Quilting on the Brother KM 2, solid color back DBJ

Quilting books may give inspiration for varied shapes. The illustration below is a diamond variant, another may be found in the brother ribber technique book (p 33, different color and KC knitting sequence).

On orange rows the main bed knits lots of needles, selects sealing stitches for next row of knitting, on green rows the ribber does most of the knitting, and will select the stitches the main bed will knit on the subsequent row, and so on

KC row direction does not necessarily matter in single color fabrics as long part buttons in both beds are set appropriately, unless double length is used, in which case KC row needs to be toward the color changer and the design needs to be in 2-row “color” repeats whether as actually punched, “drawn” and programmed, or with elongations used. The above repeat is suitable for punchcard machines as well. If knit without elongation one may use the same carriage settings as the previous sample above. KC –> with card/pattern locked, knit one row to right, set card/pattern to advance, opposite part buttons in use, results in knitting tubular for nearly square diamond shapes. The “stuffing” below is small cut up pieces of waste knitting.

For longer diamonds or 2 color knitting, KC<– row is toward color changer. Settings on the ribber need to be changed manually every 2 rows for both single color and 2 color patterning.

When lots of needles are selected on MB, knit 2 rs using settings pictured on left, the ribber slips for 2 rows. If only a few needles are selected, knit 2 rs with settings pictured on right. The ribber will knit all needles, MB only those providing the outline of the shape in the front of the knit, sealing the layers. All ribber carriage slip setting changes happen with carriage on left, prior to the next pair of knit rows, before or after the color change. Errors are less likely if a sequence of the steps involved is developed and followed.

settings, col 1               settings, col 2

The sample below was knit in 2/48 cash wool at T 3/3 using the above repeat. The fabric is sheer, and the joined sections of fabric are lacey.

This method allows for knitting large shapes without the distortion resulting from many double bed techniques. A series of swatches using the technique:

front view

rear view

Once the principles are worked out, very thin yarn or monofilament in front may be used with a thicker or contrasting color in the back, with viewable inclusions against the ground. A wool backing and a non-felting front can achieve interesting blister-like looks without some of the issues of double bed blisters and patterning, large shapes of plain knit could be contrasted against all rib background, and so on

a few more experiments

a monofilament cocoon with paillettes in its pockets

It is also possible to use an altered knit carriage to knit rows on the main bed only, while leaving the couple carriages on the left instead of changing ribber settings from slip to knit and back with color changes, see later post on ribber-fabrics-produced-with-2-knit-carriages-selecting-needles/

Quilting on the knitting machine 1

SINGLE BED QUILTING for straight-edged pockets, hand technique only: leave needles OOW creating vertical ladders in location to correspond to side edges of pockets, have a loose tension row (at least 2 numbers higher, more if possible) to mark their tops. Both will serve to pick up stitches, loose rows help for the turning of any hem when joinings begin.

Knit half the length of the fabric required (create small hem that will, in turn, be at lower edge of the finished piece if preferred), continue knitting, picking up ladder loops closest to bottom turn prior to each pass of the carriage, continue until the loose tension row is reached, pick up all stitches as in a hem to seal the knit pockets, repeating the process throughout.

Hand technique combined with punchcard: slip stitches are a familiar tool in marking rows for picking up hems such as at the top of knitted skirts. They can also serve to create pick up bars, and the slightly narrower, shorter lining for a quilted fabric. Nearly all stitches and rows in card need to be punched, empty spots (non-selected needles) will skip, creating marking “floats” for rehanging after completion of the first half of the piece. KC pattern selection is on, part <—>. Non-selected needles on the second half of the piece will give a clue as to where to hang the floats, in turn bringing selected needles out to holding if desired. KC: needle selection is left on, no part buttons, the carriage is now set to knit every row throughout. The fabric will be knit together in those spots on the next pass of the carriage. Decisions can be made as to whether to do this every row or every other. A self-drawn possibility is below on left in which instance all white squares would need to be punched out, a possible factory pre-punched on right.

