Truchet tiling design inspiration 1

For many years my knitting of accessories and wearable pieces was my source of income, guided by what pricing the local market would bear, the limitations of mylar sheets or that of an early Passap interface to program repeats, and the amount of time required to complete each piece.
There is practicality and ease in playing with colors using small motifs single-bed, and varying materials and yarn plies allowed me to aim for limited edition designs without looking at identical finished products more than once or occasionally a few times.
At first, Ayab and then img2track changed the playing field in terms of downloading and programming designs.
Eventually, my knitting moved from production pieces for sale to creating samples for my blog almost exclusively.
I have had a long and continued interest in math-based designs, and knit a line of accessories using automata-inspired repeats, often limiting the repeats in size to ones that would align vertically without having to program multiple DBJ segments, reducing the possibility of programming errors in scarves that would often require around 1200 knit rows in length.
A 930 followed the 910, this, knit in July 2021, was my first try at using img2track to download multiple tracks. There are many ways to yield math-based patterns, and nowadays online generators and reference sites abound, making it possible for nongeeks to use the resulting files to create knit suitable designs.
Some recent Truchet tile images shared on Instagram brought me back to exploring math-based images and what by default needs to be executed as larger-scale design motifs in knitting.
Sebastian Truchet was a Carmelite priest whose “Memoir sur les Combinasions” was published in 1704. It is a wealth of patterns built up from a simple motif, which you can see here and in which he discussed squares, half black, half white, split into triangles, with four possible orientations for each tile. He was also the inventor of the point system for indicating the sizes of typeface fonts.
His method of tiling by the combination of manipulating four-letter codes, A, B, C, and D, in rotations using triangular shapes inspired new variations in tilings.
Cyril Stanley Smith introduced two alternatives to the basic Truchet tile in 1987. One uses only diagonal lines to create maze-like designs where the coloring is removed and only the boundaries remain. The other, resulting in the designs produced in this post, uses quarter circles that may be filled or used as outlines and rotated to form the final shapes.  Distinctions in naming the tiles are not often made. “Truchet” is the commonly used generic term.
Some articles on the tilings:
Generalizations of truchet tiles, Multiscale Truchet PatternsThe Tiling Patterns of Sebastien Truchet and the Topology of Structural Hierarchy, and More on tiles, fun with portraits.
Basic elements include contrasting triangles,  quarter circles, and diagonal lines.
One may find code for programming DIY in various GitHub links. Python is far beyond my interest or skill, there are many ways to achieve the designs.
Spreadsheets are also programmable, but require the development of formulas.

