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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

an attempt at a side view

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

 

 

Garter bars and how to use them

I previously wrote on a ruffled trim using the garter bar and holding. While recently searching online I found some hints/ publication links I thought I would share. The “manual” that came with the 4.5 mm set was written in Japanese when I purchased mine, includes patterns for vertical weaving/ “embroidery. The supposed English counterpart does not have the pictorial stitch information, but provides basic technique clear instructions.
Using garter bar on the bulky  
Studio tips and techniques 

If needles and gate pegs are not bent, with a bit of practice, in most instances and unless working on very wide pieces of knit I have found using the needle stopper unnecessary.

The Brother publication on topic:

 

A complex published transfer lace to electronic repeat for download/ GIMP editing


Lace on the machine can render beautiful fabrics that closely resemble hand knitting, but programming very long repeats is a challenge both in placing every hole in the correct square in a punchcard, and in programming individual pixels on a mylar or as pixels for download correctly. I found the “leaf lace” repeat below shared frequently on Pinterest, and thought I would test the approach discussed in the post on using numbers and gimp to create images for electronic downloads . Because it is 16 stitches wide, it is not suitable for punchcard knitting, which requires a factor of (4, 6, 8, 12) and up to a 24 stitch maximum width.

The published pattern on the left is shown as shared on Pinterest. In turn in was captured, opened in Gimp, and magnified. After a threshold adjustment, it was converted to a BW indexed, scaled to its 16X96 original stitch and row count, and then saved in 100% magnification result for the possible electronic download.

On far left below is the first BW processed single repeat isolated from its source. To its right it has been adjusted so first row is a preselection row for the lace pattern, and the full repeat ends with blank rows (Brother KM characteristic). The latter in turn was saved as an image for download. Since the leaves change direction in the way they lean, spacing between each pattern swing in the repeat is actually 3 all blank rows, not the “standard” 2, including at the top. The bottom half begins with the first row resulting in transfers to the left, while after the the first 3 knit rows the  transfers will begin to the right.  The plan was for me to use Ayab for knitting a proof of concept swatch.  In order to achieve that, the full repeat is first flipped horizontally (ayab will auto mirror it,  so starting with it this way it will be in the correct orientation when knitting). The mirrored repeat may be used in unaltered  machines as is with LC operating from the right, KC operating from the left (not possible in ayab without adjustments). The full repeat consists of 16+14+18+16+14+18= 96 passes of the lace carriage, for each 12 rows knit. My sample was programmed horizontally for 3 full repeats, the width of my planned swatch. I added one additional needle in work on each side, with the LC end needle selection cancelled, allowing for full pattern as programmed with a single stitch all knit border on either side A tightly twisted cotton yarn did best in terms of handling the multiple transfers and not resulting in split stitches or breaking. I had occasional selection errors, seen in center panel at the top of each repeat (my common experience with the interface), but the repeat itself appears to be sound.Lace repeats that have even numbers of rows for both and LC transfer and knit ones are easy to follow. Punchcards are also easily annotated and if knitting is interrupted needle selection is easy to return to or restore if necessary. In electronics, there may not be a any memo to indicate row #  location for each carriage pass in pattern, or when to switch carriages. Because in this instance there are so many transfers (some of multiple stitches) between knit rows and dropped stitches are best corrected as noticed during knitting if possible, I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts to help keep track of actions. Each block outlined in red here represents one full repeat, read from their bottom up, with blue borders at the center and red at the end of each half sequence . A visual check at the end of each segment’s # of rows in the series is well worth it to prevent unnoticed runaway dropped stitches and large holes. A check in boxes next to # could indicate completion of transfers. and a number added manually in that same row for that sequence, record the row on which knitting was interrupted ie. stopping on row 8 out of 16 to fix dropped stitches would be a reminder 8 more LC passes are required before the next visual check. 

9/23/18 In now have been experimenting on a 930, where each pass of the LC is actually tracked, akin to following numbers on a punchcard.  Built in patterns also offer a memo window, which will alert the knitter as to when knit rows are due In testing the pattern with img2track I found the LC passes are still counted, but the memo window is absent upon download. I generated a chart in Mac Numbers, reads from the top down, expanding on the one above. It illustrates the number of LC passes (left column) required to produce any significant length of fabric.  Patterns such as these are not for the faint of heart, and require a friendly yarn. 2168 passes of the LC (33 full repeats, outlined in green; red line separates half repeats) are accompanied by 396 rows of “actual” knitting. In actual knitting, the pattern advances from row 1 to 96, and back to 1 again. A check off list can be much simpler if one is desired. The numbers on left appear in the LC window in a 930, when reached 2 rows are knit with the KC. The numbers at the top reflect completed repeats. Boxes can be checked moving to right as those rows are completed Another option is to download the pattern in img2track, and then enter memo information prior to knitting it. Two youtube videos that show how to enter memos in machine models that allow it, 930 included  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0tXNT76v10    and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR8MheT5Bao. The number 2 may be entered after numbers on left appear in the LC passes count window, and provide an easy guideline to follow. And this is what testing lace patterns can look like. In this instance a tighter stitch tension, a bit of change in weight, and visually checking after each row of transfers brought me some success. This is not a stitch pattern that lends itself to easy “repairs”. 

