Parts and accessories “hacks” / adaptations

WORK IN PROGRESS

There were back rail and carriage/ parts modifications from year to year. Any of these carriage swaps may not work across model years, and should be tested with caution. I happened to have magnetic ” rectangular pin backs” from some of my previous projects, was able to remove the magnets fairly easily and to obtain consistent results using them

Using punchcard knit carriage on an electronic knitting machine 
The magnet on the back of the electronic carriage is what trips the reader in the 910. With the 892 and 910 carriages side by side, I marked the approximate spot I wished the magnet to be. It is presently in place with cellophane tape for my tests. I believe it to be a “rare earth magnet”, 12 mm in diameter, part of a jewelry piece from days gone by, with a deep attraction to all KM metal parts.

the first location was too high, pattern did not read properlyplace40what turned out to be a much better spot 

Punchcard lace carriage on electronic, adapted from video; it took a bit of fiddling with getting the magnet positioned properly. A resulting test swatch knit on my 930 using a built in pattern on the right 

Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles 

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. 

I have random parts, some never used. When trying to familiarize myself with a 930 I came across the ID for one such part I had never used. It turns out it was intended for older ribber connecting arms on newer model beds 

the connecting arm 

one clearly marked with a number 2, one not immediately below it 

Brother Plating feeder and how to use it

cast on will fail if the yarn is placed in the rear plating yarn feeder onlyas opposed to in the main yarn (front0feeder

There now is a 3d printed “device” for the Passaphttps://vimeo.com/101599762. It as well as the earlier mercer plating device http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-396061-1.html require gluing or drilling to affix parts to locks, are not easily available. At one point in time I tested a far “simpler” version of a yarn feeder for a second, thinner yarn aiming for a plated effect, using a thin plastic tubing taped securely on a passap yarn feeder. The goal is to keep the tubing clear of any needles as the locks move across the knitting beds.  Samples were knit on Brother machine (left) and on Passap (right): on Brother needles were set up 2 in work, 2 out of work. On the ribber an even number of needles were in work, with lili buttons in use, and the ribber carriage was set to tuck in both directions while the main bed remained set to knit throughout. Passap had the 2 in work 2 out of on work needle arrangement on the front bed set to N, with pushers one up, one down, both arrow keys in AX (tuck setting) on the back bed, fabric is not “blocked” in any way. 

Reversible DBJ, Brother knitting machines

I am including notes on my working through the process and some of my stumbles at the start of this post. More specific how tos  are found toward the bottom of it.

Such fabrics may be created with both the KRC built in function, or with the color separations that knit each color for each design row for 2 consecutive, identical rows. Punchcard knitters are not excluded. The starting side is on the left for the KRC setting (B in this illustration), on the right side for the alternate color separation (C, double length or drawn with each row repeating X 2). I am still testing my 930, for my samples I began by using the built in pattern #16 in the Stitchworld Pattern Book I.In the absence of a jac40 the fabrics are knit by manually selecting stitches to upper working position (E on Brother) on the ribber bed every row. Preselection for the next row to be knit on the main bed makes the process far easier. 

In my first sample, the colors are the same on each face. Since the same number of needles are selected for both design and ground, both sides of the fabric will be exactly alike. There will be floats, enclosed by knit stitches of the opposite color. Beds are set at half pitch. Consistency makes any process easier and more predictable. My ribber set up was also with an extra needle on the ribber at either end of those in work on the main bed. I found I had less issue with the long floats in my design when I made certain the needle selection began with needles to the left of those in work on the opposite bed rather than to the right, allowing for the color in use to knit first on the ribber, then in turn on the main bed. It may not matter with patterns with shorter spans worked between the 2 colors. The dropped stitch issues below were resolved by using different yarns, no other changes. 
The needle set up in colored squares and on my needle beds showing matching selections on both beds (different design rows). Some of the floats may be seen created by the blue yarn in the bottom photo. If first and last needle on each side were not selected on the main bed, the needles at each end on the ribber were added to hand selections for next row (blue squares)


better results with the different yarn choice

For DBJ that reverses ground and pattern colors, opposite needles are selected on each bed. Color 1 knits the design on one bed and the background on the other at the same time, while color 2 knits the reverse. There are no floats. I knit this fabric as well at half pitch. The ground color created pockets (white squares), with the pattern color (black squares) locking the layers of fabric together. Here again, first and last needles on the ribber were worked on each row. I began pushing needles up on the ribber beginning to the right of each needle in work on the main bed. Needle selection on ribber matches unselected needles on main bed (pink). All needle positions each bed are mirrored. 

needles actually selected on both beds (pink), different design row One design row, 2 different angles

Since ribber fabrics are not visible for a large number of rows, I frequently scrap off after short distances to proof technique before committing to longer pieces as well as to asses whether the effort is worth it in order to produce the fabric in that particular technique or yarn.

Moving on to a self drawn pattern, the technique proved to be sound. On inspection however, I saw I was actually missing a pixel in the .bmp I downloaded, and on the reverse the green arrow is most likely operator error in needle selection. The orange dots highlight the missing pixel/contrast color stitch, and on the color changer side I had a really sloppy edge that needs sorting out (red dots).  A possible added factor: I knit the motif using KCI, and later recalled end needle selection does not always work with the carriage I am using. Here I filled in the missing pixel, and drew a single pixel black line along each side, testing a “border”. The first and last needles on each side were now cast on and in work on the main bed. 

That single stitch solid color line does not add to the design in my opinion, so back to the drawing board: side “border” pixels are eliminated. The first and last stitch are now in work on the ribber. This fabric is the best by far, at the very start I forgot to cancel end needle selection (KCI), then switched to canceling it, KCII on electronic. The how to in summary: first and last needle are on the ribber. On the electronic choose KRC for the built in color separation for the fabric to be worked in DBJ. KCII (no end needle selection). With free pass to right, both carriages set to slip <– –>,  select for first row of knitting to be worked in color represented by white squares in the design chart. Both carriages remain set to slip in both directions throughout. On the ribber bed, bring up to E/hold position first needle on the right of any needle selected on the top bed, then continue to push needles up into work to match the number of not selected needles on the knit bed.  As needles are arranged, there will be a space between the last hand selected needle on the ribber, and the next needle in work on the main bed Now that there is that extra needle in work on the ribber on the color changer side, to match selection as seen above, needles are hand selected to E beginning on the far left, still keeping that space just before the next needle selected by the pattern reader. Remaining selections began to right of needles on main bed as described above.when selection begins on the main bed on the left Getting back to working the same pattern on both sides of the knit: first needle on the left is on the ribber, the one on the far right on the main bed. On the electronic select KRC for the fabric to be worked in DBJ. KCII. With free pass to right, both carriages set to slip <– –>,  select for first row of knitting to be worked in color represented by white squares in the design chart. Both carriages remain set to slip in both directions throughout. On the ribber bed, bring up to E/hold position first needle on the left of any needle selected on the top bed, then continue to push needles up into work to match the number of selected needles on the knit bed.  Small selection errors are seen on left image, ie on the second row on its right, may be easily repaired by duplicate stitching. The stitching yarn may be fed easily through layers of double knit for short distances before and after the “mistake”. With all settings and yarn being equal, there is a difference in size between this fabric (larger of the 2) and the one with color reverse on its other side 