Not to be forgotten is appliqué, where separate shapes may be knit and joined onto the ground (knit in any desired stitch) technique by a seam as you knit method.

DOUBLE BED QUILTING: carriage settings on brother are for circular knitting. Cast on for every needle rib with a familiar yarn, knit one or 2 rows, and to make a trial piece, set the main carriage to slip to right, ribber carriage to slip to left. The ribber tends to knit tighter than the main bed since large numbers of needles will be knitting side by side, the tension should be loosened at least one or 2 numbers while on the main bed the tension used should be closer to that used for the same yarn when knitting stocking stitch. Bring every X needle on the main bed to hold position, knit 2 rows, and repeat to the desired length of the pocket. When the latter is reached, lower the ribber slightly, “stuff” pocket, bring all needles to hold position, the needle set up is with needles at halfway between each other (racking handle H as for every needle cast on ), so main bed may be brought to hold as well, knit 2 rows, and repeat process adjusting cam settings. The same principle applies here whether on patterning is used or not. With slip setting non-selected needles (B pos) slip, do not knit, and needles in D position or holding in hand tech, will knit and in this fabric seal the fabric. In the chart, the symbols represent the stitches as they are formed on each bed to create a tube. The carriage icons show that opposite part buttons are in use on both beds. The ribber (odd-numbered, white rows) knits left to right, slips right to left, MB (yellow rows) slips left to right, knits right to left, creating a tube.

Automating the function brings us to another color separation of sorts. In single color quilting using simple tubular setting: Knitmaster machines work a bit differently than Brother, so cards/ mylars would have to be designed accordingly, Passap has some built-in techs that can help with this. The settings below are for brother, and the card, for narrow vertical tubes. Width between punched holes could be adjusted to any factor of and up to every 24. Every row or every other row can be marked. Cast on for every needle rib. In this repeat when rows with no needle selection occur at its top, set both carriages to knit 2 rows (or bring all needles manually out to hold) to seal pockets. MB is set to slip in one direction, will knit on even rows, slip on odd rows as punched. The ribber is set to slip from right to left and knit from left to right. With carriages at KM’s left insert the card, lock on row 1. KC –> knit 1 row in rib from left to right, release card, and continue knitting. In Brother machines, the tucking lever must be in the down, N position as well. When possible, the tension on the main bed should be as loose as it will allow, if stuffing the pockets is planned. Without wadding, the face can have a crumpled look with a smooth back.
A small test with a 15 stitch wide pocket

Going further in automating the repeat: this card portion includes the sealing rows (1 and 2): extend repetitions of rows 3 and 4 until the length of the desired pocket is reached for your DIY repeat. The ribber is set to slip from right to left and knit from left to right, the main carriage to knit from left to right, and to slip from right to left (opposite part buttons). With carriages at right insert the card, lock on row 1. KC <–, knit 1 row in rib from right to left, release card (or mylar), and continue knitting to the desired length. Make certain there is an even number of rows between each pair of sealing rows in your own design. It takes pairs of carriage passes to complete each circular round. To use the repeat below as a continuing pattern, one row in its height would need to be removed or added. A test  of the repeat

Vertical striper backing on Brother KM

I reviewed and edited this post in mid March 2019, with plans to add a part 2 post on use of llili buttons when I am able. The content here explores one of the possible lili settings, where slip stitch is used in both directions for every other needle pattern selection on the ribber.

If one chooses to hand manipulate needle selection on either bed, bringing needles to be knit out to hold with the carriage in use set to slip, one can make knit stitches happen wherever one chooses. Automating any part of the process speeds things up, but comes with built in KM limitations. lili buttons enable every other needle selection on the Brother ribber carriage, behave in the same manner as when using the following card single bed.

