Machine knit fringes 2/ pretend hairpin lace

WORK IN PROGRESS

Hairpin lace, familiar to many crocheters, is based on a central column with side loops that can be produced in strips, in turn, joined together in different configurations to compose open inserts, shawls, garments, serve as trims and joins.
A double-sided machine knit fringe can serve the same functions. My first swatch is knit using the #1 punchcard. Tension is totally dependent on the yarn used, the fabric may be executed on any machine, but as is often the case I am writing specifically for Brother.
The needle arrangement includes 2 center stitches, an even number of out of work needles to determine the width of the long loops, and one stitch at each end that is knit for the duration, then unraveled to loosen loops for various joining methods or uses.
To start with 2 needles are cast on in the center of the piece, knit one row on them alone. This will produce a small tab that is woven in upon completion of the strip, as are yarn ends, and creates a base so whole loops may be added in equal numbers on each side. Bring the side stitch on the carriage out to work, knit one row to the opposite side, bring outside needle on that side out to E, set machine for preselection row, knit back to the opposite side. Proceed to knit with both tuck buttons pushed in.
A separate cone or ball of yarn will be needed in matching or contrast color to anchor stitches in the central vertical column. Bring the row counter to 000. Multiply the number of loops required X2, since it will take 2 passes of the knit carriage to complete each pair, one on each side of center.
I brought the side stitch on each side prior to knitting the next row out to E, rather than settling for using KCI alone, found that kept the side edges stable and I was not getting dropped loops. If long strips are to be knitted, control over what is happening on each side matters in their assembly. The separate strand of yarn is used to e wrap around the needle that comes forward with each pass of the carriage. Even though the illustrations for the technique show equal loop withs, they can actually be created asymmetrically as well, or the central column may actually be moved on the knitting machine as one advances through the piece. The dots on the metal bed are from another piece

the first selection of a needle forward by punchcard e wrapping with second yarn before moving to left e wrapping with second yarn prior to returning to right, completing a sideways figure 8, end stitches out to E before prior to each carriage passUsing the finished sample as an insert brings up the topic of joining knits. Here there is a single stitch on each edge. The unbound off the stitch at the top on each side can be hooked on and secured with the first pick up. Stitches in the sides of knits form “loops and bumps”. The loops are formed carriage side as the row knits, can be used as possibly the least satisfactory single stitch increase. Opposite the carriage, as that same pass is completed the yarn will twist and create the “knot”, an easy and often acceptable single stitch increase. Which of the two is used to pick up for joining depends on yarn thickness and desired effect. Swatching will serve as a guide. Being consistent gives the best seam/join, without bumps and lags. The single edge stitch side border needs to be stabilized if it is going to serve as the detail at the bottom of the piece.

E wrapping every other needle as shown above with separate strands of yarn for 2 stitches on each side may be used to produce a no-roll edge on the sides of any knit fabric.
Knot vs loop:Using thinner yarn for knitting after the join even if on the same number of stitches, will gather the fabric More on seaming and joining knits 1 and 2. Extensive accumulation of images (crochet) for inspiration and possible technique links may be found on Pinterest 
On the left is a sample using an asymmetrical width, latched join method, while on the right loops are twisted broomstick lace fashion, and there is a crochet stitch joinstrips of different colors usedgathering tightly on one side can be the start of circles and shells

Japanese design books include their own symbols, here is part of a schematic for a shawl. It precludes an understanding of crochet symbols. The latter are simply illustrated and there is more convention for their meaning than that for knit symbols, particularly as more and more designers are adding homegrown ones to self-published patterns The convention for joining strips of machine knitting by crocheting or latching side loops together suggest having a ladder space (white square, one or more may be used) and a side edge stitch on either side in segments of the final piece ie. afghan strips.When binding off at the top of the piece, the first and last stitch on either side is skipped, leaving them open so that they may, in turn, be unraveled. The easiest method if the goal is to join pairs of strips is to line up two of them side by side, unravel side stitches from the top-down, only enough rows to match the number of loops that will be latched through each other, and proceed for the length of the piece. Depending on the yarn, work can be rehung on the machine, followed with a latch tool bind off, a segment at a time if needed, while maintaining a continuous piece of yarn. Steps may be repeated for a crochet pretender edging at both ends if the number of needles on the machine will support that. Another alternative for the horizontal edges when no fringe is planned is to bind off with a crochet hook as follows: knitted edge: slip stitch in each knitted stitch, open section: chain 1, 1 single crochet stitch into first jumbo stitch, chain 1, 1 sc into second jumbo stitch, chain1 repeating across the row. If desired, sc again across all stitches. A row of single crochet may be needed to balance cast on edge as well. Then there is the option of “winging it” and making a personal decision about other suitable alternatives.