A similar set up, working in full pitch. Here needles line up directly below each other. If wrong needle is selected it will be point to point with the needle immediately above it, and is an added clue the wrong needle is being pushed up into hold/ E position. My first swatch had distinctly different side / vertical edges. Cast on was for every needle, half pitch (top image), first needle on left on main bed, last needle on right on ribber. When completed, it was  followed by change to full pitch prior to pattern knitting, lining up needles point to point, directly below each other (bottom image).  I prefer the edge obtained on the half pitch throughout, seen in previous  sample 

Still pondering those edges, and what about repeats with large areas of solid color? The image on the left is 25X26 rows in height, the one on the right adjusted for an even number of solid color rows, and a total row repeat divisible by 4, 25X28. The single black line at the top is a marker for returning the carriage to all knit when the top of the repeat is reached. When using full pitch, solid areas remained open at both edges with carriage set to KCII. A wooden tool handle is actually inserted through from one side to the other in the bottom of the swatch. Because the needles are point to point, no extra needles could be brought to work on both ends as a work around. KCI will select end needles on main bed. I tried that as the first work around to seal the edges. I paid no attention to whether needles were selected at each end every row, and got another creative pair of edges. 

Returning to half pitch I brought up to work the first needle on the left every row (too many rows at seen at R top edge compared to other side) and pushed the last needle on right up to work if it was not part of the group to be brought up to E. Analyzing the fabric structure in those areas of solid colors on alternating beds: at first full pitch makes sense if one has knit tubular stripes or solids which have closed edges, with the yarn making a single pass on each bed, traveling back to the color changer, with the option to stripe every X, even number of rows. Such stripes occur evenly spaced and identical on both fabric sides. Here the goal is to knit the fabric with large blocks of solid, alternate colors on each side. The main bed knits color 1 on selected needles on the top bed only, the alternate color is knit with the ribber needles being hand selected up to E while the main bed is slipping, with none of its needles selected. Other than that first set up row with preselection from the left, 2 rows are knit in color A, followed by 2 rows in color B. There are no stitches traveling between the beds to seal the fabric together in those areas, creating open sides, so if the goal is to have the edges seal. other steps need to be taken. A single pixel solid line along either edge of the repeat did not create a good edge. Full pitch is easier than half pitch to manage. One possible solution to both issues is to alter the side edges of the design repeat so there will be alternating needle selection along those side edges, thus sealing the fabric. 

I decided to cast on with white, and to continue with white as the first color used in pattern (white squares in chart). This swatch was knit in full pitch. Edges are sealed throughout. The only hitch was when the top was reached and that all black squares row was reached. I was on the right at that point, with my dark color in the feeder. The row toward the left would have knit in the dark color instead of the white on the top bed.  I cut the dark yarn, made a free pass to the left, continued in plain knit in white to right, and then transferred stitches and bound off. Top and bottom edges /borders in terms of number of rows, whether to add pattern there as well, are all subject to personal preferences and taste.

For an off topic reversible double bed fabric using thread lace setting, see post 

Garter bars and how to use them

I previously wrote on a ruffled trim using the garter bar and holding. While recently searching online I found some hints/ publication links I thought I would share. The “manual” that came with the 4.5 mm set was written in Japanese when I purchased mine, includes patterns for vertical weaving/ “embroidery. The supposed English counterpart does not have the pictorial stitch information, but provides basic technique clear instructions.
Using garter bar on the bulky  
Studio tips and techniques 

If needles and gate pegs are not bent, with a bit of practice, in most instances and unless working on very wide pieces of knit I have found using the needle stopper unnecessary.

The Brother publication on topic:

 

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”. 

 

Numbers to GIMP to create images for electronic download

WORK IN PROGRESS

I am a member of a few facebook groups, recently joined the img2track one out of curiosity and wanting to explore the possibilities of an interface other than an Ayab/910 from kit, which  has proven to be of limited use to me. I have been charting original patterns and color separations for years, first in Excel and occasionally and now exclusively using Mac Numbers.  Up to last December, entering designs for knitting on my 910 was limited to filling in squares carefully one at a time or small blocks and lines on mylar sheets in order to knit the repeats designed in charts in either program. Working with small, individual repeats and filling cells one at a time or in limited groups in GIMP to create duplicate pattern downloads was an easy transition out of sheer habit.  A FB group member, Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram  (shared with her permission) that sparked a light bulb moment. I began to explore using the method in her share on files available in other printed materials and punchcard collections, wondering about those lace cards with so few holes that can go awry when building from scratch in order to download. Often I use Scanner pro (rather than a scanner) on my phone, save images in black and white, share them via photos, and open them up on my Mac for further editing. Full size scanner saves of 60X150 patterns may be found at bottom of post.

The first repeat was from 

I happen to own a hard copy. The book offers endless repeats that might be adapted for knitting FI. They are categorized by height and width, so even punchcard owners can find whole pages of workable repeats.  Another group member shared the link to the pub for online browsing https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofweav00poss 

I have written several previous posts on using GIMP,  including use of the tiling option to visualize how groups of repeats line up prior to any actual knitting. The enlarged, gridded image would be the final repeat, reduced in size, grid gone, ready for download in required image format. 
A chart from my blog got converted with a few keystrokes and commands. The image is converted to B/W, then scaled to stitch and row proportions

From self drawn mylar, with a subsequent one pixel correction

From colored repeats in Brother electronic collections: with some color adjustment after a first attempt that would have required some clean up of pixels, the conversion and scaling are easily achieved. The originals were designed on a rectangular grid, within blocks defined 6 wide by 10 tall

the repeat tiled, for an added visual check 

From a Brother electronic lace publication a simple BW bitmap conversion followed by scaling (60X120 repeat). The appearance of difference in width is due to the fact that the published image is on a rectangular grid, the bitmapped on a square one 

