Blistered stitches dbj

Some of my previous posts on double bed fabrics with designs creating pockets in both one and two colors:
quilting-on-the-knitting-machine-1/
quilting-on-the-brother-km-2-solid-color-back-dbj/
revisiting machine knit quilting 
quilting using ayab software
http://alessandrina.com/2019/12/15/references-for-double-bed-single-color-references-for-double-bed-single-color-fabrics-with-pockets/

A review of some of the terms used in describing fabrics with raised designs in various patterns:
blistered fabrics: two rows of the main color are knit the same as in standard dbj, but more rows are added and knit with the blister color on only one of the two beds used to create textured pockets. Technically they can be executed in a single color as well as in two colors per row. The extra rows result in the blisters being raised or lifted up from the fabric surface, they are often also referred to as pintucks. These fabrics do not have the width and stretch of many other 2 color dbj fabrics.
When exploring this family of knits, use plain, fairly smooth and thin yarns. This is a fabric where pressing should be avoided so the texture is not lost or altered. For setting the pockets created sometimes slipping a wire or tool through the bubbles will do the trick as for any hems. Simple, bold patterns work the best. Spreading the texture evenly throughout the design will decrease distortions in width. Leaving needles out of work combined with racking can alter the basic technique considerably.
In the two-color version, a double thickness fabric with a crumpled face side and a single color backing is created. The blistered areas are knit in one bed only, the rest is full needle rib with floats from each blister enclosed in the fabric.
Begin with a repeat that is elongated X2, the jacquard separated pattern needs to be double marked. Needles are arranged as for DBJ. For 2 colors the main bed is set to slip <— —> throughout, but the ribber settings need to be changed and set to knit and slip alternately for 2 rows to produce the single color backing.  Good needle condition is a must if occasional stitches are dropped on the ribber they can be repaired when the work is off the machine.
Ripples are created by setting one bed to slip and the other to knit for several rows, then setting both beds to knit simultaneously to join the tucks in repeats. They are selective pintucks, on every needle rib. The main bed is set to slip <—  —> throughout, the ribber carriage is set to slip for 4 or more even numbers of rows, and then to knit for 2 rows (this number may also be varied depending on the specific pattern). This is a fabric that likes to be weighted evenly. Tight ribber tension will help increase the definition of ripples. As in any multicolor fabric, each set of ripple stitches may be knit using a different color yarn.  Some designs tolerate having the main bed set to tuck rather than knit.
Brother machines often are limited to 4 rows knitting on the bed creating the ripple before closing the rib.
Transferring blister stitches to main bed, with a shadow lace tool or a transfer carriage is referred to as “shadow lace”. Adding blank rows in your design makes it easier to have a transfer point to the opposite bed. Using a plaiting feeder will add color contrast.
“Nopps” which are essentially small bumps on tightly textured tuck stitch grounds require careful tension adjustments.

An image was shared in a machine knitting group on Facebook. It cropped up in Pinterest, could be traced back to some Russian knitting forums and a how-to knit query was made
There is an Italian language youtube channel with a throve of machine knitting videos, one on jacquard groffato , executed on punchcard machines, with a companion video on punching the card. Groffato means embossed.
Points to remember: the more needles on either bed knit alone to create the pockets, the more the tension used needs to approach the one for single bed knitting there with the same yarn. Large shapes are best used, represented by white squares /unpunched areas. Punchcards such as ones published with large unpunched areas for thread lace designs or tuck stitches with large punched areas color reversed can work once the principle is sorted out.
The setting used in the video is for tubular/ circular knitting.
The all punched rows in the video actually match rows that would be knit anyway because the main carriage is set to knit in one of the two directions, not slip. Two yarn ends are used, which could result in a fairly dense fabric with limited drape. Switching to a single yarn end can alter both considerably.
In designing your own patterns for testing it is best at the start to keep shapes simple and not worry about repeat variations.  I am working on a 930 using img2track, but my repeat is 24 stitches wide and usable on a punchcard model, its source is another pin. To make the design twice as long, when planning an electronic download, the image can be stretched in the design software or by altering the stretch factor to 2 in img2track. Tiling the design prior to download can help one imagine the potential results in using it for an all-over pattern or what its appearance might be if the repeat is shifted into a brick configuration.
Use a familiar, smooth yarn in an easy to see color. Tension changes alone can change the dimension in the textured surface, so having a “normal” baseline for tensions and “feel” while knitting from previous uses of the yarn double bed gives one a good starting point.
The “flower” image used in my tests is shown here in the original, and then is color reversed so its shape will blister, not the ground. Below it, on the left, the image was stretched within img2track, on the right within my design program which happens to be Gimp. In both instances, the original 24X24 design becomes 24X48 in actual knitting

The tiled image for both a standard repeat and a brick configuration shifting by 12 stitches to the right are not thrilling me, but the goal is to explore the knit technique, modifications in the original or even abandoning it can happen later My starting samples were knit on 32 stitches, not enough to get a sense of or a good view of the horizontal repeat of 24 stitches. At first, I used the design version with no horizontal black lines in the download. The difference between the every needle rib at the bottom of the pieces and the slip stitch blister fabric is easily seen. Slip stitches are short and thin whether single or double bed. On the left, I used the tensions of 4/4, as for the particular yarn in past experiments. On the right, the switch was made to 4/2. The tighter ribber tension made the blisters more pronounced. The non selected needles on the main bed create the pockets. Because functions repeat for pairs of rows in this design, the first preselection row can happen from either side and cam buttons may be reversed with similar results as seen in top vs bottom below. Opposite part buttons are used as in option A or B.As I have explained in the past, I tend to leave the slide lever permanently in the center position. It becomes one less variable, forgetting to reset it can result in errors in gauge and more mishaps when knitting multiple pieces where gauge matters significantly or in reproducing previous work. The “striped” repeat produces essentially the same fabric. The knit carriage may be set to slip in both directions when using it since the row of all punched holes or black pixels will knit every stitch on every needle selected while in the previous samples the cam button set to knit in one direction performed that function regardless of any markings on the design repeat.  The ribber is set to knit in one direction, slip in the other. Reversing sides for cam button settings produces the same fabric  

