Tuck lace trims and fabrics 2

Working between electronic and punchcard machines needs to take into account that repeats on a punchcard KM must be a factor of 24 (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12). An electronic tuck stitch repeat may be any width.  Since the above is seven stitches wide, if punched accordingly it would occupy 21 out of 24 stitch units on a punchcard. As is unless those extra needles on the far right or left are left out of work for ladders or transferred down to the ribber, it would not be suitable for an all-over fabric. It can, however, be used for a trim. If the latter is the intent, only one series of vertical repeats as seen in the chart needs to be punched. The numbers below the image indicate Brother needle tape markings. The Brother needled tape has a center O position marking, with numbers beginning count with one and radiating out marked in groups of 5 in both directions. This is a 6-row tuck fabric, thinner yarns should be used if the pattern is automated, as tuck loops build up in needle hooks. If you wish to experiment with slightly thicker yarns, decrease the unpunched areas to 4 rows, or execute the repeat using holding. Held stitches sit on top of the needle shank, tolerance is determined by how many rows it either takes for knit stitches on sides of the loops jump off needles or accumulated loops in hooks or any stitches become unable to knit off consistently on the next all knit pass.
To test the yarn and repeat out, try the technique by using holding, then punch your card. Automating makes the process less prone to error and faster if great lengths of trim are needed. It is also possible to punch or program only the part of the card that is planned for the repeat. The single-width repeat may be programmed as pixels, on left, or punched holes on right. In electronics a single 8-row repeat is adequate, punchcard knitters repeat 5 times to 40 pattern rows punched. I prefer starting such designs on a knit row. To do that, the design repeat start may be shifted Using the trim as the cast on edge for a garment: determine the length required after a technique test. Knit a bit extra and remove on waste yarn, so more may be added or some be unraveled if needed or you wish to change the configuration using it as your cast on. Rehang and cast on later when it is completed. The flared-out portions of the trim will be used to “cast on” the edge of the piece, continuing with some needles out of work. An attempt at a line drawing of the “trim” sideways Using the curved out edge of the trim, hang half stitches if possible, or one full stitch away from its edge as illustrated below. Knit 4 rows. With a tool pick up all ladder loops created by NOOW (RC 1-4) and hang them on the center empty needle. Knit rows (RC 5, 6), hang ladder loops on still empty needles, knit across all needles, continue with garment

needle arrangement picking up loops 

The yarn used is cotton and appears to have a tendency toward biasing on knit rows as seen in the tendency to lean in one direction in the above photos. It has no stretch, so stitches that knit off several tuck loops remain elongated. A look at the structure on the purl side: For more trims in this family, please see later post Tuck trims 4 and other edgings

