Gimp update for Mac 2

The previous post on this 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. GIMP 2.10.24 for Mac OS is now available.
Gimp has a wide range of paint tools The most commonly used in creating repeats for knit design are Pencil, Paintbrush, and Bucket Fill.
The Pencil tool is used to draw freehand lines with a hard edge. The main difference between it and the Paintbrush is that although both use the same type of brush, the pencil tool will not produce fuzzy edges.

Present experiments are placed in alphabetical order. Topics:
Brushes and patterns 

Colors exchange
Colors threshold see grid options
Grid options, Guides, Color separations
Symmetry Painting

BRUSHES AND PATTERNS
There are many very good videos on using multiple versions of GIMP on Youtube. Most focus on working with very large images in huge numbers of colors, and brushes or patterns in the tutorials are often larger than the maximum stitch count on our home knitting machines capable of electronic download and with needle counts of 180-200. In addition, punchcard machines have a 24-pixel width repeat constraint. The content of such published material and tutorials can be overwhelming, but isolated techniques for the required binary bit mapped knit scale are easy to sort out.

Many knitters designing small repeats use very simple programs and enter pixels singly or copy and paste in small groups. Some simple, quick functions in Gimp can simplify and speed up the progress considerably. Punchcard knitters may use the same techniques to set up their 24 x X custom length repeats and tile the results to visualize how they line up when knitted in multiples.
Some content paraphrased from the online Gimp manual: in GIMP, a pattern is a small image used to fill areas by placing copies of side by side. You can use them with the bucket fill tool. They vary in size, are used for filling regions by tiling, that is, by placing copies of the pattern side by side like ceramic tiles. A pattern is said to be tileable if copies of it can be adjoined left-edge-to-right-edge and top-edge-to-bottom-edge without creating obvious seams, such patterns are used in standard knitting repeats. The same effect may be obtained by using the Filter, Map, Tile option on the drawn image.
With the bucket fill tool, you can choose to fill a region with a pattern instead of a solid color. To make a pattern available, place it in one of the folders in GIMP’s pattern search path which includes two folders, the system patterns folder, which you should not use or alter, and the patterns folder inside your personal GIMP directory. The .gbr (“gimp brush”) format is used for ordinary and color brushes. 
Photoshop ABR brushes are also easily imported for use.
Pressing the refresh button causes GIMP to rescan the folders in your pattern search path, adding any newly discovered patterns to the list. This button is useful if you add new patterns to a folder, and want to make them available without having to restart GIMP.
GIMP includes a set of 10 “paint tools”, which, except for the ink tool, use the same set of brushes. The brush pixmaps represent the marks that are made by single “touches” of the brush, which is desirable in working with knit scale bitmaps. Brushes can be selected by clicking on an icon in the brushes dialogue, the current brush is then shown in the Brush/Pattern/Gradient area of the Toolbox. Clicking on the brush symbol there is another way of activating the Brushes dialog.

When you use the Copy or Cut command 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 you close GIMP.
Building a personal brush pattern library on Mac: open software preferences locate folders on the bottom left, click on plus sign aside folders icon at the bottom left, it will change to a minus sign, and folders become visible select brushes, two options will appear. If a proper choice is made for the addition of pattern files, a green button will appear single click on the filing cabinet icon on the right,  a familiar Mac finder window will appear double click on the patterns folder, its own window will appear,  right-click in the window below the last entry, a smaller window appears, choose the add new folder option. It will appear as “untitled”  and will be added to the existing folders, rename it “my brushes” or any other choice, and the new folder will be added within the brushes one Its place in the brushes list will be determined by its initial letter, the contents are in alphabetical order. For future use, any saved brush may be dragged and dropped into the named personal pattern folder icon, or into the folder after it has been expanded or opened in its own window. My opened brush folder After brushes are added, the refresh button below the brush dockable dialogue may bring them up without having to restart the program. After saving these 3 images as .gbr files and placing them in the appropriate folder they appear as available for use  To install .abr files on Mac:

create a new photoshop folder within the Gimp brushes one
Download the chosen files, drag and drop the images or folder from the downloads folder into the chosen Gimp one, they will be available after a Gimp restart
The free files I tested were very large in size, did not scale down to use for knitting cleanly, and even though they appeared to be BW they opened as RGBs making the conversion to BW indexed quite dithered. They are composed of assorted leaves and snowflakesWhen exporting self-drawn brushes, the option is offered for adding spacing surrounding the shape, here a 10% addition was chosen Patterns may be saved in a similar way. Since GIMP 2.2 you can use .png, .jpg, .bmp, .gif, or .tiff files as patterns.
Saving patterns from large to tiny may be achieved using the same method as in saving brushes. To save personal patterns, instead of choosing the file cabinet icon in preferences, one may choose the folder icon, following a similar series of steps to those above, including verifying contents of the newly created folder Use Windows, Dockable Dialogues, choose Pattern. The patterns will show on the right of the Gimp window and are viewable once you click on the fill window below the tools on the left as well.

Open the image to be filled
Click on the paint bucket tool, select the Pattern fill type. Click on the paint bucket, then on the pattern you wish to use on right, hover over the canvas with the paint tool, click on it and the image will fill in the chosen pattern.
Or click on the pattern icon, scroll through to the desired pattern, click on it, then on the paint bucket tool, hover over the canvas with the paint tool, and click on it to fill.  The + or _ option scales the size of the pattern view, it is handy when tiny or very large repeats are chosen. The canvas for the pattern fill needs to be large enough to accommodate the pattern in repeat.
If the fill fails, check to see that the bucket fill mode was not somehow changed from normal to one of the many other options Here the skull is used to fill a 400X400 canvas, an even multiple of its size If the canvas is not in a full multiple of the whole pattern, part of the repeat is cropped  Using the same rose image tiled using the Filter, Map, Tile menu produces similar results when full multiples of the image pixels are not chosen, ie. here the tiling is on an 80-pixel wide canvas as opposed to a full multiple of 25 ie 100  Designing tiny repeats:
Begin with the image in black and white indexed mode. 
To draw my repeats, I used 1800X magnification, with grid view, exported the files as png, and dragged them into my own Gimp patterns folder.
If the goal is full punchcard repeat illustrations, then by default the width of the image to be filled needs to be 24 pixels wide, and a minimum of 36 rows high. If working with tuck stitch, punched squares are black pixels, unpunched ones the white, creating the tucked loops. Using the bucket tool to fill the image is accomplished with a simple, very quick stroke  The rectangle tool may be used to isolate a segment of the first repeat and the area may then be filled with a different pattern. Brushes may be resized as needed, pasted on the previously filled image, guides are helpful in their placement.  Grids and Guides: my view was magnified X 2800, the canvas measured 24 X 36 pixels.
Magnification may be set using the pull-down below the image window, where any number listed may be chosen or typed in and set by hitting the return key, or by choosing the zoom tool. Click only on the image, the zoom is applied to the whole image. If the pointer is used, click-and-drag the mouse pointer to create a zoom rectangle. The biggest dimension of the rectangle will correspond to the size of the image window. You can get to the Zoom Tool from the Image menu through Tools, Zoom, or by clicking the magnifying glass in the toolbox Anyone needing an adjustable grid superimposed on an existing image may use the Configure Grid command to set the properties of the grid and display it over the image while working on it.
One can choose the color of the gridlines, and the spacing and offsets from the origin of the image, independently for the horizontal and vertical grid lines. The configure grid dialogue:  The five different grid styles: Intersections, dots: the least visible, a simple dot at each intersection of the grid linesIntersections, crosshairs: a plus-shaped crosshair at each intersection of the grid lines  Dashed: dashed lines in the foreground color of the gridDouble dashed: dashed lines, where the foreground and background colors of the grid alternate, looks the same as above when the image is in BW indexed mode. It is also hard to discern the separate colors in RGB mode because the dashes are so small and so close together,  Solid: shows solid grid lines in the foreground color of the grid Foreground and Background colors: in RGB Mode, click on the foreground color to select a new color for the grid, click OK Spacing: for use illustrations see GRIDS: OPTIONS
Width and height: select the cell size of the grid and the unit of measurement
Offset: moves the origin of the first cell, by the fault the grid begins at the coordinate origin, 0,0
The Snap to Grid command enables and disables snap to grid. When snap to grid is enabled, and a selection is moved or placed, the grid points pull on it when it approaches making accurate placement easier. If the magnification is high enough, the placement of your pencil or brush will be outlined in a dotted line. Here the snap to the area for a 3-pixel pencil is shown highlighting its possible placement location.  This command is found in the image menubar through View, Snap to Grid.

