Racked patterns 5: Passap/Brother 2

I have been asked whether this particular fabric discussed in the post could be produced on the Passap. The only way to find out is to try it. The lesson already learned: use a yarn that is crisp or capable of retaining memory for maximum effect. Here the swatch is knit in a 3/14 cotton. To start with, racking was from position 0 to 6 and back. Racking every 2 rows at the bottom of the sample, every row at its topNow adding needles out of work with the expectation of folds at approximate center of each foldThis was my set up, after planning the repeat and transferring a couple of stitches on each end to the back bed for better side edges Racking started in center position 0, then swung to 3 left, to 3 right, ending on 0. I long ago got frustrated with the Passap numbering, marked the racking positions with a permanent marker from 0 on the right to 6 on the left. The knit result is definitely a rolling fabric, though a bit less so than the Brother sample which was able to move across more racking positions Reviewing some racking facts: several posts previously written that include information for racking designs on both brands
2018/07/19/more-scales-and-chevrons-in-ribbed-racked-4-fabrics/
2016/01/13/racking-2-vertical-chevrons-herringbone/
2016/02/02/vertical-racking-3-automating-half-fisherman-in-pattern-2/
2016/01/09/ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/
2018/10/14/fisherman-english-tuck-stitch-rib-1-checks-patterns-brother-passap/
2015/11/22/racked-ribber-cast-on-and-rib-configuration-tips/

Brother racking controls: the handle, racking indicator, and pitch lever There are ample illustrations including from Brother Ribber Techniques Book in previous posts on procedural steps. Passap: racking handle is up for full pitch (point to point), down for half-pitch. It is turned one full rotation for each unit/ number change in ranking positions. Partial rotations may be suggested when some of its accessories ie their transfer carriage are used. As stated, Brother has 10 positions, Passap only 6. Passap E6 manual shows racking patterns possible with console built-in designs on pp. 118, 119, 120, 121, techniques used in racking patterns number 257-272. The console gives prompts for the direction in racking sequences. Self-programmed designs would need a separate knitting technique entered into the console as an additional “design”. This can be done with a card reader combined with a pattern download from a computer. Programs that automated the function to any degree are no longer on the market. Typically, in published patterns for either brand, if the starting point for the racking sequence is important, it will be given along with the frequency of movements such as in this design from the Duo 80 bookProgramming the front bed on Passap or main bed on Brother with tuck or slip selections begins to enter far greater common ground. Decades ago my advanced knitting curriculum included Passap weekend workshops in addition to Brother course classroom and studio hours. I spent a lot of time exploring techniques, often my manual includes scribbled notes. Manual guidelines for E6 patterning, beginning with advice for knitting them 

I have to admit I cannot always now decipher some of my note-taking or my own handwriting. The additional confusion that comes into work in cross-brand translations is the fact that some E6 techniques may only be used as programmed by the factory, others may be “combined with stitch patterns”. Getting it down to black and white squares when stitch patterns in E6 and are to be translated for other KM brands is a bit more complex, easier done from the Duo 80 instructions when an E 6 is not available for test knitting. The Duo manual is low on swatch and pattern assortment, but a small book, available online can provide inspiration for many textures, the Passap system’s particular strength. Some Duo symbols and their meaning
Many designs are based on one or both beds having needles out of work. Transferring stitches from one bed to the other can be done from needle diagrams on the Duo 80 and punchcard machines after the cast on row is closed. If the specific technique in the E6 offers a pusher selection after the first SX/GX row (262,264, 265, 269, 270, 282) transfer stitches then with locks on left, otherwise, transfer after the second SX/GX pass to the right (257,258,259). After the pattern is set up in E6 place all the pushers in rest position completely out of work.
Pushers corresponding to needles out of work on the back bed need to be in the back rail so as not to cause mispatterning if arrow keys are used. In Japanese electronics, transfers can be made after the first KC pass, making certain emptied needles are placed completely out of work. Set up the knit bed first, so alignment relationships are correct for out of work selections on both beds.
As in any ribber pattern, if the major part of the piece is being knit single bed, the tension will need to be adjusted to closer to that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn. Passap knitters have the added option of changing stripper in use to another color.
When designing your own patterns and starting the movements on either side of the machine, it will take some sorting out as to what arrangement of needles in work is best on the Passap back bed or Brother ribber is best for side edges as one bed moves beyond the last stitch in work on the knit bed. There should be no stitches on it without stitches behind them as the racked stitches travel from each side to the other if the goal is pieces that will be seamed ie. front and back of a sweater.
The E6 console may not always give the proper selection for needle set up for the front bed as seen in one of my swatches. There are never instructions for the back bed needle or pusher positions. Those need to be hand selected based on diagrams after the front bed is set up, and following the diagrams provided with each technique to produce the specific fabric illustrated. That can be disregarded in one’s experiments with needle arrangement and lock settings and how they relate to the movement in the racked stitches.
If one needs to stop the process at any point it is a good idea to devise a method of keeping track of where the stop occurred and whether a racking movement has taken place yet or not. Forming personal, consistent habits is also useful, ie. I find when racking with color changes I rack before I change the color consistently. Racking when using multiple colors often happens at the end of the color change sequence ie. 2 colors, rack after 4 rows. A bit more attention needs to happen when racking is for only a few positions. I tend to start mine on the far right at 0, so I can move the one or 2 steps and am stopped by the machine on my return, giving me an error margin on only one side.
A few Duo/Passap comparisons

Swatches: this E6 design introduces needles out of work. The E6 swatch in color below on the far left has a slightly different needle arrangement than the DUO one to its right. Technique #257 has a * beside it, which usually indicates the repeat must be altered to produce the fabric. 120 is the page on which the swatch photo appears Altered designs are listed on pp. 129-131of the E6 pattern book for all stitch types. 

The original on the left is mirrored, the selection is fixed, the height is multiplied X 6. The lengthening does not influence the design, it tells the console how many swings in each direction are planned. The console, in turn, gives visual and sound prompts for each racking movement, in this instance,  by one full turn clockwise. The prompts often start the pattern in the center 0, and begin and end with half a sequence.  The front bed is set to slip stitch, so black squares knit. Both beds will knit every needle/pusher in work throughout. After first preselection row on either brand needles and pushers in non selected areas need to be put out of work, accomplished by transferring them to the opposite bed. The design process is the same as having a fixed row on a punchcard machine, with a single selection being repeated over and over. The racking position indicator on the duo shows the start of the pattern at 0 position, Brother equivalent = 10. In the duomatic the carriage is set for plain knitting, no patterning is required. The needle out of work selection is different than the E6 sample, but the racking sequence is the same. Brother options: fixed needle selection if the fabric is created fully as a hand technique does not require any programming. Electronics could be used with the repeat drawn X6 in height so that the racking direction is reversed after the first sequence is completed and the return to row 1 of the repeat is preselected. Machines that allow for it can have info added to memo windows or even on mylars to help accuracy in long pieces. Punchcard machines could punch a single row on #1 for accurate needle selection if it falls within the 24 stitch limits or hand-select them, mark racking numbers in repeat, and go on from there.  My sample was knit in a tightly twisted cotton, and when off the machine had an interesting and unexpected fold 3Dquality

The setup is essentially the same, with white squares representing needles and pushers that need to be out of work. Tech 258 uses LX (slip) on the front bed, back bed si set to N. The duomatic pattern has a different OOW needle arrangement, the front lock is also set to tuck =  FX (E6=KX), adding another layer of texture and complexity. Needles are also out of work on the back bed.

E6000 264* is used both as a pattern and a technique number uses the X6 as well for accompanying prompts. Needle/pusher selection is for 3 in work and 9 out of work for 2 rows, then reversing it for to 9 in work, 2 out of work for 2 rows, thus accommodating the alternating color change. The Duo on the front bed performs a similar selection with the BX <– arrow key, racking is every 4 rows in both. It takes 24 rows to reach the full racking position reversal. These were the pusher selections, each repeated X 2, creating the wrong fabricWhat is knitting in terms of black and white squares if one continues:this repeat is what is required to match the technique diagramAfter the first row of pusher selection transfer 3 stitches on either side of the center 3 in each group of 9 to the back bed. This shows the proper selection, each is repeated twiceI continued to knit with plain knitting on the back bed for proof of concept, every other needle selection, and slip (BX) stitch <– –> there would compress the “wave” since half as many rows would then be knit on that bed in each color. As always, forgetting to set the lock/carriage to slip will result in knit stripes as seen on the right of my sideways swatchBelow the pattern alternates blocks of 5 black squares, 5 white, color changing every 2 rows and reversing racking direction after every 24 rows. The full repeat is 48 rows. If rows knit in the zig-zag are counted, they amount to 12 because each color slips it is not knitting for 2 rows. Note that to achieve the color reversal at the halfway point of the repeat the same color (2) knits for 4 rows, at the top of the repeat color 1 does the same.

