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”. 

 

Pretend/ mock cables 3

WORK IN PROGRESS

A facebook group query brought up the possibility of creating cables in an “easier, quicker” way than by crossing stitches by hand. Over the years different authors have suggested a “sewn” method for pulling stocking stitch columns together in order to achieve the cabled effect. The illustrations are usually of the work done on a ribbed fabric, but it also may be achieved in simple stocking stitch, with ladders marking the edges of the mock cable, and providing a visual line to follow and count spaces when smocking the fabric up. The width of each column, the yarn fiber content, and personal preferences will determine the success” of the results.

I was reminded of “magic cables”, a technique made popular years ago in a copyrighted pattern series by Ricky Mundstock, ie this one from 1969 (illustrated online). The concept originated in a Japanese publication years before, relies on hooking up tuck loops to create the cable like effects.

I tend not to knit from published patterns, set out to understand what makes the fabric work in theory, and then sort out whether I have other preferences of my own for creating it. I began to experiment with a totally random tuck card. Tuck is chosen for the background  because it is short and fat, giving the taller all knit rows for the “cables” the possibility of an additional gather, adding to their depth. I chose a purely random repeat, which is a good way to start for DIY if hesitant on the process. White squares will not be selected, will tuck for 2 rows, have a knit stitch (black dot in card) on each side of them. Max on Brother, unless using very thing yarn would be white bars single square in width, 4 rows in height (yes, there can be exceptions on rare occasions)

The card is cropped to the 24 X 44 stitch in width and height for the repeat to be worked in electronics. The area colored blue on far right indicates possible all knit rows for hooking up “cables” during knitting, mustard color indicates ladders created by an out of work needle on each side of the central, all knit column. The ladders make it easier to identify each all knit column. The tape over holes idea does not work for masking a punchcard, since that blue area would need to be all punched holes. The tape over would result in “unpunched” ones.

This takes the revised card single repeat and indicates some quick possibilities for altering it

I added 2 more stitches to establish a slightly different pattern. The grab form my work in Numbers was then opened in gimp and scaled to 26X44 for the possible knitting pattern. If working with black and white squares, the image will need to be colored reverse for knitting. I abandoned this repeat for my final swatches in favor of keeping markers for hooking stitches up along the all knit column inside the ladders as opposed to the knit body of the remaining shapes. Here the non selected needles are placed along the knit column itself, on alternating sides. The final repeat after correcting a pixel error I discovered while knitting:Ayab does not repeat across the horizontal row, each stitch in the width you are planning to knit needs to be programmed. For a test swatch I decided to work with programmed 72 stitches (knit on fewer). This would be the downloadable file

 magnified and gridded to visually check again prior to knittingThis is what is seen by the knitter when the image is loaded, 

but any image loaded is automatically flipped/ mirrored horizontally by the software. Direction may not matter in the overall pattern, but here we have needles out of work, which if selected on the basis of what is seen as opposed to what is knit, would be in the wrong location. First preselection row is also only possible from left to right. The easiest way to empty the proper needles is to do a transfers after that row, to either side, restoring needle selection prior to continuing to knit. Also, since there are needles out of work, end needle selection is cancelled (KCII).

In my first swatch I tried the idea of hooking up stitches in opposite directions, but was not pleased with the result, wanted to reduce the amount of hand manipulation involved. In the later swatch I hooked up every other selection onto the same side. Arrows here indicate direction, not proper needle position. 

Alternating side hooking up with some yarn and needle change issues Hooking up to one side only was quicker to execute and appeared more pleasing to me. Both swatches had blips from an errant pixelSteps in knitting the above fabric. The actual knitting will happen with what is shown as the repeat with white pixels on the dark ground, seen looking at the center vertical all knit column of the repeat when knitting the fabric. Allow the non selected needle on the left side of the column to tuck, providing a marking row for picking up stitches, knit until the needle on the right side of the column is not selected. Prior to knitting across that row pick up the tucked loop and stitch on the left side 
Lift both loops up onto the non selected needle on the right side of the column, bring that needle all the way out to hold (three yarn loops in hook)

Continue knitting until the next non selected needle in the column appears once again on the right, pick up from below left marking spot and repeat. For DIY insert all knit columns on your chosen repeat, and proceed as above.

Visualizing possibilities: chart for side by side columns actions on purl side is shown. The black columns with arrows coupled with photos show the direction of the hook ups in the back, purl side of the fabric, and  potential “cables” as seen on knit side using the column repeat illustrated above. 



This is a garter stitch version found on Pinterest 

Numbers to GIMP to create images for electronic download

WORK IN PROGRESS

I am a member of a few facebook groups, recently joined the img2track one out of curiosity and wanting to explore the possibilities of an interface other than an Ayab/910 from kit, which  has proven to be of limited use to me. I have been charting original patterns and color separations for years, first in Excel and occasionally and now exclusively using Mac Numbers.  Up to last December, entering designs for knitting on my 910 was limited to filling in squares carefully one at a time or small blocks and lines on mylar sheets in order to knit the repeats designed in charts in either program. Working with small, individual repeats and filling cells one at a time or in limited groups in GIMP to create duplicate pattern downloads was an easy transition out of sheer habit.  A FB group member, Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram  (shared with her permission) that sparked a light bulb moment. I began to explore using the method in her share on files available in other printed materials and punchcard collections, wondering about those lace cards with so few holes that can go awry when building from scratch in order to download. Often I use Scanner pro (rather than a scanner) on my phone, save images in black and white, share them via photos, and open them up on my Mac for further editing. Full size scanner saves of 60X150 patterns may be found at bottom of post.

The first repeat was from 

I happen to own a hard copy. The book offers endless repeats that might be adapted for knitting FI. They are categorized by height and width, so even punchcard owners can find whole pages of workable repeats.  Another group member shared the link to the pub for online browsing https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofweav00poss 

I have written several previous posts on using GIMP,  including use of the tiling option to visualize how groups of repeats line up prior to any actual knitting. The enlarged, gridded image would be the final repeat, reduced in size, grid gone, ready for download in required image format. 
A chart from my blog got converted with a few keystrokes and commands. The image is converted to B/W, then scaled to stitch and row proportions

From self drawn mylar, with a subsequent one pixel correction

From colored repeats in Brother electronic collections: with some color adjustment after a first attempt that would have required some clean up of pixels, the conversion and scaling are easily achieved. The originals were designed on a rectangular grid, within blocks defined 6 wide by 10 tall

the repeat tiled, for an added visual check 

From a Brother electronic lace publication a simple BW bitmap conversion followed by scaling (60X120 repeat). The appearance of difference in width is due to the fact that the published image is on a rectangular grid, the bitmapped on a square one 

If the electronic published repeat appears to have the core of the cells outlined clearly in white something to try: reduce to indexed BW, use bucketful to remove as many gridlines as possible, scale to appropriate repeat (24X48), edit the result

A “straightforward” conversion for a repeat from a scanned punchcard with its darkest black line removed 

and one from a BW punchcard reference pub 

My last post on working with numbers to create knit charts includes info on creating tables, working with cells, keyboard commands, and more

 using the combined programs

Things also got more complicated again, when I tried to work with a lace repeat from an electronic pattern book. The straightforward method resulted in an unworkable image. Part of the problem may result from varied densities of lines in the original, its cells not being fully filled in (ie dots in squares or rectangles), and illustration with units in a rectangular rather than square format, so they do not scale properly in a ratio of 1 pixel per row and stitch.  After isolating the repeat, I for this repeat I entered it in numbers with the plan to superimpose a table grid over the repeat and fill in squares/cells where needed. Cell borders may be created in varied thicknesses and colors, and are easily changed or removed altogether. Having a red cell border to superimpose on image made the process significantly easier for me. In the middle section the red border is switches to a significantly lighter one, and lining up the repeat beside the images helps one visually check for any errors. In the bottom row the image is shown magnified after scaling, gridded in the magnified version again to check the repeat against the original. 

