Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 2: adding color

Any tuck repeat may be used in the slip stitch setting. The results for “safe” repeats executed in slip stitch may not be very textural or dramatic.
Though at times presented in color, the same patterns can be very effective in single colors as well.
Prior to testing multicolor patterns, I like to start the work with waste yarn, testing color changes there first, making certain colors are threaded properly, not crossed, and that the color changer is set up properly.
The Brother single bed color changer is unique, in that the yarn remains in the changer, not leaving it with each color change; its manual 
In the absence of a single bed changer, some fabrics may be knit with the ribber up, using the double bed model. This is the only option available for the bulky machine. There is a limit as to the amount of tucking that can be achieved successfully since the ribber arm does not have the system of wheels and brushes that help keep loops and stitches in place single bed.  Manuals

Instructions from the Brother single bed color changer manual 

For Studio/ Silver Reed

Punchcard volume collections are a great place to start to search for published repeats and subsequent DIY inspiration.
One such is Brother volume 5  Since the knit carriage needs to move to and from the left-hand side of the machine with each color change, an even number of rows in each repeating segment is recommended, but not necessarily required. The first preselection row is generally moving from right to left. End needle selection on helps the edge stitches knit. At times end needles will need to be pushed forward to knitting position by hand. Depending on how the repeat is placed on the needle bed, with some experience with a tuck or slip stitch, one can decide whether keeping the end stitches in the pattern creates a better effect at vertical edges. Analyzing 2 random repeats The respective .bmpsAs with all punchcards, the first and last 2 pairs or rows are not part of the design, they are necessary for the punchcard to roll continuously in the drum. Keep in mind that the card is reading design row one while your eye sees the row marked #1 by the factory on the card outside of the machine. Following the suggested color changes to match the specific swatch takes the guesswork out of the equation. In DIY or in trying a different color sequence, such guides may have to be shifted and marked accordingly. Specific color suggestions are given in the samples above in the left-hand columns. In #327 the order is in a variable sequence, which requires a bit more attention than #328. Follow the line below the #1 mark to the left, each card begins with color 1. Color notations in 328 are also next to those 2 all punched rows at the top. That is because those 2 rows overlap the first 2 design rows as the ends of the card are clipped together, front over back, for smooth, continuous, advancing movement. In 327 the sequence at the bottom would need to be hand-marked.
Before tackling patterns with moving components, these charts begin to analyze color changes in a ready punched or self-designed card which produces a honeycomb-like effect. The chart colors used are random picks from the palette, for illustration purposes only, illustrating areas where color changes may occur. The tuck/slip stitch held in the hook of non selected needles gets elongated and comes forward on the knit side, creating vertical lines in the color that is not knitting. The blue highlights the row where a single stitch, single row tuck or slipped stitch is created and the corresponding positions of the yarn on the knit side of the fabric Four tucked rows is probably the limit on Brother machines unless one is working in fine yarns. In the first interpretation, the ground knits for 2 rows on all preselected needles. In the second, the surrounds of the interior striping knit for single rows only at the top and bottom of the repeat. Electronic repeats A and B on the right may be as small as a single 4X12 unit.

The same card may be used, altering the color-changing sequence so the ground that will surround the tuck or slipped stitches changes as well. Using the same card would require a pattern start on card marking row 2, and an initial preselection row from the left to the right Keeping the 4 tuck row maximum the blocks of knit stitches between tucks can be varied, as can the movement of the vertical bars. The card repeat on the left would preselect from the right, while the repeat on the right would preselect from the left. So the card on the right is already punched, and instead of changing the colors outlining the shapes, one wants them constant and with a start from the right? The workaround is to advance the card to the last row in the full repeat, #36, lock the card, and preselect toward the color changer continuing to change colors in 2 then 4-row rotations after releasing the card. Tiling the repeats multiple times as with any pattern helps isolate areas where color changes might work as well as give us a sense of pattern movement across the fabric. With so many tucked rows so close to each other, it is best to use thin yarn. For slightly thicker yarn, one possible “fix” might be to simply eliminate one of the 3 tuck bars across the repeat, again check tiling for any errors, or places for color changes. Here the shift is not completed, some tuck bars were not eliminated the “corrected” repeat without additional rows, some possible color changes can follow the colored chart suggestions Moving on to electronics, playing with symmetry the repeat now becomes 30 stitches wide, the tiled image check for the unaltered version on the left.  The repeated adjusted two different ways in height to accommodate color changes in a few different spots Working with repeats with tuck or slip bars that are only 2 rows high make for easier use of a range of yarn thicknesses. There are some surprises to be found when color changes are made as often as every 2 rows, sometimes using up to 4 colors. The extra all knit rows may be eliminated altogether.
Beginning with a pattern that has large areas of black squares can help one understand what happens to the design as that knit ground takes on color striping in the same frequency as the color changes. The yarn used here is a 3/8 wool, making the fabric a bit stiff. The repeat is a larger cousin of card #327. Before the days of software tiling methods, on way to check repeats was to knit them up as Fair Isle. The large floats in this made it not its best use, the floats were sometimes caught with the companion color or looped. Had the long floats been consistently free, they could have been cut for a fringed look on the purl side and would have held in place well. Tuck knit in a solid color Slip stitch in all variations has purl side edges which curl to a greater degree, the short skipped areas were probably due to too tight tension of too quick a carriage pass to the opposite side tuck alternating two colors every 2 rows slip stitch  2 color variation slip stitch with the addition of a third color in the rotation Some patterns using color rotations every two rows are referred to as mosaics, mazes, or floatless fair isle. They can be deliberately designed, but there are treasure troves of working repeats in punchcard pattern books that produce visual cousins and may also knit up as lovely fabric in single colors, and wonderful surprises at times when one designed for single color is striped. A few to try that are pictured with corresponding swatches shown on the knit side:  from volume 5, the grey cells indicate the page numbers that correspond to the thumbnails in the downloadable version from Stitchworld, I have included repeat sizes, grey highlighted ones are suitable for use in punchcard as given Brother yarn changers are numbered, from right to left, and their published card designs color suggestions reflect that The Studio color changer color positions are marked with letters of the alphabet from left to right Some of the Studio punchcard pattern books showed both sides of the expected fabric assi\ociated with each card, here is a repeat that breaks the tuck rule of no more than one blank square side by side in any row.
This swatch pattern from a Japanese magazine illustrates the difference in the formation of the tucked loops when two blank squares exist side by side. The repeat is 10X22, colors are assigned letters rather than numbers here as well Another rule breaker: odd numbers of tucked rows with no added all knit rows. Experimenting with such repeats results in less organized all-over patterns, here colors are changed every 2 rows, every 4 rows A single knit row may be added, for an added variation with color changes every 4 rows These repeats take shapes in another direction which becomes more textural and interesting when blank stitch areas are expanded for use in slip stitch setting This pattern, with color changes every 2 rows and two-row tuck sequences has an assumed interesting pattern shift.  The tiled X2 horizontal repeats lined up side by side show that extra knit stitches have been added, shifting tuck stitch rows by one stitch in alternating directions, but just because it is published, it does not necessarily make the repeat correct. Those striped areas can only occur if there are solid all punched areas.  Keeping the constraints of a 24 stitch repeat, reducing the width of segments to 12 stitches rather than 24, the original repeat as amended The tiled results for each24X56 repeat proof of concept swatch in a far thinner yarn than the book photo Japanese magazine publications often recommended many color changes, each for varied numbers of rows. Sometimes more is less. The number of colors may be reduced, and changing the numbers of rows used for each color as well can expand the number of fabrics produced from a single repeat. Good note keeping is a necessity if the intent is to easily reproduce the fabric at a later time.
Mixing things up for vertical designs:  

Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 1

The main difference between the 2 stitch types is that in tuck stitch the strand of yarn on the non selected needle is held in the hook of the needle forming a loop, while in slip stitch the strand of yarn bypasses the non selected needles as the row is knit, forming floats between stitches Symbols commonly used for bothIn both instances the stitch on non selected needles when the pattern begins (blue row in photo) is held in that needle hook, growing in length until that same needle is selected, and with the next row of knitting (red) one returns to the standard knit stitch formation.
Both distort the fabric, the tuck stitch widens and shortens it, while the slip stitch narrows and also shortens it. Both are capable of producing textured, interesting fabrics on only one or on both sides of the knit depending on the pattern’s design repeats. Which side is chosen as the public side is simply a matter of preference. In accessories and clothing, the interplay and “reversible” effects can provide added interest.
Because in tuck knitting the stitches are being held and gathered, more rows will be required to produce the desired length in pieces. Because the knit gets stretched sideways fewer stitches will be required to achieve the wanted width, making it suitable where larger garment pieces are planned. Looking at the stitch in a 2D diagram: A– loops are created for 2 rows, the original stitch is shown elongated. Each patterning needle hook now holds 3 yarn ends. B– the needle coming forward prior to the next pass whether by card reader selection or by hand, will knit on the next carriage pass to the opposite side. C– the originally held stitch as it might appear on the knit side

The group of loops as they knit together then forms small lumps/ bumps, or what I think of as “butterflies”.

The capacity of the needle hooks in terms of the number of loops they can hold and the quality and thickness of the yarn used place quick limitations of the number of rows one may use for tuck patterning. The Passap system tolerates many more such rows than the Japanese model machines, where the limit is often 4 rows. Slip-stitch is far more flexible in terms of applied “rules”.
Brother controls for patterning in any model are by the selection of cam buttons that offer directional arrows on the carriage Some of the options:    and not often used, but worth exploring, the use of opposing tuck and slip buttons at the same time. As with any knitting, for needle selection to occur the knit carriage (also known as KC) needs to engage the belt using the change knob set to KC. End needle selection or not depends on the goal fabric. If KC is in use but no cam buttons are pushed in, there will be needle selection, but the fabric produced will remain stocking stitch.
Any tuck cards may be used in the slip setting, but the reverse is not true.
Functions are in the directions of the arrows. For example, if a left button is pushed in, the next carriage pass will form loops or skipped stitches while traveling from right to left on the non preselected needles, and knit stitches on all needles on the return pass to the right, aside from any preselection being present. If both buttons are pushed in, the knit will form loops or skipped stitches with each carriage pass on non selected needles until those needle positions are pre-selected again, and then the stitches held in the hooks of the needles will knit with the next carriage pass.
It is possible to create the stitch structure on any machine, including manually by pulling selective needles out to hold for X number of rows. Motifs may be short or long, all over or isolated, can be arranged vertically, horizontally, diagonally, in diamond, basketweave, and plaid effects, may be combined with the use of stitches on the opposite bed, and with needles out of work (OOW) on either or both beds.
Punchcards are restricted to a maximum of 24 stitches or factors of 24 in the width of the repeats and require a minimum of 36 rows if they are to be used in continuous patterning. In electronics, the basic rules should be followed, but a single small repeat is enough to program, the size of large non-repetitive ones is limited only by machine memory and mode of download.
Both fabrics like to be weighted evenly, and several rows of waste yarn should be used at the start of the piece prior to testing patterns. Because it will be wide or narrow and short, that is a consideration if the plan is to combine several types of stitches in the same garment. Gauge swatches should be larger than usual.

Boiling things down to black and white: in both tuck and slip automatic patterning, selected needles produce knit stitches. Punchcard knitters are required to punch a hole for every knit stitch, leaving only areas that will be forming the tuck loops or skip stitch floats blank on the card. In a published chart for the stitch is used, black squares may be used to represent knit stitches and rows, white ones the tuck or slip stitch locations. It is up to the user to determine whether if using a published source, color reversing the repeat in electronics, or punching out the all-white areas as opposed to black is required. In single bed stitch formation, if one knits with two or more empty needles in work side by side, it will quickly become evident stitches will not form properly on those needles without additional steps being taken. This remains true in tuck knitting, but not in slip stitches. Though there are some exceptions, the usual rule is to have no more than one unit in any row without a punched hole or black square/pixel on either side of it. Punchcard pattern books are a great source of “safe” repeats. Electronic users need to isolate and draw a minimum of one repeat, which may be quite small. If duplicating a whole card with fewer unpunched holes than punched ones, only the white squares need to be drawn as black, and later the repeat is color reversed. Punchcard patterns usually have two rows of all punched holes at the top and bottom of the card that will rest on the first and last 2 rows of the design repeat respectively, allowing for the card to roll continuously in its reader. Cards also need a recommended minimum of 36 rows. Brother #1 mark on the right is 7 rows up from the bottom, while the card reader is reading design row one inside the machine, out of view. Cards from other KM manufacturers may be used, but the starting row may differ, as was also true back in mylar days. Punchcard machines produce the pattern as drawn on the purl side. Some electronic models or download programs vary, may require the pattern to be flipped horizontally.

An easy way to start becoming familiar with the knit structure of stitches is to begin by working with “safe” design repeats, using a familiar yarn in a light color. Depending on the punchcard machine model year, the card on the left (1) was a standard Brother issue, the one on the right (2) not always. Both may be used to test all cam buttons and stitch types, card one tolerates elongation well, card 2 may meet some resistance with tuck stitch if the yarn is thicker than the needle hooks will contain easily. Converting the cards to black and white pixels: the small single repeats for each card are highlighted with a red border. Depending on the method for programming the electronic machine, however, the single repeat may have to be repeated horizontally to match the number of stitches to be used in the piece. The third repeat is a hybrid of the previous 2, the start of making what is published more personal Studying published sources makes it easier to design more personal repeats. Cards that are “safe to use” can get one started in examining the texture and developing an understanding of how stitches are formed. They are often composed of variations of either card 1 or card 2 with added black areas. Using punchcards supplied in the packs with respective machine models appropriately can easily be done Additional published cards are also easily found increasing the number of tucked rows and observing the rule of knit stitches on both sides of the single unpunched squares resulting in no preselection.  Below, some of the single repeats are outlined in red. With additional rows now tucking, the added insurance of having them knit off properly at regular intervals is achieved by all punched (or black squares) single rows, highlighted with orange squares on their left. The black border isolates the actual patterning rows in the designs. Again, the top and bottom pairs of all punched rows are not part of the overall design but are necessary for the punchcard machines to line up patterning for knitting a continuous design The blank vertical areas may be arranged moving across the repeat’s canvas in a variety of ways. In this chart the tuck symbol is evident, some of the knit stitches around each tuck series are highlighted at the bottom of the chart in green, the single electronic possible repeat is 4 sts by 12 rows What may be confusing when symbols and charts such as the above are encountered is that the very first row of the symbol actually rests on the spot where the knit stitch that is being held for the next 3 rows rests, so design row 1, 5, 6, 13, etc are actually all knit. The punchcard minus the all punched rows at its top and bottom:  The factory-supplied blank cards may have arrows on the left, familiar in lace card designs. In the above case, the implied use is that the card start in the locked position on row 1 with the carriage on the right, preselecting to the left. If only a single color is to be used starting side does not matter. If regular color changes are recommended, more often than arrows dots, or color numbers are used in that column to indicate color change locations.  In Brother machines, the first preselection row may be made from either left to right or right to left, depending on the fabric being created. With the exception of dbj using the KRC button or patterns that expressly specify the starting side, most patterns using the color changer will need a start from the right. Here if that is done, color changes could occur every 4, 8, or 12 rows using 2 or even 3 color sequences.
There is another issue to note. Counting up design rows from the bottom the card is marked row 1 five rows up. This is a Studio punchcard. If using it on a Brother machine, the starting row would actually occur with the card locked on row 3, color change row markings if given, would have to be altered accordingly.
Distribution of tuck stitches can occur in groups, or more sparsely. The card on the right begins to break the rules with 2 needles tucking side by side for 3 rows. Those areas create floats akin to those created by slip stitches as the side by side loops drop off the needles in those areas rather than knitting off together. As areas of white become less balanced, punchcard knitters may find it easier to mark the tuck bars and punch all else, electronic knitters draw the white as black, and color reverse.