Below tuck patterning is introduced in both beds. The front bed is knitting tuck on every other needle for 2 rows each,  easy to reproduce on Brother AX<– on the back bed will knit when pushers are up for 2 rows, tuck on the same needles when they are selected down, also for 2 rows. Brother knitters could try to set the ribber carriage to tuck in one direction only, or simply set it to knit every row

Though tech 264 states it may not be combined with a stitch pattern, I programmed built-in # 1002 X 6 in height, back bed set to slip (BX<–) every 2 rows. Racking occurs every 4.  Full repeat is 48 rows. Back bed pushers should be in work so they stay inside the edge from knit stitches on the front bed. This was a quick test. The knit side is unremarkable, the mess on the left edge on the upper right of the top photo is because I began with 2 needles in work on the back bed like in the illustration above. As I racked counterclockwise the stitches on them kept pulling away from the side edge (back bed, left). The technique continues to give racking prompts as written by the factory, so none would exist for the rows with no racking in the pattern
Back to acrylic yarn, light color for more visibility creative yarn snag on the left midway, full swing movement is shown, each is 48 rows in height. As always it helps to check whether stitches are obliging by staying on the needle bed. The top half of the swatch is shown.
In turn, I programmed # 1000 X 6 in height but pusher selection was all up for one row, one down. I left it alone, and lastly, worked with pusher selection on the back bed, BX <–. Patterning advances a fixed repeat every row or every other, determined by original hand-selected up for selection and down above rail for out of selection. The front lock is left on N (disregard front for setting it to LX) there is a whole other world of possibilities, while the console racking sequences can be used from built-in techniques.  Any ribber needle selection on Brother other than the use of lili buttons would have to be done manually.

The range of fabrics with programming additional patterns in tuck, slip, or combinations thereof along with needles in and out of work on the either or both beds increases the possibilities for fabrics with texture and dimension exponentially. 

Translating Passap model book pattern/use on Brother 1

A facebook member recently shared this photo, followed by a “wish I could make it” comment, it is from the Passap #60 pattern book.I began a spreadsheet on my blog intending to update it over time that may be useful when traveling between Brother and Passap 
The style in the photo is that of a generously sized dropped shoulder sweater. I will not share pattern instructions but will try to interpret some of the possibilities for knitting it as written or for achieving similar textures on the Brother machines To start with, you will note the recommended test swatch size is 100 stitches by 100 rows. When gauge matters as in dbj or heavily textured knits, this is a necessity. In turn, math calculations also become easier in metric. If using the knitleader I have sometimes reduced the swatch size to 80 stitches by 80 rows. Even for scarves where calculations may matter less, when transitioning from smaller gauge swatches to larger stitch counts there can be surprises. What knits on 60 stitches may refuse to do so on larger stitch counts, requiring tension and gauge adjustments. Although Passap promoted that it knits easily with no weights, I always cast on with ribber cast on comb, and then, if needed, the addition of weights may be easily made.
Strippers, which push down on the knit from the lock as it moves from side to side, have no equivalent in Brother, where weight is an absolute necessity when working ribbed fabrics. Stripper handles come in varied colors: orange is for double bed work, black is for single bed work, blue is for very heavy fabrics. A suggested rule of thumb is that if you are knitting on both back and front bed in a stitch pattern where several needles in work are opposite needles out of work use black strippers ( 3×3 rib or cables and Aran work would be examples). Sometimes spacing between the 2 beds will make black strippers harder to use, other times 2 different types may be used concurrently for best results.
As the size of the piece changes ie. in shaped sleeves, any weight must be adjusted proportionately to keep the gauge constant in order to avoid sizing surprises.
The Passap is a true double bed. The image on the left is of the Passap locks and on the right, of a stripper. The position of the beds is reversed to the Japanese, the knit bed is in front, the “ribber” in back. The locks (carriages) pr select pushers, they, in turn, select needles akin to Brother pre-selection. That is the reason why the Passap needle set up diagrams include more information bits than those for Japanese machines. Additional details for any of the above are only provided in publications if they are necessary to create the particular stitch type. That said, one is free to add a knitting bed or alter lock settings simply based on the goal for the piece and an understanding of what black and white squares “do” in a pattern download. Looking at the Passap back lock, one can see the larger variety of the equivalent of cam button settings in Brother. The Passap buttons also referred to as arrow keys at its very rear make altering and automating patterns on the back bed easier and possible in a far wider assortment on any number of needles. The Brother lili setting, the equivalent of the #1 punchcard, must have an even number of needles in use on the ribber.
The arrow keys on the back lock reverse the Passap position of the pushers. Pushers that are down are brought up, pushers that are up are brought down. Arrows reverse when knitting in the direction of the arrow (think Brother preselection row), but cause needles to perform that function that same row. The O button releases any arrows, therefore pushers remain in the same position. N will knit disregarding arrow selection on the back bed. One arrow key reverses the pattern every 2 rows, 2 arrow keys do so every row.
Slip setting with pushers on Passap E6000 back lock is also BX, on the front lock it is LX. That differs from diagrams in the model and pattern books and magazines, which generally refer to Duomatic (Passap punchcard) settings. The assumption in the directions for the E6 is that the built-in techniques will provide you with LED prompts for any of the lock settings matching them to the right of schematics for the DUO, rather than that you would attempt to knit the pattern in some other way or on a different KM brand.
Scrolling down the pattern: Pintuck Pattern A: Deco card 77, E 6000 # 1130, technique 251No pushers are illustrated. Back bed (N) knits every row. The front bed is set to slip in both directions (BX on Duo, LX on E6), pushers will be selected in the pattern by the console. When using Tech 251 two rows are knitting on the front bed forming pintucks where there are black squares in the stitch pattern. Brother probably would reach its limit with the original 1130, might be able to handle a thin yarn in a repeat slightly wider and taller. The Passap repeat becomes twice the length but is unaltered in its width. My swatch has an extra repeat before switching to normal knit, the red line highlights where the trim would have ended. The blistered pockets will appear as knit textured shapes on the purl side. The knit side will show a pattern of elongated stitches created when those needles are slipped. The red line in the photo shows the approximate ending for the repeat used in the trim in the magazine, I was on a roll and kept on knitting.
Pintuck pattern B: Deco repeat is 20 stitches wide (Duo cards are 40 stitches wide)The directions at the time the model books were written for knitting with the console were designed to have the knitter work with built-in patterns and then to use the alter possibilities to manipulate them to achieve the same result as the punched holes might in the final repeat in the Duo. The Passap console had a card reader that operated with sheets that were in turn inserted into a sleeve and were drawn on with “special” pens. C6, proprietary early software that operated with a dongle, came a bit later.  There was a large factory built-in pattern library, and the manufacturer, Madag, supplied free files for the Duo pattern books in formats that could be used with the program for “easy” download. The 910 had variation buttons and instructions for combining multiple patterns using the factory-supplied mylar sheets. The intent was to allow the knitter to maximize the use of both. I honestly have avoided altering patterns that way intentionally most of my knitting career, finding I simply prefer programming black and white squares for the function intended, which for me is easier to visualize and reduces errors. The trend explains the E6000 instructions in the magazine, but in fact, the 20 stitch repeat as drawn can be downloaded and entered as-is, bypassing the alter loop manipulations. Technique 253: a pintuck is formed where there are white squares. For each row of squares, one row is knitted on the front bed. Pushers will knit for one row, rest for 1 row. 1124 is the console built-in pattern used in my test swatch and below it, its mirrored image tiled repeat to get a sense of the movement of the triangles:note: the direction of the chart pattern repeat for 1124 is reversed in the blisters. It appears as drawn on the knit side of the fabric, where stitches are slipped and elongated to create the pintuck texture on the purl side 

In the Duo HX setting the front bed normally knits or slips according to the design for one row, and slips the next row. Again, the chart illustration is for the Duomatic and the lock there takes over the function performed automatically by the E6 technique. The back bed in this instance knits every row. In the E 6000 the front lock is set to LX (slip <– –>). The fabric created may be referred to as blister or pintuck (nothing to do with tuck stitch/brioche). The bubbly texture appears on the purl side. Stitches that slip on the bed with needle or pusher selection elongate, pulling extra rows together eventually, helping to form pockets that are sealed periodically by all knit rows. With pushers down, no needles selected, the front (knit) bed skips/ slips associated needles. With the back bed (ribber) set to N, its stitches will knit every row.

