Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, japanese machines

This is an attempt to duplicate the results of Passap tech 185 on knitting multiple colors per row drop stitch “lace” fabrics. The method may be used for more colors per row, expanding the repeats accordingly  to the number of colors per row X 2 for each motif row. For example, here 2 colors per row are expanded to 4 rows for each color in length, 3 cols per row would need to be expanded to 6 for each design row
This fabric widens considerably when completed, so top and bottom edges, cast ons and bind offs, may need special consideration and planning

The method for swatching: cast on for every other needle rib, knit 2 circular rows, followed by one row rib, transfer all stitches to the ribber. For an open stitch cast on directions and photos see later post
Set machine for every needle rib, COR, an extra needle in work at each end on main bed; cancel end needle selection (KC II), make the first pass toward the color changer; needles will be selected in pattern.
The ribber is set to knit every needle except for circular cast on rows,  the main bed to slip < —– > throughout; I put a piece of tape at the edge of the knit on each side, just in front of needle butts in A position, to help keep from accidentally moving extra needles into work after dropping whole rows of stitches
COL change color, as carriage moves to right, selected needles will pick up stitches on the main bed, creating the long stitches when dropped, while the next row of pattern is selected, so by the time the carriage has reached the right side of the machine, needles will have flatlined; using any convenient tool (I use the edge of a piece of garter bar or cast on comb, bring needles involved in patterning out far enough to drop stitches, check that all needles are empty, push needles back to B position: COR
COR: as carriage moves to left again toward color changer, ribber only will knit all stitches (does so every row), needles will be selected for the next row of long stitches, selected needles are not knitting. Colors are changed every 2 rows

the pattern and the “color separations” , achieved using Gimp

Images from left to right

1. motif  lengthened X 4
2. every other row erased (non selection rows)
3. 2nd pattern row (every other row of design now left) color inverted
4. pattern marked in 5X5 blocks for easier tracking when drawing on 910 mylar sheet

a downloadable PDF of basic info 185_brother
2 of the previous posts on using gimp

sideway views: knit sidepurl side

The emerging pattern can be seen, and to be noted is the elongation factor involved as in many color separation DBJ fabrics

For later review of cumulative posts on topic see: revisiting drop stitch lace 

For design method for staggered shapes in drop stitch see Ayab software related post The difference from those directions for knitting without the particular software: in other electronics, a single repeat in both height and width is adequate. In machines such as an unaltered 910, first preselection row can be from right to left, so no accommodations need to be made for shifting last row to first of the design repeat. For machines accepting electronic download,  program repeat with first design row containing black squares in it, adjust spacing between repeats as preferred. This particular version is 80 stitches wide 

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.

Online Pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more

last review/ update: 12/19/16
I welcome being contacted re any problem links
generators that require color changing every 2 rows using a color changer (or 2 carriages)
generator used by Fabienne  http://fabienne.us/tag/knitting/
other generators that can help with shaping garments, or some basic knit motif design
knitting pattern http://kpg.sourceforge.net
top down circular raglan calculator http://kpg.sourceforge.net
iceleandic round yoke design does not work any longer in later version browsers, on Mac even with installation of silverlight, on ravelry it was noted the program does operate in internet explorer http://knittingpatterns.is/#/Design
online tessellations motifs  http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/tess/index.htm
charts: lace, cables and more http://chartgen.orangellous.com
math calculators for knitting
free online manuals, magazines
only the intro is in german: a nearly hour long presentation by Fabienne
another approach for Brother models KH‑930, 940, 950i, and 970: http://daviworks.com/knitting/ and the associated group on ravelry 
970 how to hack instructable 
for additional cumulative information, software compatibility and hardware specs see Claire Williams’ website
color reductions/ conversions for large, non repetitive images Mac
online generators
photoshop tutorial
pattern generators/ web design
open source charting program http://sourceforge.net/projects/sconcho/
quick screen shot

1/21/2016: Online weaving program by Andrew Glassner ; associated blogpost 

11/26/17 a simple, user friendly free motif design paint program for Mac, runs in Sierra: Paint Brush

Atkinson dither github (free)