 

Revisiting knit graph papers, charting, row tracking, and more

Work in progress

DIY proportioned charts may be created using spreadsheet programs. I began to use Excel for charting in 2009, and continued to in nearly all the colored charts in my color separations for knits posts up to my latest computer upgrade. I now no longer have access to Office, and work primarily in native Mac OS programs. I reviewed links for working with Excel for this post, and these are still active  http://fibremuse.blogspot.com/2009/02/charting-patterns-with-excel-part-1.htm
http://marniemaclean.com/blog/tutorials.html#.Um_-wpFQY7I
http://www.chemknits.com/2010/01/how-to-make-knitting-chart-in-excel_9394.html
http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/search?q=charting+with+excel
http://anniebeeknits.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/charting-in-excel/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9dwuarghqE
https://colornotesyarn.com/create-knitted-design-chart-with-excel-spreadsheet/

one for google sheets:
http://fibercraftmama.blogspot.com/2014/10/making-knitting-charts-in-google-sheets.html

my posts on working with numbers with some edits recently added after review
http://alessandrina.com/2013/10/28/color-separations-using-mac-numbers-for-knitting/
http://alessandrina.com/2013/10/29/charting-knits-in-mac-numbers-program-2/
http://alessandrina.com/2014/09/03/creating-knit-graph-paper-on-mac-using-excel-and-numbers/

Punchcard design planning, new: these are not to scale but can serve as a base for planning repeats on paper, may print to size with some tweaking by splitting on more than one page. First sheet is marked as a Brother factory blank single card would be, the second has same markings as the roll I purchased as a “Brother one”, that actually has row # 1 markings for Studio kms, so Brother knitters need to begin knitting on row # 3 punchcards.

I have revised the nearly to scale template from a previous post; the first is not for a full card, but designed to  fit on one sheet. There are 36 rows/ 180 mm high, by 108 mm wide,prints to scale on my printer. It is  bordered in blocks of 6, with no row numbers: scale no numbers.  A second document, includes an added 6 rows, brother numbers row markings on right and a column for notes such as lace arrow marks, etc, prints to scale on my printer scale card extra2

It is sometimes helpful to have help in tracking information for actions to be taken on specific rows ie for increases or decreases during knitting on specific rows, or for lock/carriage setting changes in more complex double jacquard (DBJ). Going the printed paper route, this PDF  tracks single rows, every 2, every 4, every 6, and every 8 for tracking such instructions on individual pages. They have enough blank area left to write in pattern name, stitch, cam settings, stitch size, yarn, etc. It may be helpful to include short cuttings of fiber used. Each page may be printed separately, with printer adjustments made if required with your software: tracking rows

Some rib setup with room for notes, in both P and H settings

A Brother 910/ Ayab diary/ EMS kit

This is a work in progress post. I have now edited and included its previous version so the most recent observations appear first, the oldest last.

9/8/18 I have received a replacement unit from EMS. I got this far testing a large scale pattern, no fault of the program at my stopping point. I did not notice until I got across the last pattern row that I had actually knit with both strands of yarn. Rather than try to fix the issue, I decided to scrap off. This gave me a chance to test new yarns. I had never used chenille in DBJ on Passap, it sheds too much, resulting in error messages. I like to have my scarves at least 60 inches in length, and this combo looks as though it would reach that length when completed. I also did a bit more editing of the repeat as shown here. We shall see if the equipment and I both last to a whole 1200 rows or so in one sitting anytime soon 😉

6/25/18  the kit apparently has now gone from out of stock to officially no longer in production 

5/28/18 replacement kit never received, it’s back to mylars for me to actually try to get any significant knitting done 

4/27/18 I have been able to develop some fabrics using two knit carriages selecting needles from opposite sides, though the lace carriage will not select from the right if the knit carriage is also selecting from the left. The posts include altering a knit carriage to use as the second one to select needles as an alternative to changing ribber settings between normal and pattern knitting, and an addition to post on combining KC patterning with racking

I had been told my kit would be replaced due to persistent patterning error issues. Sales are presently on hold while hardware is reviewed, and work is being done on a new version of software, so any changes in status are to be determined.

3/ 31/ 18 At present there is no English text manual for using the software, or a quick start guide. I am sharing some of the differences and similarities in actions I have noted between the unaltered 910 and those of the hack, beginning with settings, and including a few tidbits gleaned from support as I encountered patterning problems. They may be of interest to those making the transition after previous knitting experience and familiarity with the machine, or to anyone curious about the program and some of its features and differences.

Yellow text in this first image from a publication on the 910 indicates matching functions I have identified so far in ayab software.

the full illustration from the 910 manualactions on the unaltered 910

When the pattern selector is down, the pattern is centered on green #1 (right of  0). This means if the pattern is an even number, say 24 stitches, then the pattern’s limits are green 12 and yellow 12. If the pattern is an odd number of stitches the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13, the center being green #1. With an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side.

AYAB

I purchased my hardware kit (now temporarily off market) from developer : to purchase , wiki , interface , install . Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook, and GitHub .

At present there is no cover readily available for the machine once the unit is installed, so the left side of the main bed remains exposed.

Though beeps heard upon preparing to preselect the first row from left to right are described as a triple beep, I hear them as a triple set of multiple beeps with pauses between. Not taking the time to “hear” them all will result in patterning errors from the get go. Be sure to hear the beep and see the flashing of the unit before reversing carriage direction. Clear the left turn mark at least periodically while knitting. If you have experience with any production knitting on the unaltered machine you may feel the knitting speed is slowed when using the software and cable for downloading each row as opposed to that with which the mylar scanner accomplished the same task.

Ayab can be set for infinite repeat in length, the function was automatic on the mylar unless one made the choice to stop at any point. A single repeat on the mylar was enough to program across the width of the needle bed, with ayab the full width of the pattern must be programmed, so designs need to be tiled accordingly.