Pusher selection is down when front bed slips (akin to no needle  preselection on Brother)This selection happens between each pattern row, as the design is advanced This shows the pattern as knit on the Passap, reduced to black and white squares Taking a closer look at the pintucks on the sweater body Going for the safe repeat on Brother machine: color makes a significant difference in how visible the pattern will be. Both yarns are supposedly the same weight, the white was hard to knit, and there was a needle that dropped stitches regularly. The blue yarn knit with no problem here the repeat is rendered twice as long, and the texture becomes more visible a sideways view:The last swatch in the series: I am now able to use Ayab once more, img2track is having issues for me with its use on the 930. My repeat, therefore, is planned for the maximum width I may wish to test knit on the 910 machine, emulating tech 253. Every other row there is no needle selection on the main bed except for first and last needle if KCI is used. On those rows the ribber only knits, there are more rows in the blister “pockets”. I knit the sample quickly, not checking every row, and in this instance had two dropped stitches on the main bed, and no breaks. Yarns with memory ie wool are the best for texture retention, acrylics such as my blue yarn would flatten permanently if pressed, resulting in a very different fabric. It takes experimentation to sort out whether the extra step is worth the effort or is problematic during lengthier knitting

In summary: Passap E6000 knitting techniques 250-255 are used to produce pintucks.  When using 250, 252, 254, the pintucks are formed on the back bed on the needles that are opposite those with the pushers selected down in accordance with programmed black squares.  The corresponding odd numbers 251, 253, 255, select pushers down according to programmed white squares (253 in the manual should say white, not black squares). Since the pintuck is formed on the back bed, setting it on FX (Tuck) may also be used, the pintucks then become blurred, producing a fabric which is wider. Width of the resulting knit may be significant when producing garment panels. One option in cross-brand might be to use every other needle selection on ribber, with its carriage to tuck in one direction, knit in the other, resulting in a spotted pintuck. My Passap manual is filled with scribbles, often including notes on alternate fabrics produced with same technique numbers.

Returning to the specific sweater pattern: below the back bed is set to GX in the first 2 instances, which is akin to setting the Brother ribber to slip in both directions, no stitches are knit. There are no pushers or needles illustrated on the back bed, so the implication but not necessarily the fact is that these are single bed fabrics. How to transition between them and the double bed would need to be considered (see notes at end of the post). The pattern is an elongated one, using slip stitch and color changes every 2 rows, carrying one color at a time. Again, on the E6 front lock Duo BX is LX, arrow key function on the front bed is replaced by the technique console instructions. The E6 front lock has no buttons or arrows.
Tech 176: knits one color selection for 2 rows, then the alternate color selection for 2 rows; Pattern 1100the Brother equivalent in the next sample the same repeat 1100 is programmed via the console and enlarged  <–> X2, which means in the number of stitches onlythis is what will be knit, translatable to Brother, also with color change every 2 rows

Tech 183: long stitch backing, back bed knits every stitch, every row. Brother would require the separation to be made for the elongated triangle to match the Passap knit where each design row color knits twice in succession. Ribber or back bed settings could be altered to suit if preferred.
The shawl is what some may call a scarfThe above is the first illustration showing pushers on the back bed in alternate positions of rest (down) and work (up, toward the front of the machine) in groups. The pushers here at the end on either bed create the colored border on each side. The selection is opposite to the one on the end needles on the front bed. When the latter pushers are up, the back bed are down (slipping/not knitting), when they are down (not knitting the color in the yarn feeder), the back bed are up. This is an instance where to achieve the same, hand selection would need to happen on the Brother ribber on every row, or 2 sets of paired carriages, each carrying a color, could be used. Tech 181: is used for double bed fair isle with background color only on the backside. To seal the edges usually the first and last pusher on the back bed is brought into work, here 2 are used, creating a 2 stitch contrasting color border. Color is changed every 2 rows. To me this is an instance of because it is published, you may still not want to knit it. This is the first-row initial needle and pusher position on the front bed It is altered every other row (same is true on the back bed with the arrow key in use). My blue yarn is the body color, the white the border one. I only knit a very few rows, but that is enough to observe what is happening:  the blue knits everywhere but on the stitches intended for the contrasting border when the border stitches knit only on each side, floats are formed the width of the needle bed between border stitches for two rows they are then enclosed by the next row of blue every needle riband there is considerable bleed-through of the white on both the knit and the purl side of the fabric

Tech 183: is double bed fair isle with striper backing. It essentially knits the elongated pattern 1130.

One then comes to actual knitting and putting the pieces together. Instructions are not always clear. There are several transitions in this piece. The trim at the bottom of the front, sleeves, and back is a double bed every needle rib that transitions easily from one textured pattern into the next. Its purl sides face the outside. The same is true for the back and sleeves, both are both knit from the trim on up. The front top portions are knit sideways as are the button bands, and they are in turn joined to the mixed stitch type “front border”. The “front border” is puzzling.  Since the geometric pattern shows on the “knit” side, the trim by default then would have the slip stitch front bed pattern showing on the outside in order for it to transition directly to DBJ, not the pintuck. Looking closely at the photo there is a clue that that is indeed the plan in that the edge closest to the cast one has the triangles at the start facing in the opposite direction of that in the test swatch purl vs knit side.
I also see extra colored hems in addition to patterned “FI” ones. The back bed can be set to slip (GX), the patterned section knit on the front bed, then the back bed returned to knit to seal the hem. This is not indicated in the schematics or the written directions. The same can be done with added solid color changes (purple and blue in the photo), knitting several rows on the front bed, then sealing it with a return to N on the back bed. That same row can also be planned as a selection row for DBJ. I am still knitting my swatches in 2/24 acrylic, which is also not always the best to use. If I were to knit the piece, the cast on would get some work on it, as well as the tension adjustments for each fabric segment.

Pattern 1130 is also used in the same issue # 60 in the body of a man’s sweater. In using Tech 250 pintucks are formed where there are black squares in the stitch pattern, for each row of squares 2 rows are knit on the front bed, elongating the pattern X 2

The Passap magazines generally also included a strip of heavier stock paper with samples of the yarn recommended for the particular pattern ie this one from another issue, which facilitated substitutions and provided a better sense of color than the garment photosBrother ribber and DBJ settings reviewed  including for solid color backing.

Because of the Passap capacity for heavily textured stitches, many of their early pubs included several patterns for use with tuck or slip stitch settings. This issue is dated 1990, may be found with accompanying pattern instructions in French online, the sweater on the right uses a pintuck pattern with appliqued pockets in a  different knit structure the repeat is 20 by 20 stitches wide, E6 Tech 253 is suggested, white squares form the pintucks, the same technique used in my sample knit using console design 1124Working with simple shapes such as triangles can be an easy way to help one begin to understand how various techniques build up stitch or row counts, altering the original. Several of my DBJ posts are written using a cousin of pattern 1130 and include images of corresponding swatches executed on the Brother machine. In Brother, with rare exceptions (such as when needles are left out of work while in pattern) black squares (punched holes) knit, white squares (unpunched areas) slip. Slipped stitches are held until a black square or punched hole is reached, getting longer while the stitches on the opposite bed knit every stitch every row with that bed set to N/N. It is helpful to be using a yarn that does not break easily. Pockets are created of varying depths. As with any knitting, the color reverse option may produce an interesting variation or a “disaster” depending on the original motif. In the above chart, if knit as is, white squares would be slipped for 1-9 rows. Blisters of knit stitches will appear on the purl side. Tiling helps visualize the movement of the design in repeat.