GUIDESto configure guides, simply click on one of the rulers in the image window and pull out a guide, while holding down the mouse Left Button or side. The guide is then displayed as a blue, dashed line, which follows the pointer. Releasing the mouse will place it.  As soon a guide is created, the “Move” tool is activated and the mouse pointer changes to the Move icon.
You can create as many guides as you like, positioned wherever you like. If the grid is set to a 1X1 square pixel default with a line border, at any point the Image, Configure, Grid option may be used to change the ground view  To move a guide, activate the Move tool in the Toolbox, then click on the guide (it will turn red), and drag it to a new location. Click-and-drag the intersection of two guides to move them together. Create as many guides as needed, positioned appropriately for the design. To delete a guide, simply drag it outside the image. 
Holding down the Shift key moves everything but a guide, using the guides as an effective alignment aid. You can remove all the guides with the Image, Guides, Remove all Guides command.
Working on punchcard repeats whether in designing for cards or to create a BMP for electronic download using a published repeat, guides may be set to outline 6X6 blocks as seen in factory issued Brother punchcards, or to create custom templates.  For example, lace designs have few pixels. Horizontal guides may be added or moved at intervals between repeat segments, making certain the two knit rows are left blank as one continues in entering the proper pixels. The vertical guides help in orienting and locating the pixels in design blocks to match the source.  With guides in place, pattern fill may be used, adding shapes using the tools, or brushes to place motifs. A sample of a knit repeat using the rectangle tool and the paint bucket tool combination to create filled rectangles placed in relationship to guides, creating a tuck pattern with interspersed plain knit rectangular shapes Built-in or custom brushes may be superimposed on a bucket-filled ground. Create an image in the desired width and height, here 24 X 24, magnify at least X 800 for a grid view.
Fill with a pattern.
Place the chosen brush on the patterned ground, adjust the size and placement of the brush until satisfied, save the image.
Consider the end-use for the pattern. For example, the designs below left would be suitable for tuck stitch, the same designs would need to be color reversed if the plan is to use them to knit thread lace. Both the original and the new image should be set to BW indexed mode. Developing a brick version of the repeat is easy and quick. With the original image open, create a new image with the same width but twice its height, 24X48.
Set the magnification for both images to the same number, adjusting the number of both if needed so the longer canvas is in full view.
Configure the grid as preferred on the new image, make it visible. Snap to grid is useful, may not be necessary when working in such a scale.
Copy the full starting image and paste it on the bottom of the new.
Guides may be put in place to adjust for the pattern shift in the top half of the new image. A single, center guide, in this case, was sufficient.
The full image copy is still available, align and paste it again, its left side to the right of the center guide, anchor it.
Paste its right side to the left of the center guide and anchor that in placealso. Undo and repeat steps if needed.
Check the alignment of the full repeat by map tiling, if satisfied, export it as PNG or BMP for future download.COLORS EXCHANGE
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. I recently had reason to review old PC files from my Passap knitting days and came across several cut files that when converted to png format appeared in colors rather than black and white, leading me to experiment with color exchange again.  The image for the first experiment is part of a crib blanket by Cheryl GilesThe process: do not alter the original image ie. by resizing, which seems to change the color mapping responses
load the image in RGB mode
working with the foreground color, click once on the white, use the color picker to choose a color, in this case, orange, a palette window will appear, click OK, the background color will change accordingly,  double click on the now orange background to call up its palette window, keep that window open, go to colors filter, map, color exchange
double click on the from color, the white, in the exchange window
match its values to the saved palette window working from the top down, you may find some of the remaining numbers self-correct
in the original image orange, is now exchanged for black continue, repeating the process with the alternate color, in this case, yellow. At that point, the in-process image will appear as solid black. Click on the black in the exchange window to color twice, choose white from the palette selection, click OK, and the conversion is complete. It is possible to colorize images originally drawn in black and white. The color exchange options will remain fixed throughout the process. The image may be worked on continuously and exported when color exchanges are completed, or saved and imported again after each step. The color exchange here happens consistently on the chosen background color, changing that quickly becomes familiar and easy. There are times that the repeat being processed will turn black onscreen, trust in the process and continue.
The default color exchange window using color options in the default palette. The steps for changing the background to red: the image will turn black as you work, click on the TO color selection picking a color from the default palette to replace the white, in this case, the red, you can click OK, but do not close this last window if you want to continue, the color change will be lost Changing the black to white in summary Export the image. The transitions: Developing custom palettes in order to visualize different colorways while using the same repeat:
load the image,  right-click on the paintbrush icon, choose palette editor, this window will open with selections for possible palette choices click on your choice, then click on the palette icon, your color choices will appear, click on the white, to create a new background color.It will change it to the chosen value in this window when you click on that. The new color choices appear in the palette in the future unless a choice is made using reset it to the original. Two selections may be made for new colors at the same time, but the map, color exchange option will continue to work on the background color only. These were my choices for added colors. Continuing to work with color changes, changing the white in the BW repeat to blue the black to orange My success with series of other images in using color exchange has been spotty. Online forums reveal this is a recurrent issue with no clear solutions. Suggestions include stipulating that the cause may be the version of Mac OS in use. Color reductions using ArahPaint achieve consistent results easily and quickly. There are advantages to hybrid conversions. 

COLORS THRESHOLD: see GRIDS OPTIONS
GRIDS: OPTIONS
Punchcard users may use this method to visualize which holes to punch, though this particular repeat would need to be reduced in stitch count in order to be usable. Similar charts may be adapted and used for other textile techniques such as cross-stitch or even filet crochet.

Grids help with the precise placement of pixels when designing using pixels to represent stitches and rows. The grid is not visible until it is activated via the View, Show Grid option in the Image menu. To create a custom grid, the Image, Configure Grid from the Image menu brings up a dialogue that allows you to do so. Snap to Grid causes the pointer to “warp” perfectly to any grid line located within a certain distance. In most instances, when drawing repeats a 1X1 pixel grid works well on a canvas magnified enough for it to be visible when filling in cells, I recommend a starting magnification of X800.
Anyone needing an adjustable grid superimposed on an existing colored image may now adjust the grid size to suit while viewing the resulting changes. The beginning image and grid size both need to be large enough for the grid to be visible. Use the show grid, configure grid commands  The intact chain-link fixes the width and height aspect ratio of grid cells Considering the possible smallest repeat, breaking the chain link, changing values progressively while viewing the results brings one closer to matching units  The image itself may be scaled concurrently to tweak grid border alignments. The final grid size below is 18X18,  the image size is shown after scaling from a width of 277 pixels (with a broken link at that time) to a final 270 pixels in width The screengrab of the above center, with a superimposed new grid; note the image, in this case, was also offset for better placement, a 3-pixel pencil was used to isolate the border of the possible smallest repeat Using Filter, Map, Tile to check alignments  The repeat reduced to 12 stitches, suitable for punchcard, and tiled to check alignments. Translating the colored image to BW indexed may take several steps and some clean-up if only Gimp is used to process it. With the colored large-scale isolated repeat, the image is opened in Gimp. The Threshold tool transforms the current layer or the selection into a black and white image, where white pixels represent the pixels of the image whose Value is in the threshold range, and black pixels represent pixels with Value out of the threshold range. It may be activated from the pull-down colors menu or from the toolbox.   The color image will temporarily disappear, adjust levels. Scaling to repeat size: check the image size, making certain the present dimensions match a multiple of the final repeat count for stitches and rows. If adjustments are required, breaking the chain link allows for each count to be adjusted independently from the other. In the final scaling, use the closed chain link, adjust numbers, magnify the repeat, checking it with a superimposed grid for any missing or out-of-place cells. Check the alignment, then save the single repeat, which in this case is 14X14, ready for download Color separations: there are occasions where very small repeats need to be scaled in height only for color separations. I have found such scaling to be inaccurate using the option, such as here, both of the small, single repeat, and in scaling its tiled version. The triangle motif was used in many of my early posts on color separations for DBJ and its backing options.  On a long enough canvas, the grid may be adjusted to 1 pixel by four in height. With that number of cells filled in with black in this case, if the 1X4 unit is captured with the rectangle tool, it will appear in the brush menu and will be available for use with the pencil tool for drawing with single strokes until one quits the program unless the unit is saved for future use as described via preferences  Using RGB mode, the two-color redrawn image is redrawn, A. The grid may be adjusted to 1X 1 again, B. Using magnification, I often use X1800, pairs of rows may be selected for either color invert or value invert color options. The first will add a third color, seen in the chart bottom, the second will yield a 2 color image, seen in the chart top, B.  I have had no success with using keyboard commands for the action using my OS, find it easier visually to deal with the three colors than with the 2, especially in longer repeats. C: the extra color pixels in the rows with black pixels are filled with white. D: the third color pixel rows are filled with black. D the final repeat may be color indexed to BW and saved for download.  The appearance of the final repeat when color reversed Another comparison of the 2 options for altering every other pair of rows in the specific color separation for a mosaic repeat. There is less filling in of cells with a different color, but in large files especially, I feel the result would become far more visually confusing to track. For more details on the specific mosaic, see  2021/01/27/mosaics-and-mazes-charting-meet-numbers-gimp-3/