In Brother knitting when needles are out of work, the automatic end needle selection may interfere with the pattern, and this is a consideration in many stitch types.
All over fabrics, analyzing a published Brother tuck lace punchcard repeat:
Single bed
: to test the pattern, arrange the needles as shown below the full pattern repeat.
Cast on and knit a few rows, set the change knob to KCII, knit one row. Push in both tuck buttons, and knit the desired number of rows. If using the pattern on electronic machines, the needle selection needs to match on the top bed. Depending on the model electronic, the pattern may have to be reversed for accurate needle selection.
I prefer to start on a row where all needles in work are selected, providing an added visual check that indeed the proper needles are in use.
Begin with waste yarn and ravel cord, followed by a permanent cast on.
I like to use a crochet cast on and bind off, with extra chains where needles are out of work. The fabric will stretch sideways depending on the number of rows tucked as well as needle set up, so casting on and binding off needs to accommodate that stretch in finished pieces.
Punched holes or black pixels represent knit stitches, as always unpunched areas of the card, or white squares represent tucked rows.  The knit stitch (blue) above which tuck loops (red) are formed becomes elongated for as many rows as unpunched cells or white pixels in the pattern until that same stitch is selected forward to be knit When using card 304, tucking happens for 3 rows forming loops that span across needles out of work, then all stitches on needles on rows with numbered markings on blue cells knit for one row. Orange gradient-filled cells represent rows on which tuck loops are being formed on the held single stitches, which in turn grow in length. The full 24 stitch repeat, shifted for my preference, with the smallest electronic 8 stitch repeats outlined with red border In electronic knitting, repeats may be planned across the number of needles in work based on personal preference. Here the repeat is adjusted to produce knit stitches on both sides of the swatch, 35 stitches X 16 rows. On the 930: the odd number of needles are automatically placed on the left, with the pattern used in the isolated design setting.
Air knitting the selection for the first row will bring proper needles to forward position, odd number on left, even number on right.
Unselected needles on the right and left must be taken out of work, knitting will continue on the remaining selections.  Double bed: there are a couple of options for varying the fabrics. In one, to retain the laciness of the knit transfer only stitches creating those long vertical columns on the top bed down to the ribber. In the other, any or all out-of-work needles on the main bed will be transferred down to the ribber. Hybrid combinations of both modes of transfer could explore the knit further in yet more ways.
If casting on in rib, set half pitch lever on H, racking indicator on 5. Cast on the desired number of stitches and knit base rows.
Set half pitch lever on P, transfer stitches between beds arranging them as shown with NOOW on both beds. Set change knob to KCII, knit one row. Push in both tuck buttons on the main bed, knit in pattern for the desired number of rows.
Lately, I have been experimenting with chain or crochet cast ons and bind offs with extra chains between needles in work, and actually began my single bed swatch in pattern immediately after the cast-on row on the needles preselected in air knitting for row 1. Some weight, distributed evenly across all stitches is necessary. The main bed remains set to tuck in both directions throughout, the ribber when used is set to knit in both.
The bottom of the swatch shows the single bed fabric, the top a double bed version.
When knitting on the double bed, in this instance, the stitches where those all knit vertical columns occur on the main bed, marked with red dots, were transferred down to the ribber. Here the main bed needles, continuing in pattern, are selected forward for knitting on the next carriage pass, here the elongated stitches and tuck loops are shown after they have been knit together on the main bed. Transferring all non-selected needles down to the ribber: the tuck loops still form on the main bed, the ribber is set to knit every needle in both directions. The resulting knit, very different in appearance and in width than the previous sample, using the same tensions
For how-tos, illustrations, and swatches showing fabrics knit with all needles in work on both beds, please see post: Ribber fabrics with main bed tuck patterning 1/ pick rib 

Machine knitting yarns info

More of my class notes, assembled from various sources.
Yarn thickness is determined by the number of times the standard length of yarn is spun.
The thickness number is calculated using the thickness of a single strand of spun yarn.
The number of spinnings and the number of plies (strands) produce the yarn ‘count’.
The thinner the yarn, the higher the number and the more yards to the pound. 

These guidelines were provided for knitting using Jaggerspun yarns. I have no affiliation with the company. I do still continue to use some of the lines and have a great appreciation for all their yarns. Their wool used to be the required fiber in my knit labs at RISD until students began to understand some of the basics in stitch construction. I have permission from the company to share content. Superfine merino and zephyr wool silk are both 2/18.

Some yardage references: 2/24 = approximately 5500 to 6700 yards per pound
3/15 = approximately 2650 yards per pound
2/15 = approximately 3670 yards per pound

A few more bits:
fixed length of yarn spun from a specified weight of the material
1’s 1 spinning
1’s Yorkshire woolen 256  yards per pound
1’s linen 300  yards per pound
1’s worsted 500-560  yards per pound  primary standard for wool and acrylic
1’s cotton 840  yards per pound
1’s    spun silk840 yards per pound
2’s mean that twice the above length of yarn was spun from one pound of raw material

yardage reference: the first number refers to the number of plies twisted together to form the yarn, the larger the second number, the thinner the spun strand; conversely the smaller the second number, the thicker the diameter of the strand
yardage may vary with plies depending on mill and country where the yarn is spun
2/24  5500 to 6700 yards per pound
3/15  2650 yards per pound  (530)
2/15  3670 yards per pound   (489)

in cotton, the markings are reversed
3/2 Cotton 3 x 840  divided by 2 = 1,260 yards/pound
20/2 Cotton 20 x 840 divided by 2= 8,400 yards/pound
one standard for hand knitting yarn: gauge is per inch, not for a 10 X 10 cm or 4 X 4-inch swatch
fingering = 5 or 6,  knits approximately at 8 sts/12  rows per inch
sport weight yarn = 3 or 4, knits approximately at 6 sts/8 rows per inch
worsted yarn = 2, knits approximately at 4 sts/ 6 rows per inch
3/15 machine knitting yarn: the second number by the first = 5, so this would knit at approximately the same gauge as fingering weight

stranding math
2 strands  2/24 = 4/24 = 6 = fingering weight
3 strands  2/24 = 6/24 = 4 = sport weight
4 strands  2/24 = 8/24 = 3 = heavy sport weight
5 strands  2/24 =10/24 = 2.4 = close to worsted
6 strands  2/24 =12/24 = 2 = worsted