In the color reversed image the number of consecutive white squares is now increased along the center lines from 9 to 11 its tiled viewthe expanded view of the original repeat emulating tech 253 now increases the height of the pattern to 40 rows from 20and its color reversed equivalent

In both expanded repeat variations of the “pinwheel” black squares create knit stitches. In double bed knitting, this seals the layers created by each bed together. The original design would create large pockets/ blisters, while in its color reverse version white areas would slip for one row, keeping the pinwheel effect, but the fabric will be predominantly sealed together. Thin yarn use is best, I used a 2/13 wool.
The original 20X20 design is shown on the knit side Left, its color reversed result on the knit side, Right. The elongated slipped stitches are noticeable on both purl sidesUsing the expanded 20X40 repat I did not have a slipped stitch issue such as yarn breaking, but because the pockets were so deep and so many stitches on the ribber were knitting for so many consecutive rows, the ribber stitches began to refuse to stay on their bed. I got this far: large knit area can be seen, as well as slip stitch loops Can the same expanded repeat be used in another way? The color reversed version results in a subtle large scale pattern that might be quite interesting in a shiny rayon or other fiber To review: Passap E6000 knitting techniques for pintucks are numbered 250-255. When using 250, 252, 254, the pint tucks are formed on the back bed on the needles that are opposite those with the pushers selected down in accordance with programmed black squares.  The corresponding odd numbers 251, 253, 255, select pushers down according to programmed white squares (253 in the manual should say white, not black squares).

On any machine, the size of the pleat creating the ripple/ pintuck depends on the number of rows that can be knit on the all knit bed before the fabric begins to ride up and becomes difficult to retain on the needles in work. Tolerance depends on knitting machine brands as well as the type of yarn used. Bold patterns read better than smaller ones. Weights are usually helpful. The Brother Ribber techniques book (now available for free online) addresses the topic on pp. 20-22.I have added a few patterns from published sources in a flickr album , most take into account any single stitch not being slipped for more than 4 rows. Doubling the length if using electronics is not recommended. These fabrics may be created in combination with needles out of work.

 

Origami folds inspired pleats 1

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 am sharing 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 machineThis 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 machine settings is its capability of tucking in one direction and slipping in the opposite one. These are the 2 possible settings. It does make a difference in resulting 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 completedCOR 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 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. A different 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 Returning to simpler creases and folds: a first experiment in racking double bed with NOOW. The setup and racking positions were not pre-planned. I knit 4 rows without racking at unplanned intervals as well; they produce a noticeable change in texture. The fabric is reversible, I actually rephotographed it adding a marker to make certain I had not shot the same side twice. The needle set up:the resulting swatch presented sideways for the sake of space:working with single needles out of work rather than two, with even spacing between them on each bed  both swatches flattened to note differences between  needle arrangement folds getting more organized, with a planned repeat: the needle set up cast on with racking position on 5, rack every 2 rows, move from position 5 to 0, to 10, back to 0, to 10, end on position 5; the yarn is a 2/17 wool, definitely retains a more 3D quality than the acrylic 2/24. The fabric may benefit form 2 rows not being racked added at position 0 and 10Here the arrangement here is with 2 needles out of work, racking every 2 rows in the same sequence. The resulting fabric has clear “spring” and foldsRRReturning to the previous needle set up, now racking every row from position 5 to 0, knit 1 more row with no racking; rack to position 10, knit one more row with no racking, reverse direction, end knitting on position # 5This last in the series is a personal favorite. I found racking from the center to 10, to 0 and back easy to track. One moves in the opposite direction when not allowed to go any further in the continuing direction by the machine. Single needles out of work appear to be enough to create the folds.
Exploring starting the pattern at 0, to 10 and back. The bottom segment is knit with no needles out of work, the middle with NOOW on top bed only, the top with NOOW on both beds. Dotted lines separate each, and outline a second, smaller shape occurring along with the beginning of changes in the larger one. I had issues with edge stitches on the main bed. My final needle set upRacking starting position on 7:Consider playing with racking positions within the total number of needles in work on the main bed. For other possible needle arrangements and more on pleats created with needles in/out of work on both beds please see 2015/04/22/ribbed-pleated-folding-fabrics/

Ribber trims 3: one trim, four variations

I found this on a random sheet tucked away with references from some seminar or other eons ago, its origin is not known to me
I like to chart out my repeats and plans for executing fabrics, along with ideas for possibly varying them in ways other than suggested, this was my  beginningThe sequence in photos, beginning with the cast on, 2/24 acrylic yarn,  zigzag  row with inserted ribber comb,  halfpitch 1 row is knit across all stitches to complete cast onknit one more row to return to the opposite sidethe setting is changed to full pitch, stitches are transferred between beds to match  diagramsthe center needle in each group of 3 is brought out to hold for one row, knit one row to return to the other side center needles are pushed back to D position in order to be knit on return pass to the opposite side this tool makes that needle selection faster and easier when the 20 rows had been knit in pattern drop stitches on each side of center stitch transfer ribber stitches up to main bed I knit 3 rows rather than 2, to return to right side  for bind off here is the swatch, still on comb for “setting stitches”

I found the above results upon completion disappointingly wimpy, then tried the same steps in tightly twisted and slightly thicker cotton, achieved better results, but was still not happy. That set me thinking about an alternative way to produce a similar fabric with changes in needle arrangements. The full series of swatches is seen below. The yellow is knit in a 2/8 wool, the beige in the same weight cotton as the white on the right. All swatches were knit on the same tension, for the same number of rows.

The adjustments on the original pattern are as follows. At half pitch begin as above with zig zag to left, 2 circular rows, knit back to right. Set pitch to P, transfer between beds

knit back to the opposite side, transfer each of the side stitches on the top bed onto the center needle in each group,

bring those needles out to hold for easier knitting on the next pass knit one row back to the right,  making sure stitches  have  knit off  properly. When you have returned to the right side, set the carriage to tuck from right to left only (left tuck button), RC000loops will be formed on the center needles as they would have been formed over the needles as if holding was in use

when the 20 rows are completed the carriages will once again be on the right,  all stitches will have been knit on the previous rowtransfer all ribber stitches to top bed, knit 2 rows, bind off. None of my swatches were blocked other than by some tugging, particularly along the bottom edge. The spacing between stitches is narrower because ladders created by single needles left out of work are formed by yarn lengths that are shorter than those that happen when stitches are knit and then in turn dropped. The height of the swatch is also affected, and the half fisherman texture in the wool swatch, in particular, is more evident.

More variations to try in a multiple of 3+1: using either method or a DIY cast on, dropping (yellow) stitches marked with a * at the end, or transferring them to right or left and setting the main bed to tuck in one direction only.When the work is removed from the machine, stretch cast on outwards, then give each “scallop” a really good pull downwards. Steam lightly over the scallops to set them. Variations of the double bed trims may be worked on the single bed as well.

Ribber trims/edgings 1

An example of a common ruffle/ frill is produced with variations using both beds: cast on for every needle rib, knit X rows at full fisherman rib, followed by X rows at half fisherman, and then possibly by plain rib for X rows, EON rib or even following with transfer to single bed for X rows, bind off. The yarn used in this swatch is a wool-rayonExaggerated frilled starts: no cast on needed, working on every other needle patterning on both beds.  A few rows will produce a curly edge, more rows a ruffle proportionate in depth to the number of rows.  

Passap KM: AX/AX or AX/KX 4-10 rows, continue in plain rib N/N
AX/KX 4-10 rows, knit 1 row N/N, transfer to 1X1rib, continue to knit in plain rib
racking cast on
BX/KX 6-10 rows, continue in plain rib
Pushers in upper work position (UWP) will make the needle knit while those in the lower nonworking position (NWP) will respond to lock patterning settings. E6000 either program front bed for the pattern (1000), or bring every other pusher completely out of work to avoid having them return to work position after the first pass. The motif repeat for 8 stitches/rows usable on any machine

Working it on Brother becomes a bit fiddly. Whether working on a punchcard or electronic KM, it is possible to introduce patterning on either or both beds as seen below.  I preferred the look obtained with the racked cast on at the start. Setting up the Brother machine: program the repeat, half pitch for every needle rib, air knit to place the pattern on the bed so that the first needle on the left (or right if you prefer) is preselected forward and will produce a knit stitch on the first row knit.  The yarn used is a 2/24 acrylic Both beds are set to knit, lili buttons will be in use. On the ribber bed, the second needle from each side will knit, so starting on the left side on the ribber the first needle to the right of the first needle in work on the main bed is brought into work. It will need to be the second needle in work when the carriage moves from left to right in pattern knittingnow another needle on the ribber is brought in to work on the far left, it will tuck with lili selection when moving from left to right remember the ribber rule with lili buttons: an even number of needles must be in work, this shows the start and end of selection on the ribber on alternate needle tape markings, as required It is sufficient to continue with no circular rows after the first zigzag one. The start will be “loopy”, but will improve when the bottom row is stretched vigorously. In this Brother version, the first row of the pattern needs to be selected toward the carriage and yarn after the first pass by the paired carriages. Beginning COR, a row is knit to the left side. The knit carriage is removed from the bed and brought back to the right. COR: a “free pass” can be made with the machine set to tuck in both directions as well as to slip. Using tuck avoids errors in recalling to switch cam button functions.  Using KCI (or II) the carriage with no yarn makes the free pass preselection row to the left, where the carriages are coupled again. I used KCI for my swatch. Before continuing to knit make certain lili buttons are engaged, that both carriages are set to tuck in both directions, and continue in pattern for X rows. Switch both carriages to N/N and continue in every needle rib (or knit 1 row N/N, transfer and continue in EON rib or single bed). If stitches are transferred for EON rib or stocking stitch knit on a single bed, the yarn tension will need to be adjusted.
To review: lili buttons on ribber, checking needle selections on both beds. Cast on with no circular rows, zigzag only, option 1: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> loops will build upon every other needle for single rows, so the frill can be continued for any desired height
option 2: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> to desired # of rows, knit 1 row N/N, transfer for 1X1 rib
option 3: combination slip/tuck
With no circular rows after zigzag note the edge, and the amount of stretch