To my mind, the best shapes for this sort of surface design are clearly geometric ones. My eye sees them as more easily identified on the surface of the resulting knit. Sticking with the original “flower” however, here it is after a bit of editing of just a few pixels followed by a larger swatchThe Stitchworld Pattern Book is another good source for predesigned repeats, many in units suitable for punchcards as well. I was attracted to the possible geometry in this particular patternThe repeat I chose is designated as suitable for the Garter Carriage. It is 24 stitches wide by 48 rows high, shown below as provided, charted in Gimp as .png for download, and tiled to help visualize how continuous repeats might line up. The image .png was downloaded with img2track to my 930, with a stretch factor of 1.0, retaining the original repeat sizeThe resulting knit is interesting on both its knit and the purl sides, clearly shows how the “image” is shortened in slip stitch techniques, elongation would be required to create more of the diamond shape Final decisions are often best made after a period of rest for both the knit and for our eyes. It is only in the actual knitting that the shapes can be finally evaluated, worked on further, or abandoned. One of my own best selling felted items for more than a decade was born from an accidental effect on a large swatch that nearly landed in the trashcan after it became something different than what I had planned or expected.

Beginner’s corner

WORK IN PROGRESS

Copyright can be a touchy, sometimes murky subject. In my teaching days at a design school, each instructor was responsible for accumulating what amounted to a “textbook” with any expected readings and required information for students attending the classes. There was an arrangement with a single copy center that actually paid a fee set by the government in order to be allowed to provide a service. Teachers supplied boxed material on a single-sided copy per page sheets, withdrew it at the end of the term. The copy center would make double-sided copies from each sheet in the original, bind them, making them available for purchase for only the cost of what it may have been to customers using copiers to make their own per sheet. My intro to knitting “book” evolved into 330 pages, costing students as far as I can recall about $30. An overall bibliography and often credit in sections were included. This all was happening pre-internet browser searches and easy downloads.
I have often not included a definition for some of the terms used in my posts. Also, I did not share information from manuals and company publications until they, in turn, became easily available online, long after the companies that published them went out of business.
A list of common abbreviations: Test and gauge swatches

From the Brother Knitting Techniques Book
I personally prefer to measure gauge on the purl side, where to my eye the start and end of the color transitions appear clearer.
The Passap advice was quite different. This is from the Duomatic 80 manual
and it was followed by tables that helped with calculation conversions based on measurements. When using Japanese machines while executing some DBJ or highly textured stitches, a larger swatch should become the go-to when measuring gauge for garments by default. Using 100X100 combined with the use of metric measurements facilitates the maths and use of devices such as the knitleader, where measurements in millimeters are required.

A “long swatch” exploring a card from a “censored” selection from the factory-supplied punchcard packet in as many techniques as possible became a required assignment In KM model manuals a list was sometimes provided suggesting what cam settings might be suitable for each card
Factory supplied cards were usually marked with a number and letter as seen above, but oddly as model numbers changed, sometimes either or both of the latter would change as well. A table of my own after a quick review of my stash:
1S, 2R,3J/S, 3P, 4D, 5J, 6P, 7G, 8S/J, 9G, 10D, 13G, 101, 102, 103, 107, 108, 109

 

Foreign language machine knitting youtube channels

I am sharing some online foreign language video channels that offer, in my opinion, a huge variety of topics in their content with the possibility upon its viewing of being inspired, learning techniques and new ways to use tools, often with subtitles or even with no need for them or spoken language because of clarity in the material presented:

Italian: Ortenzia Renza Menciotti

Japanese: knitlabo 

Spanish: Isatrico

Hindi: Kritica creation

DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 2

I am taking a break from this topic for a bit. At some point will add at least one more swatch and perform another edit. My eyeballs and brain need to be looking at some single color knitting and no more than 2 color squares for a while 🙂

My first attempt to use a 3 color automatic separation was with img2track. There are 2 oddities for me using the program. One is that the default selector setting is for a single motif, perhaps on the assumption that the main use would primarily be for large scale, nonrepetitive images. The other is that even if working with 2-row color changes with each color in each design row knitting for 2 rows, the first preselection row must be made from the color changer side. This is a necessity in Japanese color separations for 2 color work where the first color knits for only one row on moving from the right side to the left, but if 2 colors with the same selection are required at the start, one row of the 2 appears to be technically eliminated as a result. I had expected to use 3 shades of grey, a pleasant surprise: the program can actually import a 3 color other than grays. The test was using the 11 stitch repeat A pleasant surprise: the program can actually import a 3 color other than greys image. Using Gimp, images worked in RGB can be reduced to indexed 3 colors for this purpose. If there are rows where there is no color represented, then as explained later in the post, the indexing should be to 4 colors, not 3 for the planned for import to work properly.The design is automatically flipped vertically, so it will appear as intended on the knit side of the fabric. Yarn colors may be placed in the color changer matching the order in the assigned color numbers to match the placements in the original image. The program automatically adjusts for the vertical stretch, which changes the aspect ratio of the shapes. On my 930 I received prompts on which color to change to prior to doing so, eliminating any confusion. With no such prompts generally one can tell which color was knit last because it will appear on top of the previously used one on the left of the knit. With a stretch factor of 1 selected in img2track, the image height was reduced by half.To achieve a look closer to the intended shape,  the repeat needs to be rendered twice as long. The stretch factor can be adjusted in the program itself to 2.0

In the past, I have preferred to elongate the design prior to importing with plans for download rather than to rely on memory for changing settings either in the download program or in the machine itself in future uses of the same design.The same yarns, tension, total number of carriage passes and settings were used showing the difference in aspect ratio between single color per row knitting and the img2track built-in color separation. The width of both swatches is essentially identical.

Images may be loaded into the program without the cable being connected to the machine. Error messages do appear with download attempts if the cable is not properly in place. The machine also needs to be powered on before the program is launched if a download is planned. I am working in Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6, have no present desire to upgrade to Catalina.
Executing fabrics that will knit each color in each row only once for every 2 passes on the main bed: back to that original repeat Here it is used as drawn, note vertical stretch set at 2, will be cut in half by the software, getting the image back to the original height l0 X 3 = 30 rows required for all colors to knit in turn; there will be 60 carriage passes to complete one single repeat.The 930 will provide prompts for the next color to be selected by pushing the matching number button on the color changer, avoiding any confusion in terms of what should be picked up next. img2track will also flip the design horizontally automatically so the image will appear as originally drawn on the knit side. Images are loaded as single motifs, so the change in the selector needs to be made manually for an all-over pattern.