Another lace image with table cell margins adjusted, and a reminder that borders may be in any configuration or color that makes it visually easier for you to proceed with filling in cells that correspond to black squares in the original image 

The steps in progress, with the processed image ready to knit,  shown in magnified, gridded final GIMP scaled repeat on far right. With a bit of familiarity with both programs, this process is far faster  than any counting and filling in of pixels one at a time 

This lace card was not cautiously cropped at top and bottom edges, the final repeat when scaled is shown first, with obvious errors, but workable when done “the long way” from the same image or hand edited

Taking the time for a more careful crop for another card and easy peasy: crop, open in GIMP, convert to bitmapped BW image, scale to stitch and row count of original repeat (in this instance 24X56), verify gridded by GIMP in magnified image version, then save for download in reduced size

GIMP magnified and gridded final repeat above on left, one obtained working the “long way” between programs to its right

Conversions issues may happen also when there are large areas of black squares, or working with color adjustments or with the option to “photocopy” in GIMP in images that do not translate cleanly  

Working with repeats that do not convert easily using both programs: the greater the number of squares or dots, the slower the process, but ultimately faster than counting then and entering them one at a time. In Numbers, create a table that will be superimposed onto the desired repeat. I like to work in cells that are 24 X 24 points. Columns are marked in letters, so 24 is 2 letters short of the full # of letters in alphabet (X), and row counts are numbered top down on left and easily adjusted. Lace repeats would be the easiest to translate, as they are likely to have the lowest number of cells that will require to be filled in. The cell borders may be created in any color. To my eye the red grid made it easier for me to view its lines when superimposed on the black image. The BW center image was then dragged/dropped into the numbers sheet. Checking via the table format arrange option, the table was shown to be 553 X 1440. The image arrange option showed my black and white image to be adjusted visually by me using corner handles to 496 to 1440. On the far right, the BW image is in turn adjusted to match point values for the table. Check your typing, adjust accordingly. Here my width on right is actually 3 points off.  

Drag and position table onto BW image. Use image format arrange to move image to back of table (box to left below “Style”). Magnify screen to easier working view by adjusting the zoom. It may be helpful to alter some row heights or column widths to get a cleaner view and matching cells to be filled in to dots (center). Click on any row or column, adjust by in turn clicking on up or down arrows that correspond to their respective size. Using command click and color fill options, cell fill on top of the black dots. When done, or to check periodically, table may be slid off the image and back on if needed.

With the table completed, if any columns or rows have been altered in with or height, choose from menu to distribute rows and columns evenly, restoring all square units. 

Change border selection to light, thinner color, capture image and save as png.  Load image in GIMP, convert to BW bitmap, scale to 24 by 60, save in downloadable format. Results are magnified in GIMP final images on the right. Showing grid allows an added visual check if preferred, against the original repeat.

The final repeat tiled, as opposed to punchcard repeat tiled helped me see one missing square I found bothersome, an easy editthe culprit marked in red

The easiest conversion of all? a full page factory mylar sheet. Here is one for lace with a simple adjustment of sharpness and contrast, magnified, and with superimposed rectangular grid after converting to BW bitmap for saving 

to then discover that the blue grid disappears in a quick mode change to indexed in this factory mylar. The images on the far right are again the magnified scaled image, and shown with a superimposed rectangular grid to check match against the original crop 

Rethinking those dark cards: this is a partial repeat grabbed from Pinterest, the image was loaded into GIMP, color inverted, the threshold was adjusted while in RGB mode. The adjoining 2 images show the magnified, scaled, indexed image and its color reverse. When working in RGB mode choose color invert, and when working in indexed mode, choose value invert for color reversal of the image and its ground. Other image adjustments may require toggling between the 2 modes. The bottom pair of images indicate menu location for adjusting grid size and color, and the magnified, scaled image now with a GIMP single pixel grid is also shown
This method however, did not work for flower ? thread lace motif (partial repeat) or the FI repeat. That said in the days of glitched knits, perhaps executed in DBJ accidents such as this could make for interesting experiments or transitions. Here we have the original not planned result, followed by some flipping horizontally and vertically, then resized. There usually is no right or wrong, and it is important to find one’s own voice and the tools required to express it.

my favorite glitch textile artist: Phillip Stearns

Knit charting using Mac Numbers

from 2012, Numbers 3.2.2: printing graph paper to desired cell dimensions

I chose to change preference for rulers to point units (options are for centimeters, inches and points). Online conversion between units of measurement and PostScript points may be calculated (if needed) using calculators ie.
http://www.unitconversion.org/unit_converter/typography.html

default cell size in cm and points

Click on table at top of your document screen, to right of function icon; select first choice on left, second row

a place to start

Uncheck alternating rows on sidebar at right

Click anywhere on screen, use command all to select all table cells. Choose row and column size, typing in your desired values or using arrows provided, hit return.

Click anywhere on table to get additional markings to appear again. With your mouse, grab and drag the Add or remove rows and columns button symbol on bottom right and all units on sheet will be resized to displayed measurements

as you do so you will also have the benefit of viewing the number of rows and columns in your document.

For thicker, darker,or even differed colored and types of lines changes are easily made working with borders menus

Clicking on any cell leaves only your graph; selecting print from your file menu prints exactly what appears as the sheet number chosen , and /or have saved; additional adjustment options are offered on right

Click on white part of your sheet, only your chart will be viewable and ready for printing. If a PDF is desired, choose Export to -> PDF from file menu.

The last online manual for numbers 09 is available here. The program has changed significantly in appearance and in some of its functions since then.

I have been exploring numbers out of necessity since upgrading my Mac to the latest OS, thus losing availability to Office, and therefore to Excel. I recently published a post using Numbers for color separations in knits , and decided to attempt to explore the program further. Here I am reviewing and sharing some of the process and information I now use in creating my blog’s knit charts. There is no recent, full manual for the program.

The format bar that may be familiar to users of older versions 

 

the Graphic inspector 

Tips immediately below are extracted from Online apple support  Numbers 5.0.   

A list of keyboard shortcuts edited by me for use with colored cells

“Undo” restores previous state, may be used multiple times to reverse several steps. Redo will cancel it. The program autosaves. The option “revert changes” when closing the program erases all changes since its previous launch session. “Revert to” under file menu offers an opportunity to browse previous saves and restore them, similar to using time machine in older versions of the program and Mac OS.

Frequently there are more options for achieving any desired result.

Building a knit chart: choose a default table from

Use format table in

  1. In the Format page1image1768000 sidebar to right of document to change features such as table name, headers, footers, as well as colors, and row and column size,

or click anywhere in table and select all  (Command A), choose no fill option on right to remove any default colors
Choose a border color and line weight. If accustomed to working with black as a color in your chart building , starting off with a colored border will make the black cells easier to count. The change may be made at any stage of design

Determine column and row size using format cell menu on side bar at right. I tend to work in cell size 24-29 pt square shapes. These values may be easily adapted if one chooses to draw in knit proportioned cells for more closely approaching gauge or estimating elongation in fabrics such as DBJ. Border colors may be also be adjusted or changed at any point, globally,  for single lines, or to outline blocks of cells. Clicking on a column tab “letter” and dragging its border on one side or the other will change its width, and the new point value is visible on a shape with a black ground while doing so.  Top or bottom drag a “number” in the tab for rows at left for column height changes and viewing the changing value display. Undo will revert the change.

Review for basics for enlarging the table with cells with no fills: reference tab numbers on left may be used to refer to rows. Reference tab letters at top may be used to refer to columns. Drag the table handle the Table handle to move the table. Click the column handle the Add Column button to add one column, drag it to add multiple columns. Click the row handle the Add Row button to add one row, drag it to add multiple rows. It is not necessary to press shift while dragging either symbol for multiple adds. Drag the column and row handle the Add or remove rows and columns button to the right to add columns, down for rows, and diagonally to add columns and rows at the same time. Reference tabs are active while chart is being worked on. They disappear if any area outside the table is clicked on. Creating a chart initially larger than the planned design, offers a larger field to “draw on” to start with. 