Another way to look at it, showing the isolated smallest repeat bordered in red on the right side, and action on needles in work on the ribber, K for knit, S for slip. Movement of the carriages shown is from left to right and back to left, the color changer side

The usual rule when working with lili buttons and slip <– –> setting is to have an even number of needles in work on the ribber bed. The markings on the corresponding needle tape consist of dashes with spaces between them. For an even number of needles, if the first needle is positioned over a dash, then the last must be positioned over a blank space. The charts below take into consideration duplicate rows, knit first away from, and then back to the color changer resulting in striping every 2 rows. Patterning is fixed, beginning with second needle from the left when traveling from left to right, and second needle from the right when traveling from right to left. The second needle in each instance knits. This is true whether one starts on a “blank” or “dash” needle tape position. With an even number of needles in use, needles in work begin and end on opposing symbols in pairs ie dash and blank, or blank and dash

Dashes and spaces on the needle tape are shown in the yellow row in chart with first needle on a “dash”. Needles (colored squares in repeat) are numbered reflecting the sequence in which they are knit as the ribber carriage moves in the direction of arrows. 

If an odd number of needles is in use, the same needles will slip/knit respectively. Grey squares represent the needle location for which the ribber carriage thinks it is selecting, including the missing needle location to keep the number of stitches even. Unless settings are changed patterning is fixed on the same stitches.

To create vertical stripes using slipstitch, this would need to be the repeat, not “automatically” possible on the ribber

The card that is being imitated is card one elongated X2, here shown in the studio version

“Fooling the machine” into thinking a continued number of odd needles are in work is achieved by bringing an extra needle in work con the ribber carriage side on left, and then right in turn on the carriage side, or one empty needle on each side at the same time. The knitting happens on the needles represented by yellow squares, but the carriage thinks it is knitting the pink repeat

Odd needle set ups begin and end on the same symbol ie. Dash or blank on the needle tape, in this case the “dash”

If extra needles are brought into work with a starting even number of knit stitches, each 2 passes produce a single row of knit with alternating slipped stitches, resulting in a narrow stripe alternating with small checks, or plain stripes in each color on the fabric backing. Again, the movement here is away from and back to left side

The overall design is interrupted by knit stripes, depending on whether one or 2 extra needles are brought into work, here is one sample

Working with an odd number of needles on the ribber

To knit: *COL (carriage on left): color 1 knits to set up base in pattern for 2 rows, ending on color changer side. Before knitting with color 2 COL, bring an extra needle into work before moving from left to right. Knit one row. COR: drop the extra empty needle on left OOW, bring extra needle on right into work. Knit to left returning to color changer, drop extra needle on right OOW, change colors* repeat * *process throughout. Check regularly to make sure that extra needle does not become an unintended increase. Having an extra needle in work on both sides of those on the ribber on the main bed will insure end stitches knit off and side edges are cleaner, with less noticeable elongated stitches on each side. It is possible to bring up the pair of empty needles for color 2 at the same time. In my experiments I have found that if the needles in work on the ribber begin with a dash on the left, I had regular loop formation on the empty needles when using slip stitch. This did not happen when I began with first needle on left beginning with its placement on the empty space between the dashes on the needle tape.

Loop formation that requires their release before continuing to knit:

The fabric swatch from the original post illustrates the vertical striping. The thin yarn clearly shows the lengthening of slipped stitches, and why some DBJ fabrics are referred to as “long stitch” ones, with color bleed or grin through from colors traveling behind them. The plain rib at the bottom is significantly wider than areas where slipstitch is used, an issue if plain rib is to be combined with DBJ created with slipped stitches. On the knit side in this instance, the fabric is knit stripes. When using the color changer starting with waste yarn and testing yarns, gives one the opportunity to make any adjustments necessary including on occasion doing a bit of metal bending where needed.

