## A tale of 2 donuts

Gauge swatches are often the bane of many a machine knitter, as are math calculations. I have recently come across several instructions for hand knit donuts, embellished in a variety of ways, and was curious about turning the knit sideways in order to create a machine knit version. Yes, there are formulas for creating such shapes, but once in a while “winging it” on small projects may provide an easily achieved, workable result.

I began with the formula: 30 stitches in width, divided by 3 = 10; 5 stitches used to create held, narrowed bands at both sides, the 20 remaining stitches knitting throughout the length of the piece, for 20 wedges/ repeats.

The method: cast on with waste yarn over 30 stitches, knit one row in “donut”  yarn; set the machine for hold; bring 3 needles opposite the carriage into hold, knit to the opposite side, repeat two times: bring 2 needles opposite the carriage into hold, knit to the opposite side, repeat two times; bring 5 needles into work opposite the carriage, knit across to the other side, repeat twice. At this point, all stitches will have been knit, begin sequence over again. This chart reflects 3 repeats, 30 stitches by 6 rows. Knitting begins on the left, and holding stitches begin with carriage on the right:

A single repeat may be programmed into an electronic machine, knit with the carriage set to slip throughout, and with end-needle selection canceled (covered in previous posts).

When I taught courses in machine knitting, the first “garment” made after several weeks of swatching and learning the various stitches, was a “baby hat with earflaps”, with the proviso that the same directions had to be used by everyone in the class for stitches and rows, but each student was free to select yarn and stitch type. This often became the first lesson in the importance of gauge, with results varying in size from mini doll size “hats” to gigantic ones. For my donut versions, I used the same directions. The striped one is produced with a random sock yarn that gave my machine fits at tension 8, and produced a very tight fabric; the yellow is from a good quality 2/8 wool at the same tension, resulting in a much looser knit, and a much larger final product. I was casual about seaming the 2 open ends of seaming the knit together on the machine by simply using a latch tool bind off, an invisible seam could be created by grafting with Kitchener stitch. I did a bit of stuffing as I went along in seaming the lengthwise portion of the piece in the second donut, as opposed to leaving a smaller opening in the first, making the process easier, and I paid more attention to seaming of the side “tube” stitches. Once again, it is obvious that changing the material may change the size of the final product significantly, making those tension square calculations important for any predictable results in sizing.

## Wednesdays at the asylum: “Barbie” knitter stand

Over the past few months I have been intermittently involved with a local maker space, artisan’s asylum. Beginning November 13th, we are going to try a free fiber arts work night, with the aim of working, sharing, and learning from each other, and with the possibility of classes being planned if the need arises. My background is fibers with an emphasis on knitting. I have long planned on trying a tubular knit in thin yarn that could in turn be knit (whether by hand or on the machine) or crocheted like some of the ribbon yarns now in use onto a background for ruffles or used for insertions, applique, etc. Thinking about what possible random demo/work item I could bring to the first meet I resurrected my Barbie Knit Hits knitter and various cord makers and spools. Managing lengths of the tubes as they are knit with a plastic knitter that likes to wander can be a tad challenging. At one point in time I had the delusions that I would play with kumihimo braiding, and built a crude “stand”, with both a square and a round top and necessity meets invention: the square top turns out to be the perfect size support  and here is my “hobby knitter stand”  in hands free other than for cranking operation

11/20/ 2013: the tape pictured below was knit using the equipment above, knitting a length in  8/4 slub rayon

attempting to use it as “ribbon yarn” on a standard machine: (1) at first I tried hanging a complete stitch/row on each needle on standard KM, the fabric was too flat (2) results were better when hanging every other stitch/row chain on every needle, fabric was heavy and to spread things out a bit more I (3) switched to using EOS/R on 2 km needles, and skipping the third. How to make it go round? (4) remove knitting on garter bar, turn over, “hang” ribbon on garter bar in proper configuration, slide all stitches back on machine and keep knitting. Stitch gauge on 4.5 KM anchors knit tape securely, as tape is tugged at stitches closest to plain knit elongate, edges ruffle

purl side

knit side

inspiration alternatives for similar knit tube http://fashioncollars.wordpress.com/tag/celapiu/