To draw shapes in color: click on cell, choose your color 1 from menu on right by clicking on rectangle to the right of “fill”

To copy cells within a table, or to another table, drag the selected cells while holding down the option key. You can also copy cells by selecting them, choosing Edit > Copy (Command C), selecting destination cells, and then choosing Edit > Paste (Command V). You can also paste a cell’s content into multiple cells, which don’t have to be adjacent to the copied cell or to each other. After copying a cell, select the destination cells and choose Edit > Paste. The cell’s contents are copied to all the destination cells, in the same or another table, replacing any existing content. An alternative way to draw motifs in different colors: holding down command key select cells that will compose the desired shape

choose the current fill color again to fill the outlined areas

adding a second color: click on cell, choose second fill color

hold down command, select cells for new shape

color fill

repeat with color 3, and continue on

Not enough columns or rows for your motif?  Click on the Add Column buttontop right or on the Add Row button bottom left will copy and add the previous column or row including content to clear unwanted filled cells in the added field, select column or row from tab reference letters (columns) or numbers (rows), choose “fill” as no fill

To insert multiple rows or columns at once: Anywhere in the table, select a number of rows or columns equal to the number of rows or columns you want to insert, “click the arrow” next to one of the selected row numbers or column letters, then choose Add Rows Above or Add Rows Below (or Add Columns Before or Add Columns After). The arrows are visible as you hover or click in either tab, seen more easily when working in larger magnification, and often clicked on while unaware of doing so in lower magnifications 

Alternately, click on table and in turn click and drag the Add or remove rows and columns buttonat bottom right up, down, left or right for further adjustments to total number of available cells,or simply repeat the fill in the selected column or row along with creating the added cells, and select areas to remove any unwanted color. In some instances the added colored cells could serve as a deliberate design feature

Adding columns and rows above or below and columns before or after using table menu. Options are greyed out until a row or column is selected. 

options also appear when you click on arrow in row or column reference tabs

Adding specific rows above or below can help scale coordinated designs. To add rows after a particular row, make sure the bottom row selected is the one after which you want the new rows added; to add rows before a particular row, make sure the top row selected is the one before which you want the new rows added. Then choose Table > Add Rows Above or Table > Add Rows Below,

or use keyboard shortcuts to add a row above a selected cell, press Option-Up Arrow. To add a row below a selected cell, press Option-Down Arrow. To add a row at the end of the table, press Return while the last cell is selected. To add a column after a selected cell, press Option-Right Arrow. To add a column before a selected cell, press Option-Left Arrow. To add columns after a particular column, make sure the rightmost column selected is the one after which you want the new columns added; to add columns before a particular column, make sure the leftmost column selected is the one before which you want the new columns added. Then choose one of the commands above. You can also use the Tab key to add a column to the right side of the table.

To delete a single row or column, hold the pointer over the row or column reference tab to see the menu arrow, and then choose Delete Row or Delete Column from the pop-up menu.
To delete several adjacent rows or columns, select the rows or columns and then choose Delete Selected Rows or Delete Selected Columns from the pop-up menu of a selected row’s or column’s reference tab.
To delete empty rows, drag the lower-left Row handle  the Add Row button up or drag the lower-right Column handle the Add or remove rows and columns buttonup.
To remove rows with content, hold down the Option key while dragging.
To delete empty columns, drag the upper-right Column handle on the Add Column buttoninward.
To remove columns with content, hold down the Option key while dragging.
Moving a cell or groups of cells: select and choose group by using cell handles or commands, immediately click on the same selection again, and it drag to new position within the same table. Moving the selection outside the table, onto a blank portion of the sheet creates a new table.

Having a large table area to work on allows for copying and pasting repeats in different configurations. 

Added ways of working with cell groups: to select adjacent table cells, select a single cell, and then hold down the Shift key as you select adjacent cells. You can also click a cell, press, and then drag its handles through a range of cells. As seen above, to select nonadjacent table cells, hold down the Command key as you select cells. Continue to hold key, and use Command-click to deselect any cell in the group.

Adding, copying, and pasting tables or portions of them. Clicking on the + beside sheet # will create a new default table, on a new sheet, a new sheet of “graph paper”.

Tables and their data may be copied and pasted from one sheet onto another, or in the same sheet. To add a new table in the same sheet from available templates click the Table button in the toolbar, then click a table or drag one to the sheet. Reviewing process once more: Move the table: Click the table, then drag the Table handle in its top-left corner. Add or remove rows: Click the table, then drag the Add Row button in its bottom-left corner down or up. Resize the table: Click the table, click the Table handle in its top-left corner, then shift-drag the white square in its bottom-right corner to resize the table proportionally. Change the alternating row color setting: Click the table; in the Format  sidebar, click the Table tab; then deselect or select Alternating Row Color. (To choose a different color, click the color well.). Change the look of the new table: Click the table, then use the controls in the Table tab of the sidebar to make changes, such as adding a table outline or changing the table font size. To delete the table click the table, click the table handle in its top-left corner, then press Delete on your keyboard. An alternative way to create a new table matching presets is to copy a blank segment of one of your existing tables and paste them, adding and subtracting more blank squares, or even to copy a full table with color designs, and simply remove color fill after pasting.

Selecting a portion of a table that contains graphics and choosing copy and paste will reproduce the selected portion as a new table, usually at the upper left of the sheet, sometimes on top of a preexisting table.  When working on large charts, the pasted table may be “hard to find”. Reducing magnification to 25% sometimes makes that easier, since larger sheet area then comes into view. Clicking on any tables and dragging on the the table handle at their upper left allows one to move the contents to its desired location.

Fine tuning table size and positions may also be achieved by changing values in the size and position sidebar format options. Click on arrows for default size moves, or click in respective value boxes and type in the desired number, hit return 

Some of my tables have table 1 above the graphics, some not. That can be changed by clicking on the table name box in the format table menu 

or click the table, Control-click the row number for row 1, then choose Hide Table Name or Show Table NameTriple-click the name at the top of the table, then type a new name to to rename it. Keeping a “name” helps track versions such as when working in color separations, where a whole table is repeated and altered in series of steps while preserving the previous one. Below a table segment is selected, copied and pasted as a new table. The new table is moved into position next to the original. To combine the tables in order to create a new design, choose arrange from the format menu. In this instance I chose to position the new table by clicking on it and selecting the back paste option. Once you click on a blank part of the sheet, the table tabs will disappear. The tables are visually merged, but in fact remain separate tables, each of which can be moved, resized, added to, and otherwise altered. 

It is also possible when working on 2 tables to select and cut out a segment or more. Below, the table with the cut out window is moved onto its unaltered table twin and shifted up (note numbers on right, and red border segments) 

A different “table” with same cell dimensions, may also be dragged and placed under (or over) the “cut” portion of the first. My placement here is slightly off intentionally to show table placements for under/ in back  

and placement over/ in front  

To screen grab tables with row, column tabs, and corner bullet markings click on any individual table cell (note the outlined cell with handle markings upper left and lower right), and use shift-command-4 to select area for save.  For a multiple table grouping, hold the shift key while clicking anywhere in any single cell contents of multiple tables, and while still holding shift, add command-4 commands, select and save. Clicking anywhere outside the tables on the “sheet” results in tabs and bullets disappearing. Click on any cell in any table again, to move it, or make any other adjustments needed.

Any table may be adjusted to accommodate adding text, shapes, or to expand on instructions.  Working with shapes merits its own, separate discussion.

My favorite font, used in most of my charts that begin to address specific fabrics such as lace by adding symbols,  is no longer available for distribution. For more on symbols and fonts see post

 

Charting knits using Mac Numbers: color separations 2

This is not intended as a full tutorial, it presumes there is some familiarity with concepts for charting knits or proportioned graph paper using spreadsheets. I am sharing some of my recent explorations using the latest version of Numbers version 5.01 in Mac High Sierra 10.13+ OS. To my knowledge there are no other specific directions for using the program for this purpose. As I progressed through the separations below, I “found” new ways to deal with cell selections and table properties. At some point I will work on a expanding the original post on drawing motifs (Numbers 3.2.2).

The command key has become my new friend. In my past experience using excel I found limited ways to work with designing motifs and working with color in cell groups. When working on the design for 3 colors per row slip stitch for a segment of this post, I found holding down the command key while drawing makes clicking on cells and selecting them sequentially, to be akin to using a pencil/ paint bucket  option in paint programs. The process is significantly faster than other steps I have tried. This image is the intended, final one Working on the table: the areas selected holding down the command key and in turn clicking on chosen cells sequentially are outlined. They were color filled with blue for my chart. The one extra square “error” in the center of the motif was dealt with individually, and changed in the subsequent color selection. For a screen grab with table markings, a cell must still be highlighted. If it is not, only the selected cell contents are captured. 

