Two color dbj, non repetitive images, electronic kms.

This post is another work in progress one, subject to future editing. I will add information as I have time  experiment, think, and my assumptions meet my expectations or not. Additional information may be found in previous posts on ribber adjustments and color changers

Recently I began to be curious as to how long, non repetitive images might be handled when knitting on both Brother and Passap. The subject is not out of reach for punchcard knitters. In the early art to wear days when the options were for 24 or 40 stitch repeats, many artists joined punchcards in length to the desired height, and knit them in width + seam allowances, joining long panels together to form the large images, or hanging them as panels in tapestry format. One such artist was Nicky Hitz Edson. I have avoided working with such images since my bit knitter knit from screen days eons ago. Also, I always preferred DBJ variations on the Passap. I used the KRC function only in my very early Studio Electronic days, prior to acquiring the Passap or any of my Brother machines. Tools and machines available to me at present: 910 with EMS kit and Ayab software, old fashioned mylars also for the 910, an unknown capacity for accurate knitting “rehabilitated” 930 accompanied by img2track consultations for the moment with Tanya Cunningham, and Passap E6000 using technique 179.

Reviewing some basics: the KRC function built into the 910 performs this separation automatically. It is the default dbj separation in Ayab, uses the built in KRC button with img2track on the 930. Repeats must be an even number of rows in height.
Here the simple shape illustrated in some of my previous is shown in color, and repeating twice vertically. Note: first color used knits only once, toward the color changerThis means the first pre selection row needs to happen from left to right, with color knitting beginning from right to left, and subsequently every 2 rows. Pertinent reminders from the 910 manual: in any pattern knitting 

and when knitting DBJ with factory mylar (or self drawn patterns)White pixels knit first when images are drawn in black and white squares 

KC I or II may be used, needle arrangements can vary depending on the look one prefers on the edges. The 930_940 directions get a bit more elaborate, and show usage of an accessory “latch opening tool” (I have never used it on my 910, may have to give it a test in the future); img2track downloads to the machine’s built in brain, the equivalent of downloading to the Passap console, which will hold the pattern program in memory until altered or erased. In re reading manuals I noted I have had a chronic habit since I began knitting of referring to the ribber “connecting arm” as its “sinker plate”.

I have several sinker plates. In reference to above, this photo illustrates the location of the #2 when present vs not 

and here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 marking, where it makes a noticeable change, bringing the unit closer to needles when on the machine during knitting 

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down 
When the pattern selector is down, the pattern is centered on green #1 (right of  0). If the pattern is an odd number of stitches and the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13, the center is green #1. 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. 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. With an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side.

The closest relative to the KRC button in the PassapE6000 is Technique 179, intended for emulating single bed 2 color FI on Japanese machines, but it may be used with an every needle rib and varied back lock settings to produce far less elongated DBJ than its standard built in DBJ color separations. In single bed knitting GX/LX is used, for DBJ use every needle rib, and set back bed settings and pushers for desired backing (GX is the Passap equivalent of free pass, with the bed in that setting not knitting any stitches, whether or not any needles are in use or holding yarn). The repeat must be an even number of rows in height. The instructions in the company publications are that color reverse must be used, swapping the background and motif colors. The color changing sequence is the usual one. Both KRC and 179/ col rev knits white pixels first. When knitting a row in Brother machines the K carriage must pass the center of the needle bed, or the pattern will not advance properly. In Passap, programmed end needles for pattern on each side must be cleared or error messages will be received, and a pattern “correction” will be required before continuing.

I am planning to begin by using a 2 color, large repeat factory mylar, scanned and reduced to downloadable image, details in how to in a previous post. The goal is to knit segments that are part of a continuous, “longer” image. My ultimate goal: to knit scarves that are 70-84 stitches wide, with non repeating patterns for 12-1400 rows. My understanding that such an image in img2 track would be broken into tracks by the software, with each track programmed in turn as separate segments, and the software warning one when the last row for each track is reached. In Passap the segments will be entered as patterns A, B, and C, no warnings at repeat ends, they are calculated based on math. Segments will be 30 pixels in height as  “pretend” longer file components, for the sake of knitting speed.

That row back to the color changer knitting row one again, would show up as an error/ extra row below row 1 color 1 of the subsequent pattern.Looking at it in terms of black and white squares, what happens the same repeats when stack continuously above each other

The problem comes at the intersection of the 2  different patterns; the assumption with the KRC separation is that you start with one row of color 1 opposite the color changer, and if you are knitting a continuous, “looping/repeating” pattern, the last rows knits the last row of color 1 away from the color changer (B), and will start with row 1 color one again toward the color changer on the left in Brother (C). One approach  is to stop knitting in pattern opposite the color changer, (red line), program the second piece of the “longer” design, and start to knit the first row of color 1 again for that pattern segment, going from right to left/ toward the color changer(C). Color changing then follows every 2 rows until the top of the second pattern piece is reached, repeating as needed.