Using a racking cast on followed by same carriage settings as above
COR zigzag row right to left
COL rack 1 to left (increase 1 number on racking lever), KCI (pattern pre-select), program row 1 of pattern, knit one row to the right
COR rack to right (decreasing number) set both beds to tuck, knit X rows (I chose 10).  After completing the desired number of rows continue in every needle rib or knit one row with carriages set to N/N, transfer for every other needle rib, and continue on EON rib.Both pieces compared for width and rippling

I was plagued with random dropped stitches after my transfer to EON rib, one seen above left.
I finally sorted out that I had been using a ribber arm from an older model punchcard machine. When I replaced it with the later model arm shown at the top in the photo below, etched by the factory with #2 (outlined in magenta), I no longer had any problem.

The latch opening plate use and installation

Here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 mark. The change in height is noticeable, brings the unit closer to needles when on the machine during knitting

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down

From the Brother Ribber Techniques book: frills and more:pp113-115An intro to scallops: p.120

A previous post on checking ribber alignment 

 

 

 

More on Brother DBJ, including KR 260 bulky KM options

Any repeat suitable for a 2 color 24 stitch DBJ separation published or self-drawn for a 4.5mm machine is suitable for DBJ on the bulky. At times yarns ie 2/8 to 3/8 wools that knit stocking stitch at tension 8-10 on the main bed and are too thick for every needle rib on the standard may produce a fabric that is not too dense, and still has some drape at lower settings for tension on both beds on the bulky. Electronic standard knitters can double the size of the repeat prior to separating the 2 colors and then work on every other needle both beds, proceeding as usual for DBJ. Thicker yarns begin to make too thick a fabric for wearables, may work well for other uses. If some drape is required, the ladder back method becomes the preferred one in bulky KM DBJ. I no longer have available the bulky dbj samples from my teaching days, my 260 KM is not set up, so, for now, this post will not include swatch photos. As always swatching is a necessity to determine whether the resulting knit is one that meets our expectation, preferences, and often, patience.

To review: the 260 KH carriage will be familiar to Brother punchcard 4.5 mm machine users and has the option for creating thread lace (“split” cam button in center position), which is not commonly available in Brother models.

The Brother 270 electronic knit carriage offerssimilarsettings

There is no automatic method for eliminating end needle selection ie KCII, rather, adjustments for it are made on the underside of the carriage, as in other punchcard machines terms of DBJ, the electronics allow for the familiar KRC 2 color separationKR 260 parts as described in the ribber manual, followed by possible settings for cam levers are illustrated below. The absence of lili buttons is immediately noticeable. There is no automatic every other needle selection on the bulky ribber carriage shown, as opposed to that choice being available on the standard KM.

slip to rightslip to leftslip both directionstuck to righttuck to lefttuck both directions

hand selection tools for either bed, 4.5mm on top,  sometimes interchangeableevery needle selector for standard, operates similar to Jac 40, EON here for use bulky, adjustable 17.5 inch workshop cut model in a plastic for 2X2 selection on bulky nowadays 3D printed custom options are also beginning to be available

The DBJ setting that requires the least intervention on either standard or bulky machines is the one produced with the separated motif being knit with the ribber set to slip all needles in one direction, and to knit every needle in the other. Reproducing the lili effect is done on the KR 260 is achieved with hand needle selection. For birds eye, where every needle is in use on an even number of needles in work on the ribber, select every other needle on the ribber beginning with the second needle on the right for preselection row, push up to holding position. The ribber carriage is set to slip both ways, will knit hand selected needles as it makes its way to the opposite side. Now select every other needle on the ribber beginning with the first needle on right, bringing those needles up to hold. Stitches on those needles will knit on the ribber as the carriage makes its way back to the left and to the color changer. Colors continue to be changed every 2 rows as in any standard 2 color birdseye fabric. 

Ladderback or modified Jacquard is at times used on standard machines specifically for the effect created on the fabric reverse side, and most often used with bulkier yarns in order to be able to make a garment with more drape than it may have in regular jacquard, or to knit large designs with no long floats. This technique on the KR 260 ribber involves hand manipulation of the ribber stitches to reduce the number of stitches created on the ribber as well. Ribbing is often set up in order to produce a band that is not hugely different in stretch and width than the body of a garment, with further transfers for the ladder back configuration when it is completed. No more than one needle is usually in work on the main bed beyond needles in work on the ribber bed. If an additional needle on the main bed is required, it should be on the left-hand side. The rib is knit as tightly as possible, tension is loosened as one progresses into the jacquard portion of the piece. Common arrangements are 1X1, 1X3, 2X2, etc.  When needles are arranged in “even groups” ie 2X2, 2X4, 4X2, etc, the lili setting or manual needle selection to emulate it on the 260 may be used. Tuck settings may be experimented with as well, but tend to create a more noticeable vertical line between ribbed repeats on the knit face. The larger the number of needles in work on the main bed between ribber needles in work, the more the main bed tension needs to approach that used for the yarn when it is knit single bed. 

In EON ladder back an increase on the ribber is usually necessary after 4 increases on the main bed. On the bulky, this may be needed as often as in every 2 rows. The hand needle selection must remain constant throughout the piece to maintain the birdseye backing or any of its variants, which are based on pairs of needles alternating functions every 2 rows. Striper backing is achieved by selection of the same needle for each of the 2 colors used, slipping the opposite color needle locations. First needle selection on right is easier to track by marking the location of the first needle used on that side on the needle tape or needle bed as a guide for subsequent rows. 

The row counter will show double the number of rows than if the fabric were produced in Fair Isle. Four passes of the carriages complete one design row. The motif will appear elongated to a degree depending on the yarn and techniques used. Ladder back and vertical stripe backings may produce vertical separation lines in the fabric that may be quite noticeable depending on color, tension, and yarn used. Watch closely for dropped stitches or split ones. Splices and knots in yarn may tend to break due to use of added weights and tension. Plan on adding new yarn at sides and use ends to seam up, or use Russian join before the point at which a new yarn end is required, and continue knitting. The latter has become my favorite even in lace knitting on the standard machine. A recent tutorial on the technique may be found here <https://www.mybluprint.com/article/this-method-of-joining-yarn-ends-is-pure-magic>

Check alignment and oiling requirement of machine frequently. 

Other backings: one color backing. The main bed is set as normal for DBJ, but the ribber is set to knit for 2 rows of one color, and to slip for 2 rows with the other color. This means on any machine (unless using 2 electronic carriages as described in another post) the operator has to change ribber settings every 2 rows. It will now take 4 carriage passes to complete 2 rows of knitting. Floats will be formed in the non-backing color, may be caught on the ribber on slip rows, so check frequently, begin with small repeats, always test new yarns or even a different color or dye lot in same yarn on swatches prior to committing to larger pieces. 

Patterned backing: selection of ribber needles in blocks of alternate colors, or selecting ribber needles in between those selected on the main bed applies here as well. Yarn thickness and end product serve as guides as to whether the fabric serves one’s purpose or preference.

In large areas of solid color on garment face, if bleed through is noticeable, a pattern of 2 black rows alternating 2 white ones may need to be programmed, with color changes continuing as in pattern areas. If the goal is simply to match density or drape, then continue in settings used for design area without color changing. Most punchcard double jacquard separations and “rules” apply to both standard and bulky machines.