SYMMETRY PAINTING
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.

Visualizing maze or mosaic potential from tuck or slip stitch repeats

I have written extensively on mosaics and mazes, color separations required for drawing their motifs, and visualizing the resulting patterns while planning slip stitch or tuck repeats. A recent exchange with a knitting friend, Tanya Cunningham, brought up her idea of using Gimp to investigate the potential of self-drawn tuck patterns becoming pleasing mazes or mosaic designs in color. Tanya has worked extensively with img2track, can be found in the FB group and Ravelry. It had not occurred to me to reverse engineer designs for this purpose. Tanya uses Gimp in a different way than I do, I am hoping she will share her process for this purpose when documented.
I have grown comfortable and fast with the combined use of Numbers and Gimp to achieve what I desire in terms of color separations. At the moment, on the assumption that estimating the overall shape is the goal, a black and white processed rendering may be a sufficient representation of the result.

Punchcard books are a great source of “safe” tuck designs. The best are those that have columns one stitch wide by 2 rows high. They are also more interesting if there are areas of solid black. Patterns from publications intended for use on electronics are often color reversed to start with in order to minimize drawing pixels or to make the design easier to read and will have lots of blank areas. Punchcard users would need to punch the ground as opposed to the design, electronic users can achieve the goal by the flick of a switch or a quick software command. For my first series of steps and methods, I am using the repeat that appeared as a knit using different settings in the post on mazes and mosaics from universal patterns.
Presented on the left, the repeat would be suitable only for thread lace or FI with very long floats. Color reverse allows one to use it for tuck and slip stitch, whether in one color or with color changes every 2 rows. The color separation to approximate the result with color changes begins with the same process as that used for designing mosaics. Once the image is rendered as a correct B/W png with no apparent errors, it is copied and pasted on a larger canvas, the mode converted back to RGB. The red cells make it easier to keep track of rows that need to be color inverted. Using the shift key and rectangle tool, multiple pairs of rows can be selected sequentially and color inverted. Beginning the selection with the very edge of the black squares on the left does not interfere with changing the color of the extra columns on the left side of the design. If pixels are added accidentally drawn in any of the 4 extra columns on the left, they can easily be removed when the completed conversion is cropped to selection for the final repeat. The completed color separation can then be bucket filled to match imagined colorsTiling the repeats to imagine the final knit presents the problem that results from working on a square grid and comparing the results to a knit, which usually produces a rectangular one. The representation for the linear patterns produced on the knit side of the piece cannot factor in some of the added distortions created by the stitch type used. I process my images in Pages or Numbers, depending on which document contains my most recent work and happens to be open. It is also possible to perform the final rescale in Gimp. Most knits approach a 4:3 ratio, with gauge variants in highly textured fabrics.  To preserve a clean design, tile and save the original, screengrab the resulting image, load it in Gimp, and rescale.   Repeat the motif for the same number in both height and width when tiling it. The colored versions before and after scaling, compared with the slip stitch swatch. It is possible to produce a rectangular grid to start with on which to draw in Gimp, but the larger canvas size occupies a significantly larger space on the screen, complicating the process. For small designs, however, that may be an option to give one the sense of aspect ratio for the design in the final knit ie in representational FI. To resize the grid in uneven proportions, the chain-link below the spacing values needs to be broken This repeat is designed for an electronic, requires color-reverse. Since it is 24 stitches wide and it may also be modified and used on a card. In this instance, the original marks for rows and stitches are single height. The image is processed, matching the original, rendered double-height, color reversed, and then alternate pairs of rows were color inverted to render the repeat used in the test swatch Once again, the possible change in scale is estimated. The repeat though only 24 stitches wide, is 92 rows high. On the left the repeat is shown as it appears on a square grid, to its right is the scaled 4:3 version, in a pixel count approximating the size of the swatch. It takes a bit of squinting to see the pattern more recognizable in the longer repeat in the larger tile The swatch was pressed, becoming wider than when first off the machine. It was knit using the slip stitch setting, could also be executed in tuck stitch, which would both widen and shorten the fabric and make the purl side more interesting.  The software can provide a preview of the result far more quickly than knitting samples, but again, the previews are only approximations of the scale, and cannot show distortions to lines as one adds more texture.
Repeating the process starting with a diamond shape that as given is only suitable for thread lace or FI with problematic floats,  and with a check tuck pattern that may change in aspect ratio considerably when knitted The proof of concept swatch, knit in tuck stitch, begins to show the distortion by the stitch formations, textures vs plain knit, easily seen at the top edge. The bind-off is around 2 gate pegs in order to allow enough stretch.  Anyone familiar with either or both programs may find this a very quick way to visualize the scaling and moving of motifs within DIY designs and their possible outcomes prior to test knitting