In order to have each color in each row knit only once: cast on with preferred method and color. Set up the machine so that the yarn colors are placed in the color shown in the image presented by the program to match your design. End with the machine on the left-hand side for the first preselection row.
COL: set both carriages to slip in both directions and all its needles in B position, set lili buttons if not already in use, pick up color 1
knit one row to the right
COR: knit to left, color 1 will knit for a single row
**COL: change color, STOP! Push back any needles on the top bed back to B position, as you knit to the right the ribber only will be knitting, knit one row to the right
COR: preselected needles will knit in the color last picked up on the way back to the color changer, knitting only one row in that color on the main bed as you return to the left**
repeat the last ** 2 steps throughout. One can get into a rhythm. A cast on comb, part of a garter bar, or any tool of adequate width can make it a quick process of pushing needles back to B when needed to
trust the software, not the selection expected by your eyes.
My swatch seemed to be growing in length at a faster rate than I remembered in the last exercise, here the results are shown side by side with the fabric executed previouslyObviously a success in terms of the single row for each color reducing elongation of the design shape.  While knitting occurs using the same yarns, at the same tensions, there is a clear difference in the length of each stitch on the main bed and their appearance. The reverse. Checking the ribber carriage I noticed on the left side it was set to knit only, not to slip: OOPS!N is king, so the ribber set as shown is knitting every other needle when moving to the right, but even with lili buttons in use it knits on every needle when moving back to the left. Every other needle on the ribber will then be knitting for 2 rows as a result. The more knitting on the ribber for each pair of rows, the longer the stitches on the opposite bed. The backing is an interesting variation (half) birdseye. The elongated stitches on the main bed show more of the backing in between their shapes, it is referred to as bleedthrough. In some instances, the result can make the knit surface resemble weaving and its appearance far less familiar in a surprising, pleasant way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Remember always to double-check all settings at the start of any process in case something was missed or magically moved, and keep notes.

I was asked on Facebook whether the technique shown here is the same as the 3 color slip (skip) stitch patterns in the Stitchworld pattern book, my response: some of the stitch world patters for 3 color slip are designed for or may be used on the double bed (often single bed as well). For instance, patterns 392 and 394. The original designs are rendered color separated. Numbers on the left suggest the order for color changes to achieve a look similar to that in the swatch photos. Assuming the pattern is not easily accessible because of its being built in your machine’s memory, it would have to be entered into a paint program manually to make it available for import and in turn for download. Note that the color-changing sequence may change over the course of knitting the image, so prompts or notes of some sort would be needed to keep it correct. Each color in each row knits twice after each color change. My goals in my blog posts so far have been to keep a constant color changing sequence with each color in each row of any personal design knitting only once. I did it first with my own color separation, then, in turn, used the 3 color separation feature in img2track to achieve my desired result. Here are 2 images from the Stitchworld section in question The images could be replicated as given in a paint program, using only one color for the squares, but “should be reduced to black and white”. Attempting to import an indexed 2 color image drawn in a color other than BW may result in strange results. That said, if glitched knits are the goal, the above could work just fine. Curiously, here is the same process, using a different color, and a successful import. Checking again, I had forgotten to save the image after indexing it from RGB mode to 2 colors. and a test with another color 
Drop stitch lace periodically comes up, I have written several posts on the technique, now considered the possibility of producing it in 3 colors. The resulting fabric tends to be long, thin, and in need of blocking. There is no way to avoid the striped ground. Passap knitters often refer to this type of knitting as summer fair isle. I adjusted the repeat widthNote to self: if you are determined to use a punchcard carriage on your electronic machine remember there is no KCII to cancel end needle selection!
In order to knit this fabric stitches must be cast on in whatever method you prefer, but prior to any patterning all stitches must be transferred down to the ribber, and the main bed needles are placed in working position but are empty. Because of the single row knit for the first 2 design rows of color one, the start is a bit finicky. Alternative start follows lower in post
COL: KC II, main bed set to slip <– –>, ribber stays on N throughout, no lili buttons. Knit one row with color 1 (ribber only)
COR: as you knit to return to the left, the color 1 preselected needles will knit, while the ones corresponding to color 2 will preselect
COL: carefully drop any stitches on needles with color 1 on them without disturbing the new needle selection for color 2
**COL: change color, knit to right
COR: drop the stitches knit in the new color, make certain all needles are empty and in B position, knit back to left and needles will be preselected for the next color**
Repeat the ** to**
Again resulting fabric is narrow and long, it may take a bit of squinting to recognize the design. A single repeat results in about 3.5 by 9 inches of knitting, a far cry from what might have resulted in a single row per color design row dbj virtually shown here in a tiled format

The question then comes up re dropping only one of the 3 colors. Using the manual selection described above, the knitting on the top bed would need to be canceled on every color, every row except for the single row in the chosen drop stitch color. To my mind, that is too much to keep track of for any length of time. It would be easier achieved with specific self-drawn color separations.
There is a lot of testing that can go into developing any fabric in unfamiliar techniques that may or may not meet our expectations or our “like”, it all contributes to learning regardless of whether the tests evolve into projects.

My last post on drop stitch lace in from single color to two: revisiting the techniques on brother machines

Reviewing what happens within the program one more time, highlighting significant items to verify before beginning to knit Getting that first row to knit twice instead of a single time if that matters in your technique or is your preference:
advance design row to last one in the sequence, in this case, 30
in the 930 when the pattern is loaded, using the down arrow key gets to the last row in the downloaded pattern more quickly

COL: set machine to preselect pattern, the next 2 passes would need to not knit, so both carriages are set to slip in both directions
knit one row to the right
COR: number 30 design row flashes
knit one more free pass to left, row 1 of color 1 will preselect as you knit
COL: number 1
design row flashes
check all settings,
main bed set to slip <– –>, ribber set to slip <– –> with lili buttons, and with an even number of needles in work for standard dbjpick up color 1 in yarn changer
the resulting knit design will be elongated
COL
: knit one row to the right.
As you knit the first row of color 1 design row 1 will knit, row 2 of color one design row 1 will preselect
COR: knit back to the left
as you knit back to left row 2 of color 1 design row 1 will knit, row 1 of color 2 design row 1 will preselect
COL: pick up color 2,
continue in pattern changing colors every 2 rows