Few tuck stitches amidst lots of plain knitting are likely to not distort the fabric very much or produce a noticeable texture. The fabric will lie fairly flat, and approach a width proportionately closer to that of stocking stitch using the same yarn. The outlines can serve as markers for the introduction of additional hand techniques ie tying objects or beads in the center of the shapes after knitting and prior to felting in order to obtain surface bubbles of non felted stitches, or marking areas for duplicate-stitch or other embellishments.

In some instances, thread lace repeats can provide DIY inspiration. With the color reversed, the structure for possible tuck can be observed and determined if suitable. In the bottom right image, those white solid lines are the easiest edit, shown in progress With the basic structure recognized, weaving punchcards may be suitable, not all need be color reversed. Electronic repeats may also be used directly or adapted for use on punchcard machines, providing the repeat unit is a factor of or up to a maximum of 24 stitches in width, which translates to 2,4,6,8,12, and 24, and repeated to the recommended minimum of 36 rows in height. For tuck stitch, those narrow vertical bars surrounded by black squares are the common factor. The StitchWorld pattern book charts require only matching a usable width for use in punchcard models since the knit stitches are shown as black squares. Here is a random selection 253 translates easily to this, it would need to be punched twice 251 is a bit more problematic. Half the repeat is wider than 24 stitches. Here it is readjusted to 24 stitches, the height is 32 rows which may just barely squeak by punched only once the repeat tiled to check proper alignments This repeat is from a Studio mylar sheet. It also may be used in punchcard machines after removing 2 columns, since only half the repeat is necessary, and it is 26 stitches in width. Color reverse is necessary. In electronic machines it is easily accomplished with a command or the flip of a switch/ push of a button. The white squares as given would produce loops on all the corresponding needles, with no stitch formation in those areas.  I chose to eliminate 2 columns from the blocks on the left. Tiling shows the amended repeat’s appearance, with the color reversed image for actual knitting to its the right. Repeats with a balanced number of black and white squares provide all over textures in fairly balanced fabrics. As the number of black squares on a field of speckled tuck stitches grows, the knit shapes may actually poke out from the surface of the knit, since those areas are not gathered in the same way as their surrounds. Yarn properties and tension also have an effect.
Design with very few black vertical single stitch “bars” are commonly found in patterns published for electronics, often also too large for for use on punchcard models. As with lace, where there are few black pixels on large fields of white, caution in trimming the image is necessary. Tiling once again helps one locate possible errors. An example of such an image tagged as being 42X62: tiled 42X62adjusting to avoid those 4 rows tucking consecutively, now 42X60Designing your own can begin with the choice of a template, such as this one, 24 stitches by 36 rows.  To begin with, I added a rectangle to the full template repeat on the left. To its right, the size of the rectangle then begins to be altered along with the addition of some all knit rows.  The center illustrates making certain the 4 stitch repeat aligns properly at the top and bottom of the new repeat. The test final repeat image is on the right. Working with a different shape, using copy and paste to place it,  adding a brick variation on the right, for punchcard full repeats of 24X40The matching electronic repeats for both, unless your download requires programming for the total number of needles in use:
Testing tuck stitch limits, breaking the side by side white square rule in all over patterning with moving blocks of 2 by 2 blank squares

A quick review of plaiting on Brother machines

Over time plying yarns and the resulting color distribution comes into question, and often that leads to discussions on plaiting. One of my ancient swatches shows some variations in using 2 different colored fibers in three ways. It was tagged for display with myriad other assorted swatches on corkboards in my classroom, which were usually covered with a variety of illustrations of stitches and techniques covered in weekly classes and in response to recent trends. As always, effects vary dramatically depending on the choice of color and yarn fiber and thickness. Here the 2 yarns were fed through separate tension masts, and knit together plaiting with yarns swapped in feeders for reversible striped effect yarns wound together with yarn twister and used as a “single strand”A mock plaiting effect may also be obtained without a special feeder by locking the pattern on any all blank row, the standard yarn feeder with A and B yarn placement, and the fair isle setting. Results are not as consistent in color distribution.
True plaiting usually requires a special feeder unless the specific model km has a built-in option. Two yarns are used in the plaiting feeder. They pass by the needles in sequence. One yarn always passes first, the other follows. The standard feeder that normally carries the 2 colors when knitting fair isle is replaced, so this technique may be used in fabrics using cam button combinations other than fair isle and thread lace. Looking into the plaiting feeder from above you will see a central hole that traditionally carries the “main yarn”, and a crescent-shaped opening that carries the second yarn, which will trail behind as the carriage moves across the knitting bed. The second yarn appears on the purl side of the fabric.
In days when lurex combination scratchy yarns, and in any situation where the fiber used is unpleasant if touching the skin, a softer yarn may be used and brought to the interior side of the piece for comfort. I made a chenille sweater at one point with traditional cap sleeves that absolutely refused to knit to gauge. Adding matching wooly nylon and knitting it with the chenille solved the problem permanently and stabilized the knit. The contrasting color can provide a pleasant effect when fold-over collars, cuffs, etc. are part of the garment, and so on.
Brother plaiting feeders: Be aware if considering purchasing one that other parts appear on e-bay and other sale sites under this name, but are not the specific accessory. The following illustrations and directions for use are from Brother pubs easily found for download. For use on the main bed: Canceling end needle selection applies in any situation is used in a tuck or slip stitch settings if there are needles out of work on the main bed for any reason to maintain proper patterning in needles in work. Electronic knitters have the KCII option in the change knob.
For use on the ribber:
More random, ancient swatches: stocking stitch using equal weight yarns in a single bed tuck stitch double bed every needle rib tuck stitch using the same pattern repeat a racked sample When working on large pieces especially, the yarn in the front feeder especially may have a tendency to slip out. This is one option for helping to prevent that when the ribber is in use At one point I produce several circular sweaters using equal weight yarns to obtain the reversible 2 color look. I had more than one feeder, so I actually used a dab of glue in the slit below the yellow arrow The drawback to doing that is that the yarn cannot then be easily slid in and out of its position, but rather has to be dropped through the remaining hole using a double eye needle.

