“Wisteria” meets hems

I have previously posted on a series of fabrics related to this swatch, including suggestions for possibly automating some of their variations. The earliest blog post includes some of the history for this fabric, is repeated here. In the 80s there used to be a yearly machine knitting seminar in my area that was fairly well attended. There were droves of machine knitting publications for sale, demonstrators, and device creators with their wares. Susan Lazear, the founder of Cochenille, was just beginning to develop her knit design software ideas on Amiga Computers, DAK was getting off the ground as a competitor, and a fellow Californian, who happened to be Japanese (Yo Furuta), used to travel here with the Pandora box of foreign language knit magazines. At the time translating knits from one language to another amounted to guesswork and some leaflets. Subsequently, there were fliers, then articles, and even books on translating from Japanese to English and more than one on multiple language instructions for knits and crochet.
One year there was a “guess how this was done and you get a prize contest” for a technique appearing on a sweater with only Japanese instructions. The design was dubbed wisteria by some, has been reincarnated as a trim, insertion, bandings on sleeves and cardigans and is reappears in magazines and on the runway with some regularity. For more information see horizontal cable  (2012)wisteria cousin revisited: holding vs slip stitch,  wisteria 2, and fern leaf  A foreign language video tutorial with wider ladder spaces executed on a Silver Reed knitting machine

Recently I have been giving more thought to 3D knitting folds, and in an online search I came across the hand-knit designs by “Olgajazzy“. I became curious about developing a machine knit relative of the texture shown in her Kune Kune shawl and began my own search for a way to add hems to the above fabric.  I am sharing photos of the test swatches in progress and some of my observations, not intending them as a full tutorial. Before adding variations to any technique it is always helpful to have practiced the simpler version. Having needles out of work can help make certain the correct width groups are brought into hold each time. Ladders do change the look of the final fabric and soon the choice becomes as to whether they are unnecessary or used as a purposeful design feature.
As with any eyelet fabric, if all openings are created in the same direction the fabric will bias. To avoid that, the direction of transfers is altered in direction at the completion of each row of repeats. With transfer lace that is achieved by transferring in turn to the right and then to left, here stitches in hold are worked from right to left and then in turn from left to right to achieve a more balanced fabric. Cast-on and bind-off must be loose enough not to draw the top and bottom of the fabric in too tightly, and it is possible to make them decorative. Test swatches began and ended in a waste yarn of sharply different contrast color, making it easier to observe what is happening to the stitches creating the fabric. In this sideways view, missing a row of hemmed segments at its top, the difference in height on one side as opposite the other is quite noticeable. The reverse side shows the same issue. Areas can be identified where the held stitches have been hung up to create hems. Note that as the knit grows in length, at the completion of each row of repeats there is one segment with no hem on alternating sides. A longer test swatch follows
I created my hems on the carriage side, immediately prior to bringing the following group of stitches into work opposite it, and knitting a single row across that new group of 3 segments. The highlighted area indicates the stitches to be hung to create the hem.  The eyelet on the top, right,  will be smaller than the one at the opposite side of the stitches to be hung upStart with waste yarn and ravel cord if preferred. Work the first segment,  hang the first hem. First segments are generally knit for an even number of rows. The second hem is not hung until the third group of stitches has been knit. The process is repeated across the width of the knit Reversing the direction of segmentsWhat about a related edging? One to try: cast on with waste yarn and ravel cord (if desired). End with COL. Knit one row with the main color to right. COR bring all but group 1 stitches out to the hold position. Knit an even number of rows. COR: hang hem, bring the second group of stitches into work, knit one row to left. COL: bring the first group of stitches out to hold, work the second group for the preferred number of rows, end COR. COR: hang hem on stitches worked on the carriage side, bring next group on needles to their left into work. Knit one row to left, bring the now sealed hem on the group of stitches on the right to hold, and continue across the needle bed, working a hem on the last group as well. Reverse direction as illustrated above.
The same edging could be used and followed by other stitch types. The cast-off at the top might look better if done using a different technique but is not capable of matching the bottom edge because of the direction of the knit stitches composing the folds. These fabrics are time-consuming, requiring skill and concentration, especially when knitting large pieces. There is always the option of using such techniques in an isolated area of the final piece or in edgings and borders, keeping in mind the possible changes to gauge when combining stitch types.

