Illusion DIY patterns in crochet

I previously posted on illusion knitting, and on one approach to designing simple patterns using the technique. The first 3 images below are of the swatch illustrating one of my hand knit patterns. 

Since I am now involved in a group interested chiefly in crochet, I got curious about executing the fabric in crochet. Part of the problem is that enough texture needs to be created to be able to read the “shadows”. I tried crocheting in different parts of the chain, around the posts in the row below, and ultimately went back to afghan stitch. I had not used the latter since making blankets first for my son, and then for my grandchildren.

the tunisian aka afghan stitch fabric as it looks head on tilted up to its side and its rear view

Those of you new to the technique can find some instruction at the Red Heart website , and in a beginning how to video from Crochetcrowd. I used Tunisian simple and Reverse Tunisian simple stitches to create my pattern. In this technique, chart texture rows are read right to left. The return rows are not illustrated. It takes 2 passes of color one, followed by 2 passes of color 2 to complete one pattern row. Yarn is carried up the side, color is changed in the same manner as in any crochet stitch. In my test swatch, no border stitches were planned for or included. It is always wise to test the repeat in repeat before working the fabric.

 two passes are needed with each color, so here is the repeat double length 

columns    A: color used   B: forward and backward pass for each color   C: number of passes to complete a single repeat. The highlighted box at bottom indicates a completed single design row. Only 2 colors are in use in the swatch. I found it easier to track my work and the edges where the textures need to meet by using an additional pair of colors in the chart itself. Rather than use the crochet terminology I marked my first stitches with F and B for each color, referencing the front/ forward, and rear/ back vertical loops/ posts respectively. As one moves across the row from right to left, when the color/ texture change is reached, the yarn is brought to the front or the back as needed, and the next color/ texture is worked in the reverse post/ loop.

working in back loop only of the starting chain produces a firmer edge at the bottom of the piece return pass every other row, not represented in chart changing color Front, vertical loop Back, vertical loopH: horizontal, V: vertical red indicates hook entrance through front, green for through back vertical bars respectively, prior to working the next stitch

Both swatches were made using similar weight yarns. The crochet version required more passes back and forth than in knitting, where the work may be turned over and the texture reversed on each knit row. The knit repeat measured approximately 5.5 inches L by approximately 4W, isolating my best guess stitch number equivalent to the crochet one. The crochet swatch measures 7 inches L by 6W.

Return to circles, knit and crochet “pies” 1

I began a series of posts on miters and spirals created on the knitting machine back in 2011. The oldest posts, 12, and 3 begin to address creating flat circles in machine knitting using holding techniques.

Hand knitting in circular format and crochet share some similarities. There are 2 methods of constructing circular work in crochet. 1: in rounds, (akin to knit miters in shape) where the end of each circular row is joined up to its own beginning to form a ring. A new starting chain (s) is formed to take the row up to the proper height for the next row to remain constant. Depending on the pattern, one has the option of continuing by turning the work or not at the end of each row. Doing so allows the opportunity of altering textures and working in the fronts or backs of stitches. 2: in spirals. Rather than joining the ring, one continues on by going into the tops of the posts in the previous row.

With spirals it is useful to mark the beginning of each round. Knitting markers shaped like safety pins are handy for that purpose. A line of contrasting color can also be created using a separate strand of yarn and alternating carrying it back or to the front prior to forming the first stitch in the new row.

As with knitting, crocheted circles are not true circles, but rather, they are polygons. The way to make shapes more circular is to scramble the increase points, putting them in different starting positions in each round (always spacing them equally and keeping the formula). Within limits one may make the starting number of stitches in the first round a multiple of the number of segments in the finished shape.

With the creation of a flat circle in mind, the number of stitches needed depends on the height of the stitch. The taller the stitch, the greater the number of stitches required. If the stitch stays the same throughout, the number of stitches added on each round is constant. Test work regularly at intervals as the work grows by placing it on a firm, flat surface, to see if working only one stitch into each stitch is required / enough at that point to maintain the shape. The more segments, the smoother the circumference.

Unlike in hand knitting, the first loop on the hook does not count as a stitch until you make it into something.