In designing your own, small repeats can easily be rendered even in a simple paint program. Larger, more complex ones, may best be worked using layers and masking in a variety of programs ie. Photoshop or Gimp. It is possible to combine 2 color dbj and 3 color dbj in the same piece simply by using different color separations for each segment, but the look of the fabric in terms of the length of each stitch on the knit side may be quite different when moving from one segment to the next. Of course, the backing will change as well. Though the aspect ratio of the design changes in terms of height when one knits 2 rows for each color in each design row, it remains the easiest separation method. Adding the hand selection as described above so that the main bed knits in one direction only helps reduce some of the extra height, making the original image more recognizable. There is no option within img2track to perform the action automatically in terms of adding the necessary blank rows to replace some of the colored ones in the separation.

Passap knitters are not left out of this idea. Passap preselects pushers. On the E 6000 Tech 179 emulates the built-in KRC option in Japanese model machines. My guess was that technique 180 for 2 colors, perhaps 197 with both arrow keys on the back may work for 3 colors. TBD in my next spurt of knitting activity on it. That said, the console built-in designs may be used cross-brand. It is possible in Passap to layer repeats in order to add the third color to the mix. Here is one sample reworked for use on Brother and downloaded into img2track. If black and white repeats are already in your library, one may easily recycle them adding a third color. Here I did so with a repeat intended for a very different topic future post. The image was altered and tiled in Gimp for a repeat alignment test and is also shown imported into img2track for possible knittingWhat of images that are published in punchcard machine references? It is probably best to start with smaller repeats. That said, this is from a Deco pattern book.  Deco punchcards were 40 stitches wide, could be joined together in length as can those for the Japanese models The image of the separation on the above right has not been proofed for accuracy. If it were, the next step would be to elongate it X 2 for color changes every 2 rows. One method is to elongate the original in a paint or photo processing program. The width is fixed (40), the height is scaled X 2. The resulting BW indexed image may be imported, using a 1.0 stretch factor, it remains unchanged. When I tried to elongate the unstretched image in img2track by 2.0 my first try failed. It turned out the reason was I had saved the import without first indexing it to 2 colors. With that corrected, the result matched the one from scaling X 2 in height in the paint program
For years now I have been doing color separations which at first could be extremely slow, one pixel at a time. With increasing familiarity with Gimp and Mac Numbers over time, I have been able to decrease the speed to achieve them immensely. So here, with img2track I now have a program that can work with and separate multiple colors at a time (up to 6 in its pull-down menu option). Here I returned to my first separation in 3 colors for the now-familiar repeat A, elongated it in the paint program B and imported A into img2track choosing 2.0 stretch and 3 colors C. I can totally live with the fact the colors are not the same. The color changer can be set up with my chosen colors in any order I choose

In my first tests with charting a repeat missing any color in some rows, I had scaled the original image taken from a spreadsheet to the wrong size in Gimp, so operator error resulted in crazy results in img2track.Here the image is scaled properly for each color represented for a single row in height, and also scaled again for double-height for possible knitting in Gimp. The Gimp scaling failed to be accurate for me (second image from left) until I indexed the original to 4 colors as well instead of 3. The no color rows as we view them actually serve as a fourth color in the separations. Importing the proper size png into img2track for separation of 4 colors per row now gives results that make sense: note the daunting estimate for the total number of carriage passes for a single repeat height
If the ribber has knit on every needle by its return to the color changer and the machine is set to slip both ways with no needle selection on the main bed, the “no color” can be executed as an empty yarn holder in the color changer combined with no yarn in the feeder.  The rows involved should simply not knit on the top bed, with no dropping of any of its stitches since no needles will have been selected thus coming forward with the yarn in the hooks and traveling behind the latches and in turn, slipping off the needles as a carriage with no yarn pushes the needles with now empty hooks back to B position.

In testing concepts, I prefer to work initially with small repeats. Punchcard books can be an excellent source, but the Stitchworld books have the advantage of actually showing a single repeat for each design, so an 8 stitch repeat, for example, would be shown as such and it would not be up to the person using it shown in a 24 stitch card one to isolate it. I randomly chose pattern 394. I realize that if used from a built-in library of patterns in any machine model the prompts may be provided by the machine, but here I am looking at simply duplicating the pattern for import into img2track.

After duplicating the repeat and associated numbering using Numbers, these were some of my results. A pleasing surprise was that colors in the 2 color import need not be only black and white. That said, the pale green failed, the red did not, and the results from importing both the red/white and the black/white were identical. Another future time saver for me to keep in mind. 

If colors were assigned to each pair rows representing each color used, the white squares were read as an added color on import, and the only way to have those few blocks for the 4th color to show up in the visual representation in an imported repeat was to assign a 5 color separation, resulting in a scrambled pattern. Removing the few squares in color 4, will produce inaccurate separations for actual knitting of the given pattern whether imported to be rendered for 3 colors or 4. The black and white on the right is the “correct” match, leaving any prompts for use of shifting color changers to be tracked somehow by the knitter.Punchcard knitters may have the easiest time to knit variable color sequences since cards may be visually marked up with colored pencils matching needed change locations and taking into account your eyes are a number of rows above the row being read by the card reader. This number depends on the machine brand and model.

Some spreadsheets that may help with tracking row color changes or other regular actions on paper: 2018/04/tracking-rows-1.pdf

I have been asked about the position of the slide lever being fixed in my dbj illustrations. I have found the alternate positions can be wild cards, would rather make adjustments in carriage settings if needed rather than let the factory settings do some of the work for me. If the settings are accidentally in the wrong place as multiple pieces are knit, or in knitting ribber bands for garment pieces, the gauge is changed if the alternate setting is not adjusted and kept constant, and that may not be noticed until the piece of knitting in question is completed, needing a restart. With 15-20 machines active in each studio class and lab session, out of habit, I tried to reduce as many variables as possible.