If the electronic published repeat appears to have the core of the cells outlined clearly in white something to try: reduce to indexed BW, use bucketful to remove as many gridlines as possible, scale to appropriate repeat (24X48), edit the result

A “straightforward” conversion for a repeat from a scanned punchcard with its darkest black line removed 

and one from a BW punchcard reference pub 

My last post on working with numbers to create knit charts includes info on creating tables, working with cells, keyboard commands, and more

 using the combined programs

Things also got more complicated again, when I tried to work with a lace repeat from an electronic pattern book. The straightforward method resulted in an unworkable image. Part of the problem may result from varied densities of lines in the original, its cells not being fully filled in (ie dots in squares or rectangles), and illustration with units in a rectangular rather than square format, so they do not scale properly in a ratio of 1 pixel per row and stitch.  After isolating the repeat, I for this repeat I entered it in numbers with the plan to superimpose a table grid over the repeat and fill in squares/cells where needed. Cell borders may be created in varied thicknesses and colors, and are easily changed or removed altogether. Having a red cell border to superimpose on image made the process significantly easier for me. In the middle section the red border is switches to a significantly lighter one, and lining up the repeat beside the images helps one visually check for any errors. In the bottom row the image is shown magnified after scaling, gridded in the magnified version again to check the repeat against the original. 

Another lace image with table cell margins adjusted, and a reminder that borders may be in any configuration or color that makes it visually easier for you to proceed with filling in cells that correspond to black squares in the original image 

The steps in progress, with the processed image ready to knit,  shown in magnified, gridded final GIMP scaled repeat on far right. With a bit of familiarity with both programs, this process is far faster  than any counting and filling in of pixels one at a time 

This lace card was not cautiously cropped at top and bottom edges, the final repeat when scaled is shown first, with obvious errors, but workable when done “the long way” from the same image or hand edited

Taking the time for a more careful crop for another card and easy peasy: crop, open in GIMP, convert to bitmapped BW image, scale to stitch and row count of original repeat (in this instance 24X56), verify gridded by GIMP in magnified image version, then save for download in reduced size

GIMP magnified and gridded final repeat above on left, one obtained working the “long way” between programs to its right

Conversions issues may happen also when there are large areas of black squares, or working with color adjustments or with the option to “photocopy” in GIMP in images that do not translate cleanly  

Working with repeats that do not convert easily using both programs: the greater the number of squares or dots, the slower the process, but ultimately faster than counting then and entering them one at a time. In Numbers, create a table that will be superimposed onto the desired repeat. I like to work in cells that are 24 X 24 points. Columns are marked in letters, so 24 is 2 letters short of the full # of letters in alphabet (X), and row counts are numbered top down on left and easily adjusted. Lace repeats would be the easiest to translate, as they are likely to have the lowest number of cells that will require to be filled in. The cell borders may be created in any color. To my eye the red grid made it easier for me to view its lines when superimposed on the black image. The BW center image was then dragged/dropped into the numbers sheet. Checking via the table format arrange option, the table was shown to be 553 X 1440. The image arrange option showed my black and white image to be adjusted visually by me using corner handles to 496 to 1440. On the far right, the BW image is in turn adjusted to match point values for the table. Check your typing, adjust accordingly. Here my width on right is actually 3 points off.  

Drag and position table onto BW image. Use image format arrange to move image to back of table (box to left below “Style”). Magnify screen to easier working view by adjusting the zoom. It may be helpful to alter some row heights or column widths to get a cleaner view and matching cells to be filled in to dots (center). Click on any row or column, adjust by in turn clicking on up or down arrows that correspond to their respective size. Using command click and color fill options, cell fill on top of the black dots. When done, or to check periodically, table may be slid off the image and back on if needed.

With the table completed, if any columns or rows have been altered in with or height, choose from menu to distribute rows and columns evenly, restoring all square units. 

Change border selection to light, thinner color, capture image and save as png.  Load image in GIMP, convert to BW bitmap, scale to 24 by 60, save in downloadable format. Results are magnified in GIMP final images on the right. Showing grid allows an added visual check if preferred, against the original repeat.

The final repeat tiled, as opposed to punchcard repeat tiled helped me see one missing square I found bothersome, an easy editthe culprit marked in red

The easiest conversion of all? a full page factory mylar sheet. Here is one for lace with a simple adjustment of sharpness and contrast, magnified, and with superimposed rectangular grid after converting to BW bitmap for saving 

to then discover that the blue grid disappears in a quick mode change to indexed in this factory mylar. The images on the far right are again the magnified scaled image, and shown with a superimposed rectangular grid to check match against the original crop 

Rethinking those dark cards: this is a partial repeat grabbed from Pinterest, the image was loaded into GIMP, color inverted, the threshold was adjusted while in RGB mode. The adjoining 2 images show the magnified, scaled, indexed image and its color reverse. When working in RGB mode choose color invert, and when working in indexed mode, choose value invert for color reversal of the image and its ground. Other image adjustments may require toggling between the 2 modes. The bottom pair of images indicate menu location for adjusting grid size and color, and the magnified, scaled image now with a GIMP single pixel grid is also shown
This method however, did not work for flower ? thread lace motif (partial repeat) or the FI repeat. That said in the days of glitched knits, perhaps executed in DBJ accidents such as this could make for interesting experiments or transitions. Here we have the original not planned result, followed by some flipping horizontally and vertically, then resized. There usually is no right or wrong, and it is important to find one’s own voice and the tools required to express it.

my favorite glitch textile artist: Phillip Stearns

Knit charting using Mac Numbers

from 2012, Numbers 3.2.2: printing graph paper to desired cell dimensions

I chose to change preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeters, inches and points). Online conversion between units of measurement and PostScript points may be calculated (if needed) using calculators ie.
http://www.unitconversion.org/unit_converter/typography.html

default cell size in cm and points

Click on table at top of your document screen, to right of function icon; select first choice on left, second row

a place to start

Uncheck alternating rows on sidebar at right

Click anywhere on screen, use command all to select all table cells. Choose row and column size, typing in your desired values or using arrows provided, hit return.

Click anywhere on table to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag the Add or remove rows and columns button symbol on bottom right and all units on sheet will be resized to displayed measurements

as you do so you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document.

For thicker, darker,or even differed colored and types of lines changes are easily made working with borders menus

Clicking on any cell leaves only your graph; selecting print from your file menu prints exactly what appears as the sheet number chosen , and /or have saved; additional adjustment options are offered on right

Click on white part of your sheet, only your chart will be viewable and ready for printing. If a PDF is desired, choose Export to -> PDF from file menu.