Spirals or miters knit on the machine begin with their radius; one possible construction method may be inferred from these images

Spreadsheet programs such as Excel and Numbers have pie charts and other tools that can help visualize or even plan the work with symbols. Unlike machine knitting, both crochet and hand knitting may begin and grow from the center out or from the outside in. Calculated shaping with increases or decreases along circumferences at different points on the pie create the desired shape. For the purposes of this discussion I will address stitches in US terms. There are various published guidelines with some variations. Fiber content and matching gauge (if required) may need editing of the numbers, but, as starting points:
Single Crochet [sc] : Start with 6 sc and increase 6 sc in each round so that the total stitch count in each round is a multiple of 6
Half Double Crochet [hdc] : multiple of 8
Double Crochet [dc] : Multiple of 12
Treble [tr]: multiple of 16

Some symbols and number of stitches required in base rows in table form, for working from center out:
the more wedges in the pie, the smoother the circumference no matter what the method. Single crochet is worked in 6 wedgesdouble crochet in 12 wedgeswedges may be reduced to simple line segments rounds may also be created to log in and track more details adding wedge outlines before filling in symbols

single crochet worked with slip stitch at the end of each row will produce  points similar to those seen in miters in machine knitting

spirals produce a rounder shape double crochet echoes the forms 

Building your own charts requires vector programs to allow for rotation of symbols around an axis. My chart was quickly produced in Inkscape, which is free to download for both Mac and PC users. Mac users in addition will also need to download XQuartz to run the program. I created the chart with my own symbols and freeform laid them down while viewing the grid. It turned out however, that there are 2 published videos on how to use the program for charting crochet stitches, part 1 and part 2 by StitchesNScraps.com

Two YouTube videos on topic:  using Illustrator CS 5.1, Marnie Mac Lean’s video, and using StitchWorksSoftware. An online generator by Stitch Fiddle, and its associated video.

if donuts are the goal: find your round 

An example: in single crochet, if round 3 had been completed, there would be 18 completed stitches. Chain 18, either slip stitch or continue in spiral to match count at that point. For round 4: increase every 4th, round 5: every fifth, round 6: every 6th, round 7: every 7th stitch.

A few sites to see for crochet tutorials:
magic ring start : no chain stitches, no center hole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE
working in spirals
http://snovej.com/archives/freeform-crochet-spiral
a nice ending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_sW4xX_O70https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_sW4xX_O70
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L_rtWt78Jw&t=32s
crocheting a flat circle in single crochet: note the start “magic circle”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oDubbFVE3Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZiCnCGP_NQ
changing colors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8cLufFeenU

I tend to swatch in easy to see colors, “friendly” yarn, and use tools that allow moving in and out of stitches easily until I have techniques sorted out. When knitting circles in the round, things get a bit more complex, particularly if one begins to introduce items such as round yokes with patterns into garments where gauge matters significantly.

Some of the same principles may be used in hand knitting. For magic loop start with circular needles: KNITFreedom, and on DPs Webs yarn

Machine knit hems 2

Hems 1: previous post. Guidelines generally given for stocking stitch hems do not take into consideration if the body of the knit is going to be considerably narrower or wider than stocking stitch, and whether the purl side of the fabric is to be used as the “public side”. In the latter case the solution is simply to reverse tension changes for the inside to the outside of the hem. For wider or narrower fabrics the number of stitches for the hems may need to be recalculated, depending on whether a series of simple tension adjustments can solve the problem. Fiber content, yarn weight, even color can affect results, so always test a swatch. It is possible to knit tubular hems using the ribber, but here the discussion is for single bed only.

Hems at the beginning: cast on and knit several rows of waste yarn, ending with ravel cord. Following step 1 below: set the stitch dial one number lower than that used originally in stockinette knitting. Knit the number of rows required for the inside of the hem. Loosen tension by 2 numbers for one row  (helps get a neater turning row). Tighten tension by one to original stockinette tension, and proceed as indicated in steps 2 and 3 below. Illustrations are from Brother techniques Book, pp. 16 and 17.

Picot hems: odd number of needles are required. 1: Cast on an odd number of stitches and knit several rows of waste knitting followed by 1 row knit with ravel cord. Set the stitch dial one full number (guideline) tighter than the main yarn and knit as many rows as required for the depth of the hem.  2: Picots are made by transferring stitches onto adjacent needles, making transfers to either left or right (shown in illustrations below). 3: Reset stitch dial to stockinette tension and knit the same number of rows. 4: Place the sinker loops on the corresponding needles, making sure to pick up the edge sinker loop as well. Directions usually say to pull our ravel cord at this point,  I like to knit a few rows and to make certain things have knit properly before removing the cord. 5: set the stitch dial 2-3 whole numbers higher than the stocking stitch tension and knit one row. This keeps the joining row from bulging out due to its double thickness. 6: Reset tension dial to stocking stitch tension and continue to knit.
After transfers, always check that proper transfers have indeed been made, and that each needle holds 2 stitches. Bringing all needles out to E before knitting the next row helps facilitate a visual check.

