A bit of holding 4: intarsia and more

Picture knitting / intarsia may at times be achieved using holding techniques. As in any such knitting, supplies include extras such as bobbins, clothespins or weighted clips, but no separate carriage. If the ribber is in use and one is working on a large piece, ribber covers allow the yarns to hang in front of the ribber bed.

Some of the rules for accomplishing this using short rows: it is helpful to work from a chart. Two row sequences are required, so having the working chart double length makes the process easier to visualize. “Follow” knitting direction with any tool to determine that the pattern is executable, with no long floats or slits.

The bottom of any diagonal lines is always knit first.

Needles are brought out to hold on the carriage side, pushed back into work opposite the carriage; one exception to this rule is if “automatic wrapping” is used. In the latter one less needle is brought into hold than needed opposite the carriage, the row is knit, then with the carriage on the alternate side the first needle in hold next to stitches just knit is brought out to hold, resulting in a “wrap” and correcting the count to the desired number. Any number of needles may be pushed back into work at any time. More than single stitches brought to hold on the carriage side will produce floats.

When knitting shapes the only needles in work are those being worked to create that shape.

Base rows of knitting, whether in waste yarn or as part of the pattern, are needed prior to working in hold.

Remember that you are working on the purl side, so any image will be flipped horizontally on the knit side. Reverse chart horizontally before working it if direction matters.

Begin with a simple shape. Letters indicate knitting sequence for short row sections. Patterning in these charts begins with COR, bold lines separate areas of plain knitting, letters indicate order for executing short row segments. The fabric produced lies flat, with no noticeable 3D protrusions.

screenshot_08

screenshot_09

screenshot_07marking sequences with numbers is easier for me to follow; color changes help define segments, do not reflect final colors in design diamond_29

diamond_sequence

a super mini swatch: holes are typical both in intarsia and in short rows if no wrapping occursIMG_2439be prepared to weave in a lot of yarn endsIMG_2901going larger, note “steps” created when larger number of needle groups are used500_717stripes500_716more complex geometry:  line drawing on “graph paper”complex_30the start of color placement screenshot_01sequence for executing segments at completion of designcomplex_number_01in actual knitting the pattern must be elongated X2

I find it helpful to use familiar yarn and to work variations of a familiar shape prior to taking on more complex patterns. Below is a cousin of the first shape illustrated in this post, with pattern worked beginning COL, repeated across the row, increments in number of stitches worked in short rows, but mirrorred on both shape sides (shown in first swatch segment).

screenshot_01filling in to produce a flat fabric, with straight sides: bottom segmentscreenshot_02top segmentscreenshot_04the amended chartscreenshot_05

Some of the same shapes may be placed on a shaped edge. The repeat will likely need some editing; arrows indicate direction of knitting for that row. If the background color is used for casting on and binding off, then the isolated shape floats on the ground, and the horizontal line of contrast color is eliminated.

screenshot_18edge 1creating an outline of shape with Color 1screenshot_23edge_21

horizontal rotation to achieve “leaf” shapescreenshot_05melding shapesno wrap_28don’t like wrapping? for smaller holes offset return to work position upper half of shape by one needle less at the start, added at endno wrap_28knitting direction leaf_25stacking shapes, with bound off stitchesstacking leaves

combo_2934

combo_2935

the yarn used is an acrylic, so pressing helps to make the shapes lie flat. Once again, using wool or any other yarn with “memory” will result in considerable curl at side ant top and bottom of knit piece, so that is a consideration in putting in the effort. The more striping, the more yarn ends to weave in and row counts to watch. Using space dyed or sock yarns may produce pleasing though unplanned stripe patterns in any of the shapes. My samples are not resolved final fabrics. There are many inspiring patterns available for purchase or at times free on the internet for hand knitting, usually in garter stitch as well as holding, resulting in a nearly square gauge, flat lying knit.

Taking it to garments: accessories are easiest, since gauge may not be significant. Shawl shapes in HK are often knit on circular needles, without the constraint of the fixed number of needles on any particular model KM. Sometimes, with adjustments, the same shapes may be rotated sideways on the KM. Segment sizes may differ due to the resulting change in gauge. Sampling techniques and shapes in smaller versions helps work out the kinks.

Sources for inspiration: large scale shapes

http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7365&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7543&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7375&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7099&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6729&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6333&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6001&cid=17

more details, varying concentration and placement

free pattern
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7606&cid=17

for purchase on ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/endless-rainbow
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rigoles
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dreambird-kal
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/scarf-with-flames
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/phoenix-wing—phoenix-flugel
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spring-plumage
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hundertwasser-neptunia
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/swingtrelac

A bit of holding 3: shape variations and more

Hand knit spiraling shawls and shawlettes often involve shaping on every row. Increasing essentially requires casting on one or more stitches. Below are cast on illustrations from varied sources I used in handouts in my intro to knitting classesscreenshot_19 (1)

screenshot_20

A simple decrease occurs when the last stitch on either side is transferred moving away from the carriage, the empty needle is placed out of work, and the row is knit.

