More on those slanting lace leaves

What follows is not a formal pattern, rather an illustration of the process I sometimes use to solve needs in my own knitting.

On 2 needles and growing my version of the HK slanting leaves scarf: knit on US #8 needles, yarn is 60%silk and 40% wool

hand knit graph to download

Translating this pattern for use with lace carriage is impractical for a range of reasons.  A beginning analysis of the pattern for possible hand transfer or for development of a “cheating” punchcard  for use with hand techniques is seen below. Numbered circles = stitch placement in repeat where the lace hole needs to occur, the second number illustrates the number of stitches that need to be moved over on the needle bed and the direction of the move

Bunches of these help, the multiple transfer 7 prong tools were made and marketed for Brother, Studio, Empisal (4.5mm), and even Passap at one point (needle space on Passap is different, they also had a wider range of transfer tools than those for Japanese KMs)

tools of the trade in required transfer configurations

sample knit from looking at a graph

first punchcard to help with needle selection:

Numbers on left show how many stitches need to be moved to create the hole in the place where the needle is selected; they do not reflect design rows directly, since the card is read seven rows below eye level; large arrows indicate direction for moving stitch groups, with the horizontal colored stripe showing the beginning of each new transfer sequence; vertical blue rows show placement for needles out of work, and the resulting ladder. The garter stitches in the hand knit have been eliminated.

The above card worked, but if one has a bulky, limited prongs on transfer tools, or short attention span an even easier approach might be to have all needles placements required for move on each row selected

the second punchcard

Now come attempts at a possible border trying to “match” top and bottom of knit: would prefer not to have  to deal with issues of mirroring in center  vertical and  horizontal axis of scarf to get top and bottom to “match” . There is enough else to track.

not liking the size of the ladders

The swatch below is a bit closer to “like” and to eliminating the ridge at the center of the “triangles” that is formed if transfers occur in the usual manner and “hole” is then filled in with a purl ridge to eliminate it. The “ladder line” below is marked, showing results from different attempts to fill in the empty needles resulting from moving the stitches. Top and bottom edgings are created by chaining as one would do a chain stitch cast on, behind the knitting on the needle bed, in front of the knit side of the fabric. If knit on the bulky a garter edging could be hand knit first, placed on the KM, the piece knit in turn, then taken off onto HK needles again for adding garter stitch rows at the other end.

Getting closer to goal: ladder space more uniform, “linked” border rather than chained one above, still need to sort out how many repeats without the leaf lace “veins” to work at top and bottom of “scarf

HK and MK variants of leaves may be found in a variety of sources. Some HK samples include a twin leaf verion. A very quick sketch of a possible adaptation for use with punchcard development as described above, using the 24 stitch repeat limitation, red = NOOW follows

one trouble spot: Row2, where 2 holes line up one on each side of the “ladder”

Back to lace

Recently I came across a photo in a magazine with what I thought of at the time as an unusual knit leaf. One of my first instincts upon viewing such patters is often to explore whether I might be able to reproduce the knit on the machine more quickly and whether in addition there may be a way to “automate the design” by coming up with a repeat that would work with the use of the lace carriage. I will share some of the many ways to explore such transitions in a series of posts. As written they will specifically apply to knitting on Brother/Knitking/Taitexma brand knitting machines.

The original “culprit” pattern:

One way to interpret those triple stitches leaning to the right and left in HK is to knit three together for right-leaning, and slip, knit two together, PSSO for left-leaning on RS (“right” /knit side). The same steps on the KM would involve moving around those triple stitches to achieve the correct lean of the leaf edge on the knit side of the fabric. The number of rows for transfers to achieve a similar look makes the fabric impractical to knit using a lace carriage on the KM, so back to hand knitting.

In yet another instance of “it’s a small world” since I first came upon the repeat and began looking for interpretations, I did find several hand-knit patterns on Ravelry and some magazines using the same or similar motif.

The pattern repeat in my first hand-knit sample in a 4.5/inch gauge wool

In turn, this led to my developing my own repeat design, which is now on 2 needles, becoming a scarf for my granddaughter, which can be shared in the future.