Later posts: ribber bind offs at first, and casting on. I was never quite content with ribbed edgings on my bulky knits. There are always several options for achieving a look that pleases us more, or a technique that will alter the unwanted results. In this instance, one is to knit a row on the main bed after several rows of waste yarn, continue with the body of the garment piece, rehang that first knit row, knit the rib upside down, and bind off. The latter can happen on the machine, by hand off on waste yarn with a “sewing” needle, or removing the work onto hand knitting needles and going that route. The 260 ribber manual recommends the following method. 

Having the waste yarn U style with an opening on right with the bind off beginning on that side, or finding a way to mark the first needle on the ribber in the sequence may make finding that needle position easier when the knit is off the machine.

This illustration, also from a Brother manual, slightly edited, shows the sequence for how the yarn is threaded through the stitches in numbered sequence according to stitch configuration for the ribbed fabric

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 2; knitting with 4 carriages

When switching between N/N and tuck/ tuck on the ribber it is not necessary to switch the tucking lever from its up position to the lower one. The ribber will knit every row when used in either of these settingsIt is possible to knit this type of fabric using color separations such as those seen for one type of DBJ where color one for each design row knits 2 rows, followed by color 2 for corresponding design row also knitting for 2 rows. Each color may be drawn and programmed once, followed in turn with elongation X2 on both punchcard and electronic machines. I prefer to work with the elongated images, believing it makes it easier for me to correct errors or knitting problems, should they occur. This color separation is the default on Passap. In Brother electronics, it would need to be hand done and programmed. It is best to start with simple shapes. This triangle series has been used in several of my previous posts. The chart shows the transitions in the process

Brother DBJ settings using tuck on either bed, not addressing hand needle selection on the ribber for production of reversible fabrics. The yellow color highlights cam settings that require changing by hand for every other pair of knit rows and making the changes with each color change. With the exception of the bottom 2, the same settings were used in some of my brioche variation experiments. The resulting fabric, knit in reverse order from chart (top setting down to first). The dropped stitches happened when I did not notice the ribber weight was resting on the floor, with no resulting weight on the fabric. There are single repeats of each motif. Two more possible DBJ variations

A full range of DBJ variations of the same repeat, including ones using slip stitch and shared in a previous post, executed in both one and 2 colorsPassap knitters have the option of arrow keys and stitch type on the back bed that make fabrics possible with ease that are daunting to reproduce on Brother machines. There is a category search on my blog that will lead to a collection of posts on the topic of knitting with 2 carriages selecting patterns.

I have often considered the possibility of using 2 coupled knit and rib carriages for some of my patterns but found it limited knit width because of carriage stops on the ribber bed, the unwillingness to have my ribber carriages fly off the bed, and the added limitation imposed when both carriages are selecting needles. Now that setting changes were required every 2 rows on the ribber I found a solution of sorts. It is one of those try at your own risk tips, but for me it made several of the last swatches in brioche achievable far more quickly and accurately.

As in any knitting with pairs of carriages, when needle selection is happening from opposing sides, the turn marks need to be cleared on each side of the machine as the opposing carriage begins to move across the needle bed to avoid breaking the belt.

I happen to be knitting present swatches on my orphaned 930, which still knits producing interesting sounds. It came with no carriages. I am actually using a knit carriage from a 910 and one from my 892E punchcard machine, with a magnet glued to the proper location facing the rear rail. I removed the stopper pins from either side of the ribber bed, placed lace extension rails on both sides as well as the color changer with all change buttons released as seen in this illustration. On the left, as the carriages move beyond the end of the needle bed, the return signal lever is tripped, making a characteristic noise. At that point the turn mark on the left has been cleared, and it is safe to operate the carriages from the right toward the left
The right side of the machine is more problematic. The extension rail will store the knit carriage safely, but the ribber carriage has to move out enough so without its stop it would fall to the floor. My solution was to jerri rig an extension the appropriate height so the ribber carriage could slide out as much as needed while being supported. I was able to knit the hundreds of rows required for many swatches with no problem other than operator errors. Here the pair of carriages on the right are seen resting far enough off the machine to clear the belt, at an adequate height for them to slide off and on easily. At first I secured the connecting arm to the connecting pin with an elastic “just in case”, but that proved unnecessary. 

I have been asked lately about the lili setting used in all my ribber carriage illustrations (center position). I tend to use that as a default to prevent errors and for consistent quality in my ribbed fabrics, especially if matching gauge ie in garment pieces or bands are needed. That said, for the carriage to travel far enough on the right in this setup, the slide lever had to be used on I. The plastic tray helped reach the appropriate height, and made for easy slide off and on. There are a few minutes of maneuvering when setting up the first selected row. As always it is good, to begin with, familiar yarn and previous experience with double bed fabrics.

Some of my own operator errors are due to the fact that I still am not used to the fact that the 930 appears to revert to factory defaults with each new design entered, that I have to remember to switch from isolation to all over, that the image is reversed on the knit side like on punchcard machines unless the reverse key is used. I spent decades using the 910, where once the selections were made and once the pattern variation buttons were set, that became the default until buttons were changed for specific applications.

The 2 pairs of carriages may also be used for vertical striper backing using lili buttons on Brother machines, and for both slip and tuck variations of same. I will add information in a separate post. More “patterns” are possible as well, emulating some of the Passap possibilities for its back bed settings.

Double jacquard motifs in multiple styles, shapes, and sizes may be knit with variations in tuck settings. My post on a-return-to-brother-ribber-and-dbj-settings/   reviewed many of the possible cam configurations as well as working with multiple and even altered carriages. Passap machines have the added benefit of far more patterning than Brother on their back bed, the equivalent of the Japanese ribber. I am still obsessing over 3D folding effects, racked herringbone is back on my mind, as well as tuck ribber settings on Brother if one is willing to hand manipulate needle selection. I have been browsing through some of the directions in Susanna’s book again. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it was published first in 1986 and is the ultimate textbook on knitting fabrics on punchcard machines. It predated most electronics. Susanna continued to write for magazines and later addressed electronics in those articles and in her teaching lectures and workshops. This shows the cover of the paperback version.Over the years as many folks have written on DBJ, the separations have been named with some variations. In Susanna’s book, the original design is referred to as punchcard type A, the KRC separation built into Japanese machines is classified as Type B. This image shows the now-familiar series of triangles used in many of my blog posts on DBJ including at the start of this one. It is illustrated as the original repeat, then the separation is shown with either color represented by black squares. One of the peculiarities of this separation is the single row color start. One may choose whether black squares or white squares knit first based on the pattern itself rather than simply on the convention in their specific machine brand. Color reverse in electronics is easy, but the function cannot be combined with KRC. It can easily happen if the separation is completed in software, prior to downloading the final repeat and knitting it. If a punchcard is used, simply exchange positions for each of the 2 colors in the color changer and follow the usual sequence. Designs must have an even number of rows.Susanna classifies the subsequent separations as C1 and C2.  Because each color in each row knits twice, there may be an odd number of rows in the initial design repeat. I am often asked as to why a type C1 or 2 separations would be a boon to fabrics made on Japanese machines. The options for new settings and resulting variations in the knit surfaces on both sides is increased many times over. These are some of Susanna’s suggestions for using the tuck setting in DBJ and begin to illustrate the point.

Lace transfers meet fisherman rib, 2 color ribbed brioche on Brother machines 2

Over the years I have avoided ribber fabrics that involve hand manipulation of stitches in addition to patterning. Runaway stitches are hard to see and repair.

In these fabrics transfers are made by hand with multiple transfer tools. As stitches are moved, the last of the stitches transferred on the purl side (in this illustration 4 stitches), one will lie directly behind one of the stitches on the main bed (marked in red), sharing the same needle hook space. As the next row is knit, the needle emptied by the transfers picks up a loop. The following knit carriage pass will complete the stitch on the needle holding the loop, and the eyelet.

My recent posts reminded me of a repeat from an older Brother punchcard pattern book that combined lace transfers and fisherman rib. The original repeat is shown on the left, designed for use on punchcard machines.Stitch and tuck loop combination transfers are made every 4 rows, prior to knitting that row in the opposite direction. The machine is set for half fisherman rib. Tucking happens on top bed on all needles in one direction only, the ribber remains set to knit both ways throughout.If all transfers originate on the same spot, a vertical line of eyelets is producedCan plaiting give me 2 colors the “easy” way?
If transfers move to the right or the left, an arc will be createdAiming for the punchcard pattern book inspiration I began at first by marking up the needle tape with water soluble pen to help track repeat segmentsAfter a short trial swatch I sought to automate needle selection to serve as a guide for moving stitches across the needle bedThe main bed is set to tuck in both directions. White cells tuck, black cells knit. Rows in Brother preselect for the next row with each pass of the carriage, so on even number design rows as the carriage moves to the opposite side, all needles will form tuck loops on the main bed. The next row will be preselected, with some needles now back in B rather than D position. With an appropriate transfer tool, move the stitches on the non selected needles to the adjacent selected needle to their right after pushing it back to B position. After each transfer push all worked needles and their stitches as well as he now empty needle to E position. As the carriage returns to the opposite side an all knit row will be completed. Several tension adjustments may be needed to insure loops do not get hung up on gate pegs as stitches move across the bed, while still being loose enough to knit off properly.

