Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2


There is a Russian online site offering a huge range of punchcard designs. The question on how to convert the site files for use in electronic machines surfaces periodically and did so again recently in FB groups.
My posts with information related to this topic:
Brother KMs: punchcards and their use 
Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics
color exchange Gimp update for Mac 2

A Russian language tutorial on converting the punchcard images using DAK
A recent offering on navigating the site in English, begin viewing on minute 5
The site link
The translated site link 
The options in English for working with published cards The help menu available after the card is chosen Designs are presented in pages that list them from longest to shortest row counts for the complete repeats. Punchcard users can reproduce holes as given. There is also an option for entering a new design and it appears, in turn, one may be able to generate a separation for its use in DBJ.
Beginning with a smaller design intended for machines with 12 stitch repeat restrictions simplifies the view and processing of it for newbies. The published patterns are offered Silver Reed ready. The option for converting the cards for use on Brother 260 renumbers it with the appropriate location for the number 1 row marks required by the operation of the different brand’s card reader. Toyota versions are also available. Making the holes larger is a boon to reproducing the drawing correctly regardless of end-use. Splitting the card into segments is helpful when using factory blanks with a 60-row maximum repeat, and often also when processing the image for use on electronic machines, which is affected by screen size views available to the software user. For some reason, I found the commands erratic when working on the translated version of the site, fared much better in the original language publication.
The chosen card image may be dragged onto one’s desktop. I use Numbers to create my tables. The 2 all-punched rows, marked with blue arrows, and any standard vertical rows of holes on each side of the provided designs need to be isolated and eliminated. This is a 12 stitch repeat required for use on some machine models or useful when using a thicker yarn on every other needle to achieve the same design, every other vertical row is blank. A: the table with cells 20X20 sized to match the number of rows and stitches in the original. The card image is arranged in the back of the table with the constrain properties option unchecked in its image-arrange menu. B: cells corresponding to marked holes are filled in with black since the final goal is to create an indexed BMP. Using and holding down the command key during cell selection helps perform the coloring cells in action on groups, clicking on any cell again while still holding the key down will deselect the fill. Release the key, choose the fill-in color, repeat, and continue until the holes in the full design are filled in. C: click and hold command key, select every other blank vertical column marked with letters at the top of the table, the blank vertical rows are selected, release the command key, right-click on any of the same letter selections again, and choose to delete selected columns from the pull-down menu or after marking the rows directly from the table menu at the top of the screen. Eliminate all cell borders. C: the result showing how the pattern will appear when used to program fair isle.  Screengrab the final image surrounded by extra white cells, open it in GIMP. Change the mode to indexed BW, crop the file to content thus excluding any extra white cells, scale to the original design’s 24 by 74 dimensions. Punched holes are now pixels; export the knit-ready BMP.
Using the filter, map, tile option allows one to check on horizontal and vertical repeat alignments for any errors, and begin to imagine how the repeat might appear on a finished piece. Color exchange used on the BW BMPs converted to RGB mode helps visualize the knit using specific colors. On the far left below the final BMP is shown magnified X 800 with a superimposed grid, then filter-map-tiled to 48X148 size. It is followed by a color reversed version of the same. The remaining images illustrate the result of using the color exchange option, beginning with the BW BMP repeat converted to RGB mode.  Getting a preview of how a finished garment might appear, here the tiled version is 192 pixels in width and one may glean some idea as to whether that repeat should ever really be used in a sweater or even a blanket. Further image scaling or cropping can happen based on the knit gauge. A very quick rendering imagining pattern and color placements using a simple sweater outline Collections of every other needle repeats for processing with a similar approach may be found in these volumes, available for free download
Chunky punchcard patterns  12 stitch Patterns of Knitting With Creative Punch Cards Juki 12 StitchBoth volumes include accompanying swatch illustrations.