edge increaseThis illustration shows a fully fashioned version, which gives an edge that makes seaming easier and more attractive, and eliminates the small bumps usually seen along decrease edges, the process adds to knitting time involved in finishing the piece. Decreases may be made on every row.ff_decrease2

Simple increases: a factor that is often first noticed when approaching seaming is that the carriage side creates loops, while opposite the carriage one gets what looks like a knot, both alternate as starting position of the carriage swaps sides. To speed things up for single increases, one alternative is to bring an empty needle into work on the carriage side. This creates an elongated loop rather than a full stitch. Unless intended as a design feature, the edge is not the best one for seaming. A better looking increase is created by putting a needle into work opposite the carriage. For a “good edge”  two rows minimum of knitting need to occur prior to the next increase. Continuing on the thread begun in the last 2 posts, I experimented with every row increases and came up with what I consider a reasonable compromise. The method for increases on right edge:
*COR: bring an empty needle into work on the carriage side, knit a row. Insert transfer tool into loop created as shown, turn toward carriage (in this case clockwise), essentially creating an e wrap, hang on adjacent empty needle hook.

increase every row

COL knit to right*, repeat *  *

In the previous 2 posts’ samples I did not wrap any needles. Wrapping in both directions can create an interesting line along the center of the “leaf” or “other” shapes, seen in the photo below

experiment small

Interpreting hand knit patterns for use on the machine requires translations of some of the vocabulary and directions given. If an edge stitch is made in garter or slip stitch variations, disregard and simply add it to the total number of stitches on the segment of the needle bed that is being worked on. Wrap and turn is executed by wrapping the yarn around the adjacent needle in hold prior to knitting back to opposite side

2: knit <-                  1: wrap COR            1: wrap COL                2: knit -> both

pw2: picking up wraps and knitting them together happens when needles with wrapped loop and stitch behind it are brought back into work.

Terminology may vary in self published patterns, some are accompanied by very good tutorials. Ravelry HK searches can provide inspiration for many a holding technique variations. Other terms to look for in image and pattern searches include swing knitting, and on occasion, tapestry knitting.

 

A bit of holding 2 / moving shapes around

There are many hand knit patterns floating around the internet, placing shapes similar to these, with many variations, along varied locations in accessories and sweaters. The same shape discussed in the previous post is shown here placed near and then at the edge of the knit. There are many things to consider in addition to choice of shape. In hand knitting these patterns are usually knit in garter stitch, a fabric that does a good job of lying flat when completed. Short rows are used in both hand and machine knitting; the Brother G carriage produces it “automatically”, but is not short row friendly. The more practical solution is to try a plain knit version. Edges of the knit are still going to curl toward the purls side. Some of this can be averted by using an acrylic or other fiber yarn that responds to being “killed” with ironing/ steaming, and will lie as close to flat as possible after the fact. Section A shows the shape knit with no color change and close to the side of the knit, note the vertical edge remains fairly straight. In section B stitches were cast on, and at the end of the holding sequence all stitches are knit moving from right to left. An increase in the number of stitches cast on is now reflected in the total width of the fabric. The result of multiple repeats would appear as a sort of “ruffle”. In section C the same number of stitches are bound off as cast on. The bind off is critical for shape retention. I prefer a latch tool cast off for most knits, here I used the *transfer over one, knit one* method, note: the turning point sharpness is lost and the bound off edge is very different from the cast on one. In this instance, because the number of stitches increased and decreased stitches are identical, if repeats were executed and no other increases were made anywhere, the width of the final piece would remain constant. If the goal was to achieve a triangular shape such as in a shawl, increases would have to be made along the edges of the plain knit sections, prior to the color change for section C. In testing repeats I do not wrap any needles. Evaluate whether the extra step is needed when swatching in your final yarn choice.

the swatch 0n_the_edge

planning the shapes, arrows indicate direction of carriage moves

co_bo

cast on stitches are knit as part of the last row

screenshot_06

cast on stitches are bound off prior to last row

screenshot_07

The last sample was also knit using the same yarn, followed by pressing. Again, I did not do any wrapping and holes created along the edges of the holding sequences are more visible. The swatch was knit from the bottom edge up. The cast on used was a weaving cast on. Both the bottom and the top edges show some of the distortion in the knit caused by the extra rows of knitting that occur in the shapes. Striping is added to the now familiar sequence, additional colors could be used, with shapes and stripes varied in placement along a wider, longer piece of knit to create interesting repeats. The top shows the start of a larger shape that with could be altered to resemble leaves, etc.

for a larger shape  going large

for a striped surroundstriped surroundknit side                                       purl side variations

A bit of holding 1

At a seminar during a visit to California in mid April just prior to the joys of downsizing and moving I showed this swatch and was asked for instructions for duplicating it.