Hems with the 1X1 needle arrangement below will often require at least one more row for the outside of the hem than for the backing, since the EON produced stitches will grow in size and lengthen when the fabric is set
In step number 3 the e wrapped row essentially casts on on those empty needles, so that when the following row is knit, full stitches are formed on each needle, and when the hem is folded any appearance of eyelets is minimized.

for illustration the e wrap row in a contrasting color (white is acrylic fiber)continuing to knit hem exterior after some pressing hem interior

Alternate method to step 3, producing a picot at the turn of the hem: bring empty needles out to hold position, knit across to opposite side. With the first pass loops will form on empty needles, with the second pass reversing direction, an eyelet is formed and full knitting is restored for the outside hem. The EON knitting tends to grow in length. I  prefer to reduce EON tension by at least 2 numbers. Test on a swatch to determine the percentage of total rows needed to place the picot at the hem fold rather than having it roll out to the knit side, it will vary depending on yarn used.

For the picot hem transfers using the lace carriage: after knitting with waste yarn and ravel cord, knit half the depth of the hem. Place the Lace carriage opposite the knit carriage, on either the left or right hand side. Starting with the second needle from either side, bring forward every other needle to D position using the 1X1 needle pusher. End needles must be in B position. Move the lace carriage to opposite side, every other stitch will now be transferred onto the adjacent needle. Remove the carriage by using the release button, and continue to knit as described above.

Again, I like to knit several rows after picking up stitches, completing the hem, before removing ravel cord and waste yarn.

If you prefer not to use waste yarn, for inside hem on every needle  (method 1 from the previous post). If using the comb: e wrap eon on an odd number of needles, hang cast on comb with teeth pointing away from you, proceed as below.Using the cast on comb to speed up rehanging stitches to close hem: a foreign language video showing its use on mock rib at the top of socks. The method can be used for any configuration needle set ups. It is possible to use ribber cast on combs for same purpose, I will address that in another post. When EON loops are used to join hem, the inside of the hem will “drop” some when set, so fewer rows are required on the inside hem.

When hanging any hem, one stitch is lost on the side of the cut yarn end. Also, on the knot side the stitch may be less noticeable, so you want to make certain that that outside loop/ stitch is also included in the count (green arrow)

I like to secure the main color yarn end as seen below around the adjoining empty needle as seen below

continue knittingforgot ravel cord? find outside of last stitch knit  in waste yarn, opposite  yarn ends clip stitch, pull out “ravel cord”, continue knitting

Note: ravel cord ideally should be smooth, non shedding fiber, and strong enough not to break when pulled on. If like fibers are used and they shed as the cord is removed, you may have tiny fibers of the contrasting color permanently mating with your garment yarn. Check for any knots in cord at the each side of the knit before pulling it out.

A look at single bed mock rib

The Brother Knitting Techniques book has series of illustrations on how to manage a mock rib in various configurations on pages 7-15. The manual is now available for free download online, and is an excellent reference.

This technique requires waste yarn start, followed by a row of ravel cord. The resulting knit creates ladders or stitches that will in turn be dropped, then latched up and reformed into knit stitches on the purl ground. Reducing the knit tension by as much as 2-3 numbers is recommended after the ravel cord row.

The needles marked in blue and green in the first image below are needles that are pulled back to A position prior to starting the piece.  After the waste yarn and ravel cord (hatched yellow) start, three rows are knit with the garment yarn. Using a transfer tool, pick up the sinker loops from the first row knit (orange), and hang them on the corresponding needles on the diagram (follow red arrows).

One may at this point continue with needles (green) left out of work, or return the needles (blue) to work position. If needles are left OOW, ladders will continue to be created. If they are returned to work, a loop is created on the empty needle on the first knit pass, formed into a stitch on the second pass, resulting in an eyelet. Every needle treated in this manner will now be knitting. If stitches rather than ladders are formed for the height of the rib, then those stitches (blue) will need to be dropped, and in turn latched up. In both instances the latch tool goes under the first ladder created, 2 rows are skipped, the latch tool then catches the third parallel row, and pulls it through the first to make the required knit stitch. The process continues up the height of the “rib”. In this illustration the main yarn begins to knit with COL.