When strips approach traditional hairpin, if you wish to work bottom-up or arrangements of loops are planned to be varied, whether by crochet sequences or rehanging loops on the knitting machine, unraveling may be done while also threading a length of yarn through the loops akin to a lifeline in other types of knitting, making them more manageable. A hand knitting video by Bernat Yarns illustrates the principle on conventional hairpin laceThe technique is sometimes referred to as a cable join. The video also provides a reminder that if all the latching through is done in a single, same direction, the fabric will bias. To avoid that, start latching on right for one pair of strips, on left for the next pair. Finishing side edges by latching is shown in the Bernat #4 video along with adding a fringe to finish the top and bottom of the piece.  If you enjoy crochet patterns longhand in the “old fashioned” way from out of print sources, here is a reference for inspiration, with hairpin illustrations # 448-456.
A join and side finishing, one side of each strip chaining strands of  loops through each other, the outside edge twisting loops akin to broomstick lace:A partial illustration from Pinterest from an unknown source showing how the loops coming together to make shapes might be charted out: the ovals represent chain stitches, the v slip stitches, the different colors the finish of a complete strip’s edge Tuck lace is a fabric produced with needles out of work in combination with tuck patterning on the main bed. Patterns for it can serve as the starting point for either the center strips in double-sided loop fabrics or they can be worked in repeats with wider ladder spaces between them for a far quicker “pretend” version. This is one of my ancient swatches for the technique from a classroom demo, using the 1X1 punchcard, shown sideways to save space.
The card is used at normal rotation. Any time there are needles out of work, end needle selection is canceled to maintain patterning throughout including on end needles of each vertical strip. Tuck <– –> is used resulting in texture as opposed to simple stocking stitch and ladder fabric (center of the swatch). In the right segment, the ladder threads are twisted, in the one on the left they are not. This is what is happening: for twisted ladders on an even total number of needles have an even number in the selected pattern (4), and an even number out of work (6). This is one fabric that definitely benefits by the use of some evenly distributed weight and a good condition sponge bar.Here the stitches are arranged with an odd number in work (3), an odd number out of work (7)

A way of working out needles out of work vs patterning/ in-work ones for both tests: the first is knit on a multiple of 10+4, the second on a multiple of 10+3These fabrics will narrow considerably when off the machine, here is an image of the above swatch after a period of “rest”

 

Mosaics and mazes charting meet Numbers, GIMP, and DBJ

A category search for machine knitting/mosaics and mazes design will lead to my previous blog posts on topic.
Previous posts on working with Mc Numbers include: knit charting using Numbers 2  which covers basics, keyboard shortcuts, and more,
Numbers to GIMP for creating images for electronic download  , charting knits color separations 2, charting knits, color separations 1, lace mesh motif charting, charting knit repeats using numbers 1, visualizing knit cables, knit graph paper 

To knit these fabrics use one light color and one dark for major contrast is recommended. Matching the dark yarn to dark squares and reversing their positions may produce interesting optical variations. The resulting knit has reduced floats and is not as bulky as traditional Fair Isle. Many patterns published in punchcard machine pattern books will produce such patterns when knitting single bed, changing color every 2 rows. White squares need to be 2 rows high, no more than one square wide. A page from one such reference:What appear as a maze designs in the swatch photos below would actually be unsuitable for use in the mosaic separation discussed in this post. The cards are designed for tuck (or slip) with color changes every 2 rows. The approach for planning and charting out such fabrics would be a very different one

There are a few rules in designing your own: in mosaics, the odd grid rows should contain single or dark-colored squares plus any cells used to create horizontal lines. The even grid rows usually have single or adjacent light squares but only single dark squares. As with any other fabric access to electronics allows for use of small repeats that can be color reversed or lengthened X2, whereas punchcard knitters need to meet the usual constraints in motif size in width and height. Tile features in software can often give clues to errors such as skipped cells or edges at top and sides of repeat that do not line up, avoiding having to actually test the repeat in knitting to evaluate the same.

Pre-drawn motifs that require color separation are available in a variety of sources. Kathleen Kinder published 2 books with repeats one for 24, the other for 20 and 40 stitch punchcards, inclusing isolated electronic repeats as well.

