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 

Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed

This post originally included samples worked using needles on the ribber as well, now in another in progress post: Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed
An earlier post with a range of single-color experiments: A hand-knit consult to machine knit slip stitch
The inspiration source for the topic here was found on Pinterest Adapting the motif for machine knitting, visualizing the actions needed. The repeat is suitable for punchcard machines as well. The first preselection row is toward the color changer, end needle selection is on. Cable crossings, 1 front, 3 back, are made every 4 rows except where the color reverses at the midpoint, where 4 all knit rows are preselected and occur. The fourth, extra non selected needle, X, is removed on a tool and held in front of the work. The three adjacent stitches are then also removed on a tool, moved to fill in the now empty needle to the left in the bottom segment of the repeat, to the right in the top half. The remaining held stitch is then transferred onto the newly empty needle. All stitches in the transfer group are brought to D, the remaining needles should have been preselected. If any have been disturbed, line them up as well so all the needles will knit with the carriage set to slip. The color is changed, and the row with the completed transfers becomes the first all knit row in the next color pair or rows. 
The repeat as programmed into my 930
Working on a single bed is for me, more user-friendly than double bed. I like to program the width of my repeats when possible, they can then be treated as single motifs, the default in the 930 with downloads using img2track, and I do not have to rely on notes, memory, or position programming to place the work predictably on the needle bed. My full repeatThe knit carriage was set to KC I and to slip in both directions, the same design and execution methods were used as for the first swatch. The yarn is 2/18 wool, the tension was set at 4.., the slipped and crossed stitches pull the fabric in both width and height, the swatch was steamed and pressed to flatten it. Small eyelets occur along the edges where the single stitches were moved to one side or the other across three needle positions. It was not possible to produce a 3X3 crossing at the center of the shapes. Over time I have encountered illustrations of unraveled knit or slipped stitches being brought out to the purl side, creating thread patterns on the knit surface, and changing the color structure on the purl. This illustrates a slip stitch being created via a hand technique Here the dropped stitch is hooked up on the purl side  Using the automated slip stitch setting simplifies the technique. The method often described to deal with moving the elongated slipped stitches is illustrated below. Using a latch tool inserted behind the slip floats, remove a single slipped stitch at a time, passing it under the slip stitch floats, and rehanging it in its original needle position.  In testing techniques, a simple design that is recognizable with the preselection of needles makes it easier to track progress and accuracy. Though these patterns may be executed in a single color, working in contrasting, bright yarn colors is helpful in isolating stitch formations and understanding their structures. More than one stitch may be moved at any one time. I found when using more than 2 rows of slip the ground fabric began to look gathered and distorted, so my tests are knit using 2X2 pixel blocks.
To move the slipped stitches, slide a multiple eye tool under the slip stitch floats that are to be moved to the front of the knit, holding the tool parallel to the knit bed, lift floats up and onto the non selected needles,   pull tool forward, so stitches and floats move behind the latches push tool back toward the needle bed lift the slipped stitches and floats together onto the tool insert a latch tool from behind between the prongs of the multiple eye tool,  lift the floats over the eyes of the tool, placing them behind it and the slipped stitches, being careful not to hook them up onto gatepegs,
now lift the original slipped stitches back onto their previous place on the needle bed, they will be part of the first all knit row in the contrasting color;  bring the needles with the restored stitched out to E, thus making certain they will knit as the carriage makes its next pass The pattern is charted below in development, color changes were planned every 2 rows. The third blank row in each slip stitch location marks the spot for the above manipulations to take place, noted in the chart with grey cells marked with pink dots. After the initial preselection row toward the color changer, only for the first all knit pattern row, push non-selected needles out to hold, E, to ensure all stitches will knit in the ground color. Subsequently, the first design row is part of the continuing repeat. The next color change will begin to form the floats. The sequence at the bottom of the swatch is off because I had a change of heart about which color I wanted to form the solid color shapes To my surprise, the process became oddly meditative, and I moved onto a different motif built with 2X2 pixel blocks. As seen with mazes and mosaics, a design intended for standard fair isle, tuck, or slip, with color changes every 2 rows, will produce an altered final shape,  Combining hand techniques: the starting chart begins to address the movement of stitches. On the left, the placement of crossed colors is shown, but technically the design produced is different. On the rows marked with X and red cells, cable crossings are made. All stitches in that row are then pushed out to E, the color is changed and the result is that row and the preselected next one are going to knit on every stitch, those rows are highlighted with red cells on the right as well. Black cells reflect punched holes or repeat for a 24 stitch brick repeatTwo types of crossings were used in the swatch, one moving the elongated slipped stitches on the knit side of the work, the simpler process,  the other involves moving the slipped stitches to the purl side of the work which the purl side after slipping the slip stitch floats behind them in the first steps, followed by performing all crossings to the purl side, then bringing all the needles out to E, changing the color, and continuing in the pattern. The blank line indicates the crossing row, the numbers the rows actually knit. The resulting knit proof of concept: the fabric has a 3D effect. My red yarn is an acrylic chosen simply for thickness and contrast that flattened with a bit of steam. The white yarn travels in two opposite directions for the crossings, creating eyelets in the center of each pair of moves. The slip stitch floats brought to the knit side in the top half nearly disappear on the knit side. Both surfaces are “bumpy” A design with each color being crossed: the attempted visualization and repeat. The repeat appears to use slip-stitch in a vertical column, not ever possible in standard knitting. The explanation is that on those blank rows, crossings are made prior to knitting the next row. The chart on the left reflects the needle placement of each color after the crossings.  All pattern needles are then brought out to E, maintaining the needle selection. Slipped stitches will have been replaced by knit ones in the alternate color.
When ready for cabling, there will be 3 floats in one color, and a fourth, single one, in the other.
For the first row of knitting, there will be no preselection. Bring all those needles out to E with color 1, then continue as described.
My first test had 2 more rows in each pattern segment, I found the stitches persistently wanting to jump off the needles due to the amount of texture. The charted repeat Transferring the slip stitch floats to the knit side was fiddly, I actually prefer the texture created by moving the elongated loops on the knit side. All cabled fabrics narrow considerably. My swatch is 24 stitches wide, knit at tension 9, 14 transfer repeats measure a whole 2.25 inches in width, 4.25 in length. The white yarn is a 2/8 wool, the red a 2/11.5 acrylic.
The very first preselection row and those blank rows in a card or in pixels will only select the first and last needle if the cam button is set to KC one, signaling action needs to be taken the needle selection is fixed, so it easy to ID and restore after transfers are made. A couple more ways to transfer those slip stitch floats to the front of the fabric: floats can be lifted on top of the needles that formed them and behind the stitches on them, a fine knitting needle or tool can be inserted through the stitches across the row, a few, or a pair at a time, being careful not to twist the stitches. In turn, the stitches can then be dropped off the main bed, held on the needle or tool, and be replaced carefully on the needles in question across the row. Crossings are then made, the proper needle set up is manually chosen for the next carriage pass, and the process starts over again. Folks who like lifelines could thread a ravel cord threaded through a needle and use them to remove the same stitches off the bed instead of the knitting needle.   