I have linked before (March 14, 2013) to this github as a way to achieve atkinson dithered images for possible use in knitting. I received a post with questions on how to achieve this successfully. I work on a Mac, latest OS. The resulting dithered files were not read when downloaded by any app other than Preview, and resizing within program was poor quality. Here is my work-around: it is always best to resize any of the images to be processed in color or grey scale, before indexing modes or dithering. Once that is achieved, import image into github without changing output size in the program itself, and download. Your own image size will be retained. Now time for another freebie intervention: XnConvert will accept the file, convert it to BMP or other readable formats if preferred, resulting in a knittable image.

the sized image


via github_XnConvert_.bmp

GIMP color reductions for 2 color “portraits”

The many faces of Rocco

The image is used with the kind permission of Rocco’s owner. I have used this image before, when I posted previously on some ways to reduce colored images to B/W for possible knitting using a Mac computer, please see post on 013/03/14/ color-reduction- conversions-mac-os/. Gimp offers some alternatives to the familiar dithers, and is available, free, for both PC and Mac platforms.

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

Threshold adjustments may not be made in indexed images to alter above image, so it’s back to grey scale. Reductions to grey scale may be achieve through Image_ Mode_ Greyscale or choosing Colors_Desaturate_OK options. Desaturation offers additional choices



rocco desaturated, in “knittable portrait size”

using edge detection and its algorithms

Difference of Gaussians

what happens if in addition color_ invert is used with Roberts

adjusting B/W with Treshold

after a bit of “tweaking”

Image_Mode_Indexed, rendering it “knittable in 2 colors”

getting silly with filling ground with pattern behind floating head

Free Pixel art patterns for both Photoshop and Gimp may be found at Texturemate . To get them to work in GIMP if they are multiple sets, I would suggest combining them all into a single folder which may then be added to preferences, renaming or numbering patterns if the series #s repeat. The tutorial may be found here. The same patterns may be added to PS, a method for doing so may be found here.

As for camera portrait apps: Snapdot (originally 1.99, free in 2018) will render dotted “artworks”

I had no luck reducing this to one bit recognizable 1 bit B/W in PS, but here is the GIMP version in “knittable ” size

Onebitcamera, another fun tool, has not been updated for latest versions of Mac OS and associated devices

More GIMP charting (3)

These are quick notes from some of my continuing experiments, not explicit how tos or item patterns. Possible lengthening of designs dependent upon knitting technique is not considered; the “charts” were created keeping aspect ratio of original motif. The initial images are copyright free.

from scanned B/W source, 200 pixels X 227

open document

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

Image Scale 200 wide down to 50

areas were “cleaned up” using single pixel pencil, when satisfactory capture window with grid enlarged for working graph,  or remove grid, export in format for download

this is a partial repeat of a large black and white .png image

working with a smaller, random selection

Open image

Image_Mode_B&W 1 bit indexed_ Convert

enlarge, show grid, decide on accuracy of repeat,  when OK , graph or export and knit, no clean up required for this one

Filter_Map_Tile_magnifying result  will test accuracy of repeat

the motif was a random crop, with obvious issues, more work would need to be done with the original image to isolate the proper section for tiling accuracy to occur

a multicolor image 143 pixels X 112

Image_Mode_Indexed _3 color (manual change from 4 to 3)

Image scale to 100 pixel wide

Enlarge for viewing grid and/or cleaning up; result yields 2 repeats that could be used 50 sts wide each, leaves could use a bit more detail

a partial image grab, pre any “corrections”

if color separations are needed for software that can superimpose  colors and do the necessary color changer manipulations cues a link on color separations for screen printing provides some ideas. Another method

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select


Create new document same dimensions


repeat for each color

the results: the flower is actually in the “wrong place” even with what appeared to be same document settings

easier and “on the spot”:

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color one (flower)


Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result

Re-open original image

Tools_Selection Tools_By Color Select

Click on color two (leaves)

Edit _ Cut

Fuzzy select, click on screen outside of image: the result


GIMP software 2

This is the method I used to achieve the “color separations” in the previous post:

File new: create in canvas size for knit repeat: deleting the default 0 gives a working surface that is 64X40/ OK for small motifs