A subsequent proof of concept for inclusion in the later post It is also possible to work with the same approach, using tuck settings. A first experimental test

lili buttons may be used with needles out of work when using thicker yarns, or for the resulting effect on that side of the fabric. A vertical stripe in that instance produced with hand needle selection on the ribber bedLastly, here is a tiny swatch in an arrangement beginning to explore odd number of needles in work on the ribber in conjunction with use of lili buttons, and adding needles to “fool the machine” as described above

Block slip stitch separations

“Pinning” has become part of my daily routine. This image was pinned by someone else, and brought back memories of my block stitch scarves, along with the  temptation for working out a new repeat, similar to that seen in the top of this jacket credited to Forquet.

Following are some ideas for developing designs for these fabrics, the basic principles work for both punchcard and electronics. Using the motif in a punchcard will make the striping surrounding it fixed, and involves a lot of punching holes. On a mylar or in a download the width of the ground behind the shape can be easily changed, and only the non selecting, “empty ” squares need be drawn or entered into a program that is capable of color reverse. One needs to be mindful of the size in of the overall repeat when faced with so much “blank space”.

Until one sorts out what happens with the stitches, where the colors are placed during knitting, it is a good idea to start with a simple shape. I use excel as my “graph” paper when I want to easily play with color on a grid. Below is a simple motif as a design start, beside it an expanded graph leaving every other row blank. Some books suggest erasing on horizontal EOR stripes, I prefer the visual cues in the method below. The yellow marks the rows on which the motif will be created.

There are a number of ways to go on from this point. Layering the repeat on a colored ground can give a sense of the resulting shape, help plan the type of overall pattern repeat, and insure that enough rows are allowed to travel to and from the color changer. For sampling I prefer to work on an electronic machine, using the elongation feature and color reverse to minimize drawing in lots of black. The grid on the left shows the above split motif layered over a striped ground. In the center grid, the motif separation color becomes white/ blank, color one (yellow) is different than on left simply to allow the white to become more visible. I use 2 carriages as opposed to the color changer when knitting these fabrics, so the L and R row markings help insure that indeed there are enough rows in the repeat for both carriages to travel to and from each side, with stripes lining up where required. The blank squares represent slipped stitches, and they normally are left blank whether in a card, mylar, or program, all other colored squares are knit stitches, corresponding to punched holes, black squares on mylar. On the far right is all that is required to be filled in with a mylar sheet or program capable of lengthening X2 and color reverse. The marks are actually the same as the expanded motif first shown above. For a punchcard the same motif on the far right could be drawn this way centered, and every other square surrounding the now black lines would need to become a punched hole.

Looking at the graph: color 2 will slip in locations where needles are not selected (white squares). The stitches on non selected needles get longer in the front of the fabric, the alternate color floats behind them. The next color change will knit the held stitches off, so the motif color in the above design will actually be “green” in the final fabric. Because the colors on either side of the motif are actually knitting every stitch and every row, there will be some distortion in striping around the motif, and potentially even some “bubbling” in those areas

The next choice becomes sorting out how far apart to place motifs from each other, and in what distribution on the resulting fabric. Both are subject to personal preference and taste. Below is only one of many such possible layouts

if elongation is not possible or to be avoided, then the option below shows a possible repeat, including a “punchcard” 24 stitch version. Where color reverse is not an option, all but the white squares must be marked/ programmed, and in the case of a punchcard, all but the white squares would need to be punched

It is also possible to offset/ shift the color of motifs themselves so they would alternate colors between the 2 striping colors as well

The following chart illustrates the idea: the magenta stripes are not part of the repeat, they are markers to show where the slip stitches for the alternate color need to occur in the repeats

As for the motif that started this thread: below is the test swatch so far, obviously in a different gauge and repeat, but in the same spirit. An issue is the long float on the back/purl side spanning 8 stitches. If the goal is to produce an unlined item, these could pose a problem in wearing it. Hooking up the floats up may be too time consuming in production, an added stitch in the non motif color (see marked dots) on either side of the central bar may solve the problem, but alter the design. There is lots more to consider and play with (yarn colors in these swatches are chosen for throw away tests, not any type of final item) .

more swatches, repeats old and new

The final, new scarf fabric: knit on Passap, every needle rib, tencel and “Nomi Lee”.