Bowknot aka butterfly or dragonfly stitch in more than one color

There has been a resurgence of interest in this stitch in the FB machine knitting group and discussion exploring a variety of methods for creating it. The inspiration, taken from a commercial sweater-knit:   For some single-color variations see Bowknot/ Butterfly stitch on the machine and No longer a mystery pattern.
I program repeats whenever possible, find it useful in eliminating errors, particularly in longer pieces. My own first experiments for this fabric were conducted using the fair isle setting, which is essentially a slip stitch automatically working 2 colors with each pass of the knit carriage single bed. Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed explores some of the methods for bringing slip stitch floats to the knit side of these fabrics, which is part of the hand techniques necessary to achieve the colored versions. As with any knit fabric yarn qualities, color contrasts, tolerance for proper stitch formation are all variables.
For vertical columns in 2 colors, it is only necessary to program a single, fixed row with a punchcard or electronic, or choose any pixel-based repeat akin to this with full pairs of alternating stripes. I like to plan with selected needles at each end of the sample With the machine set to FI, needles not selected will knit a ground color, while selected needles will knit the color in the B feeder. It is easier to manipulate the slip stitch floats from purl to knit side if working in the non selected groups of needles. Having the columns in odd numbers of stitches makes it easier to handle steps that require finding the center needle in each group if one is wanting to maintain symmetry. In my first test, I manipulated only the selected groups of needles to work the float movements, leaving the floats from the other color undisturbed, which makes the process far more convoluted than it needs to be. In this and in the subsequent sample I manipulated the left and right-hand pairs of floats moving them to the front of the knit, leaving the choice of what to do with the remaining center floats. In A they were brought up on top of the center needle in E position before knitting the next row. In B they are lifted into the hook of the needle brought out to B position, so that stitch is knit in color 1, while in C the remaining single stitch floats are simply left alone. In a couple of spots the yarn split, getting hooked up creating bleed through, and what would result in an issue if that happened on the group of floats that were to be moved. As stated, the process is easier and quicker working on non selected groups. Above, the yellow yarn was thicker than the blue. To maintain proper color selection in the non-selected column, the center needle needs to remain in B position, with the slip stitch floats below it before the next row knits. If the needle is brought out to E, it will knit in the contrast color, forming floats in that color on the purl side, and a knit stitch in what was planned as an all-solid column on the knit. The results are seen at the top of the first sequence in the swatch. I chose to limit my number of floats to 4 to keep the process manageable, moved stitches on the left of the center needle to the front of the knit, then followed with those to its right. One of the many things to explore in hand technique fabrics is finding a way to handle tools that may be more comfortable than others, practicing on single blocks of color first can help establish that. Below both yarns are equal weight and thinner. The floats formed by the color in the B feeder are also hooked up on the center needle in each vertical group in that color, forming a pattern on the purl side as well. The needle position for selection for B feeder yarn also needs to be maintained. Bringing the needle out to E ensures it will knit on the next pass. In both of my tests, the slip stitch floats on the knit side lie more horizontally than the lifted up floats on the purl  Other ways of working the fabric, along with a history of the FB thread offered by Claudia Scarpa including a single bed slip stitch version with an English downloadable PDF http://ratatatata.it/dragonfly/
her youtube video illustrates a different way of managing floats than mine.
JuliKnit offers 2 videos knit on Silver Reed 1, and 2. Both are knit using the ribber, the first method uses holding to gather loops on each of the beds, the second begins to address automation for needle selection on the top bed using DAK, with the selection on the ribber remaining manual. The stitch illustrations generated in DK offer knit stitch simulations such as these Executing her versions on a Brother machine requires some interpretation. The fabric is constructed using the ribber in conjunction with the main bed. The vertical columns are 5 stitches wide.
Colors are worked one at a time. If a color changer is to be used, an even number of rows would be required for each pattern segment. For 4 floats followed by an all knit row, the repeat would be 5 rows high, so one consideration would be operating with the second color from the right, requiring free passes. Studio machines release the top of the knit carriage at an angle from the bottom, so that explains the move seen in the video in order for the carriage to be moved to the right. Brother machines use the slip stitch setting in either or both directions, to achieve that. Using both buttons avoids any confusion. All needles in use must be in the B position for the “free pass” to avoid dropped stitches. The number of rows gets adjusted in the videos eventually to 6.
When working on the top bed, the ribber is set to slip both ways.
For those unfamiliar with Studio settings a brief review: the Studio SRP60N ribber introduced the option for knitting emulating the lili selection in Brother. The grey plastic piece on the left of the studio ribber, the autoset lever, when cleared would essentially duplicate setting Brother levers to slip manually in both directions, clearing it again would return it to knit. Cast on either EON or EN rib. Transfer needles in a 5X5 rib beginning and ending with a single needle in work on the ribber on the far left and right,  setting up the initial needle arrangement for the fabric. Black dots represent needles in work on both beds, red ones the initial needles that will be worked in holding position on the top bed. The video knits each color for an even number of rows. Bring the first and last needle into work on the ribber before knitting each row. The remaining stitches knit only on the main bed. The knit carriage is set to knit, the ribber to slip in both directions. Pick up the chosen color on the left, knit for an odd number of rows, when carriages are on the right, push held needles back to work position so they will knit on the pass back to the color changer. The ribber knits the next color. A review of the Brother ribber carriage for those not familiar with it COL: main bed will now slip in both directions, set it accordingly. The ribber only knits. The center needle on the top bed that held the butterflies is transferred down to the ribber, illustrated in the red dots over black ones. The center needles in the blank areas on the ribber, blue dots, are brought up to hold, the ribber levers are set to knit in both directions, holding levers are set to hold in both directions as well,   knit for an odd number of rows, with carriages on the right, push held needles back to work position so they will knit on the pass back to the color changer. COL: knit carriage changes back to knit settings, the ribber slip setting in both directions is restored. The center stitches that formed ribber butterflies are transferred up to the top bed, needles at the center of the blank areas on the top bed are brought out to hold. The color is changed, and the process begins again. My first efforts were met with dropped stitches after a few rows and expletives. My second efforts fared no better, I simply could not avoid dropped stitches on either bed, perhaps because of my yarn choice and the small tension it required. Working on the single bed once more, using the slip stitch setting and knitting one color at a time, I achieved a fabric more similar to the original photograph. The chart reflects the number of needles in my test swatch, with a 2 knit stitch border added on each side Each color knits for 4 rows. At the end of each 4-row sequence, the non selected needles allow for manipulation of the floats. The transfers in the piece begin on row 5. Before the next row is knit in the alternate color, the slip stitch floats are reconfigured, bringing stitches 1 and 2, 4 and 5 in each group to the knit side of the fabric, leaving the center floats undisturbed. Bring the whole group out to E position so they will form knit stitches with the first row of contrast as the carriage moves to the right. Knit 4 rows. The carriage will once again be on the left unless 2 carriages are in use from opposite sides. The center needle in each group of 5 will be left unselected. Lift floats up onto that center needle, and bring it out to E position so that it will form a knit stitch in the next color to be used. The final result, closer to original

 

 

Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed

It is also possible to create solid color patterns on the purl side on a striped ground by at first transferring all stitches down to the ribber, then, in turn, using slip stitch selection on the top bed to choose only the stitches that will be manipulated on the main bed. A similar repeat worked on the single bed, may be found in the previous post on Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed. And a relative, including a double bed version: Bowknot/ Butterfly stitch on the machine, and: A no longer “mystery pattern”.
When working over a striper backing, the color changer is generally in use, and changes happen in even numbers of rows. In my test swatches changes are made every two rows, and whether single or double bed, the color yarn creating the solid color shape needs to not knit while the alternate color is worked only in the background. The held stitches grow in length.
End needle selection is canceled in my samples. The extra needle selection prior to the next all knit row helps track the direction of the moves, stitches are moved three at a time, there are no cable crossingsThings do not always “work”, that is part of the process The next step for me was to explore cable crossings on elongated stitches working double-bed. A basic pattern on any programmable machine for playing with elongated stitches on one bed while knitting every stitch on the other is to program pairs of blank rows followed by solid punched or black pixel rows. The yellow line in this chart illustrates the row on which cabling might occur. Programming the width of the needle bed allows for only the stitches forming vertical columns in chosen locations to be put into work, allowing one to place groups that will involve crossings anywhere on the chosen pattern width. A base is knit in the ground color, which slips for 2 rows on the main bed, creating the elongated stitches that will be cabled. I had no problem with 2X2 cables,  but as in working on the single bed, for me, straightforward 3X3 crosses were not cooperative, even when I attempted to introduce extra knit stitches on the sides that were then dropped for added give on the last slipped row, taking me back to the drawing board. Cabling, returned to in a later post, with adjustments, making things work. Continuing with shapes on striped grounds, this is the result of a self-drawn pattern  The approach is different than in the blog post on Brother shadow lace, rib transfer carriage, where shapes were created in only one color, and the textured patterns by bringing needles in and out of work on the ribber. To create the striped ground in the above, color changes happen every 2 rows. The ribber knits every needle, every row. With the ribber on half-pitch, the transfers are all made from the main bed needle to the needle immediately below it and slightly to its left.
In the chart on the left, the green cells represent black pixels that will be programmed for patterning on the top bed, red cells, the stitches on the top bed that need to be transferred down to the ribber on the respective row.
Grey cell rows stand in for all blank ones in the final repeat.  This design is too wide for punchcard machines, but the fabric is possible there as well in different widths, isolated or all over. After casting on, all stitches are transferred to the ribber. Border, plain knit stripes can be added by simply having a larger number of needles in work on the ribber than the planned pattern width. With no needles selected in the pattern on the top bed, those ribber stitches will simply knit every row.
These fabrics are a little different than those with needles out of work on the main bed while using the slip stitch setting, in which case KC II on electronics, end needle selection needs to be turned off on all models. When all needles are in B position, depending on the pattern, KCI may be used. Simply using KCII eliminates any guesswork.
The first preselection row is toward the color changer with the knit carriage set to slip in both directions, only patterned area needles need to be in work. Non-selected needles, as usual, perform no function while those corresponding to where black pixels or punched holes occur will pick up loops on the top bed, initially creating eyelets, and then continue to form knit stitches until any of the corresponding stitches are transferred down to the ribber. The pattern yarn forms a short stitch in one direction, an elongated one in the other. A detailed close-up of stitch formations Plain striped rows in areas without the design continue to be knit in the slip stitch setting, or every needle in work on the top bed will pick up loops.
When hand manipulating stitches it pays to be mindful of maintaining all needles in the pattern in B position, not accidentally sliding them back to A.  In the past, I have attempted pile knitting on my machines. Studio machines produce the best fabric in the category, I have read Toyota performed as well. Books such as this are a good source for pile designs, including the card repeat used in my proofs of concept Punchcards, in theory, may be used as given and set to double length, while for use in electronics drawing the pattern single height and using the double-length setting is also an option. Starting sides and fixing errors have always been more confusing for me when using the double-length feature, I prefer to punch holes or program pixels as I intend to knit them. The isolated reduced repeat for use in the electronic is charted, with an initial one-pixel error in 2 consecutive rows, marked with red cells. In transcribing any design, it is worth checking repeats multiple times after eyeballs and brains have had a rest. This was my start:
The design process using Numbers before exporting the repeat to Gimp for reduction to B/W png: in this approach, the repeat is drawn double height to start with. The red cells represent stitches that will be transferred down to the ribber before knitting the next row in the pattern color from left to right.  The first test is of an isolated motif. The yellow arrow points to the pixel error, the cyan to the positions where some needles in the full repeat were “accidentally” placed in A position, not B, resulting in pattern stitches not being formed.  Another review of the original card, a final adjustment in the repeat: Tiled view, committing to the result, the larger test swatch Two other options for charting the fabric in numbers: A. draw the repeat as given
B. starting cell size used was 20X20, change the height to 40
C. mark corner blank cells and screengrab for Gimp import
D. the repeat processed in Gimp matches the first version
Any simple Fair Isle repeat may also be used. The numbering in the charts matches what is normally seen on the left edge of the tables
A. the FI repeat, 8 rows high
B. a table slightly longer than double the repeat height, hide even-numbered rows
C. copy and paste the FI design on the table with hidden rows
D. unhide rows, isolate the repeat, adjust cell height, and continue to process as described above 

