More mesh dragon scales, some striped and some not

A first look at Single bed scales made with stitch transfers: Another look at the repeat, here it is mirrored for use on my 930, and shown in for working over 72 needles knit border stitches on both sides.  A reminder: when transitioning from spreadsheet-generated repeats to indexing and then scaling them in Gimp, check that the interpolation has not been changed in the program since the last time you used it, it needs to be set to none for good results with minimal if any cleanup required.  Analyzing what is happening: arrows on the left indicate the direction of the lace carriage moments. The LC makes 4 passes followed by two rows knit throughout with the exception when extra passes are required to place the lace carriage in the correct position for reversing the direction of the transfers.
The grey columns represent all knit vertical areas.
The 3 blank rows as opposed to the usual 2 in RC 27-29 and 52-54 respectively place the LC in position to reverse transfer directions, which begin to the left on the bottom half of the pattern, to to the right after the pattern midpoint is reached. The reversal helps to create a fabric that is not flat and produces scale-like projections.  A reduced repeat before any mirroring or tiling: Whether the repeat requires mirroring or not depends on the machine used and the software used for downloads. The intention is to have the first row of transfers from left to right. Punchcard users, if the repeat is suitable, may punch and use it as given. The LC preselects on the first pass to the right, and transfers selected needles producing eyelets to the left with its second pass. In many electronic machine models, the pattern is actually opened as a FI repeat and the machine itself will automatically mirror the pattern horizontally so as to have lettering, motifs, etc. appear as drawn on the knit side. For lace and tuck patterns with needles out of work, the image may require mirroring horizontally, true on my 930.
My tests with thicker yarn resulted in a flatter knit, and the LC kept having difficulty making proper transfers. Having the width of each set of transfers set at 4 means that if necessary with the specific yarn, the 7 prong tool may be used to move each group of needles in turn.
The results with easy transfers using 2/20 wool at tension 4.2, meriting further consideration for color change placementsAnother attempt, also shown after a light pressing and folding, pleats could be stitched to create other effects, and then, seeking symmetry, finally realizing each of the above repeats has a missing pair of transfers in the top half, which may account for some of the color placements being “off”. This chart now, now 58 rows in height, appears to contain the correct number of pairs of transfers in each half repeat.  Adding knit rows where transfers reverse directions, here 2 rows are knit in the base color at the end of each segment and prior to changing colors. At or immediately after design rows 28 and 56, the color in use knits for 2 rows. Color 2 follows and in turn knits for two rows, then LC use begins to select and transfer again.  At the top of this swatch, two rows are knit in the white, followed by two in the blue, and two in the white again before continuing with transfers.  The white yarn is a 2/20 wool, knit at just under tension 5, which was the tightest possible for successful transfers on my machine. The blue is an acrylic of similar thickness, which, if pressing was planned for the scales, is a bad idea since it lacked the tolerance for adequate heat and steam.
The zig-zag effect may be enhanced by adding to the number of transfers in each half in the repeat’s length and on each row in width, but not necessarily in the stitch count in the knit columns. One is then committed to knitting broader test samples.
Extending the experiment to a broader repeat, 32X58Both yarns used in the samples that follow are 2/20 wool.
Here this swatch is shown as it came off the machine, oriented sideways a change in perspective An attempt to shrink the size of the eyelets, this swatch was lightly hand felted. The issue with felting very open knits is having enough control to retain some of the openness in the structure, here the projections became rounder and flatter as well. The white yarn is from a new cone and initially needed adjustments in weight and tension in order to transfer properly.  The color changes were made with the extra knit rows after design rows 27 and 56, the result was lightly steamed and pressed.  Bringing the scales closer together, with transfers occurring 5 times in each transfer row, as well as in height The repeat, now 24X42 is suitable for punchcard machines as well The scales in this fabric are permanent. To my eye, the fabric is best when relaxed. The smallest repeat in the series of my own tests, 16 stitches wide by 42 rows,  is made up of only 3 transfers in each horizontal segment, and 5 transfer sequences before the reversal in direction. On each side of the needles in work, there are 3 knit stitches, followed by a pair of eyelets, which fold over permanently when steamed lightly creating an edging, while the remaining knit is left undisturbed. I can imagine the difference in the patterns a fine gauge machine might produce with far smaller eyelets and better definition of the 3D peaks, that said, a few more experiments may lead to developing future ideas to pursue.
