Return to circles, knit “pies”, miters and spirals 4

I  have gotten used to seeing charts for crochet in the round, and prefer charts to written instructions in knitting as well. My hand knitting has usually been project oriented in terms of experimentation or exploration. Reviewing information provided by both Zimmermann and Thomas in their early publications has led me to new appreciation and admiration for their efforts and for the knowledge made available to their readers, and not just in their time.

Looking at the additional medallions by Mary Thomas, I thought I would play with attempting to illustrate them, some in rounds rather than individual wedges lining up flat with blank or greyed out squares between them. The first example is my imagined square medallion (straight, geometric), p. 239 in my Dover edition 1972, and created in Excel. The work is begun on 8 stitches, divided evenly among 4 needles, knitting with a fifth. The cast on is equal to double the number of sides of the square geometric shape, 4. A hexagon would begin with 12 (6X2), an octagon with 16 (8X2). In this instance the increases are arranged at the beginning and end of stitches on every needle.  When compiling information on machine knitting, I generally swatch to proof ideas. I am not planning on making accompanying samples or swatches for these.

I knit primarily on the machine, and prefer hand knitting on long straight needles as opposed to rounds, so I find myself often referring to counts as rows rather than rounds. For square medallions cast on 8 stitches, divided on 4 needles, knitting with a fifth. In all patterns after cast on row is divided, first round is knit in back of all stitches to flatten them. Stitch counts after increases sorted high to low are helpful when knitting from the outside edge in, and in that instance they become decreases. For the square medallions they are shown in that order, with counts for many more rounds than those in the illustrations. Beginning with the pentagon, they reflect stitch counts from the start of each segment shown.
The windmill medallion (square, p. 240) instructions given: beginning on round 6 “M1 into the second stitch from the beginning and the third stitch from the end of each needle. Continue thus on all even rounds”

The maltese cross medallion (square, p. 240) lines up the M1 increases side by side, in the center of each wedge. Increases are grouped together at the center of each of 4 needles in use may also be grouped on either side of 2 center stitches they may also be grouped on either side of 2 center stitches In a square medallion (bias, swirl, pp. 241-242) increases are placed on only one side, at the beginning of each wedge. Yarn overs are used to create eyelets for more ease when attempting to keep the square flat, and the increase round is to be repeated “as required”. If double yarn overs are used, drop the second yarn over on the next round. They are made before the stitch. Single increases are to be made each round. Here are the wedge shapes side by sidearound a center core For a pentagonal medallion (pp. 242-43) cast on 10 stitches divided evenly, or as number of segments increase, work 2 sections or more on any one needle. For the swirl double yarn overs may be needed to keep the work flat. Thinner yarns may require additional knit rows between increases. Stitch counts For hexagonal medallions (p. 243) cast on 12  stitches, two sections are placed on each of three needles, knitting is done with a fourth. Each increase round will add 12 stitches; 2 or possibly even 3 rounds may be needed between each increase row to keep the shape flat. STS column reflects their number after increases have been made 
The hexagonal medallion swirl (p. 243) is shown using both M1 and YO increases. Here the rate of increase in rounds is slower than above (2 per needle as opposed to 4), so increase rounds are separated by only one row knitThe octagonal medallions (pp.244-245) are cast on 16 stitches, divided on 4 needles and knit with a fifth. To make a smaller center hole, 8 stitches may be cast on, doubled on the next round, and then divided. The first geometric medallion shows increases (4 per segment, 16 per round) in single rounds, requiring several knitting rounds between the increases. The second medallion uses more frequently (2 per segment, 8 per round), so single all knit rows separate roundsFor the octagonal medallion swirl  (p.245) directions are the same as for the hexagonal one, with a 4th segment providing extra sidesIf the perimeter or circumference of the shape to be knit are known, the process may be reversed from the edge in, with decreases replacing increases. The advantage to working from the center out is that adjustments i.e. extra knit rows between increases, changing increases to yarn over(s) for added ease or decoration, etc. may be made far more easily as the work grows. Considerations should be given to leans of M1 stitches so they point in opposite directions on alternating sides. Motif and pattern placement can only be planned after these building units have been sorted out.