Passap knitters are not left out of related explorations. Slip setting (BX) and pusher selection are used. The lock change to N overrides the pusher set up to achieve a row (or many more) of plain knit across all needles in work. It is the equivalent of canceling cam buttons in Brother while maintaining pattern needle selection. N tends to be king no matter on what bed or KM brand. Since both beds in Passap are fixed, the back bed (equivalent to Japanese ribbers) is set to slip (GX). An interesting variation is found in Passap #60 p. 24 (1995). Directions are given for both the Duo and the E 6000. The technique relies upon hand selection and changes in cam settings in both. Early magazines and manuals translated from other languages at times require additional interpretation. Shapes in many are “out of date”, but in terms of knitting techniques, they provide a boundless source of inspiration. This is one of my early graphics trying to imagine what is happening in chart form, which also references the repeat in the Passap garment, followed by plain knitting 

The sides of the piece bow in and out respectively, so when the sweater is seamed the curved areas will meet to create a fairly flat side seam. Choosing a yarn that will “lose memory” when pressed helps create a flat finish. Yarns such as wool will tend to roll toward the purl side, and this is likely to occur on the edges of the eyelets as well. Both can work depending on your goal for the finished piece of knitting. Ladders created by leaving needles out of work make for a more open, very different look. They also can be easily counted to check on how many rows have been knit.

This is a sweater by Patty Boutik, for sale on Amazon, introducing eyelet striping and selective use of the repeatFor use of the stitch family in a variety of scale see the work of Mary Callan

If one is a fan of straight edges or lines, they are not left out either, and slits can be placed at one’s discretion. This fabric is worked out differently, in groups of 2. After the first segment is completed, COR if the starting group 1 worked is on the right, bring group 2 into work, knit one row to left, immediately bring group one into hold, and continue across row. That “float” is created as the yarn traveling between the last stitch on the right now coming into hold and the first stitch to its left knits for many more rows gets pulled on as the piece grows.  If hems are added to the piece it can be done in many ways including in contrasting color, across individual pieces as in the edging shown earlier in the post after knitting one or more rows, and sizes of eyelets and any added hems can be varied as well. If the”float” is hung up at the same time as the hem it will be less noticeable. From Stoll Trend Collection Europe Spring/Summer 2012 a sample fabric utilizing the floats between repeat segments as a design feature

In a world of glitch knitting and asymmetry in design and fashion, random “ruching” may be applied here as well Hems in knitting can be created on any number of stitches, anywhere on a garment, by definition join segments of the knit together permanently. Folds are freer. Here is an attempt at a different wisteria cousin with organized repeats. More on creating it will follow in a subsequent post now that holding techniques are back on my radar

Origami folds inspired pleats

WORK IN PROGRESS 

I have long since wanted to experiment with a variety of folds in knits other than “simple pleats”. A friend on Facebook has been working successfully double bed, has published a tutorial.

I thought I would share some of my earlier starts looking at some concepts beginning with the single bed.

For a diagonal pleat, I began testing the waters by bringing some needles to hold position every other row, and creating a “moving ladder” or eyelet in the center space between tucked stitch columns. The modified eyelet performed better than the simple one in creating a fold.The next question for me is always how to automate any part of the process. Tucking for 2 rows seemed more likely to create a sharper crease. Since the transfers associated with the ladder space are all in the same direction this is a fabric that will definitely bias. The swatch below shows the results, the blue arrows point to operator error in ladder placement, the red arrow at the top of the swatch points to multiple rows of knitting. Multiple rows of stocking stitch at either end are likely to flare out and “ruffle”The fabric had an interesting twist and roll if tugged in opposite diagonal directions when first off the machine

This is the working repeat, suitable for a punchcard machine. On the far left it is shown for use with electronics and color reverse, with green grid highlighting black squares indicating holes which would need to be punched in a card, and lastly, as a tiled repeat looking for any errors in repeat sequences.Below the actions taken in part of the overall repeat are represented. The model year Brother machine in use may require you also flip the image vertically before knitting it.  This is what is planned for the purl side.

