From lace chart to punchcard 6, to electronic

The chart here is simpler than those previously explored, appeared in a Japanese publication, was suggested for use in MK as a hand technique

The lace transfers are in pairs, alternating in direction; this excel chart assigns symbols and colors to them. The repeat is 8 stitches wide, 10 rows tall, which make it suitable for punchcard machines as well as electronic ones

Below is the expanded graph, with alternating transfers for each row, and 2 knit rows completing each sequence. I am now using Studio mylars on the 910, so the additional border markings are to help orient the black squares on the mylar’s markings (6X5 as opposed to Brother’s 5X5). The expanded chart, now 40 rows in height:

On cards, orange and green may be punched as shown. Below is the resulting swatch, knit on 910 with #2 button up (flipped horizontally). 1: dropped stitch joy, which could actually be easily repaired at this point. 2: a partial repeat creating an interesting edge, more successful than the opposite side, a result that bears testing in swatches. 3: bind off around 2 gate pegs for maximum stretch in any blocking.

Machine knitting symbols

Brother early “home study”  images and explanations relating to machine knitting symbols, a bit clearer than some of the explanations that were published with the later punchcard books

anyone trying to work from charts such as these in hand knitting would need to consider the appearance of the resulting fabric on the reverse, knit side,  and mirror techniques where needed (see previous post series on hand to machine symbol interpretations

Tuck and slip color striping

There is a very early Brother “how-to” publication, which can now be found available for free online

The diagrams accompanying some of the tuck and slip patterns illustrating how the color changes combined with the stitch type affect the knit presented the information in an interesting manner. With both tuck and slip the unworked needles’ stitches get longer (unpunched holes, white squares), carrying up the last color knit in them until they are knit off again. If the subsequent color change is in the same color as at the start of the sequence, the in-between color (dark in diagrams) travels behind the longer stitches in slip, or is caught in with interim loops in tuck. The swatch photos show the knit side, the charts the purl side in symbols and  color change sequences

slip stitch

tuck stitch

More stitch types and techniques are represented as well in the publication as well.

Ladder lace

The inspiration: part of a magazine photo

A slightly different approach than in last post. The tale begins with a hand knit graph:

expanded to include alternate rows

the “graph” paper version

If a punchcard is to be used, all colored squares represent punched holes. I used my 910, Studio mylar for my swatch. The mylar repeat and programmed numbers:

The approach in the execution is a bit different from the previous samples. In this instance, colored squares represent number of stitches to be moved/ number of prongs on transfer tool to be used; the pairs of transfers are made away from each other, orange to the right, green to the left. The transfers produce 2 empty needles side by side; they are left in work, as the next row is knit they will produce loops on each needle. Side by side loops do not make stitches, so subsequent rows will continue the ladder. It is helpful to use yarn that does not split and get caught in hooks, as that may partially knit on the next pass. Also, rows with loops should be checked to make certain they are in the hooks, not off, before the next row of knitting. Do not release the loops; on the next set of transfers, treat the loop (where circles occur in graph) as you would a stitch, moving it over on its own prong. As with transfer lace, it bears taking the time to knit slowly and prevent errors rather than having to attempt “fixing” large runs due to dropped stitches.

the resulting swatch on the standard KM (2/8 wool)

the punchcard

the related swatch knit on the 260 bulky KM

The yarn is an alpaca too thick for the standard.  I liked at tension 1 for stocking stitch, but I had to increase the tension to  3.. to be able to manage the transfers, especially the ones over by 3 stitches X2.

for a sense of the scale difference between the 2 swatches

The punchcard was made from a roll purchased directly from Hong Kong, advertised specifically for Brother. The roll is continuous, with separations as seen in the image below. Numbering however is for Studio KM systems, so adjustments need to be made for using them on Brother KMs (ie. first selection row will be row 3 as marked in punchcard used in swatch above).

Ladders and Lace

The patterning resulting from creating and manipulating ladders with needles out of work can create interesting openwork fabrics. I like to use punchcards or mylars for “automatic” patterning in selecting needles, with carriage set to plain knit,  to help keep track of where to introduce transfers when possible. Microsoft Excel or Mac Numbers remain my favorite “graph papers” for working out repeats at various stages of developing the trial swatches.