Returning to cabling with crossings showing only on the knit side, attempting wider cables: several issues need to be worked out. The more frequently one color is slipped, the more rows the alternate color will knit, which will lead to distortion of the fabric in the striped areas. The greater the number of stitches crossed, the harder the cable is to achieve, so my tests use 2X2 cables. Dark colors are harder to see both when moving stitches, and often in the final fabric. Spacing between the cabled columns and whether or not to place them or all knit rows on the edges is another choice that needs to be made. The charted repeats are for the red cable with the second spacing, illustrating options for cabling on row 7 or row 11, pulling needles out to E after making the transfers before knitting the last row of the design. Pairs of slipped and all knit rows are added to lengthen the distance between cables and to reduce some of the extra lengths in all striped areas This idea may work in a border or a trim as well. I did not test bringing the slipped stitches to the purl side. The chart shows adjustments in the placement of the repeat to make tracking crossings easier The actions takenOne more to try If the goal is to add checks along with solid color cables, the best way to achieve the fabric is to use the fair isle setting. There will be 2 sets of floats formed with each carriage pass. A blank segment may be added at the stitch crossing location as in previous repeats, with those needles brought out to E before the next row is knit, remembering that proper needle preselection needs to be maintained throughout Another approach is to bring elongated stitches created manually up on the purl side. The resulting fabric will be more gathered on the knit side, with no formation of slip stitch floats, it is referred to as ruching, and may serve as a compromise when color changes are made over 2 rows of contrast

 