The last online manual for numbers 09 is available here. The program has changed significantly in appearance and in some of its functions since then.

I have been exploring numbers out of necessity since upgrading my Mac to the latest OS, thus losing availability to Office, and therefore to Excel. I recently published a post using Numbers for color separations in knits , and decided to attempt to explore the program further. Here I am reviewing and sharing some of the process and information I now use in creating my blog’s knit charts. There is no recent, full manual for the program.

The format bar that may be familiar to users of older versions 

 

the Graphic inspector 

Tips immediately below are extracted from Online apple support  Numbers 5.0.   

A list of keyboard shortcuts edited by me for use with colored cells

“Undo” restores previous state, may be used multiple times to reverse several steps. Redo will cancel it. The program autosaves. The option “revert changes” when closing the program erases all changes since its previous launch session. “Revert to” under file menu offers an opportunity to browse previous saves and restore them, similar to using time machine in older versions of the program and Mac OS.

Frequently there are more options for achieving any desired result.

Building a knit chart: choose a default table from

Use format table in

  1. In the Format page1image1768000 sidebar to right of document to change features such as table name, headers, footers, as well as colors, and row and column size,

or click anywhere in table and select all  (Command A), choose no fill option on right to remove any default colors
Choose a border color and line weight. If accustomed to working with black as a color in your chart building , starting off with a colored border will make the black cells easier to count. The change may be made at any stage of design

Determine column and row size using format cell menu on side bar at right. I tend to work in cell size 24-29 pt square shapes. These values may be easily adapted if one chooses to draw in knit proportioned cells for more closely approaching gauge or estimating elongation in fabrics such as DBJ. Border colors may be also be adjusted or changed at any point, globally,  for single lines, or to outline blocks of cells. Clicking on a column tab “letter” and dragging its border on one side or the other will change its width, and the new point value is visible on a shape with a black ground while doing so.  Top or bottom drag a “number” in the tab for rows at left for column height changes and viewing the changing value display. Undo will revert the change.

Review for basics for enlarging the table with cells with no fills: reference tab numbers on left may be used to refer to rows. Reference tab letters at top may be used to refer to columns. Drag the table handle the Table handle to move the table. Click the column handle the Add Column button to add one column, drag it to add multiple columns. Click the row handle the Add Row button to add one row, drag it to add multiple rows. It is not necessary to press shift while dragging either symbol for multiple adds. Drag the column and row handle the Add or remove rows and columns button to the right to add columns, down for rows, and diagonally to add columns and rows at the same time. Reference tabs are active while chart is being worked on. They disappear if any area outside the table is clicked on. Creating a chart initially larger than the planned design, offers a larger field to “draw on” to start with. 

To draw shapes in color: click on cell, choose your color 1 from menu on right by clicking on rectangle to the right of “fill”

To copy cells within a table, or to another table, drag the selected cells while holding down the option key. You can also copy cells by selecting them, choosing Edit > Copy (Command C), selecting destination cells, and then choosing Edit > Paste (Command V). You can also paste a cell’s content into multiple cells, which don’t have to be adjacent to the copied cell or to each other. After copying a cell, select the destination cells and choose Edit > Paste. The cell’s contents are copied to all the destination cells, in the same or another table, replacing any existing content. An alternative way to draw motifs in different colors: holding down command key select cells that will compose the desired shape

choose the current fill color again to fill the outlined areas

adding a second color: click on cell, choose second fill color

hold down command, select cells for new shape

color fill

repeat with color 3, and continue on

Not enough columns or rows for your motif?  Click on the Add Column buttontop right or on the Add Row button bottom left will copy and add the previous column or row including content to clear unwanted filled cells in the added field, select column or row from tab reference letters (columns) or numbers (rows), choose “fill” as no fill

To insert multiple rows or columns at once: Anywhere in the table, select a number of rows or columns equal to the number of rows or columns you want to insert, “click the arrow” next to one of the selected row numbers or column letters, then choose Add Rows Above or Add Rows Below (or Add Columns Before or Add Columns After). The arrows are visible as you hover or click in either tab, seen more easily when working in larger magnification, and often clicked on while unaware of doing so in lower magnifications 

Alternately, click on table and in turn click and drag the Add or remove rows and columns buttonat bottom right up, down, left or right for further adjustments to total number of available cells,or simply repeat the fill in the selected column or row along with creating the added cells, and select areas to remove any unwanted color. In some instances the added colored cells could serve as a deliberate design feature

Adding columns and rows above or below and columns before or after using table menu. Options are greyed out until a row or column is selected. 

options also appear when you click on arrow in row or column reference tabs

Adding specific rows above or below can help scale coordinated designs. To add rows after a particular row, make sure the bottom row selected is the one after which you want the new rows added; to add rows before a particular row, make sure the top row selected is the one before which you want the new rows added. Then choose Table > Add Rows Above or Table > Add Rows Below,

or use keyboard shortcuts to add a row above a selected cell, press Option-Up Arrow. To add a row below a selected cell, press Option-Down Arrow. To add a row at the end of the table, press Return while the last cell is selected. To add a column after a selected cell, press Option-Right Arrow. To add a column before a selected cell, press Option-Left Arrow. To add columns after a particular column, make sure the rightmost column selected is the one after which you want the new columns added; to add columns before a particular column, make sure the leftmost column selected is the one before which you want the new columns added. Then choose one of the commands above. You can also use the Tab key to add a column to the right side of the table.

To delete a single row or column, hold the pointer over the row or column reference tab to see the menu arrow, and then choose Delete Row or Delete Column from the pop-up menu.
To delete several adjacent rows or columns, select the rows or columns and then choose Delete Selected Rows or Delete Selected Columns from the pop-up menu of a selected row’s or column’s reference tab.
To delete empty rows, drag the lower-left Row handle  the Add Row button up or drag the lower-right Column handle the Add or remove rows and columns buttonup.
To remove rows with content, hold down the Option key while dragging.
To delete empty columns, drag the upper-right Column handle on the Add Column buttoninward.
To remove columns with content, hold down the Option key while dragging.
Moving a cell or groups of cells: select and choose group by using cell handles or commands, immediately click on the same selection again, and it drag to new position within the same table. Moving the selection outside the table, onto a blank portion of the sheet creates a new table.

Having a large table area to work on allows for copying and pasting repeats in different configurations. 