I work predominantly on a Mac, OS Lion. Last year finally got turned on to using excel for knit design after finding excellent online tutorials such as those by Marnie MacLean and Fleegle’s blog. Over the past week I finally got around to playing with iWork, using Numbers instead of excel, and in conjunction with Pages have come up with final images such as the ones below. Am pretty much flying by the seat of my pants in this, so I can’t really share a step-by-step method but have been pleased with the instinctive qualities of the Apple programs and the results.

In subsequent graphs: blue represents knit as it appears and may be worked on the knit side, while pink represents how the knit appears and may be worked on the purl side, and as such on the KM to achieve the same design

Common Lace transfers and symbols

moving multiple stitches

now: starting to play with a hand-knit repeat with the intent of translating it for use on the KM: triple stitches in one location in any single row are eliminated, as well as sets of double lace holes in any single row while retaining the diagonally slanting leaf motif

garter stitch will be eliminated by adding a needle out of work in its place, creating a ladder space between repeats; repeat will be adjusted to work within restraints of punchcard limitations in terms of stitch width and row height requirements, more on next post.


“Wisteria” 2

A follow-up to the previous post on the “horizontal cable“: it has a relative that produces a flat or textured “lacey”  fabric depending on the number of rows knit in each segment.
The relative: after some initial rows of knitting (whether waste yarn or edge of actual piece or swatch), beginning with knit carriage on the right-hand side, moving right to left, the knit is created by knitting on a multiple of chosen # of stitches plus needles out of work (OOW, A position). In the instance below a multiple of 9 + 8 is cast on, with an OOW needle (represented by blue) between repeats. The ladders created where needles are in A also make it easier to visually identify stitch groups that need to be moved in/out of work

an attempt at a graphic representation of the corresponding knit the swatch knit side, orientation as knit    the swatch purl side, rotated 90 degrees as it would appear in a sideways knit the knit tends to curl along edges to purl side as seen above, could be embellished with stitching for more contrast and color
To knit:
first pattern row:
the numbers in parentheses reflect markings on the last colored image
COR: knit 8 rows on the first group of stitches on the right (1)
push second group (2) into work and knit 8 rows
push third group (3) into work and knit one row
push group (1) on its right out to hold, knit 7 rows across the remaining  16 stitches
bring a new group on left into work, knit one row
bring the group to its right out of work, repeat  process across row
when the second to last 2 groups on left (6 and 7) are reached, knit  8 rows on both,
push the second to the last group out to hold (6)
COL knit 8 rows on the last group on left (7)
second pattern row:
COL: reverse the process from left to right for the second pattern row, begin by knitting 8 rows once more on the first group on the left (9), that first group will now have been worked for 16 rows
The row that picks up the adjacent group of stitches helps create a joined fabric, with movement resulting from the direction in which each “pattern row” is knit.
Varying the ladder space and the number of rows knit will change the overall look of the fabric.
Turning the fabric sideways after varying the size of the holes across the now horizontal rows could also affect the overall shaping ie narrowing and widening of segments.
Going from larger holes on one side to narrower in the opposite will make the knit “ruffle” on the edge with larger holes, etc.
If one knits vertical segments that are 8-16 rows in turn, cutting the yarn at the end of each sequence, then there will be straight slits/ strips that may, in turn, be left as such when knitting is resumed, twisted in a variety of sequences with alternate groups as one would a cable, rotated on their own axis once for 180 exposing some of the back/opposite surfaces of the knit single or multiple times as desired.
A strip of slits may, in turn, be “latched up” in a chain, stitched, or otherwise be altered after the knitting is completed.
A sample with wider ladder spacing and a slightly different sequence. Note that the first row of holes is smaller than those achieved when shaping begins to be reversed. Ending the pattern can be planned to match its start.