Some studio electronic patterns translated for use on Brother KMs

Each machine brand varied control box symbols over the years, and at times cam options also evolved. My long since Studio electronic experience was using the 560. The image below was from a pattern book for a later model. I first included them in a post on knitting with elastic Identifying stitch types in Japanese symbols in decoding patterns and charts can be confusing. Some large type illustrations extracted from punchcard pattern books may be found in my post on knit terms and translations The Studio cam settings The 580 operation manual explains those ducks and the function of point cams

The stitch type is fair isle, also indicated by the recommendation in English of colored yarns, one combined with elastic,  being held in 2 different feeders   
Adding  a border on the left side by positioning

Mirror and combing the 2 patterns into one, center on the needle bed, the left duck symbol on means the pattern knits as you see it, and it is mirrored as the ducks are pointing  25: the original provided was 60X24, here it is adjusted to a full size 76X24

27: the repeat provided was 60X48, here it is adjusted to a full size 120X48  28: the repeat provided was 60X84, here it is adjusted to a full size 120X84tiled X2 in height to check for proper alignment



Lace knitting tips, to mesh or not to mesh 7

Early versions of the Brother Lace Carriage (LC) for machines such as the 830 did not have the capacity to control end needle selection. If any needles were selected for transfer to an end needle not in use in the piece, the LC still will attempt to move that stitch, and if no needle hook is there to accept it, the stitch will drop. Where an and needle has been selected on either or both edges, the option that remains for folks with no automatic way to cancel end needle selection is to push those needles back to B position by hand. Since selection is likely to not happen every row, it may be an easy thing to forget as the length of the piece grows.
Later LC models include mechanisms like those seen in punchcard knit carriages that override the selection made by the patterning device on the end needles.

There were also point cams, that help to change the spacing between vertical lengths of design repeats. For images of the Lace carriage and use of point cams please see posts 2017/10/05/lace-point-cams-…brother-machines ..
Electronic carriages are equipped with a magnet, and must always travel past the center needle 0 position center mark on the needle tape. Markings on factory punchcards give clues as to which carriage to use and for how many passes. They also may vary depending on the year the punchcards or mylars were issued. To review, here are some of the markings commonly found The graphic from the KH 860 punchcard model manual Illustration modified and adapted from multiple decades-old  Japanese magazines of fine lace
single complete transfers   Multiple transfers may be made either as a hand technique or expanded for use in electronics. Because single stitches are moved with each carriage pass, pattern repeats can become quite long, with few punched holes or black pixels Generally, it is best to use a yarn that is smooth, has some stretch, and does not break easily. Because the yarn will be transferred to and from or in addition also be shared between needles, some extra yarn may be needed for proper stitch formation. In overall meshes, it is best to start testing using a tension at least one whole number higher than when using the same yarn for stocking stitch.  Too loose a tension can result in dropped stitches or loops getting hung up on gate pegs, too tight and the stitches will not knit off properly or drop, or the yarn may even break. When eyelets are few in number, adjustments in tension may not be needed.

Begin with waste yarn and ravel cord, then followed by casting on and knitting at least 2 rows before beginning to use the LC. The cast on will need to stretch to accommodate the growth in width which increases with increasing numbers of eyelets. The same applies to the bind off. One option for matching both is seen in this “answer lady”  video.

In most punchcard repeats, if when the row of transfers is completed there are two or more empty needles side by side, troubleshooting is required to solve the problem unless are intentionally planned in the design, with deliberate adjustments to components of the overall pattern repeat.

The needles need to be in good condition, with latches that open and close smoothly and easily. Also, check for any bent gate pegs, and use a tool to even out the spacing between them if needed.

Error corrections need to be made matching the proper stitch formation. As in any other knit, if tuck stitches occur in the same location and are not part of the planned fabric, it is likely the needle is damaged and needs to be replaced. If a loop is sitting on top of a needle with a closed latch prior to knitting the following row, that stitch will drop. If it is noticed prior to knitting the row, the loop can be knit through the stitch manually while being mindful of what action that same stitch should take in the progression of the pattern. The appearance of tuck loops, red row To form eyelets a loop is created on the needles emptied by the transfers on the first pass with the knit carriage to the left (red), the stitch on that needle is completed as the knit carriage returns to the right (cyan) If when trying to correct the direction of a transfer or a dropped stitch the transfer is not formed properly and the stitch in that location is knit manually the eyelet will be absent 

The traditional placement is for the LC on the left, the KC (knit carriage) on the right, but there are patterns that can work with their placement reversed or even swapped at regular intervals as knitting progresses.

Bringing needles out to E before the all knit row may help avoid additional dropped stitches when there are multiple stitches on any needles. Though knitting may proceed smoothly, checking the work frequently visually will make rescues of problem areas possible as opposed to having to restart the project. It test swatches are hard to knit, it is likely the problems will multiply when a larger group of needles is in use and the project should be put aside.

Because there are so few markings in lace, the lace card does not necessarily resemble the finished stitch appearance. Needle pre-selection does not make as much sense as in other types of patterns. Where knit stitches occur in vertical stripes may also not be immediately evident. Some shifting on the needle bed rather than centering may be required to have a cleaner edge, which also matters in seaming.

There are a definite top and bottom direction to lace, so in knitting scarves or sleeves that is a consideration. One solution is to knit 2 pieces in mirrored directions with many possibilities for methods to join them. No top-down on sleeves if you wish to match the body and it has been knit from its bottom-up.

It is possible to use short rows combined with lace patterns, but any shapes created are likely to change visually, so planning is required unless those changes are deemed suitable. Traditional holding by changing the knit carriage setting may not be used. Needles to be put in hold need to be knit back to A position and brought back into work as needed. Ravel cord or any tightly twisted cotton may be used. If needles have a tendency to slide forward when holding large sections or at the hold starting side as the piece progresses, some tape may need to be placed in front of the needle butts on the metal bed to hold those needles in place. These illustrations of the process are from an early Brother machine manual As with any knitting, there are times where nothing seems to work for no good reason after intervals of smooth knitting and no other changes, and a break is best for both operator and machine.

The greater the number of eyelets in the pattern, the wider the finished knitting. Blocking in some form will usually be required to set the stitches, and may be required if the piece grows in length and narrows as it is worn or hung when stored.

Out of habit I usually leave weaving and tuck brushes in use for all my knitting, but particularly when creating textured stitches and lace.
Gauge swatches should be larger than usual, all in the pattern, and treated as the final piece will be in terms of pressing, blocking, washing, and allowed to rest prior to obtaining measurements for garment calculations.

When stitch symbols first appeared in Japanese publications they were represented as the stitch formation occurred on the knit side of the fabric, which could cause confusion since in machine knitting we are looking at the purl side. Eventually, Nihon publications made the transition and other pubs followed. A comparison of hand to machine stitch symbols with illustrations and more information: 2013/07/21/hand-to-machine-symbols-5-lace/
For cross-brand use: 2019/02/23/revisiting-use-of-lace-patterns-studio-vs-brother-machines/

I have been blogging for years and sometimes return to topics after long absences. In terms of more information on lace design and some tips on translating hand knitting instructions for machine knitting please see: 2013/07/23/from-hand-knit-lace-chart-to-punchcard-1/
2013/07/24/from-lace-chart-to-punchcard-2/
2013/07/26/from-lace-chart-…3-adding-stripes/
2013/07/27/frome-lace-chart…-4-a-border-tale/
2013/07/29/from-lace-chart-to-punchcard-5-to-electronic/
2013/08/29/from-lace-chart-to-punchcard-6-to-electronic/