A copyrighted Master Yarn Sett document with extensive information on a variety of fiber content from Handwoven Magazine

The American Craft Council standard yarn weight system  is included in their PDF on standards and guidelines for crochet and knitting http://media.craftyarncouncil.com/files/CYC_YS_s_and_g_rev2015_6.pdf

“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: working with short rows 1

Another Ravelry thread recently looked at knitting this pattern, from an old Knittax pattern book

I found this in a different manual, with a similar structure, and “English” directions  Translation of symbols used in Knittax patterns On the purl side, this creates structures that emulate crocheted shells. My first attempts at trying to knit anything like this were in thin yarn, and I had enough issues to give up for the moment. Things worked out much better when I switched to a sport weight yarn that seemed to like knitting at T 10 for stocking stitch. With NOOW set up, my sample was knit at T 9. Waste yarn and ravel cord are often a good way to start, but not always necessary, the same is true of weight. I began with a crochet cast on, every needle, multiple of 4 st + 2, then dropped the alternate pairs of needles between the first and last 2 pairs of needles in work, pulling the needles back to A position, determining the width of my “shells”
My initial experiment was an adaptation of the concept, with more needles in work than in the inspiration photo.
Working from right to left, starting with COR; the first pair of needles on carriage side in work, remaining needles away from carriage are in hold position moving toward left, the adjacent needle in the first pair in hold gets wrapped; be sure to retain proper positions for knitting and holding the first wrap completed, needles in position to continue the process is repeated X number of times. I chose to wrap X 5, which requires 10 rows of knitting, making the row counter usable to track rows in easy increments. When wraps are completed, push wrapped needle and its partner into work, knit one row make certain all the loops have knit off, wrap the first needle to their left, bring pair on the right to hold continue for your desired number of wraps return wrapped needle and its partner to work position, knit one row, wrap next single needle on left remember to bring needles to right of the pair just knit into hold repeat to end of row. Reverse process moving from left to right (in progress photo). I found a single tooth from a claw weight on the pair of stitches doing all the knitting helpful. 

Variations can include the number of needles in and out of work, yarn choices, etc. The needle arrangement to match the symbols with 3 in work, 3 out of work The same steps sequence is followed as for the first swatch, using a 2/8 wool. Summarizing the beginning series of movements starting with CORThe full series of patterns may be found in the Portuguese language booklet The illustrated needle arrangement for #4I like to begin using a chain cast on, and then dropping chains off needles out of work1: COR, leave the first needle in work, pull the remainder out to hold, knit 1 row
2: COL, bring the thread under the first needle in hold position 3: COL, knit 2 rows, repeat 1-3 5 more times, creating a total of 5 wrapped loops, ending COL
4: COL, put the needle storing the wrapped threads into work, and knit this stitch by hand twice, leave it in work
5: push the adjacent needle to its left into work, the needle on its right out to hold, knit one row, ending COL
Repeat steps 2-5The fabric shares knitting sequences with the first 2 samples Here a similar technique is used for a trim, both sides are shown  trying to imagine the process in chart format 

Online inspiration:
a youtube shawl
techniques that use holding while moving across the needle bed in a similar manner, though not necessarily producing “crochet-like” fabrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR_7Ys9KIaU&t=4s

A follow-up post with more fabrics inspired by the Knittax pattern book

“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims and fabrics 1

Any discussion of crochet like fabrics on home knitting machines, whether single or double bed, invariably lead to looking at gathered loops, whether created as a hand technique using holding or automated by using the tuck setting. The function of the card remains the same when cam buttons are engaged, regardless of whether knitting single or double bed. In Brother machines punched holes result in needles being selected to D position (brother has no C), those needles will knit (second color in FI, thin yarn in thread lace / B feeder). Unpunched areas remain in B position, and will tuck or slip, (color 1/A feeder FI, both yarns together in thread lace) based on cam settings. Another Brother feature is that the needle tape to help with markings for stitch counts, pattern repeats, etc. centers between 2 # 1 needle positions. This can cause some confusion when translating patterns from other makers that rely on needle position numbers only for their directions.

I often use punchcard designs on my electronic machines after isolating the repeat, most often for the sake of speed and convenience. Swapping out the needle tape for the electronic with one for a punchcard machine makes identifying and placing repeats easier. In Brother punchcard machines tapes the heavy solid line, followed by a thin line on alternate sides, reflects each 24 stitch repeat. Repeats on these KMs are fixed, there is no option for altering the starting position. When using electronics in some patterns, aside from the added convenience of color-reverse for minimal “drawing”, it is helpful to know that the punchcard design reflects what happens on the purl side, so letters, etc are reversed on the knit side. As a result, when translating for electronics, some patterns may also require being flipped horizontally. Using the markings on needle tape is pointless if the tape is not properly centered. Check needle “bow” mark at 100 on the left side, the last needle on that side should rest directly in its center. As the retainer bar begins to loosen a bit from wear, the tape may start shifting position, and cello tape may be needed to anchor it in place

Marking colors have varied over the years

“Trims” can be any width, from narrow to wider bands. Punching cards is enough work so that it is worthwhile to get as many functions or fabrics out of each card as possible. Various software makes it easy to check repeat tiling, or simply scan/copy the card with black paper behind it, cut it up, and cello segments together to sort out needle placement. I chart mostly in Excel, old fashioned colored pencils, and graph paperwork just fine

self-drawn punchcard for Brotherside by side repeats in this instance, left side needs some adjustment

got a pre-punched card? tucks occurring for 3 rows for an all-over pattern,  or trim choosing a section of repeat Studio card (use appropriate starting row for the machine)same needle arrangement, tucks will now occur for 4 rows

Love your ribber? use any tuck lace appropriate card. Transfer any or all of the needles to be left in A position (OOW) on the main bed onto the ribber, and you will have a pattern combining knit and purl stitches. Use waste yarn, ravel cord, and ribber comb with weights through waste yarn. Cast ons and bind-offs may require planning and choice depending on yarn used and the number of rows tucking. These in turn result in a stretch in width and diminished length proportionately in the body of the finished fabric. After casting on and setting up both beds, set ribber on P (so needles on both beds are directly opposite each other) to center ribber created vertical columns between those on the opposite bed.

When more than one stitch tucks

A quick post to address another question:

Two cards that meet limitations on fabrics with side by side tuck stitches  when using Japanese machines

Side by side tuck loops create floats similar to those created by slip stitch; the yarn is held in the needles however, so they are longer than those in slip stitch, which are simply not worked and travel in front of gate pegs. In Brother KM, the non selected needles tuck

In the card above left, after tucking for 2 rows, the needles are all selected forward in order to knit across the next whole row (every square punched). This is the result as needles come forward, illustrating some of the potential problems and limitations with wider or longer “tucks”

fabric 1fabric 2

“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: working with “chains”

For the month of June, on Ravelry, a group of us are going to look at crochet-like stitches produced on the knitting machine. This will be an evolving and growing post series as I have time to gather and share information. http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/machine-knitting/3631399/1-25#25

There are a group of single bed braids/edgings following horizontal chains produced on the knitting machine that has reminded me of crochet. They are based on frequent latch tool bind-offs that occur with the fabric facing either side as it is regularly removed from the knitting machine. The bind-offs by necessity will move in either or both directions, since a continuous yarn strand may be used unless one chooses to change colors. The bound-off edge is rehung and worked further. It is a great way to get proficient at the technique or to get some use from that linker that has been in storage (providing a loose enough tension producing big enough stitches for it to work smoothly may be used). For the purposes of this discussion, this illustration of a crochet chain shows places where the hook might be inserted and exit before picking up yarn to create the next stitch with a hook. I think of rear and front loops illustrated as creating a “chain”, and the one in the rear as a “bump”.

Below I have used an acrylic yarn that tests the 4.5 mm machine’s limit at the loosest possible tension. In crochet cast on, the “bump” is sitting on top of the needles, the “chain” below them

parts of the cast-on structure taken off the machine: the “bump”  “rear loop” “front loop” “both loops”

most of these fabrics start with latch tool cast on the required number of stitches for chain +1 knit one row, bind off remove work from the machine, do not cut yarn 

options for picking up and rehanging stitches: the front loop of “chain” back loop of “chain” both loops of “chain” roll work toward you to reach rear “bump” work turned over, rear “bump” rear loop of “chain” as shown in top front loop of “chain” with the rear of the fabric facing you 

To keep the number of stitches constant for a straight edge on both sides of the piece, the loop at the end gets its own needle. A sample created picking up rear loop only, without turning the work over at any time. View of side 1 and loop consistently worked. Note the slight bias in fabric, due to its being worked always in the same direction. Turning the work over would eliminate the problem, in a similar way as transferring eyelets in opposite directions achieves that in lace.

its reverse side 

Such trims may be used for no roll edges anywhere on a garment. The number of stitches may be decreased following shaping ie in necklines. Starting with waste yarn, ravel cord, and a chain cast-on row, one can produce stand-alone trims. The look as always varies considerably with fiber used and its bulk. Other variations and tips:

  • knit more than one row between bind off (2 or 3) at maximum tension, the chained row will roll slightly, giving a different look; removing the work from the machine and turning it over before binding off, will get the chain to roll to the opposite side
  • keep the number of needles in use constant for straight edges, use math to calculate episodic count adjustments such as decreases if needed
  • reverse side is usually the one facing away from the knitter. That is a consideration in planning the look of the trims, depending on whether the body of the piece is to use the purl or knit side as the “public” one.
  • in Brother machines holding position is E (they skipped C), in Studio machines it is D. To ensure stitches’ knitting off properly, work may be brought to this position after each knit row
  • textures are further varied by using needles out of work or transfers within knit rows or rehanging concave or concave loops in varied sequences. Looking at stitch formation after 3 knit rows

Convex loops are what is picked up when hanging a hem or turning the work over. In sampling, I tend to use any yarn at hand. Quality of material directly relates, however, to the quality of results. The white here is a 2/15 acrylic, the blue a 4 ply wool. I knit a long white strip, making a side available for rehanging on the machine, and continuing with a series of trial trims. All samples were made with purl side facing, but depending on preference and end-use, the fabric could be returned to the machine with knit side facing as well. It is helpful to have a neat selvage. If the edge includes increases or decreases making them fully fashioned will provide one. Yarns with “memory” ie wool will retain the rolling effect produced by extra knit rows. Stitches are picked up on the finished knit a full stitch away from the edge. I tend to keep my yarn continuous rather than binding off with separate threads. Pull a long loop out at the carriage side, avoiding tugging and distorting of end stitches when lifting them off the gate pegs in order to rehang them on needles after turning the work over. Adjust loop size prior to knitting the next row. Hang it on the first stitch on that side, or on the adjacent empty needle if you find you are a single stitch short (machine knitting magic)

Trim 1: stitches rehung on the machine   all needle brought out to hold position knit 2 rows latch tool bind off (LTBO)

Remove work from the machine, turn the work over (in this case the knit side was now facing me), pick up concave loops and rehang on km, keeping track of stitch count. Bring needles out to hold, making certain each needle has a stitch on it

knit 2 rows, LTBOI steamed swatch, some roll lost because of fiber used 

Trim 2: hang stitches on every other needle, thicker yarn 
bring needles out to hold, check stitches, knit 2 rowsLTBO
turn work over, rehang EON (every other needle) knit 1 rowLTBO, lift off

proceed as above, except after first hanging stitches on EON, bring all the empty needles out to work, check stitches knit 2 rows on every needle LTBO, lift off loop that gets picked up and rehung with work turned over, rehang stitches EON bring all needles out to hold, check stitches, knit 2 rows LTBO, lift off

Trim 3: stitches on EON, introducing tuck loops knit multiple rows hook ladders up on empty needles bring all needles out to hold, checking stitches LTBO, lift the piece off the machine, turn work over picking up grouped loops placing them on EONknit 2 rowsLTBO, lift off

Linker manuals: Studio , Brother 

A no longer “mystery pattern”

A Ravelry post shared a Knittax pattern for this stitch and was followed up by my first, untested interpretation of the repeat here the center stitch selection in the center of knit blocks is eliminated partial repeat for punchcards electronic repeat X 2reviewing the idea after a few days I realized the repeat should be edited; orange squares need to be knit stitches  Slip <-> creates floats to be hung on center non selected needles of blocks of 5. Before the next row is knit, bring that needle out to hold to insure groups of loops in the needle hook will knit off with the next carriage pass.

When I sampled this repeat, I decided three all knit rows between loops were too many, and this became my final repeat, tiled X 4 (suitable for punchcard)multiple tuck loops, side by side do not even stay in the hooks slip stitch sample, purl side a bit closer,  knit side