The charts below reveal planning for a 2 color repeat with mirroring of the original above. Seeking new geometry, the repeat “inspiration” is mirrored horizontally. The final repeat is on far right. The knit carriage is set to tuck in both directions throughout. On white cell design rows the main bed tucks, the ribber is set to knit. On mostly or all black cell rows the main bed will be knitting, the ribber is set to tuck. In this fabric the transfers are made on knit stitches created on the previous row prior to moving the carriage back to the opposite side. All transferred stitches and the empty needle are brought out to E position prior to moving the carriage to the opposite side, will be creating the second all knit main bed row. Transfers are made every 8 rows, with pairs of transfers being made toward each other, no longer all in the same direction as in the single color sampleThe central repeat is color reversed to achieve the final repeat on the above right in order to produce those transfers on knit rows. Final row count needs to be a multiple of 4 rows in height. Here is a 2 widths 36 stitch X 32 row repeat chart The extra line seen occurs when one forgets to reset the ribber to tuck, and stitches are all knit on a “wrong row”. It is by coincidence that they seem to occur in the same spot in the repeat

more accurate knitting

On the bottom half of the swatch below the difference is the result from when one carriage knits every row on both beds, requiring a change on the knit carriage as well, canceling its tuck setting with every other color changeThe last repeat may be flipped vertically as well. It then needs to be edited so those white squares land on the row after an all knit row, not below it. The final repeat on the right is 36 stitches wide by 64 high. There are still 8 rows between transfers. On the left is the first resulting chart, on the right the amended chart so selection for transfers occurs on the proper row.the germ of one last idea, the repeat 14 stitches wide by 96 high, max transfer seven stitches (odd #)playing with ideas a bit more, max transfer six stitches (even#)

This was my attempt to shoot for a recurring shape and planning on having transfers land on a like color, the repeat is 8 stitches in width, 112 rows height. Six stitches are the max number transferred. More would give a wider curve, the final repeat would be exponentially longerits reverse side :
When the main bed tucks in both directions with one color, knits in both directions with the other:I did try to eliminate those lace holes. On the right of the swatch as shown below I threaded a needle and attempted to close the eyelets with stitches, getting closer to the line one might get in a hand knit. On the left I hooked up loops to fill the empty needles. The latter changes the intersecting lines completely.

picking up only the white yarn from the tuck loop below the transferbringing filled in needle back to E position prior to knitting next row the difference in intersecting lines at the outer edge of my intended shape

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 1

The previous post elicited a facebook query as to whether it might be possible to create solid shapes within the field of brioche vertical stripes. The inspiration for the query was a hand knit pattern published in ravelry 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pariss-brioche-scarf

Many terms are used in instruction manuals and published directions. In my notes I will refer to fabric with tucking on both beds as full fisherman rib, tucking on one bed only as half fisherman. These were my first attempts at exploring the inspiration idea, the fabric has inherent differences as it requires both slip and tuck stitch settings, so technically it is neither fisherman. Knitting happened on a random drop stitch day, which explains the patterning interruption errors.When attempting to knit isolated geometric areas on a field of frequently tucking stitches, automating the task when possible makes the process easier and faster. This was my first “diamond” pattern repeat, suitable for a punchcard machine as well. The design is illustrated on the left, converted to punched holes/black squares/pixels on the rightThe knit carriage is set to tuck throughout. The programmed repeat will alternate the knit/ tuck functions across the bed based on black squares, punched holes, or pixels.For full fisherman rib (top swatch) the ribber needs to tuck in one direction only, opposite to the action taking place on the main bed. A choice needs to be made on either of these 2 setting directions based on needle selection on the main bed and stays fixed throughout knitting. The ribber is set to knit on even numbered design rows on the card, to tuck on odd. Row count numbers may be different than design row ones depending on row counter settings by the operator or built KM ones. Below are tuck settings for to the right on top, to the left on the bottom.

For half fisherman rib (middle swatch), the ribber is set to knit with every pass.

Note the half fisherman fabric is narrower than the full. Also, I am not used to my 930, overlooked that the machine was set for isolation, so its bottom diamond shaped repeats are incomplete.

In the bottom swatch, I tried to produce a more distinct shape on tubular tuck created with only knit stitches on both sides of the fabric. Hand selection on the alternate beds on all tuck rows produced knit stitches in the desired area. A needle out of work made it easy for me to find a proper location on the needle bed.

Getting back to automating at least part of the process for such shapes: the repeat needs to be altered main bed will be knitting the black squares in the chart on the right on every row, tucking the white ones. When the ribber carriage is on the side appropriate for it to tuck the following row and no needles are selected in design segments on the top bed (odd numbered design rows, ones with majority of black squares, tuck may not be used in those locations because then the resulting stitches would be tucking on both beds with nothing holding the tuck loops down.

bring all needles between selected main bed needles up to hold on the ribber so that they will knit while the remaining needles tuck on the next pass of the carriages.

In my sampling, the ribber was set to tuck when moving from right to left. Below is the resulting swatch, shown on both sides. Part of one diamond shape is missing due to the fact I was concentrating on moving needles around and missed the change in selection on one side of the machine.Back to the original the method used in the previous post where ribber settings are changed from knit to tuck <– –> every 2 rows along with color changes. I chose a design that would make it easy to identify the location of non selected needles on the main bed on rows where ribber will be set to tuck in both directions. The result is interesting, but the solid areas, narrower than the remaining knit, are in the opposite color to the dominant one on each side, the reverse of the inspiration fabric.
When needles are not selected on the main bed, interrupting the every needle selection bring all needles on the ribber between selected needles up to hold on each of the 2 passes from left to right, and right to left. Stitches on those needles will knit rather than tuckresulting in this fabric The first swatch at the top of this post was achieved going a very different route. Two knit carriages were used to select and knit from opposite sides of the machine. Each carried one of the two colors. When working with the first color and coupled carriages the main bed is set to tuck <– –>, the ribber to knit <– –>. The second color is knit using the main bed knit carriage only, set to slip <– –>. A knit sinker plate may be altered and used so as to knit on main bed only rows, adjustments to it are shown in post http://alessandrina.com/2018/04/15/ribber-fabrics-produced-with-2-knit-carriages-selecting-needles/. The chart for my working repeat with a multiple of 4 rows in each pattern segment, color changes every 2 rows indicated on right trying to produce a diamond shape using this technique, my first repeat had arbitrarily placed pixels:the cam settings on the right of the swatch images correspond to those used in each swatch segment. Colors were changed every 2 rows throughout. First 2 rows in the pattern were knit in tuck setting, followed by 2 rows knit in slip. In segment B when no needles were selected on the top bed, all those needles were brought out to hold before knitting to the opposite side. Because every row is now knitting in the corresponding color changes the result is a striped pattern. Segment C is knit with both carriages set for 2 rows as in C1 alternating with knit carriage only set as in C2. At that point the color being carried knits only on the ribber, skipping non selected needles on the top bed, avoiding the striped result. A float is created between the beds in areas where no needles are selected that will be “hidden” as one returns to knitting in rib with 2 carriages. The arrow in the chart points to an area where two colors were picked up with the color swap rather than one. The resulting swatch samples

Analyzing the result in section C: the diamond is the same color on both sides, whereas the initial rectangular shape experiment reverses the colors. Reworking the diamond repeat in segments that are each a multiple of 4 rows:Other considerations in DIY designs. The background-repeat for this pattern is actually composed of units 2 wide by 4 rows high. If the pattern is intended to be repeated across a larger number of stitches on the machine bed than that in the chart, it is always worth tiling the image to pick up any errors (sometimes happy design features). Tiling in width readily shows an errortiling in height as well proofs row intersections as welltiling the corrected width repeat, now 42 stitches wide by 72 rows high sometimes tend not to keep immediate notes when I test ideas, which often comes with a price. I knit my first swatch using this repeat beginning the pattern with 2 rows of tuck, resulting in this fabric (and some randomly dropped stitches once more) with the same color diamond on both sides:Beginning the pattern with 2 rows of slip stitch on the main bed only mirrors the swatch at the start of this post. Where no needles are selected on the main bed, with passes of the combined carriages, two rows of tuck will now be produced, resulting in the wider geometric shapes and the increased bleed throughThe tuck loops created by the white in this instance have the elongated slip stitches in the alternate color (blue) partially covering them, creating the darker geometric shape in the top detail photo. The blue is thinner than the white, the effect will vary depending on yarn weight and tension used for the main bed yarn. One can begin to observe the change in width in areas with more stitches tucking. 