The top and bottom edging to be worked out; the fabric is soft, drapes well, and has no side curl.

.

Mosaics and mazes: drawing motifs

Knitting any fabric on the machine becomes easier if one thinks of black squares as knit stitches (selected needles on Brother), white squares as in this instance as either slipped, or at times tucked stitches (non selected needles). Each number on the grids below represents 2 consecutive rows of knitting. The design may be elongated in the drawing of the final repeat itself prior to punching holes, marking mylar or pixels, or elongated in the built in setting for the KM used, whether electronic or punchcard. Color changes are required every 2 rows.

the grids

The patterns may be created by drawing shapes on the dotted grids, or “erasing” squares on the lined grids if more extended lines are desired. Some of the “rules” for mosaics were discussed in my previous post on the subject last October. A few more to consider in drawing your own:

color 1 is represented in row 1 and all odd numbered rows

color 2 is represented by row 2 and all even numbered rows

long horizontal lines in mazes usually occur on odd numbered rows

even numbered rows usually have no more than 2 black squares marked side by side

on odd numbered rows white squares slip

on even numbered rows black squares slip

odd numbered rows are knitted in the main color (black squares)

even rows are knitted in contrast color (white squares)

I think of row one/ odd rows as needing to knit black squares, row 2 and even rows having to knit white squares rather than marking in the traditional manner for slipped stitches on each row

a quickly drawn motif

checking out the motif in repeat

marking the knit stitches in odd rows

marking the knit stitches in even rows

markings for all knit stitches

the red squares show the alternative markings for electronic KMs with color reverse

In knitting the pattern, the selection row is made in a non patterning row toward the color changer. Unless each row is marked twice, the motif as above must be elongated X2

Test swatches for  the resulting fabric, knit and purl side shown respectively; note the lack of visibility of pattern where there is low contrast between the 2 colors used, and the short floats on the reverse. Slip setting is used, though in row 11 the 2 side by side non knitting squares may not pose a problem in knitting using tuck setting.

There is an online generator for patterns in this family by Laura Kogler. The image below shows one such generated pattern, in turn saved and gridded in photoshop

Below are images processing the above design “by the rules”, based on red squares in the generated design. Figure 1 is the isolated repeat, figure 2 shows the stitches to be knit in color 1, figure 3 the stitches to be knit in color 2, in figure 4 the black dots represent punched holes, the red squares the areas that may be marked if the KM is capable of color reverse, length must be doubled here as well, with color changed every 2 rows, selection row toward the color changer

the resulting fabric using slip setting, rows 4 and 5 make motif problematic for tuck setting

Working with the white squares in the generated design, now knitting the white on odd rows, the red on even: the grid on left shows the isolated repeat. In the grid on the right, the black dots equal the punched holes in the card, the white squares the mylar markings for use with color reverse. This motif would work in tuck <-> as well

the 2 fabrics side by side, showing in this instance a slight difference in the overall repeat in the last swatch; in the left sample green is color one, in the right one white is color l

the same motif knit in the tuck setting is wider, both sides are shown below

If the yarn used is capable of being blocked fairly flat, because of the short floats, finished items in these fabrics may not need to be folded over or lined as traditional FI items often do.