A 2X2 rib is possible. From the Techniques book: cast on with waste yarn and ravel cord (1, 2)

an alternate: cast on with waste yarn and and ravel cord, knit 3 rows

pick up sinker loop from a knit stitch, hang on 1 of  the 2 NOOW (R)

knit height of rib 

latch up ladder as shown in drawings above 

drop/ unravel the second stitch to be latched up (L)

dropped stitches reformed for rib 

continue across row, then proceed with main body of knit 

the rib off the machine 

stretched out

My sample was knit in a 2/15 acrylic, a bit thin for this technique, and if pressed, the fabric would be flattened permanently. If the intent is to have the rib retain it “spring and stretch” it is best to use a yarn with memory, such as wool. If a slip stitches or FI are to be used for the body of the knit, they will create a much denser fabric. The yarn in the rib may in turn need to be doubled to produce enough substance. As always swatching is recommended before committing to a large piece in any technique.

From the Brother Techniques Book a few more to try: 

2X1 rib using slip setting 

2 X 2 rib: working with Brother cast on comb, full text  using waste yarn

Seaming, joining, picking up stitches on knits 2

I have an extensive library on both hand and machine knitting. I am not the originator of the base drawings for these illustrations. They have been however,  accumulated from various decades old sources, edited by me for content, color, size, etc. My editing program is gimp. I will review, alter, or add to this library over time.

sewn bind offs on machine

on knit taken off on waste yarn 

joining a hem crochet bind off through top or bottom of stitches in last row respectively

weaving in yarn ends across a row on purl side

Mattress stitch: work a few rows with loose stitches so entry and exit points are visible, then pull on yarn and tug on finished segments as you go to adjust stitch size

  1. under single bar between a full knit stitch on either edge of knit, best for bulkier knits
  2. under double bars between a full knit stitch on either edge of knit, faster on smaller gauge knit
  3. worked half a stitch away from the edge, every  row, under bar on left, loop on right
  4. running stitch along and through center of edge stitches, alternating sides every row
  5. running stitch one full stitch away from the edge, alternating sides every row
  6. joining purl stitches every row

garter stitch

  1. mattress stitch, knit side out, one full stitch away from edge, adding second strand of yarn to finish join
  2.  weaving in joined yarns along inseam, traveling in opposite directions

2 X 2 rib ending with one knit stitch2 X 2 rib ending with 2 knit stitchesrib join through “edge loops” of knit stitches

 2 X 2 rib join ending with 2 knit stitches, 1 full stitch from edge 

2 X 2 rib join ending with 2 purl stitches, 1 full stitch from edge 

picking up stitches to continue knitting or joining on machine: straight edges curved edges 

open sts to bound off          bound off sts to bound off  (steps 1 and 2)knit to purl                                        knit to ribgarter stitch 

decreasing evenly at intervals across a row purl side facing if you are left handed or yarn end is on alternate piece,  rotating the image or flipping it horizontally or vertically will provide guidelines GIMP (free) download  for further DIY image processing

Seaming, joining, picking up stitches on knits 1

This time of year I am usually producing machine knit felt hats for sale, on my 260 Brother bulky KM. They are knit sideways, and require seaming on their completion. Photos of some steps in process, taken a previous year:screenshot_80screenshot_81screenshot_82screenshot_84There is a lot published on methods to graft open stitches using kitchener. Hand knit magazines both in Britain and here have begun to  present joining a variety of pattern stitches with with charts that visually clarify the process. A small portion of such a chart:kitchenerWith bulky knits such as my hats, I like to take open stitches onto circulars and sew them together by hand as shown below, beginning on right, and with the knit side facing me.

joining knit ending on waste yarn, purl side facingjoining knit ending on waste yarn, knit side facingjoining garter stitch ending in waste yarn Diana Sullivan offers youtube videos showing how to join pieces with waste yarn endings with their purl side or knit side  facing respectively.