The original punchcard design may be used in a different manner if the goal is a single color fabric. The design may be copied as is, then filling in the blank lines with the same holes or pixels as in the row directly below it. Here, in addition, the repeat is altered to accommodate a half drop repeat on the right with a few pixels changed. My initial proof of concept is 32 stitches wide, narrower than the full repeat The rows need to be scanned before every pass, as transfers to the ribber are not symmetrical due to the shapeshift on the right of the design. The world of possibilities grows even further for single color shadow lace, when, examining the same design, one recognizes that the pile knit card, with the blank rows filled in in pattern, is the same as the fair isle version of the repeat, rendered double long Some authors have suggested plaiting as an alternative to creating shapes with true brioche, which can be complex.  To my mind, plaiting falls in the beauty being in the eye of the beholder category, I prefer far crisper color distinction in my knits. This sample from the previous shadow lace post uses thick and thin yarns  Using the image adapted from the studio pile card once more, I tested using 2 yarns of similar weight, the adjusted test repeat: its accompanying test swatch

I have long been interested in pleated knits, both single and double-bed. Working single color or with plaiting makes the repeats easier for DIY designing. Seeking proof of concept for possible “origami” pleating: on the left, yellow marks the spots for transfers to the top bed, which will create folds out toward the knit side. For folds toward the purl side, stitches are manipulated on the ribber, with the final design repeat shown on the right. The ribber carriage is set to knit throughout. The needle from which the stitch is transferred to the main bed is moved completely out of work. After the transfer, the main bed needle accepting it is returned to the D position.
The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions, end needle selection is canceled.  Subsequently,  non-selected needles, 1 in the photo, serve as guides for transfers to the ribber, made every two rows. The needles emptied from the transfers need to be maintained in the work, B, position. The selected needles, 2 in the photo, will pick up loops automatically, creating eyelets as seen in previous swatches. The swatch would have benefited from tighter tension or thicker yarn, the folding effect is greater than reflected in the photo. Initially, those pairs of center stitches were not transferred up to the main bed, showing the absence of that fold when that action is omitted. Any of these patterns benefit from deliberate planning of the placement of the pattern on the main bed, not done in this instance.   Transitioning to smaller repeats, tiling will help avoid patterning “errors” as seen here where the full diamond shapes reverse  Graph paper or spreadsheet planning will help avoid misses in necessary transfers in areas where all needles have been selected the file for multiple repeats after color reverse the test knit as using transfers as described above and here the empty needles creating the eyelets were filled by picking up the purl bar from the stitch below on the ribber. A lot of work for a change that is not significant in the structure of the fabric.  In my last test on eliminating holes and how that affects the degree of the folds, transfers to fill in newly selected needles on the top bed were made from below the adjacent needle on the top bed, B, as opposed to immediately below on the ribber, A If patterning is used to track transfers, needle selection on the top bed needs to be maintained throughout, the result of this process is not interesting enough and just too fiddly and time-consuming for me to be interested in exploring it further There is an interesting scale and depth of fold comparison between this version and the first using the repeat, achieved by tightening the tension as much as possible, and possibly by reducing the size of the eyelets.

Exploring manipulations with more than one color patterning on the main bed: there is a type of DBJ that relies on knitting the same color for 2 rows that is inherently different from the KRC built-in separation that is the default in the Japanese model machines. It causes elongation in the design, while the KRC version minimizes it. The differences and methods of the corresponding color separations have been discussed in other posts. Stitch manipulations may occur when working DBJ as well. Simple designs make the best start for beginning to explore the topic An easy variation is to plan full repeat segments mixed with a striped ground worked only on the ribber Take care if copying and pasting single columns to alter a repeat width that the whole column is indeed copied and that if using the pencil tool flood fill is not used unintentionally. The original intent was also to correct the elongated slip stitch segments on the edge of the programmed vertical designs marked in blue, but the paste with errors in red accomplished creating the same issue The design is programmed for DBJ. Because of the color separation used, the first preselection row is from right to left. Before knitting the first pattern row, all 10 non-patterning needles on the main bed were transferred down to the ribber. The first segments were knit using striper backing, with the ribber knitting every stitch, every row, in both colors. When a slip stitch is used with needles out of work on the main bed, end needle selection should be canceled. In A it was not. The result is that end needles alongside the out-of-work column knit with each color in each row. In B, end needle selection was canceled, and one can now see the elongated slipped stitches that result from areas that should have been marked with the contrasting color As long as the number of stitches on the ribber is even, lili buttons may be used, affecting the scale of the pattern in both height and width. In A, they were used with the ribber set to slip in both directions, in B, set to tuck in both directions. C marks the return to the N/N setting, with needle transfers to mark a possible pleat. The initial pleat idea charted out for single stitch folds, stitches transferred to ribber in the R columns, to the top bed in the T columns The result is a fairly soft pleat, the choice below was to retain end needle selection.  Various ribbed pleat configurations are explored in Pleats: ribbed, folding fabrics. This repeat may not be the best to use for a variety of reasons, but experimenting while using the same design and yarns can be useful in understanding stitch formations. Theoretically, the alternating direction of folds should create sharp or knife pleats. folds up asPaired transfers in the planning stages: because the repeat is small and has a single center pivot point, it is rendered once more, adding columns Here the transfers planned to opposite beds are marked on a 48 stitch repeat with red cells.
The resulting fabric relaxed on the left, lightly steamed on the right Note: the color positions in the design have been reversed from those in the first swatch. If “floats” are noted at any time in the spaces where needles are out of work on the ribber, look for dropped stitches.