Developing patterns from online sources, beginning with the Smith variation using quarter circles: the Wolfram site is a computing and math one well worth exploring, the files there are Computable Document Files, a document standard developed by Wolfram Research. They can be saved and opened using the Wolfram CDF Player, which is a standalone application and a Web browser plug-in provided for free.
To preview search results in a browser:
Ad blockers may interfere with proper previews in Safari but appears to not be an issue using Chrome as the browser.
Files cannot be saved from the preview results other than as screengrabs.
What is cdf  
For permanent access to preferred CDFs:
CDF Wolfram player download is available for Mac and Windows, you will be asked to provide an email address.
After the player is installed and opened, click on the central option, and search for your area of interest.  Any demonstration may be saved for future use, most are customizable to varying degrees.
In my first effort, I used colors and left the black outlines. The second, simpler method of editing follows below it.  The swatch png, 58X150, includes 2 stitch vertical borders in the dark color. The machine was set to the built-in KRC color separation for DBJ. Some of the circular shapes have been already edited, but if I were to reuse the repeat, I would clean up more of the design shape edges
160 design rows were knit, measuring 7.5 inches by 20.5.
The dark color is a chenille from an unmarked cone with uncertain yardage. The space-dyed is an 8/2 rayon slub.
Tension was set at 5/5, the knit carriage on KCI, and the ribber using lili buttons for birdseye backing. KCII may be used as well if preferred, the side vertical edges will have a slightly different appearance. Developing an added repeat:
the working file in the cdf is a default 600 by 600 pixels. If the goal is to save a black-and-white downloadable png, the present plan is to fill in portions of the design with black while leaving others in white.
Checking tiling insures continuous designs at any point in the process.
It is possible to directly scale size in the cdf, but the shape outlines become broken in the automatic % reduction, so the filling-in process I suggest fails to be contained. In this exercise, none of the other available parameters were changed. When the player is launched, click on the tile, it will be surrounded by an orange line,  copy the image, and it can then be pasted directly into Gimp.  Change the Image Mode to BW Indexed before proceeding further.
Using the fuzzy select tool click on any area in the design, it will be surrounded by dotted lines select bucket fill, to fill the selected area with black.
Edit, undo will revert to the previous steps in sequence at any point.
If satisfied, select the rectangle tool.
Clicking on the selected area will allow its use for copying and pasting the outlined segment on a new canvas or cropping the area to the selection for saving while clicking anywhere in the Gimp work window fixes the results. The dotted lines disappear. Repeat the process on the remaining image.  The processed file will measure 600X600 pixels.
Anyone working with large-scale images and reducing file size to make them available for knitting as single panels on a standard machine is familiar with the loss of detail and the need for cleanup of edges as incremental decreases in file size are attempted.
Magnifying any of these will help evaluate forms and scaling decisions for final repeats to be used in knit test swatches.
Downloading or copying and pasting them from here for personal use may change the image mode to RGB in the process, check mode and convert them to indexed BW if needed before any further use.
300X300200X200 pixels  150X150 pixels  The proof of concept was knit using the 100X200 repeat without any pixel cleanup.  The blue yarn is a 2/20 wool, and the white is a 2/28 Italian yarn of unspecified fiber content from my stash. Both beds were set at 2/2. The KRC setting separated the colors so each color in each row knits only once, but it takes 2 passes to complete one row, so 100 design rows translate to 200 rows of knitting. In this instance, img2track used on the 930 broke up the design into 2 tracks, a 66-row first track, followed by a 134-row one.
Each track needed to be programmed sequentially.
The ribber was set for birdseye backing, which in this case results in an interesting shadowing of the pattern Comparing the two swatches: Variations in tiles made by changing variable view options will still align when combined, easily producing a range of new designs at merging points. Use guides to help narrow down segments of interest, here they are placed at even 100-pixel intervals on two adjoining 600-pixel images. To remove a single guide after placing it, go to Edit, Undo Add the Horizontal or Vertical Guide. To remove all guides, go to View, and uncheck Show Guides.
And for those not averse to developing any larger motifs from scratch, the limitations of any geometric shape, when reduced to low-resolution knitting, mean the search must begin for what one determines to be a pleasing circular form.     My original circle was placed on a 40X40 grid with outlines every 10 cells, the central circular 20X20 repeat was isolated and split into quarters, in turn generating these 2 tiles out of the 8 total required, also 20X20, with the second the color-reversed image of the first. A similar approach can be used in color to visualize the initial 8 tile repeats and their rotations in order to form new shapes. This technique may be useful in planning floor tile patterns but is cumbersome for developing knit designs. Facilitating and speeding up the process: in my post on using ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design, I briefly touched on the Drawing-in-repeat feature in Arah to produce random tiling.

Thanks to the developer there now is a video, viewable on Instagram and Facebook, on how to use the feature for this type of tile, which allows for very quick DIY versions that can be trimmed as needed for knitting. This is my very first try, a how-to will follow in the next post.   And the second, composed of triangular formsFor spreadsheet users, this one generates the various tiles in Google Sheets and a related article.



A ladder back dbj quest

The previous discussion on this topic: Ladderback double jacquard: backing variations
This backing technique has traditionally been used when the yarns are simply too thick to be worked in traditional dbj backing methods.
The majority of the needles will be knit on the main bed, so the tension should approximate that used for the same yarn worked in stocking stitch single bed.
The pattern will become a slip stitch one, with colors changed every two rows.
A FB Machine Knitting Group share led to a query on how this block type of ladder back might be duplicated on home knitting machines. My interpretation of the knit: the planned block repeat, in turn, needs to be color separated and scaled for use in dbj.
This chart was developed using Numbers:
A: each color in each row is represented only once
B: the same repeat in black and white
C: the repeat double length so that each color is changed every 2 rows
D: getting the pattern to shift for every other pair of blocks is actually achieved by knitting the last 2 rows and the first two rows of the next repeat using the same color for 4 consecutive rows.
If the repeat is downloaded and programmed to be 24 rows long, the reminder to knit with the same color again is easy, since the pattern will roll back to row 1 with a warning, in this case, not to change color. It is easy enough to alter the height of the repeat to use this particular reminder. The motif used in the swatches is 14 stitches wide by 24 stitches high  The machine set up: the main bed needles will need to continue to have weight evenly distributed on them, so the ribber comb placement needs to reflect that. The cast-on method can be one you prefer. I began with waste yarn, the ribber comb poked evenly through that, with the added use of ribber weights.
The pitch setting is for every needle rib.
End needle selection is used as in fair isle knitting to ensure that end stitches will be knit when either color is knit only on the top bed, resulting in the B feeder yarn being secured on the edge. If the end needle selection fails for any reason on the carriage side, push the needle forward manually.
The needle arrangement with red lines marking the location on the opposite bed.COR: the first pass is made toward the color changer
COL: every other group of 7 needles is preselected, set both carriages to slip in both directions, change color if preferred, and bring up ribber needles in between those selected on the top bed to D position as shown here, on both the pass to the right and the return pass to the left.   As the carriages make the pair of passes, floats will be created across the alternate group of 7 needles. Those floats will become secured as the next group of needles is selected and ribber stitches are brought up to form a line of knit stitches in the contrasting color in front of them.   The yarn used here is 2/20 wool, really too thin for this type of backing, but I wanted to test the repeat and the concept.   Using a 2/8 wool the result was optically the best, but I could not get any further than this without stitches jumping off needles in several places, regardless of tension adjustments Using yarns in weight in between the 2, knitting was smooth, the tension on the top bed was set at tight as possible, this is the appearance of the knit on the machine  Off the machine, the bleed-through from the floats created on the top bed on the knit side begins to remind one of knit weaving as does the purl side. Not the intended effect and fabric, but perhaps worth pursuing intentionally. 

