Crochet meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims or fabrics 3

There have been several previous posts on “crochet” like stitches and “tuck lace”, this is another variant. The needles need to be arranged as in the diagrams below. After the first preselection row, the carriage is set to tuck ??

the full punchcard T= areas where tuck loops will occur, K = knit columns, o = NOOW, the red line the 0 mark on the needle tape

Every 5 rows, after the tuck loops are knit together (illustrated in repeats on far left), the formed stitch (single black square) is transferred in turn to the right and then to left; this works out happily so that transfers may always be made toward the knit carriage.
The sole repeat (all that would be required on a mylar) is 4 stitches wide, 5 rows high. The number of needles used needs to be planned so that there is a knit stitch on either end of the piece. This is accomplished by using a repeated multiple of 4 + 1, so one side of the 0 mark has an even number of stitches, the other an odd (4+1=5). Ayab software requires that the repeat is programmed across the width of the fabric, so the final design would be a variant of this, my sample was worked on 20 left, 17 right. Non selected needles form tuck loops until they are knit together every 5th row

If you prefer to work with the top repeat programmed, then transfers will need to be made on each side of the non selected needles to get the proper configuration. If programmed with the bottom repeat, then and every other needle cast on is fine. I generally stay away from combs and weights if I can, but this is a fabric that benefits by evenly distributed weight, a cast on comb with weights added to it is a good idea. In the absence of any, start with waste yarn and ravel cord, thread a thin knitting needle or wire through the knit, and hang evenly spaced weighs on that. Follow with your preferred cast on, and knitting in pattern. 

The swatch as it appears on the purl side (traditional “public side” for tuck stitch). The bottom 4 repeats show what the fabric looks like before one intervenes with the hand technique

its knit side and a bit closer a few more

in early publications combinations of lace and tuck, creating a large scale mesh were also referred to as mock crochet

Combining knit carriage needle selection with racking

4/23/18:  inspiration source is from a Russian pin, bottom left #198

The first swatch, produced with manual selection, varying the number of rows between racking to establish yarn tolerance

There are single rows knitting on both beds, so the option of using 2 knit carriages is out of the running. My test swatch had the main bed doing all the knitting, the ribber knitting the joining segments with manual changes in its buttons from slip to knit and back when appropriate. The staring needle arrangement, on “graph paper”, and the subsequent racking positions: the top illustration is for racking position 4, the bottom for racking position 0.A tentative plan of attack: the combined knit and ribber carriages are to be used throughout. The main bed KC is set to knit, but change knob is set to KCII. The blank squares will actually knit thanks to the setting, the selected needles will indicate the direction in which racking is due to take place prior to knitting the next row. 

This is the starting ayab repeat, with single repeat segments highlighted (one alone would be adequate for most other electronics). 

You will be working on the purl side of the knit. In what is an increasingly irksome feature to me, Ayab will automatically mirror horizontally any loaded image, so to get the above, you need to actually be either mirroring the image prior to loading it (my preference), or remember to do so through Ayab’s actions after.  Enter this, the ayab screen shows this 

This is what appears on the left side of the Brother ribber. I prefer to rely on other methods to track directions and numbers of positions in racking, but the ribber itself provides some clues. My pitch lever will not move all the way to H, but that is made up for in the ribber adjustments, so it is not a problem. A reminder: turning the racking handle to the left is toward increasing numbers on the indicator, to the right is toward decreasing numbers  The set up for my swatches, and the first row knit on racking position 0.  

The first preselection row in Ayab knits above needles on both beds. With carriage on the right, set the ribber to slip <–  –>, and knit up to the next row where needle pre-selection appears. *Change the ribber button on the side to match the direction in which you will be moving the carriage (left if knitting to left, right if knitting to right) to knit from the slip setting, knit to the opposite side (no more needle selection), change ribber lever back to slip again prior to any more knitting.** Repeat * to **. Position 4:

I began to run into issues with ribber stitches being too tight, this was knit with a tension adjustment, resulting in a less defined texture

Going a different route: another repeat, with each position, repeated once, repeat is pre mirrored  
a swatch with the racking happening only in the center of needles in work

Starting position can be variable. With more stitches cast on, while keeping the same ribber configuration, racking can happen further to the right or to the left. There need to be enough stitches on the main bed so ribber needles do not travel beyond them when racked. The knit bed uses tension close to that used for stocking stitch. The ribber stitch size may need to be adjusted to allow for a wider move toward either side. A looser ribber tension results in a less sculptural surface on the knit side. I have seldom been able to knit more than 6 rows on the main bed with ribber combination stitches on Brother, often maxing out at 4 depending on the yarn. Consistent habits help develop one’s own most meaningful reminders for taking action.