A punchcard tale: after the chevron post, single color sideways chevrons appealed to me. Two variations from a Brother Punchcard VolumeA= the full 24 stitches wide repeat, half the required height for the punchcard user. B= the single electronic repeat. C= the single electronic repeat tiled X3, checking to see that pixels actually line up properly.
Punchcard markings of note: A= design row 1, B= mark for first row visible on the exterior of the machine, the card reader is actually reading 7 rows down, C= typical markings for the direction of the LC movement on that row, and for knit rowsThe two rows at the bottom of the card reflect the overlap when punchcard snaps are in use to keep the pattern continuous. Looking at it in more detail Column identification at the bottom of the chart: A= direction of the lace carriage, pixels or punched holes preselect on that carriage pass
B= direction of transfers; note there are extra blank rows where their direction is reversed indicated also by the change in the color of the arrows. Multiple rows in one direction only, happening here in series of 5, will result in bias knitting. As bias is reversed, the zigzag shape begins to be created.
C= markings for 2 rows worked with the  knit carriage, the pattern does not advance on those rows on any machine
D= markings on factory punchcard
E= design rows
When working with electronics, the actions need to match those indicated on the factory design beginning with row one punchcard marking on the right.
The width of the planned swatch or piece may be programmed for use with the single motif setting in img2track or the required default in Ayab. Adding a blank square at each end ensures the end needle will knit on every row, no pushing back needles by hand will be required. Changing fibers opens up a brand new world: this swatch (unblocked) is knit in a tightly twisted rayon, edges also begin to create clearer shapes than that achieved by knitting the same design using wool. Spacing out the zigzags, another 24X30 repeat. This is the minimum repeat for electronic KMs as well, knit stitch spacing (white squares) can be planned to suit 

Once again, one must be aware of whether the lace repeat needs to be mirrored on the specific model machine. I initially forgot to do this on my 930, which results in an erroneous repeat if the lace carriage is operated from the left. Planning the placement on the needle bed controls the number of knit stitches on either side of the resulting mesh shape.  Today the rayon was having no part of knitting properly, this swatch is once again in wool. 

At one point I shared ideas for automating mesh patterns in lace edgings using the LC and the KC (knit carriage) set for slip stitch

Changing the above repeat for a zigzag border: in my first experiment, I tried keeping the number of eyelets in the zigzags across rows constant, did not like the visual “extra” line away from the edge, was happier with my second try. This fabric would do better with a yarn that can be blocked to shape, the wool used here is a tad too thin. There will be some tendency on the part of the eyelets on the very edge to appear smaller as the edge stitches are stretched into shape. It appears I also have a needle that needs to be changed The transfers of the stitches by the LC while using the knit carriage set to slip in both directions to create the knit rows, will automatically create increases and decreases along the left edge. Due to this fact, there will be one less eyelet in each transferred row than the number of pixels/punched holes in its corresponding pattern row. The knit carriage in this instance preselects rows for the lace carriage, the lace carriage preselects all needles required on its way back to the left for the knit carriage to knit on its next pass. This chart attempts to show movements of the carriages and location of stitches after they have been moved along with eyelet symbols in their locations after the transfers The pattern repeat on the left below is as I drew it and intended it, on the right, it is mirrored for use to knit it on my 930The first preselection row is from right to left, the knit is centered with 10 stitches on each side of 0. I canceled end needle selection on both carriages. The first row is knit, when the KC reaches the left side, set it to slip in both directions. As it returns to the right it will knit a second row on all needles in work, and preselect for the first LC pass. Extension rails must be used as both carriages will lock onto the belt for pattern selection. At the start of the piece, as the LC moves from left to right it will transfer preselected needles to the right. On its return to the left, it preselects needles that will knit as the KC returns to action from the right. Each carriage in this design makes alternating pairs of passes.
When the top half of the pattern repeat is reached, the LC makes its pass to the right on a blank design row. As it does it preselects for the next row of transfers, which are made to the left as the LC returns to its home there (A). Though the Brother LC does not knit and transfer on the same row as the Studio one can, it is able to transfer and preselect for the next row of knitting (B). The above fact allows for planning transfers in both directions while still keeping the routine at 2 passes for each carriage to and from their original home. Based on that, here is another trim with eyelets in alternating directions along the side opposite the zigzag shape. The repeat is now adjusted to 22 stitches X 48 rows to accommodate the reversing eyelets arrangement. It is shown here mirrored for download to my 930. There is a blank square at the top right corner, the corresponding stitch will be cast on by the knit carriage on its move to the left, and transferred automatically when there is a return to transfers at the bottom of the design repeat. The yarn used or the swatch is a 2/18 wool-silk. There will be 2 stitches on each needle (A) at the very edge where stitches are transferred for decreases and look different than where the edge stitch is simply moved one needle to its left (B), leaving behind an empty needle. A parallel, similar difference is also noted at the inner edge of the zigzag shape. The sample is pictured turned 90 degrees counter-clockwise, its bottom edge appears on the right

To mesh or not to mesh 6: chevrons

While creating the test swatches for a version of single bed 3D scales using the lace carriage I was intrigued by the chevron effect that became more obvious with color changes The fabric was capable of changing considerably in look and width that could be encouraged to remain more permanent with blocking. There is a visible asymmetry, with one side of the chevron actually containing an extra eyelet. Still trying to retain the 24 stitches in width design constraint, I began to work with simply counting eyelet transfers matching in number, guessing rather than planning. Tiling the repeats can help get a sense of how things line up horizontally and vertically. Electronic repeats can be minimal unless one is programming the pattern as a single motif that includes edge knit stitches etc when downloading via cable to an electronic or using Ayab interface.A and B continue to produce uneven numbers of eyelets on each half of the resulting “V” shapes. The greater the number row repeats of eyelets in a single direction, the more the resulting bias. If asymmetry is the goal, then this may meet the need. I knit most of the swatches on 48 stitches, with more needles added on the right if needed to ensure the edge stitch will be a knit one. Larger shapes require wider tests. The photo is rotated to reduce its length on the page This effort produced uneven sides of the Vs, and the eyelets along one of the vertical center column were not properly formed, resulting in an added knit stitch The added eyelets in pattern C produce an interesting change from a sort of V shape to more of a W, but the fabric is still unbalanced Back to the drawing board: a different mesh, with eyelets in alternating numbers, resulting in a  more balanced fabric. Here the charted repeat is shown X2, side by side.Different day, same yarns, both were having none of it. When knitting progresses in this manner, it’s a good time for the machine and its operator to practice social distancing.  The quality of the lines produced by the mesh was different and heavier than the one I was seeking, though the number of eyelets remained constant on both sides of the center stitches, alternating on the alternate pairs of design rows. Back to charting things out in Numbers: though the LC, usually (but not always) starts located on the left, preselects on its first pass to the right, and begins to transfer to the left on its second pass back to the left, in order to visualize the direction,  the repeat is mirrored. Cyan cells indicate transfers to the left, magenta transfers to the right. This 24 stitch repeat shows where 2 transfers wind up on a single needle while an extra knit stitch is also formed in the blank vertical column, seen in swatch above. In programming an electronic KM the black pixels alone with 2 blank rows above the second set of transfers is enough. I like to program repeats that are a bit larger, and usually will tile them as well, looking for any errors my eye might notice before any actual knitting Using electronics one may expand or reduce the number of stitches in the repeat to reach an estimated equal number of eyelets With any mesh, the number of knit rows may be varied between each pair of transfers. My swatch was knit using a 26 stitch repeat widthThe cast on used is a temporary one. In final pieces, the quality of any bind off and cast on should be tested as well to accommodate the changes in width lace fabrics may have, increasing exponentially on the number of total eyelets. The knitting this time went smoothly. The eyelet count was as planned. That said, I was 6 stitches away from completing the bind off when the yarn simply ran away from me and chose not to make any effort at rehanging the piece. In the top blue stripe, the number of knit rows between transfers was increased from 2 to 4, while in the top white stripe I alternated between 4 and 2 rows of knitting. Playing with such intervals between transfer rows of transfers can produce interesting differences and perhaps a more static quality in the fabric after blocking the completed item. The knit carriage is set to N, so it has no effect on the advancement of the programmed lace pattern.
As often can happen in machine knitting, another day, same yarns, same tension, same operator and stitches drop, get hung up on gatepegs, and perform other unwanted actions. My next test aimed for that “W” shape. I downloaded an image that accounted for all needles in use for my swatch, so in the 930 using the isolation button on by default with img2track was OK. Your machine may vary as to which side of center the extra stitch will be placed when the total number of stitches in width is an odd one. If uncertain, plan the repeat for the next even number, in this case, 52, divide it evenly on each side, and either air knit to sort out selections before casting on or simply transfer that extra knit stitch over one as you begin to knit. In a final piece, good notes will provide reminders for such small details The blue yarn refused to knit off properly, so the added colors were tried to see if I fared any better using them. My first swath was discarded, the second one is shown. The repeat is sound, the visible “errors” are the result of stitch formation issues. The swatch stretched in length that could be set with blocking has a very different look when lightly touched with my now fiber burning iron Different day, all other things being equal, same needle locations resulted in easy success. I programmed for a 60 X 24 repeat, planning for different size Vs.During knitting, these fabrics will appear to be producing straight color stripesIt takes a while for the change to begin to be noticeable This was the result as the work came off the machine, relaxed, with no treatment of any sort the ribber is in place there are avid beliefs expressed by folks in terms of whether or not to bring the knitting to the front of the ribber, I am a between the beds’ advocate. Also, even with the ribber off my machines have always been set up with ribber table clamps in place since having them flat simply never worked as well for me in any of my knitting.A one-color zig-zag from a Brother punchcard pattern book with a different approach, that could serve as trim or form an accessory. There are limitations in producible width. The stretch of the cast on and bind off and the fact they need to match as closely as possible while allowing the mesh to stretch sideways in blocking must be taken into consideration, as is the fact that every end needle selection will occur regularly and those selected end needles must be pushed back consistently. There is no way to avoid that on a punchcard machine, in electronics one could again program the width and add blank pixel column on each side. Here the cast on was using waste yarn and continuing in the pattern, the manual end needle canceling of selection was inconsistent at the sides, and LTBO (latch tool bind off) around single gate pegs was simply not stretchy enough. Here the cast on and bind off match very closely. I used the looser cast-on method described by the “answer lady” in the video, but I bound off around 2 gate pegs instead rather than wrapping the needles as shown, a method often used on the PassapMore information: a hand transfer striped lace variant 2014/03/27/striping-in-lace-fabrics-1/, and another using a stock punchcard 2013/07/26/from-lace-chart-to-punchcard-3-adding-stripes/