If the aim is to have a tighter, more clearly defined diamond, after the swatches rested, the swatch that began in slip stitch setting appeared to “work” better to my eye, even with the single color geometric shape on both sides taken into account. Ultimately the choice is a personal one. The wider vertical stripes created in the white yarn in the slip combination fabric happen because of the 2 stitch wide repeat on the top bed as opposed to a single needle one in a true fisherman knit. Because of the slip setting the results will be narrower in width from it as well.

Ayab knitters will need to program any repeat across the width of the intended number of stitches, and use the single setting. Electronic knitters can enlarge the background pattern field easily, or create brickwork, extended repeats.

Arah-paint offers a free program that allows drawing repeats in different orientations with a few mouse clicks. Shifting this pattern must also be in pairs of pixels/black squares in this instance because of the 2X4 stitch background unit. The 21 (half) pixel shift shows an error in its continuity 22 stitch shift results in a “correct” all over repeat

Quite some time ago I experimented with shadow knits including in posts

2013: DIY design2017 crochet

It occurred to me the same design might work in a tuck rib version. The original repeat was 24 stitches wide, 28 rows highscaled to double length, 24 stitches wide by 56 rows higha tile test of new pattern Knit tests: the red yarn was a very strong cotton, hard to knit smoothly, the blue encountered some stitches not being picked up on the main bed as well, but the concept may be worth exploring further. The main bed is set to tuck in both directions, the ribber to knit throughout. The red and white fabric is considerably wider because of the tension required to get the red cotton to knit. Better stitch formation results with the different yarn used for the second color

And lastly, a first quick adaptation of a design previously used for drop stitch lace, which requires some further clean up the yellow squares indicate loops tucking on both beds at the same time, the repeat on the far right is the one tested after eliminating those problem areas. It is 14 stitches wide by 80 rows highan “improved” version, the choice remaining as to whether to make all the blue shapes pointed at top and bottom or “flat” this is my repeat, tiled. It is 14 stitches by 84 rows

2 color ribbed brioche stitch on Brother knitting machine 1

After a complicated nearly 3 months I am returning to some knitting, and am sharing some of my results once again.

I have always found 2 or more color patterned brioche stitches executed in hand knitting as inspiring and complex challenges to admire, but am not tempted to actually attempt to execute them in any way.

I have not knit on a Studio KM in more than a decade. I have been asked whether this fabric is possible to produce on Studio/Knitmaster. The most crucial difference imo between the 2 brands (Passap has its own universe) is the fact that Studio selects and knits with each pass. Needle pre selection for clues is not an option. I have gathered some information from manuals on tuck knitting including “English rib and Double English rib” as clues to anyone who wants to work out the technique sorting out their own Studio settings tuck on studio km

This was my first Brother machine knit swatch result:

Each of the 2 colors tucks for 2 rows and in turn knits for 2 rows alternately. Settings are changed manually as shown below after every 2 rows knit, following each color change on the left. Making things a little easier: the top bed may be programmed on any machine, including punchcard models to avoid cam button changes in the knit carriage every 2 rows. With the main bed set to tuck <– —> throughout, black squares will knit for 2 rows, white squares will tuck. First preselection row is toward the color changer. When no needles are selected on the top bed (white squares), ribber is set to knit. Top bed will tuck every needle.

When needles are selected on the top bed (black squares), the ribber is set to tuck in both directions. The ribber will tuck on every needle.

Proof of concept: blue yarn is used on rows where main bed needles are selected (black squares). The crossed stitches at the top right begin to represent an effort to create surface shapes or designs on the fabric. They are created by cabling 1X1, making certain the stitch creating the “shape” is carried to the front side of the fabric, the opposite stitch crossed so it is facing the knitter.I used KCI in this instance, first needle on left in work on ribber bed, last needle on right in work on top bed. A border is created on the knit’s edges on the far right and left. The reverse side of the fabric:

Using a blank square on a knit row to help track 1X1 transfer patternsWorking the 24 stitch repeat using KCI; both first and last needles in work on the ribber bed. Due to operator error and forgetting to change ribber settings after transfer row, I chose to stop knitting rather than attempt a pattern correction

Another attempt at cabling, 1X1 and 2X2. That white line in the bottom image on the right was caused by the color changer picking up and knitting both colors for part of the row before my noticing it. I got rid of the “wrong” color from the feeder and continued on. The wider 2X2 cables require “special handling” and eyelets are formed on columns aside them after transfers are made. Before attempting to knit crossed stitches such as the above in an every needle rib, it is worth exploring cables crossed in vertical stripe color patterns single bed. This is a hand knit inspiration series of patterns, better left to hand knitting

one of my ancient machine knit demo swatches:

On any knitting machine with every other punched hole, black squares or pixels locked on a single row, id the pattern is knit in FI, continuous columns of  vertical color are created. 

If the the goal in creating the continuous an unbroken vertical stripe 2 color pattern, one must place like color on like color. Because FI is essentially a slip stitch the fabric will be tighter, narrower and shorter than that produced knitting either yarn in stocking stitch. Cables on the machine need to be transferred across fixed widths between needles, so there are distinct limits as to how far stitches will allow their movement in groups in either direction. Loosening the tension can often help. Sometimes it is possible to create extra slack by a variety of means, making moving the stitches easier. I have found my own limit for this fabric was working with a 2X2 cross (it is possible to work moving single needles as well). Adding to the complexity single bed: proper needle selection for the next row knit needs to be restored prior to knitting it when using the FI setting, movement of stitches is mirrored on the knit side in the opposite direction of that viewed on the purl. Visualizing some possibilities as worked on the purl sideto consider the knit side appearance mirroring is not enough the direction and appearance of the crossed stitches on the knit surface is reversed from that on the purl as well 

When working every needle rib it will take 4 rows of knitting with 2 color changes to produce the striping. R represents stitches on the ribber, K the stitches on the knit bed

Tuck stitches widen the fabric. As a result, the tucked knitting in this chart on the ribber (represented by the color yellow), forces the space between the knit stitches produced on the main bed (represented by the color green) apart, while stitches tucked on the ribber will create the gap between the stitches knit on the ribber, appearing on the reverse side of the fabric. The combinations create the appearance of single stitch vertical stripes.

This is an illustration of one possibility for programming reminders for tracking location of cable crossings 

Every needle ribs are generally knit at tighter tensions than when the same yarn is knit single bed. Too loose a tension in any tuck fabric causes problems with loops forming or knitting off properly, too tight will produce stitches that do not knit off properly. One limitation of crossing stitches here is the actual stitch size, which needs to be constrained to produce the fabric. Tiny stitches need to travel across fixed space. One by one crossing is manageable, 2 by 2 requires extra slack to make the transfers possible.

Adding some “give” to crossed stitches
1: the carriage has moved from left to right after the color change. All needles except for the four white squares in my design were preselected prior to the next row of knit. The carriage now stays on the right
2: take note of the white tuck loops formed on the ribber on the previous pass from left to right
3: white tuck loops ( I chose center 3) are lifted up and off their respective needles and allowed to drop between the beds. This will allow the 4 white cable crossing stitches to have more slack. 
4: cross your cable in the intended direction
5: push cable stitch needles out to E
Knit from right to left, change color, continue in pattern 

With some planning on longer pattern repeats it is possible to plan added clues to tracking rows on which the cables occur, and their location on the needle bed. Repeats with very few marked areas merit testing in tile as any other repeat. The repeat on the left when tiled shows the area of a patterning error, on the right with the missing blank rows added the problem is shown to be resolved.A proof of concept swatch:Planning for all over brick layout of corrected repeat: More detailed charts of the 2 repeats, suitable for punchcard machines, editable further for use in electronics. Ayab knitters need to repeat the final motif across the width of the download to match the number of pixels to the number of stitches in use across the needle bed, use single setting.