A video resource on using img2knit for 3 colors per row knitting with blank color rows in the design by Tanya Cunningham, and a Ravelry thread on the topic

 

DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 1

I began to machine knit in the glory days of using the tool and developing techniques. There were internationally attended seminars, hosts of wonderful teachers, and a community of potential peers brought together physically in pre-internet and online forum days. Punchcard machines were the standard. As more electronic models became available it was not uncommon to find the rep for DAK at one end of the market spaces at seminars, and Cochenille at the opposite end, promoting early interface and design programs. My choice at that point was the Cochenille products. I attended design school beginning 1989, the computer lab at the time was all Amiga, and I never really became interested in DAK or for that matter, Garment Styler. I was up and running soon with Bitknitter for the Passap, had the option of the Forma on the Passap or the Knit leader on Brother for less traditional shapes, and the magic formula worked for any of the math I needed in days of using graph paper or that other paper that has lots of lines in it for keeping notes. The calcuknit and styler at the time worked on established default curves, the same that could be achieved by charting math or even simply connecting lines between dots on graph paper, drawing lines in between the dots, and following the drawn lines guesstimating increases and decreases along the edge of the drawing. I have never had any experience with DAK, was never really interested in owning it.  😉
A bit of early low tech: when aspect ratio mattered pages of acetate sheets with vertical lines spaced at different intervals could be lined up atop of each other and placed on a design to approximate knit gauge, and the result could then be charted out and planned for a punchcard repeat or intarsia. Some acetates were sold gridded to approximate stitch and row default proportions, there were also published paper charting aids for both standard and bulky gauges. Some examples:

Laying acetate or even plastic wrap on the computer screen itself and outlining designs and processing them with overlays, was a version of “poor man’s digitizing”. The technological advancement of black and white security cameras used in combination with RGB filters made the first digitizing of non-repetitive images possible.
I had never really planned on teaching. As it turned out I interviewed a few weeks before completing a textile program, had several finished pieces with me from my undergrad work, and was amazingly hired instantly as the machine knitting instructor for apparel and textiles. I found myself faced with a Brother punchcard lab and a summer of crash learning on the specific models followed. In order to teach effectively, I learned to analyze and break down stitch types and techniques in order to help others understand them. Summers would often include studying trends and knitting lots of swatches. Many of those are still in a couple of bins I held onto when I downsized a few years ago, giving up my studio space. It is that analysis that keeps me interested still in working out how-tos. Although I use electronics, I still like to break things down when I can so punchcard knitters are not left out.
Getting to the topic of multiple colors and nonrepetitive images in the “early days”: punching holes in cards is time-consuming and without the aid of electronics or specific software, color separations for dbj and assorted double bed fabrics need to be worked out manually before punching, and accuracy is important. Consequently, some knitters found compromises to achieve the look of multiple colors per row. Julie Schafler Dale’s Julie-Artisans Gallery on Madison Avenue became the central plug-in point for the wearable art movement, eventually representing artists, some of whom are no longer knitting, and some may still be found presently online
Susanna Lewis, Norma MinkowitzJean Williams Cacicedo, Linda Mendelson,
Nicky Hitz Edson, and not caring about floats, often working single bed with some linings and over-dyeing additional colors  Janet Lipkin .
The non-repetitive image was worked out in length by dividing the image lengthwise into panels often 40 stitches wide for use with early Passaps and continuing on to the desired height.  Widthwise, the design was split into the maximum width of 40 stitches with added seaming allowance and consecutive panels were joined to compose the large image. The kimono was the most common shape because of its simplicity in components. As for getting the look of more colors per row: multiple thin strands in color families were used in each yarn feeder. For example, one can knit with  4 strands of red shades, 4 yellow sequentially lined up, used in pairs in the same feeder. Keeping the red constant, for the second strand, the work may begin with either the lightest or darkest yellow, knit X rows, switch yellow to the second shade for X rows, switch to each of the next hues, and in theory, the final set of rows should look like a different color than the one used in that feeder at the start of the process. the ratio of red could be played with as well, expanding the range. Knitting pieces in black and white particularly allows for limited edition knitting. The third color may be applied on portions of the white, providing a look-alike for 3 colors per row. With the range of space-dyed yarns or custom dyeing blanks and then unraveling them for larger pieces to control pooling one can also get the look of more colors per row. Not to be forgotten are hand embroidery and fabric applique.

The question remains as to how to knit more than 2 colors per row on home knitting machines, and color separations to make the fabrics possible. The more colors per row, the more passes to complete any design motif. The final result may be thick and unyielding unless thin yarns are used. More rows are often knit in the back than on the front of the fabric, resulting in further elongation of the shapes involved. The easiest default separation is to knit 2 rows of each color for 2 rows sequentially, allowing paired passes to and from the color changer. This results in an elongated design, even with playing with standard backing variations to reduce vertical stretch such as in birdseye. In a post years ago I began to look at 3 colors per row and some potential issues with separations for dbj using it the initial method:

Each row will have to knit twice to get 2 and from the color changer for color changes every 2 rows, for less punching, each row can be represented once, but the result will need to be elongated X 2

The graph below shows the motif in repeat, the next column the color separation, with expanded rows, and in the third, the black indicates the knit stitches (black squares on mylar, punched holes in card) prior to elongation. 

The repeat was not workable when using the standard method used to avoid elongation, where each color for each design row knits only once. There are segments where the new color would not align properly on stitches knit on the previous row, and to get the design to work I had to amend it.
Fast forward 5 years. I now have access to both ayab and img2track, no longer use Photoshop and Excel, still use GIMP and Numbers as my way to color separate and produce charts for my blog. There are active forums both on Ravelry and Facebook with general machine knitting information, or specific to both interface options and methods for using them.

Sarah Spencer @ heartofpluto developed code that reduces the number of rows knit making the common impossibles possible. The code is freeware, has been implemented in Ayab and available there as a menu option. Adrienne Hunter’s posts on Ravelry explore the concept involved.
To begin, I was interested in using part of the concept on my own while keeping the color sequence constant ie 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 and so on throughout the piece and always begin tests with simple shapes that allow me to note what is happening to stitches, changes in scale as the result of the techniques used and started with designs where each color is represented at least once in each row. The color separation used: The ribber was set for birdseye at the start of the swatch pictured. At its top, N in one direction and slip in the other were used, with the ribber set for knitting every needle when the main bed slips them all on blank punchcard or pixel rows. The tension remained constant throughout. The KC preselection row can happen from either side with this particular color separation depending on whether one starts the design with a blank row or one containing pixels. Since 2 rows knit in each “color”, I prefer to start the first preselection row on the right. Both birdseye and N settings on the ribber produce a single row stripe on the back of the piece for every 2 passes of the carriages and completed  2-row color change sequence. The N setting contributes to elongated stitches on both faces, leading me to prefer the lili birdseye one. 