One of the issues with self-published patterns is the adaptation of or use of symbols that are different than that in any published consensus. The transfers to left are commonly indicated this way in lace knitting. If the needle that is emptied is left out of work, a ladder will form. If it is left in work the first pass creates a loop on that needle, the next pass to the opposite side completes the stitch, resulting eyelet on that same needle. Picking up from the row below is usually represented this way This shows my swatch in progress. ? indicates operator error, in evidence if needle count on each side of the future tuck stitch or ladder space is checkedpicking up loops from the row below to keep ladder width constant transferred stitch (blue) and 1 needle ladder (pink) marked by arrows Check that stitches have knit off properly Needles with transfers or moved stitches may be brought out to hold position (E in Brother machines) for easier knitting. If this is done, be sure not to disturb needle selection or lack of it in location for next pair of tucked rows.

If one is exploring a DIY search for creating fabrics, the journey is often one of trial, error, and an investment of time with not always yield good results, but may yield pleasant surprises and an opportunity for learning and new ideas. These were some of my trial swatches in thinking of more varied directional folds single bed I was led back to slipping or tucking every other row for creating some of those folds, and the possibility of having both actions happening on the same bed automated in some way. Often forgotten and unused in the Brother ia ira capability of tucking in one direction, and slipping in the opposite one. These are the 2 possible settings. It does make a difference in some fabrics which stitch type happens first as one travels back and forth across the knitting bed. “Arrows in opposite directions are chosen for each stitch type.

Setting up a working repeat with blue representing tuck, purple slip (or vice versa). The distance between the vertical column, in this case, is fixed and seven stitches in width for a center folding repeat width of 16, color reverse is required 12 stitch version color reversed for actual knitting This is the purl side of the fabric with both stitch types happening on the main bed.  It pretty much flattened out with some light pressing, not much of a pleatThis is what happens once the ribber needles are brought into actionSet up the cast on as preferred. I used plain knitting, weighted it, and began my pattern work from the right-hand side of the machine. COL my preselection row was made from right to left. White squares in the chart with black ground and green grid become non selected needles on main bed. Transfer nonselected stitches down to the ribber. Set the ribber to slip to the right, those stitches just transferred will slip moving to the right, knit on the return pass to the left. The knit carriage is set to knit until that first row is completed

COR the ribber will knit on the next pass to the left. Set the knit carriage to tuck while the ribber is knitting
continue in pattern to the desired length. Fabric narrows considerably, so several panels may be required for items ie. skirts. The repeat on the knitting bed should also be adjusted to allow for as close to invisible seaming as possible. The stitches on either side of the single needle in work on the ribber may be inclined to drop off. I was unable to use tuck on those same needles for any significant length for that reason. It pays to visually check for stitches knitting off properly to avoid this The start of vertical pleats, with the slip stitches folding to the purl side, the tucked stitches folding to the knit side on the machine,  just after binding offtwo fabrics side by side
different fibers can produce varying results in fold and drape. Setting either bed function for the wrong direction will produce an all knit fabric (top of the red swatch). This starts to address incorporating hand techniques and manual ones from the diagonal swatch and the one with vertical folds while also developing a design repeat to aid with planning or actions to be taken.  It  will be altered in future experiments

The yarn choice is a poor one. The fiber is a very softly spun rayon, which could benefit also from being knit at a tighter tension, and since rayon has no “memory” it fails to have any spring back and is flattened out permanently with pressing and steam.  This swatch is knit in wool, trying to sort out what does what and by how much. I am starting to get a bubble, but not a dramatic folding effect and the repeat is off as worked. The bottom folds work for me more so than the top. The filled eyelet technique has a hand-tooled tuck column on the reverse side. The top is automated tuck stitch. My repeat: the bottom with carriage set to knit with needle selection as a cue to hand transfers, the top set to tuck automatically. Transition rows need to be considered further and altered where the twain meet