In machine knitting, the word lace is used in categorizing a large variety of knit fabrics. The terms include:
simple lace, executed with carriages that transfer and knit in a single pass
multiple transfer/ fashion/ fancy/ lace: executed wit carriages that transfer only
lace and fine lace combinations
fine lace
tuck stitch combined with transfer lace
tuck/ pull up lace
transfer lace combined with weaving
punch/thread lace
ladder lace
punch tuck rib
drive/drop stitch lace
If one explores the openwork patterns on the site, the second selection for 24 stitch cards, the 20 pages of repeats do not differentiate between the lace categories, so the onus is on the visitor to determine proper card use. In addition, the option for switching machine brands does not readjust for changes required for the pattern to read correctly in the alternate card reader. As an example, transfer lace cards are shown with blank starting rows, ending with punched holes, a Studio brand feature, and in some cases with a punched row ending with blank rows, a Brother feature. If changes are made in machine brand selection, the only adjustments in the new image appear to be made to the numbering sequence, but not to the punched or unpunched starting and ending rows.

For punchcard users or enlarged views: printing the PDF breaks the repeat into segments required if one is using individual 60-row maximum length factory cards and not a punchcard roll. On the far right, the difference in relative size between a factory punchcard and the PDF image printed without any adjustments.  Filling in the dots with a black marker renders the to be punched holes more visible through the card, making marking prior to punching easier and faster.  For a better, printed match size, after capturing the image from the PDF for a single page outside image edges, opening it in Gimp, cropping it to content, it is then possible to scale the results to measurements of a factory punchcard equal in width and adjusted for the number of rows in the image. My card required print measurements were 14.1cm by 26.1. Scaling executed with aspect ratio is too long.  breaking the chain-link, removing size constraints  the result with printing to match the card stock measurements was extremely close to the desired size, useful, but hard to photograph  















Gimp update for Mac 2


The previous post on the topic: 2019/10/07/gimp-update-for-mac/
I have been spending more time exploring version 10.22 and am becoming more familiar with new features and design options. There are slight variations in behaviors depending on the Mac OS version. Windows updates happen more frequently. According to the software download site for Mac “the currently available package provides GIMP 2.10.22 and has not yet updated to the latest version, GIMP 2.10.24. We’re working on that, please check back later.”
Color exchanges to test designs in different colorways may be made easily and quickly using the program. To test the concept begin with a simple repeat already tested for tiling originally saved in indexed black and white colors This icon shows the default foreground and background colors  The black is the foreground color, the white is the background.
Using such small images I often work in 800X magnification. Open the image, choose sizing, scaling, or magnification if necessary, convert to RGB mode then from the colors menu choose map, color exchange. The color exchange window will appear. Here the white “from color” is left undisturbed. Select the dropper next to the “to color”, then click on the image on the color you wish to change, a palette window will appear. Make your choice, the color exchange window will now have substituted the chosen color for the black, click OK, and white design areas are now changed to the chosen blue globally. The process may then be repeated with the second color if desired.  The color exchange window will show white as the default “from color”. Click on the white bar, choose black from the palette window or use the dropper to select black from the image. The from color will then appear as black. Repeat selection with the dropper from the right of the “to color” bar on any black pixels in the image, choose the color from the palette window to replace it, the color exchange window will display the new “to color”. Click OK, job done. The process may be repeated multiple times on the same design or used on large-scale ones, giving one some idea as to whether or not to really commit to the estimated colors. 