The original “swatch” inspiration for this post and its repeat were pictured in Mosaic Knitting page 110the numbering system reflects every other row worked alternating sides of the workit is shown here with a superimposed table grid with its  cells outlined in a thick border and positioned in front of a scaled screen grab of the original motif (arrange/ aspect ratio turned off)use command key to select a series of cells to be filled in with color, I chose to use black the cell borders can be edited as wished. Here borders were removed by selecting none, then, in turn, the outer border was highlighted in an easy to identify thicker red line

Below are more variation on borders and numbering for the start of the machine knitting repeat. Adding digits to the Numbers original repeat serves as a guide to appropriate size scaling in GIMP. One way to obtain the repeat size is to type digits in at least 2 cells at the desired location in any row or column. Select both cells, click on the yellow dot, and drag it to the last cell in the series here I went into autopilot: the repeat is isolated. The lengthen X 2 requirement can be achieved later in GIMP or as here via the table/ arrange/ size option in Numbers (wrong step for mosaic/ mazes)
I change the outer border to one point dotted to have a guide for a screengrab The captured image may then be imported into GIMP, image mode is changed to color indexed, B/W bitmap, and it is scaled to the appropriate size. The view grid, snap to grid options are in use.
I worked in 1800 magnification, created a new canvas 2 pixels wider than the original on the left, copied and pasted that image onto the new canvas. In the center illustration, RGB mode is once again in use. The added green pixels serve as guides for using rectangle select to capture each of the rows containing them in turn and then using invert value from the colors menu to reverse background and foreground within each of those rows.  The completed color separation is shown on the far right, with those 2 extra rows on its left side the last image needs to be once again converted to BW mode. The 2 extra rows of pixels on left are cropped off, the image is scaled to twice as long for use with the color changer, and the original 12X14 repeat is now 12X56
the actual BMP

this is the charted and tiled original repeat. There are classic differences from what is typically thought of as “floatless fair isle” in it. The very last row ie is in one color only.  When those 2 passes are made with the “no knit” color with the change knob set to KC I, the first and last needle will be selected. Push them back to B position prior to knitting the next row to avoid side to side floats.  Because of the maze component floats of as many as 7 stitches are created on the purl side in one of the 2 colors. A quick proof of concept swatch: this is a slip stitch fabric, note the difference in width between the patterned area vs the plain knit. If one has a ribber and the appeal lies simply in the lines created by both mazes and mosaics, those features can be retained with DBJ, and the fabric will lie flat. There will be limitations as to the thickness of the yarn used. a “pretend” longer repeat
The question has come up in forums as to whether the DBJ separation can be used for mosaics and mazes. The “Japanese” one, which prevents elongation by knitting each color for each row only once does not since these shapes rely on knitting the same needle selection twice in each color. The default separation in the Passap or the designer self-drawn one that will knit each identical spot in the motif separation twice. The design is elongated. Susanna wrote a technique for use on the E6000 for having the console perform the color conversion for true mosaic knitting. The repeat shown earlier in this post separated for DBJis compared here with the earlier wrong separation for “mosaic knitting” and found to appear identical. The process was a quicker way than that of dealing with different colors for ground and design
different pairs of colors, same results Back to the drawing board: row height is as in the original repeat being extra careful, not necessary, the process can be inverted once more to check the repeat color separation the actual knitting repeat, double-length before downloading to machine the corresponding proof of concept swatch,  with shorter floats than when the DBJ separation is used single bedtiling of the original repeat and its color reversed image illustrate the optical difference between switching dark and light color starts This repeat is from Kathleen Kinder’s (24 stitch) Floatless Fair-Isle book, p.86the repeat of the design separation on the right is intended for use in electronics with color reverse and double length chart separated using GIMP for mosaic knitting matches her repeat Recently on Facebook mazes turned up as a topic in machine knitting once more. Most maze generators online that I have found are designed for printing out game solving images ie here is one from http://hereandabove.com/maze/mazeorig.form.htmlfor knitting purposes unikatissima and Laura Kogler offer alternatives. Years have gone by since I first wrote on mazes and mosaics. The repeat worked with below was used in my post 