In a post I wrote in 2012 I referenced a splitting cells features which disappeared in later version of the software. These options for working with rows and columns are available. The highlighted row will be duplicated, one row at a time, a slower process than simply splitting cells. A positive feature is that an individual table may be changed while still within view of other tables on a single sheet, without globally affecting the document.It is possible to create blank rows between design ones. Though the results from such charting are not capable of being downloaded directly into knitting software, they are a good way to sort out repeats and begin understand and create any necessary color separations. By holding the command key, rows on the table can be be highlighted and hidden as a group. I chose all even numbered rows. The repeat then is drawn. When it is complete, rows originally targeted for hiding are “unhidden”, leaving the design motif with a blank row between each design row, at twice its length. Hiding could take place at irregular intervals as well.

Putting theories into practiceDOUBLE BED 

QUILTING: in terms of applying the technique, the first charts are based on a quilting post that created this example using other software

I had a 14 row motif in mind, so I created a table 28 rows in height, twice that of the motif. While holding down the command key I clicked on all odd numbered rows, and hid the 14 highlighted rows. I then drew the motif on the collapsed chart in the reduced number of rows. When it was completely filled in 2 colors, I used the option to unhide rows, having the expanded graph now 28 rows in height

On the left is the 2 color “basic” chart. You will notice it is missing a blank row at its top. Check to be sure that the expanded image has that space, it is needed for that last row of color 2 (blue) to move up. In the center, by clicking on each blue square and then clicking on it again and “dragging”, I moved each square immediately above its spot, on the matching location in the blank row. I like to work with black and white squares before drawing bitmaps or other formats for download, so the image on the far right has all colored squares reduced to black and white ones. I filled them in in Gimp using the paint bucket on a screen grab of the color separation, but it may also be done in Numbers (see below)

DOUBLE JACQUARD COLOR SEPARATION: this table was part of the review of color separation methods reviewed in a previous postFor the first method: testing using a simple shape, 8 stitches by 8 rows, create table 16 rows in height by 8 columns (stitches) in width. Hold command key, click on odd number rows, choose hide 8 rows from table menu, resulting in reduced 8 row height. After the motif is drawn on the reduced table size, the odd numbered rows are then unhidden. Next, fill in any squares in the restored rows that are empty in the row below, where markings already exist. This may be done all in one color, but I used green for the purpose of illustration. The image on the far right may then be entered into an imaging program ie GIMP for download, drawn as is. The choice follows as to whether to double it the file in height prior to programming the machine, or choosing software options for double height after loading it if that is a function of your knitting softwareThis image is from a previous post on DBJ separations for punchcard machines using the same size repeat and mirrored (punchcards reverse the image), offered as proof of conceptThe second method is for the color separation that knits each color for each row only once: the motif can be drawn in black and white. The sequence is different than for above. Rows are hidden in pairs above row 1 (16 in table left), then the repeat is drawn in black squares only. Adding a column with numbers for each row in the original provides added cues, and follow with the changes in tables. The rows are “unhidden”, resulting in the completed separation for color 1. Color 2 (in different colors in center chart for purposes of illustration): on first blank row, (odd row numbers for color 2) fill in squares empty in the row below, on the second blank row, fill in all squares empty in row above (even numbered rows for color 2). On the right is the repeat ready to be drawn for download. 

Drop stitch lace, one color, partial repeat inspired from post , 10 rows in height vs 9:  beginning with table 20 rows in height, repeat is drawn with hidden rows (markings on left), in addition design row numbers are added in a column on right expanded design revealing hidden rows, black squares ready to be programmed 

ONE REPEAT, 2 FABRICS once again, beginning with a repeat from a previous post DBJ with each design row knitting twice, no elongation: each design row needs to be expanded into 4 rows of knitting. The first table is drawn with table rows and design rows matching 

Starting at the top, using the option key and the down arrow, the chart is expanded by using the down arrow three times before moving onto the next row and repeating the command. Any errors in single rows are easily edited. I have added the green cells on the right to represent the alternate 2 rows of color 1, making it easier to keep an eye on rows as chart is edited further

holding down the command key, it is possible to perform the same action in multiple rows 

I began by eliminating the red on rows marked with green cells, leaving only the black in those rows. Copying and pasting the chart with each step provides a continuing visual check and may avoid restarts. In the center chart black has been eliminated from rows (with no color cells on far right) containing red. Lastly, red cells are changed to black for the final pattern repeat.

DROP STITCH LACE IN 2 COLORS: my original separation

Today’s much quicker method, using the all black chart from the DBJ separation for the repeat on the far right and the command key again, I selected odd numbered rows from the bottom up, and removed the fill. The results match the ones from the previous method 

Three color per row slip stitch: the method is the same as for 3 colors per row DBJ. The separation from my previous post

the repeat and its companion table:

6 rows are required to complete a single row of the design. These charts get very long. I chose to work first with each design row repeated twice, and then followed the same process as for the 2 color per row separation, including reducing the cells to all black. As one advances up the table, color markings on the far right indicate the single color that is to remain in that row. Hold down the command key, and select for removing fill in as many areas as comfortable. The magnified images with tables lining up side by side provide a visual check. For screen grabs such as these, the individual tables may be moved to front or back of others by using the arrange feature in the format menus. The black and white squares would be converted to punched holes in a card (as is) or pixels. On either machine, they require elongation X2 for use with the color changer. Again, the increase in length may be achieved prior to download in your paint program, or automatically in software or KM that has the feature built in. To elongate the image on the right use option and down arrow if starting from the top. I added design row numbers on the right of the table to help track the process. Clicking on those numbers performs the same action as doing so on row numbers generated by the software when creating the tables. At left is the repeat in process, on the right the final one. Note: the numbers 6 and 7 are sequential on the left, an error, with no empty cell vertically between them. It is easy to see which row is not elongated, and to make the correction seen in the image to the right. 

SINGLE BED

It helps to have some understanding of rules for creating fabrics such as mazes and mosaics prior to designing your own. The color separation can be a tedious one. I have previously worked out the repeats in paint programs. This method is far quicker, but there are still lots of pixels that need to be entered in software for download or squares that need to be punched. There are very interesting results that can happen by using pre punched factory supplied punchcards. Any of the same designs may be worked both single and double bed, but the topic here is for a diy approach to the separation for suitable designs

MOSAICS 2 WAYS: I previously posted on drawing motifs, and moving from design to pattern. Here again, I am starting with an 8 stitch repeat. The first method results in a repeat suitable for use with electronics. The repeat then in turn needs to have its colors inverted, and is programmed to knit double length. Color changes will occur every 2 rows. The original motif is on the left, shown with hidden rows on the right. The expanded table is 16 rows in height, double the row height of the original repeat (8). Hide odd numbered rows, and fill in your motif. (Note table row markings as opposed to design repeat row markings)
On the expanded graph, with unhidden rows, on odd numbered design repeat marked rows, fill in empty squares with another color. Follow that by in turn removing any black squares in that same row. Hide rows to collapse the shape, resulting in the top image on the far right. The bottom right chart repeat illustrates pixels that would need to be programmed. The setting is slip stitch on the main bed <– –>. With color reverse, the now white squares will knit, the now black squares will slip.

Punchcard knitters need to punch the majority of squares. That are manually  accomplishing the task automated by color reversing the repeat in electronics. This fabric is knit at double length, with color changes every 2 rows. The alternate color now fills in empty squares on even numbered design repeat marked rows in the expanded table. Black squares are removed from those same rows. Hide blank rows. Bottom right chart shows stitches that will be knitting, white squares will be slipping. 

EXPERIMENTING WITH LARGER DESIGNS I began with an image used in one of my earlier posts on topic, worked through the whole process and realized at the end of it that my repeat was technically 23, not 24 stitches wide, so it was back to the drawing board for the separation once again with the now counted and marked 24 stitch repeat. Tiling is a quick and easy process using gimp, and these repeats should be checked as those for any other type of fabric.

