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  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 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. A 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 is needed. That said, for the carriage to travel far enough on the right in this set up, 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 first selection 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.

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 created Aiming 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 transfer bringing 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 proper location on needle bed .

Getting back to automating at least part of the process for such shapes: the repeat needs to be alteredThe 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 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 <– –>, and 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 on 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 rightIn 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 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 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 the error, tiling in height as well proofs row intersections as welltiling the corrected width repeat, now 42 stitches wide by 72 rows highI 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 the 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 a 22 stitch shift results in a “correct” all over repeat 

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

2013: DIY design  2017 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 high a 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 tension required to get the red cotton to knit. Better stitch formation results with different yarn used for 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 high.an “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.

 

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

WORK IN PROGRESS

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

Definitely not “there” yet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

here again for a 16 row sequence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a bit more success:

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

Technique 167 : use FX/KX

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

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

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

Parts and accessories “hacks” / adaptations

WORK IN PROGRESS

There were back rail and carriage/ parts modifications from year to year. Any of these carriage swaps may not work across model years, and should be tested with caution. I happened to have magnetic ” rectangular pin backs” from some of my previous projects, was able to remove the magnets fairly easily and to obtain consistent results using them

Using punchcard knit carriage on an electronic knitting machine 
The magnet on the back of the electronic carriage is what trips the reader in the 910. With the 892 and 910 carriages side by side, I marked the approximate spot I wished the magnet to be. It is presently in place with cellophane tape for my tests. I believe it to be a “rare earth magnet”, 12 mm in diameter, part of a jewelry piece from days gone by, with a deep attraction to all KM metal parts.

the first location was too high, pattern did not read properlyplace40what turned out to be a much better spot 

Punchcard lace carriage on electronic, adapted from video; it took a bit of fiddling with getting the magnet positioned properly. A resulting test swatch knit on my 930 using a built in pattern on the right 

Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles 

Altering the KC sinker plates and arm: remove 6 small screws from the sinker plates, leaving only their arm

The carriage with the altered sinker plate in place in turn will then be used to replace rows that were to be knit with the ribber set to slip in both directions <– –> . In my sample it operated from the right, with the combined carriages (KC2), from left. 

I have random parts, some never used. When trying to familiarize myself with a 930 I came across the ID for one such part I had never used. It turns out it was intended for older ribber connecting arms on newer model beds 

the connecting arm 

one clearly marked with a number 2, one not immediately below it 

Brother Plating feeder and how to use it

cast on will fail if the yarn is placed in the rear plating yarn feeder onlyas opposed to in the main yarn (front0feeder

There now is a 3d printed “device” for the Passaphttps://vimeo.com/101599762. It as well as the earlier mercer plating device http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-396061-1.html require gluing or drilling to affix parts to locks, are not easily available. At one point in time I tested a far “simpler” version of a yarn feeder for a second, thinner yarn aiming for a plated effect, using a thin plastic tubing taped securely on a passap yarn feeder. The goal is to keep the tubing clear of any needles as the locks move across the knitting beds.  Samples were knit on Brother machine (left) and on Passap (right): on Brother needles were set up 2 in work, 2 out of work. On the ribber an even number of needles were in work, with lili buttons in use, and the ribber carriage was set to tuck in both directions while the main bed remained set to knit throughout. Passap had the 2 in work 2 out of on work needle arrangement on the front bed set to N, with pushers one up, one down, both arrow keys in AX (tuck setting) on the back bed, fabric is not “blocked” in any way. 

Reversible DBJ, Brother knitting machines

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

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

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


better results with the different yarn choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles

Work in progress

There are a number of ribber fabrics that are produced by altering the settings on the ribber’s carriage to slip for an even number of rows in both directions. This requires manually changing the ribber setting from slip to knit and back for the length of the piece. In electronic machines, where the pattern advances with every pass of the carriage, there is another option. For example, to produce DBJ with the backing in one color, settings would be changed manually every 2 rows, using color changer on the left 

Some things to remember: when 2 carriages are selecting, each carriage needs to move far enough at the end of the needle bed so as not to be locked onto the belt. Extension rails are required. On the Brother ribber bed there are stops that keep the combined carriages from going off the  beds. There is one on each side (magenta arrow on left, blue arrow on right), and to remove the ribber carriage off its bed, it in turn needs to be tilted forward prior to reaching the stops  in order to clear them on either side.