The full mylar repeat, scanned and processed for use as images to be eventually downloaded via cable is shown in the top image. Below it,  segments 1-40 stitches, rows 1-30, 41-60, 61-90 are shows as selected, cropped in turn, with corresponding bmps saved for cable download. AYAB users can work with image software like paint, gimp etc. to process and save them as b/w bitmap, png, etc. Img2track accepts common image formats (jpg, gif, png, bmp, tiff). Both software programs may be used in PCs and Macs. Wincrea Win_Crea can open files in .cut (Passap), .bmp, or .wmf formats. It can save in .cut and .bmp. Passap and the 930s hold the segments in their own memory, while ayab knits from screen. Stitch painter (2.0) prior to the latest release used to have limited import and export formats, including .cut. There now is a new website for program, a new release, and I could not find info on exports beyond “There are now numerous export file formats including: PDF, JPG, TIF, PNG, and other popular formats.”

The full mylarthree segments, selected from its bottom left 

Proof of concept swatch on 910 using the mylar, programmed consistently in width on needles 1-40, with height for each segment 1-30, 31-60, 61-90. I was knit in a throw away yarn, in unfamiliar DBJ tension settings, so I had some dropped stitches seen in the left, bottom of the swatch image that were resolved with adjustments in settings. Note the image is reversed vertically by the program automatically with all variation levers down with the exception of the KRC one 

One develops preferred ways of handling images as knitting experience increases and varies. I have always done my own scaling prior to any actual knitting. Software programs at times offer to adjust height based on knitting technique and either real or estimated gauge. Passap has a smooth edge feature to decrease stepped effects if the image is enlarged in multiples by the console. In double bed work, sample swatches are often much larger than when working single bed, at least 100 stitches by 100 rows. Because DBJ lengthens the image by default  (each single row of design now requires 2 passes of the carriage), a separation for a 30 row design would require 60 rows of knitting on the machine to complete the repeat. Ribber settings can help reduce elongation in addition to any scaling of the motif. One alternative would have the ribber knitting in one direction, slipping in the other. This means that every other rows the main bed will create floats for the non knitting color, get caught between beds on the next pass. 

In my test design such floats are quite long in sections of the motif, resulted in problems, so that left me with choosing the lili setting. 

Lili buttons on Brother machines behave like a 1X1 punchcard does on the main bed. There is no free pass with ribber set to slip <— —> if lili buttons are engaged. It is the equivalent of making such a pass on the main bed with every other needle selected, where any stitches on selected needles would be dropped if there is no yarn in use. Also, one may not slip on the same needles continually, so needles in use on the ribber must total an even number, in pairs of what I refer to as dash and blank or blank and dash markings on the needle tape. The pusher selection on the Passap selections operates differently, so an even vs odd total # rule doesn’t apply.

These photos illustrate needle selection on ribber, first beginning with dash on left, ending with blank on right, the second beginning with blank on left, ending with dash on right. It is the second needle on the carriage side that gets selected in each direction, regardless of starting mark for needle pairs. Here the blank knits to right, the dash knits to left

and its reverse, with dash knitting to right, blank knitting to left. There is no way without operator intervention to get that first needle to be the one knitting (such adjustments are made to achieve striper backing as opposed to birdseye, a different topic altogether

I programmed my first repeat segment after casting on, ending with dark color, both carriages on left side. The white squares (in this case knit in white yarn) need to knit the first row from right to left. Either remove the ribber carriage and move to opposite side, or tilt it forward and move it to the right, being careful not to engage any needles. After it is in place, set it for birds eye backing 

The knit carriage is now brought to the left, set to slip <— —>, KCI or II, in proper placement outside the turn mark for the first preselection row to right. Make a free pass to right, needles will be selected in pattern for the first single row of white squares (needles on the main bed after cast on are already only in B position). Place the yarn properly in feeder, couple the carriages, knit right to left, change color every 2 rows.

At the row before the last row of the pattern (top row, color 1), the card is automatically returned to the starting position of the pattern. When the machine buzzer alerts with its sound that the end of the repeat is being reached, the contrast color 2 (black squares) will be on the right side. In my initial attempts I used the approach: knit to left, change to white (color 1), knit a single color 1 row left to right and stop. Do not cut the yarn. The next pass to the left needs to knit the first “white squares row” in the next segment. The ribber carriage remains on the right, the birds eye pattern on the back will not be interrupted. I took the knit carriage off on the right, moved it back to the left side, it will not be holding any yarn. Prepare for knitting the second segment. There will still be needles selected (they would have knit the first white row when moving from right to left if the repeat were a continuing one). They need to be manually pushed back to B or those stitches will be dropped on the free pass to right. Program as usual, pre select to right, place white yarn back in proper position in feeder, engage both carriages and knit repeating the process until once again, a first, single row of the white is knit at the top of the second segment. The machine sounds serve as reminders when you have reached the point where things require attention. The process is repeated until all necessary pieces have been knit, composing the much longer image.  As I worked further, I believe the same method may be used as seen below with the mylar in place. Knit the last row with the ground color to left, preselection for the white squares is made on the way. Do not disturb needle selection on the bed or settings on either carriage. COL. Program the next segment, begin on far left outside the turn mark, change color to color 1 (white squares). As the carriages move to the right, the last row of segment one knits and the first row of segment 2 is preselected. As the carriages return to the left to begin color changing sequence every 2 rows, row 1 color 1 segment next will knit, while the first row of the ground (black squares) will preselect. 