If frequent color changes happen in any knit fabric, using a color changer facilitates the process. In the Brother system, color changers sit on the left side of the machine. If lace patterning is to be combined with the use of the single bed changer, the lace carriage will then need to operate to and from the right of the machine.
In order for correct needle selection to occur, when using a punch card machine, the card can be turned over horizontally, marked accordingly on the reverse, and used as-is. In electronic model machines or download software ie Ayab where lace patterns need to be mirrored for transfers to be correct, the repeats may be left and used as drawn for the first row of transfers to happen to the left.
The result of my first test combining chevrons and scales, and sorting out patterning transitions. The fabric is shown relaxed, shortly after its removal from the machine: Realizing that in the scale repeat below any reversal of transfers in design works as a coordinating chevron repeat, this swatch was knit at the same tension and using the same yarns as the above, with one more added color.
As can happen in lace knitting, a couple of bad needles and other issues resulted in spots that have visual errors or show inadequate “fixes” and elongated yarn loops. The dark color especially liked to get hung up on gate pegs, a strong argument for regularly feeling the back of the knit.
Some steaming and light pressing was required to reduce the strong curl and make the shapes more visible, losing much of the 3D scale effects, still one can begin to get a sense of the appearance of more frequent color changes in this particular lace design along with the change in the quality of the knit, seen also in the side edges. The variations could be endless, each type of repeat here was programmed separately, but once the desired rotation is worked out, a single long repeat could be programmed instead.  If the changes happen after even numbers of eyelet rows are to be formed, the count in the original repeat can be adjusted to reflect that. Committing to the above repeat, using a spreadsheet, and readjusting the number of eyelet rows in height, there are several choices.
One is to program two separate repeats, each in height required. In this case, the first could be kept continuous after programming, but the second would need to be adjusted in height for more transfer rows and reprogrammed accordingly. Making things work can be a drawn-out and convoluted process at times aside from any experience one has, and lace, in particular, can prove to be a challenge, it helps to take breaks and come back with fresh eyes. The first and last 3 rows in the 24X54 repeat in practice are not needed. A cheat sheet can be created and is handy and may be reduced in size to provide minimal information if there is no other way to keep track of color placements.
Testing the concepts using the narrower repeat of 16 stitches in width but the same in height, this sample is the result of the first try at the adjusted repeat. The fabric is steamed lightly to avoid too much stretching in width, the goal is to have the first set of scales appear across the row at the location pointed to the cyan arrow For that to happen, if the last row of chevrons ends with a transfer to the right, then the knitting for the scales should begin with transfers to the left. The reversal is commonly created by having 3 rows rather than 2 between repeat segments. Another in the series, with the intended goal being 3 scales, not 2, and playing with more color variations. Another look at pattern intersections, seeking another scale In developing one’s own designs with some practice what information is useful becomes more evident. Sometimes more is less, sometimes it is necessary to really sort out what is going on.
Back to charting: anyone with familiarity with lace knitting punchcard patterns is familiar with the arrows and other markings usually found on the left-hand side. In this fabric, standard transfers are made to the left or to the right. As explained, the chart can be created with typical markings for standard transfer directions, and since the 930, in my case, mirrors repeats vertically, the resulting repeat may be used as drawn to operate the lace carriage from the right. Working in a spreadsheet with added column markings:
A: typical arrows on punchcard repeats, the first row preselects needles moving to the right, and no transfers are made
B: design row numbers
C: the locations for knit rows using the knit carriage, and attempt to visualize locations for color changes. Reset the row counter to 000 before making the first pass with the knit carriage. In the instance, that will take place from left to right and back to the color changer. Colored cells are added as well, reflecting color change locations.