Double jacquard 3/ single bed multi color slip

Double jacquard knitting allows one to design and knit multiple color patterns without the worry of floats. The color changer (standard machines hold a limit is of 4 colors at any one time) and the ribber is required. The ribber knits the floats into the second layer of fabric on the ribber side, resulting in the term double knit. Often the main bed is set to slip throughout. Slipped (or first-row tuck) stitches become elongated until nonselected stitches knit off. The more the colors in any one row, the more all the stitches on the front face of the fabric must stretch in order to accommodate the number of colors laid behind in the backing fabric. The elongated stitches may allow for the other colors to be seen, and this is often referred to as “grin / bleed-through”. Different ribber settings may help with some of the elongation (depending on separation method) and grin through issues. The same principles used for DBJ separations apply to single bed multiple color slip stitch, and creating the initial swatches single bed can serve as a test for the DBJ pattern separation. In the series below some of the potential issues become obvious

the design repeat

The simplest color separation expands each row of the design to X times its original length based on the number of colors per row; in this case, 3 design rows expand to 6. In addition, in order to knit the fabric, the elongation function (X2) must be used, and each color for each design row will be knit twice, with color changes every 2 rows. This is necessary if the color changer is to be used since it takes 2 passes of the knit carriage to travel away from and back to it in order to pick up the next color. The result is a very elongated design. It is possible to knit the same motif without elongation, but then the yarn needs to be cut and changed on the appropriate side and each row, creating side edges not suitable for garments. One can separate any design with this method, and the motif may even have an odd number of rows. The sequence below is for the expansion of the first 2 motif rows

The graph below shows the motif in repeat, the next column the color separation, with expanded rows, and in the third, the black indicates the knit stitches (black squares on mylar, punched holes in card)

Testing the design single bed slip stitch: the resulting fabric is dense, with lots of floats, and narrow in final width, with little if any stretch. In the knit swatch: elongation is marked, would remain so even if the fabric were knit double bed and settings on ribber to reduce elongation were used

There are 2 other options for separating colors that deal with the problem of elongation, but they do not work on every design. The separation on the left is set up in sequential 2 two row units. In a 3 color pattern, each row of the design expands into 6. The selection row is made toward the color changer. The separation on the right also retains the knit scale. In using either one must often be willing to adapt and edit the original design motif. The total number of rows is the same as the previous method, but the sequence for color one is split as seen in numbers beside the color column in the chart. The selection row is made away from the color changer, knitting a single row in the pattern for color 1. In these separation methods, the motif must have an even number of rows

The respective resulting swatches: the elongation problem is solved, but the repeat is off in the upper third of the design. Some separation programs are able to scan through your design and locate the problem areas, even shuffle the order in which the colors are knit in order to allow the separation to work, but manual solutions may be quite time consuming or at times not possible

A redesign: one method to avoid pattern shift problems and ensure success is to use units in the design that are 2 stitches high, as seen in the motif and its separation below.

In knitting, the selection row is made toward the color changer. In rows where color 3 is not represented, only the first and last needles are selected, and manually pushed back to B position. Eliminating end needle selection can cause problems at the outer edge of other colors, eliminating blank rows from graph and knitting would require much more attention to where in repeat one is actually working, and lead to possible frequent mistakes in color sequence.

the resulting fabric, knit and purl views

Double Jacquard 2

The Passap Handbook for the Deco by Bernadette A Ernakovich was an excellent guide to exploring the qualities of changing lock settings on the hand, feel, look, and in shape alterations on the original design, a simple triangle, when using them. In knitting any fabric, distinctions need to be made between what is doable vs practical. Japanese machines are less tolerant than Passap for repeated functions on the same needles, and the numbers of stitches and of rows, if attempting to duplicate textures, often need to be adjusted or reduced. Some very interesting fabrics may be achieved by hand changing ribber carriage settings on the Brother KM, which are made far easier on the E 6000 because of its collection of lock settings in conjunction with arrow keys on the back bed. I amended the “Passap” triangle to the smaller repeat below

electronic

punchcard (40 rows of punched repeat actually required for functional length)