Seam as you knit is an option for joining vertically. It is a technique that may be used to attach bands, parts of a sweater, or strips of knitting, whether for the sake of additional width, changes in color, or attached with purl side facing the knit side if that is the goal.  The piece on the machine is always purl side facing. With each row knit, a “loop” is created on the carriage side, while a “knot” is formed on the opposite side as the row is completed. The process then reverses as the carriage returns to its original position.  The technique  may be done on either, or even both sides at once. The first piece(s) is (are) completed and taken off the machine. Begin the join to piece with a cast on row or waste yarn. For a test, with COR: pick up the first knot or loop on the completed piece. Hang it on the left end needle/ stitch on the cast on work (opposite the carriage). Knit 2 rows. Go to the next knot or loop on the completed piece, place it on the same left side needle/ stitch. You are hanging on the far needle opposite the carriage every 2 rows.

The knit fabric, purl side facing   knot_loopA one eyed tool is inserted from front to back through either a loop or a knot, and hung on the first needle hook / stitch on the right, left, or even both sides of the piece every 2 rows.    knot_loop2bknot_loop2aJoining “loops” generally works well in standard gauge knitting. On the bulky, or where a “tighter” seam line is needed, join “knots”.

The same method may be used to join the side edge of any piece of knit to any portion or location on the one in progress.

MK ladders, and a bit of crochet

I have recently been thinking about collars and edgings again, this time adding crochet detailing to help cut the edge curl and add interest. In a previous post I showed an edging done in drop stitch (double bed lace). Here to simplify things, I decided to work with ladder spaces to create the fabric. If a large width of this fabric is required, multiple bands would need to be joined to achieve it, crochet is then applied in turn to the the finished knit piece. Seam as you knit can make the joining nearly invisible. Using excel, I tried to also create crochet symbols using its shapes menu. The number of rows knit in open pattern or all knit prior to binding off are at your discretion, depending on your needs and planned final product. For my sample I began knitting with COR, and to end with COR for bind off row, I chose to work with even numbered groups of rows. Consider fiber content if the intent is to permanently block as flat as possible, or not.

my chart symbols symbols_70

whole_69

needle set up, waste yarn cast on, knit for desired length  setup_62img_4095bring one empty needle into worktransfer_63img_4096knit one row, bring remaining empty needle into work plain-knit_64img_4097knit one row img_4099knit rows desired for top bandimg_4100transfer eon from L to rightallk-transfer_65img_4101latch tool bind off around gate pegs for all needles/stitches img_4102

img_4103do not cut yarn, lift work off machine; turn work over (knit side facing)
chain 5, slip stitch into eyelet created by transfers, repeat across the knit, end with slip stitch into last eyelet space detail_4121turn work over (purl side facing once again), chain 3, 2 double crochet, slip stitch into center of chain 5 space, repeat across the knit, end with slip stitch into last chain 5 space detail_4120unblocked trim, 2/15 acrylic yarn img_4104

img_4105detail after steaming, the trim is side leaning img_4119

img_4118

To use: rehang open stitches on every needle (or other arrangement) eliminating ladder spaces and bind off,  join to another piece of knit, etc.

Thread Lace on Brother KM

Thread lace has also been called punch lace over the years. The “lace holes” are formed by knitting a fine thread with a significantly thicker yarn as the “second color”. When the fine yarn knits (B), a larger stitch in it alone is formed, with the thicker yarn floating behind it. The thicker yarn goes in Brother’s A feeder, the thinner in B.  As in FI patterning, the unpunched holes/ blank squares/ no pixels knit yarn in feeder A, punched holes/ black squares/ pixels are knit in B feeder yarn. In this instance however, both yarns  knit the unselected needles, corresponding to blanks in card or blank squares/ unmarked pixels. Tension may need to be adjusted due to this fact.

Test swatches for tolerance to pressing/ steaming to make certain final garment will bear blocking and cleaning. I had a sweater front finished using an industry “clear” thread, thankfully tried to iron it before finishing the piece, and discovered a lovely melting quality to the clear “thread”. In theory clear serger thread should be safe to use, there are 2 easily available manufacturers. YLI brand (nylon) is stocked at most chain stores that carry sewing supplies.  One “light / clear” is “whiter” than other; there is a “smoke” version as well, sold on cones. Both produce a bit of a sheen on the surface of the knit fabric. Sulky (polyester) clear is sold on spools, is superior for sewing pieces together, zippers, etc with no “sharp” when cut ends poking at the skin, but in a different price point and quantity.