Shadow pleats knitting

This fabric is beginning to appear in runways again, is fairly easy to construct on any machine. Select two yarns of different weights and textures, the heavier being approximately two to three times the thickness of the thinner one. It is possible to use multiple strands of the thinner yarn to achieve the difference in weight. The “thicker” yarn is the one you will see on the “right” side of the fabric. Select a tension suitable for the thicker yarn, it will remain fixed throughout the piece. The knitting sequence can be varied. To begin with, test an equal number of rows of each color/ thickness i.e. 6 and 6. Adjust as needed for the desired effect. Rows of weaving or slip patterns can provide the “thicker” areas of knitting, with plain stocking stitch the “thin”. If Fair Isle patterning is preferred, elongate fair isle and knit pattern in alternating sequences, with single or double strand in the front feeder to produce the “thick” and the plain knit “thin” with yarn in the back feeder only. For more on this technique see the previous post

Instructions below are from the Brother Techniques book, which is now available for free download online


A different fabric can be produced double bed to achieve what may be, depending upon yarn selection and tension, a similar effect. Although these folds are called tucks (those who sew may be familiar with the term pintucks in that craft) they are actually knit using a slip stitch technique. Colors may be changed at regular intervals here as well, and when combined with use of the plating feeder the color effects can be varied even more.  Depending on which side of the fabric is the “right” side, either the ribber bed (when the knit side is the right side) or the main bed (when the side facing you on the machine is the right side), one carriage is set to slip in both directions for the height of the folds while the other is set to knit. Once the desired number of rows is reached, both carriages are set to knit. To review:
1. begin with an every needle rib, at a tight tension, working at least one closed row
2. follow by setting either bed to slip, and knitting 4-10 number rows in stocking stitch on only one bed. The tension for those rows will have to be adjusted to the same used for stocking stitch for that yarn.
3. Return to every needle rib for at least one or 2 rows forming the backing and locking the knit together after reducing the tension. The “locking” stitches will be elongated.
Repeat steps 2 and 3.
Just as in rolls created single bed by hanging a previously knit row on every needle at regular intervals with stripes of stocking stitch in between, the yarn type and tension determine the quality of the roll. Too many rows in the “roll” will result in its wanting to flatten out and it will look more like a hem than a roll. This double bed fabric falls in the category usually referred to as pin tucks. This page from the Ribber Techniques Book explains the method for one version

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 work is turned over (unless knitting 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 mothballs) 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 decided 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 viewan earlier hand knit project in the same stitch familyGetting rid of those blocks altogether: a generously shared free pattern on Ravelry , and a link to the author’s blog

 

 

Revisiting pleats on the knitting machine: single bed


work in progress 

I am recently pondering self-folding shapes, which begin with pleating. Presently, in fashion and knitwear, skirts and clothing with ruffled or folded fabric variations abound. In 2013 I wrote a post including downloadable files of one of my early handouts and working notes. This is the same information.  Correction: folds to purl side should read 2-4  rows of tuck
It is possible to knit shadow pleats combining them with holding position to knit wedges which will produce a more circular shape. The shaping can occur in both thick and thin areas.

When working in stocking stitch, if a soft looking pleat is desired, the knitted fabric is simply folded to form the pleat and joined to keep the fold. Crisper folds require the added techniques described above. In hand knitting fold lines are created by slipping stitches on the fold line on the “public side”. Assuming the latter is the knit side of the fabric, this is often indicated by “sl 1 with yarn in back” for front fold line (and as another slip stitch option, for with yarn in front for back fold line). A purl stitch is more commonly worked on the same side of the knit for the opposing, inner fold. Both the slipped stitch and the purl one are purled on the return purl row pass. It is also possible to work the former purl stitch as a purl, resulting in a garter stitch is fold inner fold.

To review, parts of pleats: 

knife pleats may be put next to each other and pointing to the right (S) or the left (Z)

Box pleats are composed of alternating right and left knife pleats, pointing away from each other. Inverted box pleats are composed of one left and one right knife pleat, pointing toward each other.