Altering the KC sinker plates and arm: remove 6 small screws from the sinker plates, leaving only their arm

The carriage with the altered sinker plate in place in turn will then be used to replace rows that were to be knit with the ribber set to slip in both directions <– –> . In my sample it operated from the right, with the combined carriages (KC2), from left. 

For consistency I am editing the original post and will continue to refer to the coupled carriages= KC2, the altered single bed one= KC1 KC is the abbreviation commonly used in publications for Knit Carriage. The change knob, which affects end needle selection,  is marked on the KC as for I (end needle selection, indicated by black arrow) and II (cancel end needle selection). Initials KR in publications are often used to refer to ribber carriage in setting discussions. My beginning swatches were knit using ayab software’s ribber setting, which matches the KRC (2 color double jacquard separation) function in the unaltered 910. With my first try I made no effort to consider which color gets chosen first in the color separation (ayab = black, 910 = white). There is a limit as to how far the single carriage from the right (KC1) can travel on the needle bed to the left, because the combined carriages on the left (KC2) are held in place by the pin.

It would be possible if needed to separate KC2 and push further out on the extension rail, but perhaps not practical, so there are some constraints on the fabric width able to be produced.

My first swatch has some manually created pintucks on the knit side (white only knitting extra rows, joined together by all knit rows with pink). The reverse, purl side, is knit by the ribber set to N/N, all in one color. The stitches held on the ribber while the white only knits on the top bed are visibly elongated (left swatch bottom). There is some color confusion on the knit side on the first couple of rows of DBJ, solved in the second swatch. My repeat for the planned width using Ayab: 

Knitting on 910 a single repeat may be programmed, start knitting with color intended for white squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. For more similarities and difference between the original and the altered 910 see ayab diary post.

To knit using Ayab: begin the knitting with the color intended to be used for areas marked in black squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. Preselect first row from left to right with ribber set to knit (N/N), it will remain set that way for the remainder of the process. When on right, set coupled carriages (KC2) to slip <– –>, knit one row to left, both carriages stay on left. Knit the next 2 rows for DBJ using KC1 with altered sinker plate operating from right, using color intended for areas marked with white squares. The main bed only will knit. Set change knob to end needle select (KC I) to insure first and last needles in use knit. Return the KC1 to the right, on the extension rail, and knit next  two rows with KC2 operating from left.  Repeat, changing carriages and consequently colors every 2 rows. 

Blisters or pintucks are created when one bed knits more rows than the other, whether as simple knitting or in pattern. Periodically the knitting is sealed by at least one row knitting across all stitches on both beds. In this version, sealing rows must occur in pairs to allow for color change. The first chart shows a tentative repeat, planning for black squares to create the blister shapes, drawn in 2 row blocks to allow for color changes every X even number of rowsThe image color inverted, so white areas will create the blisters in slip stitch (col 2) while black squares will knit (col 1)Most published patterns for these fabrics will also include an all knit rows to seal the shapes knit on the main bed only

By using 2 carriages to select needles, one (KC1) may be set to slip <— —>  in order to knit X number of rows on the top bed only, while the pairs of carriages (KC2) are set to normal knit on both beds, its cam button set to select needles, KCI. Selection will continue, but no patterning occurs as a result. A proof of concept swatch knit on only 24 stitches, the pink knits for 4 rows, the white for 2; the pink yarn is a cotton, the white an acrylic/wool blend:

An expanded pattern repeat, planned for a larger test swatch. Here there are 2 black squares added at each end of the repeat to insure that those stitches on the top bed are knit on all slip stitch rows. The new color is a wool, this time knit for 6 rows in slip stitch prior to sealing with 2 passes of the combined carriages with the contrasting color. 