D: the arrows indicate the direction of the transfers, and match those in column A. When transfers are reversed, the stitches will move in the same direction again, forming the projections that create the scales
E: the position of each color in the color changer, blue cells mark areas where extra LC passes occur so as to set up the reversal of the direction of the transfers. The 16X84 repeat is tiled to include equal borders on each side to 51X84, the chart is rotated counterclockwise.  A test changing the color change rotation in the diagram to get a sense of matching variations to the diagrams.  Working in single color once more, the lace carriage now returned to operating from the left, testing the continuous 84-row repeat My spreadsheets are created using Numbers, here some of the tables are exported to an Excel document to possibly aid in DIY lace chevrons and scales Excel
Lastly, working multiple repeats in only one color helps assess whether the resulting fabric movement matches the specific design goal

A double bed version created with racking offers a different opportunity to explore scales with striping The chosen repeat in turn used in an accessory.  If the striping zagging formations are what appeals and the 3D elevated scales do not matter, a flat version in a mesh lace may be of interest. The repeat is continuous with no reversal of the direction of transfers, and those vertical columns of knit stitches are eliminated. The yarns used in this swatch are cotton and rayon.   

To mesh or not to mesh 9: more on mock filet design

Previous posts with some related information:
A lace mesh series: using GIMP  8/17
To mesh or not to mesh 1  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 2  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 3  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 4 5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 5 7/17 a collection of mesh design repeats
To mesh or not to mesh 6: chevrons 6/20
Lace knitting tips, to mesh or not to mesh 7  7/20
To mesh or not to mesh 8: more Numbers meet Gimp 5/21
Unconventional uses for punchcards 2: thread lace cards for “filet” mesh  8/17
It is hard for me to imagine a decade or more has passed since I began to blog. My approach to post content has evolved since then as has my shifting familiarity and use of software programs. Periodically topics resurface to my attention. Lace is one that crops up every few years, resurged after my purchase of Dak and my experiments with testing the lace module, and has persisted, so here I am once more looking at superimposing shapes onto a preferred mesh repeat.
There are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from the processes and without spreadsheets, similar planning may be executed on graph paper using colored pencils.
My go-tos now for planning out my charts on a new iMac with M1 chip and OS12 are
Mac Numbers 11.2
Gimp 2.10.24, Rosetta required
ArahPaint 6.0
img2track for download to a 930 to knit swatches, presently from a Windows 10 PC
InSync for file sharing between the Mac and the PC

The final repeats created with any of these methods need to be checked or edited to make certain they observe the rules for placement of punched holes or cells on proper rows for the specific brand and model knitting machine being used.
If the aspect ratio is particularly important, then more cautious planning may be needed.
For an indeterminate reason, the shape for superimposing on a mesh in these experiments is a heart, plotted out here in Gimp for use in a 24 stitch wide limit repeat. It is good to begin on a canvas longer than the estimated motif, magnification to 800-1800X with a 1X1grid and snap to grid make the execution and filling in of small-scale designs easy to plan and view.
In terms of drawing tools, the bucket-fill paint tool may be set to fill with the foreground color, background color, or pattern. The pencil tool normally uses the foreground color. If switching between the two tools, remember to choose the proper tool before continuing to edit repeats.
The heart was plotted out and cropped to 21 stitches by 15 rows, on a 24 stitch grid, and the image was saved, it is deliberately planned for an odd number of rows in width and height.  My chosen lace mesh repeat is 2 stitches by 6 rows. Planning a base mesh in Gimp with the above repeat saved as a pattern and used to bucket fill the canvas: The overall mesh repeat png is saved. Blank areas in every third row in the first and every third row will be skipping transfers in those areas and knitting the stitches composing the shape. The heart shape itself needs to be superimposed onto the mesh base. It is relatively small, with increases and decreases forming it easy to follow, so in the simplest method, red squares for each pattern row are filled in on the grid transfer rows, using the single-pixel pencil tool and working in RGB mode. If satisfied with the placement of the shape, use bucket-fill set to ground or foreground to eliminate red cells by filling them with white, and the mesh design is ready. If working with a card, punch black cells only. This placement is tested and kept in mind in other explorations. Using a spreadsheet: the same sort of chart may easily be created quickly in Numbers. In this instance, my table is still planned for 24 stitches in width, but 54 rows in height. An extra column is added and used on the far left to mark rows to be hidden. Beginning at the bottom left two rows were filled in a different color, the third row is left blank, all 3 cells are selected. When multiple cells are selected, depending on which side of the selection box one hovers over with the mouse, a yellow dot/  handle will appear. The tool acts on the selection. Clicking on it and dragging it with the mouse will, in this instance, repeat the selection until the mouse is released. This may be done in any direction and quickly fills in whole tables. It is not necessary to perform this extra step before hiding rows, but I find having that extra color makes it easier visually, especially when working on long repeats. It also makes for easy return to selection if hiding rows is done in shifts.
