Fisherman/ English tuck stitch rib 1/ checks patterns/ Brother, Passap

WORK IN PROGRESS

More than 6 years ago I produced a series of scarves that were double sided, reversible, and were considered “manly” by some of the customers at my shows. Some were one color, some in 2. I found an early post with no clear instructions for them, but with this image and that of a punchcard marked for a racking pattern (given below). Coincidentally the question of checkerboard rib knit patterns came to light in a forum, and I found myself reviewing the technique, with part of the intent to reproduce this fabric. I have, over the years, been terrible at keeping good notes (if any). At times what I was working on was so “obvious” I had confidence I could rely on my memory. At others my attitude once the problems were worked out and a limited one of a kind series was produced, was that I was “done” with that particular fabric. Now here I am, years later, with a mystery pattern on my hands and a time consuming quest, wishing I had documentation for how on earth I achieved it

Definitely not “there” yet:

Early translations from the Japanese or German manuals did not always communicate clearly the meaning of symbols or actions required to be taken by the knitter. A bit clearer meaning may be gleaned from these instructions in Brother Punchcard Pattern Volume 5. The hatch marks on the racking symbol indicate the number of  pitches the ribber is moved in either direction. The number of stitches moved corresponds to the number of needles in work on the ribber.   

Recommended settings for English rib with no patterning or racking for fisherman rib recommended Brother ribber “needle rule” 

Adjustments to needle rule may be needed depending on fabric. If only one bed is knitting while the other is tucking, having first and last needle in work on knitting bed. In English (aka half fisherman rib) only one (either) bed tucks.  Directions marked with green #6 on left are from the Brother Ribber techniques. The remaining images are for single color racked checkerboard pattern from Brother Punchcard Pattern book #5. No pattern card is involved, the every other needle arrangement suggested on the right accommodates slightly thicker yarns. Half pitch setting is used.

In the above instance the main bed is not performing any patterning function, it is knitting on every needle in work. On a punchcard machine, a card may be used to track racking positions.  With the carriage set as usual for patterning and needle selection but with no cam buttons pushed in, the main bed will continue to knit stocking stitch. No rows are punched, and the numbers on the card in the colored columns indicate the racking position for corresponding rows. The “card” on the left is designed to match racking positions and carriage travel directions (colored arrows) to mirror those in the publications. Since a 36 row minimum is recommended for continuous punchcard use, the “card” on the right has added a 4 row segment for each segment of racking directions. The full repeat is now 40 rows rather than 32 in height. The numbered columns on the far right are as they would appear on standard blank Brother punchcards. The number one is at the level of the first visible row while the card reader drum is actually selecting for the first design row. End needle selection is canceled (KCII on electronics). The first move as indicated by arrows is to the right, so the first row is preselected from right to left.  The card is then set to advance normally and released. If any errors are made treat card adjustments as you would in any other fabric. 

Adding main bed needle selection for selective patterning: the actual punchcard here includes annotated changes in racking sequences from 5/4 pitch positions at its start, to 5/6 racking positions for the top half of the completed repeat on its left side. It may be used as is, or set to double length either for use with a single color, or combined with color changes every 2 rows. 

The card as punched may be used in many ways. In past experiments I have shown that not changing the racking pitch for a single row while keeping the two alternating pitches constant created scale like textures rather than check patterns

here again for a 16 row sequence

On fabrics with racking enlarge stitch size by1/2 to one full number to accommodate the stretch needed in racking the stitches. 
Color changes: fabrics made in full fisherman rib are reversible, while those in half fisherman are not. In full fisherman rib in order to knit a specific color, that color must knit for two rows, and tuck for 2 rows alternately. In Passap AX with pushers and arrow keys must be used, in Brother ribber needles would need to be hand selected to proper position on every row. 
Yarns used should be soft and have some stretch. Every other needle patterning may be used with slightly thicker yarns.
Racking in the same pairs of pitches ie. 4-5, 4-5 with no added actions taken, produces vertical columns, akin to results  in any fabric that repeats same functions in same locations on needle bed  

I knit my first “checks” sample on a 930 electronic programming a single repeat to match the card used double length. The goal: the check sample pictured in punchcard pattern book 5 

In programs or machines that allow for memos that correspond to design rows for each repeat, enter racking pitch number beginning with design row number 1, continue to 32 or more as needed. The racking sequence is changed at the halfway point of the full repeat.

Added experiments: using the same electronic repeat above, here I worked *20 rows racking every row between positions 4 and 5.  One row was then knit on all stitches on the top bed** (I pushed needles out manually rather than changing cam settings), repeated * to**. The fabric reminds me of racked herringbone, the “checkers” are distortedChanging color every 2 rows shows the same leans in fabric. I have had intermittent problems with my ribber, stitches begin to simply not be picked up by the main bed and are dropped for no apparent reason A very different fabric is created using the repeat and instructions below *Knit 2 rows, rack 1 pitch to left; knit 2 rows, rack 1 pitch to right to RC 20 (or preferred row count); knit 1 row continuing in pattern to opposite side without racking**. Repeat * to**. One repeat of the 2 sequences is 42 rows in height. At row 1 of each new (here 21 row) sequence, the carriage starts on the opposite side Changing colors every 2 rows is possible. The racking will begin with the carriages on alternate sides of the machine after the single row knit without racking. In segment 1 racking occurs on the left, color changer side, and on segment 2 racking occurs on the right, opposite the color changer.  

“Full” fisherman rib with patterning  on both beds: on Passap the back bed is capable of many more patterning choices than in Japanese machines, and strippers help hold loops in place on the needle beds.  The Passap “needle rule” places the first needle in work on the front bed, the last on the back bed. This is also variable depending on fabric being knitted. Using the repeat

tech 129: (black square tuck for single row) on front bed. Set up back bed after prep rows, making sure pushers are the same work/rest position as on the front bed *Knit 2 rows, rack to left, knit 2 rows, rack to right to preferred row count ie RC 20; knit 1 row still in pattern, without racking**. Repeat * to**. One repeat of the 2 sequences is 42 rows in height. The resulting pattern is reversible.” This swatch was knit with with bottom 3 blocks using AX   on back lock, N in front. The back bed pusher set up is doing the patterning. The top 3 blocks are set to pattern selection on both beds, using AX, arrow keys, and KX on front lock. Using technique 130 will double the height of the repeat, working each row twice. 