Single bed slip stitch rows appear on the knit side in color 2, the reverse, purl side is in a single color (1), and formed by the all knit rows. Its stitches are in turn elongated, since they are held and not knit while the opposite bed knits for multiple rows. In the sample, the first and last stitch on each side were on the ribber, creating a single white slip stitch edging. One can adjust such details to suit. The first preselection row was made after cast on with both carriages (KC 2)set to knit, moving from left to right with color 1, where they stay. KC 1 with altered sinker plate was threaded with color 2, and begins from and returns to left hand side.

A detail shot of the edge: note the white, single, elongated stitch uppermost, and the pairs of contrast color ones in the “border” Designs with deliberate placement of white blocks representing each blister can be created. It is a good idea to test tolerance for each of the yarns involved as a hand tech or repeat such above before planning  significantly longer repeats. All black rows are required at intervals if the fabric is to be knit changing ribber settings for all knit rows. The same rows could be left blank if using carriages in the above manner, and lack of needle selection would be an indicator for switching to the double carriages for the 2 sealing rows, while not having to track the count for the slipped ones.

I am always interested in automating stitches to facilitate as many details as possible in creating fabrics that imitate hand techniques, without relying on row counts and a lot (in this instance) of “hooking” stitches up manually . The swatches below were part of a series of posts on  ruching as a hand technique 

The hand tech chart mirrored, as the springboard for my automated fabricBoth led to my exploring the possibility of  a cousin, working double bed, and using the 2 carriages. The process began with a proof of concept swatch. Two colors were used to highlight what the stitches knit with each of the 2 carriages are doing. Both KC1 and 2 were set to knit in both directions. I began with KC2 knitting the needle set up for the fabric in a dark color, on a small number of stitches 

KC2 operated from left, KC1 from right. With KC2 returned to left, KC1 knit 8 rows. It is best to work out the limit for how many rows will knit on the top bed without stitch problems prior to any automation of functions.  *Two rows were knit with KC2 in the dark color, 8 rows with KC1, ribber racked to proper position**,  * to** were repeated. The elongation of the stitches on the purl side results from the fact the ribber knits far fewer rows than the main bed, and in addition, the stitches on the row knit on its second pass in the pattern are pulled on across the bed at distances matching the racking positions. The plan is to automate the texture, knit it in one color, and find a way to track correct racking positions: cast on may be in any preferred method. With the pitch set to P it is easier to transfer stitches between beds to desired configuration. Every needle is in work on the top bed, for a multiple of 10+6 ribber needles with stitches that will be moved with racking 

placement of stitches on respective beds
change pitch after transfers, ribber moves slightly to right final configuration prior to patterning and racking sequence begins

Starting racking position is 5. Racking handle markings for Brother begin with 0 on left, 5 at center, 10 on right. The ribber is set to half pitch, since part of the needle bed will be knitting an every needle rib. An often overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to, is found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. The red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move. Since racking for my experiment will only be to 3 different positions, I began by choosing to use 5 pixels center, left, center, right for the full repeat sequence, but later amended the repeat to numbers of pixels equal to specific racking indicator number. The needles will be selected prior to the next row knit, a reminder of racking selection. Sequence will actually be 5, *0, 5, 10, 5,** 0, 5, etc. The racking indicator 

My first Ayab repeat was planned for use with 2 carriages: KC1 (single carriage) is set to knit but to not select end needles (KCII), and will be producing the multiple rows gathered to create the blisters/ hems. KC2 (coupled carriages) are also set to select needles, both KC (knit carriage, cam button also on KCII) and KR (ribber carriage) are set for normal knit. They will create the sealed stitches joining up the blisters/ hems. The same color yarn is threaded in both. Blank squares will knit because a carriage set to knit overrides needle selection or lack of it in stitches on needles in work position. My repeat is 46 stitches wide. Because the knitting is started with the ribber already in racking position 5, the first move in the pattern is turning the handle to the right, toward 0. The concept illustrated

set up and ready to go, racking position 5 

4/19/18 As is true in any knitting, things can go quirky. I began to have a single needle on the main bed not knitting on rows knit with the combined carriages, then ran into dropped stitches in racked groups. The problem was initially not with the software, but appeared to be a ribber issue, which after checking balancing was resolved.