Two online guides for increases in hand knitting and their results:
http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/index.php/component/content/article/35-features/1041-increasing-your-options
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter09/FEATwin09TT.php

A block lace pattern on KM 3 (punchcard, LC, HT)

This is the original lace working repeat as seen in previous post. It needs to be reduced in repeat width, with segments then moved to accommodate the required changes in height as well

original repeatgetting things down to 12 sts repeat width, eliminating sts and rows: easy task with software and virtual “graph paper”minus rowsthe segments, collaged together; black squares now to become  punched holesrepeat_cardmarking out borders to suit mylar or brand of blank punchcard makes placing the markings for transfers accurately easier ie.

every 5 squares every5                           every 6 squares                           every6

chart with actions of lace carriage included, the 14 stitch by 24 rows electronic repeat now reduced to a 12 stitch by 16 row repeat; see previous post for symbols keyLCactiona brief test of the resulting fabric: blue circles highlight a couple of the intersecting spots where the punchcard produced lace fabric looks different from the electronic version, because of its shortened and narrowed repeats marked

A block lace pattern on KM 2 (electronic LC, HT)

Sometimes I begin by analyzing the moves on large print paper to get a sense of the direction for the required transfer moves. This pattern is fairly straightforward, single moves to the right or to the left. What makes it different is what I have referred to as the knit side “chain” in the previous post. To achieve this, sets of stitches are transferred, doubled up, and moved back to the original position to create the proper eyelet placement.

Tension may have to be adjusted to accommodate the double travel of stitches. If it is just a tad off and occasional stitches sit on a closed latch, that may not be noticed, and runs in lace are no fun. Edge stitches get fussy as the knitting grows, edge weights moved up at regular intervals can help with that problem. Where 2 stitches need to move to their right or left, I have chosen to do so by hand rather than relying on the lace carriage to move them onto the single needle, and in turn back onto the center one of the group of 3.  My initial notes on paper:PAPER SKETCHAssigning colors for transfer, charting in excel: green to left, pink to right, checking where markings need to be for full KM repeat:FULL REPEAT

Expanding the repeat, adding 2 blank rows between pairs of transfers with the intent to white out square for “wrong” transfer rows places transfers to right on wrong chart rowwrong

all markings, shifted to proper locationfull mylar

symbols used: black squares = mylar markingschart symbols

The lace carriage begins on left as usual, makes 4 passes before each 2 rows knit. The first sequence hand transfer occurs on row 2 of the 4 LC passes. The second sequence hand transfer on row 1 of 4 passes. After the 3 onto one hand transfer, be certain all 3 needles line up in B position before the lace carriage makes its transfers as well.

the resulting fabric’s knit side 500_954

purl side 500_955

A block lace pattern on the KM 1

A friend recently posted a forum query on a published pattern that has led to my exploring another hand to machine knit transfer lace. The “flemish block lace” design from the second treasury of knitting patterns by Barbara Walker, p. 270 seemed to be the lace pattern motif used. Here is a partial detail from the fabric that began the discussion

try to copy

Below is a chart for the Walker repeat produced with Intwined. The repeat is a multiple of 14 + 3 border stitches, the first row is purl, but I could not enter an all purl for row one and not have the remaining symbols altered by the program, which assumes in lace the first row is knitflemish block lacethe program’s generated HK instructions for one repeat plus 3 border stitches screenshot_04In attempting the machine knit version I chose to use the HK chart for my transfers as it stood, the directions of the transfers being mirrored vertically did not matter to me.

This design has “chains” traveling along some of the edges of the diagonal shapes. A lot of moving stitches in groups of 2 or 3 is required to achieve the look. It may be possible to achieve the fabric knitting with the aid of a lace carriage,  but planning the punchcard or electronic repeat and correcting any dropped stitches pose special challenges. My first samples were knit on the bulky KM, working in width of the 17 sts illustrated above.