here I am revisiting the same image. To begin with, a repeat is isolated and processed in numbers (top row), and then in turn in Gimp. Always tile repeat to check for any errors and to see if the final image represents what is desired
the repeat (8X16) is then doubled in length for knitting after that single all-white row was edited out (middle images). The repeat is now 8 rows wide by 32 rows in height
One of the yarns is chenille, the other a wool. The chenille is slightly thicker and fuzzy, so some of the yellow rows are almost hidden but the pattern is definitely there. Here the design is knit using both slip (bottom) and tuck (top) settings. Again, there is a noticeable difference in width produced by each stitch type.Observations: make certain that after the image is isolated in Numbers cell size is converted to square/ equal measurements in width and height before importing and scaling its screen grab in GIMP if not already so. It will likely load in RGB mode, convert to Indexed before scaling. Added colored squares are only possible if you return to RGB mode. After rows with colored squares are cut, return the image to indexed before saving as BMP for knitting. If any pairs of rows do not have 2 consecutive rows of cells in either color check your pattern. In DBJ the final repeat should be 4 times in numbers of rows in height to the original one, and thus divisible by four.  The separation first doubles height for each row for 2 colors. Then height is doubled once more to allow for color changes every 2 rows. In Mosaics and Mazes, the color reversal happens on every other row in the original design. When that is completed, the height will be doubled for actual knitting to allow for color changes every 2 rows, with the final row count double that of the original motif. Rules for tuck knitting apply here as in any other technique. If white squares in the final chart have black ones on either side of them, the appearance is that tuck would be possible. Examining needle preselection is an easy way to assess that possibility.  Reversing the colors used in actual knitting may yield interesting changes in the appearance of the fabric. 

Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram (shared with her permission), as mentioned in my post on numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/

Ribber trims 3: one trim, four variations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more accurate knitting

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

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

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

Tuck stitch meets thread lace repeats and vice versa

A recent share in the Facebook machine knitting group led to this blog post by its author <https://www.knittingmachinemuseum.com/single-post/Knitmaster-580-Electronic>

The inspiration fabric led to ideas for recreating it on a punchcard machine, and my own trip down that rabbit hole led me to think about the relationship between tuck stitch designs and thread lace ones.

Not all Brother knitting machine models were equipped with the capacity for thread lace. The 260 bulky happened to be one of those models, which were manufactured with 2 MC buttons seen in this illustration

Studio manuals refer to the fabric as punch lace. Early pattern books including ones for electronic machines provide a large range of pattern repeats for such fabrics and can be design sources for other knit stitches if one understands the structure being created.

In tuck stitch the unpunched areas, white squares or pixels represent loops created on non selected needles, punched holes / black squares or pixels represent knit stitches. In punch/ thread lace those white areas knit both thick and thin yarns together, while in punched holes/black square or pixel areas the thin yarn knits on the stocking stitch side of the fabric, with the thicker yarn floating behind it. Depending on fiber content, gauge, etc. the illusion of eyelets can be created. This is half of a Brother punchcard repeat, suitable for thread lace, reworked for knitting the design in tuck stitch. That is, in turn, doubled in length to allow for color or yarn value changes occurring every 2 rows. The resulting swatch is tested first in 2 colors to proof the repeat, then using clear serger thread as one of the 2 “colors” for a very different effect that blends that of both fabrics.

Looking at design sources for possible redesigns for the alternate knit fabric: published punch lace cards

published tuck stitch cards DIY a place to start is with simple color reverse punch lace to tuck test. Not suitable are any areas with lots of side by side white squares. In the bow solid lines those could be modified, most of the repeats in the colored swatch segments of the published charts are unsuitable.

Once the chosen repeat is isolated, the punchcard can be further edited for electronic knitting. Tuck to punch lace: any of these would be worth a test, some results may be very subtle.From punchcard repeat to electronic: strong black and white images that have punched holes represented as dots may be the hardest to process quickly in Gimp. It is best to isolate the single repeat. Some clean up of the gridded image may be required. Test the latter by tiling it. Color reverse the single it if that is the original goal, using built-in function in electronics or punching black squares in cards.

Not to be forgotten: the easy variations for visualizing results with a few clicks of a mouse,

and an added source for both stitch types are slip stitch patterns in suitable configurations

A previous post on editing repeats such as the above using Gimp, and one on superimposing shapes onto a mesh ground that may be the springboard for superimposing self-drawn shapes on tuck or thread lace suitable backgrounds

Lastly, an earlier post on thread lace on Brother machines

 

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013: DIY design2017 crochet

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

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

2 color ribbed brioche stitch on Brother knitting machine 1

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

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

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

This was my first Brother machine knit swatch result:

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

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

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

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

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

one of my ancient machine knit demo swatches:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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 rackingfor 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 6X6  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 6X6 ,  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

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/ herringbonewhich 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 wellThe 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 blackGot 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