Installation of software can be achingly slow on Mac desktop (I am using High Sierra OS). SiLabsUSBDriver  is also required. Security settings need to be checked / changed even if no warning is given by the computer leading one to assume there have been no issues with download or the install. The driver will reside in the library/ extensions.

The hardware install is fairly straightforward.

The USB connection needs to be made prior to launching the software for the port to be recognized. If port questions come up, click the “Refresh” button on the AYAB screen. When things are working correctly, you should be able to see a port name from the pop-up menu. The plug-in power supply supplies power only to the needle selection.

The popping noise or clunk is heard usually but not always, when you cancel AYAB and restart and is produced by the solenoids. I have been reassured it “does no harm” by support.

The launcher box remains open throughout knitting.

To start knitting:
1. Load your pattern in the width of the planned repeat
2. Set all the AYAB settings at default (2-color, start at row 1, single, center). Check infinite repeat if you want to knit more than one vertical repeat
3. Knit carriage is on the left, outside the turn mark
4. In the AYAB software, Configure/Knit
5. Wait until the software says “Please Init carriage” at bottom of screen
6. Bring the carriage across the left turn mark and stop before crossing any needles, wait for the triple set of beeps.
8. Continue across the first row and stop, wait for flash and beep, then proceed with movements to and from each side, again waiting for flash and beep that indicate each row download is complete.

If knitting a repeat in single height, currently (0.9 sw and 0.9 fw) when you are one row ahead of the last selection the row numbers disappear as “Image Transmission is finished. Please knit until you hear the double-beep sound”. The marker on the image jumps down to the beginning. You knit across and it does the selection for the last row and gives the long-beep sound. Knit one more row to actually knit that selection. When all needles are selected to B, you cancel your settings and you’re done. 

In some instances clearing both turn marks seems to help avoid errors and insure consistent patterning. Beware of moving the carriage back and forth for any reason, ie to fix a yarn loop, dropped stitch, etc. The movements in my experience have been counted as rows, resulting in patterning errors as would happen when using a punchcard machine. If working on a desktop as opposed to a nearby laptop you may be missing any visual cues for row advancement  provided by the ayab screen.

The image displayed on screen may be magnified and reduced to fixed amounts, but at present there are no programmable cues as might have been used on mylar ie. for color changes, lace vs knit carriage actions, etc.

When exploring the menus, creating an easy to view repeat helps to sort out available actions

The single setting is used for all single bed fabrics. The row numbering starts from 1 not 0, and focuses consistently on the row whose pattern is being selected, not the row being knitted; design row start line placement

start needle design stitch position on needle bed 

single design alignment test: left, center, right of the same repeat on an alternate start stop needle configuration 

As mentioned, with an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side. It also automatically mirrors all patterns, so lettering  and images appear on the knit side as drawn. The mirroring however,  is a problem with lace. If working from an established pattern, the lace repeat must be mirrored again either before loading the pattern or prior to knitting it or lace transfers will be made in the wrong direction. It is possible to operate the LC from the right side using Ayab, but if  knit carriage is also set to selecting needles ie. if set to slip stitch, and is used in combination with the lace carriage, the LC will not select when operated from the right, and the pattern will not advance properly (documented by others as well).

I used to constantly use 2 knit carriages in a lot of my accessories. At this point that function is not possible due to patterning errors or loss of patterning when the second carriage operates from the right.

The first preselection row in Ayab is made from left to right. For any pattern that requires a start from right to left, ie one with color changes every 2 rows, there are 2 options. One is to place the design row start line at the very top row of the repeat. That row will be selected left to right, the first design row will then be preselected right to left, and the 2 color rotations using the color changer on the left can proceed accurately.  The other option is to shift the last row in the programmed repeat down to row 1 position prior to downloading the pattern, and saving that as the working repeat.  I prefer the latter, since it eliminates having to recall the change in start line. An example of the shift is seen as applied to the automatically shaped lace trim

The ribber setting: a reminder, later color changers were also capable of being used on the bulky machine

Brother DBJ KRC setting including on the 910: white is the background (color 1), punched holes, black squares or pixels are considered contrast (color 2)

This is the KRC color separation described for DIY use on a punchcard machine: 

some of the possible backings (vertical striper requires extra steps)

Previous related posts: http://alessandrina.com/2015/04/18/a-simple-shape-an-exercise-in-dbj-brother-km/ and http://alessandrina.com/2017/10/26/dbj-and-color-separations-some-previous-posts-links/

AYAB color sequence is reversed from the Brother convention of white pixels being color #1, and black pixels being color #2. It chooses black as color #1, white as color #2. The first pass to the right is set up with the “black” yarn. Actual position in the color changer can vary depending on how the yarn is threaded in the mast. The first pass to the right preselects for the first row of black squares, which will be knit on the first pass from right to left. In one option, the ribber needs to knit the yarn in order to get the carriages threaded with yarn to the other side, the KC makes a free pass, with nothing knit. This is achieved by having the main bed set to slip <– –>, and the ribber to selection to be used in the remaining DBJ fabric. After knitting across and waiting for beep, knit back to color changer, the beep happens again as you reach the opposite side. Press the button to change yarn to “white” and continue in pattern, changing colors every 2 rows. Depending on your choice of start to the piece, another option may be to have the ribber set to slip as well on the first preselection row from left to right, thread the “black” with the carriages on the right, using it to knit that first design row, moving toward its empty slot in the yarn changer, where you will then pick up the “white”. Check cam settings on both carriages before moving back toward right. Thinking of the pattern in terms of black and white and matching the sequence as described frees one from the factory KRC convention.