Vertical bands of color,  even in patterns may be transferred to and from beds to achieve a sort of intarsia effect. One option is to work with vertical bands of fixed color, using the KRC built-in separation. When shifting gears it is useful to remember the starting side for the preselection of the first row of patterns. With many of the previous patterns, designed for color changes every 2 rows, starting side was on the right, toward the color changer. With KRC in use, the first preselection row is away from the color changer on the left, moving toward the right. With either method, starting on the wrong side will knit stripes as opposed to planned patterns.  Needles in locations where only the backing is to be shown are transferred down to the ribber. Leaving the eyelets, they were transferred back up to the main bed when brought into work to reverse or change the shape. Addition and subtraction of stitches take place before the next pass with the alternate color. Here movement is random, to get some sense of the effect, it could be made deliberate by following a chart or color separating and automating the pattern, with its starting side on the right.  This sample is from a much earlier post. Transfers could be made less frequently to change the angles in the resulting shapes, always onto the same color What of having shapes appearing in each of the 2 colors on a striped ground? Eliminating some of the guesswork I used the repeat from a previous single-bed blog post on block slip stitch color separations The repeat, 32X44The resulting sample, the yarn is thin, might have benefited from tighter tension and more contrast.  These fabrics and related shadow lace ones fall in the category of double bed embossed patterns, many more variations are possible, and deserving of their own post.

Mosaics and mazes charting meet Numbers, GIMP 3

If working in Numbers, the solution to doubling the height of the final repeat for mazes or mosaics may be achieved by simply doubling the height of each cell prior to screen grabbing the table and processing the resulting image in Gimp. Here the cells for a single repeat in the table on the left are copied, pasted, and altered from 20X20 pixels to 20X40Working in 1800 magnification, using rectangle select, every other pair of rows is chosen and then color inverted. B: the process continues for the height of the repeat. Until each new pair of rows is selected fully, the last color inverted pair is bordered in a dotted outline C, useful in tracking the last worked location. As the subsequent pair of rows is selected fully, the dotted border will disappear. The processed repeat  Its tiled visual check  Proof of concept: the bottom half is knit using the slip stitch setting, the top half in the tuck setting. The added texture on the tuck stitch purl side makes the fabric a more interesting, reversible one, and wider than its companion.  For a different way of working with two-color initial images using only Gimp, see tips in Gimp update for Mac2.The process used on the beginning repeat, redrawn in 2 colors and then, in turn, elongated X2 or drawn double long to start with, tiled to check alignment. There are 2 options for altering colors in 2-row segments to achieve the separation, the first is color invert, the second is value invert, found in the colors menu. Both require color filling in of cells so as to obtain the final BW image, the value invert option, in this case, would require only filling in the green to white, but in managing larger images I believe having the additional colors make the process easier to track accurately. The color invert option will substitute a third color and white on every other pair of rows. Flood fill the original color 2 on rows containing black pixels with white, then fill color 3 pixels with black on rows containing white pixels: The mazes that are often seen in game-playing, puzzles, historical sources ie in Chinese design references, may not work out for knitting with this method, the result can be quite muddied.  I recently found a new to me online maze generator http://www.ludiculus.com/maker/mazes.html.  Changing the pixel width by default also doubles the image in height, making smaller designs for knitting problematic  This was a quickly drawn maze using it, shown with its cropped repeat on the right, then tiled. Numbers processing to ready the repeat for final gimp editing: The repeat when tiled predicts muddied results which are noticeable in the knit swatch. Because of the side-by-side areas with multiple white cells, the slip setting is used, not tuck. The single slipped lengthened stitches do not produce an easily recognized secondary design on the knit side Getting back to clearer pattern results: when using electronics, it is possible to create far wider and taller repeats for download. The technique to achieve them uses the same process. A new working repeat: its tiled appearance  My starting table in numbers with hidden rows, beginning to isolate a smaller repeat the isolated repeat, double-length the color separation in progress
When knit, that white cell pair of rows break up the overall shapes and shifts the pattern in the top and bottom half When I tiled my next draft, I decided I preferred a cleaner join at the center The final adjusted repeat knit using the tuck stitch setting in both directions, KCI, first row left to right, leading with the dark color and here with the lighter color In progress, on the km  the relaxed, 3D-ish view on the reverse why projects can take longer than planned The finished, relaxed scarf with pressed edges only, retaining the conical striped formsThe repeat knit double length, changing colors every 2 rows, becomes something quite different, with a sharp curl to the purl side

Img2track_multiple colors per row dbj, each color knitting only once

I have recently shared a post on using the heartofPluto separation in Ayab to knit a DBJ 3 color sample where each color was not represented in each row, with each color knitting a single height.  Img2 track at this time does not offer a built-in similar option. There is a FB thread going on at the moment on this topic that can be followed there, Tanya Cunningham has shared a document on this topic. I am using the same repeat as in my Ayab tests,  with  my color changer in this threading sequence throughout
 The import into img2track shown here for the traditional 3 colors per row setup,
where normally each color in each design row knits twice. Because selection occurs for pairs of rows, the first preselection row is from right to left. To decrease the backing rows, the ribber is set for birdseye. I prefer to have an end needle on each end on the ribber, keeping in mind that the total number of needles in use there needs to be even. The machine provides reminders as to which color should be knitting. My samples are knit using KCI on the top bed. Because the preselection happens twice, it is easy enough to knit in pattern from left to right,  when the carriages have reached the right side, simply use a ribber comb to push all needles back to B. The next color to be used is preselected as the carriages travel back to the left, change color when on left, and repeat.
It is easy enough to develop a rhythm. I used to tell students some things are made easier if one develops a tune to play in one’s head as series of actions. Here I found myself thinking “knit to right, erase (selection), knit to left”. I had tension yarn issues on the right which explain some of the issues on the side edges and changed color 1 to blue for increased contrast. The proof of concept: Speeding things up with color separation, beginning with the method that will have each color, each design row knitting twice. The repeat is 10 rows high, so it is expanded X6 to 10 by 60 rows. In the final result, the second row for each color in the separation is in turn erased. The red was added to make all 3 colors visible while working the separation, avoiding confusion with the white ground. The knittable result as usual is in a black and white png The img2track settings are for now for 2 color knitting, the prompts for the color changes are lost.

The color-changing sequence used was still 1, 2, 3. The design with a birdseye backing The ribber can also be set to knit every row, resulting in elongation on the knit side, while creating an interesting striper backingComparing this version to the birdseye backed one for repeat height Comparisons: HoP, pushing back needles to B, and color separation results. In the latter, the design is likely elongated in part due to a change in the distribution of thinner yarns to larger design areas with no tension adjustments 

Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 2

From Chris Burdge, a video tutorial on using HOP following program prompts and default color placement. The pattern used, available for download from the author, is quite different from my tests in that it is completely surrounded by a white border, the default first color choice in the separation The ABC color changer markings in letters reflecting yarn positions and color-changing sequences were used in the Studio brand, as opposed to numbers, in the reverse sequence, used in Brother. The Ayab lettering as opposed to numbers move from right to left. The manual states that the color separation order is: white C, grey B, black A with their sequence = C (3), B (2), A(1). If the prompts for changing colors as given are followed it provides a very valuable in tracking them,  but if out of habit one knits in the usual 1,2,3 sequence, the color placement occurs in an unexpected order and may result in errors. The on-screen letter prompt corresponding to the anticipated color change sometimes occurs with the knit carriage on the right, sometimes as it approaches the changer, and the size of the font was hard for me to see since the screen was not close enough for easy visibility.