Machine knitting seam as you knit

This technique can be used in many ways including to attach a front band to a sweater, body pieces of a garment such as when knitting a raglan sleeve from the top-down, flat pieces of knitting to make a tube ie in some socks, and for decorative joins adding a strip of knitting between 2 (or more) previously completed pieces. Most often, one is joining the 2 (or 3) pieces with purl side facing.
Looking at the purl side of any knitting you will see a knot and a loop along the side edges of the work. The loop is formed on the carriage side at the start of each pass, the “knot” opposite the starting carriage side as that side of that row is reached and the yarn twists. Work the first piece, A, remove from the machine. Generally, with smaller row gauge it is best to join loops, with thicker yarns,  larger stitches, or if you plan to felt the finished piece, work with the knots. Any single or even double eye tool, Jolie, or another favorite may be used to insert into the individual space at the edge for picking up.
If joining rows to rows: begin the second piece, B. Though the join can happen on either side, in this case, cast on, knit a row, end with the carriage on the right side (COR).  Pick up the first knot (or loop) on A, from its bottom-up, and hang it onto the left end needle (opposite the carriage) of the cast on row for B.
Knit two rows, returning to COR
Go to the next knot (loop) on A. Pick it up and place it on the outside left edge needle of B, opposite the carriage.
Knit 2 rows and continue on, repeating the last 2 steps to the desired length.
Remember to pick up knots (loop) opposite the carriage every other row.

If the pieces to be joined are long, place a yarn marker on the side(s) to be joined at regular intervals simply by adding a short piece of contrasting color yarn laying it in the hook on the end needle(s). It will not become a permanent part of the stitch. The markers will serve as guides in seaming, can be easily removed when they are reached by a quick tug.

Open stitches may also be joined using this method, but they would have to be hooked onto the second piece every row rather than every other, and caution should be taken in terms of skipping any stitch, as any such stitch will unravel at the end of the process unless it has been secured.
If a bound-off edge of a sideways knit is joined to a knit band, then some adjustment in gauge or row count needs to be made. Knit stitches generally around 4 in width to 3 in height so every 4th part of the bound-off chain may need to be skipped Depending on the stitch type and yarn used a simple tension change and observing the loop (knot) rule every other row may work without any additional adjustments. The Brother Knitting Technique Book offers an interesting variation as a way of creating a double-wide repeat using a punchcard motifThis is a long-ago demo swatch. The chevrons are shaped by holding, could be knit on any machine in any width. After the first strip is knit to the desired length, the second is joined to it as it is being knit. I generally prefer the joins with the carriage on the right and  the completed strip hooked onto its left side. If the color changer is to be used, then the strip being created to join to the finished piece should always be knit on the left side of the bed in order to allow for traveling to and from the color changer every 2 rows. The image here is turned sideways, the chevrons could be used either vertically or horizontally depending on design plans.The above method may be used to join fair isle patterns in order to achieve significantly wider final panels. Some artists, when no electronic models were available, would join cards in continued lengths and planned their repeats side by side to achieve large, non-repetitive images. The punchcard width markings on your Brother needle tape can serve as guides. I use punchcard repeats so often I replaced the needle tape in my 910 early on with one for punchcard models. Markings may also be seen on them for every 8 stitches If the second piece is to be joined with the new piece on its right, add a single stitch to the full punchcard repeat (solid line or thin line section on tape, anywhere on the bed) on the right side, hook up the edge loop (or knot) from the first piece onto the new one, which uses the same needle location as that extra needle in the previous piece for the first stitch in work on its left (full line or blank space on tape). The cast on thread as shown in the techniques publication is not necessary. If wishing to join on the opposite side, then add the extra needle to the first piece on the left edge of the full repeat. With care one can plan for smaller stitch repeats as well. The needle tape or even the knit bed may be marked with water-soluble markers to indicate the extra needle position when adding new vertical strips of knitting. In this former demo swatch, I used a space-dyed yarn for ground accounting for the difference in color on each piece. Color pooling in such yarns is another consideration that may require specific planning in any technique. Here a slip stitch ruffle was joined on the left to one of my completed shawl bodies.The above discussion is based on joins occurring on the same needle location on the needle bed. There is no reason why that should be a constant. A strip or shape can be created with two separate, completed knit pieces joined to it as it progresses in length. “Always” hook onto the new piece opposite the carriage, with usually a minimum of 3 stitches on the new center panel.
Here I grabbed 2 random swatches, one is knit side out, the other purl side out, and one is upside down. The magenta yarn is thinner than the wool, the tension initially used was a dot more than one, left that way from some other experiment or poltergeists. It pays to check all settings prior to beginning any project. To start with I cast on with the magenta and knit a row, hooked up the loop from piece one, starting from its planned bottom edge, COLknit one row to other side, hooked up piece 2, CORand continued until I reached the point where I wanted to experiment with increases, keeping the shape symmetrical. I picked up a loop from both added pieces and hooked them onto the first empty needle on each side of the strip, essentially casting on an added stitch on each side each time, following with 2 knit rows.  After working my “desired shape” I tested decreases:COR: after hooking up the next row, knit one row to the left and transfer the stitch just created on the left onto the adjacent needle on its right, creating a simple decrease.  Knit to the right continue with a straight edge on the right side, repeating the decrease on the left every other row, I kept a straight edge on the right after I reached the top of the piece there. Here is the reverse side of the piece. The cleanest joins happen when the edges are straight to start with, above there was movement of the edges happening because of the distortion of the fabric created by the eyelets. A light pressing if possible may also set the edge stitches, help them lie flat, and make them more visible. When working with slanted edges on the first piece this is one way to join it, taking into consideration whether any adjustment in the frequency of hooking up needs to be made.A better edge will be obtained if the decreases to that piece were made using the full-fashioned method, resulting in a neat “chain” for pick up along its finished edge.