26141860401_aedba24177_o

I have moved, and I finally have a machine set up to proof my ideas. The images below show plotting out repeats in excel

odd number of rows knit between shapesodd rows between

legend

movements of carriage to create each shape pretend knit2

if an even number of rows of color 1 is knit between shapes, the yarn is cut at the end of the holding sequence with color 2 (which is made up of an odd number of rows, begins on right, ends on left), a free pass is then made to return carriage to the right, there picking up color 1 for the plain knit sections

even rows between

some cut and paste following the direction of the arrows to work out knitting several shapes in any one row: in this instance the first row knit with color 2 is from left to right, as is the last row. Even number of rows in color 1 would start and end on the same side, COL. If changes of any 2 colors in any technique are for an even number of rows, yarn ends will occur on the same side

cut and paste

my original sample was made knitting single shapes with even number of knit rows between them. A reminder: Studio needle positions are A,B,C,D,  Brother needle positions  are A,B,D,E.  Holding position for Studio = D, for Brother = E. Upper work position for Studio = C, for Brother D. Settings for both are indicated below, for Studio, then (Brother)

color 1 cast on 60 stitches, knit 20 (or X) rows, end COR

first shape:  COR color 2 knit one row, end COL

COL at right bring 27 stitches to hold D (E) position. The rule is usually to always wrap taking yarn around the first needle in hold D (E) position, then to knit one row. I found in my samples the holes created were so small they could hardly be seen, so I did not wrap.

COR at left bring 27 stitches to hold D (E) position (6 stitches now in work), knit one row

holding sequence for each “shape”
COL at right, push 2 needles to work position C (D), knit one row
COR at left push 2 needles to work position C (D), knit one row
COL at right, push 2 needles to work position C (D), knit one row
COR at left push 2 needles to work position C (D), knit one row

COL at right return 2 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row
COR at left return 2 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row
COL at right return 2 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row
COR at left return 2 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row

COL return needles to right of shape to work position C (D), knit one row
COR return needles to left of shape to work positionC (D), knit one row

COL  cut color 2, make free carriage pass carriage to right

COR change to color 1, knit desired number of rows (20) end COR

COR for second shape with color 2 knit one row, end COL
COL at right bring 40 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row
COR at left bring 14 stitches to hold D (E) position, knit one row
“Always wrap taking yarn around the first needle in D (E) position, knit one row”
repeat shaping as directed above

COR change color 1, knit desired number of rows (20) end COR

for third shape COR with color 2 knit one row, end COL
COL at right bring 14 needles to hold D (E) position, knit one row
COR at left bring 40 stitches to hold D (E) position, knit one row
repeat shaping and /or wrapping as directed above
change to color 1, knit desired desired number of rows (20), bind off

Charting shapes for short row knitting and programming

In machine knitting, stitches are usually brought into hold opposite the carriage. If multiple stitches are brought out to hold on the carriage side, floats are created. Triangles stacked vertically as seen in the previous post, will create a spiral curve along the line where stitches are held. The carriage needs to get to the opposite side and back after each ‘decrease’ or ‘increase’, so pairs of rows are used to execute and reverse angles in short row shaping. When multiple rows are knit independently from the rest of the knit, slits are created. In two row sequences these are generally similar to holes created in lace, in longer sequences much larger slits are produced. The latter are often used as planned design elements. The small holes being visible may not pose a problem for the knitter. If they do, wrapping the adjacent needles can help eliminate them, but the doubled yarn in the wrapped needle may create small, sometimes visible bumps on the knit side of the finished piece, creating a secondary pattern.

Reducing eyelet size: in traditional wrapping  required needle(s) are brought out to hold, the yarn is wrapped under and around the last needle in hold on the carriage side before knitting the next carriage pass

                        COR                                                              COL                                both

The “automatic method” for wrapping

Decreasing: if COR (COL), to hold 1 stitch at a time, set the machine for holding. Bring one needle on the same side as the carriage into hold position. Pass the carriage to the opposite side. COL (COR) repeat if shaping is 2 sided, or if shaping is only on the starting side, knit back to it, and with COR (COL) repeat process. Increasing single stitch : bring 1 needle always opposite the carriage into work position.

Decreasing:  more than 1 needle or stitch at a time: if COR (COL), place 1 needle less than required into hold on the opposite side as the carriage, knit 1 row to left (right), toward the needle in hold. When COL (COR), bring into hold the last, additional needle. COL (COR) repeat if shaping is 2 sided, or if shaping is only on the starting side, knit back to it, and with COR (COL) continue decreases on the single, opposite side.

Increasing:  to remove stitches from holding , COR (COL) place the desired number of needles into working position on the side opposite the carriage, knit one row, repeat with COL (COR) if shaping is on both sides, or knit back to starting position COR (COL) and continue increases on the single, opposite side.

