no yarn to do the stitch ditching while selecting needles as well. A related color separation and swatch may be found  in the last segment of the post: revisiting-drop-release-stitch-lace/

 

Revisiting knitting with 2 carriages single bed, 910 vs Ayab so far

Work in progress

The question has often been asked as to why knit with 2 carriages. For me, it  became a personal favorite for knitting fabrics requiring color changes every even number of rows. I tend to push the limit with materials, and found the Brother single bed color changer to be quirky. When using 2 KCs there is no pushing the wrong button for the proper color in the sequence, or accidental choosing of an empty slot and dropping the knitting. Some of the loops at color changer side edge or yarn getting caught in wheels or hooks is also eliminated. Each carriage can be set for a completely different function from the other with no manual cam button changes ie single color knitting vs FI, its own tension depending on desired effect or fiber (ie striped shadow pleats), etc. Floats along the vertical edges of the knit as a result of the striping happen on both sides rather than all on the color changer side. The principles apply when using the lace carriage and combining it with tuck, slip or FI settings in the KC. If one is following a published punchcard pattern for such fabrics, frequently there are guidelines as to when to change colors, but no explanation as to why the cards are punched the way they are, so understanding what happens enables one to interpret directions for electronics. When going from published 2 carriage punchcard machine repeats to electronic, the repeat needs to be adjusted to compensate for the change to row by row selection. In punchcard machines the needle selection does not advance when you switch to operating the carriages from the opposite sides, so the pattern for those rows knits twice.

Many of the stitch world books seemed more concerned with larger repeats than with some of the more labor intensive, specialty fabrics. The punchcard books, now downloadable for free are worth having and studying no matter what your machine. They do need to be brand specific. Studio and Toyota ones may be used, but adjustments may have to be made in terms of starting rows, or even flipping the card over vertically.  Download links for punchcard patterns, with symbols used and pattern samples can be found in my previous post

I have added an new category to my side bar to make this topic search easier: Patterning with 2 knit carriages .  Included are color separations for some fabrics suitable for this method of knitting.

I am presently knitting my samples on an altered 910, using an EMS kit purchased last December. I have had selection problems related to my hardware, but some of the 2 carriage operation or lack thereof has been evaluated and duplicated by others. My successful experiments with 2 single bed carriages selecting so far:

Lace and slip stitch: both carriages selecting in their usual positions 
<http://alessandrina.com/2018/03/05/lace-edgings-on-brother-machines/>
Start with 2 knit rows in programmed pattern 
with KC on left, preselect to right, set to slip <— —>, knit first 2 all knit rows, ending with KC on right, proceed with selection with LC on left
Will not work if the pattern is adjusted so KC knits the first 2 rows and parks on left, with attempted use of LC from right. LC will not select. 
Operating LC with KC plain knitting (no pattern selection) may be done with LC selecting from either side, with repeat adjustment <http://alessandrina.com/2018/03/05/lace-edgings-on-brother-machines/>

Lace and weaving: 
<http://alessandrina.com/2018/01/02/lace-punchcards-meet-ayab/>
both carriages selecting in their usual positions 

Lace and tuck stitch: the fabric worked out for use with mylar sheet

Ayab actions for carriages, use LC on left, KC / tuck <– –> on right
a charted ayab repeat for my swatch 

I came across this image on a pinboard, and imagining the possibility of knitting it led me back to a previous post illustrating a similar stitch structure, knit on an unaltered 910. The pin:


working out the first repeat in the blogpost

The swatch (sideways view) shows the repeat as illustrated in the upper segment of the above chart, and then lengthened X 2, with color changes every 4 rows (the length X2 is not presently an available action in Ayab)

In the past, when I tried to knit with 2 KCs, one on the left an one on the right, both selecting needles, I was unsuccessful, but in light of the above experiments I decided to test the idea with the RKC (the one that would operate from the right) selecting and then knitting the first 2 rows of color, in turn resting on right side. I then operated the second KC from the left, alternating carriages every 2 rows. Knitting at a slower speed and moving each carriage perilously far out on the extension rails did the trick.