In theory, because of the way the birdseye rows set up a base for the next row of knitting,  that makes the stitches in any color workable in pattern colors. I created a new repeat for that motif working in numbers following that up, I planned for the 60 rows needed to complete the repeat, hid 30 rows,  using this menu

copied and pasted the black and white repeat on the above right, then unhid the 30 hidden rows (see previous posts using command key selections), having a new color separation repeat, created the final 2 color BMP in Gimp (whew!)Since my separation is planned on 2-row sequences, I began with COR and my preselection row was from right to left. I initially had issues with the lili buttons behaving erratically, once the ribber carriage was oiled again that seemed to solve the problem for me. I did not arrange colors in the yarn changer to match the illustration in any way, but that could certainly be done to match a chart. With COL pick up the first color in the sequences, there will be no needles selected on the top bed (no black squares on the first row of repeat). Remember to have both carriages set to slip in both directions and the rule for even the number of needles in work on the ribber. As the carriages move to the right, every other needle will knit on the ribber, the first row with black squares will preselect. With COR on the pass back to the left, the pattern squares will knit, a blank row will be preselected, and the ribber will complete a single row of the background color by knitting on the alternate needles from its previous pass. As a result, one row of backing and one design row for each color (including no color in some instances) are completed with every 2 passes of the carriages.
I had a better edge and needle selection on the ribber with an extra needle in work on its left as compared to the main bed, adjusting after the cast-on row, maintaining the ribber needles in pairs, and evaluating the swatches after the fact would probably set up an extra needle on the right side as well.

This swatch and the ones following it use yarns in 3 different weights and different fiber contents. The blue is acrylic and the thinnest of the three. Some bleed-through of the colors traveling behind the blue shapes, in particular, can be seen behind it. The magenta is cotton, the yellow wool. Better choices of both the fiber content and colors of the yarns used would improve the overall look. If one plans color changes to match chart, a  paint program can help visualize some of the possible results

What of shapes with fewer than 3 colors in some rows?Again, there is some bleed-through, and even with this technique there is some elongation of each of the shapes, but less so than with other techniques. The backing of all these fabrics produces single lines in each color used Even fairly small repeats can take time to color separate in this manner. The technique, however, is the only method available to punchcard knitters. Electronic machines with download cables and varying software open a very different world in terms of ease and range in repeat size possibilities.
Here the repeat is adjusted from 11 stitches in width to 12, making it suitable for punchcard machines, and widening the center shape by one stitch may also reduce lengthwise stretch and help it appear rounder after knitting

Mystery pattern

At the moment this post is a place holder for images and info that may (hence the mystery) be explained at a future date Online references:
https://heartofpluto.co
https://heartofpluto.co/categories/hacking-a-brother-950i/
https://heartofpluto.co/2017/03/25/hacking-the-brother-km-950i-to-knit-multi-colour-patterns/
https://github.com/chixor/knitting_machine/releases/tag/950i-multi-colour

https://ayab-knitting.com/ayab-software/

https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/search#forum=Machine%20Knitting&query=3%20color%20dbj&sort=recent&view=posts&page=1

 

Machine knitting seam as you knit

This technique can be used in many ways including to attach a front band to a sweater, body pieces of a garment such as when knitting a raglan sleeve from the top-down, flat pieces of knitting to make a tube ie in some socks, and for decorative joins adding a strip of knitting between 2 (or more) previously completed pieces. Most often, one is joining the 2 (or 3) pieces with purl side facing.
Looking at the purl side of any knitting you will see a knot and a loop along the side edges of the work. The loop is formed on the carriage side at the start of each pass, the “knot” opposite the starting carriage side as that side of that row is reached and the yarn twists. Work the first piece, A, remove from the machine. Generally, with smaller row gauge it is best to join loops, with thicker yarns,  larger stitches, or if you plan to felt the finished piece, work with the knots. Any single or even double eye tool, Jolie, or another favorite may be used to insert into the individual space at the edge for picking up.
If joining rows to rows: begin the second piece, B. Though the join can happen on either side, in this case, cast on, knit a row, end with the carriage on the right side (COR).  Pick up the first knot (or loop) on A, from its bottom-up, and hang it onto the left end needle (opposite the carriage) of the cast on row for B.
Knit two rows, returning to COR
Go to the next knot (loop) on A. Pick it up and place it on the outside left edge needle of B, opposite the carriage.
Knit 2 rows and continue on, repeating the last 2 steps to the desired length.
Remember to pick up knots (loop) opposite the carriage every other row.

If the pieces to be joined are long, place a yarn marker on the side(s) to be joined at regular intervals simply by adding a short piece of contrasting color yarn laying it in the hook on the end needle(s). It will not become a permanent part of the stitch. The markers will serve as guides in seaming, can be easily removed when they are reached by a quick tug.