There are other options for decorative joins as one knits, one such is shown in a video by Roberta Rose Kelly.

And not to be forgotten, playing with materials or anything else that allows for an edge to be hooked onto a latch holding a knit stitch ;-). Here the add on is polar fleece, it could be crochet, lace, etc.

Ribber cast ons: breaking the “rules”

This is a quick note attempting to illustrate the third circular row as shown in manuals is not needed and in some yarns, at least to my eye, there is an extra “bar/float” making a difference between purl and knit side of the fabric. I find the 2 circular rows also make a bit tidier, tighter edge. My swatches are very small, in fine 2/18 silk wool.
This is the purl side facing, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightthe knit side, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightevery other needle, purl side facing, 2 circs on left, 3 on the right, with markers indicating the “extra float”the knit side, 2 circs on left, 3 on the rightI knit the samples as tightly as possible. When making dbj slip stitch scarves I wanted the bottom to match the top in width. The ribber stitches were transferred to the main bed and tested on a test swatch whether I preferred to knit an added row or not before performing a latch tool bind off around gate pegs. To deal with the cast on width,  I simply planned to knit the zig-zag row on at least garment tension, thus leaving me with what are normally considered ugly loops. There are 2 such loops for each stitch. With a latch tool, begin opposite the yarn end, and consistently choose the next right or left loop, chaining them through each other.

Two circular rows are also used when transitioning from varied configurations to every needle ones, illustrated in the post on  racked-ribber-cast-on-and-rib-configuration-tips

picking up an edge loop, moving it behind the latch proceeding  toward the yarn end, pick up one of the next 2 loops in hook, here I consistently chose the one on the right if the first loop slips in the hook again as well, get it behind the latch once more before proceeding
pull the second loop through the previous onework across the row, secure the yarn end the appearance on the reverse side I can be a little bonkers with my finishing, have even been known when dealing with getting top and bottom edges to match in look and width to rehang every other loop, knit a row, and then perform the latch tool bind off. If tuck double bed fabrics are knit, they require planning for loose cast ons and bind-offs. Slip stitch is short and thin, tuck stitch is short and fat, whether knit single or double bed and then is compared with fabrics where either bed predominantly knits plain.

Sock knitting resources and ideas for machine knitting

The only sock(s) I have ever knit have been as demos in my classes. I actively dislike wearing them, and it winds up being a sheer necessity in our winters to actually break down and wear them. I have had an ongoing interest in 3D knitted, explored some pleating, have always been fond of holding techniques. This year has not allowed for as much time exploring and producing as I might have wanted, am hoping to increase both activities in the coming one.
Forums of late have buzzed with knit socks, here are some possible online resources: from machineknittingetc.com:
studio-tips-and-techniques-issue-37-charting-socks
singer-sock-book-seamed-and-circularmachine-knit-news-machine-knit-socks-supplementempisal-sock-patterns

From assorted sources: visualizing shaping sequences: aspect ratio was disregarded in order to combine several images into a large one, particularly noticeable in the middle image on the top row 😉Patterns from manufacturers: Superba manual  Passap Duo 80From a Brother pub. The original paper version actually came with knit leader patterns

There are many ways to seam join such shapes. Seam-as-you-knit is another option. Diana Sullivan offers a video on the technique. Considering its limitations: the seaming needs to occur on equally shaped segments, this would eliminate any shaping to allow for widening parts of the leg as one moves up toward the knee, so the height of the sock would need to be shortened, planning for fit. If one desires a true rib at the top of the completed sock, IMO seams at least for the rib are unavoidable, and one must take measures to make certain cast ons and bind offs for ribbed bands match in look and width. The same issue with shaping occurs when knitting socks tubular. For a tube to grow or decrease in diameter retaining its circular form, the only way to achieve the result is to increase or decrease evenly across knitting bed(s) involved, far easier to achieve if one surrenders the seamless idea and allows for a seam in the design. Here A sections would be knit first, B sections would follow with seaming along the dotted lines. The toe is a 3D shape achieved by holding, with no seaming necessary.
If one is fond of holding intarsia techniques and cumulative joins, this book is available  For advice and ideas on knitting the swan socks see https://knitterstoolchest.wordpress.com/category/circular-knitting/
a video link is included, as well as this schematic

machine knit sock and slipper pattern resource
socks, heels, and more 
eliminating short row holes
general instructions 
penny socks 

Sock calculators: http://roued.com/supersockcalculator.php  https://www.goodknitkisses.com/sock-calculator/  https://www.storey.com/crochet-calculator/toe-up-sock.html

From Knitty, an online hand knitting magazine: universal sock article 
A hand knitting resource on choosing your sock heels 
From Drops design, HK, a spiral sock , and a side to side version, both food for thought in terms of adapting for machine knitting.

For folks who prefer videos, a search on youtube will offer lots of choices, and Roberta Rose Kelley offers 2 that provide a wealth of ideas and information, on tubular socks, the other on adding afterthought heels , using decker combs on Passap machinestransferring ribbed band stitches using a garter bar 

Small scale experiments for larger ideas: the spiral sock
Mary Thomas’ book of knitting patterns was first published in 1943, my edition in 1972. This is the usual cover photo on page 38 a repeat and instructions are offered for a spiral tube sock. The latter has no heel shaping, but traditional toe shaping can be added. The knit/purl design can easily be executed single bed by folks who own a G carriage. My mini sock was knit on 30 stitches +1 for sewing. The blocks can be varied in width depending on the required circumference of the finished tube. The extra pattern stitch in the chart is to allow for seaming a half stitch on each edge and maintaining the pattern. *After every 6 rows knit transfer the right-hand needle of every ribber group to the main bed, on the main bed transfer the right needle of every group down to the ribber**,  repeat * to ** for the desired length. There are a number of ways to deal with the toe part of the stocking. I would opt for transferring stitches to the main bed and knitting one row, using holding remove half the width onto waste yarn then bringing half the stitches on the alternate side into work. The toes may then be worked using stocking stitch, scrapping off, and seaming or grafting the stitches held on scrap to each other. My working repeat, with a 12 stitch repeat usable on punchcard machines as well isolated by the added green border testing the tiling, making certain any programming would line up Cast on for a ribbed band at top of the sock in any preferred configuration. Be certain cast on stretches enough to accommodate the finished width of the tube as it stretches to fit the leg. Transfer stitches between beds in the desired knit/purl configuration. When the desired height is reached transfer all stitches to the top bed, drop the ribber, switch sinker plates, knit a row on all stitches, divide for toe shaping. Here one half away from yarn end and carriage is knit with waste yarn and dropped off when shaping is complete, After toe shaping is finished and waste yarn is added, the work is removed from the machineBecause all transfers are made in one direction, as in any knit fabric where that happens, the fabric will biasHere the toe shaping is seamed, the twist in the body of the sock begins to showOne side of my knitting was looser than the other, something to watch in any “real” piece. Thin yarn knit on tension 4 is probably also not the best suited for any socks in terms of wear. After seamingand worn by a few cotton balls 😉Lastly, it is possible to knit socks sideways (as well as gloves), usually in garter stitch and in hand knitting. This is a crochet illustration that points to the general construction method.