To use the repeat in Ayab, in order to keep the proper color sequence, the last design row is shifted down to row 1 position. There is an error in the repeat, marked by arrows I did not notice until I had completed the swatch. The repeat may be used as is, and color reversed via action inverse in Ayab, or color reversed prior to loading the image, which I chose to do personally. 

This is grabbed from the ayab screen: the knitting is actually mirrored automatically by the software, so what is shown onscreen is what appears on the knit side of the finished piece. Something to keep in mind in situations where placement and direction might have some importance. 

Things to notice in swatch : as already mentioned, there is an error in the repeat in terms of my intention. Placement for the slip stitch blocks could certainly be planned for an asymmetrical effect, varied in size, and more.  Slip stitch is significantly narrower than stocking stitch. That would need to be allowed for were the stitch to be used in a garment or gauge dependent knit. 

Examining the purl side of the knit, which is facing as one machine knits: the intentionally dropped stitches at the start  on both sides are there because I had cast on extra stitches that were outside the parameters of the programmed repeat width. The left side edge, next to LKC (left knit carriage) is visibly shorter than the right. The two yarns used were of different thicknesses but knit at the same tension. The LKC would have merited from a looser tension, and an edge weight on the very last stitch on that side would help with adjusting the length the white edge “floats” from one color change to the other as stripes are created . Handling of side floats in striped knitting is dependent on the row height of such stripes.  
There are a great number of interesting ribber fabrics that can only be knit by manually changing the ribber settings to slip in both directions, so that the main bed only knits for X # of rows, with the ribber carriage periodically set to knit again. If the function happens for an even number of rows at a time and in both directions, the sinker plate for the KC may be altered for use with the ribber in the up position, to knit the main bed stitches only. Its change knob should be set to KC I to insure that the first and last stitch are knit. I knit this sample using the altered KC selecting from the right, the KC engaged with the ribber sinker plate selecting from the left. I will address the altering process and steps involved in the knitting in a separate post. 

 

A Brother 910/ Ayab diary/ EMS kit

This is a work in progress post. I have now edited and included its previous version so the most recent observations appear first, the oldest last.

9/8/18 I have received a replacement unit from EMS. I got this far testing a large scale pattern, no fault of the program at my stopping point. I did not notice until I got across the last pattern row that I had actually knit with both strands of yarn. Rather than try to fix the issue, I decided to scrap off. This gave me a chance to test new yarns. I had never used chenille in DBJ on Passap, it sheds too much, resulting in error messages. I like to have my scarves at least 60 inches in length, and this combo looks as though it would reach that length when completed. I also did a bit more editing of the repeat as shown here. We shall see if the equipment and I both last to a whole 1200 rows or so in one sitting anytime soon 😉

6/25/18  the kit apparently has now gone from out of stock to officially no longer in production 

5/28/18 replacement kit never received, it’s back to mylars for me to actually try to get any significant knitting done 

4/27/18 I have been able to develop some fabrics using two knit carriages selecting needles from opposite sides, though the lace carriage will not select from the right if the knit carriage is also selecting from the left. The posts include altering a knit carriage to use as the second one to select needles as an alternative to changing ribber settings between normal and pattern knitting, and an addition to post on combining KC patterning with racking

I had been told my kit would be replaced due to persistent patterning error issues. Sales are presently on hold while hardware is reviewed, and work is being done on a new version of software, so any changes in status are to be determined.

3/ 31/ 18 At present there is no English text manual for using the software, or a quick start guide. I am sharing some of the differences and similarities in actions I have noted between the unaltered 910 and those of the hack, beginning with settings, and including a few tidbits gleaned from support as I encountered patterning problems. They may be of interest to those making the transition after previous knitting experience and familiarity with the machine, or to anyone curious about the program and some of its features and differences.

Yellow text in this first image from a publication on the 910 indicates matching functions I have identified so far in ayab software.

the full illustration from the 910 manualactions on the unaltered 910

When the pattern selector is down, the pattern is centered on green #1 (right of  0). This means if the pattern is an even number, say 24 stitches, then the pattern’s limits are green 12 and yellow 12. If the pattern is an odd number of stitches the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13, the center being green #1. With an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side.

AYAB

I purchased my hardware kit (now temporarily off market) from developer : to purchase , wiki , interface , install . Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook, and GitHub .