Information summary from the online manual on working with symmetry:
you can access this dialog from the image Menu bar through Windows-Dockable- Dialogs-Symmetry Painting, its icon appears below at the top right A drop-down list offers four options. As soon as you check a type of symmetry, axes appear as dotted green lines in the image window and you can start painting with the brush you have chosen.
The default position for the symmetry axis is the middle of the image window. You can place the axis where you want using the Horizontal axis position and Vertical axis position.
Disable brush transform: when you transform the drawing, the brush itself will end up transformed as well. For instance, in a mirror transform, not only will your drawing on the right of the canvas be mirrored on the left, but the brush itself is obviously “flipped” on the left. If for some reason, you want the drawn lines to be mirrored (or other transformation) but not the brush outline itself, you can check this box.
“Tiling” is a translational symmetry, which can be finite (with a maximum of strokes) or infinite. In the latter case, it is the perfect tool to create patterns or seamless tiles, at painting time. This mode covers the image with strokes.
Interval X Interval Y: these are the intervals on the X and Y axis, in pixels, between stroke centers.
Shift: this is the shift between lines on the X-axis, in pixels.
Max strokes X, Max strokes Y: these are the maximal number of brush strokes on the X and Y-axis. Default is 0, which means no limit, according to the image size.
Using a large image, testing few iterations, helps one understand the process. The pepper brush is provided in the program and is used in the tutorial on the Gimp site. Most such tutorials are intended for working on far larger and higher resolution images, while knitting is binary and at the opposite end of the spectrum in scale and required image size. The original brush is 220 pixels in size, the maximum number of needles per pixels on standard machines programmable at one time is 200. For exploration, any of the built-in brushes may be used, I began by scaling the pepper to 50 pixels, then moved on to a self-drawn, equal size flower motif. When choosing canvas file size, consider a multiple of the brush size. Drawing repeats uses the pencil tool.   Working with potential knit repeats the scale is reduced further. Magnification is useful for the evaluation of repeats. The smallest repeat segments for use on electronic machines may be isolated. The filter map, tile option easily verify how the repeats line up overall. Cropping a 24 stitch width and tiling that also visualizes the suitability of the repeat for use on punchcards with the 24 stitch limitation.  Grid view helps identify any need for “clean up”.
This rose is 24 stitches wide by 25 rows in height Open the chosen file in Gimp. Create a new file in a canvas size considering a multiple of the original.
When the Copy or Cut command is used on an image or a selection of it, a copy appears as a new brush in the upper left corner of the “Brushes” dialog. This brush will persist until you use the Copy command again. It disappears when GIMP is closed.
With the single repeat opened in Gimp, magnified several times, click on the image and use the copy command. The image will appear in the symmetry dialogue. The position may vary depending on whether the program has been closed and relaunched between episodes of testing the process. Create a new file, large enough to accommodate a multiple of the original number of pixels, adding pixels for spacing between or above and below designs, set the magnification to the same number as that of the clipboard image, left-click on the brush icon, choose the image saved in the clipboard and a type of symmetry and accompanying settings, click on pencil tool, the motif will appear as on the above right, paste the image on the new canvas, undo and repeat setting adjustments until satisfied with the distribution of motifs.
Some ways of varying repeat positions working with motifs in networks were illustrated in the post To develop a brick repeat I began with a canvas twice that of the original rose, 48X50 pixels, isolated the smallest repeat, used the filter map tile option to test its all over alignment The 24X50 repeat: To decrease crowding, using the original image, the new canvas is now 40X60, with the shift decreased from 12 to 8 pixels. The result did not tile properly when mapped, using magnification 800X with a viewed grid the final repeat, 29X60 was isolated Being more deliberate with the math leads to a full, successful repeat 

Working on the gridded image, drawing straight lines to isolate color change areas in chosen colors followed by flood filling, one may begin to visualize changing the ground color behind the motif repeats Using that small triangular 8X8 repeat open in Gimp, or draw any small shape if designed by hand, remove the grid. Before using it as a brush, reduce mode to 2 colors, magnify X800. Open a new file. I found the latter needed to be increasingly small as well for the repeats to be placed accurately. After tiling using symmetry, filter, map, tile from the filter menu to check for multiple repeat alignment.   Again, preemptive math will yield images that avoid further processing. It is up to the user to recognize any problems,  the repeat here needs to and can be isolated correctly from the file on the left, it is actually only 16 rows high. Here the adjusted repeat is created on a 24X16 canvas with the same symmetry settings, and filter/mapped/tiled There may be multiple ways to achieve the same result with each motif. Here the same repeat is executed two different ways  The above repeat was cropped and adjusted to 16 stitch width and 8 row height, the file saved, and the process repeated  Using symmetry once more, remember to adjust the pencil size.  For the pinwheel shape I was unable to use color exchange successfully on the above images, but with the saved 2 colors indexed red and white repeat both img2track and ayab appeared to load the repeat successfully. The map color exchange was successful using the steps described at the top of the post when beginning with the repeat drawn in a black and white version.  