KC I or II may be used, needle arrangements can vary depending on the look one prefers on the edges. It is helpful to have some previous experience with ribber use and understanding of how stitches are formed. Patterning resulting from choices on end needle selection on either bed may be considered a boon or a distraction, at times even create a smaller, secondary pattern (arrows)

The circular setting: was intended for tubular fair isle, some of my experiments to produce other fabrics may be found in earlier posts. The ravelry group discussion on topic including using the setting in knitting socks, with an extensive tutorial by Adrienne Hunter: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/ayab/3346844/26-50#38

3/15/18 After more testing I have come to the conclusion that end needle selection cancellation on my 910 LC is working properly, but is not operative when I am working with the my Ayab interface.

3/5/18 While working on a post on shaped lace edgings on Brother machines  I encountered 2 new issues. One appeared to be I was unable to restore end needle selection on my LC while sorting out the repeats. The other was that if 2 carriages are in use, the lace carriage will not select needles if operated from the right, while if is the only carriage selecting needles, it will work from either side. This is a property that is not isolated only to my set up.

2/28/18 I have continued to intermittently knit swatches on my hacked 910. The software continues to be a boon in terms of avoiding the mylar and producing test fabrics quickly. At one point it was suggested I flash the Arduinogo to the Tools menu, Load AYAB firmware. Choose 910, Uno, 0.9. It takes a few seconds to reload the firmware (the part of the program that’s in the actual Arduino.  The changes from 0.8 to 0.9 were minimal, but it’s best to make sure you are using the latest.  EMSL preflashes them in testing so it’s not normally necessary for the user to do it.” Mine had not been. Doing so has not changed any of the behaviors that make me reluctant to even attempt to knit anything other than short fabric tests.  The trick now has become to keep enough patience and distance to be able to not assume that any patterning issues or fabric inconsistency are due to the software and not my own inattention or faulty notes. A recent observation: if an odd number of needles are being used the rule is that the larger number will be on the left.

1/21/17 I have been reworking some of my previous posts to accommodate for the fact that Ayab preselects the first knit row only moving from left to right. After being contacted by a design school student in Europe with respect to creating specific designs in 2 color drop stitch using ayab, there is now a dedicated post on topic. Nothing has changed in terms of my having reliable and consistent patterning for any significant knit lengths using Ayab. In addition, the knit carriage movements in the 910 when using the software now behave like the Brother punchcard knit carriages. Any change in movement in the opposite direction or jiggling of the KC for any reason, can make the design advance pattern rows. This was never true for the unaltered 910 machines, which were wonderfully reliable if the knitting was interrupted, if carriage were moved outside the knit edges for any reason, did not need to clear end marks for any reason other than on the first row of knit, were able to preselect first row from either side, making patterns that required use of the color changer usable without design first row adjustments, and the list goes on. The Facebook group is an active one, and worth joining for anyone seeking more observations, advice, and inspiration.

1/7/18 Over the week end it appears my software has now begun pre selecting  first with errors, and now correctly on that first pass from left to right, so I will now be reviewing any instructions I have posted this past month in case settings need to be changed for anyone trying to execute the same fabrics, beginning with  lace.

1/4/18 My Ayab software set up rows work this way: the first pass from left to right only gets the carriage to the right, selecting only first and last needle if change knob is set to KC I. The second pass from right to left preselects the first row of pattern. The third pass (from left to right), knits the first row of pattern, selects the second, and so on; subsequent selection is correct, no rows of the design are skipped. It has been pointed out to me that this may be a unique feature to mine, or one unreported by others. “First preselection row should occur on that first pass from left to right”. My posts on using the software are based on the first pattern row knitting from left to right, not right to left as would happen if the very first pass from left to right preselected for the first row of knit. At this point in time it is also not possible for the first preselection row to occur moving from right to left. This in turn needs adjustments if patterning needs to occur in 2 row sequences from the left ie. in knitting mosaics and mazes unless preselection happens from right to left,  a result of my version’s “quirk”. Since I also knit on an E6000 the first 2 rows feature to complete preselection for the first row of pattern is a familiar one, and from the beginning I assumed it was an intentional feature in the Ayab software as well. It actually solves the problem if the first selection row needs to happen toward the color changer. Fixed starting sides can be problematic depending on the type of fabric being knit.  Lots of options to explore.

12/28/17: tuck lace meets hand technique 

12/25/17 my first try at lace: the LC is the one to select for transfers, the KC knits to complete the formation of stitches. Brother punchcards for lace usually begin with selection rows, end with 2 blank rows at their top. Using Ayab the repeats need to repeat across the width of the piece. One nice added feature is that when doing so, blank rows may be planned and left at both sides, creating a knit stitch border and eliminating the problem of paying attention as to whether end needles are selected or not, or what other measures to take. This fabric creates large eyelets, there will be 2 empty needles side by side for the duration. Some of the old pattern books referred to it as one of the “mock crochet” ones.

the resulting fabric, knit and purl sides

one more to try: a large diagonal eyelet lace combining lace and tuck 

1/22/18 swatches with preselection from left, similar results for shapes that are shaped with single row increments in height. Double height, the fabric creates tiny pintucks, not blisters as can begin to be seen at top of swatch; KC slip <—, ribber slip —>;

shapes as seen in test swatchverifying presence of pockets 

For a full post on quilting in one or 2 colors please see later post 

12/23/17 The “quilted” fabric produced below is different than the one achieved by specifically designed color separations, the fabric has an interesting blister like effect, the knit areas have more horizontal texture. Because of limitations due to the eventual needle selection errors I am experiencing with the software, my swatches are limited in length or have interrupted patterns. My new repeat two of the “pockets” have beads dropped into them to highlight their location 