At present there is no cover readily available for the machine once the unit is installed, so the left side of the main bed remains exposed.

Though beeps heard upon preparing to preselect the first row from left to right are described as a triple beep, I hear them as a triple set of multiple beeps with pauses between. Not taking the time to “hear” them all will result in patterning errors from the get go. Be sure to hear the beep and see the flashing of the unit before reversing carriage direction. Clear the left turn mark at least periodically while knitting. If you have experience with any production knitting on the unaltered machine you may feel the knitting speed is slowed when using the software and cable for downloading each row as opposed to that with which the mylar scanner accomplished the same task.

Ayab can be set for infinite repeat in length, the function was automatic on the mylar unless one made the choice to stop at any point. A single repeat on the mylar was enough to program across the width of the needle bed, with ayab the full width of the pattern must be programmed, so designs need to be tiled accordingly.

Installation of software can be achingly slow on Mac desktop (I am using High Sierra OS). SiLabsUSBDriver  is also required. Security settings need to be checked / changed even if no warning is given by the computer leading one to assume there have been no issues with download or the install. The driver will reside in the library/ extensions.

The hardware install is fairly straightforward.

The USB connection needs to be made prior to launching the software for the port to be recognized. If port questions come up, click the “Refresh” button on the AYAB screen. When things are working correctly, you should be able to see a port name from the pop-up menu. The plug-in power supply supplies power only to the needle selection.

The popping noise or clunk is heard usually but not always, when you cancel AYAB and restart and is produced by the solenoids. I have been reassured it “does no harm” by support.

The launcher box remains open throughout knitting.

To start knitting:
1. Load your pattern in the width of the planned repeat
2. Set all the AYAB settings at default (2-color, start at row 1, single, center). Check infinite repeat if you want to knit more than one vertical repeat
3. Knit carriage is on the left, outside the turn mark
4. In the AYAB software, Configure/Knit
5. Wait until the software says “Please Init carriage” at bottom of screen
6. Bring the carriage across the left turn mark and stop before crossing any needles, wait for the triple set of beeps.
8. Continue across the first row and stop, wait for flash and beep, then proceed with movements to and from each side, again waiting for flash and beep that indicate each row download is complete.

If knitting a repeat in single height, currently (0.9 sw and 0.9 fw) when you are one row ahead of the last selection the row numbers disappear as “Image Transmission is finished. Please knit until you hear the double-beep sound”. The marker on the image jumps down to the beginning. You knit across and it does the selection for the last row and gives the long-beep sound. Knit one more row to actually knit that selection. When all needles are selected to B, you cancel your settings and you’re done. 

In some instances clearing both turn marks seems to help avoid errors and insure consistent patterning. Beware of moving the carriage back and forth for any reason, ie to fix a yarn loop, dropped stitch, etc. The movements in my experience have been counted as rows, resulting in patterning errors as would happen when using a punchcard machine. If working on a desktop as opposed to a nearby laptop you may be missing any visual cues for row advancement  provided by the ayab screen.

The image displayed on screen may be magnified and reduced to fixed amounts, but at present there are no programmable cues as might have been used on mylar ie. for color changes, lace vs knit carriage actions, etc.

When exploring the menus, creating an easy to view repeat helps to sort out available actions

The single setting is used for all single bed fabrics. The row numbering starts from 1 not 0, and focuses consistently on the row whose pattern is being selected, not the row being knitted; design row start line placement

start needle design stitch position on needle bed 

single design alignment test: left, center, right of the same repeat on an alternate start stop needle configuration 

As mentioned, with an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side. It also automatically mirrors all patterns, so lettering  and images appear on the knit side as drawn. The mirroring however,  is a problem with lace. If working from an established pattern, the lace repeat must be mirrored again either before loading the pattern or prior to knitting it or lace transfers will be made in the wrong direction. It is possible to operate the LC from the right side using Ayab, but if  knit carriage is also set to selecting needles ie. if set to slip stitch, and is used in combination with the lace carriage, the LC will not select when operated from the right, and the pattern will not advance properly (documented by others as well).

I used to constantly use 2 knit carriages in a lot of my accessories. At this point that function is not possible due to patterning errors or loss of patterning when the second carriage operates from the right.