5/12/18 2 more samples. This time racking is done by 3 positions, the ribber set up is with 3 needles out of work, 5 in work. Set up is with racking handle on 3, move to and from positions 0 to 3. Knit 4 rows single bed. Rack to the next position. Use ribber set to knit for 2 rows for sample on left, for a single row for the sample on the right 

A printable “rib setup” to aid in charting  P and H needle configurations, with some space for notes and carriage settings

5/8/18 This is from the dubied knitting machine pattern book

I was not familiar with the machine, found 2 excellent quick start guides to aid in translating to Brother settings
Parsons making Center <http://resources.parsons.edu/labs/dubied-machine-knitting-studio/>
Dubied casting on and binding off, including levers/ cam notations <https://mycourses.aalto.fi/pluginfile.php/573146/mod_resource/content/1/casting%20on%20instructions.pdf
My step by step interpretation, which may be worked as a hand technique on any machine 
1. racking handle on 0, cast on for every needle rib
2. transfer stitches to the main bed to match needle arrangement above, knit 3 rounds
3. set the ribber to slip in both directions, knit 3 rounds
4. rack 4 to the left, set the ribber to knit, knit 3 rounds
5. set the ribber to slip in both directions, knit 3 rounds
6. rack 4 to the right, set the ribber to knit, knit 3 rounds*
repeat steps 3-6
The resulting swatch For a different method of knitting this same fabric, please see later post 12/20/17————————————————————————————————

The Brother Ribber Techniques book provides guidelines for variations on this stitch type,  the following among them. It is available for free download online from various sites and is an excellent resource

These images were shared on Facebook, they are from the Empisal ribber stitch book

I have worked with racking in the past but never attempted to have racked shapes interacting with single bed patterning across the width of the piece on the KM. My 910 is presently connected to a Mac via the EMS Ayab kit. Sampling is quick and easy, replacing the mylar. One critical difference is that the repeat used must match the pattern in width numbering the same as needles in use for the piece, so at least for testing my initial repeats were 30 stitches wide.

I find trying to chart things out before I actually knit helps me plan and understand what actions I need to take. Mac Numbers is my go-to for charts for the moment.  Here a random slip stitch pattern is put on a knit ground that takes into consideration possible racking positions, with the ideal position for reversing the bend at the center of the chevron pattern. With a bit of planning, punchcard markings or even mylar ones may be used to help with tracking racking numbers for accuracy, but that appears lost using Ayab software

When planning for racking within the width of a piece, the racked columns will extend beyond the vertical edges of the knit. Since this is not about having zigzag edges but keeping the design within the body of the knit, the starting point and spacing for your ribbed stitches matter. Brother racking handle is numbered from 0 to 10. The numbering and direction of movement vary between KM brands. If you begin at 0, you are only allowed to move the ribber to the left, if at 10 the ribber only moves to the right. So that said, the racking sequence in the above illustration should be reversed, traveling from 10 to 0, and back. The green squares represent the direction in which the ribber stitches are moving, the numbers in the column on the right represent racking handle positions. 

I found this slip stitch repeat produced too little detail in my swatches, but were it reduced for mylar use, it would remain 7 stitches high. It was taken from a punchcard book, so black squares/punched holes represent knit stitches. To match the fabric, in mylar use, the color reverse would do the job. The Ayab kit bypasses both the mylar reader and the programming capacity of the buttons on the left, so double height, double width, color reverse, etc. including the DBJ setting are planned for in the file import into the software. In some instances, Ayab settings (ribber for DBJ, and “circular”) do the work for you. I am using GIMP to create my BMPs. Paintbrush is a free program, still available for Mac, and functional including in High Sierra. It is the program used by some forum members to create their repeats, provides an easy alternative for people who not be used to working with image editing programs.

the slip stitch repeat in its original state: because slipped stitches create their texture on the purl side of the fabric, images do not need to be mirrored for the direction of the texture to be matched using electronic machines 
If the goal is to have the machine take care of keeping track of knit rows for you, without having to make changes in cam buttons, in the mylar a single repeat with blank squares programmed at the top and/or bottom of the repeat could then be knit using color reverse. Here the situation is similar to that of punchcard users who need to punch a hole for every knit stitch, but considerably faster. If the original pattern is satisfactory,  planning for all knit rows as automatic needle selection can be done by color reversing the pattern in the software and adding all black rows in the image for download.  
some other all over variations to try, individually, or even sequentially for slip stitch all over texture

the first tests, for the various slip stitches, nothing quite “there” yet  
this is getting closer to the goal

The above working repeat and all above swatches were knit with the first preselection row from right to left, not left to right. For these stitches, the starting side does not make a difference. If the pattern, however, was in blocks that were even-numbered in height (2, 4, 6, 8), and the color changer needs to come into play for striping using it, accommodations need to be made so that preselection for row 1 happens from the right side to the left, toward the changer. The programming needs to be set to begin on the very last row, so the repeat returns to row one for preselection from right to left, and knitting rows 1, 2, etc begin with the KC set to appropriate cam buttons, to and from the left side of the KM.