I recently received a second EMS Ayab kit I am just now beginning to use. Here the same image, bottom segment only, is tested. Knowing Ayab selects black squares first in its ribber setting I used the action invert available in the program itself to color reverse (middle image) so white would knit first. The process remains essentially the same in terms of ribber and other settings prior to knitting color 1 design row 1. The difference here as compared to the sample knit with the built in KRC, all other buttons down, is that the native 910 KRC image is reversed on the knit side, it is knit it as it would appear on purl side. The Ayab version automatically mirrors the motif to have the original appear on the knit side as drawn.I did attempt to load  the 3 segments into the program, knit them using the single setting (left) and the infinite one (right). The single setting gives one alerts when the top of the repeat is reached akin to the native buzzer, the infinite relies on the operator on knowing the to stop. I had problems with the yarn I was using and dropping stitches after out of curiosity I decided to add the latch opening plate to my ribber carriage. They went away when I removed it in subsequent swatches. I was not successful again using the single setting. The arrows mark what appear to be needle selection errors in both series.  9/18/18 Because of space restrictions at the moment my ayab and 910 are in “storage”. As I keep working, it occurred to me this method might be the way to go when using Ayab as well, at present it is untested 

Here I attempted proof of concept with img2track on my 930 which is nice enough to track rows knit. As the top of the first segment was reached and the carriage began to reverse direction from the right, the machine made a warning sound, alerting me to the fact that the second row for row 30 of color 2 was about to be knit as the carriage moved back toward the color changer selection was made for the last row of color 1making certain I did not disturb the needle selection in that row, I took the carriages to the far left, programmed the second segment in the repeat, with not other changes to carriage settings, changed to color 1. The above row knit on the first pass to the right with color 1, while the preselecting row 1 for color 1 in the new segment  and knitting it on the return to the color changer. The idea appeared sound, but then I ran into this: random dropped stitches. At first I thought it might be a yarn issue (different fiber content and weight). After a break I took time to check all ribber adjustments, since this deconstruction was not part of the plan.Adjustments in ribber height (dropped a bit on each side) appeared to solve the problem. I began the swatch intentionally with plain knit stripes as an initial check, switched color 2 to the other yarn to test any different behavior there as well. I had actually moved my ribber from my 910 to the 930 without checking alignment and spacing after doing so, lesson learned. 

A theoretical design as a starting point for more discussion in Facebook 

I cannot speak for img2track from personal experience. When I posed the question to the FB group as to how the program might handle a long, non repetitive image, I supplied the image above. It is not knittable as is, 103X841(odd#) rows, from a random illustration found online that would need a lot of “clean up”. Assuming it was knit ready, an even number of rows, and other DBJ set up requirements are met does the 2 color separation work for the whole image length or must the image be divided into segments that are in turn knit and color separated separately? Tanya Cunningham, creator of the group, was kind enough to respond in the forum, and I have her permission to share her response here. “Img2track creates a B&W pattern of the full length of the image. THAT file is useable in other applications. Many people create an image file with img2track, then load that image file into DAK to knit. Img2track does NOT create separate image files for the various tracks into which it breaks larger images. That happens when you request the pattern from the machine console. When img2track receives the request from the KM, it offers all tracks, and you select which one you wish to load. This image is already in a format such that it will not be altered by img2track (.bmp) (unless you restrict the width.) I selected it with img2track, and the resulting “pattern” was basically the identical image, just converted to a png.
The image was at first loaded in the uneven number of rows, and software gave the warning “It will not end well!” 

“As you knit the last row of each track (left to right) you will be selecting the needles for the first row of the next track. Thus, when you arrive at COR with color 1, you will be all set up for knitting the first row of the new track. Insofar as dividing up the pattern goes, that is done completely automatically by the software. You still have to load the successive tracks (and go outside the turn mark and select KRC). You just have to keep track of which tracks you’ve knitted. I write it down on a piece of paper each time I load a track, and how many rows it is. You can scroll back in the img2track window to see what was the last track knitted, unless img2track gets closed, and restarted, then it won’t show your previous activity, unless you go to the img2track log..”