Added ways of working with cell groups: to select adjacent table cells, select a single cell, and then hold down the Shift key as you select adjacent cells. You can also click a cell, press, and then drag its handles through a range of cells. As seen above, to select nonadjacent table cells, hold down the Command key as you select cells. Continue to hold key, and use Command-click to deselect any cell in the group.

Adding, copying, and pasting tables or portions of them. Clicking on the + beside sheet # will create a new default table, on a new sheet, a new sheet of “graph paper”.

Tables and their data may be copied and pasted from one sheet onto another, or in the same sheet. To add a new table in the same sheet from available templates click the Table button in the toolbar, then click a table or drag one to the sheet. Reviewing process once more: Move the table: Click the table, then drag the Table handle in its top-left corner. Add or remove rows: Click the table, then drag the Add Row button in its bottom-left corner down or up. Resize the table: Click the table, click the Table handle in its top-left corner, then shift-drag the white square in its bottom-right corner to resize the table proportionally. Change the alternating row color setting: Click the table; in the Format  sidebar, click the Table tab; then deselect or select Alternating Row Color. (To choose a different color, click the color well.). Change the look of the new table: Click the table, then use the controls in the Table tab of the sidebar to make changes, such as adding a table outline or changing the table font size. To delete the table click the table, click the table handle in its top-left corner, then press Delete on your keyboard. An alternative way to create a new table matching presets is to copy a blank segment of one of your existing tables and paste them, adding and subtracting more blank squares, or even to copy a full table with color designs, and simply remove color fill after pasting.

Selecting a portion of a table that contains graphics and choosing copy and paste will reproduce the selected portion as a new table, usually at the upper left of the sheet, sometimes on top of a preexisting table.  When working on large charts, the pasted table may be “hard to find”. Reducing magnification to 25% sometimes makes that easier, since larger sheet area then comes into view. Clicking on any tables and dragging on the the table handle at their upper left allows one to move the contents to its desired location.

Fine tuning table size and positions may also be achieved by changing values in the size and position sidebar format options. Click on arrows for default size moves, or click in respective value boxes and type in the desired number, hit return 

Some of my tables have table 1 above the graphics, some not. That can be changed by clicking on the table name box in the format table menu 

or click the table, Control-click the row number for row 1, then choose Hide Table Name or Show Table NameTriple-click the name at the top of the table, then type a new name to to rename it. Keeping a “name” helps track versions such as when working in color separations, where a whole table is repeated and altered in series of steps while preserving the previous one. Below a table segment is selected, copied and pasted as a new table. The new table is moved into position next to the original. To combine the tables in order to create a new design, choose arrange from the format menu. In this instance I chose to position the new table by clicking on it and selecting the back paste option. Once you click on a blank part of the sheet, the table tabs will disappear. The tables are visually merged, but in fact remain separate tables, each of which can be moved, resized, added to, and otherwise altered. 

It is also possible when working on 2 tables to select and cut out a segment or more. Below, the table with the cut out window is moved onto its unaltered table twin and shifted up (note numbers on right, and red border segments) 

A different “table” with same cell dimensions, may also be dragged and placed under (or over) the “cut” portion of the first. My placement here is slightly off intentionally to show table placements for under/ in back  

and placement over/ in front  

To screen grab tables with row, column tabs, and corner bullet markings click on any individual table cell (note the outlined cell with handle markings upper left and lower right), and use shift-command-4 to select area for save.  For a multiple table grouping, hold the shift key while clicking anywhere in any single cell contents of multiple tables, and while still holding shift, add command-4 commands, select and save. Clicking anywhere outside the tables on the “sheet” results in tabs and bullets disappearing. Click on any cell in any table again, to move it, or make any other adjustments needed.

Any table may be adjusted to accommodate adding text, shapes, or to expand on instructions.  Working with shapes merits its own, separate discussion.

My favorite font, used in most of my charts that begin to address specific fabrics such as lace by adding symbols,  is no longer available for distribution. For more on symbols and fonts see 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
Quilting: KC slip <—, ribber slip —>

The pink and white swatch is  in “drop stitch lace”,  was also knit using the circular setting. Instructions for color separations for fabric, how tos, tools, tips and samples may be found in my posts on topic, with the same repeat used in http://alessandrina.com/2015/06/16/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-2-brother-km/ 

the image resulting from my own past color separation its purl side, turned sideways

Previous posts have covered manual color separations for fair isle, quilting 1, quilting2, and a summary of series on drop stitch lace. A later post on drop stitch lace using ayab .

One of the differences in using Ayab, is that knitting set up begins on the left, with first preselection row happening on the second carriage pass from right to left. This makes sense if the goal is to set up patterning for moving toward the color changer. Passap E6000 uses the SX/GX (2 Rows) for set up, with its color changer on the right. The knitter may set the carriages or locks for any chosen setting (knit for knit rows, slip if the extra 2 rows knit are not desired as part of the pattern, or those suggested by console or other instructions). In the original state 910, the starting side is of no consequence as long as one is outside the set line, and preselection happens on a first, single pass. The same is true of preselection in the punchcard, one may start on either side. In some fabrics such as slip stitch worked holding techniques, or if  the color changer is in use and making moves in even numbers of rows toward and away from it are required, starting side matters. The Ayab circular setting does the color separation for the fabrics above, but other cam and lever settings may need adjustment, based on sorting out what selected needles are doing when knitting starts. For the “quilted” swatch above the left part button on the KC, and the right one on the ribber were used. Sometimes the guide to color selection or cam settings, is whether the first square in the imported image for download is black or white. With the loss of the built in color reverse on a hacked machine, it is easy work when swatching and testing to color reverse the repeat by using invert, available in the color menu, providing the alternative repeat. In Gimp the grid color may be adjusted as well, if you choose to work in black and white as your starting palette. For the individual image, Image/ configure grid changes the preference for single use. 

12/19/17 I am continuing to really appreciate the speed and ease for sampling pattern ideas. That said, I  have also again experienced selection issues varying from lost selection to repetition of the same pattern row indefinitely, frequently after more than 50 rows are knit, and in spite of increasing attention being paid to beeps and flashes. Short pauses also seem to put the software into time out mode. I have not done enough knitting to evaluate whether moving the carriage past both turn marks with any frequency prevents those selection issues. Support is responsive, with new tools come new learning curves for everyone involved.

There is a popping noise /clunk that I have now learned is routine and  “likely from the solenoids being engaged or disengaged, when they’re first powered up, or released at the end.” It is a noise I have never heard in standard 910 use. I usually power down equipment when not in use, and have been told “For the sake of longevity on the knitting machine, it’s probably better to err on the side of disconnecting the USB cable when you power down the machines.”