Online Pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more

I welcome being contacted re any problem links
generators that require color changing every 2 rows using a color changer (or 2 carriages)
mazes on gridded output, easily adaptable to knit
more mazes
maze pattern blog closed 
cellular automaton blog closed  
Some unikatissima blog content may be found here, but generators fail as they relied on Flash Player, now defunct 
other generators that can help with shaping garments, or some basic knit motif design
Truchet tiles generator
knitting pattern
top-down circular raglan calculator
Icelandic round yoke design does not work any longer in later version browsers, on Mac even with the installation of Silverlight, on Ravelry, it was noted the program does operate in internet explorer
random square patterns  blog closed
punchcard generator and how to use videos
 beta online tool 11/2022 
math calculators for knitting
free online manuals, magazines now
a hacking history
only the intro is in German: a nearly hour-long presentation by Fabienne
another approach for Brother models KH”‘930, 940, 950i, and 970: and the associated group on Ravelry 
970 how to hack instructable 
for additional cumulative information, software compatibility and hardware specs see Claire Williams’ website
color reductions/ conversions for large, nonrepetitive images Mac
online dither generators 9 dithering types  a huge range of possibilities
Hand knitting websites worth a browse:
pattern generators/ web design
open-source charting program
quick screenshot

1/21/2016: Online weaving program by Andrew Glassner ; associated blogpost 

11/26/17 a simple, user-friendly free motif design paint program for Mac, last updated April 2019: Paint Brush

Atkinson dither github (free)

I have linked before (March 14, 2013) to this github as a way to achieve atkinson dithered images for possible use in knitting. I received a post with questions on how to achieve this successfully. I work on a Mac, latest OS. The resulting dithered files were not read when downloaded by any app other than Preview, and resizing within program was poor quality. Here is my work-around: it is always best to resize any of the images to be processed in color or grey scale, before indexing modes or dithering. Once that is achieved, import image into github without changing output size in the program itself, and download. Your own image size will be retained. Now time for another freebie intervention: XnConvert will accept the file, convert it to BMP or other readable formats if preferred, resulting in a knittable image.

the sized image


via github_XnConvert_.bmp

Converted images,”representational knitting”

One bit camera “snaps pictures in digital retro style. I began this tale with a partial shot of my face. The app apparently is no longer available via US App Store (11/15/2017)

resized, greyscale, knittable size bmp

The old bag of tricks did not produce an image I was happy with, I finally used Ggraphicconverter Picture_Mode_ Bitmap for my downloadable file

Migrated from Mac to a PC laptop, opened in WinCrea, the image repeat was downloaded to Passap, program tech 179. The bottom  of the swatch is knit single bed LX (slip stitch), the top is double bed, back bed set N/N, same tension throughout, the middle stripes are operator error in forgetting to make the lock change to LX on the front bed; the gauge is significantly and obviously different

Moving on to a birds’eye backing, the bottom starts the pattern with dark color, top with light (another operator error and a reminder to keep notes even for what may seem obvious); the black is slightly thinner than blue resulting in a change in gauge once again

The bouncing gauges certainly indicate some of the problems in maintaining aspect ratios in representational knits. The best solution may be to do a large swatch in the planned technique that is at least 100 sts X 100 rs in chosen yarn and then adjusting image aspect ratio before knitting the final piece, which in turn may be better done before conversion to final BMP and require repeating the process from its beginning.

For separations such as technique 179, and those by default in Japanese machines for 2 color DB, images must have an even number of rows in length. My original image crop was 73W by 85L pixels, so I had to shorten it by one row, which was actually achievable within WinCrea. The single bed FI swatch measured 7 inches in width, the double bed ones 12 inches at their widest point.

