Double jacquard 1

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 using 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 KM brands

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 the 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 the correct color or the possibility of 2 yarns traveling together

weigh the work evenly

be certain selection row is in the 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 the 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 the 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 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 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 every group, ie. 2X2, 4X4, 4X2, etc, then the lili setting may be used. This sometimes helps if the effect on the knit side tends 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 every needle cast on shows one method of working and illustrates needle arrangement well and transitions to main bed knitting

I personally never do 3 circular rows after the first cast-on row: it will produce 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 processes, addressing large scale, non-repetitive images in Color reductions for knitting. The document samples were simple, straightforward conversions, with no further “tweaking”.

Mac Os: iPhoto, Preview, further software downloads:

Free:  img2trak, HyperDither, XnConvert

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

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

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

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

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 a 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 spreadsheet/vector program cell equal one stitch, each line on the graph represents 2 rows of 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 the 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 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, which needs to be elongated X2

The swatches were knit using both the slip and tuck settings (also breaking the usual rule). Some of the tuck rows have a bit of color scrambling likely due to the amount of side by side tuck loops in the repeat not knitting off properly in those spots

slip stitch front

the back

tuck front shows the repeating trouble spots

tuck back

point grids for developing designs are of 2 types

in turn, the pattern may be drawn over them

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

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