12/22/17: settings given below are for first preselection row from right to left, not for left to right,  testing out the waters with the circular settings, using the repeat. Please check later posts for reviewed content 

I tried to go for “quilting, but think that may require switching levers on the ribber, so to start with, this was knit in an every needle rib, with ribber set to knit <—->, main bed set to slip —>, producing a fabric with very subtle pintucks, which may be more interesting in 2 colors
Quilting: KC slip <—, ribber slip —>

The pink and white swatch is  in “drop stitch lace”,  was also knit using the circular setting. Instructions for color separations for fabric, how tos, tools, tips and samples may be found in my posts on topic, with the same repeat used in http://alessandrina.com/2015/06/16/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-2-brother-km/ 

the image resulting from my own past color separation its purl side, turned sideways

Previous posts have covered manual color separations for fair isle, quilting 1, quilting2, and a summary of series on drop stitch lace. A later post on drop stitch lace using ayab .

One of the differences in using Ayab, is that knitting set up begins on the left, with first preselection row happening on the second carriage pass from right to left. This makes sense if the goal is to set up patterning for moving toward the color changer. Passap E6000 uses the SX/GX (2 Rows) for set up, with its color changer on the right. The knitter may set the carriages or locks for any chosen setting (knit for knit rows, slip if the extra 2 rows knit are not desired as part of the pattern, or those suggested by console or other instructions). In the original state 910, the starting side is of no consequence as long as one is outside the set line, and preselection happens on a first, single pass. The same is true of preselection in the punchcard, one may start on either side. In some fabrics such as slip stitch worked holding techniques, or if  the color changer is in use and making moves in even numbers of rows toward and away from it are required, starting side matters. The Ayab circular setting does the color separation for the fabrics above, but other cam and lever settings may need adjustment, based on sorting out what selected needles are doing when knitting starts. For the “quilted” swatch above the left part button on the KC, and the right one on the ribber were used. Sometimes the guide to color selection or cam settings, is whether the first square in the imported image for download is black or white. With the loss of the built in color reverse on a hacked machine, it is easy work when swatching and testing to color reverse the repeat by using invert, available in the color menu, providing the alternative repeat. In Gimp the grid color may be adjusted as well, if you choose to work in black and white as your starting palette. For the individual image, Image/ configure grid changes the preference for single use. 

12/19/17 I am continuing to really appreciate the speed and ease for sampling pattern ideas. That said, I  have also again experienced selection issues varying from lost selection to repetition of the same pattern row indefinitely, frequently after more than 50 rows are knit, and in spite of increasing attention being paid to beeps and flashes. Short pauses also seem to put the software into time out mode. I have not done enough knitting to evaluate whether moving the carriage past both turn marks with any frequency prevents those selection issues. Support is responsive, with new tools come new learning curves for everyone involved.

There is a popping noise /clunk that I have now learned is routine and  “likely from the solenoids being engaged or disengaged, when they’re first powered up, or released at the end.” It is a noise I have never heard in standard 910 use. I usually power down equipment when not in use, and have been told “For the sake of longevity on the knitting machine, it’s probably better to err on the side of disconnecting the USB cable when you power down the machines.”

My present knitting efforts are to come up with some sort of variation of this fabric, published in an early Empisal Ribber Pattern Book, shared in a Facebook forum post.  I have used racking in a variety of experiments, but never traveling over a MB pattern as in this instance. There is now a dedicated post on topic 

12/17/17 I am brand new at using the system, my comments here are logging my personal experience and observation as I am learning a new tool, not intended as a guide. Please follow forums for advice from folks with more experience and knowledge.

The ayab interface from EMS is now up and running on my 910. The process was easy and straightforward in terms of hardware. Software install on the Mac is very slow initially, but the launcher operates quickly after that.  I am using the system connected to an iMac presently running OS 10.13.2. There initially were issues with port failure when attempting to use the program to download. No security warning was received when the driver download was completed, but rather, the image below, which I took at face value, so I did not immediately access the preferences security panel to make any changes thereIt took some sorting out with EMS support and finally accessing preferences security settings and “allowing” the install to solve the problem. Apparently there may be some change in message received within a half hour of the install. So, easy fix, check system preferences security settings regardless of pop up window even if lacking  familiar and obvious warnings such as

At present there is no cover available to fit over the kit and its wires, so the left hand side of the machine remains exposed. There is a row counter built into the software, but I tend to rely on the built in on the 910. Any DIY cover should take clearing the row counter and the knit leader trippers into consideration. There is some conversation about 3D printed ones, or even metal. Tiny detail: the kit comes with electrical zip ties to help secure the plastic shields on both sides of the board.  Clip the ends, and twist them so join sits either on top or under the interface, thus keeping them clear of KM parts, and, particularly, the belt drive on the left.

There are a series of beeps and flashes that indicate that the pattern row has indeed been downloaded and is ready to be knit. 910 mylar users are familiar with the sound coming from the reader as each row is scanned. Prior to using the Ayab system I was initially concerned about beeps for each row adding to machine operating noise, since I am familiar with the Passap screech and at one point was also with the Studio electronic version. The Ayab beeps are actually on the soft side, and background noise or inattention may actually lead one to miss the cues. LED flashes occur in pairs indicating the row is ready to knit as well. Again, any cover may hide the light or soften the beeps even more, making the cues available via the screen more essential.

The kit comes with a 3 ft. cable. I have rearranged placement of my machines to make using both the Croucher cable, switchbox, and wincrea on the Passap, and the Ayab system on my 910. My initial wish was for a longer cable, which is possible to use. That said, there are several knit from screen clues that if you are operating the machine any distance from the computer get lost and become hard to see, including indicators for row numbers and the pattern advancement lines on your motif.