Accordion pleas are a series of knife pleats in which the back of one pleat forms the face of the next 

The subsequent posts followed with the information in on pleated skirts made with lace carriage transfers (from Brother Knitting Techniques Book ) as well as on ribbed folding fabrics and automating pleats single bed (‘holding’/slip stitch shaping).

Some authors and publications include hems in the category of pleats as “horizontal”. To my mind, they merit their own category. Some related techniques that may be used at the bottom, in the body of the knit, at the top, or only on part of the surface may be found in my previous posts hems 1, hems 2, and ruching.

It is possible to knit folding pleats in knitted stocking stitch with the pleats formed vertically rather than sideways. The two needles (highlighted in red) close together form the top hard outer ridge, and the two empty spaces where needles are out of work (red dots) form the under fold.  The remaining black dots represent out of work needles as wellNormally, EON knitting is reserved for tuck lace or heavier yarns on standard machines.  For my test swatch, I used a coarse 2/8 wool on tension 4

The fabric narrows considerably as it is stretched lengthwise to set the stitches. Several panels would be required for a garment such as a skirt. Such an item would need to be pulled into shape, pinned and hot pressed. Fiber content will determine the crispness of the pleats after blocking, and their retention after cleaning. The swatch below is turned sideways for the sake of space.More variations with folds can be made by varying the “rules” commonly recognized for creases. Working sideways once more: on a punchcard machine, using card # 1 locked, cast on making certain first, last, and every other needle are selected. My swatch varies the number of all knit rows between creasing methods. This allows for overlapping at fixed width at the top of the piece once the fabric is rotated lengthwise, creating a fair amount of bulk as pleats are fixed. Those same all knit sections could be combined with holding techniques to get the width of pleats at one end to be a different width than at the other. The change knob is set to KC throughout. After the desired number of rows, cam buttons are set to slip <– –> for at least 4 rows (commonly this is done for 2). cancel slip setting, complete the next knit section, transfer every other needle  to adjacent one on either right or left the needles holding 2 stitches may be brought out to hold position as each transfer is made, or pushed out to hold after the fact, keep the number of needles  constant;set cam buttons to tuck <– –>, on the first pass the empty needles will pick up a loop, on the second pass a second loop will be created on those same needlescancel the tuck setting, leave needle selection on, the pass will form knit stitches, continue with the next knit section. The yarn used is still my 2/24 acrylic, seen here stretched flatslipped stitches create more of a “hem”, folding to the “inside” in the pressed swatch, while eyelets and tuck fold a picot edge to its “outside “;planning is required for the best method as to how to join panels in items such as skirts

Pleats: ribbed , folding fabrics

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

RIBBED, FOLDING PLEATS result from varying the needle arrangement on both beds, usually in every needle rib. As with any knit fabric, the knit piece will fold toward the purl side along the length of the piece, not away from it. The bend can be put permanently into the fabric by leaving one or more consecutive needles on the same bed out of work. The non working needle(s) will create a narrow vertical column of stocking stitch on the opposite bed which will roll itself toward its purl surface. By spacing the groups of non working needles alternately between the beds, the fabric will immediately fold into pleats when taken off the machine. The same principle could be applied to hand knitting. The symbols: black dots indicate needles out of work, purple arrows the direction of the fold in the resulting fabric, | the needles in work on either bed, any machine.

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

needle arrangementalternating direction of folds to create sharp or knife pleats

folds up as

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

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

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

star

stars add

fold up as

box_sharp

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

accordion

 fold up as

accordion sharp

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

rolled

fold up as
curved knife

double rolled pleats mirror needle groups

double rolled

fold up as

curve1

in accordion rolled OOW needles are spaced evenly on both beds

accordion rolled

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

Brother Ribber Techniques Book page 37 illustration

page37

Some considerations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Folded / true pleats occur when the groups of NOOW (needles out of work) that make the fold lines are spaced far enough apart so that the underlap of the pleat is quite wide. Rolled/ mock pleats occur when the groups of NOOW that form the fold lines are fairly close together.  Stockinette/rib combinations: vertical columns of stocking stitches are created, sometimes combined with ribbed ones. The fabric lies flat and does not fold.