The racking sequence needs to be adjusted to have the points of the zigzag land in the center of both the slip stitch areas and those in plain knit if that is the goal.  I am encountering needle selection issues with my hack, so this fabric is getting put to bed for the moment. In principle, the black squares in the illustration represent knit rows, and their number is easily enough adjusted in height. Punchcard users would need to punch holes for each black square, mylar user can fill in the white squares for a single repeat, add blank rows at top or bottom, and color reverse when programming. In Ayab software, the repeat has to be drawn for the width of the piece but will repeat “infinitely” in length.

This is a possible punchcard template, with a shorter racking sequence. The Numbered column on left indicates the racking position. Pattern rows are preselected, so racking occurs prior to knitting across each row. I am also in need of purchasing more punchcards or another roll, so there is no test swatch at this moment. The top and bottom rows of punched holes on the colored ground are not part of the repeat, they overlap the first and last 2 rows of design in the punchcard, allowing the pattern to repeat in length. Ascending numbers swing to the left, descending to the right. Rows may be added at the level of #7 (7, 8, 9, 8, 7), so that the center of the swing may then occur on #9 positions in the racking handle, lengthen the card accordingly.5/14/20
Electronic machine models make experimenting easy and quick. Here an all-over tuck stitch is programmed for the base fabric, and racking variations are considered with the goal to cross the base fabric at various points in the patterned areas, or within the knit space alone. With increasing racking indicator numbers the ribber moves to the right, the shape its stitches create on the main bed moves to the left. With decreased racking indicator numbers the ribber moves to the left, the shape its stitches create on the main bed moves to the right. The repeat required mirroring for use in my electronic 930. Experimenting with racking intersecting tuck stitch on multiple repeat png, stitches were picked up on the ribber aside from the first tuck stitch on the right, A, on the center, B, and on the left, C, of the knit stitch groups.

 The tuck pattern tested, racking placed in the center position changing ribber needle positions
moving toward positioning the racked pattern further into the knit columns. Making the knit columns wider, placing repeats differently. The intended placement of the racked pattern is shown in yellow. Good notes and documentation of the final needle arrangement will make the technique easily reproducible. The needles involved on the top bed always need to be returned to the patterning position after any shares. At any point in the knitting, it is easy enough to transfer stitches on the ribber up to the main bed, drop the ribber down, and check on the placement of the racked pattern. If the place is satisfactory, the moved stitches can be returned to the ribber and the work is continued. If not, transferred stitches can be left on the main bed, other stitches can be shared with the ribber and patterning can continue with racking in the new location. One such adjustment is seen toward the bottom of this swatch. 

Punch cards to electronics: book symbols and samples

A number of variables need to be considered when adapting punchcard patterns for use on electronic knitting machines. These images pertain to Brother use, but the principles are shared between KM brands. I will add more information as time goes on. Online free downloads for magazines, manuals, etc. may be found at
http://knittsings.com/knitting-machine-manuals/
http://toyotaknitting.blogspot.com/
http://www.aboutknittingmachines.com/
http://s216.photobucket.com/user/Britlady52/library/?sort=3&page=1
machineknittingetc.com
https://www.knititnow.com/ManualAndDocuments/
some additions of late include designs in 12, 18, and 30 stitch repeats in addition to the familiar 24 and 40 ones, and to help with interpretations of symbols:  Japanese symbols for machine knitters 

Punchcard collections for all brands @ needles of steel 

For a later post including information on scanning and editing published designs electronically see https://alessandrina.com/2018/07/02/numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/
As the transition was made from manual machines to push button, and then to punchcard selection systems, the early collections included diagrams of symbols familiar to hand knitters, and interestingly worded text that disappeared or was reduced in later punchcard books. I am presenting information in the order in which it appeared in this particular collection’s paper version, I have not found this volume in the above-mentioned sources for free download. Images are gathered from more than one source, so there is some repetition of information


LACE KNITTING

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

SYMBOLS IN PATTERN KNITTING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet another fabric using 2 carriages selecting needles for patterning

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

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

THREAD OR PUNCH LACE is possible only on machine models that have 2 buttons in mc position The thicker yarn knits along with the thinner one where there are unpunched areas or white squares, the thinner yarn knits alone where the punched holes or black squares occur, with the thicker yarn floating behind it more information on this fabric 

Suitable for tuck and possibly tolerant of elongation as well:

Punchcard machines mirror motifs when knit. This may not be noticed when copying small repeats, but it becomes more evident in larger ones. For knitting on the 910, the supplied motif would need to be mirrored when programmed to retain the intended direction. With other machine models, one needs to know whether the “image” on the card will appear on the purl side, matching punchcard pattern and needle selection, or the knit side, thus reversing it. 

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

reversal of lettering


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

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

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

Ribber settings and symbols for Brother machines