Charting out shapes knitting or programming stacked equal triangles / spirals: the wedge illustrated in the previous post single spiral wedge“Air knitting” is often used to think out fabric issues before swatching using yarn. Drawing lines to follow carriage movement direction required to keep the knitting continuous, whether or graph paper or within software programs, can help sort out shapes that will work in short rowing. Holding needs to happen in 2 row sequences. Below, black lines and arrows indicate the direction of knitting for each row, in this instance beginning with COR. Blue = knit stitches, yellow = all knit rows at the completion of each wedge (2 or multiple of 2, depending on planned design). This repeat is suitable for knitting a continuous strip with ruffling/spiraling at various degrees, not for ‘pie’ shapes.

offset

Working out the repeat: the red line represents the starting, selection (KC), knit  row, the numbers at the bottom the width of the repeat, the numbers to the side its height. The first repeat A, results in the fewest punched holes, drawn squares or programmed pixels, requires being knit double length. The remaining repeats (B, C) are drawn double length, standard card rotation is used. Eyelets form at the held edge. C takes automatic wrapping to decrease eyelet size at held edge into account. When any sequences are programmed for knitting using slip stitch, the end needle selection is always cancelled by using KCII, or turning non needle selection cams in punchcard models.

A                                 B                                    Crufflethe start of a miter shape: blue repeat, extra knit rows in yellow, auto hold on bottom rightscreenshot_45

Going 3D: in many designs the original repeat may simply be mirrored to be executed. If this is done here, one can see there is no longer a continuous knitting line, directional arrows are moving in opposite directions or toward each other from center point

offset1restoring continuity offset 2shifting rows around to create a workable repeat offset 3one shape 3 different ways:  red row = KC II, all knitdouble spiral

An executable 24 stitch, 26 row repeat:  black arrows alone indicate movement of carriage on the first row of the repeat, black arrows on red line indicate starting point and direction of movement of carriage for KCII rows. A begins to knit repeat with COR, B with COL. whole repeatsThe triangle’s vertex can be squared off, the height of the repeat shortened, to make 3D shapes much rounder ball1X8ball1X8

Not just for electronics: some punchcard repeats to try (also suitable for any machine). End needle selection is cancelled.  Selection rows are always toward the first pair of rows knit in holding pattern, so for the first 2 cards they would be from right to left. Single rows are punched but 2 row sequences are needed, so cards must be elongated X 2; miter shaping repeat is shown on the left, spiral on the right. Narrower shapes may be created and knit on the appropriate segment of the 24 stitch repeat needle positions. Use needle tape markings as guides for placement. Selection row is from right to left, the pattern repeat begins with COL. All punched, extra series of pairs of rows of knitting may be added at the top. Note: just a few rows may not be added with a small a segment of an additional card with clips, the whole repeat may have to be split in sections to allow for the extra rows and its smooth passage through the card reader. As an alternative, more rows of all holes could be added to the original card when first punched, tested, and then trimmed if not needed. It is useful to try out the repeat as a hand technique first in any of these instances, to determine personal preference.

miter_spiral1

Going 3D: punch only actual holes (black pencils marks were originally used to mark squares that needed to be unpunched for auto wrap on right, not the best choice for B/W scans). Two row sequences are punched, so no elongation is needed for either repeat. Miter shaping is shown on left, spiral on right; mem <– indicates direction for KC row; decreasing angles are auto wrapped, increasing angles need not be as seen in the top of miter on left, where needles are returned back to work to create the reverse shape.3Dmiter_spiral corrected

Some ruffle possibilities: all knit rows were added to the card on left with snaps, and are composed of all punched holes. The number of all knit rows  between held segments determines the spacing between wedges and the degree of spiraling of final fabric. KC row needs to be R to L for A, left to right B. Holding sequences are now staggered, changing the angle of the resulting curves. Where 2 stitches are brought to hold on the carriage side, a short  float is created.                                                      

A: elongate X 2                              B: use as is         ruffle-pair-

The recommended minimum for punchcard length is generally stipulated to be 36 rows. Card A without the added rows is 28 rows high (last 2 rows are for card overlap when adding snaps), so the repeat below, with extra segment removed, would need to be punched twice

A single_correctedeyelet pattern reflects shaping500668

500_

500_676

B: dotted lines outline segment: yellow dots on purl side, the 1 needle floatsruffle_floatone possible card revision: red dots indicate punched holes, stitches in hold as carriage moves from left to rightruffle16_CORany difference in the swatch, in this yarn, was almost imperceptible; results would vary depending on yarn thickness and fiber content.

rufle not floatthe swatch as a “ruffle”ruffle_show

Revisiting miters, spirals, going square, round, and more

I am working on updating my flickr photostream albums, including “all things holding” and will be revisiting posts on this topic over  the next few weeks, possibly adding edits.

There are times in knitting when math becomes a necessity. With online libraries, tools, and fairly intuitive software, drafting angles and shapes is now much easier. I will be teaching a class that includes miters and spirals at a seminar next month, leading me to revisiting the topic. Most published pattern instructions will give starting carriage locations, but shapes may be constructed counter clockwise or clockwise depending on preference. With understanding of how the shapes are formed and stacked, they may in turn be automated (depending on their size and the type of km) using the slip stitch setting. Stitches that are to be knit on each row are programmed as pixels, black squares, or punched holes.