Last but not least, here is my friend Rocco processed via Hyperdither, Mac to PC, to WinCrea, to Passap and knit 150X150 pixels/ stitches

May 24, 2019 a greyscale mode scaled image processed in ditherlicious online produced a sharper, far more defined image than my previous effort 142X146 pixels

for more Rocco “portraits” see post

GIMP and dithering color reductions for B/W “portraits”

The many faces of Rocco: in my 2013 tests in Gimp, the image is 150 pixels wide by 154 pixels high  The image is used with the kind permission of Rocco’s owner. I have used this image before, when I posted previously on some ways to reduce colored images to B/W for possible knitting using a Mac computer, please see post on 013/03/14/ color-reduction- conversions-mac-os/. Gimp offers some alternatives to the familiar dithers and is available, free, for both PC and Mac platforms. Tutorial links on Gimp edge detection available online as of May 2019 are listed at bottom of the post.

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

Threshold adjustments may not be made in indexed images to alter the above image, so it’s back to greyscale. Reductions to greyscale may be achieved through Image_ Mode_ Greyscale or choosing Colors_Desaturate_OK options. Desaturation offers additional choices

Image_Mode_GreyscaleColors_Desaturate_OKRocco desaturated, in “knittable portrait size”using edge detection and its algorithmsDifference of Gaussians

what happens if in addition color_ invert is used with Robertsadjusting B/W with Thresholdafter a bit of “tweaking” Image_Mode_Indexed, rendering it “knittable in 2 colors” getting silly with filling the ground with pattern behind the floating head

2021: the latest, December 2020 updated version of Gimp for Mac OS
Gimp dithering controls easily accessible with mode changes to indexed I found I got the best results adjusting the contrast in the original greyscale image prior to changing its mode to indexed and dithering (Floyd_Steinberg, normal)  Dithering options in Gimp 2.10 may be found at the bottom of the colors menu or when converting to indexed colors, here to black and white, the image unaltered, using positioned dithering, the last option  Hyperdither: options offered  default Jarvis
default Stucki
online, options it is possible to choose from multiple palettes Sierra dither

5/4/2019 Other than GIMP: after straightforward load, convert, save, with no other adjustments, images shown in approximate 150 pixels/sts in width, no significant change results with conversion to color B/W indexed
online, default settings
Check dithered results, downloaded images may be in RGB Mode. Prior to any knitting, they will need to be converted to B/W indexed.
Looking for ways to reduce the noise in dithered images I tried this conversion in XnSketch, using the photocopy effect,  beginning with the colored image of Rocco, the results: imported the result into Gimp and saved it in indexed  2 color BW and in turn, 3 color indexed mode, no color adjustments, finding the result pleasantly simple beginning with the greyscale generated image followed by Mode changes in Gimp, indexed 2 color BW, then indexed 3 color, there appear to be very subtle differences with a bit more detail: Another online resource with an extensive array of dithering options Here are 2 conversions using the app, the images are 2 color B/W. The presence of a third color is an illusion created by the difference in the distribution of BW color pixels, they loaded fine as viewed for knitting in Ayab, and in img2track, once I remembered to change its setting to 2 color knitting from the last used one at 4 colors It is possible to reduce images to 4 or 3 colors using the program as well: a slider for color count is used to choose the final number of colors in the reduction. Again, these instances have no added manipulation A series of dithers:
To retain the quality and size of the dithered image, download it, rather than using a screen grab. The software used to separate the chosen dither may alter the result somewhat. I am writing my posts using an iMac M1 with OS 12.0.1. At this point Ayab is not operable, img2track does open images, but in this case, with interesting distortions, and it does not download any files at all. Yet another dithering tool, allows one to draw in dithering mode using a variety of patterns and will dither images. In the latter instance, there is no real opportunity to tweak or alter the result shapes drawn using a few of the large variety of offered patterns: 


Color reduction/conversions, Mac Os

A recent forum post brought up the question that rises periodically on how to reduce colors in photographs, scans, etc. so as to be able to in turn use the image in a low-resolution medium such as knit. There are very many ways to achieve this. The post had specifically asked for low cost or free alternatives using Mac software, so I began playing, and compiled the following document detailing some of my processes, addressing large scale, non-repetitive images in Color reductions for knitting. The document samples were simple, straightforward conversions, with no further “tweaking”.

Mac Os: iPhoto, Preview, further software downloads:

Free:  img2trak, HyperDither, XnConvert

99 cents One bit Camera
an option for Mac users, Bitcam

Free to try, $39.95 to buy GraphicConverter, the developer site
diffusion, halftone, pattern, custom A tutorial for owners of Photoshop   diffusion, halftone, pattern, custom With thanks to my test subjects: RoccoOne bit camera and my sofa fabric

An online service that will do the conversion for you: Knitpro, and a free service GitHub May 2019: ditherlicious

A later post on the topic, showing the many faces of Rocco