A work in progress sketch: 2 side by side repeats, my first “drawing”. Empty circles indicate where I think I want to produce holes, green transfers and orange ones are toward each other, colored squares (orange and green) indicate the number of prongs on the tool used for transfers: orange transfers are made with a single eye tool, green with a triple eye one. Needles in the greyed-out area are left out of work after each transfer to create ladders. Where a lace hole is desired the empty needle is returned to work after its stitch is transferred. The yellow line is the knit of every row’s center stitch of the pattern. The chart does not match the card, which was further edited

the punchcard repeat for the edited final version, including markings showing directions of transfers and ” row 1″

the resulting swatch

I have a brick repeat sorted out, not certain about its end-use

another card, 2 prong tool was used for transfers, arrows on right indicate the direction of those transfers, color change indicates its reversal

the resulting fabric: A_ empty needles left in work throughout, B_ as the direction of transfers is reversed, the empty needle on top portion is “filled” in by lifting up purl bar from the row below on its adjacent side, C_ 2 adjacent needles are constantly left empty to create ladders, with one needle brought in to work for every one taken completely out of work as needed. There are more possibilities. When experimenting it is helpful to keep good notes to ensure the ability to reproduce the desired effects.

previous post on leaf-shaped lace


Studio mylar use on brother machines 2

In a previous post I addressed some of the issues involved in using the studio mylars in Brother KMs. I have an enormous store of them from back in the day when it was only possible to have single patterns occupy a fixed number of rows, while the remaining surface for those rows was unusable. This fact changed when the company produced the EC1. I revisited this topic after a forum question on the subject. It would be convenient to produce consistent results with the Studio brand, and be able to use my stash of them as well.
It is interesting when one is trying to figure something out how sometimes the obvious may be missed. Instinctively this time, I simply lined up the bottom design row of both mylars before drawing the set line, disregarding the difference in length between the 2 mylars below it. This bypasses the 3-row difference in programming rows suggested in my previous post completely, while the shorter distance below the set line to the reader did not prove to be a problem I had tested template markers on Brother mylars when ink pens were discontinued and I had no luck with permanent markers, found they shed a bit and pencils tips broke easily, while I could not be as neat in rendering small markings as simply by going the route of using a number 2 pencil on the mylar’s back ( I prefer the Mirado Warrior HB 2). Drawing with enough density “within the lines” on mylars is rendered far easier with one of these templates, at one point made available from Brother. Similar ones may sometimes be found in stationary or art/ drafting supply stores. The images below show my first “new” tests: on the left, I drew with the template marker over previous pencil markings, the squares repeat over # 36 was made with multiple layers of a sharpie (which smeared even after what would seem like adequate drying time), the ones over #42 are made with the template marker. The sharpie did not get scanned properly by the reader, all other marks did. There is a guiding pencil line placed where the set line familiar to Brother users would be. In the first narrow column to the right, the pencil marking corresponds to the first visible row (design row 1 in reader). The column on the far right (absent from Brother) could be used for additional cues in knitting ie. color changes, knit rows between lace transfers, etc.

the template markers are easily available here in the US, for a little over $ 4 now; frequently they are found in quilting departments of fabric stores. I am not certain which specific brand mine is, but this is what it looks like

the “pencil” that appeared to work when used on the back of both mylars is the Pentech rubberwriter, which seems to no longer be available (rubber coating is on pencil exterior; results  were random on Studio mylar)

When used on the respective brand machines, the Brother reader scans 13 rows below eye level outside the machine, while Studio scans 10 rows below This explains why the columns intended for memos extend up and beyond the last row which can have cells marked for pattern in each brand.

2021_ some FB knitters have mentioned having success with using whiteboard markers to make readable and removable if needed marks on Brother mylars

I had some erratic results as seen in the last post. Here a small success led to a bigger trial (template marker over motif previously drawn with studio electronic pencil) and I ran into a different problem: bands of rows on the mylar did not select; this may be seen in the image below (testing repeats for any stitch in FI makes drawing or punching errors easier to visualize), and recurred in a different area of the card, while at its very top nothing got read ->needles selected


a couple of times over the decades of my knitting with Brother mylars I ran into this specific problem for no apparent reason, so I tested a different Studio mylar sheet, toward the top, and both the template marker and the rubber writer got to read/knit correctly

“going bigger” again, the pencil did not get read, while the template marker did

playing with a slip stitch on another part of the sheet (marker)

the “patterning errors ” in the image above (extra brown stitches third white stripe from the bottom of the swatch) were actually due to a bit of eraser left after its use on the mylar in the blank area of the card.


In summary: there have been good results in my trials in using the template marker both on top of already rendered electronic pencil drawings or on previously blank sections of Studio mylars and subsequently having them read by my Brother 910, with limited results in having small repeats read when drawn on the back of the mylar in pencil, but not with larger motifs. There have also been some problems that are not immediately explainable.