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

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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.

A lace WIP

A WIP using punchcard developed in previous post . I missed a dropped stitch and wound up with a glorious run and giant hole, one of the ultimate joys of lace knitting. I find repairing such is more easily done if the knit is dropped off the machine, pressed lightly, and knitting is unraveled to the point where it can be re-hung on an all knit row. Lace traditionally is shown blocked, perhaps to maximize the eyelet pattern. If “left alone” it can have an interesting 3 dimensional surface. The latter is more likely to be retained if one uses a yarn with “memory”, such as wool, and knits the fabric in as low a tension as possible.

The images below show my WIP, and the difference in the untreated vs. the pressed and steamed portions of the piece. The yarn is a hand/ machine knitting super-wash wool/ polyamide blend. The manufacturer’s suggested machine knitting tension was 7-5, my cowl in progress is knit at 8.2 to make the transfers manageable.

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“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

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

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Zig Zag ladder lace 2: hand knit

I work primarily on a Mac, Maverick OS. Intwined software has had some issues operating in Mac consistently in the latest OS versions. The chart to text can be a really nice feature. The repeat, drawn here with symbols in the built in stitch library, shows errors in row 2 and 4 of the accompanying text.single repeatmistakes single

On a larger canvas, the original repeat is outlined below in red. Yellow indicates knit border stitches around ladder lace pattern repeats; row 22 is absent from the text that accompanied the larger chart.

full chart

full directionsSkitch is a free program, available for both Mac and Windows, that allows the opportunity for of highlighting or further editing a graphic. Taking the information above, here I added numbers that reflect actual repeat rows, used the arrows as a reminder of change in direction of zig zag, and the red outlines vs green indicate changes in type of knit decrease. It is easy to add as much or as little additional information as one feels helpful. There are controls for line thickness, shadows, etc.

actual repeat

JKnit is another program that may be of interest to anyone who prefers to track their projects, progress, and much more on their iPad or iPhone. The Lite version is free for both devices.

Below is an image of the hand knit swatch, unblocked, which appears three dimensional; transfer  lace has traditionally been blocked to lie flat and maximize eyelets. The fabric may be very interesting without blocking. If a slightly thicker yarn with “memory” is used, the piece may be steamed lightly, and the pattern segments will tend to shift in and out from the flat surface, whether the piece is hand or machine knit.IMG_1901

The yarn used was a “throw away” swatch testing acrylic. A very quick, light press and a bit of steam and here it is in the resulting killed, forever flattened version

IMG_1905  and it reverse side

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Zig Zag ladder lace 1: on knitting machine

My previous posts on combining ladders and lace: 1, 2 . The chart below, found in a random Japanese publication, started the process of my sorting out a possible “how to” on the knitting machine
bulky zig zag lace

In hand knitting, the 2  empty circles generally indicate a double yarn over. On the machine these can be simulated by working with extra empty needles. For swatching, a few rows of stocking stitch will do as a start. In a final fabric, waste yarn may be followed by ravel cord and a crochet cast on. After the crochet cast on, the chain on the needles for the extra “yarn over” location can be dropped, leaving those needles “empty”, and the pattern may begin immediately.

One of the 2 yarn overs will be created by manipulating an empty needle, the other by transferring stitches by hand as one would in lace.

If the empty needle if moved back to A, a ladder is created that is essentially a float in front of the gate pegs up to the next knit stitch. For purposes here, the result did not give me enough yarn to be able to maneuver.

The first step is to decide on the repeat between transfers, and emptying appropriately spaced needles, seen here in A position

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for the longer “float”: before the first row of the pattern, the empty needle is brought out to work, a row is knit, resulting in loops on those needles, that will create extra yarn slack

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the loop is in turn dropped

IMG_1883a tool is inserted through the loopIMG_1893

turned  clockwise for  casting on  in one direction,

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and turned counter clockwise for casting on in the opposite. Note that in one instance the long leg of the e is in back of the knit on the purl side, in the second in front. This makes a difference on the knit side of the fabric as well.