On Brother the second bed selected needles will face tuck needles on main bed. This creates a knit stitch on one bed, holding down the tuck loops on the other, allowing for side by side tuck loops on opposing beds. Such selections would need to be made on the ribber manually. Both beds are set to tuck  . The needles on ribber immediately below the ones tucked on the main bed are brought to E position and face the tuck needles on the main bed, while its non selected needles will tuck. Rack before pushing those needles (black dots) that will be knit up to E position. The Brother settings for full fisherman suggested in their Ribber Techniques Book and manuals produce a “circular” tuck stitch, with each bed tucking and alternately knitting on all stitches in opposite directions, so the cam button set up is different than when one is planning textures in varied patternsIt is also possible to produce “checks” without any racking at all. On the Passap, this sample was produced eliminating racking completely. The front lock was set to knit throughout / N, the back lock alone did the work. Pushers were selected 6 up, 6 down, the lock set to AX and  key for an even multiple rows divisible by 4. I used 24-32 to get a sense of scale. The arrow key was cancelled for the next 2 rows AX 0 to switch the pushers.  The working repeat became *32 rows AX ,  2 rows AX 0* with the front bed programmed 

Here the front bed is programmed for the repeat below, technique 130 (black squares tuck for 2 rowsAfter the initial prep on the front of the bed, prior to knitting the first pattern row, pushers were manually selected on the back bed to match the pusher work/rest position selection on the front bed. Their position will change as the back lock moves to left. After 12 rows, the arrow key was cancelled for the next 2 rows to AX 0 to switch the pushers.  The working repeat became *12 rows AX,   2 rows AX 0* with the front bed programmed, and its lock set to KX. The back bed produces a “checkerboard”,  the front bed produces checks as well, but in a vertical alignment 

A similar half fisherman (only one bed tucking) fabric may be produced on Brother machines by automating patterning  and switching “beds”. The main bed is set to tuck in both the directions, the ribber is set to knit throughout. My sample was pretty much a disaster at the start. After trying different carriages, switching out needle retainer bars on the main bed, checking alignment, and every trick I could think of I was rewarded with stitches simply not being picked up at intervals by the main bed. Time for a break for both operator and machine

a bit more success:

Below is my electronic repeat, 12 stitches by 56 rows in height. It is intended to mimic the work done by the pushers on the Passap. Alternate groups of 6 stitches will knit (black squares) or tuck (white squares) for 2 consecutive rows. At the center and the top of the full repeat the two extra rows of squares result in alternate groups of stitches tucking or knitting for 4 rows, contributing to the shift in the color and texture of the checks. 
Passap specials: the idea of hand selecting needles every row while watching multiple loops tucking on both beds and even adding racking is far too daunting to my mind. Highly textured patterns patterns are far more easily produced in machines that allow for a greater range of patterning on both beds.  To review, E6000 tuck settings:
N, EX: same on both locks, may be used without pushers or console
KX and AX: tuck in both directions
OX and DX: tubular tuck. FB: tucks right to left, free pass left to right, BB is opposite
The FX setting is incorporated into several techniques used with KX, 104, 105, 112, 113, 167, 259, 260. Some techniques adding back lock settings: 106, 114,145, 158, 167, 168, 190. Techniques 259, 260, 269, 270 use racking; 200, 212 require manual changing of arrow keys; 284 uses the U100 transfer carriage in combination with fisherman rib for an embossed effect.  
Using FX setting with pushers full fisherman rib can be combined with full needle rib or half fisherman rib on the opposite bed.

Technique 167 : use FX/KX

Front bed pushers are always selected up from right to left by the console independent of pattern, so they will knit. Set up pushers on back bed in pattern after first row of pattern, make certain they are in the opposite arrangement of work/rest positions on front bed. EX knits  on all needles from left to right. Black squares represent knit stitches, white tuck ones. Making lock changes at the start of the repeat: knit 14 rows,* Knit 2 rows FX <–/KX, followed by 12 rows FX 0/KX** Repeat* to ** One full repeat of the 2 sequences is 28 rows. The original BW building block is 6 stitches wide, 7 rows high, pairs of each form the  unit used to form the larger repeat blocks

My chart for my full working repeat test sample: dots represent pushers, green highlights rows with lock changes for pusher reversal. The latter are made here on RC13 and 14 rather than RC 1 and 2

Getting back to that scarf and reversible checks, I finally sorted out how to and a repeat in a different number of stitches and rows. Technique 180: disregard console directions. Set up with1 extra needle and pusher  on back bed at each side. Pusher selection on back bed as described below matching half the number of stitches in the full repeat  starting on the right side of the back bed. End with single pusher on far left in the opposite work/rest position of pushers in group to its immediate right. Reset the front lock row counter manually at the end of each full repeat (24 for mine) back to 000. As an option one may choose to knit half a repeat at top and bottom of the piece piece. My first swatch is testing one full repeat + a few rows. My full “checkerboard” repeat is 24 stitches wide by 24 rows high, composed in turn of a of 4 blocks 12 stitches wide by 12 rows high. The AX <— setting changes pusher selection every 2 rows, the AX 0 rows reverse pusher selection, resulting in the shift in patterning on the back bed. Knit the first 24 rows (full repeat #) with no lock change, I found it easier to reset arrow key at the start of the repeat on RC 1 and 2, rather than RC 23-24. The single BW building units are units are 6 stitches wide by 6 high with blocks 4 producing the 12W X12H repeat segmentsA working chart for the full repeat: Black dots = pushers in their work/rest positions, numbers on right = full repeat in rows

Reversible DBJ, Brother knitting machines

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

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

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


better results with the different yarn choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More scales and chevrons in ribbed, racked (4) fabrics

Over the years a variety of fabrics have been named dragon scales or crocodile stitch. Here dragon scales have referred to shapes created using a lace technique and resulting in a pattern such as this

that was followed by hand knit samplesand an investigation into possibly creating a ribber fabric with auto shaping resulting in similar protrusion

ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/

vertical chevrons/ herringbone  which eventually led to this, where a reversal in racking periodically shifts the lean in opposite directions

automating the pattern in half fisherman rib/ mylar repeat tracking shown. Any repeat in a factor of 24 may be used on punchcard machine as well The start of a series in varied colors and fibers: sometimes I enjoy getting back to the simplicity and predictability of punchcard machines, though punching those cards can be slow and a bit tedious. I am presently curious about striping again, and creating a wider “scale”, with a crisper fold. The chart is for the working idea, the punchcard typical of what some of my cards begin to look like as my work evolves. When marking cards for any action, the fact that the eye is not on the same design row as the reader needs to be taken into consideration. Here racking numbers begin to get marked on what would normally be row one on a factory marked punchcard, 7 rows up for Brother KMs on any other brand punchcard or cardroll # position. Though the final repeat is an even number of rows in height (42) note that each half repeat is not (21). The color changer sits on the left, so first preselection row is left to right, cam button on KCI to insure end stitches knit. Any color changes happen every even #X rows, so they will technically be in a slightly different spot on the alternate repeat. some of the trial and error, random yarns. The white is a 2/15 wool, the yellow a 2/12, the blue an unknown, also woolthe best fo the lot, but not “there ” yet, going back to one color knitting So then you go for a yummy alpaca and silk, make a racking error and manage to correct the pattern, and lo and behold the yarn breaks halfway across the row a repeat up from there! “They” do keep talking about how relaxing knitting is ;-).  Yarn specsFiber Content: 80% Alpaca/20% Silk; Weight: Lace; Gauge: 8 sts = 1″, 1/2-lb cones/3472 YPP (1736 yards/cone)This yarn is an English  import, 2675 yards per pound. It felts into a lovely fabric (not the goal here), and knit tolerably well. The fabric is quite stiff however, and the surface change is minimal and nearly completely lost 2/18 Jaggerspun wool silk: worth a shot at a scarf. Starting ribber cast on on left, followed by 2 circular rows, one closing row right to left, and first KCI row from left to right, will set up patterning in tuck so that the direction of the arrows on the left side of the card, lines up with the racking number appropriate for that row prior to knitting it. The fabrics below are as they came off the machine, not blocking of any sort