It has been nearly a year since my last post, Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 1. I previously also shared information on using HOP for drop stitch lace.
Last week I tried a 3 color HOP pattern, which failed because my mid-tone grey was not within the proper palette range. I work on a Mac and found that with the latest Gimp update several details have changed, and formerly saved palettes were lost. Regrouping, working with colors, and intending color change selection sequences in the familiar right to left, 1, 2, 3 methods, this png includes the grey shade that worked for me If the png is copied from the post it is likely to appear in RGB mode and it will require conversion to 3 color bitmapped. Its grey color map entry is seen below The small file makes for a quick test of proper color selection for each of the three colors used It is not necessary to have images in greyscale to load them into Ayab for separation, but having the repeat shown that way can help with placement of the yarns in the changer.
I like to have as many factors predictable as possible prior to importing into download programs. Importing color images depends on the placement of individual colors in the palettes. An explanation found online is that Ayab needs a pattern image which is 8-bit greyscale. Each color is coded in a range of the 8-bit values. For 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color A; 64-127 color B; 128-195 color C; 196-255 color D. It seems to be OK to give the image some color, so long as the gray component of the colors divides up as given. I began to explore a pattern using 3 colors,  with one of the three colors absent in some rows Having some idea of stitch counts for each color in the design in the first few rows can help identify proper, planned color placement errors To achieve this an easy count of the blue and red can happen watching preselection on for the first couple of rows ie blue knits 4 stitches, while red has counts of 7 except at the sides My first swatch using the heart of Pluto separation and a greyscale motif  I like to work out color placement as well as repeat scaling adjustments if needed. This png in, indexed to 3 colors, was opened in Gimp, my primary design tool, and imported and saved as a palette A different color placement, using the saved pattern colors. With no white in the first couple of design rows, the lighter color is selected first. The actual 11 X 10 motif, can be opened in Ayab. Action R can repeat the image in height if desired, but a must is to repeat it in width that is equal to or greater than the number of needles in work on the needle bed, here it is repeated 3 times in both height and width
My tested color change sequence is #1, #2, #3 colors throughout, I disregarded the prompts for color changes at the bottom of the Ayab screen. Some things to ponder: in pieces that require color changes, starting with waste knitting in the same colors can help assess the best tension, whether each color will be picked up properly, and if the colors work well together. Looking at these 3 small tests, it appears that a choice should be made when casting on about using color 1 or 2 for the preselection and cast on rows.  If the setting to slip is forgotten for the first move to the left, the color in the feeder will knit every stitch rather than a pattern selection. Always check settings when on the right, making certain lili buttons are set as well. This pattern does not contain 3 colors on every row. In addition to that, when working  DBJ with other color separations one is likely used to seeing knit bed needle selections on every row. That is not true here, is a function of the technique, not a patterning error. On rows that have colors missing, when that color is in use, the main bed slips, the ribber works every other needle, first in one direction, then the other, adding to the row count on the purl side of the knit. In a test with marked color placement, the arrow marks the spot where 2 color threads were picked up together so that the white was carried across the row along with the green repeating the color placement test following 1/light, 2/medium, 3/darkThe mess at the bottom was due to the green yarn getting caught on the needle bed and not knitting the necessary stitches on the ribber, so dropped stitches were formed The assumption is that if the C, B, A rotation and prompts are to be followed, the middle color 2 can stay in place, and the placement of 1 and 3 can be exchanged.

The difference between the same design knit with a color separation where each color in each design row knits twice elongating the shapes, and its  HOP version, both with birdseye backing  

Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics

There is a Russian website with a treasure trove of machine knitting patterns, some for 12 stitch models, and extensive collections for 24 stitch models including for fair isle, lace, and single motifs. For a follower up post on this topic see Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2. There are pull-down options to show the full repeats charted for Silver Reed (default), Brother, and Toyota brands. The numbering system on the right of the cards will be shifted to the appropriate starting line, but the images themselves do not seem to adjust the placement of the punched holes themselves when that is necessary for correct knitting when switching km brands. The collections begin with the longest repeats. One such repeat  I have never had an interest in owning DAK. That said, their Graphics studio seems to offer an interesting range of design possibilities. The machine knitting groups in FB have recently had questions submitted on how to convert the site’s charts for use to create downloadable .pngs.  In response, a member, post has been sharing videos in Russian explaining some of the pertinent processes (my editor is refusing the Russian characters for her name). Those of us who are Mac and Gimp users need not be left out of the process, the conversions are achievable with the investment of a bit more time and patience. The charts as given cannot be successfully converted to the indexed mode and scaled in Gimp to produce readable patterns. One solution is to combine the use of a spreadsheet table, in my case created in Numbers, combined with Gimp design options. I assume similar steps could be used with Excel tables. Prior knowledge of the basics for both programs is required.
It is easier to test how-tos beginning with a source diagram that has larger, more readable dots representing the punched holes. This was found on Pinterest The units in many such illustrations are not square, and the goal is to end up with a .bmp where each square unit represents one stitch, one row. The cell size I prefer in Numbers tables has come to be 20X20. This particular design is 24 stitches wide, 60 rows high. To make it workable in that cell size, the repeat is opened in Gimp, cropped to its margins, scaled to 240 X 600 pixels, and the new image is exported.
Drag and drop the image onto a new sheet if working on a previously created Numbers document. Click on the image, and then on format/ arrange to resize it to the desired proportions,  A table is then created, 24 cells wide, 60 high Resize the image if needed to match the pt table size, in this case, to 480X1200. Adjusting the size by using the arrows to the right of the size option gives more accurate control than simply dragging on points on the original image. Turning off constrain proportions will allow for tweaking the size as well if needed. On the left is the first table image, to its right, the resized punchcard pattern Select the whole table, by clicking on the circular symbol at the upper left,  Alter the cell borders to a bright, contrasting color. I chose red, 3 points thickness Move the table over the punchcard image or the reverse. The arrange option may be used to place either in front or back of the other as needed Using the command key select individual cells or cell groups, release the key, fill with color The repeat in progress Copy and paste the completed table. Make certain there is a different color cell in any white squares at far corners of the image, in this case, upper right and upper left (yellow), remove cell borders .screen grab a larger area than the repeat on the right, open in Gimp
.choose crop to content, that will eliminate any extra surrounding cells
.fill the contrast color squares with white
.choose image/mode/indexed/BW convert
.proceed to scale the image. In some instances, this needs to happen in 2 steps: the first may be scaling up to make certain both values are divisible by 20, the second to scale down to the desired repeat size of 24X60
.prior to saving the .bmp for download, magnify to at least 800, with the grid in view as the first visual check, also tile to make certain the design lines up properly in repeat, in a way that is found pleasant or at times, to be avoided. One needs to have a basic understanding of punchcard illustration markings, and often the repeat required for use of the design in electronics may only be a very small portion of the total one offered in the publication. The extra rows representing perforations that are not part of the design and may be cropped off in Gimp. This repeat is what began the FB discussion Making the marks more visible is possible by changing number values as well as by moving the slider immediately below the input levels Proceed as for the first image, being mindful of an unnecessary row at the bottom. The saved image can be tweaked in size by turning off constrain proportions and adjusting values for width and height for proper placement under the table grid it soon becomes evident that the card is composed of smaller repeat segments, which in turn can be copied and pasted making for quicker work the isolated repeat tiled The far longer repeats might best be managed broken up into sections. This is part of #6717, shown in the process of trimming unwanted info in Gimp and after adjusting color levels to create a sharper image. The converted, partial punchcard repeat What of the lace punchcard repeats? There seems to be no differentiation between the different types of lace on the website: thread lace, simple lace where stitches are knit and transferred in a single pass (a Silver Reed/Studio special), and lace requiring the use of 2 separate carriages and passes, one to knit, one to transfer are all grouped together. In addition, the pull-down menu if used will change the numbering on the side of the card, but not the design content  The conversion process intended for the final use on the Brother machine: the image on the far right shows a review of the proper placement of pairs of empty rows between lace segment sequences, highlighted in grey In the past I have found lace repeats, in particular, to be particularly cranky when scaled down in Gimp due to the paucity of black cells. After the above steps, I decided to try color invert, resize, and color invert again, which in this instance, produced what appears to be an accurate repeat. Of course, the final .bmp is likely to need mirroring for use in some electronic models The process did not work for me in using Gimp alone to edit test repeats from the website directly. The white dots, in that case, disappear with scaling to the desired size.
Using resize X 2 with color invert and back with a Stitchworld pattern image got me closer to an editable lace repeat using Gimp alone, worth considering in the future. Practice with using both programs in sync can make the progress a very quick one.