Miter shaping may occur on side or in center of each triangular shape; a minimum of 2 knit rows usually occur at designated spots. Adding more knit rows and playing with angles of triangles will create ruffling effects, other angular shapes, pleats, and more. I have returned to using  Mac Numbers, their shapes and charts to generate most of the images below. Here the colored areas represent knit stitches, white negative (white) spaces stitches in hold. Red lines represent all knit row(s)/ spots for seaming at top and bottom of sequences. Seaming is easiest when done by joining all knit rows. Stitches are always brought into hold opposite the carriage side, returned to work on carriage side. In shaping guide, COL= carriage on left, COR= carriage on right.

knitting each segment

COR                                   COLwedges

Yellow triangle segment: bring all needles out to hold, push them back into work on the carriage side at the determined rate until all needles are back in work. Green triangle segment: with all the needles in work, begin to bring stitches into hold opposite the carriage at the determined rate until all the needles are in hold.

If seaming is desired in miter shaping with resulting eyelets at sides of triangle, the full wedge is split between the top (yellow segment) and the bottom of the piece (green segment). Knitting always starts with at least one or 2 rows of knitting (depending on whether the finished shape is to have a grafted seam.  For the full wedge: * yellow segment, bring all needles out to hold, push them back into work on the carriage side at the determined rate until all needles are back in work. Reverse shaping with green segment: with all the needles in work, begin to bring stitches into hold opposite the carriage at the determined rate until all the needles are in hold. End with knit rows (red line) across all stitches*. Repeat  from * to * for desired number of full segments, end at top with a yellow segment if needed, followed with knit row(s) (red line) before binding off or seaming.

shaping with resulting eyelets at sides of triangle: the final shape COReyelet at sidethe knitting sequence with top/bottom 1/2 triangle segments shown

COR                                   COLfinal at sides

For miter with shaping and resulting eyelets at center of triangle: begin with all knit row(s) (red line) at the start. To shape full wedge: *green segment is worked bringing stitches into hold opposite the carriage at the determined rate until all the needles are in hold. Shaping is next reversed with yellow segment, pushing needles back at the determined rate until all needles are returned to work. End with all knit rows (red line) *. The sides of this miter are all knit rows, an easier place to seam/ graft joins if needed.

shaping with resulting eyelets at center of triangle: the final shape COReyelet at center2the knitting sequence

COR                             COLfinal at center

a tiny test

shaping at side                              shaping at center

400_661

400_662

In the following images the red or blue lines indicate seams or joins

segments composing a square shape 
square_seam
adding squares or rectangles to alter the square
squarextra_seamsadding triangular segments: hexagonpentagon_seamexpanding it with rectangles, shaping at sides
dodecadon extra_seams2shaping at centerhexagon extra_seamsgoing 3D: triangular pocket with point at center 3dmiter

combining shapes: this one is often seen in tams (hats); bottom shaping is on only one side, at the top it occurs on both sides

tam1

tam2adding rectangles or squares to alter shape

tam3

bringing needles out to hold opposite carriage

Spiral stack 1/ green full triangle : knit row (s), *with all the needles in work begin to bring stitches into hold opposite the carriage at the determined rate until all the needles are in hold, end with all knit row(s) (red line).

COR                                   COLspiral stack1 cor

Spiral stack 2yellow full triangle:  knit row (s), *bring all needles out to hold, push them back into work on the carriage side at the determined rate until all needles are back in work, end with all knit row(s) (red line).

COR                                   COLfull stack 2

3D spiral 3Dspiral

If the object is to construct a circular shape, the greater the number of panels, the smoother the outer edge of the piece . Some of the pie-bilities: so many pies

In all instances above the radius and therefore 2 sides of each wedge remain equal in size, and therefore are composed of the same number of stitches. The triangle knit to achieve these shapes are isosceles triangles, where 2 of 3 sides are equal in length and in this case, number of stitches. The 2 equal sides are usually referred as legs, the remaining one as the base. The 2 base angles are equal as well. The remaining angle is the vertex one. In knitting, this will be the pivot point for the wedges, the center point of the “pie” shape. In the illustrations below the vertex angles are marked by blue dots. Its angle value is the first represented in the numbers immediately below each shape, with the other 2 numbers indicating the remaining, equal 2 angles. The sum of all 3 should equal 180 degrees.all anglesTaking it to a shape: octagon (half the total # of wedges shown). In colored shapes spiral, stacking equal triangles is shown on left; full triangle, divided into 2 segment shaping for miter on right.octagon col

Oh, yes, the math! The desired shape may be drawn to scale using any number of tools. Wedges may in turn be shaped following the scale drawing on any charting device such as knit-leaders, or stitches and rows required may be calculated on actual full drawing measurements. In knitting, the equal sides (AC, AB) of the triangles are formed by stitches, the height of the triangle (CB) by rows. If finished size matters, accurate gauge is required. One approach to calculating the base (CB) is to think of the whole shape as a complete circle, in this case divided into 8 “pie” wedges, with congruent sides (radius) measuring 10 inches each. To find the circumference of the circle, multiply the diameter (20) inches by pi 3.14 = the total in this case, of 62.8, rounded off to 63. Divide that number by the number of sections (8) = 7.85, rounded off to 8 inches (rows). If stitch gauge is 6 stitches and 8 rows per inch, each triangle would be 60 stitches wide, 64 rows high. Holding happens every other row, opposite the carriage, so total number of rows is divided by 2 = 32 for knitting a spiral. The stitches are distributed along one edge over the total 64 rows in height. The goal is to reduce shape down to the next to last group, followed by two rows knit over all the stitches at the end of each section. This will cause a small hole at the center of each completed pie due to extra rows knit. For a miter 2 triangular shapes are required for each wedge, so holding sequences are recalculated with shaping now occurring over 16 rows for knitting a miter. screenshot_09 color

An online calculator is available to help calculate the number of stitches brought into hold opposite the carriage or into work on carriage side, sequence preference should be tested on swatches where gauge is significant

  spiral screenshot_02miter Miter online

Magic formula (X represents times)magic formula

In the photo below I chose to start with all the needles out to hold,  pushing them back into work across the knit for the spiral. For the miter again, I began with all needles in hold, pushing back the required needles into work; for the top half of each wedge needles were returned to hold opposite the carriage at the same rate, forming the upper half of the “pie slice”. The swatch is not worked at the same rate as shapes calculated above. It is shown on its purl side with color changes to highlight the intersections where wedges begin to repeat. The yarns used are random acrylics, in different weights. photo miter spiral

A previous post on short row knitting from with links to other online sources http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/18/holding-stitches-short-rows/. A category search in my blog roll for miters and spirals will link to blog posts including pies: http://alessandrina.com/2011/06/18/knitting-math-and-pies1/  http://alessandrina.com/2011/06/22/back-to-that-pie-a-bit-of-holding/  breaking and mixing up pie wedges: http://alessandrina.com/2014/07/21/miters-and-spirals-visualizing-charting-and-more-3/ . A garter bar short row trim:  http://alessandrina.com/2013/02/28/garter-bar-short-row-trim/. Charting shapes: using Gimp and Mac Numbers: http://alessandrina.com/2014/07/14/miters-and-spirals-visualizing-charting-and-more-1/  . Executable charts, shapes, automating with slip stitch: http://alessandrina.com/2014/02/24/holdingshort-rows-hand-tech-to-chart-to-automating-with-slip-stitch-1/  http://alessandrina.com/2014/02/20/wisteria-cousin-revisited-holding-using-slip-stitch/  http://alessandrina.com/2013/01/21/automating-pleating/ http://alessandrina.com/2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/  http://alessandrina.com/2015/09/07/a-tale-of-2-donuts/ http://alessandrina.com/2011/03/29/lace-meets-hold-and-goes-round/  http://alessandrina.com/2011/03/29/the-doilies/

Hand knit “dragon scales”

detail of half fisherman machine knit version of stitch500_606

My last experiments led to a search for possible hand knit “scale” version. Similar shapes may be achieved through holding, but here the effect is created through use of increases and decreases. The test for the repeat was knit in a 4 ply acrylic. As with the machine knit version, the pockets become more pronounced as the fabric relaxes, without any blocking. Garter stitch was used in the first sample, for both texture and speed. Everyone has their preferred methods for increasing (M1) or decreasing/ combining 3 stitches into one. I tried picking up from row below or casting on single stitches (#1), but found the least noticeable methods to my eye, using this yarn and stitch type, were simply to knit in front and back of the stitch (#3) where an increase was required, and to knit 3 together (#2) for the decreases.

numbered_636the reverse structure curves in a similar way to the machine knit 500_637

The number of stitches remains constant on each row knit; the chart reflect side panels (A, C).The central 18 stitches (B) that may be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired width. The border stitches added may be any number, are also knit on every row.

screenshot_06scale_symbols

The fabric changes dramatically when every other row is purled. This swatch was knit with a single stitch garter stitch border, and I experimented with increases and decreases. The M1 sts were created by picking a loop up knitwise from the row below for the increase. The slight shift in the pattern center where decreases and increases meet helps define a point on the “scale” shape. The same yarn and needle size were used as in the above sample. A softer, thinner yarn knit using smaller needle size would benefit either variation. To my eye, the all garter stitch version was more successful and pleasing.

knit as “outside”, default shapeknit frontits reverse500_643purl as “right side” after poking scales out 500_639its reverse

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for a less pronounced, “scaly” relative using lace in its design please see http://alessandrina.com/2015/01/09/a-swatch-experiment/     http://alessandrina.com/2015/03/28/machine-knit-dragon-scales-update/

Vertical racking 3: automating half fisherman in pattern (2)

Working with the half fisherman racking discussed in the last post, here is an approach to interpreting the fabric seen below for knitting on a Brother model knitting machine500_557For the sample chart I chose a 12 stitch repeat, making it executable on any knitting machine. The ribber is set to half pitch. An often overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to, is found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. With the latter at 5, the red triangle appears pointing to L. As the bed is racked to position 4, the red arrow now points to the letter R. This is a simple racking pattern involving only the 2 positions, either to R or L

pitch_rack

Once on position 4, the red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move (R), the “empty” arrow the direction for the next move (L), bringing position back to 5. More complex patterns require a bit more planning and tracking to avoid errors.