I have some lovely cash wool in 3 colors, 2/48 weight. Using 3 separate strands fed through the yarn feeder separately resulted in uneven feeding, loops, and too many problems. Using 2 strands “worked” easily, but the fabric was nearly flatCautiously winding 3 strands onto a cone prior to knitting gave far more predictable results, and there now is a scarf in progress. The difference in color is due to lighting at the momentMy best advice to anyone attempting this is to knit slowly. The most likely spot for errors in my experience is at the point where 1: no action is taken for a row (or more in later swatches), so racking position remains at 10 for 2 rows, and 2: for racking position 9 the knit carriage position is reversed in each half of the repeat. One can get also reach a left right rhythm, and without realizing it, begin racking between position 9 and 8 as opposed to 9 and 10, throwing pattern off. Another look at racking positions: the numbers reflect racking position before the carriage moves to the opposite side, the arrows the direction in which the carriage will be moving. Once the knit carriage moves the card advances, so glancing at the card after that move will show the action for the next row at eye level, which can be confusing at times.  A finished piece, 9.5″ X 64″, in the coned 3 strands of merino. Occasional single strand caught on ribber gate pegs, no yarn feeding issues as such. The fabric has not been blocked in any way, but allowed to “relax”. I like the larger scale of the “scales”, would still like to introduce striping in a way that pleases my eye. The knitting is slow thanks to all the racking, but is probably faster than single bed holding for similar shapes, with a very different finished look. Future of the fabric tbd. 8/16: interestingly enough when the fabric relaxed, it became quite a bit less 3Dand back to introducing stripes in contrasting colorAn act of faith after lots of trial and errors and a punchcard redesign, that this may have been worth the effort when done. I am choosing to cut the yarn and weave in ends for longer solid areas, and am giving myself permission to only knit while I feel focused on manual changes in color and racking. It may take a very long time to get to “scarf length”and here is the fabric in a completed piece, about 54 inches in length when off the machine. Top right photo shows reverse side of the piece, the bottom right is how it might appear when wornNext up was a test on be how to use 2 carriages, or changing settings, allowing for the turning stripes to help the scale shape bend more outward into a “point”. I found to get the width I needed, along with striping it was simpler to change ribber ribber settings to slip <– –> for all knit rows and retain use of the color changer on the left.

It is easy to share successes. There are also those days however, when one should not be anywhere within range of a knitting machine and perseverance does not lead to anything positive. The above scarf was knit in a charcoal, using 3 strands of the cash wool. Two strands of the blue created a nearly flat fabric, 3 strands did the job. So I now turn to true black and white. Knitting 3 strands of the black was impossible at any tension for any length. Then I noticed the ribber on the right was lower than it should be. It turned out the bolt used to adjust the height of the ribber was loose, and the slightest turn of it loosened it completely. So then it took way too long to get it back in place. Got things back together and set up, and with each movement of the racking handle the ribber dropped on the right. After a lot more fiddling that got me nowhere, I decided to use the ribber for another brother machine that had not been used for years. That was dry, the grease on it had turned black, and time flew cleaning and oiling and waiting. Back on the machine the right ribber bracket of the alternate ribber will not allow it to drop on that side so it’s back to grease and patience and yes, I finally got up and running, only now the smell of the oil and lubricants makes me want to leave my apartment. Outdoors the temp is a dozen degrees warmer than inside it and grossly humid. I don’t want my knit to smell like the solvents either, so the remainder of the day is called in as a period of rest and recreation mixed with a touch of hopefully amnesia.

Moving on to the next day: success in one color with no major problems or errors, have a black scarf, 64 inches long with lovely bumps, here as it appears immediately off the machine 8/16: 3D shapes held up very wellSo what would that true black in the thinner weight do with those stripes in a true white? I found myself forgetting completely to set the carriage to tuck for several tries, then messed up the color changing sequence. Time for more R&R.

8/7 after several tests with minor variations in the pattern, sorting out yarn weights preferences, I decided to “go” for a version of the same stitch type as the charcoal and white in true black and white. Again, I am not able to use 3 strands of the black Got a third of the estimated desired length knit, and whoopee! about 10 stitches dropped off both beds on the color changer side. Oh the joys of unraveling several rows of sewing thread weight black yarn, in racked tuck stitch, down to an all knit row in the white to make certain the proper number of stitches are in work on both beds. Got that far, and ready for more R&R.

And 8/8 this is the last in the series, at least for a while in true B&W. The 3D pattern is reduced by the weight of the piece as it is wornJust a reminder: the service manual http://machineknittingetc.com/brother-kr120-kr710-kr830-kr850-kr230-kr260-service-manual.html provides information on ribber adjustments. The part in question I believe, is #24, the “slide plate guide stud”. In the image below b= the bolt that became completely loose. I discovered after getting things back together that a, which secures the ribber bracket, is actually directional with a barely perceptible difference in shape, and if accidentally rotated 180, will keep the ribber bracket from changing height positions and working properly. Rotating it restored expected actions, so now I have 2 well functioning ribbers to work with.  

Still at it, 8/16 I now have lovely, equally bumpy fabric in all 3 colors using 2 strands each of the cash wool at the same tension. The single difference in my execution, is that I am now using my alternate KR 850 ribber. The height and other adjustments appear identical to my eye. I am reminded of my teaching days in a Brother punchcard lab, where at times the same model machines might be side by side, and a fabric would work perfectly on one machine while not on the other supposedly identical model. Students were not allowed to swap off machines, the one exception being if that was the only way to get the stitch types in their final projects completed after I attempted to work out other possible issues.  “They” do keep talking about how relaxing knitting is, but with machine knitting there are lots of opportunities to wonder about that suggested fact.8/17: complete a royal blue scarf in the smaller scale repeat, previously executed on my 910. The punchcard below it image may be used to achieve the same fabric 8/18: trucking on, planning a couple of more pieces with the large scale repeat. It seems I have been having more drat it moments than one might ever want, resulting in having to discard hundreds of rows of knitting for any number of reasons including racking operator errors. I have also encountered another problem. In the past I have used cello clear, or a variety of tapes to seal off holes accidentally punched in the wrong place. I very rarely produce multiples of any of my pieces, and my limited edition items were usually knit on an electronic due to its increased ease in adjusting the repeat width and height to suit. Transitioning from the solid repeat to the striped one, I decided to punch out holes on my original card to test my ideas, and when returning to the large scales I was too lazy to punch yet another card, and taped over sections I wanted to eliminate from selection. Hundreds of rows into yet another piece I began to notice odd behavior in needle selection, which was fully remedied by investing time into punching a new card, and yes, starting over yet again. Note to self: do not do this sort of taping over in the future, no matter what the tape, and especially when knitting multiple pieces thousands of rows in length! 

8/21: I am working on a final series of the large scale, single color scarves. As has often been my experience in knitting long pieces of ribbed fabrics (most of my scarves are 1200 rows or more in length), I have a talent for developing problems after the ¾ point. Two factors that can have an effect on stitches not knitting off properly “suddenly” can be the result of 1: the slide lever setting being changed accidentally when moving  ribber sinker plate ie to correct patterning errors and bring it to the opposite side, and the ribber alignment for needle positions relative to each other on opposite beds changing slightly from all the side to side motion in racking nearly every single row.