On the machine, the shaping would need to occur with increases and decreases rather than holding to create the heels, and toes could be shaped, probably best by full-fashioned increases and decreases. There would be at least one grafted seam the width of the sock, the cuff could be added with the side straight edge picked up and knit from there. To get shaping to match, in theory,  one option would be to start with waste yarn, knit to half the above  shape, scrap off. Rehang starting open stitches, reverse shaping, graft seam. Dotted lines represent open stitches, decreases and increases can be planned so that only the smaller group of stitches on one side are moved with a garter bartest swatch to follow

Twisted headband meet fisherman rib, seaming, variation ideas

The machine knitting forums in both Ravelry and Facebook have recently been buzzing with versions of twisted headbands in varied techniques and yarn weights. Tanya Cunningham sparked the discussions by showing her bulky tubular knotted version. In her blog, one may find clear instructions on fold and assembly.
I chose to knit mine in full fisherman rib, making the fabric reversible, so that facing side at the start did not matter when seaming. I wanted a single thickness and a lightweight but warm fabric that would lie flat, perhaps being worn under jacket hoods on winter walks. My first band was knit with a punchcard carriage with a magnet placed for using it on my electronic. I forgot I had removed its row counter when it was last used for knitting with 2 paired main/ribber carriages in order to clear the end of the bed. As a result, I was unable to use the row counter, as that fact eliminated the tripper for it.
Part of my plan was also to avoid bulk at the twist as much as possible. Increasing the stitch count for such warmers can easily approach more of a hat shape, and a “top” could be added to complete the piece if it is intended to be worn as one.
In terms of inspiration, there are endless sources for twisted bands available, most for hand knitting, but sometimes they can be adapted to machine knitting easily enough, especially if one also owns a G carriage. One such source is Dropsdesign , simply enter headbands, knit, in the search field.
Head sizes and what each of us determines as comfort can vary tremendously. A table of head circumferences may be found at craft yarn council, and for much more detailed charts see
The twist will take up some of the finished lengths.
My first band sailed through on my Brother 930 standard:
Cast on 22 stitches in 2/18 silk wool, tension 5/4, at the same tension as the body of the band, intentionally loose.
Knit to head circumference, checking the length on the machine with weight off periodically after weight hits floor (scientific measurement), and periodically after the weight and comb are moved up.
Transfer stitches to main bed
Knit one row single bed at a looser tension (I used 8 in this version)
Bind off around gate pegs, OK if tighter than the bottom, it will be part of the seam
Twist and fold,  rehang one side of the chain, alternate loops from the loose cast on
Knit a loose row across all layers and bind off,
Turn inside out.
Variations in color are due to the wonderful lighting in my apartment on another gloomy, rainy winter fall day.
Visualizing the necessary folds: make certain not to twist the fabric, fold it in half. Colors are used to represent portions of the finished, continuous  rectangle, dotted lines the approximate center line when it is folded

For my second effort, I switched the yarn to a yummy feeling 2/14 wool that was plagued with random dropped stitches on the Brother, no matter what I tried. That piece wound up lightly felted by hand after intentionally adding more knit length. I eventually gave up and moved over to my Passap, where things went smoothly knitting on 4/4. A reminder: in this fabric, one bed knits every needle while the opposite bed makes loops on every needle. It is helpful if the first stitch on each bed knits as carriages move to the opposite side.
Passap setting EX/ EX beginning on right and moving toward the left will tuck on the back bed (ribber setting), knit on the front (main bed setting) while tucking on front and knitting on the back when moving from left to right. Operating from the same side, the Brother settings to match would actually be the reverse of those illustrated in the ribber manual. Starting sides are in Brother instructions are often based on cast ons with 3 circular rows. I prefer 2 as I have explained in the past, it avoids a float forming between stitches on one side of the fabric. In this instance, it matters in set up only in terms of planning ahead as to which bed will form knit stitches first and having the first needle in work on that bed to ensure that the stitch will knit. In matching patterns between brands, cam settings could matter more. End needle selection brings stitches out to knit in patterning, but if KC is used here, all needles in work will be brought out to knitting position, so that is not a solution for having those stitches knit. Another thing to note in the instructions is one that might be missed upon a quick view. The Brother setting shown is for full pitch. That is because their instructions are for full fisherman knit for when every other needle is in use. If every needle were in use, the setting should be on H, not P There is also the option when one wants to insure end stitches knit in patterns such as tuck to bring end stitches out to hold manually prior to knitting the next row.
A gauge swatch in double bed tuck should be at least 80-100 rows in length. One can sometimes “wing it”. It is important if you do that, that the length is measured between the beds as close to needles as possible, and down from there without weight and after the fabric has relaxed. Do not assume it will stretch to fit, the result may be several inches too small.
A comfortable length for me in the blue wool consisted of 310 rows, knit at T 4/4. Stitches were quite small, so after transfer to the back bed, I knit a row to the opposite side at tension 8 before binding off. I also placed contrasting color yarn markers at the center point of the cast on and bind off to make seaming up evenly easier, and held things together with a double eye tool so as not to accidentally twist the piece.

The number 4 band is my first sample, knit on Brother standard. Number one got pulled on to the planned length based on the “it will stretch” assumption. A metal ruler/yardstick was marked with tape at the desired height, while on the machine the marker was reached, but when off it, the final measurement was a whole 16 inches as the knit relaxed, far too small for most human adults! Number 2 is the brother version felted by hand to hide dropped stitch and edge stitch repairs, knit and shrunk to a measurement longer than head circumference for finished width, taking into consideration the fact that stretch is lost in felting. The fit was tested on my own head during shrinking and before drying. The number 3 band is the “comfy wool” one knit on my Passap. When I taught my course, after weeks of swatching the first “garment” involving a variety of automatic and hand techniques, students were required to knit a “baby hat with earflaps” exactly as given in printed instructions, using any stitch pattern and yarn of their choice. It provided an interesting exercise in gauge and proof of the need for swatching before beginning plans for actual garments. The results varied from so small the hats would only fit a small doll to ones too large for any human head.
Knitters are often resistant to swatching, but making assumptions about results can result in not the best use of both time and materials. If working in tubular stocking stitch the tension used should be the same as for knitting of that yarn in that stitch single bed. Tuck stitch is short and fat. In every needle rib there are stitches being worked on both beds, so double the number on the top bed would be actually worked than when using needles on only one bed. Loosening the tension by several numbers on both beds does not equate to matching width for similar numbers of stitches to the ribbed version. Here is a resulting mini-band, testing the same seaming technique used in the fisherman-rib samples. It was 20 stitches in width, 80 rows in length. I cast on at a loose tension, matching that used in the body of the stocking stitch tube and knit a row to seal before setting for circular knitting When the top is reached, transfer stitches from the ribber to the top bed, knit at a looser tension tow to the opposite side prior to binding off and seaming (here I used 10). The technique should be usable on bulkier bands as well.The elongated stitches at the top of the “band” are due to an extra needle in use on the ribber. To review, the proper settings from the Ribber Techniques Book: