2011: There are several brand KMs still around and in use, most are no longer being manufactured. Questions often come up on how to use one KM brand pattern card on another. Card readers inside the machine are below eye level, so exterior number/other markings on cards or mylars reflect that, providing the knitter with a visual cue as to where they are in the repeat. If machines pre-select, the needle selection may not bear any relationship to the actual design row on the punched card or mylar as opposed to what one sees. In addition to this variable in lace one often has 2 carriages in use. It is possible to develop cards etc. from lace hand knitting graphs, but there is enough going on so a good place where to start experimenting is with pre-drawn ones. Lace preselection on any single row may have no obvious relationship to where the lace hole will ultimately end up.
Here are some random facts gathered from both sources and experience, they are applicable only if the knit carriage is set for plain knitting and no other function ie. slip or tuck is involved; plain knit rows do not advance the card reading mechanisms. In mixed structure fabrics, the rules change.
The Brother and Toyota lace cards can be used on studio punchcard machines as long as they are patterns which have 2 blank rows after each transfer sequence
Brother and Toyota have u shaped arrows to identify when to knit with the knit carriage, both brands read cards 7 rows down
The first row on Brother is transferred from right to left, while on Toyota it is transferred from left to right; Brother and Toyota cards are interchangeable provided the card is mirrored vertically (or a simple cheat: use carriages on opposite sides of usual)
For Studio knitting find the row number of the U shaped arrow and circle the 2nd and 3d row below that row that number to identify rows in which carriage is changed/set to knit
Brother knitting ends with 2 blank rows
Studio starts with 2 blank rows
on Studio begin brother card by locking card 4 rows before row 1, on row 3
Brother/Knitking lace carriage does not carry yarn, does not knit or trip the row counter; the stitches get transferred in the direction that the lace carriage is being pushed
Studio/Singer has a lace carriage available that transfers as it knits; on more complex laces one is sometimes instructed to set the carriage not to knit for a specified number of rows, the yarn may be removed, other adjustments are often required
though Studio and Brother lace cards are not directly interchangeable; aside from the numbering issue the transfer method is different, so a studio lace card working on a Brother or vice versa is a happy accident and likely to result in different fabric
Brother information is applicable to its new clone, Taitexma
A few references :
Machine Knitting: the Technique of Lace by Kathleen Kinder
Knitting Lace and A Machine Knitter’s guide to Creating Fabrics by Susanna Lewis
Machine Knitting: the Technique of Pattern Card Design by Denise Musk
John Allen’s Treasury of Machine Knitting Stitches
The Harmony Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches (their Colorful Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches does not include lace)
322 Machine Knitting Stitches (Sterling Publishing,1988)
2013 In this instance I am exploring the use of punchcards that are designed for transferring and knitting at the same time as seen in Studio simple lace in machines such as Brother, where the operation is the result of using 2 different carriages.
the Studio card used the resulting fabric The method: both carriages are used to select needles, use lace extension rails on both sides of the machine. Cancel end needle selection on knit carriage underside if possible, or push end needles back manually if needed to avoid their corresponding stitches being transferred throughout the piece. Set up for knitting the pattern as usual, punchcard row 3 (marked in pencil) becomes row 1 of the design when the above card is used in the Brother machine. The arrows always indicate the direction the lace carriage will move across the knit to make transfers in the direction of that same arrow.
- begin pattern knitting with COR, card locked, change knob on KC, no cam buttons in use. This will result in needle selection, but the fabric produced is in stocking stitch. The lace carriage is engaged o the opposite side, moves toward the knit carriage to make the transfers, as it travels across the bed the now empty needles will once again be in the B position.
2. (lace carriage) travels back to right and is released off the machine (same needle selection appears, but those needles are now emptied of yarn)
3. COL: KC moves left to right, knitting the single row, all needle hooks now are now full, new needle selection occurs
4. LCOL: makes transfers toward the knit carriage, and then makes a second pass to return to the opposite side and is released.
These 4 steps are repeated throughout the knitting, with the knit carriage knitting and selecting, the lace carriage following its selection to make the required transfers. Not every transfer row will match the direction of the arrows as marked on the studio punchcard.
If there is no pattern needle selection with the KC pass on any row(s), continue to knit until there is needle selection, and begin the process using lace carriage to transfer toward the knit carriage from the opposite side and once again releasing it after its second pass.
A caution: hesitation and reversal in movement of carriages in Brother machines advances the card in the reader, and results in mistakes in patterning; if errors are to be corrected or such movements need be made for any reason, it is worth locking the card, checking row numbers, remembering to release the card before continuing, and visually checking pattern after the next knit row.
2013: While working out yet another HK to MK lace pattern, I sorted out the following method for using Studio simple lace on the electronic KM. It is a method that does not work on the Brother punchcard to produce the same fabric, however; on punchcard machines as either carriage is moved to select from the opposite side of the bed, the card will not advance on the first pass, interrupting selection. I tried a swatch and got a very different lace design; depending on the starting pattern the results may be interesting (do not use elongation), but not the ones intended to match any original.