4/22/18 And today’s problem is the software, with persistent, intermittent  selection errors. I did achieve a sample by manually pushing wrongly selected needles out to D by hand on problem rows, which tended to be 5 and 7 in all black areas. Some reminders and observations: ayab auto mirrors all images. If this repeat is entered (I added a single square as a marker for racking position 0), the software will actually be knitting this, the “image as it would appear on the knit side of the fabric”. What to program? anticipating the above getting mirrored by the software I entered this resulting in this

That said, remember that turning the racking handle to the left is toward increasing numbers on the indicator, to the right is toward decreasing numbers. For me that is counterintuitive. Mirroring the image again, and working with the repeat below can help with tracking racking movement even more. With the single dot on right, turn handle toward it, to the right, and the movement will be towards 0. With movement of marking row to left, turn racking handle to left, toward 5, and so on. 

Next on the drawing board: a fabric using the same technique, but that I might like more. This image was portion of a greyscale pin of a pattern book from a Russian pinI tested a concept for recreating it as a hand technique, trying to sort out how many rows I could knit before racking and the racking sequence. The best result was with a single sealing row, which in turn required changing the ribber slip setting for one row only,

so it’s back to the drawing board. I think any automation is best done using the ribber to do the all knit rows, the main bed to needle select racking positions. Results will be added to post on combining KC patterning with racking

The present set up with 2 carriages may be used for solid color backed quilting . Using the altered KC1 operating from the right with no yarn in feeder should work to drop stitches in drop stitch lace where the repeat is altered to allow for the knit carriage with no yarn to do the stitch ditching while selecting needles as well. A related color separation and swatch may be found  in the last segment of the post: revisiting-drop-release-stitch-lace/

 

Double jacquard using punchcard machines

Each row of double jacquard consists of  at least 2 rows of slip stitch patterning, one with ground yarn, the other with contrast. The rows knit per each design row varies with the number of colors used in the design. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from producing such fabrics, but the color separation is done by hand or using software, and then the cards are punched. Size of repeat is less important in creating interesting knits than choice of yarns, colors, and technique choices. In early art to wear days, pre electronic home knitting machines, large, non repetitive images were created by breaking down the large images into several vertical panels the width of the punchcard repeat plus seaming allowance. Upon completion, they were  joined side by side to create the final image. Ribber settings for DBJ apply across models in principle, may need adjustment depending on the age and brand of the machine. If working on a bulky machine, consider  using ladder back method.

The common method suggested in instruction manuals for Japanese knitting machines can be viewed in this punch card, laid over a colored template. The limit in repeat width is the fixed 24 stitch. To fit the design on a single 60 row factory punchcard, the maximum is 30 rows in motif height, because one row of pattern requires 2 rows of punching in the card. The step by step separation follows.

Helpful tools: on one blank card color each section of the card, representing color row sequences. This may be used later to check color separation. Box the edge numbers in pairs, beginning with numbers 56, 57, skip two rows to numbers 60, 1, and so on. This separation splits the first and second row of color 1 between the first and last row on the punchcard.

On a second blank card, prepare a master.  First row is left blank, then 2 rows are punched out, followed by 2 rows left blank, repeat, ending with a blank row. Again working upward, number each row you have punched out on the left hand side starting with number 54, then 55-56, 57-58 etc, ending with a single row, 23. This will result in number markings matching both sides at the bottom of the card, below the #1 factory mark. My own master began on the left with the # 53. I also added corresponding design row numbers for each row on the far left. (1 and 2, 3 and 4, and so on). Written notes on right: an even number of rows need to be knit in each color, so in this method pattern must be an even number of rows in  height, boxed numbers represent rows knit in ground color.

Take a blank card and put the master card on top, fastening the 2 cards together with snaps.You can now mark holes to be punched. Copy the first 2 rows of color 2 on rows marked 54 and 55 (or 53 and 54 in my case), repeat in pairs for the required height. I like to mark the card to be punched with colored pencils that differ sharply for each color. They have the benefit of being erasable, and can help with keeping each row distinct when punching.