The slide lever has 3 positions. I have out of habit gotten used to simply leaving it in its center setting (lili) for my knitting, and used to teach students to keep that constant if possible. Sometimes when knitting ribbed cuffs, bands or collars, I have seen the differences in length and width of them changed for separate pieces and not noticed until one was ready to join pieces.   

adjusting needle bed positions (for more see http://alessandrina.com/2015/01/13/a-bit-on-ribbers-japanese-kms_-alignment-and-symbols-1/)

The last piece produced by me was in a charcoal color, using the same yarn brand and weight as the black. All things being equal, using the same tension (required to avoid knitting problems), the charcoal version stitches were considerably looser, and longer, also due in changes in gauge. I think the charcoal scarf will put this fabric to rest for me for a very long time. This was my final, re-punched card, and its markings

 

Knit and purl blocks to create folding fabric/ “pleats”

Knit and purl combinations  may be executed in hand or machine knitting. Knit charts are generally planned and illustrated based on the fact that the same side of the fabric is always facing the knitter. Hand knitters have to accommodate for the fact that the the work is turned over (unless knit tubular) with every row worked, so plans would need to reverse knit for purl and vice versa if needed. For more ribbed, pleated/ folding fabrics please see 

The easiest way to produce this particular fabric on Brother machines would be to let your garter carriage do the walking and working. For those of us that do not have that option there are transfer carriages, (I honestly have only used mine once, decades ago, will have to dig it out of moth balls) and transferring needles by hand. Pairs of identical stitch transfer tools  may be used to move stitches from one bed to the other. If the goal is to produce a knit with tension as tight as possible, the latter can be problematic and result in dropped stitches, so testing the yarn and the mode of transfer should be part of swatch trials prior to committing to larger knit pieces.  I found moving stitches between beds one at a time for me was preferable and more reliable

The chart for the initial concept: The number of needles used for “pleats” is constant (7); 3 stitches move up (or down) in turn, indicated by arrows. After the first 3 are transferred, 3 more are now moved adjacent to the now remaining 4 stitches from the opposite bed in order to maintain the total of 7 on each bed, excluding any borders, in which stitch placement remains fixed.

cast on for every other needle ribafter completing cast on rows, set up for pattern by transferring between beds*knit 6 rows, transfer between beds  knit 6 rows, transfer again restoring original selections**repeat * to **; transfer to main bed, bind off. Swatch on KM prior to binding off 

If the goal is to retain the texture, it is best to knit using a yarn with “memory” such as wool, which may be steamed or blocked lightly while retaining the fabric’s quality. A rayon or cotton would flatten permanently if pressed. The photo shows both sides of my swatch, beginning on left with it slightly stretched with pins, relaxed in center, and with a bit of vertical “tug” 
The fabric changes a bit when some stitches remain fixed on alternating beds, and the same sort of approach is used. My initial intent had been to transfer every 4 rows, but I actually did so after every 6 rows knit. Colors in chart on right:Its numbers indicate the working needles on each of the 2 beds. The first 3 needles on either side are never transferred. Groups on either bed after transfers remain constant at 6 with the exception of the borders . The starting set upand the alternating one, repeated in turn throughout the knit. Note border stitch selection, constants in between still on the machine 
and my small test swatch. The fold on each side and the swing in the pattern appear crisper and better defined to me
What of horizontal folds? Transferring every stitch to and from the main bed manually is more than I am willing to deal with in addition to transfers for those blocks. I am also interested in the effect produced with use of thicker yarn. This repeat is presently on my hand knitting needles, is suitable for electronics or punchcard machines. A single unit is 5 by 16 rows, the punchcard repeat is 24 X 16 X 3; 32 rows is a tad shy of enough rows for the punchcard to roll and advance properly, 36 rows in height is the recommended minimum. Knitting as tight as possible makes for a stiffer, crisper fabric. I decide there were things about this repeat I did not like however, including the change in pattern at the folds 

The new repeat , with only 2 rows worked rather than 4 between block pattern reversal, the repeat is now 12 rows rather than 16 in height

The hand knit swatch, using 4 ply yarn on #5 HK needles. The arrows mark area where 4 rows were knit between knit and purl blocks rather than 2, creating an added ridge, and a straighter line than the row pairs

an attempt at a side view

Getting rid of those blocks altogether: a generously shared free pattern on ravelry , and a link to the author’s blog 

 

 

Pretend/ mock cables 3

WORK IN PROGRESS

A facebook group query brought up the possibility of creating cables in an “easier, quicker” way than by crossing stitches by hand. Over the years different authors have suggested a “sewn” method for pulling stocking stitch columns together in order to achieve the cabled effect. The illustrations are usually of the work done on a ribbed fabric, but it also may be achieved in simple stocking stitch, with ladders marking the edges of the mock cable, and providing a visual line to follow and count spaces when smocking the fabric up. The width of each column, the yarn fiber content, and personal preferences will determine the success” of the results.

I was reminded of “magic cables”, a technique made popular years ago in a copyrighted pattern series by Ricky Mundstock, ie this one from 1969 (illustrated online). The concept originated in a Japanese publication years before, relies on hooking up tuck loops to create the cable like effects.

I tend not to knit from published patterns, set out to understand what makes the fabric work in theory, and then sort out whether I have other preferences of my own for creating it. I began to experiment with a totally random tuck card. Tuck is chosen for the background  because it is short and fat, giving the taller all knit rows for the “cables” the possibility of an additional gather, adding to their depth. I chose a purely random repeat, which is a good way to start for DIY if hesitant on the process. White squares will not be selected, will tuck for 2 rows, have a knit stitch (black dot in card) on each side of them. Max on Brother, unless using very thing yarn would be white bars single square in width, 4 rows in height (yes, there can be exceptions on rare occasions)

The card is cropped to the 24 X 44 stitch in width and height for the repeat to be worked in electronics. The area colored blue on far right indicates possible all knit rows for hooking up “cables” during knitting, mustard color indicates ladders created by an out of work needle on each side of the central, all knit column. The ladders make it easier to identify each all knit column. The tape over holes idea does not work for masking a punchcard, since that blue area would need to be all punched holes. The tape over would result in “unpunched” ones.

This takes the revised card single repeat and indicates some quick possibilities for altering it

I added 2 more stitches to establish a slightly different pattern. The grab form my work in Numbers was then opened in gimp and scaled to 26X44 for the possible knitting pattern. If working with black and white squares, the image will need to be colored reverse for knitting. I abandoned this repeat for my final swatches in favor of keeping markers for hooking stitches up along the all knit column inside the ladders as opposed to the knit body of the remaining shapes. Here the non selected needles are placed along the knit column itself, on alternating sides. The final repeat after correcting a pixel error I discovered while knitting:Ayab does not repeat across the horizontal row, each stitch in the width you are planning to knit needs to be programmed. For a test swatch I decided to work with programmed 72 stitches (knit on fewer). This would be the downloadable file

 magnified and gridded to visually check again prior to knittingThis is what is seen by the knitter when the image is loaded, 

but any image loaded is automatically flipped/ mirrored horizontally by the software. Direction may not matter in the overall pattern, but here we have needles out of work, which if selected on the basis of what is seen as opposed to what is knit, would be in the wrong location. First preselection row is also only possible from left to right. The easiest way to empty the proper needles is to do a transfers after that row, to either side, restoring needle selection prior to continuing to knit. Also, since there are needles out of work, end needle selection is cancelled (KCII).

In my first swatch I tried the idea of hooking up stitches in opposite directions, but was not pleased with the result, wanted to reduce the amount of hand manipulation involved. In the later swatch I hooked up every other selection onto the same side. Arrows here indicate direction, not proper needle position. 

Alternating side hooking up with some yarn and needle change issues Hooking up to one side only was quicker to execute and appeared more pleasing to me. Both swatches had blips from an errant pixelSteps in knitting the above fabric. The actual knitting will happen with what is shown as the repeat with white pixels on the dark ground, seen looking at the center vertical all knit column of the repeat when knitting the fabric. Allow the non selected needle on the left side of the column to tuck, providing a marking row for picking up stitches, knit until the needle on the right side of the column is not selected. Prior to knitting across that row pick up the tucked loop and stitch on the left side 
Lift both loops up onto the non selected needle on the right side of the column, bring that needle all the way out to hold (three yarn loops in hook)

Continue knitting until the next non selected needle in the column appears once again on the right, pick up from below left marking spot and repeat. For DIY insert all knit columns on your chosen repeat, and proceed as above.

Visualizing possibilities: chart for side by side columns actions on purl side is shown. The black columns with arrows coupled with photos show the direction of the hook ups in the back, purl side of the fabric, and  potential “cables” as seen on knit side using the column repeat illustrated above. 



This is a garter stitch version found on Pinterest 

Ladder back double jacquard: backing variations

Periodically questions come up with regards on how to manage float control other than using familiar DBJ settings, or the best way to proceed to achieve it when one prefers to work in thicker yarns.  In this technique all main bed needles are in use for patterning and in working position, the ribber needles can be arranged in nearly any configuration in groups with 1 needle in work, and one or more needles out of work. The main bed tension is close to what would normally be used for single bed fair isle, while the ribber is set at least one or two whole tension numbers tighter, thus reducing bleed through or vertical separation lines on the “outside” of the knit. The fabric uses less yarn than every needle rib DBJ, is lighter in weight, has more stretch, but will not lie as flat. In Brother, if needles are arranged in groups of 2 (pairs of lines and spaces on the needle tape with even spacing between them (i.e. 2 X2, 4X4, 2X4, etc) then lili buttons can be used. The latter method has less chance of the backing showing as a vertical line/ separation on the pattern surface. Sometimes the ribber needle arrangement may result in a secondary, interesting pattern on the purl side. It is still a good idea to have floats that are limited in width, generally less than 5 stitches`. For the purposes of illustration, I knit 2 row stripes on the main bed, while altering settings on the ribber.
This was my initial set up. The ribber needle tape is marked in what I think of as dashes and blanks, in continuous pairs. When using single ribber needles for the ladderback, the number of out of work needles may be even or odd between the ones in work

As each row is knit the ribber will pick up yarn, or not, depending on carriage settings, creating a knit stitch vertical chain on the purl side of the knit 
If empty needles are simply brought into work above plain knit rows, eyelets will be created. One way to reduce their size would be to pick up loops between stitches on the main/ opposite bed, and use them to “cast on” your ribber needles. With ribber carriage set to knit in both directions, each color will knit with each pass of the carriages (2).
With it set to knit in one direction, slip in the other, each color will knit on the ribber for a single pass, slipped in the opposite direction, and the slipped stitch becomes elongated (3).Having a needle in work on the ribber close to the edge of the knit may help reduce the roll along that edge (4). A slight separation may appear on the knit side in the location of the vertical columns created by the ribber stitches, it is less apparent when ribber knits on every other rowIt is possible to only have one of the 2 colors knitting on the purl side. In my case it was white knits, blue slips. Here the ribber carriage settings need to be changed with each color change, so for white I used

for the blue

Setting up for using lili buttons: needles need to be in pairs, each with a matching “dash and a blank”, even number of out of work needles in between them. My previous set up required a bit of moving stitches around
 ribber is set to slip both ways, lili buttons engagedWith the above settings, the needle on the right of each pair will catch the yarn on the pass to the right, the needle on the left of each pair will pick up the yarn on the way back to the color changer. Stitches are elongated because they are slipping alternately for one row, and are slightly offset from each other with a bit of a “jog”  because they are not knitting on the same pass. This is noticeable in lili backed full DBJ as well. The color change from blue to pink is simply because I ran out of the blue yarn. My ribber stitches should have been tighter throughout, but even in this tension situation, the knit side has the least noticeable vertical separation along vertical column edges in the series of testsThe technique may be used on any machine. This sample was knit on a Passap, using one of the patterns built into the consoleSimilar backing may be produced on the Brother machine, but now a hand technique is involved. The ribber remains set to slip <– –> throughout, no lili buttons. The spacing may be chosen on the basis of the interaction with the main bed motif, or in a different configuration for each color, making hand technique easier to track. Needles are brought to E position on the ribber for each row to be knit in that color. Here the differing colors are easily identified

the ribber settings

There are 2 options: one is for bringing appropriate needles to E position for each color only once. I chose to do so immediately after each color change, with carriages on the left (below dots). The other is to to bring them to E for the second pass of the carriages on their way back to the color changer as well (above dots). There is elongation in stitches in both options, less so when each color knits on the ribber for 2 consecutive rows, where one short and one longer stitch for each color may be observed. The first option also caused a bit of puckering on the knit side, which disappeared with pressing.

the reverse side 

Similar ideas, playing with configuration of color blocks on either or both beds, can result in appliqué, embossed jacquard including pleats, and a whole range of other double bed knit fabric variations. A quick sample with transfers between beds

 

 

“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims or fabrics 3

There have been several previous posts on “crochet” like stitches and “tuck lace”, this is another variant. The needles need to be arranged as in the diagrams below. After the first preselection row, the carriage is set to tuck <–    –>.

the full punchcard T= areas where tuck loops will occur, K = knit columns, o = NOOW, red line the 0 mark on the needle tape

Every 5 rows, after the tuck loops are knit together (illustrated in repeats on far left), the formed stitch (single black square) is transferred in turn to right and then to left; this works out happily so that transfers may always be made toward the knit carriage.
The sole repeat (all that would be required on a mylar) is 4 stitches wide, 5 rows high. The number of needles used need to be planned so that there is a knit stitch on either end of the piece. This is accomplished by using a repeat multiple of 4 + 1, so one side of the 0 mark has an even number of stitches, the other an odd (4+1=5). Ayab software requires that the repeat is programmed across the width of the fabric, so the final design  would be a variant of this, my sample was worked on 20 left, 17 right. Non selected needles form tuck loops, until they are knit together every 5th row

If you prefer to work with the top repeat programmed, then transfers will need to be made on each side of the non selected needles to get the proper configuration. If programmed with the bottom repeat, then and every other needle cast on is fine. I generally stay away from combs and weights if I can, but this is a fabric that benefits by evenly distributed weight, a cast on comb with weights added to it is a good idea. In the absence of any, start with waste yarn and ravel cord, thread a thin knitting needle or wire through the knit, and hang evenly spaced weighs on that. Follow with your preferred cast on, and knitting in pattern. 

