Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 2: adding color

Any tuck repeat may be used in the slip stitch setting. The results for “safe” repeats executed in slip stitch may not be very textural or dramatic.
Though at times presented in color, the same patterns can be very effective in single colors as well.
Prior to testing multicolor patterns, I like to start the work with waste yarn, testing color changes there first, making certain colors are threaded properly, not crossed, and that the color changer is set up properly.
The Brother single bed color changer is unique, in that the yarn remains in the changer, not leaving it with each color change; its manual 
In the absence of a single bed changer, some fabrics may be knit with the ribber up, using the double bed model. This is the only option available for the bulky machine. There is a limit as to the amount of tucking that can be achieved successfully since the ribber arm does not have the system of wheels and brushes that help keep loops and stitches in place single bed.  Manuals

Instructions from the Brother single bed color changer manual 

For Studio/ Silver Reed

Punchcard volume collections are a great place to start to search for published repeats and subsequent DIY inspiration.
One such is Brother volume 5  Since the knit carriage needs to move to and from the left-hand side of the machine with each color change, an even number of rows in each repeating segment is recommended, but not necessarily required. The first preselection row is generally moving from right to left. End needle selection on helps the edge stitches knit. At times end needles will need to be pushed forward to knitting position by hand. Depending on how the repeat is placed on the needle bed, with some experience with a tuck or slip stitch, one can decide whether keeping the end stitches in the pattern creates a better effect at vertical edges. Analyzing 2 random repeats The respective .bmpsAs with all punchcards, the first and last 2 pairs or rows are not part of the design, they are necessary for the punchcard to roll continuously in the drum. Keep in mind that the card is reading design row one while your eye sees the row marked #1 by the factory on the card outside of the machine. Following the suggested color changes to match the specific swatch takes the guesswork out of the equation. In DIY or in trying a different color sequence, such guides may have to be shifted and marked accordingly. Specific color suggestions are given in the samples above in the left-hand columns. In #327 the order is in a variable sequence, which requires a bit more attention than #328. Follow the line below the #1 mark to the left, each card begins with color 1. Color notations in 328 are also next to those 2 all punched rows at the top. That is because those 2 rows overlap the first 2 design rows as the ends of the card are clipped together, front over back, for smooth, continuous, advancing movement. In 327 the sequence at the bottom would need to be hand-marked.
Before tackling patterns with moving components, these charts begin to analyze color changes in a ready punched or self-designed card which produces a honeycomb-like effect. The chart colors used are random picks from the palette, for illustration purposes only, illustrating areas where color changes may occur. The tuck/slip stitch held in the hook of non selected needles gets elongated and comes forward on the knit side, creating vertical lines in the color that is not knitting. The blue highlights the row where a single stitch, single row tuck or slipped stitch is created and the corresponding positions of the yarn on the knit side of the fabric Four tucked rows is probably the limit on Brother machines unless one is working in fine yarns. In the first interpretation, the ground knits for 2 rows on all preselected needles. In the second, the surrounds of the interior striping knit for single rows only at the top and bottom of the repeat. Electronic repeats A and B on the right may be as small as a single 4X12 unit.