The knitting samples shown below were knit on a Brother 910. On electronic machines, as seen in previous posts on knitting with 2 carriages, the mylar (or otherwise programmed) repeat advances a row with each pass of the carriage, no matter on which side of the bed the pass originates. Dropped stitches are harder to repair in these fabrics than in patterns for multiple transfer lace (there knitting can be unraveled to the start of a sequence where 2 or more knit rows usually occur), so checking transfers, gate pegs, and adjusting stitch size and weights matter even more. There is no need to mirror the image horizontally; draw repeat as is on punchcard onto mylar, all variation buttons down
start knitting with KC (knit carriage) on left, Lace Carriage (LC) on Right program pattern double length
on the first row the LC selects, the next row it will transfer; LC always makes 2 passes first toward the KC, then away from it, even if those 2 rows in repeat have no needle selection. It is then removed from the bed to be returned to the bed on the opposite side after the knit row with KC that follows. In summary:
KC knits a single row to the opposite side
*LC is placed back onto machine opposite the KC to make 2 passes, is removed.
KC follows with a single knit row to the opposite side*. * to* steps are repeated
3 total carriage passes complete one row of knitting. The chart below shows actions and placement of carriages This sample was knit beginning with lace carriage on left, as can be seen in marked areas, the alternating repeats have a different quality in the sets of transfers marked red vs green
The successful swatch knit beginning with KC on left, LC on right in the method described above
April 2019 I attempted the same repeat on the 930 with img2track. I flipped the repeat horizontally and elongated it X 2 prior to knitting it. The arrows in the chart indicate the movement of the lace carriage, beginning with the first preselection row from the left I had issues with the proper needles being selected (proofed also in fair isle), but with random stitches not being transferred. A switch in lace carriages, needle retainer bar, yarn, did not eliminate the problem. I finally had to perform some of the transfers by hand. This swatch also shows the joy of missed dropped stitches in lace knitting, the yarn used is a thin acrylicDecember 7 2018: an interesting method using 2 electronic lace carriages found on youtube. The repeat used in the video is a variation of the one used in my sample above, programmed using img2track. The repeat is mirrored prior to knitting, there are extra knit rows to allow LCs to continue the pattern from alternate sides. The machine being used appears to be a 930. The requirement for mirroring of any pattern may depend on the model of electronic KM used to knit the lace and whether the download appears as drawn on the purl or the knit side of the piece A comparison of my repeat using a single LC and the Knitlabo pattern expansion including memo options for use with 2 lace carriages
2011: Studio transfer lace on Brother bulky and standard machines
Studio multi transfer lace punchcard use on Brother punchcard machines
Studio multiple transfer lace with single rows knit between repeats on 910
This image shows the published inspiration used in the post (bottom), and a studio punchcard book version found at a later date for the same repeat. At this point in time, my image editing has evolved. Both repeats below were obtained by processing and scaling the original image in Gimp, for process please see posts 1, and 2 on 930 with img2track use # 1 variation key with the pattern repeat as shown, or flip horizontally prior to download. Ayab knitters pre latest software release: mirror repeat, tile repeat width across the number of stitches to match the number of needles to be used in your final piece. There will be no needle selection at the end of each sequence, signaling the need to release the LC, knit one row, and continue with LC brought to the opposite side. This is a very fussy knit. At several points, it is loops formed on previously empty needles that get transferred rather than full stitches. They love to get hung up on gate pegs. It took a significant amount of time to produce a proof of concept swatch. It is a lovely lace. Knitting it on a punchcard would give one the luxury of frequent pauses and markings to make for additional clues
LCOL 9 passes, release
KCOR knit one row to left
LCOR 7 passes, release
KCOL knit one row to the right
LCOL 5 passes, release
KCOR one row to left
LCOR 3 passes. release
KCOL knit one row to the right
Mesh experiments using thread lace punchcards. This image also illustrates the yarn lines created in the eyelet spaces: a single thread for when single rows are knit between repeats, twisted double threads when 2 rows knit between transfers.
One thought on “Revisiting use of lace patterns Studio vs Brother machines”
I never saw that KnitLaBo video about using 2 lace carriages before. Genius!! I don’t know why I never thought of that, especially in light of this recent FB in-depth discussion of Sally Butcher’s Bargello lace pattern, and how to achieve it on a Brother KM. Using a single lace carriage it takes 10 rows of pattern to achieve the 2-row repeat. Or, of course, you can approximate it by doing the 2 transfer rows in opposite directions (4 passes) and then 2 rows of plain knitting (total of 6 passes. But for longer SSSR simple lace patterns that wouldn’t work, but the 2 lace carriages should be able to do anything in simple lace. Cool!