The swatch as it appears on the purl side (traditional “public side” for tuck stitch). The bottom 4 repeats show what the fabric looks like before one intervenes with the hand technique

its knit side and a bit closer a few more

in early publications combinations of lace and tuck, creating a large scale mesh were also referred to as mock crochet

Woven Lace: a brother punchcard to electronic

This is actually a reworking of a previous post. I usually sit on any post for a while, returning to it, editing multiple times out of view, and publish when satisfied with occasional return visits. Thanks to comments from another Ravelry member, I realized after my first “quick” publication on 589 that I needed to take another look at my thinking on this particular card from the very start.  I chose to stay public during editing to show that no matter the level of skill or time spent knitting, sorting out issues for any particular design or fabric can take time, sometimes obstinacy, and that at times the simplest route is taking good notes during the actual process for the most direct results in terms of clarity.

I have been knitting a long time. Sometimes things seem so obvious to me as I work, that I do not take notes. I still have a swatch from my teaching days that fell into that category, and that I have never been able to duplicate. With the 910 and the limited availability of space on mylars, I sometimes erase too quickly, and now that my charts are being created in a new and not yet habitual and familiar to me programs (Numbers, in high Sierra and Pages) wonderful, “surprise” variables can happen. So tips to self: keep step by step notes to return to as a reference, choose order of steps top down or bottom up and stick to one or the other, try not to scrawl randomly and everywhere on any one sheet of paper (never mind keeping it legible), don’t recycle papers with such notes when you think you are done, and watch those autosaves and revert options in Numbers and Pages. Then there’re the added factors of occasional WordPress crashes during saves, taking what one assumes as familiar for granted, and of simply putting even single, lone black square in the wrong place on a mylar sheet. I found with this series merely editing information in the software was not enough. Some of the errors became easier to see when matching the software theory to actually taking notes the old fashioned way with each carriage pass on the 910.

Some information on punchcards, their use, and pattern repeats may be of help to any of you who have not used a card before. The previous post included a reference to this punchcard from a Brother punchcard book in its combining weaving and lace section. I began with the assumption that knit carriage would operate from right, and lace carriage from left, their traditional placement in most lace knitting

its supposed related swatch

Analyzing the card, sorting out possible repeats follows, since mylars or bitmaps for download often only require a single repeat of the pattern. If you are not used to doing this, sometimes beginning with recognizable vertical ones first is a bit easier.

the apparent width and card height repeat

Going from lots of dots to far fewer ones can be dizzying. The punchcard multiple vertical repeat on the left is double checked to insure that all marks are in the correct placement on my chart. Black dots for EON needle selection, red ones for lace transfers. Here things get checked off twice, particularly for lace holes. Lace cards are the hardest to copy and place pixels or black squares accurately, simply because their markings are so few. I usually begin on the left hand side of punchcards to  isolate my repeats. The number markings in the center image reflect those found on the far right of Brother punchcards. The #1 on the factory cards represents where the card reader teeth are reading the holes on the interior of the machine, not at the operator’s eye level on the machine’s exterior. That is also the reason why in any fabric, needle selection does not match expected design row. On the far right,  a single repeat in height is isolated further. The same sort of check should be done when punching cards from published images. Blowing up the source and printing can help with accuracy. 

Operating carriages for even number row sequences is is the most convenient. The assumption on the basis of the arrows in card 589 is that each carriage makes 2 passes, operating in a continuous loop. That simply did not work for me in terms of producing 2 rows of lace followed by 2 more in any other pattern when operating LC from left, and KC from right.

If punching a card, verify your final punching by holding black paper behind the punched holes. In this instance there is an obvious mistake on the third row of holes. I am at the end of a very long punchcard roll. Some of the new rolls are wonderfully sturdy material, but the roll can retain a curl that may make it easy for the card to roll back into the reader unless joined into a tube (resulting in patterning errors), and making it hard to feed its starting rows  into “punching machines”. The rolls are marketed for Brother use, and numbered separated into “standard” lengths with blank segments between them.  Those markings may however,  be for Studio machines use (seen here, at row 5),  with row one on the right actually being 2 rows too low for Brother, so as punched LC  first preselection row would need to happen on row 3.589 begins with lace transfers. A second option, is to begin with a weaving pattern, with the KC on the left for the first selection row, and beginning your pattern reading 2 more rows up from the lace starting line in the punchcard. Markings on the side of the image above have nothing to do with actual starting rows. Pencil lines are outlining individual repeats, have no other reference. Numbers and other necessary marks would require adding by hand. If hesitant, #1 marking on right may be double checked by overlaying a factory pre punched card over your own.

Beginning the mylar conversion : my adjusted repeat checking squares vs holes again

The end needle selection needs to be cancelled on lace rows to avoid transfers or dropped stitches on the edges of the piece. If a needle is selected, manually push it back to B. If patterning ie tuck, slip, or FI are used on alternate groups of rows, then end needle selection is preferred. In weaving,  2 side by side stitches drop a float, so keeping the EON selection on both sides gives a better edge. Invariably, some operator involvement is needed altering end needle position, no matter the setting for it on either carriage.

Even with a lot of knitting and design experience results are not immediate. I ran into issues when I first tried to knit on the 910 with a later, “final” repeat selection being correct, but the technique failing, resulting in a loopy mess. In weaving, weaving brushes need to be moving freely, so check them, unscrew them, remove any fluff, and air knit, making certain they are down and turning at the same rate in both directions. Tuck wheels if movable, should be in the forward position, lined up with all other wheels or brushes on your sinker plate. To isolate the problems further: test lace with your knit carriage selecting,  but no cam buttons pushed in. The KC will knit for 2 rows across LC transfers, creating only the lace pattern involved. Your mylar markings get checked, also offering an opportunity to sort out why stitches may drop, and if you indeed have patience to combine techniques for more than a few rows. It is easy enough with an EON needle pusher to test both weaving yarn and needed ground yarn tension. If that is successful as well, then issues occurring with patterning may be from other causes. They were in my case. I had to switch sinker plates in my knit carriage to get weaving to work properly. I failed, however, at combining the final repeat with tucking, even with the KC set to tuck immediately after the transfers, and to knit every needle in the opposite direction.  I tested the carriage, sinker plate, and patterning with EON tuck only with different designs, and had no problem. At such a point I would abandon that fabric combination with the particular mylar repeat.