The first preselection row in Ayab is made from left to right. For any pattern that requires a start from right to left, ie one with color changes every 2 rows, there are 2 options. One is to place the design row start line at the very top row of the repeat. That row will be selected left to right, the first design row will then be preselected right to left, and the 2 color rotations using the color changer on the left can proceed accurately.  The other option is to shift the last row in the programmed repeat down to row 1 position prior to downloading the pattern, and saving that as the working repeat.  I prefer the latter, since it eliminates having to recall the change in start line. An example of the shift is seen as applied to the automatically shaped lace trim

The ribber setting: a reminder, later color changers were also capable of being used on the bulky machine

Brother DBJ KRC setting including on the 910: white is the background (color 1), punched holes, black squares or pixels are considered contrast (color 2)

This is the KRC color separation described for DIY use on a punchcard machine: 

some of the possible backings (vertical striper requires extra steps)

Previous related posts: http://alessandrina.com/2015/04/18/a-simple-shape-an-exercise-in-dbj-brother-km/ and http://alessandrina.com/2017/10/26/dbj-and-color-separations-some-previous-posts-links/

AYAB color sequence is reversed from the Brother convention of white pixels being color #1, and black pixels being color #2. It chooses black as color #1, white as color #2. The first pass to the right is set up with the “black” yarn. Actual position in the color changer can vary depending on how the yarn is threaded in the mast. The first pass to the right preselects for the first row of black squares, which will be knit on the first pass from right to left. In one option, the ribber needs to knit the yarn in order to get the carriages threaded with yarn to the other side, the KC makes a free pass, with nothing knit. This is achieved by having the main bed set to slip <– –>, and the ribber to selection to be used in the remaining DBJ fabric. After knitting across and waiting for beep, knit back to color changer, the beep happens again as you reach the opposite side. Press the button to change yarn to “white” and continue in pattern, changing colors every 2 rows. Depending on your choice of start to the piece, another option may be to have the ribber set to slip as well on the first preselection row from left to right, thread the “black” with the carriages on the right, using it to knit that first design row, moving toward its empty slot in the yarn changer, where you will then pick up the “white”. Check cam settings on both carriages before moving back toward right. Thinking of the pattern in terms of black and white and matching the sequence as described frees one from the factory KRC convention.

KC I or II may be used, needle arrangements can vary depending on the look one prefers on the edges. It is helpful to have some previous experience with ribber use and understanding of how stitches are formed. Patterning resulting from choices on end needle selection on either bed may be considered a boon or a distraction, at times even create a smaller, secondary pattern (arrows)

The circular setting: was intended for tubular fair isle, some of my experiments to produce other fabrics may be found in earlier posts. The ravelry group discussion on topic including using the setting in knitting socks, with an extensive tutorial by Adrienne Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/ayab/3346844/26-50#38

3/15/18 After more testing I have come to the conclusion that end needle selection cancellation on my 910 LC is working properly, but is not operative when I am working with the my Ayab interface.

3/5/18 While working on a post on shaped lace edgings on Brother machines  I encountered 2 new issues. One appeared to be I was unable to restore end needle selection on my LC while sorting out the repeats. The other was that if 2 carriages are in use, the lace carriage will not select needles if operated from the right, while if is the only carriage selecting needles, it will work from either side. This is a property that is not isolated only to my set up.

2/28/18 I have continued to intermittently knit swatches on my hacked 910. The software continues to be a boon in terms of avoiding the mylar and producing test fabrics quickly. At one point it was suggested I flash the Arduinogo to the Tools menu, Load AYAB firmware. Choose 910, Uno, 0.9. It takes a few seconds to reload the firmware (the part of the program that’s in the actual Arduino.  The changes from 0.8 to 0.9 were minimal, but it’s best to make sure you are using the latest.  EMSL preflashes them in testing so it’s not normally necessary for the user to do it.” Mine had not been. Doing so has not changed any of the behaviors that make me reluctant to even attempt to knit anything other than short fabric tests.  The trick now has become to keep enough patience and distance to be able to not assume that any patterning issues or fabric inconsistency are due to the software and not my own inattention or faulty notes. A recent observation: if an odd number of needles are being used the rule is that the larger number will be on the left.