The newly corrected repeat (center) was then drawn onto a table twice its original height, as described above. The added rows that will be hidden and in turn unhidden are partially  shown in incomplete width and highlighted on the right. A second color may be added to the repeat at this stage, but I find the results too much to deal with visually for further editing The rows are hidden prior to drawing the repeat, and unhidden to create the expanded graphs. Command is held down while clicking on selected rows along the design height for both actions. I find the expanded rows easier to follow for editing, with the blank rows between giving my eyes a rest. If black is one of the colors, the borders may be drawn in any shade other than black to make counts in black areas easier. Some of the early programs actually assigned black as the value for the “transparent” grid, automatically changing palette colors to other values, or resulting in error messages if black was part of the design palette.  Since eventually the repeat will need to be reduced to pixels or holes in cards, one can attempt to skip a step by using a darker color for color 2 in the separation and count squares and draw pixels from there. I personally find it easier if I am dealing with only black squares when plotting out pixels for download. Adding color to numbered table cells on the right is another clue to follow. Within the spreadsheet the whole document allows for easy travel between magnifications for easier editing or prepping for any screen grabs. 

Here the repeat is drawn, rows are unhidden, on even numbered design rows (highlighted on the right in green), the empty squares in that row are filled in with a different color (red). The black squares in those same rows are then in turn emptied of color (no fill). Again, holding down the command key while selecting across a row allows the same change to be applied to all those cells, making the process faster

a partial repeat for the squares altered in colors for respective color changesthe completed results for each stepIf rows are hidden at a this stage, the center image will result, and all red squares may be changed to black if preferred

As mentioned, I prefer to work on expanded graphs. When ready to hide rows, select empty squares (no numbers) on right, again holding down command key while doing so to make a global change as opposed to row by row 

The BW image tiled. Most electronics (ayab is an exception) require a single repeat in width and height. If color reverse is an option, one may program white squares and use the machine or software to color reverse. Punchcard knitters use the 24 stitch width repeat in width, twice in lenght, punching all black squares. Slip stitch <— —> is the default setting.

After all that, let us not forget that for color changes every 2 rows the new repeat needs to be programmed to knit at twice the height. Again, most electronics (ayab is an exception) have a double length option. I began at the top of the repeat, working my way down. The pull down table menu may be used, or the shortcut: option key, down arrow for an exercise in “add row below”. One can verify that no rows have been skipped by checking on design row numbers on right. Punchcard knitters punch black squares. Electronic knitters have the option of drawing and programming the white squares as well, but followed by color reverse option prior to knitting the fabric. 

In a later post, on using numbers and gimp to produce files downloadable for knitting on electronic machines, the method is explained for taking the numbers generated image above, opening it in gimp,  where stitch and row markings are cropped. The mode is then altered to a BW indexed one,

which scaled to 24X28 is ready for download (shown magnified here) 
and the repeat shown in a tiled configuration test 

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”.

Lace edgings on Brother machines

The initial goal here is to produce a knit fabric using lace transfers in the familiar way, but the knit carriage will now be set to slip <–>, selecting needles with each pass. In routine lace patterning the KC is set for plain knit, does not preselect needles, advance the mylar, punchcard, or other electronic patterning.

If this image, where all blue squares represent knit stitches and white squares unworked ones, was provided with the intent of its being produced as a piece of knit on the machine, the initial approach might be to use a single prong tool to move the edge of the blue in one stitch to the right for a decrease, and out one needle to the left for an increase. When the decrease is made on the bottom curve, the needle from which the stitch was taken is put back out of work. When an increase is made, a stitch is moved to work on left, and the last stitch on that side is transferred onto it. As knitting continues, that now empty needle location will create an eyelet.

I decided to wing it for the first swatches. This illustrates the same knit shape. Blue rows represent all knit rows and stitches, the empty pairs of rows leave areas to insert lace eyelets in pattern.

Arrows indicate the movement of the lace carriage on left, knit carriage on right. Red squares now represent transfers to right, green ones transfers to left

A second transfer to the right is included in the pattern close to the left edge of the trim to create eyelets next to the decreases, matching those eyelets created by stitches moving out in the increase segment of the chart

A theoretical series of right and left transfers is then inserted, creating a shape in the center of the trim’s width

Now reducing it all to black and white squares or pixels for first preselection from right hand side using an electronic. This repeat is not suitable for use in a punchcard machine even though it is 24 stitches wide. Electronics advance a design row with each pass of the carriage when cam buttons are pushed in and with both carriages set to needle select. Punchcard machines in those circumstances do not advance when the alternate carriage is brought into work from the opposite side. This charted repeat is usable as is on an unaltered 910, with the first preselection row from right to left. LC operates from the left, KC from the right.

For use with Ayab software two other things need consideration. Ayab mirrors lace repeats, so either mirror the repeat of the original design, or choose action mirror in the software prior to knitting. This is a screen grab of the repeat used for my initial swatch test. I later changed the section where the diamonds cross in at the center of the eyelet repeats In addition: those first 2 rows need to be all knit, so the top row of the design was moved down to row 1 position.
KC preselects left to right, knits black squares to left, preselects same needle selection again to knit those same stitches traveling back to its home on the right, creating the two knit rows that in “normal lace” would be worked with the KC simply set to knit.  As the KC now knits the second row, it preselects needles for the first row of transfers, rests on the right
LC transfers to right as it travels to left, preselects the next row of transfers. As it moves back to left it transfers to left, preselects for first of 2 all knit rows, rests on left
The sequence is repeated  until the piece reaches the required length.
End needle selection is off on both carriages. As LC travels to left, because of no end needle selection, the first needle on the right is not selected. An option is to manually pull that needle out to insure it knits. I decided I actually preferred the chain created by those single stitches knitting only every other row, but was not happy with the elongated stitches on alternate rows edge stitches on the increase side. These would be the carriage actions To review: end needle selection is off on both carriages. As LC travels to left, because of no end needle selection, the first needle on the right is not selected. An option is to manually pull that needle out to insure it knits. I decided I actually preferred the chain created by those single stitches knitting only every other row. I had a serious yarn tangle on the right about halfway up the swatch, with some of the evidence visible in the approximate center of the swatch photo 

changing that crossing of the diamond outlines, still winging it

My fiber is now a crisp cotton, unmarked weight, tension 8, and it is much easier to observe areas that may still be a problem to me as the designer. Ideally I would prefer the lines created by the transfers marked in cyan to match the quality of those immediately below or to the ascending part of the diamond on their opposite side, that would require changes in the transfers sequences and space between knit rows. The LC non selected stitches on the straight creating an every other row slipped stitch are still something I like.  The difference on the edge stitches in the ascending angle are happening because with each transfer out, there is a single thickness of yarn on the new edge stitch and moving the stitch over a needles space elongates it. Longer loops btw are also created when single increases are made by bringing needles into work on the carriage side prior to knitting a row across all needles. In the trim’s decrease edges, the transfers in each new edge stitch have double the yarn thickness contributing to a different appearance, highlighted with magenta arrows. There are 2 rows that have no edge transfers programmed intentionally in the center before reversing direction, so that area has no resulting edge eyelet.  The last shot at adjusting the repeat, with improvement in those cyan marked areas. Plain knit rows may be added between each repeat, the edge of the knit will be different than in the remaining trim on each side

Going back to the wheel that has already been invented, how can pre drawn published mk lace repeats be used instead of “winging it” endlessly or not having the confidence to perform the necessary assigning symbols and proceeding with the required separation? Still trying to work with a pattern that knits for 2 rows, transfers for 2, a chart from Stitch World:marking the 2 all knit rows that will be plain knit by programming black squares The pattern is actually for an all over lace. All the transfers in the central diamond actually are happening in the same direction. If the repeat was programmed in the usual manner, beginning with LC on the left, those transfers on the first design row and in the whole of the center diamond shape would all be to the left. I can live with them all being to the right, and would be interested in more eyelets at the edge of the trim. Here is a new repeat, with the increased eyelets at the curved edge Remember if using ayab to mirror the above repeat (seen on right) prior to preparing to knit it There is a disruption for 2 rows in the very center of the diamond, where no increases or decreases occur on the shaped edge prior to reversing the shaping. It was there in the earlier sample marked with arrows as well, but not as noticeable where the edge was created with the addition of single eyelets on increase and decrease rows.