So far I have small FI samples and DBJ  samples. Ran into a problem after 60+ rows of each with mis patterning occurring, but that may well have been operator error. I have used my 910 for production accessories, and was very familiar with a personal optimum speed. I believe I almost unconsciously with the initial samples, may have picked up speed and interfered with the accurate download of pattern rows. When I slowed down and was much more deliberate, waited for each flash and sound, a test got me to RC 110 with no issues before I quit for the day.

11/27/17 This punchcard was shared by someone trying to reproduce the implied fabric on their 910. It is intended to be used as a combination lace and weaving card, so on the punchcard machine 2 carriages would be locked on the belt. If even number of passes are made with each carriage, there is the issue of the card not advancing each time when the opposite carriage makes its first pass. So far I have not been able to get this repeat to work for me as drawn, to produce results anything even resembling the “finished swatch” published photo. It did work for me using the LC carriage for 3 passes, releasing it, and following it by 2 rows knit with the KC set to tuck in both directions, a very different fabric. If the LC  is released after an odd number of rows, then technically when the KC is first in use,  the right to left and back to right selection is not interrupted, it is moving in the direction the LC carriage would have moved, and the punchcard row is not repeated. First row with LC selects, second row transfers, selects next row. Third row transfers, selects every other needle for the first tuck row on the next pass of KC, and LC is released. The fabric then tucks for 2 rows as punched, on every other needle. The second tucked row is completed with KC on right. The first LC row has now been preselected, as the *LC heads back to right (1) it transfers the selected needles, selects them again, but since they are now already empty, nothing happens to any yarn, and the next row of transfers is selected (2). Second set of transfers is made to right (3) as first tuck row is preselected. LC is removed. KC tucks for 2 rows (4, 5), selecting first LC transfer row with the second pass.* Repeat. The marks on the left should indicate carriage movements for each carriage, but they are off as well in my version of the fabric. My final repeats were for use on the 910 with a mylar.

the pattern book swatch imagemy tuck swatch

Lace is a challenging enough fabric without adding weaving yarn floats, and definitely combining them requires a clear understanding of what the yarn is doing on the needle hooks as one progresses through the repeat. I will be starting a separate post reviewing card markings  in punchcard pattern books, and translating them for electronic use. For further information please see post on 589

I have always been interested in machine knitting hacks and began sharing information from the internet on the topic as early as 2013. I own the 910 Brother model, and when the ayab hack first became available, assembling electronic components was beyond my skill and interest. I have a good supply of mylars, but have always knit more complex fabrics on my E6000, which has the Croucher cable and switch box for download to and from a Windows laptop, using Wincrea .  I had known a preassembled kit for the 910 hack was in development from a trip to CA, which included a visit to the Bay Area Machine Knitting Guild  back in April 2016.  A recent post on Ravelry alerted me to the fact that Ayab was “alive and well”, and that an assembled kit is now available and on the market. The hardware kit developer , to purchase  , wiki , interface , install . My understanding is that the software is still being developed in Germany.
Online discussion groups:  Ravelry , Facebook.  My compiled list of online pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more: 5435

I have purchased a kit,  and will share my experiences with it as time passes. In addition to bypassing the mylar use, the idea of having software that will render  color separations that would normally have to be hand drawn for larger repeats than would be practical, or for complex fabrics, is an exciting one.

An artist whose work I admire, using the interface early on is Claire Williams , her tutorial  updated 2016 with DIY assembly of the original “kit”.

Taking knitting machines apart

Once in a while, beyond deep cleaning, even taking the machine apart may be needed. I tackled my own punchcard machine recently, here are photos of the action in progress
Needles now back in, needle retainer bar restoration left to go. In case you choose to tackle the process on your own, some clear instructions may be found at Knittsings for Brother machines , and on Susan Guagliumi’s blog for Studio brand

For folks that prefer videos Roberta Rose Kelly has a series of maintenance related ones on youtube.

Matching patterns across sweater body and sleeves


There is a resurgence of circular yokes on the runways and market at the moment. My previous post discussed some of the considerations in knitting them. For those not up to working that particular way, there are variation in carrying the patterns around the body in “continuous” lines.

If raglan shaping is used, angular lines are created where patterns meet. All knit is essentially vertical striping. Raglan shaping should match both front and back of sleeve, the wider the raglan shape, the less sharp the stripe intersection. Striping in a traditional cap sleeve creates designs that move horizontally across combined body and arm at rest.

When designing a sweater with a shaped sleeve cap, knit a sample of your stripe pattern. An online stripe generator can help visualize stripe formulas, color ways, etc. If knitting fair isle use row counts for FI pattern height for stripe placement. It is helpful to have a 1 row, 1 stitch graph to plot repeats out. It does not matter if the grid is square or rectangular, providing that vertical and horizontal numbers are based on your gauge. Draw a line from armhole point to armhole on both pattern and sleeve, and there is your match. Work stripe pattern up from armhole line for your cap,  down from line for sleeve repeats.

In my theoretical sweaters the sleeve’s wrist edge is technically below the armhole to waistline length, so stripes need to be plotted accordingly, from armhole down.  The same method is used if single motifs or other variations in striping are involved. For single motifs, if matching them in body and sleeve cap, begin by designing them so they fit in the cap’s crown. Place motif in body and sleeve on same line, and plan the remainder of the sweater calculating from the armhole as for stripes, basing placement on numbers of rows in each design segment.