I put the same query to participants in the facebook Ayab group. Ayab knits from screen, so providing there is no interruption in power it appears some users are able to knit long, non repetitive images without any sub divisions of the original pattern. Adrienne Hunter, an expert user and great resource offered the following information: “there’s effectively no length limitation in AYAB; the Arduino requests the next row as soon as it has finished selecting the current row, and the computer keeps sending the next row (color-separated as needed) until it reaches the top of the file. The pattern is in your computer’s memory which can be considered to be infinite; unlike a download to a 1980’s self-contained knitting machine with very limited on-board memory. As you say, the computer must be set to stay awake, and as always you need to consciously wait for the beep on the right; the time it takes to do the color change is generally enough to cover the delay on the left.
I see occasional patterning errors in long narrow fair isle pieces too, but not in DBJ. That’s because the errors can be prevented by crossing a turn mark every now and again, and with DBJ you cross a turn mark every two rows when you enter the color changer.
You’ll see the annoying UI bug where the display jumps back to the beginning of a long item so it isn’t showing you the section where it’s actually working. The knitting is doing the right thing, just not scrolling the display correctly to show it to you.” If accurate for the full image, this appears to be the ideal method to me.

Paint programs allow for easy manipulation of images that make it a bit easier to imagine the finished product. With the assumption I wish to knit a scarf no longer than 1200 rows using the above design, the first task is to reduce the repeat to a workable, even number of rows in height, no more than 600 rows. So I cropped the image to 94X536. It is well worth to study how the image might appear if color reverse is used, as well as what effect mirroring it may have (especially if direction matters in your design). Pairs of mirrored images may produce interesting, far wider pattern variations. Know whether the program works first with black or white squares, and you can simply choose that color when color 1 row one begins to knit from right. The color reverse option is built into most software and electronics. I prefer to save images as I want to knit them. Notes to self using ayab with images such as above: black squares knit first, so if I want the white to knit first, matching any Japanese pattern knit using KRC style separation use color reverse. If direction matters, remember that the image will be flipped vertically by the program so that it will appear on the knit side as drawn. Though technically I have no plan to knit the whole piece, I decided to test a portion of it with my new ayab board. I programmed the image on the left, wishing to get the effect noted on the right. Began on the right with color 1 = white for design row 1. I am not used to working in this scale. That said, the pattern was accurate up to the point I decided to stop because of time factors. Though the design is 94 wide, I knit only on it center 80 stitches

9/16/18 I received an orphan 930 which when first received had no movable parts related to patterning. The belt was frozen in place, and when that got liberated after cleaning and lubricating as much as I dared take apart at the time, after some initial errors the built in patterns from several groups including lace knit perfectly, with only a slight squeak. After being stored again for a while, I tried built in FI patterns again, and they displayed errors. I heard a new noise coming from the needle selector, exposed that, cleaned and lubricated it, and it lost the added noise during operation. Tried built in FI with resulting patterning errors once more. That said, test patterns in the service manual 881,882,884 knit perfectly. After another break for both of us I got some built in patterns to work again both single and double bed and put working with them to rest. I began to work with img2track. I have not yet purchased a key. These were my first self drawn single bed and dbj tests, none intended for any final piece. 

Here a quickly drafted long, narrow test design is shown with the first track self repeating on the bottom, then with the second track programmed, and continuing on after the first (thanks to help and feedback in the FB group; long stitch striper backing and dropped stitches = extra “design features”😉. The program makes a sound when the last row of ground (black squares) is reached. The carriage is then moved to left, knitting that last row of ground while selecting last row of color 1 for that specific track. When on left, begin outside the turn mark, program the next track, change to color one, remember to set for KRC, knit to right (Cam button will already be set for KCI orII). As you do so, the last row of color 1 is knit, the first row of the next track for color 1 will be selected. The latter will knit on the way back to the color changer. Continue in pattern, changing colors every 2 rows. Knitting is uninterrupted by having to change carriage settings on either bed, backing pattern is also uninterrupted. 

as described in the user guide: to download, launch program and select 

“The KH-930 takes just a few seconds to load the track, because the memory holds only 2 KB of data (about 13000 stitches). Later models have a much larger memory (32 KB). The KH- 940 and KH-950i require 42 seconds to load a track.” “If your pattern was divided into more than one track, you will have to load successive tracks when completing the previous track. Listen for the beep from the knitting machine, indicating that the carriage is about to knit the next to last row of the track, selecting needles for the last row of the track. Knit this second to last row, and then STOP. (If you simply continue knitting at this point, the knitting machine will knit the last row of the track and select needles for the first row of the same track). To load the second track of the pattern, enter CE 551 STEP, and then 2 STEP prior to knitting the last row of the current track. (If your computer goes “to sleep” while you are knitting, you will be unable to load additional tracks. Be sure to check that your computer is not “asleep” before attempting to load successive tracks.) Before you begin to knit the last row and select needles for the first row of the next track, be sure that the carriage passes outside of the turn mark. The knitting machine will retain the loaded track in its memory until you alter it. You can turn it off, and later turn it on and resume where you left off.”So what about Passap and using it for emulating the KRC 2 color DBJ? Passap color changer to start with, is on the right side rather than the left. All preselection of pushers (they will in turn drive the needles to move into work or not) always starts from the left. The first pass to the left after casting on and the pattern is programmed brings them all into work in a flat line, the first preselection row is left to right, with color changes following every 2 rows. Settings for those 2 rows can vary, the console guides you through supposed 2 free passes with settings at SX/GX, the equivalent of Brother slip <– –>/ slip <– –>. The technique 179 is intended for simulating single bed FI in Japanese machines, the manual recommends color reverse. In DBJ that would line up with KRC selecting white squares firs. I like thinking of my black squares as my pattern ones, so I tend not to use the color reverse, choose my contrast color accordingly.  I decided to program the same built in pattern twice, as A and B, each using tech 179, a repeat in which I thought it might see easily what happens when the “2 separate segments” intersect. Below is the pattern seen in B/W, tiled, and knit. Notice in the knit swatch the first row in each sequence repeats twice.What appears to be happening, is that only that very first row is repeated twice for one time in the color separation at the very beginning of the knit. The arrows on the right indicate movements of the locks to and from the color changer, knitting my black squares. If row one is knit in that that color twice only once, and the pattern subsequently is kept continuous, rolling back to row one for only a single pass, the 2 row color rotation can be maintained. The bold, green border outlines the single, full repeat. The separation is only for illustration of placement for the one color.