I began to test transfers by moving stitches every row. Interesting things happen when single rows are knit on the machine as opposed to the traditional 2 in multiple transfer lace, as well as the resulting shape being half the number of rows long. The eyelet yarn lies single, without the twist usually seen, and begins to look more like ladders (see previous posts on zig zag ladder lace).

knit sideIMG_1938purl sideIMG_1939

with 2 knit rows between transfers (the missing eyelet in marked spot is due to operator error) the familiar look of multiple transfer lace appears1940

IMG_1941

below the swatch image is flipped horizontally for a different perspective, approaching the original hand knit inspiration1940looking at charting differently, back to Excel: single repeat

BW repeat_12

                    checking alignment, adding border stitches4 repeatbw                                                adding colorcolored repeat

moves                    checking alignment, adding border stitches4 repeat color2The next consideration might be how to make executing the pattern easier on a standard machine. Needle pre selection may be used to guide hand transfers. Working out the electronic repeat, represented by black squares:isolating mylar rep                                         the transfer directions

transfers                        the chart in repeat , including bordersmylarx4_borderthere is no transfer on row 3 of repeat next to border on chart left, it is omitted in bottom of chart, shown on top half. End needle selection is cancelled throughout. The resulting test swatch, one operator error transfer missing on mid left:

                                                    knit side 500_1945                                                     purl side500_1944One of the issues I encountered during the initial tests was that of occasional needles “sneaking”/ dropping back on the machine, so ladders rather than eyelets were formed. The needle retainer bar is old, and I like to work lace with the ribber off and a tilted main bed, explaining the possible cause.

“Button holes” and “make many – increase” “lace”

An image often found on Pinterest, with its source attributed to a Vero Moda garment and accompanied by a “how to” request, led me to give “designing” it a shot. Here, I believe, 2 layers of a garment are pictured, resulting in the stocking stitch knit that appears behind the eyelets.augudAnalyzing the fabric: a wide, flat rib is created. The equivalent of “buttonholes” with fewer cast on than bound off stitches is in use, creating the narrowing effect at the top of each slit, four stitches are “lost”. Making multiple stitches from one (4 in this case) restores the original stitch count and returns width to fabric. To make 4: Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1 into the same stitch, or in this case, the bar between the 2 center stitches. Executing this is not “practical” on the knitting machine. Below is one possible method that could be adapted for groupings with slits of varying sizes.

My chart, showing 4 repeats (black border) and 3 added starting rows. Green numbers on bottom indicate the repeat’s width (20 stitches), and on the left its height (12 rows). Slits are created every 6th row, with right side facing. Two more stitches would be added on far right for each side to match in the finished piece. Side borders and top and bottom bands could be made wider and longer respectively, knit in garter stitch to keep edges flat. repeatX4_31

the symbols used

screenshot_30

my unblocked sample, knit on 32 stitches in worsted weight acrylic, using #8 needles

IMG_1907

 

Pleats: ribbed , folding fabrics

I created the illustrations/ charts below in Mac Pages, which has changed quite a bit since the Mavericks upgrade. With Apple’s continued efforts to make programs more compatible between devices, many features I preferred for designing my charts  in previous OS, are now defunct.

RIBBED, FOLDING PLEATS result from varying the needle arrangement on both beds, usually in every needle rib. As with any knit fabric, the knit piece will fold toward the purl side along the length of the piece, not away from it. Leaving needles out of work on either bed will create a vertical stripe of stocking stitch on the other, creating purl stitches on the rib ground, and the resulting knit will fold toward that bed, and the plain knit stitches. The same principle could be applied to hand knitting. The symbols: black dots indicate needles out of work, purple arrows the direction of the fold in the resulting fabric, | the needles in work on either bed, any machine.

Sharp angles occur when there are enough needles in work on both beds to allow the fabric to fold over itself crisply before it is forced by next group of out of work needles to fold once again in the opposite direction

needle arrangementalternating direction of folds to create sharp or knife pleats

folds up as

repeat above configuration across the needle bed, going as narrow or as wide as desired

double sharp or box pleats  are a variation where the direction of every other pleat is reversed, extra stitch groups may be added between pleats to vary their spacing