This was my garment’s test swatch, the black is a wool rayon yarn.

img_3850-1

The fabric is much quicker to produce than traditional transfer lace. Cards can easily be drawn by filling in solid shapes over a mesh  ie repeat seen in the 1X1 card. Double length may produce an interesting fabric as well.  End needle selection needs to be cancelled. If end needles are selected because of the pattern repeat, push those needles back to B position manually before knitting the next row. The latter step insures that both yarns will knit together. Either side may be used as the “public side”, depending on personal preference. The thread lace option is also available in the 260 bulky machine. Here a very thin acrylic was used as the “thin” at the start of the swatch, monofilament for the remainder (bulky KM)

img_3851once again, with monofilament as color 2 img_3852

Taking it to a garment (standard KM): color 1 = wool/rayon blend, color 2 = sewing thread. Note the difference in color where there is no needle selection for pattern, and how one color is more prominent on one side than the other. Sometimes the latter may be used to advantage when the goal is a plaited fabric, but no plaiting feeder is available. Simply program in a blank row, and position threads using thread lace setting to produce the knit.

img_3855

img_3854

For more details for some unconventional uses for setting see post. I knit on a 910 electronic, with no option for such fabrics built into knit carriage. I was able however, to modify and use my punchcard carriage with the intent of producing yet another “unconventional”, ribbed fabric.

 

Knitting in pattern with 2 carriages, Brother punchcard KMs 1

I touched on knitting with 2 carriages in some previous posts:
http://alessandrina.com/2011/03/30/knitting-with-2-carriages/
http://alessandrina.com/2011/03/29/lace-meets-hold-and-goes-round/
http://alessandrina.com/2015/03/31/combining-tuck-stitches-with-lace-2-automating-them/

If 2 carriages are in use for patterning extension rails are a must. For this discussion we are excluding the lace carriage as the #2, the intent is to use 2 knit carriages with each set to desired cam functions. As one carriage is put to rest and the other one is set to move from the opposite side, the card does not advance, so the last row selected is repeated one more time. In one of those lightbulb moments today (any excuse not to do laundry) it occurred to me that starting out with an odd number repeat pre punched card, coming from the opposite direction at the end of each odd row repeat, an even numbered repeat would actually be knit. The card below is Brother issue with all standard knitting machines. Card number (2 in this instance) may vary, depending on year of purchase. Color changes here as well would have to be planned for an every even number of rows, so respective carriages can travel to and from each side.

punchcard

The swatch below begins with locked selection row on punchcard row marked #1 (standard location); tuck setting is used in first 2 segments, FI on third; pattern produced is “OK”, but not actually tucking for 4 consecutive rows; note how much narrower FI is than tuck. Tuck tends to be short and fat, slip and fair isle short and skinny when compared to plain knit in same yarns 500_326

500_327

Since Brother preselects for the next row of knitting, setting the first selection row one locked below the usual spot on in this case #48 got me what I wanted, each color now tucking for 4 rows

500_325

500_324

Then something a bit more exciting occurred to me; one is an odd number, so any card where single rows are punched could be executed in theory, changing color every 2 rows (remembering to start with first selection row one row below # 1 row mark on card). This sample was knit with 2 carriages, using a maze card, illustrated in a previous post , in which each row had been punched only one time, requiring for the repeat to be elongated X2 500_319500_320

the image from the previous postgrey_slip

Using 2 carriages allows for combining yarns using different tensions, cam settings, fiber content, or sometimes using materials that the single bed color changer is not “friendly” with. Also, there is no pushing the wrong button, causing errors in sequence, or dropped knitting if no yarn is picked up.

A punchcard carriage may be used on electronic machines. I work on a KH892, and a 910. The 910 is from a much earlier model year than the punchcard machine. The back rail for the KH to travel on, is a different shape, with slits as opposed to smooth, and a bit more raised. The electronic carriage set on KC locks on the belt, and advances the card appropriately, but the fit is quite snug, making it hard to push, while the 892 behaved well on the 910. If borrowing carriages and sinker plates from different model years or type of machine to use on another, proceed with caution and listen to your machine. Sometimes the span of time between model issues is irrelevant, even if model years are only a year apart, and the swap is not the best for successful knitting, may “work” in one direction, but not as well in the other.

sample back rails: 910 910892rail2

A bit of holding 5: intarsia and more 2

So you have some shapes you love and know: wanting to go large, mixing them up, requires thinking things through. Testing on small swatches will help determine holding sequences and whether the results are predictable or even liked. I no longer have access to Adobe photoshop or illustrator, so some of my image editing is now achieved in gimp. Labeling below is with Skitch, and charting is with Excel.