Not finding any other candidates to alter for this purpose in stitch world at the moment I am left with the option of going back to the Brother punchcard book collections, and reviewing what needs to be changed for those same patterns that work so well with the KC set to plain knit but are now to be knit with the KC set to slip <—–>……

3/7/18

a lace punchcard repeat with transfers in opposite directions Assigning colors to transfers: red to left, blue to right. In theory the same repeat could be used flipped horizontally for operating the lace carriage from the right. Yellow lines highlight the 2 blank rows in card that will be replaced by black squares/ pixels (remember rules are different for slip and lace in punchcard knitting)Since the goal is a trim, things are rearranged for knitting to begin on the full 24 stitches There are 2 ways to get the above repeat to work, one is by adding extra blank rows. I chose to reverse positions for transfers, moving left transfers upon row, and red down one row. With lace carriage operating from the left this is my new repeat, with edge shaping added for trim edgeKC is set to slip after the first preselection row, first set of transfers is selected on its second pass to the right. The first transfers with the LC are made to the right, the second set to the left. If knitting the repeat using Ayab remember the above is mirrored by the software, so choose action mirror prior to configuring

I knit a swatch using the thinner yarn again. The difference in increasing angle can be seen here as well, the pattern is short, so the outer curve of the trim reflects that 

This would be my test repeat for knitting the same trim in ayab with the LC operating from the right. The software would mirror it, no action needed. The last row is shifted to the bottom to allow for the knit carriage finding a home on the left. First row knit would preselect 2 needles only, with KC then set to slip in both directions, the next two rows should knit, preselecting the first row of transfers to be made by the LC operating from the right.

I am unable to test the repeat. I have had intermittent problems with patterning in the sofware from the time I installed the kit. In multiple efforts and restarts I am now getting no selection at all or wrong selection with LC operating from right, while rows advance in the software and beeps continue. I have knit lace with the LC on the right before, but not with the KC selecting needles as well. Possible solutions and causes to be determined. 3/8/18 I have been told upon testing by others the same issues have been encountered that I did when using the KC to select from left and the LC from right, and the problem appears to be the result of a bug in the software to be addressed in future updates.

3/10/18: an adaptation of Susanna’s automatically shaped trim for Brother KM, p. 223 of “A Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics”. This chart shows the first rows of the published punchcard. Please note: using my own lace carriage, when I tested canceling end needle selection, the problem was not solved. Brother setting recommendations made for a similar transfer pattern in an edging published by them, are given and repeat is pictured at end of my post.


Row 1: LC moves to right, no needles selected
Row 2: LC moves to left, preselects next row of transfers
Row 3: LC moves to right, transfers preselected needles to right (red dots), selects needles (if any) for next pass to left
Row 4: LC travels to and transfers to left (green dots), preselects for first row to be knit by KC In this particular pattern the direction of the arrows match the direction of the transfers with movements of LC operating from left
Row 5: KC from right, set to slip <—  —> knits all needles in D position, repeats the same selection as it travels to left (yellow marks)
Row 6: KC travels back to right, in the second shaped knit row, preselects for the next transfers to be made by the LC
Row 7: LC travels to and transfers to right, preselects for next row of transfers
Row 8: LC travels to left, transferring to left if any needles have been preselected on the previous pass, and the process continues

The numbers on the punchcard chart do not reflect actual row numbers in knitting because when row 4, 10, etc is reached, on the next pass (a blank row in the card), the card does not advance and the previous selection is repeated. For each carriage to make an even number of passes to travel to and from its original position, the total length of the repeat must be an even number of rows.

Here are the 24 stitch repeats adjusted for knitting on the electronic. A for an unaltered 910, B indicating direction of transfers (red to right, green to left). Arrows mark the problem row, and my solution to it C on the far right, along with the repeat adjusted for use with Ayab.the ayab screen image for working the edging  Both KC and LC are set not to select first and last needles in my directions. When the decreases start to happen on the left of the chart, because the end needle selection for transfer to right again does not happen in areas marked with magenta arrows,  there is an extra stitch that remains on the left that does not get transferred (orange dot) so it is not knit off and simply get held as subsequent rows of knitting take place. Restoring needle selection in the LC is not a solution for the problem, so the final repeat has been amended by me to get that edge transfer. The pattern starts on  cast on 20, not the full 24 stitches. Ayab knitters: use the LC to begin selection from left. The first pass will select for a knit row, push those needles back to B, and the LC will select for transfers to right on the next row as it moves to the left. When knitting is to take place there is a clear distinction in the number of selected needles (black squares). The KC will be set to slip <–  –>. Make certain to remember to return the remaining 4 of the 24 total stitches back to B so the full repeat is in work on the needle bed before continuing in pattern, otherwise there will be needles there to accept stitches moved over for increases to left.

The two extra passes of the LC in this method result in a 2 stitch border on the increasing and decreasing angles of the piece, creating a much nicer edge than that in the samples at the top of the post. The eyelet so close to the right edge stitch which also winds up being slipped every other row made for very messy loose stitches in the thicker cotton that I could not control. The sample did better when I pulled the non selected needles on knit rows out to hold prior to moving across them with KC. 

When working on electronics the 24 stitch limit in width for the repeat is no longer there, extra knit stitches may be easily added to the right of the pairs of eyelets along the non shaped edge. Having those extra stitches knit on the right side of the repeat made it possible for me to use my cotton again, giving me a controllable edge on that side without having to pull stitches out to make them knit. To my eye, I find the extra passes with the LC and those extra knit stitches on the right are well worth the effort and planning in the finished piece

the ayab repeat  

Something to try: I found instructions ascribed to Brother
for another version of an edging using a pattern that has the same eyelet sequences along the shaped edgings. Their recommendation for a 950i is to remove the non selection mechanism on the lace carriage, and mention was made of the “rubber wheels on the carriage” being uppermost, allowing the end needles to be selected. My lace carriage has fixed, old fashioned brushes, not rubber wheels, and my eliminating end needle selection did not solve the problem with that single stitch in the center of the repeat. And if there is not enough to keep track of, this also combines fine lace and traditional transfer lace, would work fine as just lace.

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.

Revisiting GIMP in knit design

If my only goal is to create illustrations for my posts rather than to produce programmable designs for download to any knitting machine, my go-to program in the past was Excel. Depending on my charting needs, now that Excel is no longer available to me, I am using Mac Numbers or Pages.

My computer is an iMac, with OS High Sierra installed. Last December my 910 was altered to work with Ayab, as mentioned in other posts, via a USB connection to the Mac. For generating files for download I like to work primarily in GIMP (Photoshop is no longer available to me as well). It is freeware. The latest stable Mac Version is version 2.8.22.  Windows users have an option to download  a later release . Another freeware option is Paintbrush , a smaller, user friendly program.

I began sharing my GIMP explorations in mid 2013. Some topics included charting 1, 2 , 3, color reductions for 2 color portraits , generated mazes 1  and 2 , lace mesh , lace mesh and superimposing , 2 color drop stitch lace

I am using one of my drop stitch designs throughout this post to illustrate steps taken for altering the original by using options such as scaling and tiling. It is intended as a partial quick start guide, not a complete tutorial. The program’s manual provides keyboard shortcuts etc. for anyone wanting to explore more options to obtain similar or other results. That said, the manual is not recently updated or Mac specific, and Mac vs Windows appearance of windows and menus differ.