Open stitches may also be joined using this method, but they would have to be hooked onto the second piece every row rather than every other, and caution should be taken in terms of skipping any stitch, as any such stitch will unravel at the end of the process unless it has been secured.
If a bound-off edge of a sideways knit is joined to a knit band, then some adjustment in gauge or row count needs to be made. Knit stitches generally around 4 in width to 3 in height so every 4th part of the bound-off chain may need to be skipped Depending on the stitch type and yarn used a simple tension change and observing the loop (knot) rule every other row may work without any additional adjustments. The Brother Knitting Technique Book offers an interesting variation as a way of creating a double-wide repeat using a punchcard motifThis is a long-ago demo swatch. The chevrons are shaped by holding, could be knit on any machine in any width. After the first strip is knit to the desired length, the second is joined to it as it is being knit. I generally prefer the joins with the carriage on the right and  the completed strip hooked onto its left side. If the color changer is to be used, then the strip being created to join to the finished piece should always be knit on the left side of the bed in order to allow for traveling to and from the color changer every 2 rows. The image here is turned sideways, the chevrons could be used either vertically or horizontally depending on design plans.The above method may be used to join fair isle patterns in order to achieve significantly wider final panels. Some artists, when no electronic models were available, would join cards in continued lengths and planned their repeats side by side to achieve large, non-repetitive images. The punchcard width markings on your Brother needle tape can serve as guides. I use punchcard repeats so often I replaced the needle tape in my 910 early on with one for punchcard models. Markings may also be seen on them for every 8 stitches If the second piece is to be joined with the new piece on its right, add a single stitch to the full punchcard repeat (solid line or thin line section on tape, anywhere on the bed) on the right side, hook up the edge loop (or knot) from the first piece onto the new one, which uses the same needle location as that extra needle in the previous piece for the first stitch in work on its left (full line or blank space on tape). The cast on thread as shown in the techniques publication is not necessary. If wishing to join on the opposite side, then add the extra needle to the first piece on the left edge of the full repeat. With care one can plan for smaller stitch repeats as well. The needle tape or even the knit bed may be marked with water-soluble markers to indicate the extra needle position when adding new vertical strips of knitting. In this former demo swatch, I used a space-dyed yarn for ground accounting for the difference in color on each piece. Color pooling in such yarns is another consideration that may require specific planning in any technique. Here a slip stitch ruffle was joined on the left to one of my completed shawl bodies.The above discussion is based on joins occurring on the same needle location on the needle bed. There is no reason why that should be a constant. A strip or shape can be created with two separate, completed knit pieces joined to it as it progresses in length. “Always” hook onto the new piece opposite the carriage, with usually a minimum of 3 stitches on the new center panel.
Here I grabbed 2 random swatches, one is knit side out, the other purl side out, and one is upside down. The magenta yarn is thinner than the wool, the tension initially used was a dot more than one, left that way from some other experiment or poltergeists. It pays to check all settings prior to beginning any project. To start with I cast on with the magenta and knit a row, hooked up the loop from piece one, starting from its planned bottom edge, COLknit one row to other side, hooked up piece 2, CORand continued until I reached the point where I wanted to experiment with increases, keeping the shape symmetrical. I picked up a loop from both added pieces and hooked them onto the first empty needle on each side of the strip, essentially casting on an added stitch on each side each time, following with 2 knit rows.  After working my “desired shape” I tested decreases:COR: after hooking up the next row, knit one row to the left and transfer the stitch just created on the left onto the adjacent needle on its right, creating a simple decrease.  Knit to the right continue with a straight edge on the right side, repeating the decrease on the left every other row, I kept a straight edge on the right after I reached the top of the piece there. Here is the reverse side of the piece. The cleanest joins happen when the edges are straight to start with, above there was movement of the edges happening because of the distortion of the fabric created by the eyelets. A light pressing if possible may also set the edge stitches, help them lie flat, and make them more visible. When working with slanted edges on the first piece this is one way to join it, taking into consideration whether any adjustment in the frequency of hooking up needs to be made.A better edge will be obtained if the decreases to that piece were made using the full-fashioned method, resulting in a neat “chain” for pick up along its finished edge.

There are other options for decorative joins as one knits, one such is shown in a video by Roberta Rose Kelly.

And not to be forgotten, playing with materials or anything else that allows for an edge to be hooked onto a latch holding a knit stitch ;-). Here the add on is polar fleece, it could be crochet, lace, etc.

Ribber cast ons: breaking the “rules”

This is a quick note attempting to illustrate the third circular row as shown in manuals is not needed and in some yarns, at least to my eye, there is an extra “bar/float” making a difference between purl and knit side of the fabric. I find the 2 circular rows also make a bit tidier, tighter edge. My swatches are very small, in fine 2/18 silk wool.
This is the purl side facing, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightthe knit side, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightevery other needle, purl side facing, 2 circs on left, 3 on the right, with markers indicating the “extra float”the knit side, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightI knit the samples as tightly as possible. When making dbj slip stitch scarves I wanted the bottom to match the top in width. The ribber stitches were transferred to the main bed and tested on a test swatch whether I preferred to knit an added row or not before performing a latch tool bind off around gate pegs. To deal with the cast on width,  I simply planned to knit the zig-zag row on at least garment tension, thus leaving me with what are normally considered ugly loops. There are 2 such loops for each stitch. With a latch tool, begin opposite the yarn end, and consistently choose the next right or left loop, chaining them through each other.

Two circular rows are also used when transitioning from varied configurations to every needle ones, illustrated in the post on  racked-ribber-cast-on-and-rib-configuration-tips

picking up an edge loop, moving it behind the latch proceeding  toward the yarn end, pick up one of the next 2 loops in hook, here I consistently chose the one on the right if the first loop slips in the hook again as well, get it behind the latch once more before proceeding
pull the second loop through the previous onework across the row, secure the yarn end the appearance on the reverse side I can be a little bonkers with my finishing, have even been known when dealing with getting top and bottom edges to match in look and width to rehang every other loop, knit a row, and then perform the latch tool bind off. If tuck double bed fabrics are knit, they require planning for loose cast ons and bind-offs. Slip stitch is short and thin, tuck stitch is short and fat, whether knit single or double bed and then is compared with fabrics where either bed predominantly knits plain.

References for double bed single color fabrics with pockets

Another facebook thread has begun a sort of “trip down the rabbit hole”. Until I have time to swatch my theories on the specific fabric in question, I thought I would list some ways offered in publications available for download online and in my previous blog posts that touch on this area.  To start with, some fabrics are commonly referred to as pintucks, though tuck stitch is a completely different category of stitches, and they are usually shown in a single color. Understanding the repeat, however, one could plan for the shapes to occur within horizontal stripes of varied colors. 

from the Brother Ribber techniques book

Other terms: ripple ribs are a type of selective pintuck pattern in which more rows are regularly worked on the main bed than on the ribber. The main bed carriage is set to slip in both directions throughout, the ribber carriage is set to slip for four rows, and knit for 2. The width of the work needs even weight, and most likely the edge stitches will as well. The tensions used approximate that used in every needle rib for the same yarn.  To exaggerate the ripple effect, the ribber setting may be set up to three whole tensions tighter than the MB if possible or desired. Two-color versions are possible. From the Brother Ribber techniques book, note they use the term synonymously with pintucks In blister jacquard more rows are also worked on the main bed than on the ribber, creating a fabric with at times high textured. It may be executed in 2 colors as well. A “normal” DBJ card can be used, but the ribber carriage settings need to be changed with each color change. Things become far easier if the fabric is color separated for the technique and the original design is modified. Color variations merit their own posts