added stitch group represented by star, stitch count varied to suit

star

stars add

fold up as

box_sharp

accordion sharp pleats out of work needles evenly staggered on both beds

accordion

 fold up as

accordion sharp

Putting out of work needles on one bed close to out of work needles on the other will not allow the fabric to fold over completely before reversing direction, and will result in rounded or rolled, rather than sharp pleats. There should be one full needle rib stitch between needles out of work, highlighted below in red. Repeating the same selection results in rolled single pleats 

rolled

fold up as
curved knife

double rolled pleats mirror needle groups

double rolled

fold up as

curve1

in accordion rolled OOW needles are spaced evenly on both beds

accordion rolled

fold up as

sunray roundTypes of pleats, their width, spacing and mixing with stretches of every needle rib, may be used in whole garments or garment details ie cuffs, peplums, single fold large pleats in skirts and jackets, etc.

Brother Ribber Techniques Book page 37 illustration

page37

some considerations

Normal shaping procedures are not practical in these fabrics. Tension changes are used from loose to tight to achieve shaping from wider at bottom to narrower at top, requiring extended swatches. The larger the finished items, such as skirts, are more predictable in result if the test swatch is a large one. A minimum of 100 rows for gauging is recommended. A test segment is made for each tension change. Swatches should be allowed to rest after being treated like the finished garment will be: blocked, pressed, washed, etc., then hung vertically and allowed to rest. After deciding the length, 2-4 inches need to be subtracted from the desired measurement to allow for “drop” that is likely in the finished piece over time.

The fabric may look a bit different on one side than the other, either works as the exterior of the piece, is a matter of preference.

These are knits where the clicks between numbers on tension dials on machines come into use. In addition to the usual gauge calculations for knitting garments, a bit more math is needed.

The number of needles used need to be divisible by the number of stitches used for any pleat.

Joining on inner folds rather than outer ones produces better results. Having an extra stitch at joining edges, with seaming using half a stitch on each side, will keep pleat widths constant.

The larger the pleat, the more bulk is created. Most skirts will require 3 panels with one seam worn on center back. Yokes may be added to decrease bulk rather than having pleats meet at waistline.

Ribbers on Japanese machines tend to knit tighter than main beds. At times an increase of 2 tension numbers may be required to get stitch sizes created by both beds to approach being equal. The other factor to consider is that the wider the plain knit vertical portion of the pleats, for stitches to knit off properly, the more the tension needs to approach the # used to knit the same yarn in stocking stitch on the respective single bed. Tolerance varies between machines.

Experimentation is needed even before knitting the large swatches. It pays to be familiar with both your ribber and your yarn before trying these fabrics, and to keep good notes.

 

Combining tuck stitches with lace 2 (automating them)

Working with 2 carriages when both are selecting needles brings up some interesting issues. Studio machines are able in most instances to select and knit in the same row. Brother pre selects needles for the subsequent row, and on that row, while knitting the preselection, once again, selection is made for the next pattern row to be knit.

A couple of my earlier posts on topic knitting with 2 carriages and a lace round doily that combines lace with slip stitch selection to emulate holding for creating the needed spiral.

Following up on the previous post, now attempting to automate the stitch, some of the logic needs in needle selection needs to be explored. The chart as drawn below simply addresses functions that may create the desired fabric. It is incorrect in terms of accuracy in actual knitting it

theory

 symbols used

theory symbols

reworking the repeat for use with mylar

mylar selection

 the drawn mylar repeat, numbers reflect placement on my sheet

mylar repeat

mylar symbols2

When both carriages are in use for pattern selection, they will both engage the belt. While either carriage is in use, the alternate one needs to be off the needle bed, or the belt may actually break as one carriage holds it in fixed position, while the other tugs at it toward the fixed spot from the opposite side of the machine. Lace extension rails are used on both sides. There were variations over the years, including a pair to fit the bulky 260 KM. They are not always exchangeable between models, need to sit properly on the machine for carriages to be stable while stored to the side, and also for moving them off and onto the machine easily.

Pre punched standard Brother lace cards usually begin with the lace carriage selecting the first pattern row moving from the left side to the right. As with any lace or tuck fabric, knitting begins with waste yarn that is weighted evenly, and any edge treatment of choice. On the 910, because of the preselection factor, and to keep the pattern continuous in proper order, the knit carriage is removed from the right side of the machine, and the lace carriage does a preselection row from right to left. That will be its start and return position for the remainder of the fabric. The knit carriage is returned in turn to its home on the right end of the machine, on the extension rail.