rack2

Racking patterns in books often recommend beginning fabric with the setting on 5, or the center position for the machine in question.  Doing so allows for balanced edges in patterns that swing by multiple positions in both directions. In this instance, for the sake of avoiding mistakes in as many ways as possible, I would start the pattern on racking position 10. Racking cannot go any further to the right, so no chance for example of racking to 6 rather than 4 in the knitting because of inattention. Having a “cheat sheet” with row numbers where no racking occurs, and position of the carriage to R or L at their start and or after knitting is also helpful. I had to lower the tension on both beds considerably to avoid forming loops that in turn got hung up on gate pegs. Especially at the start make certain that the comb and weights drop properly. Using KCI will insure that the first and last stitch on the main bed are always knit. In the patterning used on the Passap back bed (previous post), the groups of needles in each half of the repeat will change to the alternate position with each pass of the lock. On the rows where the back lock is changed to N, selection continues in pattern, but no tucking occurs. In this chart the pattern is maintained continuous throughout, while blank “remaining” squares are filled in on rows where no tucking or racking occurs = N, every needle knits. In Brother machines both tuck buttons are pushed in. Selected needles knit, non selected tuck across the row. 

new program 2symbols

I tested the pattern approach on my 910, with a 38 row, 20 stitch repeat in a random acrylic. I had some issue with some needles not selecting properly, for whatever reason. The repeat was not planned so a full 10 stitches were at each side of the knit, resulting in the difference on the right side of the swatch photo from its left.

larger repeat

half the repeat with color change on single plain knit row (use of color changer only possible with even row change sequences), top stripe of swatch in plain rib

half repeatN1

1rowN1_584

back to scales and knitting them

Overall,  wider repeats and thicker yarns gave me harder to knit fabric, with less noticeable pockets and lack of stretch and “bounce”;  ultimately I went back to a 6X6, 12 stitch 2 row sequences illustrated in the chart above. The thinner yarn needs to be with a bit of stretch, and enough strength not to break when ribbed and racked at the tightest possible tension. This is a fabric that requires concentration, having as many clues as possible to help stay on track is useful. If errors are made close enough to the all knit row, it is possible to unravel carefully to that point, and continue on. Mylars or punchcards may be marked to reflect racking position. Here the mark on the right = 10, the one on the left = 9. Marks take into consideration that the card reader’ design row and knitter’s eye level row views are not the same.

mylar_marks

A row cheat sheet can help track carriage location for all knit rows. Pictured below is part of mine. Wording for clues or description of sequences should make sense to the person knitting, not necessarily follow a specific formula.

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some of what “did not work”, including a very long swatch with a confused pattern due to creative operator error

500_591a finished piece with yarn ends not yet woven in500_590

The fabric is tugged lengthwise, left unblocked, and pockets may pop on either side of it, with the majority on one side of the knit as opposed to the other

the start of a series in varied colors and fibers500_604

Racking 2: vertical chevrons/ herringbone +

Here again, half fisherman or full fisherman rib is be used. The zig zag happens at the top and bottom of the fabric. In half fisherman, the set up is once again for full needle rib. If knitting in one color the sequence is : knit one row, rack a space, knit one row, rack back again (X and Y below represent the 2 racking positions involved screenshot_39

for 2 color fisherman the sequence is knit 2 rows with col 1, rack one space, knit 2 rows with color 2, rack one space back again

screenshot_41 this fabric is produced in conjunction with a pattern repeat using the principle that black squares knit (pushers up, needles preselected), white squares tuck (pushers down, needles not selected), the repeat is 12 stitches wide, 2 rows high; it is possible to have 6 stitches tucking side by side because this is an every needle rib, and there will be a knit stitch on the opposite bed anchoring down each tuck loop

screenshot_42

screenshot_02

one color half fisherman side one500_528one color half fisherman side 2500_5292 color setting, color changes every 2 rows, side 1, thinner yarn
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side 2

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2 color version, changing color every 20 rows; racking interrupted with plain knit rows at top and bottom creating horizontal pockets20rows_plain

20rows_plain1

when single or multiple odd # of rows with no racking are introduced at intervals the zig zags once again  happen at sides rather than top or bottom, with the knitting after the no racking row(s) reversing direction. The yarn used in these swatches is a random acrylic, presses flat, not the best if aiming for any 3D textures; the color difference is due to photos being taken at different times of day

side one 500_530side two500_541

what happens when multiple odd numbers of rows are knit changing back lock setting to N (all knit), no tuck stitches. The fabric still swings in opposite directions, and in addition the all knit rows produce areas that “poke out”, beginning to create scales of sorts

side one 50537side two500_538back to vertical: full fisherman with color changes every 2 rows, side one500_539side 2, with a few stitch knit off issues  500_540

it is a matter of personal preference whether the extra effort with full fisherman rib is worth any difference in appearance or result in the final fabrics. Changes in tension, yarn fiber content, and machines used add to the variables. Good notes in trials help one determine predictable results and to choose whether the effort may be worth it or not. Using laborious techniques for borders rather than whole items is always an option.