Lace meets FI on Brother machines

Very little has been written on this topic.
The easiest method to produce the eyelet and fair isle combination is to create ladders in spaces between vertical FI motifs. The end needle selection is canceled. The swatches show the transitions in the development of the final design

Susanna in her Machine Knitter’s Guide offers a version knit in combination with the ribber on page 218, and a small amount of information on single bed versions on pp, 220-221.
Before any DIY, I like to start with a published pattern. Toyota, in this volume,    offers 4 punchcards for use with this technique I chose to work with #170. The lace carriage in the Toyota models operates from the right side rather than the left as in Brother. The direction of the arrows marked on the card actually indicates movements for the carriage operating from that side. That fact is taken into consideration planning a possible Brother punchcard repeat. Lace direction arrows are matched based on the punchcard image being mirrored horizontally. The card in its original version is imaged on the left, mirrored on the far right, the proposed Brother punchcard in the center The proposed Brother punchcard repeat is now expanded for use on the electronic machine, ready for converting to .bmp in Gimp. Numbers in the middle of the chart on the left helped keep track of repeat segments. I also used red dots initially to mark segments as I had completed in the expanded the repeat, then erased them
  The Gimp magnified punchcard repeat  in turn in need of mirroring for the .bmp to be used in the 930the resulting fabric Observations and settings:
The knit carriage is set to FI patterning for the knit rows, the typical floats will be created. Commonly, when floats are wider than 5 pixels, anchoring the longer ones may become a preference or even a necessity. This would add time to an already complex fabric. Each FI design row is repeated twice.
The transfers in this design are made on the yarn in the color in the B feeder. I began my swatch using the light color yarn, failed to switch its position to the B with color 2 for the shape in A, accounting for the dark stripe at the swatch bottom
If KCI is used, end needle selection will be made prior to the lace carriage passes. Those preselected needles will have to be pushed back to B position by hand prior to using the LC or they will transfer on one side and drop on the other.
In this pattern, the LC operates for 8 passes, followed by 2 rows of FI throughout the piece. The first preselection row is made with the KC from the left as it moves toward its home on the right.

What of DIY? From working on the repeats for transfer lace combined with weaving, I understand patterns beginning with transfers to the right rather than the familiar to the left, are shortened considerably and carriage changes may be made as often as every 2 rows, saving many carriage passes. In order to understand the choices that need to be made, I began with a lace transfer pattern, thinking I could add contrasting color shapes in FI. I expected something like this however, the swatch had issues. The eyelets were not occurring in the same spot in both directions, the color transition at the repeat intersections was clumsy Regrouping: the easiest place to insert eyelets is in the dominant, background-color The 930 .pngA quick test: rows with no needle pre-selection will knit in only one color, end needle selection must be canceled before knitting to the other side Can the exchange of the color positions in the yarn feeder create colored shapes with eyelets on the white ground? not only does it not do so in a way I liked, but my machine was having none of it as well  Coming up with a better plan resulted in the following repeat. The transfers are made in the wanted direction on the purl side of the fabric, so their location becomes easy to check and identify during knitting. In this exercise, they will be placed in the center or the previously knit fair isle rows. Magenta cells marking the doubled stitch after transfers to the right, the cyan one the doubled stitch after transfers to the left. The two blank rows at the top of the design will knit in the background only. Building the repeat in Numbers: the eyelets within the shapes in the contrast color need to begin and end with a pair of FI rows. They are placed taking into consideration the black cell blocks immediately below them, not the ones directly above It’s good to start with a small repeat.
A: one may begin with a planned repeat, in this case, 20 rows in height
B: create a table at least twice the planned height or start with a long template that in turn will have half its rows hidden. Holding the command key select every other pair of rows beginning with 2 blank ones at the top of the table, and hide them. The location for the options to hide and unhide rows and columns:  C: Once the rows are hidden, the black cells are filled in
D: the repeat is tiled to check its alignment
E: the hidden rows are unhidden,  I like to add colored cells as shown to ensure proper placement of eyelets
F: place black cells for stitches to be transferred where desired
Previous posts describe the steps to isolate the repeat as a screengrab and importing it into GIMP. The grab is cropped to content, image mode to indexed, scale to the proper size, mirror for use on the electronic if needed, save, and use the final image to download to the knitting machine for testing.
The first pair of rows are knit in FI, so the preselection for design row 1 is from left to right.  The KCI setting will bring end needles out to D prior to lace rows, those needles need to be pushed back to B position prior to moving the LC from left to right. Continue with switching carriages every 2 rows. This repeat is 20 rows high. When knitting the last 2 rows, no needles will have been preselected, except for first and last. Push them back to B for those two rows, so only the color in the A feeder knits, and the preselected needles do not drop off the bed. The second color does not need to be removed from its location, but in executing a wide piece of knitting, the extra yarn pulled down from the tension mast as the knit carriage makes its passes may cause issues. If the yarn is removed and held aside, be sure to place it back after the 2 passes with the ground color so as to avoid forgetting to do so prior to resuming patterning using 2 colors per row. Taking it to continuous shapes and checking them in repeat: red cells represent transfers to the right, cyan ones the transfers to the left. The empty cells adjoining each of both colors represent the location of the doubled-up stitch after the transfer is made I like to check tiling for the repats along the whole process
Though the repeat is 24 stitches wide, it is not suitable for use on the punchcard machines in this format, its tiled test and .pngThe one area where the white got picked up with the contrast is not due to programming, but likely to operator error in “correcting” a dropped stitch Adding another contrast color stitch to shapes will make the number of stitches on either side of the eyelets consistent  Adding lace shapes in the ground can follow the same concept The repeat does was not planned as a continuing pattern, but here it is knit and repeated in height X 2 and with the addition of two blank rows at the top of each segment.
The possibilities are endless, with some patience, they can be manipulated to meet personal preferences and taste.

Mosaic and maze inspiration from additional sources

Reviewing properties of both: maze patterns have long vertical and horizontal lines broken by regular gaps and the pattern lines change course from the vertical to horizontal, and vice versa. Maze cards can be identified by completely punched row segments, some alternating with every other square marked for two rows, usually geometrically shaped. Areas of stocking stitch produce horizontal colored stripes, and alternating pattern stitches that slip or tuck cause the vertical stripes, which are sometimes pulled nearly diagonal by the influence of tuck or slip. The fabric will be unbalanced because the number of needles slipping or tucking will not be the same on every row. Odd rows usually form 2 color horizontal stripes, even rows vertical stripes, with color changes occurring every 2 rows.
Mosaics have a brick arrangement (tessellae), with clear perimeters and cores, and stepped diagonals (frets) that are partially formed bricks, their positive and negative spaces are created by the use of contrasting colors. The stripe sequence is not as obvious. The punchcard does not resemble the original design.
In single bed work, the reverse of the fabric will show the original design in the texture of its slip or tuck stitches. There usually will be no floats longer than one or two stitches.
The knit side may look like a fair isle but the back lacks any long floats, hence the name “float-less fair isle”
The row gauge is compressed. Tuck fabrics are short and wide, slip ones tend to be short and thin. Some patterns elongate in washing. The tension used is usually one number higher or more than that used for stocking stitch for slip patterns to reduce their narrowing. Tuck knitting may need adjustments to lower tensions. Smooth yarns in contrasting colors are the easiest to establish an easily recognized test pattern, the choices that follow may then be far more personal.

After a while repeat units begin to become familiar. Pondering possibilities: Here the design knit as a fair-isle pattern would produce long floats, going through the steps of converting it for “floatless fair isle” proves of no benefit.

I previously wrote about the use of weaving
drafts as inspiration for other textile techniques, ie. knitting.
Endless published drafts may be found online or in books that might be interpreted for use with mosaic/maze single bed knitting. Having electronic machines available lifts restrictions in pattern width, while repeats too large for narrow items such as scarves may become useful for shawls or blankets. One such repeat,  with .pngs shown for both single and double-height:

This repeat is 36X36 before being lenthened X2 

A different sort of challenge was posed by this 18X18 image with a row shift in areas with a large number of both filled-in or blank squares. As one moves up its magnified version in Gimp it becomes apparent that a row will have a very long float in one of the two colors. One option is to skip that row, resulting in the green gridded repeats for the converted motif both shown both for single and double length. The result in the knitting test swatch produces an unplanned color shift which could be declared to be a design feature, or one can continue with editing the inspiration source. Repeating the separation process with a new graph produces a workable cousin to the original Generally when creating these patterns on Brother machines, patterning selection varies for each pairs of rows. I got distracted while making the above swatch by a phone call, got to the point where there is a very obvious solid black all knit row in the repeat, but “forgot” its presence. I assumed I was having a selection or a carriage issue and scrapped the knitting off. Note to self: “remember to always check the programmed design before you do that again in the future”.