A collection of references to visit online:
Ravellings on the knitted sleeve By Jenna Wilson
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATfall04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/FEATwin04TBP.html>
<http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/FEATwin05TBP.html>
math calculators for knitting
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knit-evenly-calculator/id370449748?mt=8
“magic formula” http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603triangle.aspx
http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603mfcalc.aspx#
http://www.getknitting.com/mk_0603frilled.aspx#

 

Machine knitting yarns info

More of my class notes, assembled from various sourcesThese guidelines  were provided for knitting using Jaggerspun yarns. I have no affiliation with the company. I do still continue to use some of lines, and have a great appreciation for all their yarns. Their wool used to be the required fiber in my knit labs at RISD until students began to understand some of the basics in stitch construction. I have permission from the company to share content. Superfine merino and zephyr wool silk are both 2/18.

Some yardage references: 2/24 = approximately 5500 to 6700 yards per pound
3/15 = approximately 2650 yards per pound
2/15 = approximately 3670 yards per pound

A few more bits:
fixed length of yarn spun from a specified weight of the material
1’s 1 spinning
1’s Yorkshire woolen 256  yards per pound
1’s linen 300  yards per pound
1’s worsted 500-560  yards per pound  primary standard for wool and acrylic
1’s cotton 840  yards per pound
1’s    spun silk840 yards per pound
2’s mean that twice the above length of yarn was spun from one pound of raw material

yardage reference: the first number refers to the number of plies twisted together to form the yarn, the larger the second number, the thinner the spun strand; conversely the smaller the second number, the thicker the diameter of the strand
yardage may vary with plies depending on mill and country where yarn is spun
2/24  5500 to 6700 yards per pound
3/15  2650 yards per pound  (530)
2/15  3670 yards per pound   (489)

in cotton  the markings are reversed
3/2 Cotton 3 x 840 ÷ 2 = 1,260 yards/pound
20/2 Cotton 20 x 840 ÷ 2 = 8,400 yards/pound
one standard for hand knitting yarn: gauge is per inch, not for a 10 X 10 cm or 4 X 4 inch swatch
fingering = 5 or 6,  knits approximately at 8 sts/12  rows per inch
sport weight yarn = 3 or 4, knits approximately at 6 sts/8 rows per inch
worsted yarn = 2, knits approximately at 4 sts/ 6 rows per inch
3/15 machine knitting yarn: the second number by the first = 5, so this would knit at approximately the same gauge as fingering weight

stranding math
2 strands  2/24 = 4/24 = 6 = fingering weight
3 strands  2/24 = 6/24 = 4 = sport weight
4 strands  2/24 = 8/24 = 3 = heavy sport weight
5 strands  2/24 =10/24 = 2.4 = close to worsted
6 strands  2/24 =12/24 = 2 = worsted

for more information and convenient conversions  for use in machine knitting see http://www.cara4webshopping.com/freebies_for_fun/yarn_weights.htm

the American Craft Council standard yarn weight system  is included in their PDF on standards and guidelines for crochet and knitting http://media.craftyarncouncil.com/files/CYC_YS_s_and_g_rev2015_6.pdf

Return to circles, knit “pies”, miters and spirals 4

I  have gotten used to seeing charts for crochet in the round, and prefer charts to written instructions in knitting as well. My hand knitting has usually been project oriented in terms of experimentation or exploration. Reviewing information provided by both Zimmermann and Thomas in their early publications has led me to new appreciation and admiration for their efforts and for the knowledge made available to their readers, and not just in their time.

Looking at the additional medallions by Mary Thomas, I thought I would play with attempting to illustrate them, some in rounds rather than individual wedges lining up flat with blank or greyed out squares between them. The first example is my imagined square medallion (straight, geometric), p. 239 in my Dover edition 1972, and created in Excel. The work is begun on 8 stitches, divided evenly among 4 needles, knitting with a fifth. The cast on is equal to double the number of sides of the square geometric shape, 4. A hexagon would begin with 12 (6X2), an octagon with 16 (8X2). In this instance the increases are arranged at the beginning and end of stitches on every needle.  When compiling information on machine knitting, I generally swatch to proof ideas. I am not planning on making accompanying samples or swatches for these.

I knit primarily on the machine, and prefer hand knitting on long straight needles as opposed to rounds, so I find myself often referring to counts as rows rather than rounds. For square medallions cast on 8 stitches, divided on 4 needles, knitting with a fifth. In all patterns after cast on row is divided, first round is knit in back of all stitches to flatten them. Stitch counts after increases sorted high to low are helpful when knitting from the outside edge in, and in that instance they become decreases. For the square medallions they are shown in that order, with counts for many more rounds than those in the illustrations. Beginning with the pentagon, they reflect stitch counts from the start of each segment shown.
The windmill medallion (square, p. 240) instructions given: beginning on round 6 “M1 into the second stitch from the beginning and the third stitch from the end of each needle. Continue thus on all even rounds”