A starting freehand swatch experiment and some observations: shape variations in red areas occur by altering sequence for knitting first and last 2 shapes in hold

tulip_knit

tulip_purl

Planning possible sequences out in charting can be confusing. The image direction will be reversed on the knit side. Approaching the technique like intarsia with individual yarns or bobbins eliminates the need for some of the concerns where 2 row sequences or specific starting sides are necessary to keep yarns continuous or for execution of the desired shape. Trying to imagine the shapes that create the larger one together in a simple 2D drawing can get one started, but  then shapes need to be rearranged. I usually began by “playing”, trying to figure out steps needed, and follow that by trying to produce an executable chart. Making the process as easy as possible to track is always a consideration.

screenshot_09possible stitch counts and adding a center line “stem”/ stripescreenshot_10its knitting sequence tulip_numbereda resulting swatch, stitch counts not consistent with chart
labeled_075

600_076

In the chart below the design is worked with 2 needles brought out to work or pushed back into work at any one time, making tracking changing numbers in hold unnecessary. Pink rows indicate starting and ending knit rows, orange “stitches” are cast on and bound off in turn, creating a shape extending out from the edge of the knit. Arrows indicate where shapes meet to create forms.

knittable_marked

Holding sequence for each shape may be worked begin with carriage on either side; with experience this may be planned at times to eliminate some of those cut yarn ends that later must be woven in. Getting back to arrows indicating carriage moves, using the center shape for illustration purposes and beginning with COR

directionif beginning with COL, simply flip the image horizontally direction flip

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The yarns used were “throw away acrylics” in white and red. The green is a rayon chenille, which required a looser tension, resulting in the other colors looser than I would want in a final fabric

idea for a larger image in the process of being editedscreenshot_07

A possible sequence in knitting if it is to be executed as shown. The arrow marks rows that knit all needles across the width of the piece. The piece segments are  numbered to create a starting line for later joining.
numbered1If the goal is knitting as close to a flat circle as possible, eliminating rows will create a smaller center hole as well after the form is completed and seamed. Knitting segments 1-6 should be adequatecircle2In larger pieces ie shawls, adding knit rows without adding stitches can be done by altering #8, 1, 6, 7. Red line indicates changing angles. Blue and green lines below indicate increasing rows knit at center of shapes as a result. exteded

Knitting and cast on sequences flow around left purl edge, straight or diagonal edges on a chart such as above may become foundation rows that are later seamed. Sort out your sequence and preferences on smaller swatches, keeping notes as you go. Additional shaping can happen along the edges of any plain knit rows between shapes by increasing or decreasing on either or both sides to create crescent shapes  or triangle variants.

Now a quandary if gauge matters: knit stitches are not square. One option is to generate a grid appropriate graph paper. In holding sequences happen in 2 row sequences. Graph paper cells may be created at twice the height desired. Each rectangle will represent a single stitch, 2 row sequence. To create your own knitting graph paper in excel please see post as a place to start. A common knit ratio is 4W X 6H. An editable workbook in 2W X 6H ratio that takes into account following outline in 2 row holding sequences: landscape2X6. Links for designing knit graph papers online:
http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/matrix/e-index.html
http://www.theknittingsite.com/knitting-graph-paper/
http://sweaterscapes.com/lcharts3.htm
http://www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/KnittersGraph.html
http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/asymmetric/

Using the 4X6 model reduced to 2X3 this is a sample generated using excel, with borders in a 2X6 ratio, so in execution, each single cell represents one stitch and 2 rows knit. The shape is one from the shape menu in the program, easily resized. The yellow bars show the gradations in holding. These cells are too small for adding text within the program itself. The math can be double checked: there are 70 stitches, 34 rows in the rectangle at the center of the shape. Holding happens over 5 chart units (10 rows actual knitting) at the top and bottom of the center shape; 70/5 = 14 X5, matching the drawing shape on grid

the accompanying, editable workbook Excel 2008  landscape2X6

So the goal is a shawl or garment, graph paper is becoming impractical to follow? Time to pull out your knit leader. Draw out each wedge or piece full size, number  segments breaking sections into knitting sequences, and let the KL guide you. For consistency, if the same shape is to be repeated many times and accuracy matters, it may be worth “air knitting” it while noting shaping as you go, keeping a row by row flow chart. An editable workbook to help track holding patterns, increases, decreases, etc. as a starting point for your own preferences: tracking knit.

Gauge or shape do not matter? time to scrumble it all and be surprised!