This document DBJtest includes directions on using the design repeat as is, or separated for DBJ work by 2 different methods for both punchcard and electronics: color separations. Swatch photos are below, this type of exercise shows how the resulting fabric may share a single design, but is changed sometimes surprisingly by changes in ribber settings

the front/knit side

its rear view

Added techniques: for vertical striper backing see subsequent May 14th post

Double jacquard1

Because of recent changes in my life, I may be in the position of attempting to explain to some new knitters how DBJ “works”, and to offer them some suggestions on managing the making of it. Since the machine I will be involved with is a Brother electronic specifically, I am gathering notes that are pertinent to that brand. I thought I would share some of my working notes here. The set below was gathered more than 2 decades ago, so I cannot add a specific bibliography, and information that may be gleaned from manuals is not included. This is the start of an ongoing series, including some DBJ rules for 2 color work, Brother machines, some adjustments need be made for more colors or for use on other brand KMs

knit slowly, watching edge stitches to ensure that they are knitting off properly. If they are not, hang the side weights on the work, and move them up every 20-30 rows

clear the end stitches on every row, be especially watchful in wide pieces, failure to do so may cause mis patterning or dropped stitches at edges

listen for the click when changing colors. On brother machines the carriage must be taken far enough to the left for the click to occur, lining up the connecting plate for the yarn change. If color is changed without going far enough, you may either knit with the same yarn or no yarn

thread all four yarn holders, then if the wrong button is pressed you will only knit a row in the wrong color instead of dropping your work to the floor

check your yarn change before you knit each row for correct color or the possibility of 2 yarns traveling together

weigh the work evenly

be certain selection row is in correct direction (with pattern locked on punchcard), or you may end up with stripes rather than a pattern design

if you need to stop work , leave with carriage on right, it makes it easier to identify which color was last used in your sequence

do not use fully fashioned decreases as this affects the pattern near the edge stitches

reduce weights to correspond tho the number of needles in use when decreasing

work multiple decreases ie at underarms with carriage on the right, this way both sides may be shaped at once using the main yarn on right, the next color on left, thus avoiding long floats

if the design is not an all over one, continue in Jacquard for remainder of fabric, using a repeat that has 2 rows marked/punched, 2 rows un marked/punched throughout

ribs in single strands of garment yarn may be too soft or wide, for 1X1 ribs try adding an extra strand of yarn. When rib is completed, pick up the heel of the adjacent stitches to fill in empty needles, and knit 2 circular rows before continuing in jacquard

2X2 ribs are better suited to single strands of yarn; at the top of the rib bring the empty needles into work, rack to the left and knit 2 circular rows, rack to the right and continue in jacquard

full needle ribs are usually wider than jacquard, as an alternative the piece could be started on waste knitting, and rehung on fewer stitches, then in turn knitting the rib

the lili buttons represent an every other needle set up, so an even number of needles is required; the needle position indicators on the ribber tape and the corresponding space between them help track pairs/ even numbers of needles in work

racking handle on P: the knit and purl needles are point to point, directly opposite each other, on H the purl needles are are halfway between each pair of needles on the opposite bed, and the latter is most often the basic needle arrangement for double jacquard; check needle alignment before knitting planned fabric to avoid needle damage, etc

vertical striper backing on brother kms is possible, but needs a bit of added manipulation and its own specific directions for needle set up

for thicker fabrics the needle arrangement on ribber may be for 1X1 rib, 1X3, or other configuration, pitch on P. The larger the number of needles on either bed, the closer the tension on that bed to the tension suitable for that yarn in plain stocking stitch. In this instance, the ribber tension is tightened up by one or 2 numbers. If the ribber needles are in ever groups ie 2X2, 4X4, 4X2, etc, then the lili setting may be used. This sometimes helps if the effect on the knit side tend to show noticeable vertical lines along the sides/length of the stitches created on the ribber.