Swatching again with an attempt to produce it as 2 separate but continuous segments: I do not use color reverse, choose my color to match black squares, and that would be color 2 on the console prompt. In my firs attempt I followed other usual console prompts, but used SX/GX settings for three rows rather than the 2. The first pass will lift all pushers into work. Second pass preselects pushers for first row of pattern to right. Third pass would normally knit the first row of pattern, preselect for second row to be knit from left to right, and so on. After the third SX/GX pass the locks are on the left side(LOL), I changed settings for pattern knitting (LX/BX). On the right, made certain the empty yarn holder is up for the next color. On the left yarn into eyelet, making certain it was positioned so it would not be crossing other color yarn on travel back to color changer. Knit single row to the right, changed color, continued knitting in pattern unit the top of the “segment” was reached (row countX2, in this instance = 32). The design color  knit its last pass, locks are on right (LOR) Programmed second segment, repeated 3 rows of SX/GX. On left, yarn in feeder, proceed as above. This gave me correct continuous segments on the knit side of the fabric, but the birds eye backing was disrupted. On the bottom because of operator error in lock setting, and the top because birds eye normally knits EON for 2 rows, creating a bit jaggy, single line of color after knitting on all needles when the second pass is knit, while here it EON for one row only, missing that second pass. Note yarn ends, yard would need to be cut to position it for those single row passes from left. 

It is really helpful to use colors that are high contrast when testing patterns. Here color positions are reversed, the red is now my ground (white squares with no color reverse), and the blue at the segment change muddies things considerably to my eye. Maintaining the Birdseye selection is now sorted out and actually makes for easier knitting 

Revisiting pleats on the knitting machine: single bed

work in progress 

I am recently pondering self folding shapes, which begin with pleating. Presently, in fashion and knitwear, skirts and clothing with ruffled or folded fabric variations abound. In 2013 I wrote a post including downloadable files of one of my early handouts and working notes. This is the same information
It is possible to knit shadow pleats combining them with holding position to knit wedges which will produce a more circular shape . The shaping can occur in both thick and thin areas.

When working in stocking stitch, if a soft looking pleat is desired, the knitted fabric is simply folded to form the pleat and joined to keep the fold. Crisper folds require the added techniques described above. In hand knitting fold lines are created by slipping stitches on the fold line on the “public side”. Assuming the latter is the knit side of the fabric, this is often indicated by “sl 1 with yarn in back” for front fold line (and as another slip st  option, for with yarn in front for back fold line). A purl stitch is more commonly worked on the same side of the knit for the opposing, inner fold. Both the slipped stitch and the purl one are purled on the return purl row pass. It is also possible to work the former purl stitch as a purl, resulting in a garter stitch is fold inner fold.

To review, parts of pleats: 

knife pleats may be put next to each other, and pointing to the right (S) or the left (Z)

Box pleats are composed of alternating right and left knife pleats, pointing away from each other. Inverted box pleats are composed of one left and one right knife pleat, pointing toward each other.

Accordion pleas are a series of knife pleats in which the back of one pleat forms the face of the next 

The subsequent posts followed with the information in on pleated skirts made with lace carriage transfers (from Brother Knitting Techniques Book ) as well as on ribbed folding fabrics, and automating pleats single bed (‘holding’/slip stitch shaping).

Some authors and publications include hems in the category of pleats as “horizontal”. To my mind they merit their own category. Some related techniques that may be used at the bottom, in the body of the knit, at the top, or only on part of the surface may be found in my previous posts hems 1, hems 2, and ruching .