The same card may be used, altering the color-changing sequence so the ground that will surround the tuck or slipped stitches changes as well. Using the same card would require a pattern start on card marking row 2, and an initial preselection row from the left to the right Keeping the 4 tuck row maximum the blocks of knit stitches between tucks can be varied, as can the movement of the vertical bars. The card repeat on the left would preselect from the right, while the repeat on the right would preselect from the left. So the card on the right is already punched, and instead of changing the colors outlining the shapes, one wants them constant and with a start from the right? The workaround is to advance the card to the last row in the full repeat, #36, lock the card, and preselect toward the color changer continuing to change colors in 2 then 4-row rotations after releasing the card. Tiling the repeats multiple times as with any pattern helps isolate areas where color changes might work as well as give us a sense of pattern movement across the fabric. With so many tucked rows so close to each other, it is best to use thin yarn. For slightly thicker yarn, one possible “fix” might be to simply eliminate one of the 3 tuck bars across the repeat, again check tiling for any errors, or places for color changes. Here the shift is not completed, some tuck bars were not eliminated the “corrected” repeat without additional rows, some possible color changes can follow the colored chart suggestions Moving on to electronics, playing with symmetry the repeat now becomes 30 stitches wide, the tiled image check for the unaltered version on the left.  The repeated adjusted two different ways in height to accommodate color changes in a few different spots Working with repeats with tuck or slip bars that are only 2 rows high make for easier use of a range of yarn thicknesses. There are some surprises to be found when color changes are made as often as every 2 rows, sometimes using up to 4 colors. The extra all knit rows may be eliminated altogether.
Beginning with a pattern that has large areas of black squares can help one understand what happens to the design as that knit ground takes on color striping in the same frequency as the color changes. The yarn used here is a 3/8 wool, making the fabric a bit stiff. The repeat is a larger cousin of card #327. Before the days of software tiling methods, on way to check repeats was to knit them up as Fair Isle. The large floats in this made it not its best use, the floats were sometimes caught with the companion color or looped. Had the long floats been consistently free, they could have been cut for a fringed look on the purl side and would have held in place well. Tuck knit in a solid color Slip stitch in all variations has purl side edges which curl to a greater degree, the short skipped areas were probably due to too tight tension of too quick a carriage pass to the opposite side tuck alternating two colors every 2 rows slip stitch  2 color variation slip stitch with the addition of a third color in the rotation Some patterns using color rotations every two rows are referred to as mosaics, mazes, or floatless fair isle. They can be deliberately designed, but there are treasure troves of working repeats in punchcard pattern books that produce visual cousins and may also knit up as lovely fabric in single colors, and wonderful surprises at times when one designed for single color is striped. A few to try that are pictured with corresponding swatches shown on the knit side:  from volume 5, the grey cells indicate the page numbers that correspond to the thumbnails in the downloadable version from Stitchworld, I have included repeat sizes, grey highlighted ones are suitable for use in punchcard as given Brother yarn changers are numbered, from right to left, and their published card designs color suggestions reflect that. The lace extension rail must be used as the knit carriage needs to clear the color changer on that side in order for the colors to change properly.  The Studio color changer color positions are marked with letters of the alphabet from left to right Some of the Studio punchcard pattern books showed both sides of the expected fabric assi\ociated with each card, here is a repeat that breaks the tuck rule of no more than one blank square side by side in any row.
This swatch pattern from a Japanese magazine illustrates the difference in the formation of the tucked loops when two blank squares exist side by side. The repeat is 10X22, colors are assigned letters rather than numbers here as well Another rule breaker: odd numbers of tucked rows with no added all knit rows. Experimenting with such repeats results in less organized all-over patterns, here colors are changed every 2 rows, every 4 rows A single knit row may be added, for an added variation with color changes every 4 rows These repeats take shapes in another direction which becomes more textural and interesting when blank stitch areas are expanded for use in slip stitch setting This pattern, with color changes every 2 rows and two-row tuck sequences has an assumed interesting pattern shift.  The tiled X2 horizontal repeats lined up side by side show that extra knit stitches have been added, shifting tuck stitch rows by one stitch in alternating directions, but just because it is published, it does not necessarily make the repeat correct. Those striped areas can only occur if there are solid all punched areas.  Keeping the constraints of a 24 stitch repeat, reducing the width of segments to 12 stitches rather than 24, the original repeat as amended The tiled results for each24X56 repeat proof of concept swatch in a far thinner yarn than the book photo An approach to designing such patterns can begin with a template for color changing every 2 rows and taking colored squares away to indicate stitches that will be slipped or tucked. Repeats can be adjusted from wider electronic ones to the 24 stitch width constraint for punchcard machines, as well as shifted to change the resulting shapes and their colors on the knit side. The two-dimensional charts are not capable of reflecting the amount of gathering of the fabrics or distortions of the stripes on the completed knit Japanese magazine publications often recommended many color changes, each for varied numbers of rows. Sometimes more is less. The number of colors may be reduced, and changing the numbers of rows used for each color as well can expand the number of fabrics produced from a single repeat. Good note keeping is a necessity if the intent is to easily reproduce the fabric at a later time.
Mixing things up for vertical designs:  Adapting punchcard designs for use in electronics becomes easier once one is familiar with the stitch structure. This is a cousin of 328, 13 stitches X 52 rows. Tiling as in all designs helps sort out errors or missing pixels. The “corrected” pattern, with the accompanying test swatches, the first knit in tuck stitch changing colors every 4 rows and slip stitch changing colors alternately every 2 rows, then every 4: My blog posts on working with and designing mosaics (suitable for tuck and slip) and mazes (slip stitch only, multiple side by side unpunched holes or white squares in any row), in reverse historical order

Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 1

The main difference between the 2 stitch types is that in tuck stitch the strand of yarn on the non selected needle is held in the hook of the needle forming a loop, while in slip stitch the strand of yarn bypasses the non selected needles as the row is knit, forming floats between stitches Symbols commonly used for bothIn both instances the stitch on non selected needles when the pattern begins (blue row in photo) is held in that needle hook, growing in length until that same needle is selected, and with the next row of knitting (red) one returns to the standard knit stitch formation.
Both distort the fabric, the tuck stitch widens and shortens it, while the slip stitch narrows and also shortens it. Both are capable of producing textured, interesting fabrics on only one or on both sides of the knit depending on the pattern’s design repeats. Which side is chosen as the public side is simply a matter of preference. In accessories and clothing, the interplay and “reversible” effects can provide added interest.
Because in tuck knitting the stitches are being held and gathered, more rows will be required to produce the desired length in pieces. Because the knit gets stretched sideways fewer stitches will be required to achieve the wanted width, making it suitable where larger garment pieces are planned. Looking at the stitch in a 2D diagram: A– loops are created for 2 rows, the original stitch is shown elongated. Each patterning needle hook now holds 3 yarn ends. B– the needle coming forward prior to the next pass whether by card reader selection or by hand, will knit on the next carriage pass to the opposite side. C– the originally held stitch as it might appear on the knit side

The group of loops as they knit together then forms small lumps/ bumps, or what I think of as “butterflies”.

The capacity of the needle hooks in terms of the number of loops they can hold and the quality and thickness of the yarn used place quick limitations of the number of rows one may use for tuck patterning. The Passap system tolerates many more such rows than the Japanese model machines, where the limit is often 4 rows. Slip-stitch is far more flexible in terms of applied “rules”.
Brother controls for patterning in any model are by the selection of cam buttons that offer directional arrows on the carriage Some of the options:    and not often used, but worth exploring, the use of opposing tuck and slip buttons at the same time. As with any knitting, for needle selection to occur the knit carriage (also known as KC) needs to engage the belt using the change knob set to KC. End needle selection or not depends on the goal fabric. If KC is in use but no cam buttons are pushed in, there will be needle selection, but the fabric produced will remain stocking stitch.
Any tuck cards may be used in the slip setting, but the reverse is not true.
Functions are in the directions of the arrows. For example, if a left button is pushed in, the next carriage pass will form loops or skipped stitches while traveling from right to left on the non preselected needles, and knit stitches on all needles on the return pass to the right, aside from any preselection being present. If both buttons are pushed in, the knit will form loops or skipped stitches with each carriage pass on non selected needles until those needle positions are pre-selected again, and then the stitches held in the hooks of the needles will knit with the next carriage pass.
It is possible to create the stitch structure on any machine, including manually by pulling selective needles out to hold for X number of rows. Motifs may be short or long, all over or isolated, can be arranged vertically, horizontally, diagonally, in diamond, basketweave, and plaid effects, may be combined with the use of stitches on the opposite bed, and with needles out of work (OOW) on either or both beds.
Punchcards are restricted to a maximum of 24 stitches or factors of 24 in the width of the repeats and require a minimum of 36 rows if they are to be used in continuous patterning. In electronics, the basic rules should be followed, but a single small repeat is enough to program, the size of large non-repetitive ones is limited only by machine memory and mode of download.
Both fabrics like to be weighted evenly, and several rows of waste yarn should be used at the start of the piece prior to testing patterns. Because it will be wide or narrow and short, that is a consideration if the plan is to combine several types of stitches in the same garment. Gauge swatches should be larger than usual.