To alter and set pixel per stitch options double click on pencil tool,  choose square single pixel highlighted in brush shape menu

to draw in single pixels, choose show grid, snap to

There are limitations as to how low the magnification may be set before the grid is visible or disappears. I often work in 1,000 magnification. The magnification value numbers, seen at the bottom of the charts in progress,  may be typed in or use arrows to scroll up and down in value 

If your document size is larger, it is sometimes quicker to work in larger pixel size blocks. Here one meets limitations

GIMP large square brushes: numbers indicate desired pixel countand if you are using Paintbrush instead, the “square” is lost

To scale images in height or width without color distortion, change color mode

Image, mode, select Indexed
choose Scale Imagehighlight number you wish to keep constant, whether width or height
to break aspect ratio and control one of the 2 values, click on chain like symbol on right, it will appear “broken”change the alternate value to the desired number

Click on scale image. If the intent is to continue editing by using the pencil tool, the image mode needs to be returned to RGB before proceeding with editing

You can verify finished image size by choosing scale image again, at that point the chain like symbol on the right of the numbers is “whole” again, awaiting further editing choices

double height double width
 scale may be performed again on the last image created 
the appearance if the image mode is set to RBG, and not indexed prior to scaling

scaling down by half for mylars or for machines that can alter motif to double wide: 

click to the right of the highlighted number, the “chain” symbol on right remains intact replace the width value, click to the right of the height value and the number will automatically change

click on scale; remember to change image mode prior to doing so if needed; on the left is the image scaled in RGB, on the right in 1 bit palette

If the image has numbers that have odd numbers in stitch width, the software makes the choice, in assigning values, since no half pixels can be rendered.  For design details see previous post 

Tiling is useful to check how repeats line up when applied to the all over surface of a knit, choosing to alter the horizontal repeat in width or vertical in height, adding borders, and other variations. Ayab software in particular, requires the individual repeat to be programmed for the number of needles you wish to knit in pattern on the main bed. Depending on the size of the original motif the tiling function may be used on nearly any scale, with or without a visible grid

To keep aspect ratio, chain like symbol on right of width and height values should be kept whole (first image). It will appear “broken” on side of values from screen grab after the image was tiled, when by pulling up the scale option again, to verify pixel counts for the newly created repeat (images 2-4)

to color invert a single repeat or a tiled one  

A Facebook Ayab Group share and tip by Claudia Scarpa  brought up a discussion on using Gimp to rescale knits with the intent of estimating distortion in the design as a result of stitch gauge. In many knits aspect ratio is forgiving. In representational knits it can start to matter significantly. I played with numbers from 3 different gauges, getting back to a simple circle square first, then following up with a much larger image. Starting with pixels per inch setting in scale menu:

doing a bit of math: if gauge is 5 sts, 7 rows, divide 7 by 5 = 1.4,  6 divided by 4 = 1.5; use the quotient (division result) to modify the respective X and Y values

keeping the X value constant, multiply the Y value by 1.4 for 5 X 7 gauge
in the view menu, uncheck dot to dot prior to selecting scale

keeping the Y value constant, multiply the X value by 1.5 for the 6X4 gauge, uncheck dot to dot if it is available in the view menuTo get rid of the math, simply switch to pixels /mm and plug in your gauge. The starting image:

change X and Y resolution to match your stitch and row gauge, breaking “chain link” on right to disable aspect ratio. In order to show the altered scaled image, the dot per dot feature in the view menu needs to be unchecked prior to selecting scale

knitting gauge 5 stitches, 7 rows per inch  4 stitches, 6 rows  per inch and going much larger, using Rocco again: the original version scaled for stitch gauge of 33 X 40

a large geometric .bmp edited with same process

Claudia Scarpa has created a document on “how to edit a picture with GIMP for “Oknitme software” that she has given permission for me to share here: 03-ENG-gimp. The tutorial has clear instructions for anyone wishing to explore photo editing  for use in knits with GIMP, and the Oknitme online tool helps punchcard knitters participate in the process.

If freehand drawing suits your needs, you may find it easier to work with view settings shown below, and adjust pencil pixel size to suit

 

 

Drop stitch lace using Ayab software

Some notes on how tubular software color separations such as the one automated in the ayab circular setting may be found in previous post

In an effort to respond to a request I have had via my blog, I am sharing information on this topic as I have time to explore it. My first attempt when up and running with the Ayab software, was to to reproduce an earlier sample I had created as a color separation originally intended for a hand knit shadow knit experiment.

a chart from that blog posttry_drop_stitchthe resulting hand knit, on purl side
IMG_0823the color separated sample knit pre ayab the sample knit using the Ayab circular setting

Patterns predawn for shadow knitting, appear to be one published source for interesting 2 color drop stitch variations. What about geometric shapes or developing your own designs? Designs created using this technique lengthen considerably when off the machine. Both color sets of stitches become elongated as they are dropped, and that should be a consideration in planning your design. If your goal is a circle, the actual shape programmed may have to be closer to an egg laid horizontally rather than that of a “true” circle. The fabric also widens considerably when blocked and off the machine, making cast on and bind off methods considerations another necessity. Design repeats may be drawn in Paintbrush or GIMP (both freeware), or Photoshop. I have been a longtime GIMP user, and prefer to use it in tiling repeats as opposed to the copy and paste features in Paintbrush to accommodate the Ayab requirement of programming the repeats horizontally in the width of your piece.

In my previous how to posts on designing your own 2 color drop stitch lace, part of the color separation required elongating the design X 2. Starting side in Ayab for needle selection always needs to be from left to right, and elongation of the motif is not required when using the Ayab circular option.

This was my first working repeat, A = repeat charted out. B = the working bitmap or png, etc. (which would be the only requirement for the mylar). C = the image tiled for the chosen number of stitches (again, Ayab requires the repeat be programmed for the width of your knit piece). D = the image elongated, not usable for this fabric, it results on too much elongation. If you would like a knit border on either side, that can be achieved by having extra stitch(es) in work on the ribber

The results up to the point in which I had a yarn caught in brushes and stitches dropping on the left of the needle bed:

Drop stitch lace has been referred to over the years in other terms as well, such as release stitch, drive lace, and summer fair isle in Passapese. Passap knitters will recognize the results from this first method are akin to those produced using Technique 185.

Getting started: stitches intended to be dropped may be created on either bed. If the ribber is used to create loops, then the technique is a manual one. Using the main bed in Japanese machines to program dropped stitches increases accuracy and ease.

If you are swatching and testing, a permanent cast on is not necessary. The broken toe cast on is one of the two quickest on the Japanese machines, usable on on either bed. It is fondly called that, because if ribber cast on comb and weights are in the wrong place so that the wrong loops are dropped, everything falls to the floor, and likely on your toes. There is an online video by Diana Sullivan that shows its use for a tighter cast on row in 1X1 rib, but the use here is for a different purpose.

In producing this fabric you are technically knitting an “every needle rib”. Cast on a fairly tight zig zag row. The ribber comb wire needs to be placed so that it holds down the stitches on the bed on which you need to keep them. The principle and results are akin to  the first row knit when you use a single bed cast on comb, and the second pass, with the first knit row anchors open loops before your continue to knit. Any loops not secured by the comb will result in dropped stitches. Any fabric, any time, when 2 stitches are empty side by side, stitches are not formed and the yarn is dropped off them creating a float or ladder.  The red line indicates the ribber wire on top of the ribber loops in the zig zag row, placed so released knitting will be left on the ribber. Black lines your zig zag yarn loops, blue dots the teeth of your ribber cast on comb. You can check placement by dropping just a few loops on the main bed before hanging your weights on the comb. 

zig zag row showing placement of cast on comb teeth, on each side of main bed needles
with wire in place, anchoring ribber stitches testing out dropping a few stitches all stitches now on ribber in preparation for dropping stitches created on main bed 

It is possible to also use a wired cast on comb for an open stitch cast on on the top bed only. Remove wire from comb. Bring the comb up and between needles to be used, and  re-insert wire. Needles and latches will need to travel easily under the wire when the first knit row takes place. 

The knit carriage will not clear the comb properly because of the location of its brushes, etc. For the “cast on” row, exchange the sinker plate on your knit carriage for the one normally used with the ribber. The first photo below shows the approximate location for the comb during the first row knit. Needles are centered between the teeth, the teeth themselves line up with gate pegs. The comb needs to be manually held in place, since there is no opposing bed in use to help balance it. Working with the ribber up would ease the process in wider pieces of knit. The ribber sinker plate has no brushes or wheels to anchor knitting on the knitting bed. Any rows knit single bed using it, will need to have needles brought out to hold position prior to knitting each row for all stitches to be formed properly

the comb in positiona pass is made slowly with the ribber sinker plate in place the comb is droppedbring all needles out to hold position knit one more row, returning to starting positionchange sinker plate on knit carriage if needed, proceed with knitting

To use the same method with ribber in place: hold the appropriate ribber comb with the bump(s) up facing you, so that the teeth line up with gate pegs as shown above, and so the needles can come through the gaps. Leave the wire in, hold the bump(s) against the ribber, and tilt the comb against knit bed. Hold the comb high enough to take the carriages across to opposite side. Move carriages to other side, drop the comb and weigh it. If continuing on the top bed only drop the ribber, switch sinker plates, and continue to knit.