1/22/2016: half fisherman racked rib knit in thinner yarn, wider # of stitches and more rows in pattern group before single N/N row, no blocking

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500_558same fabric with color change every 2 rows 500_561

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Ribber pitch, a bit on racking chevrons/ horizontal herringbone

A “how might this be done challenge” of late re this fabric brought to mind racked patterns for chevrons, both vertical and horizontal, and possibility of producing them on home knitting machines. racked_scarf_mediumTo review some of the principles in racking in both Brother and Passap knitting machines: pitch is the distance between each needle groove along the needle bed, is sometimes also referred to as gauge. The size varies between machine brands and type of machines. For example, the Brother bulky has a 9 mm pitch, the Passap a 5 mm one; the larger the pitch number, the thicker the yarn that may be used.

Full pitch lines up needles, and gate begs (or channels) on both beds directly opposite each other. To knit patterns in full pitch, the rule is that for every needle in working position on the main bed, the corresponding needle on the opposite bed must be out of work, and vice versa. This setting is never used when groups of all needles are in work on both beds. Stitch patterns using this setting are designed to have opposite needles in work on either bed at any one time, but not both at once. The number of maximum needles in use for ribs on both beds will usually total 200 (4.5 mm machines), and the setting accommodates yarns thicker than when every needle is in use.

In half pitch both bed needles are now offset by half a position, centering them between each other. The full complement of needles for possible use now is potentially 400 (4.5 mm machines); the setting accommodates thinner yarns than one might use single bed.

The half pitch lever on Brother may be moved from P to H to change alignments. In Passap the racking handle may be used in up or down position to do so. The racking or swing lever allows the ribber bed to be swung one full pitch to the right or to the left in a series of stepped moves. The racking handle on Brother machines is located on the left hand side of the ribber bed. Racking swing indicator positions are numbered 0-10. When the racking indicator has been moved over to the next number, this means the ribber has moved by one full pitch. With the swing indicator at 5 both beds will be centered opposite each other, the usual position. Starting points may vary when racking is used in pattern. Beds cannot be racked with needles in holding, as needles will then crash into each other. It is always a good idea to check ribber alignment before tackling more complex, double bed fabrics. In Passap the racking indicator is situated above the racking handle, and arrows indicate the direction of the last movement. The scale at the top of the front bed shows the possible racking movements from a center point of 0 to 3 to either to right or left of center. I chose to place numbers below the factory ones on machine from 0 to 7, finding that method easier to follow, since I do not rely on built in patterns and racking prompts from the console. For the purposes of these swatches I am reverting to the factory indicators.

In Passap system the racking handle has 2 main positions: up, and down. When the racking handle is up needles are directly opposite each other (P pitch in Brother), when it is down the needles are between each other on opposing beds (H on Brother). There are some racking handle positions at different parts of the “clock” that are recommended when using some of the Passap accessories.

Regardless of machine brand needles have 3 basic functions: knit, slip (do not knit), tuck (gather loops). Passap pushers have 3 positions: work, rest, and out of work. When a pusher is in the up position the corresponding needle will knit no matter what the setting on the pattern dial. This is the equivalent of having needle pre selection on Brother, but forgetting to change cam buttons from normal knit setting. When a pusher is in rest it will slip or tuck depending on lock setting to AX, DX, or FX (in Brother these would be needles not selected, in B position). If locks are set to C, E, or G, the pushers have no effect on the needles. Pusher positions may be changed manually, automatically by arrow keys (back lock Passap, lili buttons and levers Brother ribber), automatically by readers whether electronic or punchcard on both brands in the Brother main bed or front bed Passap are in use.  NO pushers are used in : N (double or single bed plain knit), CX (tubular), EX (double bed, tuck).

I personally find racking easier in terms of the numbering in Brother brand machines. For these samples however, I chose to work on my E 6000. Adding tuck to the mix creates more textured surfaces, and half or full fisherman’s rib where every needle tucks, then knits as the carriage reverses direction on either single or both beds, is a place to start. I have written previously on tracking brother racking sequences using a punchcard numbering system. If no other pattern is used on the main or front beds, needle and pusher selection might be used to track racking position there as well. These fabrics require concentration. In terms of chevrons, both horizontal and vertical may be produced. Some published sources include a youtube video by Diana Sullivan, knit on a Japanese machine, and a baby blanket in full fisherman rib knit on the Duo 80. The version below is my half fisherman adaptation of the latter. The photos illustrate both sides of fabric. The racking is done by moving single of each of only 2 positions to the right or to the left. Single (or multiple, odd numbered) rows at the end of each sequence place the carriage at its start on the opposite side, rather than altering the numbered sequences as in the Diana video. I began my fabric on Passap racking position 2, to the right of 0, locks set at KX, N, first and last needle in work on the front bed. Back bed tucks every needle right to left, knits them left to right. There is a slight difference in texture between the 2 sides of the fabric.

300_514300_515

activate row counter after CX rows in cast on, with locks on left, so knitting the racked pattern begins with locks on Right, RC on 1. Below is my working “cheat sheet”

symbols

cheat sheet

settings