Returning to actions on the punchcard: the preselection row can be confusing in any translations. The last row in the card takes care of lining up repeats for us as it is rolled continuously in the drum, but there can be oddness to the eye when only a small repeat is singled out. Looking at the image of the repeats tiled allows one to choose a different starting row, rather than lace markings. The direction of transfers raises the quest to yet another level. This was my progression in editing and moving starting row for beginning the fabric with a weave start rather than a lace one: the numbers in my charts reflect carriage passes and direction, not completed row counts as they might appear on KM counter

Pass 1: COL, KC, N for knit row, slip <—> for free pass that selects only, move carriage—>
Pass 2COR, KC, EON pre selected, set card to advance normally, lay in weaving yarn, KC will move  <— will weave first row, preselect  second weaving row
Pass 3: COL, KC weaves second row EON, preselects firs row of lace on its way to right —>
Pass 4: COL , LC transfers to right, repeats previous row’s selection, moves to —>
Pass 5COR, LC no transfer happens on empty needle selected for the second time by the previous row, selects for the next row of transfers, moves <—
Pass 6: COL, LC transfers pre selected row to right, preselects first EON row for weaving, moves —>, release it, return it to left
Pass 7COR, KC, EON, lay in weaving yarn, KC will move  <— will weave first row, preselect  second weaving row
Pass 8: COL, KC weaves second row EON, preselects firs row of lace on its way to right —>
Pass 9: COL , LC transfers to right, repeats previous row’s selection moves to —>
Pass 10COR, LC no transfer happens on empty needle selected for the second time by the previous row, selects for the next row of transfers, moves <—
Pass 11: COL, LC transfers pre selected row to right, preselects first EON row for weaving, moves —>, release it, return it to left.  This row matches design row 1, and is starting the repeat sequence again
Passes 2-11 complete 10 rows of knitting, as well as the first vertical repeat as drawn

My chart has had multiple drafts, which included using software to insert a row to allow for that repeated selection as the carriages switched sides. The goal is to keep the 2 lace transfers to the right, with LC beginning each sequence on the left side, ending on the right, matching the punchcard movements listed above.  Keeping things as simple as possible is something I at times forget to do. After several drafts, here is a simpler way to look at things. In D black squares with dots indicate stitch that will be transferred on the next pass of the LC, the yellow squares the location of the eyelets. All pattern repeats with the KC preselecting for the first row of knitting on the left, with the change knob set to either KC I or KC II

the 10 row repeat and its mylar companion

In actual knitting of this stitch combination,  since needles preselect for the next row knit, once the pattern is set up correctly, it is easy to recognize when carriage changes are required by looking at the number of needles selected. EON rows are for weaving, starting on right. Few needles selected are for lace, starting on left. Lace transfers happen on the stitches selected the previous row, in the direction in which the carriage is moving, here transfers are all to the right. Grey squares indicate repeated selections, black squares with yellow dots indicate stitches transferred to the right on the next pass of the LC. The mylar repeat would only require the black squares

Below the repeat in the chart is used, knit first on my punchcard KM, then on my 910, but it misses the mark in terms of matching the swatch in the pattern book

This is the result I was still trying to get back to. The first lace pattern test swatch: gotta love dropped stitches in lace!

no tucking allowed in combo with lace, but not a carriage or mylar problemweaving test: fails were from a problem sinker plate weaving lever in one direction only, hand technique success was with change of sinker plate lace and weave with 2 different weight yarns and, hallelujah!

Taking another look at the original punchcard and those arrows on the left hand side, a detail I had originally missed. Both carriages operate from the right side, for 2 rows each, switching their place on the machine bed. Arrows for design row 1 begin above red line. Transfers are all first to left, then to right. The card advances a single row for each carriage pass. With carriages operating on the same side, the punchcard advances one row for each carriage pass. Operating the LC from the left, and releasing it when it is on the right as in the previous fabric produces the desired results. The blank row on rows 3 and 8 allow the LC to travel to right, making selection for the transfer to left on the next row

the  10 row repeat and its mylar companion

the actions

the fabric, again!

Reworking the repeat in order to use the LC for four passes, beginning and ending on the left hand side of the machine, its usual home

the now 12 row repeat and its mylar companion

the actions the fabric again, in lace only repeat 

For reproducing the fabric using Ayab software: please see http://alessandrina.com/2018/01/02/lace-punchcards-meet-ayab/

 

Bowknot/ Butterfly stitch on the machine_ WIP

A recent Pinterest post got me searching out some of the fabrics in this group. In hand knitting, floats creating the butterflies/ bowknots are usually apparent on the knit side. For two such patterns please see http://www.knittingstitchpatterns.com/2014/11/butterfly-bowknots.html

http://www.knittingstitchpatterns.com/2015/04/butterfly.html

https://handlife.ru/vazanie/obemnyy-uzor.html caught my attention. Here we have a combination of knit and purl stitches, with floats formed on the purl side, making the fabric or a “cousin” of it possible on the machineThis is my first experiment with gathered slip stitch floats on purl side of knit. To begin, this chart indicates one punchcard pattern’s full repeat in width.  Four repeats in length would be required (the punchcard minimum repeat in length to achieve smooth continuous card feeding is 36 rows). Punch out blue squares, leaving white ones unpunched. A single repeat (outlined in black, 8 stitches by 12 rows) is for use in electronic patterning, where one may  alternately draw or program white squares, then use color reverse. Red line represents 0 needle position in Brother KM

Pitch on H5, ribber needles are centered between main bed ones, so the “knot” width, represented by white squares, can be even in number. Begin with first needle left of 0 (red line) in work position, continue across ribber bed with every 4th needle in work

The main bed knits in slip stitch pattern for 4 rows, then knits 2 rows across all stitches. Floats are created every blank row throughout, composing the knots or butterflies. The ribber is set to knit (N,<–>N, will pick up stitches only on selected needles.
The fabric is a slip stitch one, so it will be short and narrow. That is something to be considered when planning cast on, bind off, and beginning and ending edges of the piece.
In Japanese machines a ribber comb is recommended. If casting on single bed, start with waste yarn, poke the comb through that, and proceed as you would for any other rib fabric.

My sample is knit on a 910, with white squares drawn. This is what happens when you forget to color reverse. The all blue squares now became “white”, so those 2 rows were slipped, not knit, bringing float repeats closer together  the result with color reverse working out a mylar, electronic (unless DM 80 40 stitch width is in use) repeat for a variation of the fabric knit single bed. The stitch count is odd,  allowing for a center stitch manipulation. KCI is used to make certain the first and last needle knit on each side. Floats created close to edges may be left without hooking them up. The fabric separates slightly along the “bowknot”  edges because color reverse is used, blue squares in chart slip, create floats  when Rows 6 and 12 are reached respectively, that single square becomes a non selected needle, pick up those floats with any preferred toollift them up and onto that single non selected needle, push that needle out to hold
with the next pass the single needle and loops knit off together and become part of the alternating all knit block in the design
the swatches are knit in a 2/15 wool, the fabric might be better served using a thicker yarn. Here the “blocks” creating  “floats” are side by side

For another single bed cousin in different weight yarn, please see previous post 

Fabrics worked single bed with groups of pulled up stitches on the purl side will have some distortion of the stocking stitch side depending on weight of yarn used, the number of rows hooked up, and stitch type. Working on the opposite bed to create the floats produces a more balanced fabric.