Change magnification to 1,000, hit return

GIMP Windows_Dockable items_ navigation will provide an easy slider to adjust sizing as needed

View: show grid, snap to grid

RGB mode

Draw test motif repeat, using one pixel pencil tool in B to draw, W to erase

The program allows for combining all items in one window, I prefer not to

test motif

Save file in native format .xcf  for backup and future changes

Use color markings to outline repeat

Adjust magnification with navigation slider if needed for easier editing

With crop tool, crop area within colored markings; menu_image_crop to selection

Use filter, map tile to view repeat in multiples- adding a 0 to both x and y pixel number values is an easy way to achieve that. The tiled image is in turn easily gridded if such a graph is required- simply go to view, highlight show grid, grab the resulting image, and save

If the repeat is satisfactory: back to image cropped screen, click within window, go to file export menu, choose file format, and save as png, bmp, etc for download, or simply screen grab the image in an easy to see size if punching a card or requiring a single repeat chart. I do not own Dak; GIMP does have a .pat read and save, but I have no way of testing whether files are in any way compatible between the 2 programs.

Most electronics are able to take the motif repeat and separate it automatically for a 2 color DBJ knit. If a separation for 2 color DBJ is required for use with a punchcard, or for any of the fabrics already discussed one needs to return to the xcf magnified document.

For the simplest DBJ separation, each row will break down into 2 colors, which in turn need to be knit with 2 passes for each color. This method is the one that is most likely to increase lengthening of the knit image, but one that “always” works.

To lengthen the repeat X2, cropped repeat area needs to be converted to 2 colors or  go to image, mode, click on convert

Gimp 2.8.22 : Image, mode, select Indexed 

Open Image Scale window; use image scale tool, clicking once again on selected repeat areaGIMP 2.8.22: highlight number you wish to keep constant

To break aspect ratio and control one of the 2 values, click on chain like symbol on right, it will appear “broken”change the second value

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.

Adjust numbers to desired scaling, height doubled for the original repeat would be 18 pixels in length, here is the result

To separate the rows revert to RGB mode, unselect repeat area by clicking outside its parameters.

row 1/color 1 in DBJ needs to knit in the largest number of “squares”, so my color inversion will begin on design row 2, for color 2; because these are individual pixels, numbering is not possible; I use color guides for  row that need to be inverted and repeat outline, and use navigation bar to enlarge for easy selection individual rows with crop tool

After selecting desired row with the rectangle select tool go to colors_invert, seen here for first row of color 2, repeat for length of motif. The result is suitable for use with double length KM built in features, and color changer. The black squares represent programmed pixels in download, or  what is drawn  on mylar/ punched in card.

If the double length of the separation is required: image _mode _indexed removes red and yellow squares, repeat process described above: select motif, use scale tool over the same area, scale image to 8X36. The caveat here is that one needs to be in the original canvas area: with a beginning canvas that was 64 X40, there is enough room for doubling length once more. Undo scale, use scale tool again, dragging upper and lower corners, keeping an eye on changing numbers in window for scale tool, type correction to numbers if needed, click on scale , autocrop to selection for export in desired format or screen grab and print to desired size

working with more colors, toward similar goals

adding colors: 3 colors per row motif, drawn in RGB mode

to make it the required triple length

resulting image when scaled to triple pixel height

the still manual color separation: whiting out unwanted colors in each row

double the length again

colored squares represent pixels in download, square in mylar, punched holes in card

GIMP software 1

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image retouching and editing program released as free and open source software. There now is a Mac OS Mountain Lion compatible version. The downloads may be found here, and more links for: features, supported file formats, help tutorials. One limitation is that for “color separations” to work by inverting colors one needs to reduce images to 1 bit B/W images, a definite advantage is the speed relative to working in spreadsheet programs. Another drawback is that one is using single pixel designing, so adding numbers for rows and stitches in the particular format is not possible. My June 10th post on illusion knits illustrated an example in creating repeats for them, here are sample results/charts

quilting double bed (for more on topic see May 30th post)


the accompanying swatch, which shows the difference in width resulting from using tuck setting <—> (top) and  slip <—> setting (bottom)
double jacquard

images of working settings and gimp windows for my separations

Illusion /shadow knitting DIY designs_HK

I have played with excel (and Numbers) before to create charts for various fabrics requiring color separations. My latest efforts relating to this knit group have gone in a different direction; I have also attempted to simplify the technique  in terms of following the instructions for knitting them. This sample began with use of Intwined to create the document and graphs. The first chart is set up with alternate row color striping, color 1=dark, color 2 = light. Blank colored square are used as knit symbol, horizontal dash for symbol for purl stitches. Beginning on light colored, even numbered rows, design is marked in purl stitches