My present knitting efforts are to come up with some sort of variation of this fabric, published in an early Empisal Ribber Pattern Book, shared in a Facebook forum post.  I have used racking in a variety of experiments, but never traveling over a MB pattern as in this instance. There is now a dedicated post on topic 

12/17/17 I am brand new at using the system, my comments here are logging my personal experience and observation as I am learning a new tool, not intended as a guide. Please follow forums for advice from folks with more experience and knowledge.

The ayab interface from EMS is now up and running on my 910. The process was easy and straightforward in terms of hardware. Software install on the Mac is very slow initially, but the launcher operates quickly after that.  I am using the system connected to an iMac presently running OS 10.13.2. There initially were issues with port failure when attempting to use the program to download. No security warning was received when the driver download was completed, but rather, the image below, which I took at face value, so I did not immediately access the preferences security panel to make any changes thereIt took some sorting out with EMS support and finally accessing preferences security settings and “allowing” the install to solve the problem. Apparently there may be some change in message received within a half hour of the install. So, easy fix, check system preferences security settings regardless of pop up window even if lacking  familiar and obvious warnings such as

At present there is no cover available to fit over the kit and its wires, so the left hand side of the machine remains exposed. There is a row counter built into the software, but I tend to rely on the built in on the 910. Any DIY cover should take clearing the row counter and the knit leader trippers into consideration. There is some conversation about 3D printed ones, or even metal. Tiny detail: the kit comes with electrical zip ties to help secure the plastic shields on both sides of the board.  Clip the ends, and twist them so join sits either on top or under the interface, thus keeping them clear of KM parts, and, particularly, the belt drive on the left.

There are a series of beeps and flashes that indicate that the pattern row has indeed been downloaded and is ready to be knit. 910 mylar users are familiar with the sound coming from the reader as each row is scanned. Prior to using the Ayab system I was initially concerned about beeps for each row adding to machine operating noise, since I am familiar with the Passap screech and at one point was also with the Studio electronic version. The Ayab beeps are actually on the soft side, and background noise or inattention may actually lead one to miss the cues. LED flashes occur in pairs indicating the row is ready to knit as well. Again, any cover may hide the light or soften the beeps even more, making the cues available via the screen more essential.

The kit comes with a 3 ft. cable. I have rearranged placement of my machines to make using both the Croucher cable, switchbox, and wincrea on the Passap, and the Ayab system on my 910. My initial wish was for a longer cable, which is possible to use. That said, there are several knit from screen clues that if you are operating the machine any distance from the computer get lost and become hard to see, including indicators for row numbers and the pattern advancement lines on your motif.

So far I have small FI samples and DBJ  samples. Ran into a problem after 60+ rows of each with mis patterning occurring, but that may well have been operator error. I have used my 910 for production accessories, and was very familiar with a personal optimum speed. I believe I almost unconsciously with the initial samples, may have picked up speed and interfered with the accurate download of pattern rows. When I slowed down and was much more deliberate, waited for each flash and sound, a test got me to RC 110 with no issues before I quit for the day.

11/27/17 This punchcard was shared by someone trying to reproduce the implied fabric on their 910. It is intended to be used as a combination lace and weaving card, so on the punchcard machine 2 carriages would be locked on the belt. If even number of passes are made with each carriage, there is the issue of the card not advancing each time when the opposite carriage makes its first pass. So far I have not been able to get this repeat to work for me as drawn, to produce results anything even resembling the “finished swatch” published photo. It did work for me using the LC carriage for 3 passes, releasing it, and following it by 2 rows knit with the KC set to tuck in both directions, a very different fabric. If the LC  is released after an odd number of rows, then technically when the KC is first in use,  the right to left and back to right selection is not interrupted, it is moving in the direction the LC carriage would have moved, and the punchcard row is not repeated. First row with LC selects, second row transfers, selects next row. Third row transfers, selects every other needle for the first tuck row on the next pass of KC, and LC is released. The fabric then tucks for 2 rows as punched, on every other needle. The second tucked row is completed with KC on right. The first LC row has now been preselected, as the *LC heads back to right (1) it transfers the selected needles, selects them again, but since they are now already empty, nothing happens to any yarn, and the next row of transfers is selected (2). Second set of transfers is made to right (3) as first tuck row is preselected. LC is removed. KC tucks for 2 rows (4, 5), selecting first LC transfer row with the second pass.* Repeat. The marks on the left should indicate carriage movements for each carriage, but they are off as well in my version of the fabric. My final repeats were for use on the 910 with a mylar.

the pattern book swatch imagemy tuck swatch

Lace is a challenging enough fabric without adding weaving yarn floats, and definitely combining them requires a clear understanding of what the yarn is doing on the needle hooks as one progresses through the repeat. I will be starting a separate post reviewing card markings  in punchcard pattern books, and translating them for electronic use. For further information please see post on 589

I have always been interested in machine knitting hacks and began sharing information from the internet on the topic as early as 2013. I own the 910 Brother model, and when the ayab hack first became available, assembling electronic components was beyond my skill and interest. I have a good supply of mylars, but have always knit more complex fabrics on my E6000, which has the Croucher cable and switch box for download to and from a Windows laptop, using Wincrea .  I had known a preassembled kit for the 910 hack was in development from a trip to CA, which included a visit to the Bay Area Machine Knitting Guild  back in April 2016.  A recent post on Ravelry alerted me to the fact that Ayab was “alive and well”, and that an assembled kit is now available and on the market. The hardware kit developer , to purchase  , wiki , interface , install . My understanding is that the software is still being developed in Germany.
Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook.  My compiled list of online pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more: 5435

I have purchased a kit,  and will share my experiences with it as time passes. In addition to bypassing the mylar use, the idea of having software that will render  color separations that would normally have to be hand drawn for larger repeats than would be practical, or for complex fabrics, is an exciting one.

An artist whose work I admire, using the interface early on is Claire Williams , her tutorial  updated 2016 with DIY assembly of the original “kit”.

Double jacquard using punchcard machines

Each row of double jacquard consists of  at least 2 rows of slip stitch patterning, one with ground yarn, the other with contrast. The rows knit per each design row varies with the number of colors used in the design. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from producing such fabrics, but the color separation is done by hand or using software, and then the cards are punched. Size of repeat is less important in creating interesting knits than choice of yarns, colors, and technique choices. In early art to wear days, pre electronic home knitting machines, large, non repetitive images were created by breaking down the large images into several vertical panels the width of the punchcard repeat plus seaming allowance. Upon completion, they were  joined side by side to create the final image. Ribber settings for DBJ apply across models in principle, may need adjustment depending on the age and brand of the machine. If working on a bulky machine, consider  using ladder back method.