other additional ideas @ http://www.knitting-and.com/barbie-knitter/

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

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

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

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

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

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

2021: the latest, December 2020 updated version of Gimp for Mac OS
Gimp dithering controls easily accessible with mode changes to indexed I found I got the best results adjusting the contrast in the original greyscale image prior to changing its mode to indexed and dithering (Floyd_Steinberg, normal)  Dithering options in Gimp 2.10 may be found at the bottom of the colors menu This filter can reduce the number of colors in an image by reducing the levels per channel (colors and alpha). Different dithering methods can be specified to counteract quantization-induced banding.
Presets are common features for many Colors commands.
Red levels, Green levels, Blue levels, and Alpha levels sliders set the number of levels for the respective red, green blue, and alpha channels.
Dithering method: can specify the dithering method to use
None: no dithering will be performed
Floyd Steinberg: the most commonly used method of dithering, and the default for this filter
Bayer: the algorithm is characterized by noticeable cross-hatch patterns in the result
Random, random covariant: use randomization of the pixel values to reduce the number of colors
Arithmetic variants are based on magic numbers and arithmetic
Blue noise variants are sometimes thought to be the least distracting
Random and new seeds are two random dithering methods.
When converting to indexed colors with the image unaltered, and using positioned dithering, the last option Hyperdither: options offered  default Jarvis
default Stucki
online, options https://ditherit.com it is possible to choose from multiple palettes Sierra dither

5/4/2019 Other than GIMP: after straightforward load, convert, and save, with no other adjustments, images shown in approximately 150 pixels/sts in width, no significant change results with conversion to color B/W indexed
http://gazs.github.io/canvas-atkinson-dither/
online, default settings https://29a.ch/2016/08/04/ditherlicious-1-bit-image-dithering
Check dithered results, downloaded images may be in RGB Mode. Prior to any knitting, they will need to be converted to B/W indexed.
Looking for ways to reduce the noise in dithered images I tried this conversion in XnSketch, using the photocopy effect,  beginning with the colored image of Rocco, the results: imported the result into Gimp and saved it in indexed  2 color BW and in turn, 3 color indexed mode, no color adjustments, finding the result pleasantly simple beginning with the greyscale generated image followed by Mode changes in Gimp, indexed 2 color BW, then indexed 3 color, there appear to be very subtle differences with a bit more detail: Another online resource with an extensive array of dithering options https://app.dithermark.com. Here are 2 conversions using the app, the images are 2 color B/W. The presence of a third color is an illusion created by the difference in the distribution of BW color pixels, they loaded fine as viewed for knitting in Ayab, and in img2track, once I remembered to change its setting to 2 color knitting from the last used one at 4 colors It is possible to reduce images to 4 or 3 colors using the program as well: a slider for color count is used to choose the final number of colors in the reduction. Again, these instances have no added manipulation A series of dithers:
To retain the quality and size of the dithered image, download it, rather than using a screen grab. The software used to separate the chosen dither may alter the result somewhat. I am writing my posts using an iMac M1 with OS 12.0.1. At this point Ayab is not operable, img2track does open images, but in this case, with interesting distortions, and it does not download any files at all. Yet another dithering tool, allows one to draw in dithering mode using a variety of patterns and will dither images. In the latter instance, there is no real opportunity to tweak or alter the result shapes drawn using a few of the large variety of offered patterns:

In this instance, a portrait of a dog wearing a sweater image was generated in Midjourney and scaled to 191X195 pixels.
Dithering online apps were used to reduce the colors in instants to 4, 3, and 2.
The greyscale image was also color reduced and dithered in Gimp.
All results were not adjusted further in any way.
Color reductions could be tweaked a bit further prior to actual knitting.
Magnifying the chosen individual result will help visualize the change in resolution quality of the image in the final knit piece.

## It’s all math

Modular knits get lots of attention of late. Most hand knitters are familiar with “domino knitting”. Many have written extensively, below are a single random sample covers from a few authors
Horst Schultz Vivian Hoxbro Iris Schreier A pair of pubs by Rosemary Drysdale dedicated solely to entrelacs are shown below An excellent article on how to knit entrelac on the machine by Cheryl Brunette is archived here.
Complicated stitch patterns often are more easily managed in simple forms. Laying out shapes in scrumbled knits or ones that emulate quilting blocks get back to math and breaking down larger shapes into smaller ones which makes me think of origami.

## A new use for waste yarn

This photo was actually taken last April. Part of my studio is in my unfinished attic, explaining the foil ceiling and boxes. It oh so truly helps to look UP from your knitting once in a while! I had just begun my lace experiments, things had been going so well in terms of avoiding dropped stitches I was mesmerized by the needle bed and my intact fabric…

## A new use for waste yarn

It truly does help to look up once in a while. I was totally engrossed in my lace transfers. Ikea large footstool places me at perfect height for really good view of stitches as they are formed. Both extension rails now have suspension help since I am using most of the needle bed and carriages need to go far off the bed. Stops are set up at rail ends so enthusiastic movement of the one carriage cannot send the other one flying off the rail and crashing onto floor. Got a great rhythm going. Yarn began to “pull” and lo and behold this is why! The pink cocoon is the waste yarn used in knitting the white shawl in the previous post.