“bumps”: Brother comb 

For other purposes and an edge similar to a “weaving cast on” executed on Japanese machines use EON for the “cast on row”, then bring into work and add the rest of the needles prior to knitting the second row.

Use a cast on comb appropriate for your knitting machine’s gauge ie 4.5mm, 5mm, etc., brand is not relevant, only tooth spacing is. It is possible to cut ribber cast on combs into different widths for use when knitting is planned on fewer stitches than those accommodated by their available commercial widths.

As for dropping those loops that will form the long stitches, one can do so “manually” with improvised tools. For more “automatic” dropping of stitches using knit carriage in Brother patterning, one may punch a card or draw a mylar with a method akin to color separation. A pass of the KH carriage across the knit is made with no yarn in feeder, “color 2” is actually “no yarn/empty” from left to right,  while establishing the proper needle selection on its return. The ribber would need to be reset to slip, or the ribber carriage separated from the knit one for the 2 passes to and from the color changer. This is the “scariest” option by far, more error prone. It is not applicable when using the circular Ayab setting in creating the fabric. Without a specific “tool”, all stitches can be brought to E and back to B with a ruler, piece of garter bar, ribber cast on comb, or other handy ‘toy’. Dropping stitches is done while carriages are on the left, after the return to the color changer side. It is possible to modify the Studio accessory used to drop stitches

full altered_500

For 2 color drop stitch, the main bed is set to slip in both directions. Because not all needles on the main bed are used for patterning on every row, the KC II setting on the change knob is used, eliminating end needle selection on the 910. The ribber is set to knit every row

Ayab: begin  your design repeat on your first row, choose its circular setting in machine type pull down menu on right
First design row is preselected left to right
Main bed is set to slip <— —> , change knob on KC II (end needle selection is cancelled)
Ribber is set to knit <— —> for the duration
COL: as you go from the left to right, needles are preselected on the top bed, they will knit, picking up loops that you will in turn drop on the subsequent passes of the knit carriage from right to left.

COR, the KC knits on preselected needles as it moves to the left. Clear the color changer, set up your next color. Drop the stitches knit on that last pass

It may be necessary to push those loops down between the beds before you next pass, remember to pull down on your knitting periodically,  visually check needle alignment on the main bed (all needles in B in work area)

*With new color move to right, preselecting the next row of loops
Knit right to left, picking up loops on preselected needles, change colors, drop stitches,** and repeat * to ** steps in 2 row rotations

so I want circles, here is my test pattern more like eggs, the black squares in shape appear as drawn on the purl sideshapes are reversed as drawn on knit side 

It is possible using the circular setting to drop only one of the 2 colors, whether background or shape. I began by dropping the white ground. I used to encourage students to develop a tune/ repeat in their head when regular actions needed to be taken. For me, in terms of yarn color,  it was “white, knit, drop”,  “brown =  erase (push back to B), go back”. 1: white travels to right, needles are pre selected; 2: white travels to left, picking up loops 3: on left, change color, drop stitches. For brown: 1. travel to right, needles are preselected 2: on the right, before traveling back to left push all selected needles back to B. Only the ribber knits on the way back to left, so brown will have knit 2 rows with no dropped stitches. I ran out of brown yarn, started over with the blue and white, planning on having the shape drop the stitches. There is a difference in the fabric width with the change in distribution of stitches. I stopped knitting not due to any mis patterning, but because I encountered another Ayab behavior that may be well known to punchcard knitters. Due to a yarn mast issue I moved the knit carriage back to disentangle the yarn, and lo and behold the pattern advanced a row.  Punchcard machines will advance a row with any movement of the carriage outside the edges of the knit. This was never an issue in the unaltered 910. At that point I stopped knitting. 

Not fond of stripes? prefer one color? the sample below was worked on 40 stitches in width, using the repeat charted for 56 stitches. Here decisions are made at the design phase of your repeat. For single color drop stitch use an image double length, and single setting in the Ayab software. The process is the same: *preselect stitches left to right, knit on selected needles right to left, drop loops just picked up traveling to left**, repeat from * to **. Settings are the same as for the 2 color drop stitch, but the elongation depending on the number of stitches dropped is not as noticeable. The texture in my swatch is diminished after a quick press, the yarn is an acrylic blend. The charted repeat illustrated is wider, but I worked it on only the center 40 stitches. As always in slip stitch, the black squares knit and they represent the stitches that are dropped. If you wish to create the long stitches on the ground (white squares),  reverse use Ayab Action Invert prior to knitting

the chart as viewed and explained at the top of the post

Sources of inspiration from studio publications vary, patterns designed for pile knitting make for suitable one color drop stitch. A partial punchcard repeat

from an electronic collection

and a punchcard pattern book, where markings emulate eyelets, usable only for single color knitting 

Note that in #2 card directly above, there is a solid row at the very start that is a design row (third all punched). In Ayab again, first row preselection is left to right, you will be picking up loops on preselected needles going from right to left and then dropping them. That first design row needs to have punched holes or black squares/pixels in it. The color separation is essentially done for you in the source image. Do not use circular in Ayab, but rather, use “single” setting and follow instructions for creating the fabric as described  above,  with no color changes. The blank punchcard rows match the no selection rows in self drawn color separations,

If double bed work is daunting, for a different stitch, worked single bed, that may cause interesting distortions in all knit, single bed fabrics see block stitch post.


The self drawn design repeats for 2 color drop stitch may be offset as well, resulting in colors being dropped alternately.  The design shape needs to be created in 4 row blocks in order for the yarn to make it back and forth to the color changer with both colors to complete one design row. The second pairs of rows in each 4 row block is  “erased”. In this instance as well, rows marked with black squares will pick up loops on the main bed, which are in turn dropped to create the long stitches. The second design repeat is off set to try to get sections of it to create loops to be dropped as well. The final motif must be a multiple of 8 rows in height if it is to be used as Ayab’s “infinite” repeat in length.

Color changes are indicated in the vertical strip in the center of the design. This was my starting idea

Elongation to 4 rows per block, erasing second pair of rows for each color on right. The repeat on the right may be used if only one color is to be dropped; the 2 blank rows in the design field represent stitches that will knit only on the ribber for 2 rows. No stitches are dropped in color(s) used in sequential rows of blank squares in all “white” areas of chart, including multiple rows above and below the design shape. Color changes every 2 rows continue, creating continuous stripes. shapes staggered, visually checking for placement of alternately dropped stitches 

To accommodate the Ayab preselection for the first row to be knit from left to right, move the last blank row in the design to the first row position. As the carriages travel from left to right and back to the color changer, the stitches will knit 2 rows only on the ribber. Continue knitting in steps as described earlier in post, changing colors every 2 rows. On a larger knit ground such shapes may be arranged to suit. This was my working repeat, but I used a third fewer stitches in the swatch than in chart. Note that the images will be reversed on the knit side, so if preferred, use Action Mirror to flip the image horizontally prior to knitting it

The swatch has been quickly pressed, so texture is flattened out, but I am reminded a bit of shadow knits when viewing its purl side

In an unaltered 910 with the ability to double the width of the programmed repeat, mylar users are not excluded from exploring a similar fabric. The repeat above may be rescaled to half the width,  drawn that way, and then use the twice as wide built in feature. Gimp does an “interesting” thing when scaling this design to half width, note the right side of each repeat is an odd number of squares, the left side an even. The repeat may be used as is or redrawn, adding or eliminating black squares if symmetry in each shape matters.  Paintbrush produces the same image, mirrored.

The explanation: further analysis of the original design reveals the fact that some of the pixel numbers in the design black square blocks are uneven in width. In this instance 3.5 is half of 7, and half pixels cannot be rendered, so the software assigns the split to 4 and 3.