My charts often evolve. This may be done on graph paper if there is no access to software. I began adding a space between between each block, thinking about those knit stitches I want to create on the purl ground, hooking stitches up on red squaresadding border stitches and more theory on placement of stitch type
the result actually places “knit” stitches in center of butterfly (magenta arrow), not at its sides, and I see and extra purl stitch (green arrow). Multiple stitch wide borders create unwanted floats on one side
back to the drawing board, and working things out first as hand technique

I began with my carriage on the right (COR), after setting up the repeat on a multiple of 6 stitches +3 as indicated above. The last stitch on either side on both beds is never transferred, and the short loops every other set (rows 5 and 17 in chart) are not hooked up. This will produce a slightly rolled edge on each side. Larger number of border stitches become problematic. The photos were taken while knitting 2 different swatches, so needle tape markings are not the same in all photos. To produce the circular knit, opposite part buttons are pushed in so with carriage on right (COR), the settings would be

Cast on in any preferred method, ending with all stitches on the ribber Configure main bed needles as illustrated in stand alone set up row at the  bottom of chart With carriages traveling from right to left, the main bed knits on those single needles, creating floats between them and the ribber slips. When carriages travel from left to right, only the ribber knits, the main bed slips. Here the carriages have traveled to left, and back to right 
With row counter (RC) set to 000 at the start if knit, hand techniques occur on RC 5, 11, 17, 23, 29, and so on. Hooking up loops and transferring stitches between beds always occurs with carriages on the left (COL). On those rows the floats are hooked up on the center needle of the 5 empty groups. In this photo the ribber is dropped to show what is happening on each bed. The last stitches on each bed are not moved, and those short floats when created on completion of alternate repeat top halves are not hooked upafter the three floats have been hooked up, with COL each time, the in between main bed stitches are transferred back down to ribberCOL: be sure when hooking up floats that all in the series are picked up. The space between the beds is fairly narrow, tool used is purely preference based. Shifting main bed needles forward will provide a visual check for loop count as you go. I bring needles with multiple loops out to hold before transferring to ribber, and then also the transferred stitches on ribber out to hold to insure they will all knit on the next pass from left to right. Patterning occurs on every 6th needle on both beds, with the exception of border stitch groups

this is the needle arrangement / position in my final swatch, knit in 2/8 wool, COR

So what can be automated in process? The knit bed needs to work the stitches that form floats every other row, while the card or mylar need to advance every row. Trying patterns out as an all hand technique helps determine tolerance on the part of the machine and degree of patience available. With thinner yarn, the fabric would be more compressed, and maneuvering stitches more frequent to achieve similar finished size knits, so I switched to a thicker yarn. I found more than 3 rows of floats was too hard for me to manage successfully.  “Air knitting” to determine placement of knitting on any bed prior to patterning helps determine the number of needles in use, especially if edge needle placement or count matters: here is the first pass using my mylareliminating needles to any desired width, leaving only one needle in work on each side of selected needle each bed for this fabric reducing main bed count so only one needle is left on either side of a selected onethat needle (green arrow, gets transferred down to ribber now the number of needles involved on both beds is evident on both beds

While knitting in pattern the ribber pitch is set on P (point to point) to keep stitches on opposing beds centered (P pitch also makes it easier to transfer directly from one bed to the other). If the cast on is for an every other needle rib with stitches then transferred between beds for pattern knitting set up, the cast on and any all rib rows need to be knit in H pitch, with switch to P for transfers and knitting in pattern to be completed. With first row set up on selected segment of needle bed, there are additional steps to take.

This is my working repeat. Since it is 6 stitches wide, it could be worked out on a punchcard, punching out all black squares. On my mylar I marked yellow squares only, with no color reverse
To work consistently with the method described in the larger chart, the first row was manually set up on both beds preparing for pattern with COL: change knob set to KCII (cancel end needle selection, not every needle in work on main bed), KC set to slip <–>, so non selected needles slip with each pass of the carriages, advancing the mylar or card one row. The ribber set to N/N or as below, will knit from left to right. Pre selection row is made traveling to right, ribber only knits

With COR: set RC (row counter) to 000. Make certain proper part (slip) buttons are engaged. MB knits in pattern based on selected needles, ribber knits when moving from left to right. The fabric is tubularHand techniques will now also occur when carriages are on the left, on RC 5, 11, etc as described in hand technique chart, on rows with no needle selection. As in hand tech, transfers and multiple loop containing needles are brought out to hold before moving the carriages from left to right and selecting the needles for the next set of floats with that same pass.

This is my resulting fabric, hand tech shown, short mylar test above was cropped 

Revisiting knit “bubbles” brother KM

Sometimes months or even years go by before I revisit previous posts. As I review the information, it may occur to me to think about it further, and /or to present it in a slightly different way. I find it hard to believe how much time has passed since http://alessandrina.com/2013/09/06/more-knit-bubbles/ got published.  Here is another way to look at the fabric on Brother KM. Since I knit on a punchcard or a 910 electronic model, I will refer to pattern repeats in terms of punched holes or black squares.

Bubbles and drop stitch lace share some of the same principles, the effect is created by stitches that are larger than others. Slip stitch setting can be used to automate needle selection. Black squares or punched holes will knit, unpunched areas or white squares will not, with needles left in B position. Brother preselects needles for the next row of knitting, so when combining hand techniques with needle selection, one has the option to intervene before the next row in the design is actually knit. Using the card or mylar to read row 1 of the design helps determine where on needle bed to set up your repeats. In this instance the ribber knits every stitch, every row, with one extra needle on left (or more on each end if preferred) in addition to repeats # required to achieve the desired width. All needles are in work every row on both beds. Main bed knits in response to programming.

Working in multiple of repeat -1 on the top bed, plus one needle in work at each end on the ribber. Considerations need to be taken to align design properly. Markings on my metal bed are from a totally different project.The goal is this needle arrangement “air knitting” with carriage set to KC will help identify patterning repeats. Groups of 7 include a needle on each end which will be pushed back to A position in the body of the knit/ NOOW (needle out of work) indicated in chart for main bed needle set upthe first selection row a needle on either side of the groups of 7 is pushed all the way back to A position, remain there throughout  the piecean extra needle is brought into work on the ribber on either side of repeat ends. Machine settings: main bed set to slip <->, ribber set to normal knit
the ribber has now been set  up for knitting every needle, every row, with cast on and desired edging completed. The first row is selected on main bed for pattern knitting. since there are needles out of work and pattern knitting is involved, if KCI is used or end needle selection is not cancelled, the end needles on the areas being slipped will be selected to knitting position, so patterning errors will occur. First row knit on both beds is shown on remaining needlesBrother knits a row while preselecting for the next one. Here the needles in B would slip/ not knit on the next row, needles out to D (Brother skipped the letter C in needle positions) will knit. Prior to knitting that next row, stitches on the now non selected needles should be dropped across the bed this shows those stitches have been dropped, their needles are now empty, and returned to B position

end knitting with same treatment as it bottom (swatch was simply dropped off).

It is possible with solid geometric shapes such as these to release stitches at the completion of each shape. Type of yarn used and loop behavior upon dropping stitches are variables that influence success in doing so (other swatches )

An acrylic yarn was used: the first image is the fabric’s “relaxed view”

after steaming and pressing

the variation in width is due to adjustments in tension, the swatch folded over itself shows the difference in another way