Boiling things down to black and white: in both tuck and slip automatic patterning, selected needles produce knit stitches. Punchcard knitters are required to punch a hole for every knit stitch, leaving only areas that will be forming the tuck loops or skip stitch floats blank on the card. In a published chart for the stitch is used, black squares may be used to represent knit stitches and rows, white ones the tuck or slip stitch locations. It is up to the user to determine whether if using a published source, color reversing the repeat in electronics, or punching out the all-white areas as opposed to black is required. In single bed stitch formation, if one knits with two or more empty needles in work side by side, it will quickly become evident stitches will not form properly on those needles without additional steps being taken. This remains true in tuck knitting, but not in slip stitches. Though there are some exceptions, the usual rule is to have no more than one unit in any row without a punched hole or black square/pixel on either side of it. Punchcard pattern books are a great source of “safe” repeats. Electronic users need to isolate and draw a minimum of one repeat, which may be quite small. If duplicating a whole card with fewer unpunched holes than punched ones, only the white squares need to be drawn as black, and later the repeat is color reversed. Punchcard patterns usually have two rows of all punched holes at the top and bottom of the card that will rest on the first and last 2 rows of the design repeat respectively, allowing for the card to roll continuously in its reader. Cards also need a recommended minimum of 36 rows. Brother #1 mark on the right is 7 rows up from the bottom, while the card reader is reading design row one inside the machine, out of view. Cards from other KM manufacturers may be used, but the starting row may differ, as was also true back in mylar days. Punchcard machines produce the pattern as drawn on the purl side. Some electronic models or download programs vary, may require the pattern to be flipped horizontally.

An easy way to start becoming familiar with the knit structure of stitches is to begin by working with “safe” design repeats, using a familiar yarn in a light color. Depending on the punchcard machine model year, the card on the left (1) was a standard Brother issue, the one on the right (2) not always. Both may be used to test all cam buttons and stitch types, card one tolerates elongation well, card 2 may meet some resistance with tuck stitch if the yarn is thicker than the needle hooks will contain easily. Converting the cards to black and white pixels: the small single repeats for each card are highlighted with a red border. Depending on the method for programming the electronic machine, however, the single repeat may have to be repeated horizontally to match the number of stitches to be used in the piece. The third repeat is a hybrid of the previous 2, the start of making what is published more personal Studying published sources makes it easier to design more personal repeats. Cards that are “safe to use” can get one started in examining the texture and developing an understanding of how stitches are formed. They are often composed of variations of either card 1 or card 2 with added black areas. Using punchcards supplied in the packs with respective machine models appropriately can easily be done Additional published cards are also easily found increasing the number of tucked rows and observing the rule of knit stitches on both sides of the single unpunched squares resulting in no preselection.  Below, some of the single repeats are outlined in red. With additional rows now tucking, the added insurance of having them knit off properly at regular intervals is achieved by all punched (or black squares) single rows, highlighted with orange squares on their left. The black border isolates the actual patterning rows in the designs. Again, the top and bottom pairs of all punched rows are not part of the overall design but are necessary for the punchcard machines to line up patterning for knitting a continuous design The blank vertical areas may be arranged moving across the repeat’s canvas in a variety of ways. In this chart the tuck symbol is evident, some of the knit stitches around each tuck series are highlighted at the bottom of the chart in green, the single electronic possible repeat is 4 sts by 12 rows What may be confusing when symbols and charts such as the above are encountered is that the very first row of the symbol actually rests on the spot where the knit stitch that is being held for the next 3 rows rests, so design row 1, 5, 6, 13, etc are actually all knit. The punchcard minus the all punched rows at its top and bottom:  The factory-supplied blank cards may have arrows on the left, familiar in lace card designs. In the above case, the implied use is that the card start in the locked position on row 1 with the carriage on the right, preselecting to the left. If only a single color is to be used starting side does not matter. If regular color changes are recommended, more often than arrows dots, or color numbers are used in that column to indicate color change locations.  In Brother machines, the first preselection row may be made from either left to right or right to left, depending on the fabric being created. With the exception of dbj using the KRC button or patterns that expressly specify the starting side, most patterns using the color changer will need a start from the right. Here if that is done, color changes could occur every 4, 8, or 12 rows using 2 or even 3 color sequences.
There is another issue to note. Counting up design rows from the bottom the card is marked row 1 five rows up. This is a Studio punchcard. If using it on a Brother machine, the starting row would actually occur with the card locked on row 3, color change row markings if given, would have to be altered accordingly.
Distribution of tuck stitches can occur in groups, or more sparsely. The card on the right begins to break the rules with 2 needles tucking side by side for 3 rows. Those areas create floats akin to those created by slip stitches as the side by side loops drop off the needles in those areas rather than knitting off together. As areas of white become less balanced, punchcard knitters may find it easier to mark the tuck bars and punch all else, electronic knitters draw the white as black, and color reverse.