The common method suggested in instruction manuals for Japanese knitting machines can be viewed in this punch card, laid over a colored template. The limit in repeat width is the fixed 24 stitch. To fit the design on a single 60 row factory punchcard, the maximum is 30 rows in motif height, because one row of pattern requires 2 rows of punching in the card. The step by step separation follows.

Helpful tools: on one blank card color each section of the card, representing color row sequences. This may be used later to check color separation. Box the edge numbers in pairs, beginning with numbers 56, 57, skip two rows to numbers 60, 1, and so on. This separation splits the first and second row of color 1 between the first and last row on the punchcard.

On a second blank card, prepare a master.  First row is left blank, then 2 rows are punched out, followed by 2 rows left blank, repeat, ending with a blank row. Again working upward, number each row you have punched out on the left hand side starting with number 54, then 55-56, 57-58 etc, ending with a single row, 23. This will result in number markings matching both sides at the bottom of the card, below the #1 factory mark. My own master began on the left with the # 53. I also added corresponding design row numbers for each row on the far left. (1 and 2, 3 and 4, and so on). Written notes on right: an even number of rows need to be knit in each color, so in this method pattern must be an even number of rows in  height, boxed numbers represent rows knit in ground color.

Take a blank card and put the master card on top, fastening the 2 cards together with snaps.You can now mark holes to be punched. Copy the first 2 rows of color 2 on rows marked 54 and 55 (or 53 and 54 in my case), repeat in pairs for the required height. I like to mark the card to be punched with colored pencils that differ sharply for each color. They have the benefit of being erasable, and can help with keeping each row distinct when punching.

When the completed repeat is marked, unfasten the snaps and move the card down by one row.  You will now see that the marks you have made through the top row of each set on the master card. Mark through each lower row any blank squares in the row above.

Again, after completing the repeat unfasten the snaps and slide the master up by 2 rows.The card will now be back to its original position, and up by one row. Now you will see the marks you have made on the blank card showing through the bottom of each row of the master card. Mark through each upper row on any square opposite the ones marked in the row below. 

After the repeat is completed, make certain to punch across 2 final rows for the card to create the overlaps for a continuous pattern, as with any other stitch type. Punch out all marks, and you are ready to knit. To check your design visually lay the finished card over the colored master, correct any errors if noted. Your card is now ready to knit DBJ.

First preselection row is right to left with color 1, it will knit from right to left, moving toward the color changer  where colors are then changed every 2 rows. This color separation will not work for fabrics that require the same needles knitting for 2 rows.

A second master that may be used with the same approach, for a different type of color separation: 

This separation works with any number of rows repeats. The design will be elongated because each design row knits twice in each color, with 4 rows completing it. Fabric will be thicker as well, so use thinner yarns when working it. Draw shapes in colors that are chosen for clear contrast, not because they are to be used in the finished piece. Here I am back to those triangles used in earlier posts. The choice of which color you begin with, whether in the separation or in the knit is ultimately up to you.

With the masked card, the first row is marked on the very bottom of your new design, I began with the red, which would produce the equivalent of this

Remove the mask. Beginning with the second row from the bottom, mark in contrast any square not colored in the row below Punch all colored squares and you are ready to knit.  I prefer to not rely on built in elongation if I am making a garment or a long piece of knit. If errors are made or correction of dropped stitches, loops, wrong color selection, etc. is required, unraveling rows is complicated enough without having to also sort out exactly where you need to be in relationship to where the card did or did not advance. Black squares represent punched holes, a segment one separated by the red line in repeat width could be used on a mylar or for electronic download 

Another master for the elongated design, advancing every row, numbers represent rows being filled in, beginning with odd in this orientation, and even with the card rotated for marking even # rows in color 2

This is the same repeat, color separated and elongated X 2; proceed as with the directions above, but in this instance each row in each color is marked twice. The expanded repeat: 

I have used these images to illustrate color separations in far older posts.

The reason the resulting separation here looks so different from the one above is simply that in this latest series of charts the color selections have essentially been inverted. The inversion creates a mirror mirrored back to the original orientation with the inverted colors in place, and the color reverse is now recognizable 

As a matter of course it is helpful to be consistent in choice of starting color when separating motifs. Any single repeats isolated from above are usable in electronic machines, reduced to black and white squares. Electronics vary in the built separations in terms of choosing black or white squares for the first row knit, whether you download an original image or work with built in ones. With preselection of needles in Brother or pushers in Passap, with an easy to count color repeat and some air knitting,  planning starting color of choice and needle placement can be sorted out for more confidence when actual knitting starts.

If you would prefer to work on graph paper that matches the size of your punchcard, there are a downloadable PDF and word doc with some guidelines in my previous posts more-low-tech/ and creating knit graph paper. The posts were in 2011 and 2014, with illustrations drafted in earlier versions of OS and apps. Working in Pages I was now able print an image just about to perfect scale to part of a blank factory card. Here is part of the first repeat in this post traced through the  punchcard holes onto it: 

I then exported 2 documents, one to Word, the other to PDF. The first printed  image and the PDF one (opened in Preview) printed to identical scale using my Epson Printer. Here are the new docs for you to try, they may need tweaking. My measurements, adjusted in Pages were 11 cm by 18.2, for 30 rows in card height: PDF  no numbers card, Word doc exported from Pages no numbers card . I have found squares of the  blank card BMP provided may be filled in in either GIMP or Paint, using the paint bucket tool, but printed size is not in scale to the printout of the original in the pdf.

If scale does not matter and you prefer convenience, this is a numbered “full” punchcard template as PDF scaled to fit on a single page  punchcard numbered , and as an editable Excel document exported from Mac Numbers: punchcard templates_ excel

Matching patterns across sweater body and sleeves


There is a resurgence of circular yokes on the runways and market at the moment. My previous post discussed some of the considerations in knitting them. For those not up to working that particular way, there are variation in carrying the patterns around the body in “continuous” lines.

If raglan shaping is used, angular lines are created where patterns meet. All knit is essentially vertical striping. Raglan shaping should match both front and back of sleeve, the wider the raglan shape, the less sharp the stripe intersection. Striping in a traditional cap sleeve creates designs that move horizontally across combined body and arm at rest.