The maltese cross medallion (square, p. 240) lines up the M1 increases side by side, in the center of each wedge. Increases are grouped together at the center of each of 4 needles in use may also be grouped on either side of 2 center stitches they may also be grouped on either side of 2 center stitches In a square medallion (bias, swirl, pp. 241-242) increases are placed on only one side, at the beginning of each wedge. Yarn overs are used to create eyelets for more ease when attempting to keep the square flat, and the increase round is to be repeated “as required”. If double yarn overs are used, drop the second yarn over on the next round. They are made before the stitch. Single increases are to be made each round. Here are the wedge shapes side by sidearound a center core For a pentagonal medallion (pp. 242-43) cast on 10 stitches divided evenly, or as number of segments increase, work 2 sections or more on any one needle. For the swirl double yarn overs may be needed to keep the work flat. Thinner yarns may require additional knit rows between increases. Stitch counts For hexagonal medallions (p. 243) cast on 12  stitches, two sections are placed on each of three needles, knitting is done with a fourth. Each increase round will add 12 stitches; 2 or possibly even 3 rounds may be needed between each increase row to keep the shape flat. STS column reflects their number after increases have been made 
The hexagonal medallion swirl (p. 243) is shown using both M1 and YO increases. Here the rate of increase in rounds is slower than above (2 per needle as opposed to 4), so increase rounds are separated by only one row knitThe octagonal medallions (pp.244-245) are cast on 16 stitches, divided on 4 needles and knit with a fifth. To make a smaller center hole, 8 stitches may be cast on, doubled on the next round, and then divided. The first geometric medallion shows increases (4 per segment, 16 per round) in single rounds, requiring several knitting rounds between the increases. The second medallion uses more frequently (2 per segment, 8 per round), so single all knit rows separate roundsFor the octagonal medallion swirl  (p.245) directions are the same as for the hexagonal one, with a 4th segment providing extra sidesIf the perimeter or circumference of the shape to be knit are known, the process may be reversed from the edge in, with decreases replacing increases. The advantage to working from the center out is that adjustments i.e. extra knit rows between increases, changing increases to yarn over(s) for added ease or decoration, etc. may be made far more easily as the work grows. Considerations should be given to leans of M1 stitches so they point in opposite directions on alternating sides. Motif and pattern placement can only be planned after these building units have been sorted out.

Two online guides for increases in hand knitting and their results:
http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/index.php/component/content/article/35-features/1041-increasing-your-options
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter09/FEATwin09TT.php

another variation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIy0LtyIH2s

Return to circles, knit “pies” 3

Elizabeth Zimmermann provided guidelines for circular shawls in her books and publications, including “Knitting Workshop”. For a basic pi shawl (p. 112, Schoolhouse Press, 1984) the assumption is that each section is twice as deep as the previous section and has twice as many stitches. Below CO row represents cast on stitches if the work is to begin from the center out, Column A the row count on which the increases take place, column B the number of rows knit just prior to increase row (A-1), and C the number of rows available for any planned repeat (A-2), thse are constants. The columns directly below each cast on (CO) number (orange) counts represent the number of stitches when increases are complete. The stitch count doubles when the number of rounds has doubled.Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns, Dover 1972, p.p. 245-247 provides guidelines for circular medallions. She calls her first a “disc” medallion. In executing it the aim is to scatter increases so they are less visible and do not form spokes. Four stitches are cast on, with 4 stitches increased in the total count every other row. The number of stitches between M1s increases by one on every other row. My chart happens to read from left to right. As with any knitting in the round, the process may be reversed, starting at the circumference and moving toward center. I personally like charts to help visualize results, and have revised her counts in the illustration below so increases are at the same rate, but placed a bit differently within the rows. On rows with even numbers between decreases, start row with half that number of knit stitches before the first increase. Because one is knitting in the round, with knit side facing, all rows are knit. If the work were knit on 2 needles, knitting every row would produce garter stitch.what happens if increases “line up”For her circular “radiant” medallion after the first 2 rows increases are made every 4th round. My chart is renumbered excluding the first 2 rows, so the increase rounds would occur on numbers divisible by 4, making it easier for tracking them. Each “building” round increases the number of stitches by 16.

In her “target” circular medallion, the building increases are arranged in concentric circles. Each increase row begins with a M1. Once RC 20 is reached, a stitch is added between increases on each increase round. This chart reflects the knitting progress, but not the shape. STS column on right reflects the total number of stitches after increases have been made. Each building round after RC 6 increases the count by 32. Formulas for more, varied geometry based medallions are also offered in the book.  I finally “discovered” actually using formulas in Excel! The video that clearly and quickly helped me learn how to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFVkSnGgZZclooking at the flow in table form for the first 2 medallions

These formulas do not take into account changes in gauge, or stitch type within bands. For similar shapes to be achieved in machine knitting, the number of transfers would be prohibitive. In order to achieve similar shapes one begins with the radius of the finished circle and the shapes in the family may be knit sideways, using holding.

Handknitters can work with 4 double pointed needles, one or 2 (or more) circular needles, and crocheters can follow similar shaping methods. The advantage to long circulars is less bunching up as the work grows, and if you like working flat or want to try the garment on while shaping it, you can use more than one long needle, making the piece or the try on manageable. Working from the top down when knitting such shapes may give one more control over the size of the finished piece i.e.. on length of body and sleeves, height between bands, extending a yoke into a shoulderette or cape. Stitch pattern size and repeats add to the math calculations. Garter stitch is the only hand knit stitch that approaches a square gauge, could be used in combination with patterned bands.

The charted patterns above rely on M1 to increases. Yarn overs may be used for decorative holes at increase points. If preferred, the hole may be diminished by twisting the stitch when picking it up on the next round.

When knitting in stripes, the “jog” at the color change in knitting can be eliminated by slipping the old color purl-wise, and starting to knit the second stitch. TECHknitting provides more alternatives in her posts: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/01/jogless-stripes.html
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2011/03/jogless-stripes-pretty-picture-version.html. For a method using yarn ends and a needle when yarn is cut http://imgur.com/a/NREsH.

For shawl shapes and their geometry using YO increases, see the posts and publications by Holly Chayes.

To start it all from center out: I am used to doing the magic loop cast on with a crochet hook, and then moving on from there, Kitty Falol shows it worked with DPNs.