Some of my previous posts on double bed “quilting” including some 2 color variations within the same horizontal rows as well
2018/02/23/quilting-using-ayab-software/
2018/02/15/revisiting-machine-knit-quilting/
2013/05/30/quilting-on-the-brother-km-2-solid-color-back-dbj/
2013/05/16/quilting-on-the-knitting-machine-1/

 

 

Sock knitting resources and ideas for machine knitting

The only sock(s) I have ever knit have been as demos in my classes. I actively dislike wearing them, and it winds up being a sheer necessity in our winters to actually break down and wear them. I have had an ongoing interest in 3D knitted, explored some pleating, have always been fond of holding techniques. This year has not allowed for as much time exploring and producing as I might have wanted, am hoping to increase both activities in the coming one.
Forums of late have buzzed with knit socks, here are some possible online resources: from machineknittingetc.com:
studio-tips-and-techniques-issue-37-charting-socks
singer-sock-book-seamed-and-circularmachine-knit-news-machine-knit-socks-supplementempisal-sock-patterns

From assorted sources: visualizing shaping sequences: aspect ratio was disregarded in order to combine several images into a large one, particularly noticeable in the middle image on the top row 😉Patterns from manufacturers: Superba manual  Passap Duo 80From a Brother pub. The original paper version actually came with knit leader patterns

There are many ways to seam join such shapes. Seam-as-you-knit is another option. Diana Sullivan offers a video on the technique. Considering its limitations: the seaming needs to occur on equally shaped segments, this would eliminate any shaping to allow for widening parts of the leg as one moves up toward the knee, so the height of the sock would need to be shortened, planning for fit. If one desires a true rib at the top of the completed sock, IMO seams at least for the rib are unavoidable, and one must take measures to make certain cast ons and bind offs for ribbed bands match in look and width. The same issue with shaping occurs when knitting socks tubular. For a tube to grow or decrease in diameter retaining its circular form, the only way to achieve the result is to increase or decrease evenly across knitting bed(s) involved, far easier to achieve if one surrenders the seamless idea and allows for a seam in the design. Here A sections would be knit first, B sections would follow with seaming along the dotted lines. The toe is a 3D shape achieved by holding, with no seaming necessary.
If one is fond of holding intarsia techniques and cumulative joins, this book is available  For advice and ideas on knitting the swan socks see https://knitterstoolchest.wordpress.com/category/circular-knitting/
a video link is included, as well as this schematic

machine knit sock and slipper pattern resource
socks, heels, and more 
eliminating short row holes
general instructions 
penny socks 

Sock calculators: http://roued.com/supersockcalculator.php  https://www.goodknitkisses.com/sock-calculator/  https://www.storey.com/crochet-calculator/toe-up-sock.html

From Knitty, an online hand knitting magazine: universal sock article 
A hand knitting resource on choosing your sock heels 
From Drops design, HK, a spiral sock , and a side to side version, both food for thought in terms of adapting for machine knitting.

For folks who prefer videos, a search on youtube will offer lots of choices, and Roberta Rose Kelley offers 2 that provide a wealth of ideas and information, on tubular socks, the other on adding afterthought heels , using decker combs on Passap machinestransferring ribbed band stitches using a garter bar 

Small scale experiments for larger ideas: the spiral sock
Mary Thomas’ book of knitting patterns was first published in 1943, my edition in 1972. This is the usual cover photo on page 38 a repeat and instructions are offered for a spiral tube sock. The latter has no heel shaping, but traditional toe shaping can be added. The knit/purl design can easily be executed single bed by folks who own a G carriage. My mini sock was knit on 30 stitches +1 for sewing. The blocks can be varied in width depending on the required circumference of the finished tube. The extra pattern stitch in the chart is to allow for seaming a half stitch on each edge and maintaining the pattern. *After every 6 rows knit transfer the right-hand needle of every ribber group to the main bed, on the main bed transfer the right needle of every group down to the ribber**,  repeat * to ** for the desired length. There are a number of ways to deal with the toe part of the stocking. I would opt for transferring stitches to the main bed and knitting one row, using holding remove half the width onto waste yarn then bringing half the stitches on the alternate side into work. The toes may then be worked using stocking stitch, scrapping off, and seaming or grafting the stitches held on scrap to each other. My working repeat, with a 12 stitch repeat usable on punchcard machines as well isolated by the added green border testing the tiling, making certain any programming would line up Cast on for a ribbed band at top of the sock in any preferred configuration. Be certain cast on stretches enough to accommodate the finished width of the tube as it stretches to fit the leg. Transfer stitches between beds in the desired knit/purl configuration. When the desired height is reached transfer all stitches to the top bed, drop the ribber, switch sinker plates, knit a row on all stitches, divide for toe shaping. Here one half away from yarn end and carriage is knit with waste yarn and dropped off when shaping is complete, After toe shaping is finished and waste yarn is added, the work is removed from the machineBecause all transfers are made in one direction, as in any knit fabric where that happens, the fabric will biasHere the toe shaping is seamed, the twist in the body of the sock begins to showOne side of my knitting was looser than the other, something to watch in any “real” piece. Thin yarn knit on tension 4 is probably also not the best suited for any socks in terms of wear. After seamingand worn by a few cotton balls 😉Lastly, it is possible to knit socks sideways (as well as gloves), usually in garter stitch and in hand knitting. This is a crochet illustration that points to the general construction method.

On the machine, the shaping would need to occur with increases and decreases rather than holding to create the heels, and toes could be shaped, probably best by full-fashioned increases and decreases. There would be at least one grafted seam the width of the sock, the cuff could be added with the side straight edge picked up and knit from there. To get shaping to match, in theory,  one option would be to start with waste yarn, knit to half the above  shape, scrap off. Rehang starting open stitches, reverse shaping, graft seam. Dotted lines represent open stitches, decreases and increases can be planned so that only the smaller group of stitches on one side are moved with a garter bartest swatch to follow