Few tuck stitches amidst lots of plain knitting are likely to not distort the fabric very much or produce a noticeable texture. The fabric will lie fairly flat, and approach a width proportionately closer to that of stocking stitch using the same yarn. The outlines can serve as markers for the introduction of additional hand techniques ie tying objects or beads in the center of the shapes after knitting and prior to felting in order to obtain surface bubbles of non felted stitches, or marking areas for duplicate-stitch or other embellishments.

In some instances, thread lace repeats can provide DIY inspiration. With the color reversed, the structure for possible tuck can be observed and determined if suitable. In the bottom right image, those white solid lines are the easiest edit, shown in progress With the basic structure recognized, weaving punchcards may be suitable, not all need be color reversed. Electronic repeats may also be used directly or adapted for use on punchcard machines, providing the repeat unit is a factor of or up to a maximum of 24 stitches in width, which translates to 2,4,6,8,12, and 24, and repeated to the recommended minimum of 36 rows in height. For tuck stitch, those narrow vertical bars surrounded by black squares are the common factor. The StitchWorld pattern book charts require only matching a usable width for use in punchcard models since the knit stitches are shown as black squares. Here is a random selection 253 translates easily to this, it would need to be punched twice 251 is a bit more problematic. Half the repeat is wider than 24 stitches. Here it is readjusted to 24 stitches, the height is 32 rows which may just barely squeak by punched only once the repeat tiled to check proper alignments This repeat is from a Studio mylar sheet. It also may be used in punchcard machines after removing 2 columns, since only half the repeat is necessary, and it is 26 stitches in width. Color reverse is necessary. In electronic machines it is easily accomplished with a command or the flip of a switch/ push of a button. The white squares as given would produce loops on all the corresponding needles, with no stitch formation in those areas.  I chose to eliminate 2 columns from the blocks on the left. Tiling shows the amended repeat’s appearance, with the color reversed image for actual knitting to its the right. Repeats with a balanced number of black and white squares provide all over textures in fairly balanced fabrics. As the number of black squares on a field of speckled tuck stitches grows, the knit shapes may actually poke out from the surface of the knit, since those areas are not gathered in the same way as their surrounds. Yarn properties and tension also have an effect.
Design with very few black vertical single stitch “bars” are commonly found in patterns published for electronics, often also too large for for use on punchcard models. As with lace, where there are few black pixels on large fields of white, caution in trimming the image is necessary. Tiling once again helps one locate possible errors. An example of such an image tagged as being 42X62: tiled 42X62adjusting to avoid those 4 rows tucking consecutively, now 42X60Designing your own can begin with the choice of a template, such as this one, 24 stitches by 36 rows.  To begin with, I added a rectangle to the full template repeat on the left. To its right, the size of the rectangle then begins to be altered along with the addition of some all knit rows.  The center illustrates making certain the 4 stitch repeat aligns properly at the top and bottom of the new repeat. The test final repeat image is on the right. Working with a different shape, using copy and paste to place it,  adding a brick variation on the right, for punchcard full repeats of 24X40The matching electronic repeats for both, unless your download requires programming for the total number of needles in use:
Testing tuck stitch limits, breaking the side by side white square rule in all over patterning with moving blocks of 2 by 2 blank squares

A collection of previous posts
When more than one stitch tucks
Tuck stitch meets thread lace repeats and vice versa
Tuck lace trims (and fabrics) 2 
“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims (and fabrics 1)
Tuck and slip color striping

For those who enjoy hand techniques/slip stitch
A no longer “mystery pattern”
A hand-knit consult