Two types of fabric are being created. The goal is to have the edge stitches knitting throughout. To accomplish this, if the LC is in use, eliminate any end needle selection by pushing needles back to B; when the KC is in use, if the end needle is not selected, to get it to knit, it needs to be pushed out to E. The pattern sequence is an easy one when up and running, with 2 passes of the LC, and 4 of the KC, as seen in the charts above.

The knit side is shown below, the arrow locating the larger eyelet points to operator error: I had a stitch caught on a gate peg, and was not aware of the problem for several rows. The extra loop of yarn can actually be seen. Tuck fabrics are often far more interesting on the purl than on the knit side

mylar_knit1

the purl side with arrow indicating the same problem spot

mylar_purl1

The question that follows is how to program the same design for use with a punchcard machine. Here things get a bit more confusing. The electronic machines advance the program or card a single row for each carriage pass, no matter their direction or sequence. When the punchcard carriage is at rest on either side and the alternate carriage moves toward it, the card does not advance, so the needle selection stays the same, is repeated for a second time. A bit more planning is required and the repeat needs to be shortened to accommodate for this fact.

The chart below shows the amended repeat for punching a card. The first selection row is made with the card locked, and the LC moving from left to right. The card is then released, LC moves to left, transferring stitches selected the previous row to the left, while selecting those for the first row of tuck. The next row, using the alternate carriage, begins the ongoing sequence

punchcard chartA

actions of the carriages with each pass

what carriages do

The actual punched holes are shown below. The writing on the card is a ghost from a previous experiment. The red line marks starting row 1 for Brother knitting, blue border outlines a single repeat. A minimum of 3 repeats are needed for continuous reading by the KM

punchcardFabrics with color changes every 2 rows such as mazes and mosaics are easily knit on the electronic with 2 carriages. If worked on a punchcard machine, they would have to be executed using a yarn changer and only the knit carriage, unless the design motif is redrawn to factor in the issue discussed above. A previous post, part of a thread on mazes and mosaics, with a punchcard swatch photo.

The first preselection row in any patterning that involves color or carriage changes every 2 rows, is usually done toward the side of the machine that holds either the color changer, or the carriage next in use. As seen above, there are exceptions to that “rule” as well.

Machine knit “dragon scales” update

I had previously posted on an Armani inspired knit scale like pattern  that sometimes was described online as a machine knit “crocodile stitch”. A fellow raveler just shared on her project page an interesting variation that includes variations in scale of the scales themselves. All her transfers are made onto a single center point, eliminating the vertical separation that appears at the center of my version.

my previous smaller, machine knit sample

IMG_1648

a hand knit lace cousin to try with full repeat and directions, chart and text generated in Intwined, border stitches not shown

armani hk

armani hk how

Combining tuck stitches with lace 1

A simple chart, from a random Japanese publication

tuck and lacethe isolated repeat outlined

tuck and lace2

symbols used

symbols1

of note: in the above pattern, all transfers are in the same direction. My test swatches were knit on bulky 260 KM. Held stitches form loops on top of needles brought out to E position. The original stitch formerly in the needle hook grows in length, behind the newly formed loops. When patterning is automated using the tuck cam setting, the non selected needle will not be worked. The original stitch gets longer here as well, while the loops that in the hand technique rest on top of the needles, will now be held in the hook of the needle along with the last knit stitch. The latter fact is the limiting factor determining the number of rows that may actually be tucked, especially on Japanese machines. Yarn used and needle gauge also matter. Tucked fabrics, like lace, need to be weighted evenly for loops formed to knit off properly.