A different approach, experimenting with built-in brushes: symmetry preferences remain constant, the brush size is reduced. The results are best if the canvas is created in black and white indexed mode to start with, and shapes reduce with varying degrees of success. The numbers reflect brush sizes in each dot pattern. Different types of symmetry may be applied to the same image

For afghans or wall art, if one is attracted to large shapes, drawing in mandala symmetry on large canvas size is as gratifying and immediate as when using a spirograph, the results happen in seconds, these were drawn using 32 points. Steps may easily be undone along the way as one attempts to make the images more complex. Coming topics: saving brushes and patterns to one’s personal library


My first non repetitive DBJ explorations on 930


I created large-scale nonrepetitive image garments very early in my knitting career using Cochenille Bitknitter and Commodore computers linked to a Passap E6000. Over time my focus changed considerably, with any production knitting moving onto accessories as I began to make items for sale in galleries and in shows, most often single bed on a Brother 910. If knitting is a primary source of income, one needs to consider production time management, material costs, and what the local market will bear in terms of pricing.
A post, written in 2018, began to explore two-color-dbj-non-repetitive-images-electronic-kms/. At that time I did not have a machine model capable of using img2track.
An orphaned 930 entered my life, and with rare exceptions, over the past few years, my blog sample swatches have been knit using img2track, which I have found easy, reliable, with any programming errors due to the operator issues including learning the differences from 910 programming and remembering to actually use them.
No matter how long any of us have been knitting, there can be many aaargh moments both in everyday knitting and when exploring new techniques.
I have a supply of lovely 2/48 cash-wool in royal blue, black, and grey. Three strands worked predictably on my punchcard machine in a series of my spiky scarves, shown in progress on the machine. Nearly all my previous dbj pieces have been knit on a Passap E6000. The 930 experience for such repeats is new to me. With some help from Tanya Cunnigham in reviewing steps required when using img2track, I returned to cellular automata repeat saved years ago.
I encountered problems with the triple strands of blue not feeding evenly, here both colors were picked up by the changer accidentally, I realized the issue, trying to unravel the row of knitting produced this That provided an opportunity to decide I preferred the reverse color placement as well as wanting a thicker ply for the white, resulting in twice the fun with 2 colors, and another scrapped sample Switching the white to a single-ply thicker yarn made its stitch formation far more manageable. The blue however seemed to have a single strand of the three with a propensity for catching on gate pegs. I tried tension adjustments, the usual tips in managing static. At about row 1,000 out of 1288 rows, I realized I had an issue with both yarns being caught on gate pegs. In trying to lift the stitches off, the yarn broke but gave with no immediate visible clues, the dropped stitches and a lovely hole, as a result, appeared when knitting had progressed far enough below the current knit rows. On the left, the work is shown still on the machine, while on the right, it is off the machine, and in the process of a patch job with a temporary accessory and stitch holder in place. I was able to achieve a reasonable repair on the knit side, but the birdseye pattern on the reverse is a bit scrambled. For folks that are not familiar with electronics and are curious, the 930 has the smallest memory of the later Brother electronic models. My pattern repeat is 74 stitches wide by 644 rows in height. The user manual explains: the KH-930 takes just a few seconds to load the track because the memory holds only 2 KB of data (about 13000 stitches). Later models have a much larger memory (32 KB). The KH-940 and KH-950i require 42 seconds to load a track. The KH-965i and KH-970 load only the requested pattern, so the loading time depends on the size of the pattern. img2track indicates progress as the data is sent to the KM. When the pattern has finished loading, the KM should beep, and show the green READY light and a 1 in the display (for row 1). The program automatically chooses Selector 2 for a single image and centers it. You may change this by using the normal pattern selecting process on the knitting machine, choose Selector 1 for all-over patterning, or use Selector 2 and choose a different location on the needle bed to center the pattern. If your pattern was divided into more than one track, you will have to load successive tracks when completing the previous track, specific instructions are given for programming subsequent tracks. My pattern was broken down into 4 tracks.
The cable used for downloads to the machine is used externally, no alterations to the machine’s hardware are required as when using Ayab on the 910. The pattern is stored in the machine, so the computer needs to be awake only during downloads, not constantly as in programs that use knit-from-screen.