2 X 2 industrial rib 

arrange needles to give a neat join at seams, plying yarns may again be required

racking cast on may be used, avoiding transfers between beds after an every needle cast on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u90_iobGu-0 shows one method of working, and illustrates needle arrangement well and transitions to main bed knitting

I personally never do 3 circular rows after first cast on row: it will produce a floats on one side of the rib, which may be noticeable in your final fabric on one of the 2 sides.

the alternative: with the same needle set up:

to close holes rack the beds one full turn, knit 2 rows, rack back again, and arrange for desired fabric

Color reduction/conversions, Mac Os

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

Mac Os: iPhoto, Preview, further software downloads:

Free:  img2trak, HyperDither, XnConvert

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

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

 

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

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

Mosaics and mazes: machine knits_ from design to pattern

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 sections, 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 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 looks even less like 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 fair isle but the back lacks the usual long floats, hence the name “float-less fair isle”

The row gauge is compressed. Tuck fabrics are short and fat, 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 patterns may also have to be adjusted to suit. Smooth yarns in contrasting colors are the easiest to establish and test the pattern, then the choices can be far more personal.

Designing your own: traditional “rules”

  1. if scale matters consider that the height of 2 rows may equal the width of one stitch
  2. start small, let each square on your graph whether on graph paper, in a design program or spread sheet/vector program cell equal one stitch, each line on graph represents 2 rowsof knitting, when knitting the pattern double length specific to KM may be used .The unfilled squares represent the lighter color/color1, the colored squares represent the dark/color2
  3. no more than one stitch to tuck, two to slip at a time
  4. row 1 and all odd numbered rows (most stitches knit) can have any number of squares marked, the slipped (tuck, or slip/part tuck in alternating directions) are represented by blank grids (no more than 2 side by side for slip, single for tuck), they are generally knit in the lighter color/color1
  5. even numbered rows must have single squares marked, they are generally knit in the darker color/color 2, there should be no more than 2 “light squares”/ unpunched holes side by side, the slipped (tuck, or part/slip tuck in alternating directions) are represented by marked grids
  6. vertical lines must begin and end on odd numbered rows
  7. vertical lines must always consist of an odd number of rows in total
  8. the finished design must be an even number of rows to allow for traveling back and forth to color changer for picking up and carrying the subsequent color
  9. if the design is not to be elongated check to see that every light square to be worked in the dark color is present in the row below, that every dark square in the row to be worked in the light color is also present in the row below

Susanna’s chapter on mosaics has information on fabrics where “rules” get broken. Changing the order of the colors or introducing a third color may yield pleasant surprises. Knitting is started on a non patterning row with first row selection toward the color changer in Japanese machines. If you have a machine that preselects needles: color must always change when the needle selection changes. Four movements of the carriage are required to produce two rows of knitting.

One approach with a design that breaks some rules:

masking alternate rows and “separating them”: odd rows knitting in color 1

dark squares get punched out/ drawn, light ones tuck or slip depending on cam settings

color 2 knitting even rows:

light squares are punched out/drawn and will knit, dark squares ones tuck or slip depending on cam settings

colored areas below are those to be punched overall

I used Excel to eliminate yellow fill on odd rows, darker fill on even. Many articles on this subject date back to graph paper, pencil and eraser days. Quick color fills including empty make the process quicker with software. Still finding the image above  confusing, it may be easier to decide what to draw on the card/mylar if all areas to be punched are dark, blank squares can then be more easily identified and marked, punching everything else or coloring them in and using color reverse if your machine has that ability. In the image below the lighter color is replaced by a darker one

the resulting card

the fabric in slip and tuck settings (breaking the usual rule), some of the tuck rows have a bit of color scrambling

slip stitch front

the back

tuck front

tuck back

one may also start process with point grids, which are of 2 types

in turn pattern may be drawn over them

staggered units may require some clean up and “erasing”, as represented by pink squares

when shape is what one desires, color separation follows as for the design at beginning of post

Susanna Lewis at one time did publish a technique that could be entered in the E6000 that essentially did the separation; wincrea does not presently download techniques, there are other programs that can, and/or a combination of card reader sheet  and computer download may be used, but that is for another day.