Knit terms: translations

Prior to google translate, google chrome, etc. barring having friends that spoke the language and knit, there were some resources for translations:
Brother: Japanese symbols for knitting (booklet)
Key to Japanese patterns by Jody Foster (booklet)
Japanese for machine knitters by Mary weaver  (book 1983), now partially available for free download online 
Knitting Languages by Margaret Heathman (book 1996) includes limited vocabularies in 10 languages

August 1/2020 update:
Garnstudio knitting terms translated into 17 languages; their glossary of knitting terms 
another international glossary of knitting terms 

a few in ItalianGerman

From/for different countries
Anna Burda magazine symbols PDF includes HK how-to illustrations:  ab2  2/1/15
Verena chart from older pubs easily found on Pinterest

Russian to English 

tata-tatao for Japanese basics and charts
dancingbarefoot’s japanese pattern tutorials
series of topics updated 2020 link Clearwater knits 
Fleegle’s blogspot
garment instructions 

Machine knitting: some grabs from electronic and punchcards books follow, giving an indication of the variety of fabrics that may be produced on Japanese knitting machines. They are in a large format for easier visibility. The names of some of the stitch types have evolved over the years or differed from one brand of KM to another. From Silver Reed publications

and from Brother 

In addition, for English machine knitting abbreviations see and

Horizontal “cable”

I live in the East Coast of the United States.

In the 80s there used to be a yearly machine knitting seminar that was fairly well attended. There were droves of machine knitting publications. Susan Lazear, the founder of Cochenille, was just beginning to develop her knit design software ideas on the Amiga Computers, and a fellow Californian, who happened to be Japanese, used to travel here with the Pandora box of foreign knit magazines. At the time translating knits from one language to another amounted to guesswork and some leaflets. Subsequently, there were fliers, then articles, and even books on translating from Japanese to English and one on multiple language translations for knits and crochet.

One year there was a “guess how this was done and you get a prize contest” for a technique appearing on a sweater with only Japanese instructions. The design was dubbed wisteria by some, has been reincarnated as a trim, insertion, bandings on sleeves and cardigans and is beginning to reappear in magazines now again.

Here is one method for this “horizontal cable” created by short rowing across the width of the fabric.  Brother machine needle positions are A, B, D, E, and a lever sets KH for holding in both directions Studio needle positions follow the alphabet, and use Russel levers on each side must be set for holding.  Directions below are for Brother.

Reminder: when the machine is set for holding the needles in B or D position knit, needles pushed out to E will not knit. Weight is used as needed, watch for dropped stitches particularly along the edges of the sections as the rows of knitting are built up.

1.cast on the desired number of stitches knit several rows at garment tension, end COR (Carriage on Right)

2.COR, set the carriage not to knit needles in HP (hold position)

3.leave 6 needles at the right of knitting in WP (work position), push remaining needles out to HP (hold position)

4.knit  10 rows over the 6 stitches, ending COR

5.push back 3 needles to D position at the LEFT of the 6 needles now in WP

6.knit one row from right to left (9 needles in WP) end COL (carriage on left). Push the needles now in WP on the far right to HP; 6 needles will remain in WP

7.knit 9 rows on these 6 needles,  end COR

8.repeat steps 5 through 7 across the fabric row until the last 6 needles remain. Knit 10 rows over  these last 6 needles, end COL

9.set the machine to knit needles in hold (holding lever to N), knit 2  or desired number of rows across all the needles

10.holding lever on H. Repeat the procedure from left to right, reversing the sequence.

If the sequence is not reversed a bias fabric will be created. For maximum texture use a yarn with memory ie. wool. Anything that can be “killed” by pressure or ironing will flatten considerably and yield a very different fabric.

My demo samples were made out of colors that would make them easy to find, unlikely to get “permanently borrowed”, so none of these were studies for actual finished garments

this swatch combines a boucle and a rayon; the latter has become flattened over time

this is a wool rayon, knitting is not reversed, resulting in biasing

these samples show the same technique, applied to much larger groups of stitches

a segment of a magazine recent garment photo, no origin given as to source, appears to use the above technique

online source for patterns using this technique

more cable like/structures/textures