Tuck trims 4 and other edgings


In the FB machine knitting groups questions about tuck-lace trims have once again surfaced with regards to their design and use as edge finishes or decorative details. Some automated potential details have been covered in previous posts
“Crochet” meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims (and fabrics 1)
Tuck lace trims (and fabrics 2)
Crochet meets machine knitting techniques: tuck lace trims or fabrics 3
The trims, however, may easily be created on any machine using hand needle selection and holding techniques. Over the years a number of names have been assigned to such trims, from idiot’s delight to shell, cockle shell, double shell, and scallop shell.
Trims are generally knit vertically, are often quite “lacey”, applied upon completion, generally with their knit side out. Some people think of them as mock crochet. They can go from tiny to heavier double-edge versions.
Generally, they benefit from being knit slowly with some weight to help hold the stitches in place and have the groups of tuck loops knit off properly. Start with a few rows of waste yarn and ravel cord to anchor to hold the weight, follow with a permanent cast on-on needles represented by grey squares in each group. Knit 2 rows on all needles and begin in the pattern. The method for creating tucked loops manually is to bring needles out to hold after setting the knit carriage accordingly. Until those same needles are pushed back into work loops will build on their shanks and will be knit off when the involved needles are pushed back into work. The limit with automated patterning for tuck in 4.5 mm machines, unless very thin yarn is used, is often 4 rows. There is greater tolerance in tucks created by hand techniques, but as with any fabric, it is best to test on swatches prior to committing to significant lengths of fabric. 
When knitting trims and ruffles, end with several rows of waste yarn in a contrasting color, allowing for unraveling and binding off after application if the trim is too long, or for unraveling to a knit row and knitting more if the initial length is too short. Seam-as-you-knit might not be the best method to use if the intent is to retain the shell-shaped forms trim sides.
It is possible to visualize repeats both singly and in groups using tools from simple graph paper to spreadsheets. Japanese machines may not tolerate more than 4 rows of held or tucked loops unless the yarn is on the thin side, machines like Passap or Superba have a far greater tolerance.
Pivoting around a center stitch and adding width in vertical trims makes them foldable around a finished edge. When using electronic machines the garment’s finished edge may be picked up and the repeat for some of the trims can be programmed on the width of the piece for a predetermined height and bound off. If one is using a punchcard with single repeat vertical patterning or for more than one vertical trim with blank spaces in between them, the card would not be suitable for a finish on a horizontal knit edge.

To knit: bring needles in positions represented by yellow squares out to hold,  push back to knit by the number of rows indicated in the chart.
A good source for pattern ideas can be found in punchcard volumes in the sections marked for thread lace. To add to the mix, once the repeat is worked out, transferring needles intended to be left out of work on the main bed may be transferred to the ribber when knitting trims as well.
Segments marked with green cells may be grouped in a variety of ways to create repeats in different widths, asymmetrical ones are also a possible consideration
Two repeats on a single cardThe process for knitting a sample as a hand technique: Cast on the 7 stitches marked in work, bring needles2, 6, and 10 to holding position set the knit carriage to hold
knit 4 or chosen number of rows
push needles back into work position and knit one or chosen number of rows
return needles 2, 6, and 10 to hold
repeat the process for the desired length
bind off or remove onto waste yarn
An electronic or punchcard repeat for 4 tuck row: I like to start my repeats with an all knit row when possible. The design may be knit as a single motif, and though it is symmetrical whether the machine model used flips the image horizontally or not can have an effect on whether the uneven number of needles will be to the left or to the right of 0. If there is any question a few air knit rows will clarify pattern needle placement.
The automated repeat: The samples below were knit using a 2/8 wool, at T4, are shown folded along their center on the right of the photos, with the open edge on the left as they came off the machine. The usual single bed tension for this yarn might be 7 or 8, depending on stitch type. The greater the number of knit stitches on either bed, the closer the tension will have to be adjusted to that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn. Wool also has memory, will want to roll to knit side at the top and bottom, to the purl side along vertical edges, steps often need to be taken to reduce the rolls. Using this repeat as a stand-alone, the roll is severe, with the cast-off edge picked up and continuing from there, a rolled edge with no stitching required is formed, no further finishing required, is shown after light steaming Even if a repeat for automating the trim or edging is designed and may have been used before, it is best to test the repeat as a hand technique in any new or untested yarn first to see how many loops can build up before the stitches on each side may not knit, or the loops themselves might not knit off properly as a group on the next all knit row. Five rows were the limit for this yarn A bound off edge was picked up, purl side facing, a side edge could be as well. Test to see which side facing may suit your piece best. Ten plain knit rows were followed by holding for 5 rows on every sixth needle, followed by a central single all knit row, 5 more rows held on the same needles locations, ending with 9 rows knit on all needles, and the trim was bound off. It may be folded to the purl or the knit side before being stitched into place and is likely to require some blocking. A variety of edgings may be produced by simply hooking up ladder floats created by leaving needles out of work after X number of rows. In this instance chain cast on over 11 needles, dropping the center 5 chains and taking the corresponding needles out of work.
Knit 12 rows.
Pick up six floats and the chain from the start of the piece, bring them to the front of the knit, and place them on the needle marked with red cells at the right.
Knit 6 rows, pick up 6 floats again, place them on needle marked with red cells to the left,
repeat This variation uses the thicker blue yarn, knit at tension 4; 12 rows are knit before hooking up the lower groups of six ladders, which makes the floats easier to pick up or count using a single eye tool. Repeating selection on the same side allows the trim to be easily bent around corners  Trims using holding alone border on the possibility of automation using slip stitch programming. A simple one to start: cast on 7 stitches, with the center needle out of work. Knit a few rows, set knit carriage to hold.
COR: push needles at left out to hold position
knit 8 or chosen even number of  rows on needles 5, 6, and 7 on the right
COR: push needles 1, 2, and 3 on left to D position, knit 3 or a preferred odd number of rows, ending with the carriage on the left
COL: reverse the holding sequence  The single out-of-work needle produces a ladder that nearly disappears after the trim relaxes, any our of work needle arrangement may be tried between the two groups of 3 needles in work.
Adding holding: cast on needle arrangement shown. The 3 stitches will roll to the purl side creating an edge that looks very similar on both sides of the trim. knit 3 or more rows, end COL
bring the 3 needles on the right out to hold, knit a row
COR wrap the inside needle of the 3 in holding, knit back to left 5 times
COR knit 5 rows (or DIY odd number), ending on the opposite side
COL reverse shaping

Interlock explorations 2; adding needles out of work

Most variations using tuck settings will loosen the fabric structure, slip stitches will narrow it. The behavior is consistent in working on both single and double beds. Color changes may be added.
There are only very short descriptions and schematics for the more complex tuck interlocks online, making attempting them a puzzle, where efforts at piecing it may not necessarily lead to correct answers, but still produce interesting knits. The ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies that draft international standards for subjects including knitting. My charts for the tuck interlocks were personal interpretations based on a few of their illustrations, among which is this for cross tuck 1, which appears to be the most straightforward, with every needle knitting on one bed, while the other works the basic 2X2 stitch alternating repeat on either one of the 2 beds translated for knitting, patterning may be used on either bed, with the opposite bed set to knit every stitch. If patterning is on the ribber, have the first and last needles in work on the main bed. The top bed is set to tuck in both directions, the fabric is shown lightly stretched and could conceivably be used to create a ruffled edge when followed by narrower stitch types ie. every needle rib or Milano variants Changing settings: with the knit carriage set to slip in one direction, knit in the other, the ribber knitting every row
Needles may be taken out of work to create pleats in every needle ribs, alternating their placement between the 2 beds. Knit stitches stabilize tuck ones. Here every other needle is taken out of work on only one bed. The tuck loops are more visible in any open spaces between the vertical rows of ribbed stitches. The ribber will knit every row on the same needles aligning directly above each other, thus ruling out full pitch.
The needles are set up so that the first and last are in use on the ribber, ensuring that a knit stitch will be on the side of any tuck stitch selected on the top bed, on the top bed the every other needle tuck selection reverses as the direction of the knit carriage does, needles brought forward knit, the ones skipped hold tuck loops in their needle hooks,  the resulting fabric Other explorations with needle out of work:
Milano waffle: single color, 4 passes with every needle knitting, 4 passes tubular, more passes of each may be added to distribute color changes. The number of needles in work on the main bed remains fixed. Choosing spacing between needles in work on the main bed A working repeat with 4 circular rows, 6 full rows knit  My first swatch in the technique was in response to a Ravelry member share describing the stitch pattern used in a finished garment  The main bed is programmed, set to slip both ways after the first preselection row. After 2 rows knit on both beds, the ribber is then switched to slip in one direction, knit in the other in response to needle selection on the top bed. Main bed needles out ribber slips, main bed needles in B, ribber knits. After 4 circular passes, the ribber is again set to knit for 2 rows. The appearance during knit rows followed by float formation when only the top bed knits Repeating the experiment with  2 stitches on each edge, this time disengaging the ribber and knitting 2 rows only on the top bed only rather than knitting circular rows and changing ribber settings. The floats are brought closer together, the fabric is far quicker to knit. Windowpane bourrelet: beds are supposedly at full pitch, I had better success at half-pitch. The same bed is used for single bed rows as for basic bourrelet, a color change to try: every 6 rows Because the top bed needles are in pairs, the EON selection remains evident, each of the first 2 passes completes one row of knitting.
When only the top bed knits, floats are formed between the needles in work Knitting went more smoothly when 3 needles on the top bed were used on each end The ribber carriage was disengaged to allow the pattern to knit only on the top bed. When there are needles out of work, floats will be created between the needles in work. The length of the swatch was determined when I noticed the yarn was not properly placed in the feeder, and I had already begun to drop stitches on the left side. It is one of the things to watch for, and which may merit a small preventive hack to keep the yarn from accidentally slipping out of its proper place. Half Milano with tucked long stitch: the main bed needles will tuck one row, then slip one row. The ribber needles will first knit a row, then slip a row while the second bed knits both rows. Then the ribber needles knit one row then slip a row while the second bed knits two rows. I have had no success with trying to execute my interpretation of the directions without getting floats on the top bed, and the photo in Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics is not clear enough to distinguish if there indeed are floats on the surface of the fabric. The experimental repeat Having the ribber knit every row produces many more rows on the purl side than on the knit, so the vertical all knit columns do ripple a bit. In this stitch version, with pattern knitting beginning from the left, the main bed is set to alternately tuck and slip using the half-pitch setting row one preselected for knitting the first row has been knit, the second knit row preselected the second row knit, no preselection for tuck or slip the tuck row is formed with the knit pass to the right, no preselection the row of stitches is skipped on the way to the left, preselecting for the next first knit row, tuck loops visible on top of the hooks of the selected needles the process is repeated. The resulting fabric:  Tucked pique: knit the same as for pique, but with cams set for tuck on the top bed, set beds at half-pitch.Playing with color and texture: use 2 or 3, change colors every 2 rows, every 4, or at the end of each full pattern repeat.
Change one or both cams from slip to tuck.
Try adding racking when using tucking on the main bed
Vary working needle arrangements with interlock settings.

The ISO illustrations gave clues as to whether the same number of needles are at work in any pass on each bed. The intent with the second pass in each pair of passes is to create a slipped,  tucked, or knit stitch in between the alternate needles on the opposite bed.
Cross miss interlock: in this instance, tuck loops alone with no in-between knit stitches are created on the top bed, in the same spots where stitches were slipped on the previous pass. Starting side does not matter, but being consistent makes experimentation easier to understand and follow. The lili buttons, set to slip in both directions remain unchanged on the ribber carriage throughout. The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions as well as to hold. My swatch began with a knit stitch selection on the top bed, marked with a red line the length of the repeat below, and needles were arranged accordingly. The tuck loops are created using a hand technique and holding combined with patterning
This shows the elongated stitches between ones that will be knit on the next pass. On rows 3 and 6 of the pattern, there will be no needle pre-selection, but the elongated slipped stitches will still be identifiable. After both no preselection row bring alternate needles out to hold using any EON needle tool. In my case, COL, I began with needle 1 on the left on row 3, alternating beginning with needle 2 on the left on row 6. The number of rows in between hand techs is an odd one, so sides for the hand tech will alter as well. This shows the tuck loops formed EON as the carriages travel to the right.
Prior to resuming pattern knitting, needles with loops on them need to be returned to the B position, maintaining the EON needle preselection for the next pass  
Repeat the process when design row 6 is reached, beginning with needle 2 on the left. The texture appears on the purl side of the piece, shown on the left
This repeat uses 6 passes as well. The tuck loops on the top bed occur above slipped stitches in the previous pass, which may be replicated, but the real problem is that every third row on the ribber is also having to tuck on specific needles with no knit stitches between them. The tuck loops happen directly above knit stitches formed in the previous row if the tucking lever is changed manually from R to P on those rows. That is a lot to juggle, a noHere the eon tuck would fall on slipped stitches in the previous pass, so that is doable. It is possible to fool the lili selection into believing there are extra needles in work on each side of the ribber, which can “make” the first stitch on either side knit rather than slip or tuck. The method is used in creating a striper backing in Brother DBJ  and would require fiddling with needles on the ribber in an irregular selection repeat as well as the hand technique on the top bed. Another definite noThis pattern repeat is a short one, the changes are more regular on the ribber. The hand tech tuck stitches could be formed for 2 rows with all stitches getting worked back to B position in between those preselected for the next pattern row. The lili buttons need to get fooled after alternating pairs of rows, the start of several nos for me.

Intarsia without an intarsia carriage on Brother machines

I recently have been browsing through some of my machine manuals and found these references on methods for executing simple intarsia patterns, the type I usually associate with holding hand techniques. The knit carriage is used, the yarn is placed on the floor in front of the machine rather than fed through the yarn mast. I have not tried either method, am sharing the information for anyone who has not come across the information and may want to give the techniques a try. 

This is from a Japanese language manual for the 891(1987-89) punchcard machine, appears to introduce the idea of replacing the use of the knit carriage and plaiting feeder with one specifically designed for intarsia

Interlock explorations 1

Interlock is produced commercially on special circular machines and some double system flatbed knitting machines. The patent for the associated circular machine was applied for in 1907, and a copy may be found in the google patents archive. The stitch originally commonly used cotton, in machines that were able to produce a gauge of 20 stitches per inch, often used in T-shirt knits. As technology expanded so did the possibilities for a wider range of gauge and expanded structures.
I have found references to accordion, fleecy, Piquette, cross mix, and bourrelet interlock versions, enough to make one’s head ache when considering forming them on home knitting machines.
The fabric lies flat, relaxes in width but is fairly stable in height. It has good shape retention, raw or cut edges don’t curl, and it will unravel only from the last row knit. There are many variations including eight-lock, bourrelet, Ponte di Roma, and waffle weaves. Many directions are included in Machine Knitter’s source. Interestingly enough, they are shared in the chapter on knit weaving. The instructions given are for punchcard machines, often accompanied by a hand selection of needles in either or both beds. Hand selection on the ribber is easier to track by having an even number of needles in work on the ribber, bringing the first up on the left, then the first up on the right, so the illustrations for stitch formations are written that way, the selected needles knit. Lili button selection begins with slipping the first stitch, followed by knitting the second stitch on both sides. In most fabrics, as long as the remaining repeat aligns starting with a slip stitch on the ribber does not matter, as the complete repeat is shifted over by a needle. The structure can be knit with color changes to produce vertical stripes of various lengths. My initial proofs of concepts are usually in single colors.
In interlock, alternate stitches are knit on each bed, so it takes two complete carriage passes to complete a single row of knitting, making the resulting fabric thicker and heavier, with the same appearance on both sides, making it reversible. Carriage passes need to be distinguished from design rows. Charts indicate both, but not necessarily numbers reflected on mechanical row counters.
The usual rib configuration Planning for interlock:

The fabric may be executed on Brother knitting machines by programming 1X1 needle selection on the main bed, with the smallest component bordered in red. The Brother ribbers have a matching needle selection to when the lili buttons are used with the machine set to slip in both directions. Studio or Knitmaster knitters would require an RJ1 ribber carriage. I refer to the marks on the Brother ribber needle tape as blanks and dashes. When lili buttons are in use, one must work on an even number of needles. Pairs of both are required. The starting placement on either of the 2 marks does not matter, the first needle on the carriage side on the left will always slip, with the last stitch away from the carriage always being knit. This observable if one “air knits”, slowly moving the ribber carriage from side to side. As in any pattern knitting, needles selected to D or E will knit, the ones lined up in B position will slip or tuck. The needle selection needs to be coordinated so that needles opposite each other are not selected at the same time. Since the first needle on the ribber will slip, the first needle used in the pattern preselected on the main bed must be selected forward to knit, and the number of needles in work set up accordingly. Many published illustrations begin patterning from the right. I prefer to do so from the left. My final repeats were planned with needle placement shifted over by one so as to begin with a knit stitch on the top bed, a slip stitch on the ribber due to the fact that the ribber lili selection is fixed to always begin with a slipped stitch. Starting with the carriages beginning on the left side, the first needle in work on the ribber is on the left, the last needle in work on the top bed is on the right, an even number of stitches are in work on each bed. The setup after the first preselection row, with COL: Imagining the sequences required to complete a single row of knitting. I prefer to start with a knit stitch on the left, top bed, end needle selection is canceled 
When testing new ideas, particularly in rib setups, I often begin on a small number of needles and in a way that feels “safe”. This was my first test, with the ribber set at half-pitch. There is an obvious difference in rib before the slip stitch segment and the every-needle, EN, segment. Using a very thin space-dyed cotton, tension 4 on both beds, produced a soft, drapey, squishy fabric. Because once the cast on and needle set up are complete, the knitting occurs on every other needle in alternate directions, full-pitch is used without any problem even though every needle is in use on both beds. These fabrics will knit both at half-pitch and full-pitch once the pattern needle selection is established. The difference may not be noticeable depending on yarn choice and tension, or ribs may appear to group together in pairs.  Pleating in interlock may be produced by removing needles alternating from each group. The tuck setting may be used in these experiments as well, resulting in additional width.
Pique variants: rows 1 and 2 complete one row of knitting using both beds
row 3 knits on the main bed alone
rows 4 and 5 complete one row of knitting using both beds
row 6 knits on the ribber alone
charting out possible actions and repeat adjustment. The rows where only a single bed knits will create long stitches due to their being skipped on the opposite bed. Reversing and alternating the selections make the fabric reversible. The tricky part would be canceling out lili action on the ribber every 6 rows when the top bed alone needs to knit, row 3 in the design repeat. To accomplish this, after row 3 is preselected with the carriage on the left by releasing the ribber carriage, lean it forward so it will not engage any needles in work on the ribber resulting in dropped stitches, and moving it to the opposite side of the machine. One can actually get into a rhythm doing this.  As the knit carriage moves from left to right, only the main bed needle selection will knit. When the KC reaches the right, engage the ribber carriage, and knit until the same design row is reached. The blank row at the top of the 6-row repeat automates and allows for the carriages to knit from right to left on the ribber only, again creating some long stitches on skipped needles.
The selection continues to be EON after proper needle set up, so the full pitch setting is used once again prior to continuing in the pattern. This is an instance of cast-on and bind-off edges that will tend to be pulled a bit wider than the remaining knit. Depending on the final use for the fabric, that may or may not be a consideration.
I usually begin with tentative charts in a spreadsheet to consider what components may be automated and what might be the most advantageous selection of patterns on the main bed. At this point, my solution for no stitches knitting on the ribber for single rows remains to knit the carriage forward and remove it from the equation for that row.
Swiss pique or overknit is a half-pitch fabric. It looks like French pique but is a little narrower. Looking at completed knit rows, identifying the top bed patterning, isolating patterning selections carriage passes required The ribber here knits in one direction, slips in the other. The first preselection row is made toward the color changer, needle set up is checked as for previous samples, the ribber is set to knit to the right, slip to the left the appearance of the stitches when both carriages knit after only the top bed knits with slip stitch floats behind every skipped stitch, which, in turn, will appear longer on the knit facePonte di Romathe modified version of the repeat used in my test swatchPairs of rows of interlock are followed by pairs of circular rows. The repeat was changed and the second color was used to define the difference in stitch formation between the two groups, color changes were made every four rows. Using a single pair of carriages and having to constantly change cam settings appears far too complicated to manage for producing any length of fabric. My hack for making things easier and faster was to resort to knitting with 4 carriages. One pair was set for interlock operating from the left, the other set so as to achieve tubular knit. The ribber carriage is set to knit from right to left and to slip from left to right when the main bed knits. The knit carriage is set to slip in both directions so that the pattern selection remains continuous. It will slip all stitches while moving to the left on rows with no needle preselection, knit on all preselected needles on its return to the right.
Extension rails are used since both KCs are selecting patterns. I wrote about the concept of using 4 carriages in 2019, in the Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches: knitting with 4 carriages post. The difference here is that the carriages on the left do not have the added benefit of support from the color changer. The elastics placed as shown may have been more for my psychological well-being than for the continued proper function of machine parts. There is a limit to the width of knitting that may be produced this way with the carriages coupled on each end. The knit carriages may travel off the top bed and onto the extension rails safely, but the ribber carriages must remain anchored enough on the rear rail so as not to go flying off on their own while clearing the end of the belt on each side. I prefer leaving the slide lever in the center position in all my rib knitting and am not convinced as to a visible difference between knitting at half or full pitch in the swatches with the yarns I have used so far. 
is characterized by horizontal relief ridges on one side, is made with an interlocking base, is sometimes referred to as ottoman rib or ripple stitch, is sometimes referred to as Evermonte, is knitted at half-pitch. The combined carriages knit for 4 rows, followed by four rows knitting on the top bed alone. Seeking a workaround other than disengaging ribber carriage or canceling lili selection and leaving the carriage on the slip setting in both directions on rows where only the top bed knits, one option to speed up the process is to hack a main bed sinker plate. The result is the ability to use a second knit carriage to select and knit patterns on the top bed only, operating from the opposite side. Four passes on either bed complete 2 rows of knitting. The post on ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles describes the process in more detail.   To use the yarn from the right, only before the first carriage pass to the left, its end needs to be knit through a stitch on that side to anchor it. A different cone or ball of the same color and weight yarn may be used, or in my case, I used a thin, different fiber in a second color.
The swatch was knit in four-row sequences, there is a subtle ridge apparent on the knit side created when only its rows knit, which could easily have enhanced by knitting more rows on the single bed. In eight lock hand selection is required on the ribber, the technique reminds one of the double-faced aka reverse jacquard fabrics. My initial test was to knit twice as wide a repeat, thinking it might be easier to identify stitch formation, working on 4 X an odd number of stitches, in this case, 36, beginning and ending with knitting on the top bed,   but 1: I actually cast on 34. In a swatch, such adjustments 2: are easy to make. The only automated selection of needles on the ribber is EON using lili buttons, in any other configuration there is no choice but to hand-select needles in between selected needles on the main bed. Casting on at half-pitch begins with the first needle in work on the top bed, the last in work on the ribber. Once the first row has been preselected, and the pitch is changed to P the ribber moves to the left, leaving an even number of needles in work opposite each other on both beds. Both carriages are set to slip in both directions. The knit carriage will knit the automatically selected needles, slip the unselected, while the ribber knits needles brought up manually to D position, skips the remaining ones in B.
A 2X2 needle selection tool for a 9 mm machine or a 7 prong transfer tool may be adjusted and used to help bring up the proper needles to E position on the ribber. single row pockets are formed.  Even though the needles are in full pitch, if an error in needle selection 3: happens across a row a tip-off will be that floats are created on the main bed between selected needles, and there will be a textural change across the row of knitting unless the error is corrected.
If another yarn end or a second color is added, as always, check and make certain the first few stitches knit. Proper lighting and using a yarn color and thickness that can actually be distinguished on the needle bed are useful to avoid 4: dropped stitches not being noticed. The color change 5: shows that a single row is indeed completed with every 2 passes of the carriages, and there is a shift visually in the linear pattern.  The same process could be applied to the charted repeat. A needle selector can speed up the manual work on the ribber for  2X2 selection

Tuck variations: tuck, cross tuck, royal, texi plique. So far these are my tentative charts for the stitches, each pair of rows represents a full single row of knitting. There are situations where cam settings would require changing from slip to tuck and some locations where the same needle selection repeats on subsequent rows, leaving lots to ponder about and proof, my starting charts are often edited and at times abandoned as the work progresses and both eyeballs and brain have had a break. In this instance, the topic will be reviewed again in a future post.  

Since most of my swatches are experiments and I work by trial and error, I am now rethinking my repeats and reached the what am I doing? point.
I have some interesting or even pretty fabric swatches so far. Illustrations in published sources are often shown for interlock fabrics on every other needle, my supposition has been that with every needle in use on both beds, at half-pitch placing the needles on one bed in the center of those on the other and working in thin yarns the same repeats would work for achieving knits in these families, so in my illustrations, the symbols are placed to represent needles in work between each other on alternate beds, rather than truly on every other needle. To review, the differences between pattern selection using the slip or the tuck setting: with every needle in work on the ribber, the repeat is programmed on the top bed with the first preselection row from right to left,  the needle setup, depending on the starting and ending needles used. With both part buttons pushed in, in every needle rib, the needles in D will knit, the ones in B get skipped completely. As the carriage passes to the right, the needles for the next row are preselected, come forward holding only the skipped stitches in the row just knit, while the alternate needles are set up to be skipped on the next pass to the left After the two passes one full row of knitting is completed on the patterning bed. The needle preselection is now on the next row of the repeat, in this case, row 1.Tuck setting using the same repeat behaves differently. With both tuck buttons engaged, by default, the needle on either side of the tuck stitch will knit, with every carriage pass. The starting preselection is the same as for the slip stitch version, after the first pass to the right, the preselected needles to D will have been knit, with tuck loops formed on the previously non-selected needles. Because the repeat alters needle positions every row, as the right side of the bed is reached, the tuck loops from row one will appear on the shank of the newly preselected to D position needles, ready to be knit, and the alternate group of needles is held back to create the next row of tuck loops as the carriages return to the left. The process repeats throughout. Two passes complete a single row of knitting. The carriage actions for completed passes 1 and 2 The result is a very pliable fabric that when relaxed off the machine and stretched shows the tuck structure more, is reversible. The basic repeat elongated on the top bed creates a vertical striped pattern if color changes are added, coordinated with needle selections, and are made every 2 rows. As an experiment, the double-length patterning was tried at the top of the swatch. At that point, the fabric is no longer reversible unless the 1X1 fixed needle selection is altered manually on the ribber. My yarn is thin, and the tension used on the loose side.   The close-up begins to make the tuck loops a bit more visible. The swatch was knit at half-pitch. Using full pitch in patterns that allow for it, diminishes the appearance of “ladders” between rows of stitches, indicated by cyan arrows.  
More basics: on the ribber, whether using lili buttons or not, these are the lever and change knob positions available Manually the tucking lever position can be changed from R to P for a single row or more of tucks and then returned to the R placement. Switching between the 2 stitch types on the ribber is far easier and less complicated than changing cam buttons on the main bed, however, there are no rows where only tucked loops are created without knit stitches beside each of them if the lili buttons are in use. Using the slip-tuck Brother selection on the main bed allows for slip and tuck settings to be used at the same time in the same row as long as opposite cam buttons are in use. Some of the old punchcard books include patterns referred to as “lace-like” using the setting. The starting side makes a difference in results as to whether one leads with a slip stitch float or a tuck loop in the actual knitting. Swatches in this post have begun with the first needle in work on the ribber and a forward, to be knit, stitch selection on the first needle on the top bed, with an even number in work on both beds. The end needle selection is canceled unless stated otherwise. The cam setting used for these tests the setup row with the first preselection row knit from the right, ending COL as the carriage moves back to the right, the previously not selected needles will slip and get a tad longer while being preselected forward to D for the next carriage pass. Once the pass is completed, the needle selection has reversed, the now non-selected needles will tuck as those same needles are preselected for the next pass from the right.
The appearance COR After the return pass to the left, the tuck loops are evident on top of the needles preselected forward to knitting position on the next pass to the right. Two carriage passes fill one row of knitting, here ending COL. On the ribber, as seen in the thumbnails, one may choose slip or tuck in one direction alternating with an all knit row in the other, or tuck or slip in both directions in an alternating pattern EON_EOR, on an even number of needles with the addition of lili buttons. The appearance on the ribber of the formation of the loops echoes that seen on the main bed changing needle placement unless the carriage is set to tuck in only one direction. A variant of the single bed capability for changing stitch type formation with direction may be achieved on the ribber by manually changing the tucking lever from R to P when the other side of the knitting is reached. A test can quickly be made to observe the stitch formation with the main bed set to knit every row. I chose the left tucking lever down to R when the carriages were on the left, up to P when the carriages reached the right. The tuck stitches with no further action line up over the knit stitches in the previous row There often are aaargh moments in knitting. This has happened to me with some 7 prong transfer tools before, here it did with a double eye tool on my transfer row prior to binding off. There must be a split in the eye of the tools not visible to the human eye resulting in the stitch entering the eye. So far I have been able to rescue the stitches involved, but not without lots of fiddling and some cursing Experiments outside the interlock family: the two-by-two repeat is supplied in most packets of cards that come with the purchase of a punchcard machine. At one point in time, Kate Armitage published a book containing 104 variations of knitting using the card, both single bed and combined with ribber use. There was also the equivalent for card #3, the point being variations are limited only by time and imagination. Because I am now completing posts over time online as opposed to working offline and then publishing, the opportunity is there to share mistakes as well as what appear to be successes at the moment. Once again I fell into the not-writing notes because it is so obvious mode and there was enough time lapse between my first knit swatch below and my writing about it that I was no longer certain about the settings used when sharing it. The knit has more stretch and texture than seen in the photo Re-swatching for possible variations, with notes this time and with lili buttons in use. If the cams are not in the up position on the ribber carriage, stitches will knit, not slip. N is king, without cam buttons in use in either bed, stitches will knit even if a pattern is being selected. There is an adequate stretch at the top allowing the fabric to relax achieved by transferring to the main bed and using a latch tool bind off around 2 gate pegs. The possible variations are endless, note to self: remember to keep good notes. 

To mesh or not to mesh 8, more Numbers meet Gimp

A recent FB post led the discussion to this repeat from a 910 mylar, which does not have the immediately recognizable format of the Brother lace patterns if viewed in a small screengrab such as this. The repeat is included in Ayab test patterns. The full mylar collection and user manual may be found here http://machineknittingetc.com/brother-kh910-pattern-guide.html.
The segment including the lace pattern Brother was the first to allow programming from multiple areas on a single mylar sheet. Starting and ending stitches and rows needed to be entered, I got used to drawing boxes for each pattern as seen on the upper right, reducing errors in future knitting. The red lines on the copy highlight the repeat’s border. Mylars were read 13 rows down, punchcard machines7. The equivalent of arrow markings on lace punchcards are provided in the column on the left, which extends over the top of the drawing space by the same number of rows, allowing it to remain visible above the card reader even as the top of the mylar patterning area is reached.
The design is actually created from isolated areas of a mesh repeat discussed in a previous post. The lace carriage is used for 2 passes and then for 4 alternately, as indicated on the left side of the punchcard. The 2 passes will result in transfers to the left, the 4 make in transfers to the right. This repeat, usable in nonelectronic models, appears in my pre-punched factory basic packs as both #17 and #20. Depending on the electronic model or the software used to download patterns designed for lace, the final image may need to be flipped horizontally. This is true for use on my 930. Creating a template for mesh using numbers: begin with a table with square cells in numbers larger than you might need, ie 24 by 54. The method for doing so has been explained in previous posts. I happen to prefer cell units that measure 20 points by 20. The smallest repeat unit for use on any machine is isolated, shown bordered in red, is 4 stitches wide by 6 rows high, and drawn onto the template. The group of cells in the repeat are selected. If one hovers over any side or top and bottom borders of it, a yellow dot appears. Clicking and dragging on the yellow dot will repeat the full selection to the right, left, up, or down. Here the move is to the right The whole group is selected, and dragging on the yellow dot once more, the whole template can be filled Beginning at the top or bottom of the table, hide all blank rows. Using the command key during the selection process will allow this to be done on the whole table at once or in groups of rows at one time; 36 of the 54 rows are hidden.   At this point, there are a couple of choices. One is superimposing a solid shape. Using a contrasting color makes it easier to sort out its placement the color may be replaced with white in the spreadsheet,
unhide all rows, and the lace pattern is ready for the final steps before using Gimp The other option is to unhide rows on the colored table, screengrab as usual after removing cell borders. Open in Gimp, crop to content, eliminate the cyan row by filling it with white. It was intended as a place holder for the last row in the pattern, is not part of the final repeat.
In this instance, I used mode, indexed, to the maximum of 3 colors.
Choose the color to alpha option from the colors menu.
Using the dropper tool select the color you wish to be made clear, click OK. Create a new image of the same size.
Copy and paste the color-reduced image onto the new one.  Dotted lines will appear in areas that had the color removed previously. Clicking anywhere in the window outside the image anchors the paste and make those dotted lines disappear. If that does not work, select the rectangle tool before doing so. The file is then ready for final scaling. The last image is in RGB mode once more, converted to BW indexed, scaled to 24 by 54, and exported as BMP or choose any other format ie png, etc. to suit your needs.
Responses to alpha selection can vary depending on the original color palette used when filling cells.
Creating a template for drawing simple shapes using transfer lace, it is easier to start out with the transfer grid in a color, rows are hidden as above, eyelet shapes are drawn in black. The rows are unhidden.    In this instance, the red was selected for converting to alpha with the image still in RGB mode, copied and pasted. The pasted image may be anchored in several ways. Using image menu: select merge visible layers, or flatten image; layer menu: select anchor layer, or simply click on rectangle select tool and click again anywhere in the window. Changing the mode to black and white indexed will yield the repeat for final scaling. Each transfer design segment of the repeat is 6 rows in height and completed with 10 combined carriage passes. The lace carriage, LC, operates first, in series of two passes at first, then followed by four, repeating the double sequence throughout. The mylar, card, or computer image, do not reflect the passes made by the knit carriage KC. The latter is set to knit, does not engage the belt, does not advance the pattern. It helps to look at an expanded repeat to understand that indeed, transfers are made in 2 directions.
Referring to design row numbers, not necessarily those on a row counter:
1.  LC preselects for transfers to the left as it travels to the right
2.  LC makes transfers as it moves to the left, no preselection occurs, remains on the left side
3.  KC, moves to the left, completing the first knit row, creating loops on needles emptied by transfers, the pattern does not advance, remains on the same row
4.  KC, moves to the right, completing the eyelet stitches, the pattern remains on the same row, KC then stays on the right
5.  LC moves to the right, no preselection
6.  LC moves to the left, preselects for transfers to right
7.  LC moves to the right, transfers to right, no preselection
8.  LC returns to the left, no transfers or preselection, stays there
9.  KC moves to the left, the pattern remains on the same row
10.KC moves to the right, the pattern remains on the same row, KC then stays on the right Those familiar with eyelet formation in the more traditional transfer lace will notice the differences here, where the geometric shapes are technically superimposed on a mesh whose structure is revealed depending on where the transfers creating them take place. The fabric is easy and very quick to execute since most of it is in stocking stitch. The proof of concept swatch: The design was not planned as continuous, but is easily amended to be so. Here an alternate version is shown, with 2 linear repeats on the left, and a single expanded repeat to its right As for that mylar repeat, this is an image of the shapes with the chart collapsed, eliminating blank rows between black pixels. The resulting partial test used as drawn In fabrics designed this way, using the image as drawn (left), or mirroring it horizontally, does not visually change the result. This does not hold true in more complex transfer lace.
Several large-scale designs based on this method are found in Brother-electro-knit-lace-patterns-3 This random chart from the publication shows a pattern where the number of transfer rows between knit ones has more variation. Again, knit rows are marked in the column on the far left. Those marks on a mylar would remain visible on the outside of the machine, above the card reader as one progresses through knitting. Memo windows or handwritten charts may be the only option for accurate tracking, depending on the machine model and the row count variations. The repeat may also require it to be flipped horizontally. Simply reaching a row with no needle selection does not always mean the location for the 2 knit rows has also been reached. 

Double bed embossed patterns

Some of the previous blog posts containing applicable samples:
Ribber fabrics with stitch transfers between beds 1Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bedBrother shadow lace, rib transfer carriage Combining knit carriage needle selection with racking   Racked patterns 5: Passap/Brother 2
directions and samples from manuals including racking on tuck stitch and other ground variations, this on a tucked ground, in a thin yarn 

Embossed, raised textures are familiar in single bed work using stitch structures such as tuck, slip, weaving, gathered and ruched hand techniques, and in double bed as pile, blister, lace, and ripple patterns.
When embossing is done double bed, the background fabric is knitted in purl stitches on one bed, and the raised design or panel in knit stitches on the other. The first method produces double knit patterns where all needles are working on the back bed, coupled with selected needles for the pattern on the opposite be. The raised, embossed portion is a double knit, showing relief on a purl ground. The second method is to use knit/ purl combinations, easiest to execute with a G carriage.
The striped ground occurs in areas where there are no needles in work and selected for patterning on the main bed. A cabled pattern to try: color changes in these instances are every 2 rows.
Because there are needles completely out of work on the main bed along with pattern selection, this is an instance where end needle selection must be canceled.
The first preselection row is from right to left toward the color changer.
Any transfers or stitch manipulations between or on either bed are made before the first pass to the right with the next color.
The knit carriage is set to slip both ways on the first pass in pattern from the left and stays there, the ribber is set to knit in both directions throughout. Depending on the yarn and the pattern distribution the all striped areas will be longer than those gathered by slipped rows. As usual, begin with a plan. After the first preselection row, transfers are made down to the ribber as indicated at the top of the chart. Cable transfers are made after every 14 knit rows, with stitches crossed on rows 15 and 31. After the cable cables are twisted, the stitches in the color that is going to knit in the next pass are brought out to E so they will knit in that color before the pass to the right, and again before the pass to the left, rows 16 and 32, Y.If the intent is to have solid vertical columns of color, those areas as in column marked A, need to be adjusted for using alternating colors as well. Using the repeat on the left of the chart After the first preselection row to left, transfers are made down to the ribber, stitches that will compose cables are selected in the pattern,
colors are changed after return to the left, and every 2 rows, stitches in the color that does not knit become elongated. Because column A was not color separated for alternating colors, each color in the corresponding needles will knit with every two carriage passes, and the result will be a striped vertical column Cable twists should be planned to retain the correct movent, can alternate each time or repeat in series, charts for location and direction of twists are helpful to avoid errors. The solid vertical columns here are planned in only one color, could be programmed to alternate as well. The repeat used in my swatch includes a solid column on each side of the finished piece, the color swap in the twist at the top can be an unplanned error or serve as a deliberate design change

Analyzing the stitch structures involved for planning 2 color DIY:
two-color ribs on a striped ground require cards or electronic repeats that select each color alternately. Fabric where the backing on the ribber or back bed in machines such as Passap knits all stitches every row is often referred to as half or full Milano. The backing may be also be knit using slip/ tuck settings.
Working in a single color, in half Milano and every needle rib course is followed by a plain knit row on the opposite bed, it is a 2-row repeat. In full Milano fabric, a row of every needle rib is followed by a plain knit row on one side of the fabric, and then by a plain knit course on the other. The repeat is three rows high. On every third row, the ribber carriage must be set to slip for one row, in the direction in which the carriage will be moving, prior to knitting a row with every needle preselection on the top bed. The setting is changed back to knit for 2 rows when the carriages reach the opposite side. The required cam change will happen on alternate sides. Both sides of the fabric have small stitches alternating with longer ones formed by slipped rows. half Milano full MilanoOften an all slip setting is used on the top or front bed, the result has less elasticity than a full needle rib, and the knit will have a tendency to curl toward the side which shows fewer knit rows, so in a finished piece side borders in the same stitch type should be considered.
Adding color changes in the ground requires altering the repeats.
Hand techniques may be used to modify ribs by cabling, racking, transferring stitches to the backing. When knitting again on empty needles, if you want eyelets, simply keep knitting. If not, hang the pull loop from the adjacent stitches on the opposite bed before resuming knitting.
Cable color placement must be reversed at the cable crossing.
Racked sequences are made along with stitch transfers.
To emboss other than vertical ribs the needle selection needs to be changed every 2 rows. This can be done manually, following a chart, or with programmed patterning whether with punchcard or electronic options.
Plaiting can produce 2 color variations without color separations.
When increasing stitches, moving the adjacent stitch onto the new needle, leaving it empty, will change the eyelet location a stitch away from the edge.
When moving stitches for decreases, lateral transfers may be made with multiple stitch transfer tools for different effects.
Transfer carriages can speed up the process.
To start the pattern one can begin with a cast on only on the ribber or back bed, or transfer non-selected stitches after the first preselection row on Brother as seen in most of my previous swatches, with 2 rows knitting on the backing alone, and 2 rows of the main color knitting on both beds. With either cast on, the preselection row is made toward the color changer with needles in work position on the main bed, so the knit carriage needs to be set to slip so as not to pick up unwanted loops on the top bed as it moves toward the color changer, and will remain set to slip both ways throughout the pieces.
As mentioned, the term Milano refers to ribs composing weft knit structures where one side of the fabric knits more rows than the other.
In half Milano, a single long stitch is created in the pattern color, in full Milano small stitches alternate with a row of longer stitches created when traveling back to the color changer.
The preselection start is determined by the type of long stitch, and how the repeat is programmed. I prefer to start my repeats with knit rows.
A half Milano swatch is begun with all stitches on the ribber bed, COR: the needle actions for each design row if patterning were on every needle are shown below. Designing may be easier to plan or chart on a template, followed by actions for each pattern design row with the second color. Half Milano on left, full Milano on right for use in 2- color-work 
Half Milano stitch formation on the left, full on the right Planning for a half Milano shape design outlined with added borders and with vertical columns at intervals in the alternate color: every 4th row is marked in yellow as the underlying template. A simple shape is charted out, marked with black cells, the pattern starts with a knit row. Preselection in slip stitch is made toward color changer, black pixels will pick up stitches moving to the right, slip top row moving to the left. Decreasing to maintain the dominant color shape is not necessary, while the border, in this case, is shaped by decreases made by transferring non selected needles to the ribber before knitting with that color from left to right. Border cells are added immediately up and to the side of those planned for knitting on the previous row, their respective cells are outlined in green. Software programs make it easy to alter the repeats and add borders  if wanted
Actual knitting will indicate whether adjustments are needed in making the repeat continuous vertically or with some added striped ground only rows in between. I had not noticed a stitch hung up on a gatepeg, explaining the distortion in the row marked by yellow arrows, where the yarn was caught and pulled up. 

These techniques share some features with the category of double bed appliqué, where one bed knits the main fabric while the other creates the shapes, which are attached to the fabric as you knit. In the finished fabric the purl side is the right side, the ground may be created in a solid color or striped. Both shapes are knit at the same time, as opposed to performing the technique on a single bed. As usual, the color changers should be threaded so that yarns feed smoothly and do not cross. With simple shapes as in shadow lace, no punchcard may be necessary, while cards or electronic repeats simplify the steps and help prevent mistakes.
In Japanese machines, for each row in the charts 2 rows are knit in the background first on the ribber, followed by 2 rows in the shape color on the alternate bed.
Smooth yarns and contrasting colors that still allow identifying knit structures easily are best. There is a limit to the number of colors that may be knit at once. Beginning with hand techniques: it is good to chart out the design before tackling it, and with color changers limited to holding 4 colors, if planning several shapes, the sequences in the color changes may need to be plotted out ahead of knitting as well.
Purl loops are the tops of the stitches in the row immediately below the stitches on the needle on the opposite bed, marked in green, while sinker loops consist of the yarn that is between the stitches on the needles, marked in red. Hanging the purl loops will help to eliminate or reduce the size of the eyelets. Take care not to use the sinker loops between the stitches, marked in red.  In executing the fabric as a hand technique, the main bed is still set to slip in both directions, the ribber to knit every row
1. Knit 2 rows on the ribber alone
2. Bring needles to be worked in the pattern at the upper working position D or E, hang loops from ribber if there are increases if preferred, knit a row
3. Bring needles in pattern manually to D or E again, knit the second row of the appliqué
Repeat steps one and 2
In published directions color 1 usually refers to the ground color, which knits on the ribber only. Color 2 generally knits on the patterning bed as well. When most needles are in work on either bed, the tension for the yarn on that bed approaches the one used for that same yarn if it were being used single bed.
Punching all squares in 2 consecutive rows, or programming 2 all-pixel rows filled in completely across followed by two unpunched blank or all white pixel rows makes the process quicker. Punching or filling in single rows may be done as well, but requires elongation X2. Increases or decreases may be done on more than single stitches, and less frequently than with every pattern pass.
Fully fashioned shaping alters the edge of the appliques and places the eyelets in pattern, at or away from the edges. In Brother machines preselection of needles needs to be retained after any stitch manipulations.
Adding shapes with additional eyelets: practice shaping, keep notes, fully fashioned=FF  Begin with simple shapes, examining the quality of increases and decreases, whether single or multiple, eyelet formation.  Picking up from the row below before the next pass with the contrast color eliminates eyelets
picking up from row below at any point during knitting decreases in the number of stitches, in contrast, may be made by transferring down to the ribber prior to changing back to the ground color Simple increases or decreases are made by moving stitches laterally in either or both directions.  Increases may be made by moving contrast color stitches laterally, followed by the choice as to whether to fill in the empty needle or allow it to create an eyelet.   Fully fashioned increases or decreases are made by moving a stitch or a group of them to the adjacent needle/s to the left or the right and then taking the double stitches back to the original position, leaving a single empty needle for the planned eyelet formation. There should not be multiple needles with no stitches on them unless the goal is to expose a stripe of ground typically, in these exercises, there should be single empty needles after transfers, making certain proper needle selection for the pattern group is maintained Combining eyelets with lateral increases When transferring stitches, watch for any loops getting caught on gate pegs, as seen on the left below, increases and decreases may be pre-formed on more than single stitches

Planning a medallion: cyan cells represent transfers to the left, the magenta to the right. At the top of the single medallion, the stitches were transferred to the ribber prior to knitting with the same color once there was no needle preselection for it on the top bed.
Programming repeats to help track needle transfers as well: it is possible to start with a published repeat, though once the principle is understood, required markings for DIY become easier. Electronic machines leave one free in planning repeat width. In this test, a repeat from the Stitchworld pattern was used. In its built-in memory format, it will not work, the repeat needs to be altered. Each sequence of passes with the LC consists of 4 passes, followed by two rows knit with the KC. Two rows are added to each lace passes sequence, which will knit on the ribber only, in the contrasting color. Transfers to left and right are marked in cyan and magenta. The specific software used or machine model may require that the repeat be flipped horizontally prior to being knit, true on my 930. Markings on the left are for ribber actions and settings, those on the right for the main bed. K indicates that that bed will be slipping, K that it will knit. The first preselection row after the chosen cast on is from right to left with end needle selection canceled and the knit carriage already set to slip in both directions, with all required needles on the top bed in the B position.
Transfers are made prior to carriage passes made with the pattern color, in this case, white. If a transfer patterning row follows a white row on the ribber, extra white rows will appear on the striped ground seen in this test, where the ribber remained set to knit every row in both colors  To eliminate the extra white rows, the main bed stays set to slip every row, the ribber settings alternate. It is set to slip for two rows immediately after knitting with the red yarn, then will be reset and knits for 4 consecutive rows.  Transfers to create eyelets are made on selected needles on each of those two rows, always toward the carriage, even as the transfers themselves change directions as the angles of the shape decrease toward its center on the top half of the design. After the first transfer and the carriages travel to the right, a long float will be evident, will “disappear” on the return to the left. Patterning selection will reappear as the carriages return to the left. The color is not changed. The ribber is set to knit in both directions again, forming stitches on both beds for the first two rows, followed by a color change and knitting in the red, on the ribber only for 2 rows, completing a sequence of 4 knit rows before the ribber being set once more to slip.  For consistency, I changed the settings on it to slip before picking up the white, changed it again after preselection of lots of needles meant the top bed stitches needed to be knit on both beds again. The first proof of concept, observing choices: as with other samples, the first patterning row after all stitches are transferred to the ribber requires a choice as to whether to pick up from the row below or simply allow empty needles to pick up loops on the next pass, the choice throughout here, marked A. Reducing stitches may be done by transferring down to ribber, B, or lateral transfers, C. D marks the spot for a possible shape design shape. Arrows on the purl side point to the direction of transfers, cyan to left, magenta to the right  As with single bed lace, the first pass after transfers creates loops on empty needles, which here need to be kept in upper work, D position after transfers. For non Brother knitters, Brother positions are A, B, D, E, skipping C. Knitting over the loops on the next pass on that bed completes the stitch. This design is knit as continuous, the striping at the bottom is wrong because the red was not picked up after the first 2 rows knit in pattern with white,  most sequences for the remaining fabric are 4 passes with white in the feeder, followed by 2 in the red.  All eyelets here are reduced in size by picking up from the row below, all transfers for decreases are made laterally, the border is set to a width of 4 stitches, the pivot point for the repeat has been narrowed the differences at the edges of the shapes.  Many of the same principles may be applied to designs using tuck stitch settings, where the striping will appear vertically rather than horizontally
2 color ribbed brioche stitch on Brother knitting machine 1
Lace transfers meet fisherman rib, 2 color ribbed brioche on Brother machines 2
Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 1
More on Lace transfers in single color rib 

Large scale mesh, a punchcard repeat adapted for electronic

Previous posts including fabrics in this family:
2011: Large scale mesh, breaking the rules 
2013: Large eyelet lace, hand transferred (or not)
2020: Revisiting large eyelet lace, hand transferred (or not)

This was the punchcard provided in the first post, knit with 4 passes of each carriage, the knit carriage set to tuck in both directions Brother punchcard machines do not advance pattern rows when two carriages are used for needle selection as each carriage begins to move from the opposite side, the same preselection is repeated. This means editing is required at times if the same designs are to be used on electronic machines, particularly true in lace combination fabrics. The process has been discussed in posts on automating lace edgings with slip stitch settings.
End needle selection is canceled in both carriages, if any end needles are selected prior to a lace carriage pass, they need to be pushed back to B position manually in order to avoid transfers resulting in decreasing stitch counts or dropped stitches.
All versions proposed below share transfers that result in 3 stitches on a single needle, with two empty needles on each side of them.  Here the needles are preselected for the next pass which will begin to fill in the double space, the needle in D position will knit, the one in B position will tuck;   this is how the yarn is laid over those 2 needles after the first tuck row is completed,  and both when using the card and in the first electronic repeat there will be a third tuck loop that is laid over the needle holding the 3 stitches. This is the appearance of the stitch formations just prior to an all knit row  Here analyzing the actions of the punchcard, marking rows according to card actions, the repeat is expanded to include the extra duplicate rows. Though the repeat remains 24 stitches wide, it is no longer usable for use on a punchcard machine. For knitting on the 930, the design requires flipping horizontally in order to knit properly. The third tuck row may be eliminated to produce an extra all knit row, resulting in a slight difference in the shape of the eyelets Lastly, the repeat may be amended with extra stitches and rows between each eyelet  

Origami inspired 2: more pleats and folds using ribber


Periodically I search out previous drafts, this post was started in September 2019. Drawn to folds in a variety of ways again, I am publishing it in progress with the intent of adding more and information and related swatches.

Some previous posts with related topics and technique swatches: origami-inspired pleats1, racked patterns Passap/Brother 2, ribber pleated fabrics, and some possible needle arrangements 3.
There are many considerations if long panels or wide ones are required when setting up repeats in addition to what happens at the edges of patterns in racking as one bed moves near or past the needles in work on the opposite bed. If something like a skirt is planned, the choice must be made as to which side of the knit is preferred, and the end stitches of each panel should be on the underside of the piece unless the join is a deliberate design feature. To achieve that, some panels may need to be wider than others. If the pleats are bulky and involve deep foldovers, panels may be attached to yokes to reduce bulk at the hips. If working from illustrations for pleats for another brand, the needle setups shown may need to be reversed, or, since many such fabrics are reversible, if manual set up and no additional patterning on the Japanese machines knit bed or European true double bed they can be knit as illustrated. Lock settings for the Passap are given with the back lock first (ribber settings on Brother), then for the front bed lock (top, knit bed on Brother). Cast ons must be fairly tight so there is no flare at the bottom of the pleats. They usually start on a standard needle setting. Needle transfers are usually made after the cast-on is completed, sealing the stitches with one row of all knit stitches. Swatches should be a minimum of 100 stitches wide by 100 rows if the end goal is a gauge significant garment. All fabrics with texture may change in both appearance and gauge after a period of rest. Some shaping if needed may be obtained by tension changes, OOW needle arrangements on either or both beds, or stitch type within folds (ie adding fisherman, half fisherman, EON patterning, etc.)
Pleat formation on the double bed is “easy” because the pleats are formed “automatically” according to the needle arrangement on each bed. That is true if the resulting folds are created by stocking stitches in vertical bands. My goal is not to provide patterns. There are many well-written ones easily available.

How small can one go? A tiny pleat: It is easier to transfer stitches when the ribber is set to P (Passap handle up). Remember to return the setting to half-pitch before continuing. The pleat is reversible, shown on both sides, reminds me of shadow pleats racking by one position X3 at first, and then X 5 in each direction did not produce results worth the effort IMO, the result is subtle, the reverse side of the fabric is slightly stretched in the bottom photo. Here the fold is created by 2 stitches tucking for 2 consecutive, then knitting on the same needles for 2 rows on regularly spaced pairs of needles on either bed. Most knitting is on a single bed. A lacey series of eyelets begin to appear, and in some random racking at the top of the swatch, the possibility of developing a secondary pattern due to the combination of racking and tucking begins to show. The middle image is of the fabric slightly stretched.  Passap Brother: the ribber can do the stocking stitch background, every needle in work, carriage set to knit. The setup is the same as the Passap diagram. A repeat with 2 black rows of squares followed by 2 white can be programmed on the top bed. On every needle selected rows, pairs of needles will knit, on the white, no selection rows the same pairs of needles will tuck for 2 rows. Moving away from vertical ribs becomes significantly easier if one has a G carriage. The alternative option is to create geometric folds that require transferring between beds. Any of these fabrics are best knit in a yarn that has memory and can spring back. Yarns such as acrylic can be permanently flattened by pressing, resulting in loss of texture. A quick experiment: black cells represent knit stitches, blue purl ones The needle setups: after casting on, transfer for a stitch configuration based in this case, of blocks that are 5 stitches wide. A single needle on the opposite bed is used on each outside edge of all needles in work.  When there are no groups of stitches in work on both beds the pitch can be set to and remain on P, which also will make transfers easier, as needles will be point-to-point. The ratio used in the test was in multiples of 5. The groups were 5 stitches wide, 15 rows high, with all knit 10 rows in between the repeats. The fabric is shown first relaxed as immediately off the machine, then lightly steamed and stretched. The yarn is a 2/18 wool, far too thin for this use, and likely to flatten considerably with pressing. The close-up of the purl side offers a better view of the resulting folds The repeat, 10 stitches by 40 rows. More on Knit and purl blocks to create folding fabric_ “pleats”Pleated, plaited shadow lace Pleated one color “shadow lace” in Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed

Pleated dbj A repeat that will spiral, usable in spiral socks Spaces between any and all blocks may be adjusted to suit one’s preferences.

Visualizing maze or mosaic potential from tuck or slip stitch repeats

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

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

Bowknot aka butterfly or dragonfly stitch in more than one color

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