How to for my swatches:

knit base row (s), set up repeat so some stitches knit every row on each side creating a border, set machine to hold stitches

row 1: transfer every 4th stitch to the right. If you are in the habit of pulling needles holding multiples stitches to D before knitting the next row after transferring multiple stitches onto a single needle, this is ruled out when the carriage is set for holding, as those stitches would then not knit as intended on the next pass. To produce an eyelet, emptied needles are returned to B position after each transfer sequence

rows 2, 3, 4 bring alternate every 4th needle as shown in chart into hold, knit 3 rows

row 5: push held needles back into work (D on brother km),  knit one row across all needles. Held stitches will knit off as a group, check that they have done so uniformly

rows 6, 7, 8: transfer alternate every 4th needle out to hold, knit 3 rows

row 9: begin sequence again, repeating rows 1-8

When transfers are made in a single direction, the fabric will bias in the direction of those transfers. In the bottom section of the photo below, the resulting lean to the left is easily seen. If a bias leaning fabric is desired, this is an easy way to get there. However, if the goal is to achieve a balanced fabric, then the transfers need to happen in opposite directions as seen in the top segment of the swatch.

knit swatchthe new working repeat

new_repeat

directions

the number of held/tuck stitch rows has been changed to 4 rather than 3. When the row that knits off the loops occurs, the total number of knit rows for the sequence will be an odd one, resulting in the carriage being at opposite sides of the needle bed at the end of each pattern repeat. Transferring stitches may then be made toward the carriage: COR – transfer to right, COL transfer to left. This makes it easier to track direction when working the fabric as a hand technique.

Next up: automating the pattern for standard gauge machines using the lace carriage, and tuck patterning in the knit carriage as well.

Ladders with lace, “making things work” 1

Just about 2 years ago, I had an obsession with leaf shapes in lace, and wrote a series of posts on approaches to both designing them and rendering them in knit on more than one machine. One such early post. Recent publications are reflecting the increasing interest in bulkier knits and combining  ladder “lace (created by needles remaining out of work) with shapes floating within the resulting open spaces. I thought I would address some of the issues in such fabrics, while returning to a leaf as the focus “shape”. My samples are knit on a Brother 260, using hand techniques that require only the basic set of transfer tools.

Long verticals in knit may have problems with the edge stitches separating from the rest of the knit, i.e. in FI vertical stripes. In plain knit, the edge stitches may stretch, become distorted, and may encroach on the ladder space. A series of actions taken on the edge stitches of ladders will help prevent that, here I am choosing to use a simple 1 X 1 cable cross every 2 rows to stabilize them. Having the cables coincide with the rows on which transfers are made to create the chosen shape makes tracking them easier.

my first schematic (Excel chart)

screenshot_14

symbols used

symbols2

imagining in repeat

in repeat

my first swatch

for decreasing stitches in work on right or left at the top of the chart I used a simple decrease

edge_decrease

using the “fully fashioned” option would provide a different look along that edge

ff_decrease2

For my test swatch I used a crochet cast on across 17 + 4 for single full pattern repeat, + 4 edge stitches on either side = a total of 29 stitches. To create the transition  from 1 to 3 stitches in the center of the leaf,  I  e wrapped an additional 2  empty needles

e_wrap0-2

#1 reflect the e wrapped increase just above the cast on, #2 show results of the same technique at the top of the established “leaf” pattern

e_wrap1_2

the chart repeat amended for a different start

screenshot_15the second swatch, trying a different way of adding stitches

#1 shows pattern beginning on a group of knit sitches, as opposed to a single center one for leaf

#2 shows a full “leaf” repeat as charted, red arrow points to e wrapped yarn traveling in front of the shaping

#3  red arrow indicates the same is happening with the float, while the green shows my desired twist, with stitch to front

300_92_2

Sorting it out: a third swatch, with an amended way of e wrapping. To make sampling quicker, I modified the repeat, eliminating cables, decreasing the number of stitches at the widest part of the leaf, making fewer eyelet transfers.  The results show how much the shape of the “leaf” may be varied with just a few changes. Note the twist and location of floats in relationship to stitches just above #1

e_wrap4_2

I will document the 1X3 increase method I liked best out of several trials in my next post.

If having a single pivot stitch for the repeat is not important, the chart below is amended again to accommodate that

screenshot_16

if eyelets are eliminated to create a geometric pattern and/or for the sake of speed, increases may be created on both sides beginning on row 12 of the above chart by picking up from the row below

make_one