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to get the look of ssk and ssp as seen in hand knitting (instead of a simple decrease),  depending on the direction you are traveling, the needle 3 stitch is moved to its right or left onto the center one to create the second “yarn over” . Both stitches are then returned  together to the needle 3 position

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and with the transfer and e wrap completed, one is ready for the next row of knitting. Bringing the 3 needles out to hold gives one the opportunity to check all transfers and wraps, makes the next row easier to knit

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the turn of the zig zag: pick up from row below for increase, instead of e wrapping for a neater turn

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my first swatch: 1/ ladder at start of row; 2/ shows chain moving along the knit side, emulating ssk and ssp decreases seen in hand knitting; all my e wraps were made clockwise, 3 shows the long leg of the wrap moving to front of fabric as opposed to the rear as in 5, each giving a different look to ladder’s edge; 4 indicated the pivot point for reversing the direction of the zig zagnumbered_1892below shows the results of alternating the directions of the e wraps in each section: clockwise when moving to left, counter clockwise when moving toward right. The large eyelet at the top illustrates what happens typically when an empty needle is brought back into work at the top of a ladder.

IMG_1890 (1)

Ladders may be created in any desired width. The look of the vertical knit edges becomes a matter of preference. Good note-keeping helps insure consistent results.

 

Broomstick lace on the knitting machine

Some illustrations of this fabric may be found in my previous posts: forming long loops and stitches using cast on comb and weights or ruler , some long stitch swatches, a few more tips and ideas from the earliest post on topic.

Here are some ideas on creating a basic 3 loop “broomstick” cross. Most of my teaching has been on 4.5 mm machines, so the above swatches were executed in thinner yarns. For this post my swatch is knit in a random scrap yarn from my studio, on the 260 Brother Bulky machine.

The basis of this type of stitch is to create long loop stitches, and in turn to re- hang them in various configurations. The look I prefer among others I have tested, results when loops are hung in on every other needle, whether singly or in groups, and the next row is simply knit. Here, as in any machine knit  fabric, if there are 2 or more empty needles side by side, any other than a single needle must be e wrapped, cast on, or have a loop lifted up from the row below (used in increases), or the result will be a ladder vs. knit stitch formation on that needle.

Begin with waste yarn and some rows of knit. As long stitches are formed, some weight will be required to keep loops from jumping up, forward, and off the KM. Since you are asking the loops to stretch quite a bit on a fixed width metal base, some testing is required to determine the best tool for forming the optimum loop length. Yarn thickness factors into this as well. I found knitting stitches back to A loops too short, and using a cast on combs and paper clips or any of my rulers made them too long, so I opted for the plastic rod insert from one of my window shades.

I like to work my loops from left to right, so the last row is knit from right to left. They may certainly be formed in either direction. In this instance, COL needs to be returned to the right before resuming knitting. This can happen before or after forming long stitches, by any method you like. Consistency helps eliminate errors.

I bring needles out to hold/ E position, lining them up to form new stitches one at a time, the yarn is brought around to the end of the “ruler”

61guided under the needles yet to be wrapped, resting to the right of the next needle out to E on left side

59

placed in the needle hook

60

and knit through, repeating process across the row: the number of loops should match the original number of stitches

63the spacing tool is removed; the next 2 steps  may be easier to perform if the needles are once again brought out to holding / E first

64pulling down on your knit will create the long stitches

65working in groups of 3: remove first 2 loops on right, transfer to needle 3 on left

66

insert tool in center of group of 3, lift strands onto needle 1 on right

67

bring center needle (2 of 3) out and over multiple loops, all 3 to E pos68

repeat across row 69COR: knit 3 rows (or more, odd #),  ending with COL, so the yarn tail will once again be on the left to begin the process of wrapping.

knit next row carefully, adjust stitch size and loop length if needed

the top row in photo shows all 3 loops transferred onto center needle, with crochet cast on  (indicated on purl side by blue arrow) on all needles involved in the plain knit areas before the next row of knitting

broomstick_23

Hairpin lace diagrams can be a source of design inspiration for designing loop configurations. The crochet cast on  any empty needles could be used where chains occur in crochet diagrams, and it needs to be loose enough for the next knit row to be formed easily. In my swatch I actually had to hand knit the first/ next row, my carriage jammed in the areas where the triple loops were in needle hooks as well as my cast on chain.

The number of knit rows between forming the long stitches may be odd or even, providing one gets comfortable with working in both directions. The carriage gets switched frequently from side to side. Sometimes the least likely to drop your work carriage “free pass” is simply to take it off the machine on one side,  bring it to the opposite side, and engage it on the machine  once again, with no need to change cam settings or worry about traveling with it across your knit piece.

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

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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