When the completed repeat is marked, unfasten the snaps and move the card down by one row.  You will now see that the marks you have made through the top row of each set on the master card. Mark through each lower row any blank squares in the row above.

Again, after completing the repeat unfasten the snaps and slide the master up by 2 rows.The card will now be back to its original position, and up by one row. Now you will see the marks you have made on the blank card showing through the bottom of each row of the master card. Mark through each upper row on any square opposite the ones marked in the row below. 

After the repeat is completed, make certain to punch across 2 final rows for the card to create the overlaps for a continuous pattern, as with any other stitch type. Punch out all marks, and you are ready to knit. To check your design visually lay the finished card over the colored master, correct any errors if noted. Your card is now ready to knit DBJ.

First preselection row is right to left with color 1, it will knit from right to left, moving toward the color changer  where colors are then changed every 2 rows. This color separation will not work for fabrics that require the same needles knitting for 2 rows.

A second master that may be used with the same approach, for a different type of color separation: 

This separation works with any number of rows repeats. The design will be elongated because each design row knits twice in each color, with 4 rows completing it. Fabric will be thicker as well, so use thinner yarns when working it. Draw shapes in colors that are chosen for clear contrast, not because they are to be used in the finished piece. Here I am back to those triangles used in earlier posts. The choice of which color you begin with, whether in the separation or in the knit is ultimately up to you.

With the masked card, the first row is marked on the very bottom of your new design, I began with the red, which would produce the equivalent of this

Remove the mask. Beginning with the second row from the bottom, mark in contrast any square not colored in the row below Punch all colored squares and you are ready to knit.  I prefer to not rely on built in elongation if I am making a garment or a long piece of knit. If errors are made or correction of dropped stitches, loops, wrong color selection, etc. is required, unraveling rows is complicated enough without having to also sort out exactly where you need to be in relationship to where the card did or did not advance. Black squares represent punched holes, a segment one separated by the red line in repeat width could be used on a mylar or for electronic download 

Another master for the elongated design, advancing every row, numbers represent rows being filled in, beginning with odd in this orientation, and even with the card rotated for marking even # rows in color 2

This is the same repeat, color separated and elongated X 2; proceed as with the directions above, but in this instance each row in each color is marked twice. The expanded repeat: 

I have used these images to illustrate color separations in far older posts.

The reason the resulting separation here looks so different from the one above is simply that in this latest series of charts the color selections have essentially been inverted. The inversion creates a mirror mirrored back to the original orientation with the inverted colors in place, and the color reverse is now recognizable 

As a matter of course it is helpful to be consistent in choice of starting color when separating motifs. Any single repeats isolated from above are usable in electronic machines, reduced to black and white squares. Electronics vary in the built separations in terms of choosing black or white squares for the first row knit, whether you download an original image or work with built in ones. With preselection of needles in Brother or pushers in Passap, with an easy to count color repeat and some air knitting,  planning starting color of choice and needle placement can be sorted out for more confidence when actual knitting starts.

If you would prefer to work on graph paper that matches the size of your punchcard, there are a downloadable PDF and word doc with some guidelines in my previous posts more-low-tech/ and creating knit graph paper. The posts were in 2011 and 2014, with illustrations drafted in earlier versions of OS and apps. Working in Pages I was now able print an image just about to perfect scale to part of a blank factory card. Here is part of the first repeat in this post traced through the  punchcard holes onto it: 

I then exported 2 documents, one to Word, the other to PDF. The first printed  image and the PDF one (opened in Preview) printed to identical scale using my Epson Printer. Here are the new docs for you to try, they may need tweaking. My measurements, adjusted in Pages were 11 cm by 18.2, for 30 rows in card height: PDF  no numbers card, Word doc exported from Pages no numbers card . I have found squares of the  blank card BMP provided may be filled in in either GIMP or Paint, using the paint bucket tool, but printed size is not in scale to the printout of the original in the pdf.

If scale does not matter and you prefer convenience, this is a numbered “full” punchcard template as PDF scaled to fit on a single page  punchcard numbered , and as an editable Excel document exported from Mac Numbers: punchcard templates_ excel