Double jacquard is usually an every needle rib fabric, so pleats can be created in conjunction with it, even planned to occur within specific areas of the design repeat. Consider yarn weight and backing technique in planning for drape.

A series of needle arrangements to try, including one worked on every other needle, which requires the pitch change from P to H. Charts were created as combined tables using Mac Numbers 5/2018

More from the Brother Ribber Techniques Book pp 108-112

Review of terms often used: full pitch = the needles of one bed are exactly opposite the needles of the other bed. Passap = racking handle up. Half pitch = the needles of one bed are directly opposite the gate pegs of the opposite bed. Passap = racking handle down. FNR: full needle rib = within the working area all needles on both beds are in working position, with the beds set at half pitch. 1X1 rib set up= within the work area every other needle on both beds is in work in alternating positions, ribber set to full pitch. Tubular cast on is often used for fabrics of this type, in both FNR and 1X1 rib set ups.

“True” pleats have three components: the face, the fold over or turn back, and the underside; they are formed by folding a piece of knitted fabric over. “Mock pleats”  are produced by varying stitch patterns. Sometimes the terms S and Z are used in reference to how the pleat folds, with S pleats pointing the the right and Z pointing to the left. The fold over bulk is something that needs to be planned or even compensated for when creating garments ie such as skirts, where yokes are often added to minimize bulk at waist and hips.

Studio tips and techniques #36, by Terry Burns, is now available for free download online and begins to cover Double bed pleated skirts  tt-36-double_bed_skirts

Pleats: automating “pleating”, single bed

This post was originally written in 2013. I found myself reviewing it in 2018, and editing it with the intent to attempt a pleat sample using the Ayab interface. In those days I was using Intwined for some of my charts. The program has since been unsupported for Mac, without upgrades and a series of problems that led to my switching over to excel completely for my charts, and now to Numbers in the latest Mac OS.

I work primarily on multiple model Brother machines, in this instance the 910. Some of the information provided below may need tweaking for use in other brand KMs. “Automation” of some holding functions may be achieved using slip setting to knit required stitches. Below is the mylar sheet repeat used for my samples swatches. The setup is on working needles 21L, 19R, program for color reverse and twice the height; KCII (cancel end needle selection); first row needle selection from left to right, and with carriage ending on the right the first set of needles selected will be those that knit, the remaining bed will slip. This is opposite to the configuration familiar in holding, where needles out to E are held, those in B or D will knit (Brother needle position jumped the letter C, they are  A,B,D,E). In this type of knitting all needles in use on the bed should be cleared with each pass of the carriage.

I have gotten used to keeping programming numbers for  locations on mylar around a square to correspond to the lights surrounding the house icon on the 910, and worked with the following 2 options for my test swatches

In the samples below the first set of every other stitch/ black square in the increasing/decreasing angles were slipped on the non selected needles to create/mark the inner purl fold , the second set in the area that does straight knitting tucked on non selected needles to create/mark the knit outer fold. For the latter to occur, the cam buttons need to be switched to tuck <-> for 2 rows, and then back to slip <-> for the remaining knit repeat. Small holes are created at edges of slipped areas as miters are created, as would appear were the fabric created tthrough holding.

A: the alternate fold areas as they appear on the machine during knitting

the fabric after some casual steaming shown on the knit side, the pleating just about doubling on itself

B: with the added knit rows, the swatch before steaming

here is the purl side after some steaming showing the change in overlap

its knit side

both fabrics allowed to “hang”