Punch cards to electronics: book symbols and samples

A number of variables need to be considered when adapting punchcard patterns for use on electronic knitting machines. These images pertain to Brother use, but the principles are shared between KM brands. I will add more information as time goes on. Online free downloads for magazines, manuals, etc. may be found at
some additions of late include designs in 12, 18, and 30 stitch repeats in addition to the familiar 24 and 40 ones, and to help with interpretations of symbols:  Japanese symbols for machine knitters 

For a later post including information on scanning and editing published designs electronically see
As the transition was made from manual machines, to pushbutton, and then to punchcard selection systems, the early collections included diagrams of  symbols familiar to hand knitters, and interestingly worded text that disappeared or was reduced in later punchcard books. I am presenting information in the order in which it appeared in this particular collection’s paper version, I have not found this volume in the above mentioned sources for free download. Images are gathered from more than the one source, so there is some repetition of information


Punchcards may be used to guide one for hand techniques, here a version of e wrap is used on selected needles for weaving  effect, diagram on upper left is for a different fabric. Punchcard may also be used to help track twisted stitches , cables , and racking This is a 2 carriages patterning operation, so lace extension rails must be used, with each carriage disengaged from the belt while the other is moving across the knitting and back to its resting place. 


Below each punchcard, the repeat the is identified in numbers for stitches and rows. The cards presented are the minimum length required for the card to roll smoothly within the reader when joined for continuous knitting (at least 36 rows). Electronic knitters may isolate the individual, smallest repeat, draw only the squares that appear as white in the cards, enter them via mylar or download, and use color reverse.

Skip is aka slip or part. These cards would work for tuck stitch as well, may even tolerate elongation, depending on yarn thickness.

Opposite cam buttons are in use, the fabric changes appearance depending on which of the 2 stitch types is forward, so if instructions with cards are to be followed, then the starting side for pattern in this instance should be COR. Both tuck buttons (or slip) may be used as well, for a different fabric. If the tuck or slip texture is created over an even number of rows (2, 4), changing colors for each paired row sequences can create some interesting color patterns with very short floats akin to planned mosaics and mazes. 

The fair isle patters below are actually poor choices in terms of float control, pushing its limits. It is usually recommended that floats be no wider than 5 stitches, and even then, they may have to be controlled to make the finished garment easier to wear. 

Brother only produces a transfer lace (as opposed to studio simple lace, where the carriage transfers and knits with each pass of the carriage). The lace carriage is the one advancing the punchcard. The knit carriage does not select needles, but rather, knits 2 (or more) plain knit rows

Lace card markings, including for fine lace. In the latter, stitches are transferred and shared between pairs of needles, best knit in a light color, with smooth yarn so surface texture becomes more noticeable.

Lace point cams may be used on the punchcard machine to create vertical bands of lace. This is also achievable on the electronic by programming for knit stitches between vertical (or horizontal bands).

Tuck (left) and weaving (right) may be combined with lace. In these fabrics both carriages are selecting needles, so extension rails must be used. The two column on the left of the cards indicate movements for the lace carriage on left, and the knit carriage on right. Straight arrows indicate single carriage passes, curved ones 2.

Yet another fabric using 2 carriages selecting needles for patterning

Here the “openness” is created by having the appropriate needles out of work, creating ladders in those spaces. Some interesting results can be obtained by transferring the recommended out of work needles’ stitches to the ribber. “air knitting” can help with verifying proper needle placement is in use

to match location of out of work needles to markings for punchcards, which are often given with lines delineating 0 needle position, the image will need to be mirrored horizontally

Suitable for tuck and possibly tolerant of elongation as well:

Punchcard machines mirror motifs when knit. This may not be noticed when copying small repeats, but it becomes more evident in larger ones. For knitting on the 910, the supplied motif would need to be mirrored when programmed to retain the intended direction.

Here are 2 FI samples: the one on the left is fairly evenly distributed, so little if any difference is noticed, the one on the right sends the biker to a different forest

reversal of lettering

and when you think that that is all sorted out in your head, there are these in slip stitch, the direction of stitches matches, because the purl side is used, images reverse on the knit side 

the mirrored punchcards the punchcard change knob has selections for single motif and pattern knitting (KC)

the 910 has settings KC I and II, KC II cancels end needle selection, while in punchcard machines this has to be done manually if the pattern stitch requires it. One such example  is when any patterns are made with needles out of work. End needle selection would make the needles on each side of the empty space select forward and create a knit stitch. In tuck or slip, that would be an out of pattern knit stitch, in FI, a vertical line of the color in the B feeder would appear along on each side of the OOW needles.

Ribber settings and symbols for Brother machines 

Lots of swatches

I have unearthed some of the hundreds of swatches that managed to  move with me when I downsized. They were produced when I used when teaching, often during class experiments and demonstrations. The yarn colors were chosen so I could spot them a mile away as my own (there were shared/public use yarn shelves in studio), and “different” enough so as not to tempt their being taken at any workshops ;-). I am adding them to my photostream as and when I can, and in turn shifting them into albums. In case anyone is interested the link is I am not certain I will have any opportunity to teach again, am hoping if people see them they may be inspired to try some of the techniques in materials and colors of their choosing. I would gladly explain more on any of them if any questions come up when viewing them.

Life changes; Flickr album links

There seem to be times when “life interferes with art” (or at least with one’s wished for schedule) is acutely true. I am in the throes of downsizing, moving and selling my home of 43 years, so there is not a whole lot of knitting or blogging going on.