On odd numbered rows beginning with row 1, mark all empty squares in even numbered light colored row immediately above it  with purl symbols

All unmarked stitches throughout the design are knit, whether on the “wrong / right” sides, all dashes are purled, patterning occurs on the second row of each color.To visualize the full pattern one may use the add row below feature to expand the graph (chart below is missing very first row)

Now adding the second row of each color , and grounding stripe (s) at bottom of repeat. Most patterns will start the illusion immediately after casting on with dark color, row 1 above. I was interested for my sample in having a border of sorts on its top and bottom

Tthe resulting knit swatchshadow side

Intwinded has the capacity for building row by row written instructions for patterns, but there were discrepancies on some rows for these charts, and I opted not to include them.

Another program I have just acquired and begun to use is GIMP; it is free, and now also available for use in Mac OS Mountain Lion. Both Gimp and Photoshop make it possible to design using single pixel pencil and grids to build motifs from scratch as well as gridding of preexisting images. I have a different method for these fabrics using GIMP, easier for more complex, overall shapes. The same series of steps may be used for mosaic knitting (color inversion sequence is different). Below are images generated for a different illusion pattern, I will share my “how to” for designing the motifs later, referencing mosaics and mazes. To achieve such motifs one is drawing in magnification of multiple hundreds and more, there is no way to number within a one pixel space, so these charts as generated are lacking numbers for stitches and rows, one drawback. Another is that this color inversion works only in black and white. One advantage: the proper repeat may be cropped and saved with grid removed in a variety of formats that may be used to import to various machine knitting download programs, and gridded may be used to establish punchcard or mylar repeats.  Screen grabs of magnified charts were saved, and are shown below. Black squares represent purl stitches in second row of each color. First row of each color is always knit, not represented in these charts

the red squares are guidelines for no color inversion rows, the yellow ones isolate the repeat

the actual repeat

color inversion beginning on row 1 and following every other row (if numbered these would be odd rows)

testing the repeat through tiling filter mappinga working chart that can be printed to suit with dark/light row markings, and blank squares for tracking knitting  rows in execution of patternthe knit swatch: “shadow side”its reverse side

for online tutorials, patterns, and inspiration see Woolly Thoughts

Feb 18, 2017 I have recently become curious about creating illusions such as these in crochet, am developing ideas and returned to this chart. The image below is intended to have symbols and notes superimposed on it. It shows the tiling in a different way, so I thought I would add it to this post as well. Repeats are highlighted with darker borders. The repeat on right needs to be trimmed if the goal is to achieve matching edges. Row counts on right would differ in knitting, the plan is to execute this pattern in Tunisian crochet, which handles rows in a very different manner than knitting or standard crochet.




Color reduction/conversions, Mac Os

A recent forum post brought up the question that rises periodically on how to reduce colors in photographs, scans, etc. so as to be able to in turn use the image in a low resolution medium such as knit. There are very many ways to achieve this. The post had specifically asked for low cost or free alternatives using Mac software, so I began playing, and compiled the following document detailing some of my process, addressing large scale, non repetitive images in Color reductions for knitting.The document samples were simple, straightforward conversions, with no further “tweaking”.

Mac Os: iPhoto, Preview, further software downloads:

Free:   img2trak, HyperDither, XnConvert

99 cents One bit Camera

Free to try, $39.95 to buy GraphicConverter, the developer site

A tutorial for owners of Photoshop

With thanks to my test subjects: Rocco

and my sofa fabric

An online service that will do the conversion for you: Knitpro, and a free service github.