The look may be varied considerably by changing the sequencing of the number of knit stitches, and the number of plain knit rows between the EON slipped or tucked ones. Electronics facilitate that, and with machines capable of accepting programming of the whole needle bed, there is even greater freedom. The sample above was knit loosely in acrylic, the holes would be less apparent in a tighter knit. If bothersome, they may in theory be “avoided” by factoring in “wrapping” if every row of the repeat is drawn rather than every other. With only 60 squares available on the mylar it is possible to go twice as wide and produce fabric width that may suffice for a skirt’s length. With software that allows for programming the width of the needle bed, possibilities expand even more. When going double wide with a repeat such as the one above, some  problems result not so much in the inner fold slipped rows, but in the outer fold of the tuck ones. As in nearly any knitting when needles have 2 side by side loops resting on them, these loops will create a float/ ladder, so the tuck rows will essentially behave like the slipped ones as the double loops are dropped rather than anchored on the subsequent pass of the carriage. In the configuration here if the double wide button is used, one way to solve that issue would be to bring consistently the same of either of the 2 non selected needles out to D or E position (still faster than hand selecting repeats by hand for holding), resulting in knit stitches and single tuck loops.

5/18/18  Working out the kinks: the same repeat redrawn to factor in reduction of the eyelets at edges of slipped areas: a partial graph showing “automatic wrap”. However, the “wrap” will fail with color reverse, and that first row would have only one stitch knitting. If double wide is used, then the wrap will happen around 2 needles, creating yet another “float”. 

its color reverse 

Plain knit rows (blanks on mylar) may be added at the bottom or top of the repeat to change pleat depth. Here is an amended repeat, discarding the “automatic wrap” idea, first prior to color reverse, then after

 
Those all blank rows would result in no stitches being knit, essentially a 2 row “free” carriage pass, and are removed. The repeat is  now also capable of being knit twice as wide if desired, adding the hand technique on tuck folds

Below the edited repeat begins design using one pixel per stitch and per row. “Automatic” wrap happens as one row is knit, while the next preselects an extra needle. The yarn travels under the extra needle prior to its being knit on the next pass from the opposite side. There will still be an eyelet, a bit larger than hand wrapping, but smaller than without any wrap at all. The EON pixels in the center of the shape are tucked. For that to happen the knit carriage needs to have the cam buttons switched from slip to tuck, and back to slip after the 2 row sequence. The fabric fold out to the knit side. The EON (every other needle) set at the top of the shape are knit is slip stitch setting, resulting in the fabric folding in to the purl side. Process could be reversed to have each fold to the opposite side of the knit.

The carriage needs to be on the opposite side of increases in the number of stitches worked. Here the first preselection row should be from left to right, with carriage traveling to and from right for the subsequent pairs of rows. 

More variations: the slip stitch configuration below is changed to the same EON selection for 2 rows. The same could be done for the tuck fold. For this repeat, the first preselection row should be from right to left, making that the side the knit carriage returns to after each pair of rows knit. The sample was knit in a too thin acrylic. Both eyelets and their “wraps are visible, as well as the direction of folds.

These are pleats in a skirt made eons ago, that have retained the fold over the course of many a year 

An added alternative for fold lines: create outside crease transferring EON to make a row of eyelets, create inside crease by knitting the desired row double row of  with 2 strands of  garment yarn. “Automatic” repeat must be adjusted accordingly, whether by re drawing or punching, or using cam settings for the correct stitch formation.

Seaming should be planned on the inner fold of the fabric, depending on whether the purl or knit side is used as the “public” side, the least visible join being one that is grafted ie with kitchener stitch.

The same principles may be applied to punchcard knitting but because the repeat size is 24 stitches the resulting fabric is one suitable for portions of garments/ accessories, in details such as ruffles and edgings. Punched holes would match the black squares in the color reversed repeats.  “Air” knitting helps determine exact needle location required , and to decide which side the first row must be selected prior to actual knitting. The image below shows the start of only one possible partial repeat based on the last one above

I usually sample my repeats by using hand selection and holding before committing to drawing on mylar or punching holes. The former are hard to get, the latter time consuming to punch, and “repairs” are more difficult when there are that many holes side by side. An even number of rows is required in this technique.

Pleats: machine knit double and single bed

This is the latest type of fabric to cross my radar. One publication readily available online is at Susan Guagliumi’s website (log in and sign up required initially). My own in progress notes/ideas Pleats in full needle rib2, and SINGLE BED PLEATS. Some single bed pleating may be automated. Revisions, additions and photos will follow.