I will be demonstrating at a Machine Knitting Guild on the West Coast next Saturday, and this had led me to re organizing my Flickr photo stream. For anyone interested, images of my samples albums links:  holding and ruching

Knitting failures: ribber

My previous post including information on brother ribber alignment suggested some things to test when ribbed fabrics are troublesome. I happen to own two 910 machines. The recent 2 posts on using generated mazes addressed developing the repeat for use in a punchcard model machine, but for the sake of speed I knit my samples on the electronic. In attempting to knit DBJ swatches relating the motif, I encountered random dropped stitches on the main bed, as may be seen in the last swatch pictured.

My Brother 850 ribber rarely gets used. I prefer to knit DBJ on my Passap, which can accept PC downloads.  With the 850 in place, all things I could think of were checked: ribber was balanced, at the correct height, brother ribber brackets and not studio ones in place by mistake, correct ribber sinker plate for model, all parts oiled, good condition needle retainer bar on main bed, no needles that vaguely look like they need to be replaced, familiar yarn in use. Knitting fabric single bed with ribber engaged and weights gives expected results with no problems, while dbj, no matter the setting, begins to drop stitches randomly or in groups on main bed (tried different amounts of weight as well). I did not try to use a fine knit bar, since the yarn in use had not required it in the past.  After spending way too much time rechecking everything yet again, I moved the knitting close to color changer, away from the center of the machine, and the darn thing knit perfectly. Back to center, same problem as before. I cannot see any noticeable difference in spacing between beds or gate pegs in the center, assume there may be an issue with some bowing, and briefly I got things to knit properly by lifting the middle of the bed up a bit with a support. A second shot at it with support failed. I even changed needles in the middle of the main bed. A few instances of mis patterning were probably due to static, relieved by using a vaporizer in the knitting room for a while. I took the ribber out of sheer stubbornness, removed it, slapped it on my second 910, using the same needle retainer bar on the main bed, and knit the same pattern with only one dropped stitch and one mis patterning error, knitting as fast as possible. I am admittedly flummoxed. The only thing I did not try was to use the troublesome 910 on a different knitting table. Some days are meant for walks on the beach and eating chocolate instead of knitting ;-).


Carpet or pile stitch knitting on Passap and Brother KMs 2

Trial swatches do not necessarily require a permanent edge. A main bed cast on with all open stitches is familiar to knitters accustomed to using a single bed Brother cast on comb. A quick version of the same type of cast on is also doable when both beds are in use, and the goal is to knit all stitches only on one bed or the other. The broken toe cast on for rib is so called because if comb and weights are hung in the wrong location on the needle bed, when stitches on the opposite bed are dropped, so will the comb be along with weights, heading for your feet. If the ribber is going to be the bed doing the knitting that anchors dropped stitches or pile in Brother kms, please note: prongs of ribber comb line up directly in front of main bed needles (blue arrow) and to each side of the loops on ribber bed needles (red arrow). The ribber comb wires will anchor down loops on needle bed where plain knit rows will be formed. As mentioned above, this method will result in stitches all being open, does not produce a permanent edge, is suitable for quick swatching or for waste yarn at the bottom of weighted fabric. It is possible to perform this cast on with ribber comb with wire already inserted in both brands, but the broken toe method is potentially less hazardous to needle health.brokent_toe_arrowsAnalyzing what is required to move between km brands with the goal of achieving 2 color or isolated pile motifs: in Passap with the back bed set to FX, one arrow key, EON pusher/ needle selection changes every 2 rows. In Brother this may be achieved on the main bed by pushing in one tuck button and programming a repeat.  The alternate, adjacent cam button, left in its normal position, will knit every stitch when knitting direction is reversed regardless of whether any needle selection is happening. On the ribber lili buttons may be used for alternate needle selection. Its levers determine whether tucking or slipping, in one direction or both, occur. The number of stitches on the ribber must be even. An easy visual check is to check markings on needle tape, which consist of what I refer to as dashes and blanks. For an even number begin with one, end with the other.  Passap will automatically revert to the alternate pusher for patterning on the subsequent 2 rows. In using lilis this is not an automatic function, and some handwork is required to obtain the same effect by changing first needle selection every third row as seen in this post.

If the ribber is chosen as the loop making bed, selection there needs to be manual for any pattern other than across whole rows. In my swatch, to knit across all needles the ribber carriage is set to slip in one direction, knit in the other. The all knit rows in pile knitting need to follow the ones with tuck loops on the opposite bed.  Extra needles are on main bed, which creates the fabric backing. The ribber carriage can be disengaged and used to drop stitches after all knit row on the main bed.

In the actual knitting, if plain one color pile with plain color backing is the goal, some rules may be broken. The thickest, most stable pile is achieved when the yarn anchoring the loops is as dense as possible. If the goal is to knit every stitch across each row to create loops and in turn drop them, one is in fact working an every needle rib. This makes it possible to create tuck loops on either bed creating the backing across the whole row, because in fact there are stitches on each side of the tuck loop on the opposing bed anchoring it in place. Normally when 2 or more needles tuck side by side, rather than the stitch formation usually seen in tuck, the loops do not get anchored, drop off, and create a float like those seen in slip stitch patterns.

In my first sample, the fabric is cast on the main bed, the loops are formed on the ribber. The carriages are set for main bed to tuck traveling to right, knitting to left. The ribber is set to slip to left, knit to right. The ribber is used to drop the stitches, simply by disengaging it from the main bed, and running it across from one side to the other. Dropping stitches occurs (on either bed) after all stitches have been slipped there for one row (no needle selection if patterning). Starting side for my swatches was on the left of the machine. It is helpful to have a ruler or tool to help push loops down between the beds after dropping each row of loops, and also to occasionally drop the ribber in order to check whether any loops may be caught on gate pegs.

In this swatch I had some problems (blue arrow) on the right side related to changes in tension while determining what might be the best. Section 1 has every needle tucking on the main bed. Section (2) begins to try to emulate the Passap pusher selection using an EON 2 row tuck repeat on the main bed, resulting in things going awol and loose, even at tightest tension possible on the main bed. Any time patterning is used on the main bed, end needle selection is cancelled (KCII). The tuck repeat2 row tuck

the settings (here lili buttons are not in use1X1 card MBno lili2

ribber loops2To create every needle loops for pile on the main bed: CO is on ribber. With settings on image below left (no lili buttons in use), the ribber tucks loops on every needle traveling to right, knit all stitches moving to left. Moving to the right the main bed knits on every needle, slips whole row moving to left, giving the opportunity to drop stitches off. With settings on below right, lili buttons are in use, and the ribber now produces an EON needle selection, every row. Left alone the selection is what would be seen using the 1X1 card on the main bed, its repeat 1X1tuckloops on MBThe yellow yarn is a 2/8 good quality wool knit at 4.2 on main bed, 3.2 on ribber. Switching to a rayon twist of similar thickness created instant havoc. The dark grey was a mill end, tighter twist 2/8 wool. Red arrows show what happens when loops are caught up on gate pegs and not immediately noticed. The green arrow indicates longer loops that can happen when knit stitch on either side on the opposite bed do not knit off properly. The result is a dense wool fabric, so the tendency to roll at top and bottom of each piece toward the “knit” side of the fabric needs to be considered at top and bottom edges of finished pieces.

knit with no lili buttons in usemain bed loops2

In 2 color knitting, or creating isolated motifs whether on one color or striped ground, anchoring loops by tucking on every needle is no longer possible, making reverting to EON needle selection on ribber a necessity. The results are dramatically different. These swatches were made using lili buttons or hand selection on ribber, loops on main bed. If things don’t work in one color, they will not in 2, so one color, every needle pile is a place to start evaluating the results

1X1 lili selection left me with “where are the loops?”white_lili

In bottom section here I tried 1X1 hand selection for 2 consecutive rows,  the narrow band in center back was back to 1X1 to separate areas using lilis, at the top I used lili buttons and brought an extra needle into work on ribber before traveling to right every third row (making needles in work on ribber an odd number), returning it to out of work before knitting back to right. Dropping stitches every 4 rows makes tracking the sequence easier. The resulting pile is far more “subtle” than samples worked with every needle tucking on the bed creating the backingyelllow-lili_500

So far I still have had no luck with getting anything that does not look like a variant of drop stitch lace when attempting patterns separated for 2 color knitting, either in embossed one color, or in striped 2 color versions.

Zig Zag ladder lace 2: hand knit

I work primarily on a Mac, Maverick OS. Intwined software has had some issues operating in Mac consistently in the latest OS versions. The chart to text can be a really nice feature. The repeat, drawn here with symbols in the built in stitch library, shows errors in row 2 and 4 of the accompanying text.single repeatmistakes single

On a larger canvas, the original repeat is outlined below in red. Yellow indicates knit border stitches around ladder lace pattern repeats; row 22 is absent from the text that accompanied the larger chart.

full chart

full directionsSkitch is a free program, available for both Mac and Windows, that allows the opportunity for of highlighting or further editing a graphic. Taking the information above, here I added numbers that reflect actual repeat rows, used the arrows as a reminder of change in direction of zig zag, and the red outlines vs green indicate changes in type of knit decrease. It is easy to add as much or as little additional information as one feels helpful. There are controls for line thickness, shadows, etc.

actual repeat

JKnit is another program that may be of interest to anyone who prefers to track their projects, progress, and much more on their iPad or iPhone. The Lite version is free for both devices.

Below is an image of the hand knit swatch, unblocked, which appears three dimensional; transfer  lace has traditionally been blocked to lie flat and maximize eyelets. The fabric may be very interesting without blocking. If a slightly thicker yarn with “memory” is used, the piece may be steamed lightly, and the pattern segments will tend to shift in and out from the flat surface, whether the piece is hand or machine knit.IMG_1901

The yarn used was a “throw away” swatch testing acrylic. A very quick, light press and a bit of steam and here it is in the resulting killed, forever flattened version

IMG_1905  and it reverse side