A hand knit consult to machine knit slip stitch

I was contacted via a comment here about the possible methods for reproducing this handknit pattern Observations: there are elongated loops on the knit side of the fabric, likely created with slipped stitches. There appear to be eyelets on the purl side. The total number of stitches remains constant throughout the knit. The row repeat spacing is fairly close, so at least to start with I tried single repeats to achieve the look, was not pleased with any of the initial results. That led me to an online search for what would visually appear to have similar qualities in handknit samples.  Knittingfool.com is an extensive resource and, to my eye, this slip stitch pattern, “little birds”,  shares similarities with the above swatch as do “oats” found in a 1984 handknitting publication  I have a hard time with longhand written instructions for patterns nowadays, have grown so used to creating or working from published charts. As usual, I plan out tentative repeats and ideas, began with this,  toying with where to place slipped stitches and then transitioned to translating any repeats for use in machine knitting, keeping in mind that in hand knitting actions are made as the row is being knit, while in machine knitting they take place prior to returning the carriage to the opposite side thus knitting that row. This was my first repeat after replacing cells with squares representing knit stitches with black and white planned pixels for electronic download.
On the machine, the distance between stitches is fixed, so for any crossings or lots of movement across the needle bed it is best to use yarn with a bit of stretch, and a stitch size large enough to allow for the desired actions. I found slipping for 2 rows only did not create enough loop length, so I changed the slip stitch areas to 3 rows in height. The slip stitch setting is used in both directions throughout. White squares represent areas where needles on the bed are skipped/slipped, not being selected forward and thus knit. This happens for 3 rows, resulting in the required elongated stitches. On the 4th pattern row, the group of 3 not selected needles is where the stitch transfers and crossings occur. Any cabling, eyelet fill-in, etc, needs to be performed prior to knitting that row and moving the carriage to the opposite side. The work is always done with purl side facing, so matching the direction of patterning to a hand-knit may also require mirroring of crossings, depending on your knitting machine model. The goal is to have the K3tog with the long loops in front of the single knit stitch in the center position.

To execute the slip stitch crossings in front of the center knit stitch on the knit side of the fabric transfer the center stitch in the group of 3 and hold aside, take the left elongated stitch and move it onto the now empty needle at the center position of the group of 3transfer the elongated stitch on the right onto that same center stitch. This may be done in the reverse order to have loops move in the opposite direction on the knit side of the fabric. Move the stored original center stitch back onto that center position, there will now be 3 stitch loops held on the single needle fill in the empty needles to avoid large eyelets, picking up from the row below repeat the process across the bed, bring all the needles used out to hold position prior to knitting the next row The yarn used was 3/8 wool at loosest tension possible, the result is subtle as any spaces between stitches get pretty well filled in. Moving on to denser patterning The elongated stitch crossings now happen every 4 rows, but across two needles, not one. I used a tightly twisted rayon for the test swatch thinking they might be more visible, but the openness in the stitch formation because of the fixed spacing on the metal bed confuses the texture a bit. Simply leaving the empty needle out of work and continuing to knit (1) created too large an eyelet to my taste. Trying to pick up the third slipped loop (2) had the same effect. The best result was obtained by picking up from the row below on each side of the three stitches that are removed and then returned to the needle bed (3).
When pattern row 4 is reached, the not selected stitches are removed on a 3 prong tool, the elongated stitches are moved onto the center needle of the now resulting group of 5e wrapping the third row of floats can be tested by inserting a single eye tool front to back, twisting either counter or clockwise and rehanging on an empty needle, thus casting on an “extra” stitch going back to picking up from row below this shows the number of skip stitch floats in each test the appearance on the knit side comparison to the handknit. Charting the actions for a hand-knit version: the top images illustrate the moves on the purl side while on the machine, below it those on the knit side when hand knitting the patternPlotting out borders and repeats for a small test including make-1 increases in order to keep the total stitch count constant. I do little hand knitting nowadays, so when doing so I add as much information as possible including some stitch counts until the pattern is established and I can visually follow it more easily. The resulting test swatch Comparison with the original: I knit 3 together through front loops, so my long stitches are crossed in the opposite direction of the original. Knitting through the back of the 3 stitches would reverse it and yield a matching result. This is an  illustration of the method I used to “make one”,  in my swatch I kept the direction constant

A later post that includes color explorations: Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed

2 color ribbed brioche stitch on Brother knitting machine 1

After a complicated nearly 3 months I am returning to some knitting, and am sharing some of my results once again.

I have always found 2 or more color patterned brioche stitches executed in hand knitting as inspiring and complex challenges to admire, but am not tempted to actually attempt to execute them in any way.

I have not knit on a Studio KM in more than a decade. I have been asked whether this fabric is possible to produce on Studio/Knitmaster. The most crucial difference IMO between the 2 brands (Passap has its own universe) is the fact that Studio selects and knits with each pass. Needle pre-selection for clues is not an option. I have gathered some information from manuals on tuck knitting including “English rib and Double English rib” as clues to anyone who wants to work out the technique sorting out their own Studio settings tuck on studio km

This was my first Brother machine knit swatch result:

Each of the 2 colors tucks for 2 rows and in turn, knits for 2 rows alternately. Settings are changed manually as shown below after every 2 rows knit, following each color change on the left. Making things a little easier: the top bed may be programmed on any machine, including punchcard models to avoid cam button changes in the knit carriage every 2 rows. With the main bed set to tuck <– —> throughout, black squares will knit for 2 rows, white squares will tuck. The first preselection row is toward the color changer. When no needles are selected on the top bed (white squares), ribber is set to knit. The top bed will tuck every needle.

When needles are selected on the top bed (black squares), the ribber is set to tuck in both directions. The ribber will tuck on every needle.

Proof of concept: blue yarn is used on rows where main bed needles are selected (black squares). The crossed stitches at the top right begin to represent an effort to create surface shapes or designs on the fabric. They are created by cabling 1X1, making certain the stitch creating the “shape” is carried to the front side of the fabric, the opposite stitch crossed so it is facing the knitter. I used KCI in this instance, the first needle on left in work on the ribber bed, last needle on right in work on the top bed. A border is created on the knit’s edges on the far right and left. The reverse side of the fabric:

Using a blank square on a knit row to help track 1X1 transfer patterns Working the 24 stitch repeat using KCI; both first and last needles in work on the ribber bed. Due to operator error and forgetting to change ribber settings after transfer row, I chose to stop knitting rather than attempt a pattern correction

Another attempt at cabling, 1X1 and 2X2. That white line in the bottom image on the right was caused by the color changer picking up and knitting both colors for part of the row before my noticing it. I got rid of the “wrong” color from the feeder and continued on. The wider 2X2 cables require “special handling” and eyelets are formed on columns aside from them after transfers are made. Before attempting to knit crossed stitches such as the above in every needle rib, it is worth exploring cables crossed in vertical stripe color patterns single bed. This is a hand-knit inspiration series of patterns, better left to hand knitting

one of my ancient machine knit demo swatches:

On any knitting machine with every other punched hole, black squares, or pixels locked on a single row, if the pattern is knit in FI, continuous columns of vertical color are created. 

If the goal in creating the continuous and unbroken vertical stripe 2 color pattern, one must place like color on like color. Because FI is essentially a slip stitch the fabric will be tighter, narrower, and shorter than that produced knitting either yarn in stocking stitch. Cables on the machine need to be transferred across fixed widths between needles, so there are distinct limits as to how far stitches will allow their movement in groups in either direction. Loosening the tension can often help. Sometimes it is possible to create extra slack by a variety of means, making moving the stitches easier. I have found my own limit for this fabric was working with a 2X2 cross (it is possible to work moving single needles as well). Adding to the complexity of single bed: proper needle selection for the next row knit needs to be restored prior to knitting it when using the FI setting, movement of stitches is mirrored on the knit side in the opposite direction of that viewed on the purl. Visualizing some possibilities as worked on the purl side to consider the knit side appearance mirroring is not enough the direction and appearance of the crossed stitches on the knit surface is reversed from that on the purl as well 

When working every needle rib it will take 4 rows of knitting with 2 color changes to produce the striping. R represents stitches on the ribber, K the stitches on the knit bed

Tuck stitches widen the fabric. As a result, the tucked knitting in this chart on the ribber (represented by the color yellow), forces the space between the knit stitches produced on the main bed (represented by the color green) apart, while stitches tucked on the ribber will create the gap between the stitches knit on the ribber, appearing on the reverse side of the fabric. The combinations create the appearance of single stitch vertical stripes.

This is an illustration of one possibility for programming reminders for tracking the location of cable crossings 

Every needle ribs are generally knit at tighter tensions than when the same yarn is knit single bed. Too loose a tension in any tuck fabric causes problems with loops forming or knitting off properly, too tight will produce stitches that do not knit off properly. One limitation of crossing stitches here is the actual stitch size, which needs to be constrained to produce the fabric. Tiny stitches need to travel across fixed space. One by one crossing is manageable, 2 by 2 requires extra slack to make the transfers possible.

Adding some “give” to crossed stitches
1: the carriage has moved from left to right after the color change. All needles except for the four white squares in my design were preselected prior to the next row of knitting. The carriage now stays on the right
2: take note of the white tuck loops formed on the ribber on the previous pass from left to right
3: white tuck loops ( I chose center 3) are lifted up and off their respective needles and allowed to drop between the beds. This will allow the 4 white cable crossing stitches to have more slack. 
4: cross your cable in the intended direction
5: push cable stitch needles out to E
Knit from right to left, change color, continue in pattern 

With some planning on longer pattern repeats it is possible to plan added clues to tracking rows on which the cables occur, and their location on the needle bed. Repeats with very few marked areas merit testing in tile as any other repeat. The repeat on the left when tiled shows the area of a patterning error, on the right with the missing blank rows added the problem is shown to be resolved.A proof of concept swatch: Planning for all over the brick layout of corrected repeat: More detailed charts of the 2 repeats, suitable for punchcard machines, editable further for use in electronics. Ayab knitters need to repeat the final motif across the width of the download to match the number of pixels to the number of stitches in use across the needle bed, use the single setting.

 

Vertical racking 3: automating half fisherman in pattern (2)

Working with the half fisherman racking discussed in the last post, here is an approach to interpreting the fabric seen below for knitting on a Brother model knitting machine.  500_557For the sample chart, I chose a 12 stitch repeat, making it executable on any knitting machine. The ribber is set to half-pitch. An often-overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to be found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. With the latter at 5, the red triangle appears pointing to L. As the bed is racked to position 4, the red arrow now points to the letter R. This is a simple racking pattern involving only the 2 positions, either to R or L

pitch_rack

Once on position 4, the red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move (R), the “empty” arrow the direction for the next move (L), bringing the position back to 5. More complex patterns require a bit more planning and tracking to avoid errors.

rack2

Racking patterns in books often recommend beginning the fabric with the setting on 5, or the center position for the machine in question.  Doing so allows for balanced edges in patterns that swing by multiple positions in both directions. In this instance, for the sake of avoiding mistakes in as many ways as possible, I would start the pattern on racking position 10. Racking cannot go any further to the right, so no chance for example of racking to 6 rather than 4 in the knitting because of inattention. Having a “cheat sheet” with row numbers where no racking occurs, and the position of the carriage to R or L at their start and or after the knitting is also helpful. I had to lower the tension on both beds considerably to avoid forming loops that in turn got hung up on gate pegs. Especially at the start make certain that the comb and weights drop properly. Using KCI will ensure that the first and last stitch on the main bed always knit. In the patterning used on the Passap back bed (previous post), the groups of needles in each half of the repeat will change to the alternate position with each pass of the lock. On the rows where the back lock is changed to N, selection continues in pattern, but no tucking occurs. In this chart, the pattern is maintained continuously throughout, while blank “remaining” squares are filled in on rows where no tucking or racking occurs = N, every needle knits. In Brother machines, both tuck buttons are pushed in. Selected needles knit, non selected tuck across the row. new program 2symbols

I tested the pattern approach on my 910, with a 38 row, 20 stitch repeat in a random acrylic. I had some issue with some needles not selecting properly, for whatever reason. The repeat was not planned so a full 10 stitches were at each side of the knit, resulting in the difference on the right side of the swatch photo from its left.

larger repeat

half the repeat with color change on a single plain knit row (use of color changer only possible with even row change sequences), the top stripe of the swatch in plain rib

half repeatN1

1rowN1_584

back to scales and knitting them

Overall,  wider repeats and thicker yarns gave me harder to knit fabric, with less noticeable pockets and lack of stretch and “bounce”;  ultimately I went back to a 6X6, 12 stitch 2-row sequences illustrated in the chart above. The thinner yarn needs to be with a bit of stretch, and enough strength not to break when ribbed and racked at the tightest possible tension. This is a fabric that requires concentration, having as many clues as possible to help stay on track is useful. If errors are made close enough to the all knit row, it is possible to unravel carefully to that point and continue on. Mylars or punchcards may be marked to reflect racking position. Here the mark on the right = 10, the one on the left = 9. Marks take into consideration that the card reader’ design row and knitter’s eye level row views are not the same.

mylar_marks

A row cheat sheet can help track carriage location for all knit rows. Pictured below is part of mine. Wording for clues or description of sequences should make sense to the person knitting, not necessarily follow a specific formula.

screenshot_34

some of what “did not work”, including a very long swatch with a confusing pattern due to creative operator error

500_591a finished piece with yarn ends not yet woven in500_590

The fabric is tugged lengthwise, left unblocked, and pockets may pop on either side of it, with the majority on one side of the knit as opposed to the other

the start of a series in varied colors and fibers500_604

Racking 2: vertical chevrons/ herringbone +

Here again, half fisherman or full fisherman rib is be used. The zig-zag happens at the top and bottom of the fabric. In half fisherman, the setup is once again for full needle rib. If knitting in one color the sequence is: knit one row, rack a space, knit one row, rack back again (X and Y below represent the 2 racking positions involved screenshot_39

for 2 color fisherman, the sequence is knit 2 rows with col 1, rack one space, knit 2 rows with color 2, rack one space back again

screenshot_41 this fabric is produced in conjunction with a pattern repeat using the principle that black squares knit (pushers up, needles preselected), white squares tuck (pushers down, needles not selected), the repeat is 12 stitches wide, 2 rows high; it is possible to have 6 stitches tucking side by side because this is an every needle rib, and there will be a knit stitch on the opposite bed anchoring down each tuck loop

screenshot_42

screenshot_02

one color half fisherman side one   500_528one color half fisherman side 2500_5292 color setting, color changes every 2 rows, side 1, thinner yarn
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side 2

500_543

2 color version, changing color every 20 rows; racking interrupted with plain knit rows at top and bottom creating horizontal pockets20rows_plain

20rows_plain1

when single or multiple odd # of rows with no racking are introduced at intervals the zigzags once again happen at sides rather than top or bottom, with the knitting after the no racking row(s) reversing direction. The yarn used in these swatches is a random acrylic, presses flat, not the best if aiming for any 3D textures; the color difference is due to photos being taken at different times of day

side one 500_530side two500_541

what happens when multiple odd numbers of rows are knit changing back lock set to N (all knit), no tuck stitches. The fabric still swings in opposite directions, and in addition, the all knit rows produce areas that “poke out”, beginning to create scales of sorts

side one 50537side two 500_538back to vertical: full fisherman with color changes every 2 rows, side one 500_539side 2, with a few stitches knit off issues  500_540

it is a matter of personal preference whether the extra effort with full fisherman rib is worth any difference in appearance or result in the final fabrics. Changes in tension, yarn fiber content, and machines used add to the variables. Good notes in trials help one determine predictable results and to choose whether the effort may be worth it or not. Using laborious techniques for borders rather than whole items is always an option.

1/22/2016: half fisherman racked rib knit in thinner yarn, wider # of stitches and more rows in pattern group before single N/N row, no blocking

500_557

500_558same fabric with color change every 2 rows 500_561

500_566

Ribber pitch, a bit on racking 1: chevrons/ horizontal herringbone

A “how might this be done challenge” of late re this fabric brought to mind racked patterns for chevrons, both vertical and horizontal, and the possibility of producing them on home knitting machines. racked_scarf_mediumTo review some of the principles in racking in both Brother and Passap knitting machines: the pitch is the distance between each needle groove along the needle bed is sometimes also referred to as gauge. The size varies between machine brands and types of machines. For example, the Brother bulky has a 9 mm pitch, the Passap a 5 mm one; the larger the pitch number, the thicker the yarn that may be used.

Full pitch lines up needles and gate pegs (or channels) on both beds directly opposite each other. To knit patterns in full pitch, the rule is that for every needle in the working position on the main bed, the corresponding needle on the opposite bed must be out of work, and vice versa. This setting is never used when groups of all needles are in work on both beds. Stitch patterns using this setting are designed to have opposite needles in work on either bed at any one time, but not both at once. The number of maximum needles in use for ribs on both beds will usually total 200 (4.5 mm machines), and the setting accommodates yarns thicker than when every needle is in use.

In half-pitch both bed needles are now offset by half a position, centering them between each other. The full complement of needles for possible use now is potentially 400 (4.5 mm machines); the setting accommodates thinner yarns than one might use on the single bed.

The half pitch lever on Brother may be moved from P to H to change alignments. In Passap the racking handle may be used in an up or down position to do so. The racking or swing lever allows the ribber bed to be swung one full pitch to the right or to the left in a series of stepped moves. The racking handle on Brother machines is located on the left-hand side of the ribber bed. Racking swing indicator positions are numbered 0-10. When the racking indicator has been moved over to the next number, this means the ribber has moved by one full pitch. With the swing indicator at 5, both beds will be centered opposite each other, the usual position. Starting points may vary when racking is used in patterns. Beds cannot be racked with needles in holding, as needles will then crash into each other. It is always a good idea to check ribber alignment before tackling more complex, double bed fabrics. In Passap the racking indicator is situated above the racking handle, and arrows indicate the direction of the last movement. The scale at the top of the front bed shows the possible racking movements from a center point of 0 to 3 to either to right or left of center. I chose to place numbers below the factory ones on the machine from 0 to 7, finding that method easier to follow, since I do not rely on built-in patterns and racking prompts from the console. For the purposes of these swatches, I am reverting to the factory indicators.

In the Passap system, the racking handle has 2 main positions: up, and down. When the racking handle is up needles are directly opposite each other (P pitch in Brother), when it is down the needles are between each other on opposing beds (H on Brother). There are some racking handle positions at different parts of the “clock” that are recommended when using some of the Passap accessories.

Regardless of machine brand needles have 3 basic functions: knit, slip (do not knit), tuck (gather loops). Passap pushers have 3 positions: work, rest, and out of work. When a pusher is in the up position the corresponding needle will knit no matter what the setting on the pattern dial. This is the equivalent of having needle pre-selection on Brother, but forgetting to change cam buttons from the normal knit setting. When a pusher is at rest it will slip or tuck depending on lock setting to AX, DX, or FX (in Brother these would be needles not selected, in B position). If locks are set to C, E, or G, the pushers have no effect on the needles. Pusher positions may be changed manually, automatically by arrow keys (back lock Passap, lili buttons, and lever Brother ribber), automatically by readers whether electronic or punchcard on both brands in the Brother main bed or front bed Passap are in use.  NO pushers are used in N (double or single bed plain knit), CX (tubular), EX (double bed, tuck).

I personally find racking easier in terms of the numbering in Brother brand machines. For these samples, however, I chose to work on my E 6000. Adding tuck to the mix creates more textured surfaces, and a half or full fisherman’s rib where every needle tucks, then knits as the carriage reverses direction on either single or both beds, is a place to start. I have written previously on tracking brother racking sequences using a punchcard numbering system. If no other pattern is used on the main or front beds, needle and pusher selection might be used to track the racking position there as well. These fabrics require concentration. In terms of chevrons, both horizontal and vertical may be produced. Some published sources include a youtube video by Diana Sullivan, knit on a Japanese machine, and a baby blanket in full fisherman rib knit on the Duo 80. The version below is my half fisherman adaptation of the latter. The photos illustrate both sides of the fabric. The racking is done by moving a single of each of only 2 positions to the right or to the left. Single (or multiple, odd-numbered) rows at the end of each sequence place the carriage at its start on the opposite side, rather than altering the numbered sequences as in the Diana video. I began my fabric on Passap racking position 2, to the right of 0, locks set at KX, N, first and last needle in work on the front bed. The back bed tucks every needle right to left, knits them left to right. There is a slight difference in texture between the 2 sides of the fabric.

300_514300_515

activate row counter after CX rows in the cast on, with locks on left, so knitting the racked pattern begins with locks on Right, RC on 1. Below is my working “cheat sheet”

symbols

cheat sheetsettings

For scales and chevrons on Brother machines please see 2018/07/19/more-scales-and-chevrons-in-ribbed-racked-4-fabrics/

Ladders with lace, “making things work” 1

Just about 2 years ago, I had an obsession with leaf shapes in lace, and wrote a series of posts on approaches to both designing them and rendering them in knit on more than one machine. One such early post. Recent publications are reflecting the increasing interest in bulkier knits and combining  ladder “lace (created by needles remaining out of work) with shapes floating within the resulting open spaces. I thought I would address some of the issues in such fabrics, while returning to a leaf as the focus “shape”. My samples are knit on a Brother 260, using hand techniques that require only the basic set of transfer tools.

Long verticals in knit may have problems with the edge stitches separating from the rest of the knit, i.e. in FI vertical stripes. In plain knit, the edge stitches may stretch, become distorted, and may encroach on the ladder space. A series of actions taken on the edge stitches of ladders will help prevent that, here I am choosing to use a simple 1 X 1 cable cross every 2 rows to stabilize them. Having the cables coincide with the rows on which transfers are made to create the chosen shape makes tracking them easier.

my first schematic (Excel chart)

screenshot_14

symbols used

symbols2

imagining in repeat

in repeat

my first swatch

for decreasing stitches in work on right or left at the top of the chart I used a simple decrease

edge_decrease

using the “fully fashioned” option would provide a different look along that edge

ff_decrease2

For my test swatch I used a crochet cast on across 17 + 4 for single full pattern repeat, + 4 edge stitches on either side = a total of 29 stitches. To create the transition  from 1 to 3 stitches in the center of the leaf,  I  e wrapped an additional 2  empty needles

e_wrap0-2

#1 reflect the e wrapped increase just above the cast on, #2 show results of the same technique at the top of the established “leaf” pattern

e_wrap1_2

the chart repeat amended for a different start

screenshot_15the second swatch, trying a different way of adding stitches

#1 shows pattern beginning on a group of knit sitches, as opposed to a single center one for leaf

#2 shows a full “leaf” repeat as charted, red arrow points to e wrapped yarn traveling in front of the shaping

#3  red arrow indicates the same is happening with the float, while the green shows my desired twist, with stitch to front

300_92_2

Sorting it out: a third swatch, with an amended way of e wrapping. To make sampling quicker, I modified the repeat, eliminating cables, decreasing the number of stitches at the widest part of the leaf, making fewer eyelet transfers.  The results show how much the shape of the “leaf” may be varied with just a few changes. Note the twist and location of floats in relationship to stitches just above #1

e_wrap4_2

I will document the 1X3 increase method I liked best out of several trials in my next post.

If having a single pivot stitch for the repeat is not important, the chart below is amended again to accommodate that

screenshot_16

if eyelets are eliminated to create a geometric pattern and/or for the sake of speed, increases may be created on both sides beginning on row 12 of the above chart by picking up from the row below

make_one

Machine knit cables: using patterning as a guide to transfers

If you have a machine that selects needles to the forward position, you may use a punchcard, mylar sheet, or program to select needles for indicating cable placements. On the single bed, the selected needles act as the signal to actually create the cable crosses. When working on the double bed, the needle selection on the row before the cables are crossed may serve to remind you to put extra needles in work on the ribber, thus providing some extra yarn for the crossings. Previous posts on topic

https://alessandrina.com/2011/12/19/aran-knits-a-new-thread/

https://alessandrina.com/2012/01/07/a-simple-braided-cable-and-card/

Keeping crossings all in the same direction and having ladders to mark vertical placements makes the process far easier. The stitches on either side of the cable may be knit, dropped every X# of rows, and latched up to create a purl ridge on either side of the cable, at times there is enough slack in the ladder created to achieve the same. End needle selection needs to be canceled (KCII) in any pattern with needles out of work. In simple patterns using selection to keep track, ladders are not needed to stay in a clear vertical.

An alternative repeat for combining 2X2 cables and 2 twisted stitches is illustrated below. The repeat is suitable for punchcard use, must be drawn in multiples to meet machine requirements (at least 36 rows in length). Spacing between twists and crossings may be far more varied in machines that use mylars or programs

punchcard repeatfor an all-over pattern

twists and crosses

for a 22 stitch repeat or vertical panel, with ladders added

ladder

22 st repeat

If using the ribber, stitches marked for “ladders” may actually be transferred to the ribber to create the purl ridges on either side of the cables and twists.

Cables in color

Fair isle, like any slip stitch fabric, is “shorter and skinnier” than any produced using the same yarn colors in plain knitting, single bed. Cables also narrow the fabric considerably. Begin with tension set at least 1-2 numbers looser than usual, and make tension swatches large enough to include all cable variations. After the cable crossings, be sure to return the needles to correct pattern selection before knitting the next row. Do not pull the whole group out to holding (E), as the whole group will then knit the color in the B feeder, and you will have a striped “mistake” on the next row knit. Leaving any needles OOW in the knit will select the needle on each side of the ladder to come forward, knitting the color in the B feeder. This may not work for you in terms of how the motif is affected by the vertical line created. If ladders are required, the vertical line in the B color may be eliminated by canceling end needle selection (KC II), or by dropping those stitches before you cable (which will give you a bit extra yarn for those crossed stitches). Ladders may be also latched up if you like, but watch where those floats are going in the fabric.

Making your own cards: try to control the length of the floats. Pre-punched cards with lots of punched holes can produce areas to be cabled by selectively masking areas with tape (both sides of cards). Conversely, you may punch diamonds, squares, etc. in the center of other shapes that would normally have floats too long for FI, to produce a B feeder color area for cabling.

Like color, most often, needs to land on like color, so stitches need to move further than they would in a one-color knit. Reversible ribbed cables share the principle of like needing to land on like (knit on knit, purl on purl). Starting out with a single row punched card, mylar, or program repeat, with the card locked, provides a quick test for tension, keeping track of patterns, etc. There are many, so at least initially, cabling on a constant number of rows apart may help avoid errors.

beginning to visualize the crosses

FI cables2

another of my “quick reference – some to try” handouts

color_cables