1/21/17 I have been reworking some of my previous posts to accommodate for the fact that Ayab preselects the first knit row only moving from left to right. After being contacted by a design school student in Europe with respect to creating specific designs in 2 color drop stitch using ayab, there is now a dedicated post on topic. Nothing has changed in terms of my having reliable and consistent patterning for any significant knit lengths using Ayab. In addition, the knit carriage movements in the 910 when using the software now behave like the Brother punchcard knit carriages. Any change in movement in the opposite direction or jiggling of the KC for any reason, can make the design advance pattern rows. This was never true for the unaltered 910 machines, which were wonderfully reliable if the knitting was interrupted, if carriage were moved outside the knit edges for any reason, did not need to clear end marks for any reason other than on the first row of knit, were able to preselect first row from either side, making patterns that required use of the color changer usable without design first row adjustments, and the list goes on. The Facebook group is an active one, and worth joining for anyone seeking more observations, advice, and inspiration.

1/7/18 Over the week end it appears my software has now begun pre selecting  first with errors, and now correctly on that first pass from left to right, so I will now be reviewing any instructions I have posted this past month in case settings need to be changed for anyone trying to execute the same fabrics, beginning with  lace.

1/4/18 My Ayab software set up rows work this way: the first pass from left to right only gets the carriage to the right, selecting only first and last needle if change knob is set to KC I. The second pass from right to left preselects the first row of pattern. The third pass (from left to right), knits the first row of pattern, selects the second, and so on; subsequent selection is correct, no rows of the design are skipped. It has been pointed out to me that this may be a unique feature to mine, or one unreported by others. “First preselection row should occur on that first pass from left to right”. My posts on using the software are based on the first pattern row knitting from left to right, not right to left as would happen if the very first pass from left to right preselected for the first row of knit. At this point in time it is also not possible for the first preselection row to occur moving from right to left. This in turn needs adjustments if patterning needs to occur in 2 row sequences from the left ie. in knitting mosaics and mazes unless preselection happens from right to left,  a result of my version’s “quirk”. Since I also knit on an E6000 the first 2 rows feature to complete preselection for the first row of pattern is a familiar one, and from the beginning I assumed it was an intentional feature in the Ayab software as well. It actually solves the problem if the first selection row needs to happen toward the color changer. Fixed starting sides can be problematic depending on the type of fabric being knit.  Lots of options to explore.

12/28/17: tuck lace meets hand technique 

12/25/17 my first try at lace: the LC is the one to select for transfers, the KC knits to complete the formation of stitches. Brother punchcards for lace usually begin with selection rows, end with 2 blank rows at their top. Using Ayab the repeats need to repeat across the width of the piece. One nice added feature is that when doing so, blank rows may be planned and left at both sides, creating a knit stitch border and eliminating the problem of paying attention as to whether end needles are selected or not, or what other measures to take. This fabric creates large eyelets, there will be 2 empty needles side by side for the duration. Some of the old pattern books referred to it as one of the “mock crochet” ones.

the resulting fabric, knit and purl sides

one more to try: a large diagonal eyelet lace combining lace and tuck 

1/22/18 swatches with preselection from left, similar results for shapes that are shaped with single row increments in height. Double height, the fabric creates tiny pintucks, not blisters as can begin to be seen at top of swatch; KC slip <—, ribber slip —>;

shapes as seen in test swatchverifying presence of pockets 

For a full post on quilting in one or 2 colors please see later post 

12/23/17 The “quilted” fabric produced below is different than the one achieved by specifically designed color separations, the fabric has an interesting blister like effect, the knit areas have more horizontal texture. Because of limitations due to the eventual needle selection errors I am experiencing with the software, my swatches are limited in length or have interrupted patterns. My new repeat two of the “pockets” have beads dropped into them to highlight their location 

12/22/17: settings given below are for first preselection row from right to left, not for left to right,  testing out the waters with the circular settings, using the repeat. Please check later posts for reviewed content 

I tried to go for “quilting, but think that may require switching levers on the ribber, so to start with, this was knit in an every needle rib, with ribber set to knit <—->, main bed set to slip —>, producing a fabric with very subtle pintucks, which may be more interesting in 2 colors