When designing a sweater with a shaped sleeve cap, knit a sample of your stripe pattern. An online stripe generator can help visualize stripe formulas, color ways, etc. If knitting fair isle use row counts for FI pattern height for stripe placement. It is helpful to have a 1 row, 1 stitch graph to plot repeats out. It does not matter if the grid is square or rectangular, providing that vertical and horizontal numbers are based on your gauge. Draw a line from armhole point to armhole on both pattern and sleeve, and there is your match. Work stripe pattern up from armhole line for your cap,  down from line for sleeve repeats.

In my theoretical sweaters the sleeve’s wrist edge is technically below the armhole to waistline length, so stripes need to be plotted accordingly, from armhole down.  The same method is used if single motifs or other variations in striping are involved. For single motifs, if matching them in body and sleeve cap, begin by designing them so they fit in the cap’s crown. Place motif in body and sleeve on same line, and plan the remainder of the sweater calculating from the armhole as for stripes, basing placement on numbers of rows in each design segment.

A collection of references to visit online:
Ravellings on the knitted sleeve By Jenna Wilson
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATfall04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/FEATwin04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/FEATwin05TBP.html>
math calculators for knitting
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knit-evenly-calculator/id370449748?mt=8
“magic formula” http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603triangle.aspx
http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603mfcalc.aspx#
http://www.getknitting.com/mk_0603frilled.aspx#

 

Revisiting GIMP in knit design

If my only goal is to create illustrations for my posts rather than to produce programmable designs for download to any knitting machine, my go-to program in the past was Excel. Depending on my charting needs, now that Excel is no longer available to me, I am using Mac Numbers or Pages.

My computer is an iMac, with OS High Sierra installed. Last December my 910 was altered to work with Ayab, as mentioned in other posts, via a USB connection to the Mac. For generating files for download I like to work primarily in GIMP (Photoshop is no longer available to me as well). It is freeware. The latest stable Mac Version is version 2.8.22.  Windows users have an option to download  a later release . Another freeware option is Paintbrush , a smaller, user friendly program.

I began sharing my GIMP explorations in mid 2013. Some topics included charting 1, 2 , 3, color reductions for 2 color portraits , generated mazes 1  and 2 , lace mesh , lace mesh and superimposing , 2 color drop stitch lace

I am using one of my drop stitch designs throughout this post to illustrate steps taken for altering the original by using options such as scaling and tiling. It is intended as a partial quick start guide, not a complete tutorial. The program’s manual provides keyboard shortcuts etc. for anyone wanting to explore more options to obtain similar or other results. That said, the manual is not recently updated or Mac specific, and Mac vs Windows appearance of windows and menus differ.

To alter and set pixel per stitch options double click on pencil tool,  choose square single pixel highlighted in brush shape menu

to draw in single pixels, choose show grid, snap to

There are limitations as to how low the magnification may be set before the grid is visible or disappears. I often work in 1,000 magnification. The magnification value numbers, seen at the bottom of the charts in progress,  may be typed in or use arrows to scroll up and down in value 

If your document size is larger, it is sometimes quicker to work in larger pixel size blocks. Here one meets limitations

GIMP large square brushes: numbers indicate desired pixel countand if you are using Paintbrush instead, the “square” is lost

To scale images in height or width without color distortion, change color mode

Image, mode, select Indexed
choose Scale Imagehighlight number you wish to keep constant, whether width or height
to break aspect ratio and control one of the 2 values, click on chain like symbol on right, it will appear “broken”change the alternate value to the desired number

Click on scale image. If the intent is to continue editing by using the pencil tool, the image mode needs to be returned to RGB before proceeding with editing

You can verify finished image size by choosing scale image again, at that point the chain like symbol on the right of the numbers is “whole” again, awaiting further editing choices

double height double width
 scale may be performed again on the last image created 
the appearance if the image mode is set to RBG, and not indexed prior to scaling

scaling down by half for mylars or for machines that can alter motif to double wide: 

click to the right of the highlighted number, the “chain” symbol on right remains intact replace the width value, click to the right of the height value and the number will automatically change

click on scale; remember to change image mode prior to doing so if needed; on the left is the image scaled in RGB, on the right in 1 bit palette

If the image has numbers that have odd numbers in stitch width, the software makes the choice, in assigning values, since no half pixels can be rendered.  For design details see previous post 

Tiling is useful to check how repeats line up when applied to the all over surface of a knit, choosing to alter the horizontal repeat in width or vertical in height, adding borders, and other variations. Ayab software in particular, requires the individual repeat to be programmed for the number of needles you wish to knit in pattern on the main bed. Depending on the size of the original motif the tiling function may be used on nearly any scale, with or without a visible grid

To keep aspect ratio, chain like symbol on right of width and height values should be kept whole (first image). It will appear “broken” on side of values from screen grab after the image was tiled, when by pulling up the scale option again, to verify pixel counts for the newly created repeat (images 2-4)

to color invert a single repeat or a tiled one  

A Facebook Ayab Group share and tip by Claudia Scarpa  brought up a discussion on using Gimp to rescale knits with the intent of estimating distortion in the design as a result of stitch gauge. In many knits aspect ratio is forgiving. In representational knits it can start to matter significantly. I played with numbers from 3 different gauges, getting back to a simple circle square first, then following up with a much larger image. Starting with pixels per inch setting in scale menu:

doing a bit of math: if gauge is 5 sts, 7 rows, divide 7 by 5 = 1.4,  6 divided by 4 = 1.5; use the quotient (division result) to modify the respective X and Y values

keeping the X value constant, multiply the Y value by 1.4 for 5 X 7 gauge
in the view menu, uncheck dot to dot prior to selecting scale

keeping the Y value constant, multiply the X value by 1.5 for the 6X4 gauge, uncheck dot to dot if it is available in the view menuTo get rid of the math, simply switch to pixels /mm and plug in your gauge. The starting image:

change X and Y resolution to match your stitch and row gauge, breaking “chain link” on right to disable aspect ratio. In order to show the altered scaled image, the dot per dot feature in the view menu needs to be unchecked prior to selecting scale

knitting gauge 5 stitches, 7 rows per inch  4 stitches, 6 rows  per inch and going much larger, using Rocco again: the original version scaled for stitch gauge of 33 X 40

a large geometric .bmp edited with same process

Claudia Scarpa has created a document on “how to edit a picture with GIMP for “Oknitme software” that she has given permission for me to share here: 03-ENG-gimp. The tutorial has clear instructions for anyone wishing to explore photo editing  for use in knits with GIMP, and the Oknitme online tool helps punchcard knitters participate in the process.

If freehand drawing suits your needs, you may find it easier to work with view settings shown below, and adjust pencil pixel size to suit