Each track for 2 color DBJ using the KRC built-in separation is entered in numerical order as a new pattern with first-row preselection from the left to the right and first row knit from right to left toward the color changer. If the repeat is not planned for the number of needles in use, any position or change to all-over design needs to be re-entered, and the KRC button must also be set again.
Cam button settings are set according to the chosen dbj variations for either or both beds. End needle selection is usually canceled. In some patterns using it can create an interesting beaded edge on either side, which is worth testing on small samples to determine one’s preference.
I like to plan my pieces beginning with the dark color, plan my repeats with the deliberate placement of both colors, and any scaling in the pattern BMP prior to download, using Gimp. I also prefer to have color 1 as the dark, color 2 as the light. The default in the Japanese DBJ separation uses the light color, white squares, as color 1. Out of habit I color reverse my images so my first preselected row from right to left can just knit my black squares rather than the white, and I can continue my motifs as I intended while having machine prompts for each color also match.
Pausing knitting is easy as long as the needle selection is not disturbed. Ending with COR avoids any confusion about which color should be used next. Starting outside the set mark, turn the machine back on, and simply continue in pattern with appropriate color changes.
Tanya Cunningham manages and moderates the membership, settings, and posts for the Img2track – For Machine Knitters group on Facebook.
These were her tips and reminders to me for handling pauses in knitting immediately after the following track in the sequence is first downloaded: let’s say that either some needles got pushed in or repositioned, or for whatever reason, you don’t have certainty that the last row of needle selection is reliable, and you want to “re-select” the last row before you knit it, the last track you knitted should still be in the memory, even though you’ve completed that part of the pattern. 
1. Push all needles back to Pos B. 
2. remove the yarn from the feeder, disconnect the K carriage from the R carriage. 
3. Turn Change/Selector knob from KCII to N (NOTE, this will cause your PART buttons to de-select) 
4. press BOTH PART buttons. 
5. Move K carriage to right. No needles will knit, since all are in POS B, and both PART buttons are depressed, AND no needles will select, since you’ve moved the change/selector knob to N, and the memo will not record any advancement of row. (However, if you’re using your mechanical row counter, it WILL record a row, and one on the way back so plan to either disable the ribber arm or plan to turn the counter back 2 rows)
6. Now you will have to re-select the last row of needles for the track you’ve most recently knitted. First, verify that KRC is activated. Now, you will have to push the up/down arrow buttons to select the very last row of the pattern which will be an even number, and color 1. Depending on whether the carriage was moved in such a way as to activate the sensor enough to cause the memo to advance, you may be able to simply use the row that’s showing, but even beginning the movement of the carriage may advance it. To be sure, what I do is to advance (in this case to Row 1 Color 1), and then back up one row, using the arrow buttons. 
7. Move your Change/Selector knob to KCII, be sure to move outside the turn mark. Verify KRC; memo says last row, color 1; both PART buttons in. Now, move your carriage right-to-left, to select the last row of the previous track. 
8. Load color 1 in the carriage, load next track into the machine, KRC selected.
9. Now, as you knit to the right, you will be knitting the last row of the previous track, and selecting needles for the first row of the next track. Carry on.

In terms of generating cellular automata math-based patterns, the Wolfram website is a great place to explore repeats. A player, temporarily unavailable to Mac users is presently available, allows for the download of interactive demos in .cdf format. In terms of knitting any of the repeats, the most suitable appear to be ones that are generated in black and white to start with. Not all are, and at times changing the mode to bitmapped in programs such as Gimp can produce a glitched effect. Though the latter may be interesting and desirable to some, I prefer clean lines and diagonals along with identifiable shifts in the scale of any triangular components.

I am often amazed at the speed with which time passes, previous related posts: 2015/12/09/cellular-automata-charts-for-knitting-etc/
Previously knit repeats 2017/09/11/my-new-knitting-projects/

Weaving drafts may also serve as inspiration for knitting repeats. Posts with related content: 2015/11/28/weaving-drafts-as-inspiration-for-other-textile-techniques/, and 2018/07/02/numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/. These images are extracted from a draft for an advancing twill. One may explore segment placement and color reversals easily using programs such as Gimp. There is also potential for exchanging colors to get a sense of how the pattern might appear in different colorways My planned test repeat is 76 stitches wide by 556 rows high.