Beginning at the top of the table, holding down the command key, select rows marked with yellow cells, in this version of Numbers, table row numbers are green rather than blue,   continue to the bottom of the chart, and under the Table menu, choose to hide 36 rows. With rows hidden the mesh repeat shrinks from 6 rows to 2. A new 4 cell table is created. The 4 interior cells were chosen, copied, and pasted in the lower-left corner of the reduced height table. Once pasted, selecting the repeat again will allow one to use those yellow handles to fill the contents first toward the top, then to the right. The image on the left shows the results, with only the numbers for the unhidden rows shown on the left. In turn, the heart was the pencil tool to draw it using a third color in the chosen location. The unhiding rows function produces the expanded repeat with all knit stitches in red on the mesh grid ground. The column with the yellow cells is deleted before converting the Numbers repeat to an electronic or punchcard, the how-to discussed in other posts. Comparing the hand-drawn heart in Gimp alone on the left, to the spreadsheet results on the right, there appears to be a difference in the starting rows, and in only one other row, two black cells appear that can easily be altered in either repeat. Brother machine knitters would need to shift those 2 blank rows at the bottom of the repeat on the right to its top or to to start lace patterning on row 3.  Keep in mind that lace patterns in particular, with their infrequent markings, even in color reverse, grabbed from a spreadsheet and scaled in Gimp to final repeat size, often require a lot of “clean up. This repeat, intended for use in another post shows the difference between these 2 different programs once more. Superimposing shapes onto the same mesh requires that they be elongated X3. Gimp does not do this well, while ArahPaint does so elegantly. The result using Gimp, with the image Mode converted to 2 colors indexed and scaled in height X3 is shown on the left with marked error areas. The Arah YX3 result on the right is correct, created, and saved More choices exist, continuing to place the heart 3 rows up from the bottom, and not using multiple layers. For the heart to be pasted in place on the mesh, its white background needs to be made clear/ transparent. That is achieved by using Layer, Transparency, Color to Alpha, The layer-to-alpha image may be saved as a png with transparent background for any future use.
Work using 2 windows, A simple copy and paste will fix the image in an arbitrary location. Instead, click on the rectangle select tool, selecting and copying the heart image, paste it on the ground in the second window, where it remains as a floating selection that can be dragged to the desired location and is not anchored until the mouse is released. This may be undone and repeated multiple times.  A, copied and pasted in place on the ground, B, resulting in C
Even easier, working with the full-color, white ground heart repeat placed 3 rows up from the bottom, Aset red as the foreground colorand then use the bucket fill tool B to fill its ground with the mesh pattern, seen in C
Comparing the all in Gimp Drawing to either of the last 2 patterns, two differences appear, an extra row of transfers before removing transfer stitches to start the heart shape, and those 2 extra black pixels/eyelets Committing to the first design, 24X60, Proof of concept for the single repeat: Tiling the repeat before knitting helps one visualize secondary shapes that will be formed by it, here those pairs of extra dots are removed in areas marked with red lines, helping to make the decision about keeping them or not Developing brick repeats or half drop is possible with offset and brushes in Gimp, but, to my mind, easier in Arah. Using the Arah drawing in repeat, the design is now 24 stitches wide by 120 rows high in a brick arrangement offset by 12 stitches. The same heart, in half drop repeat, offset by 30 rows, now double wide, 48X60, suitable only for an electronic machine Changing the background grid for other stitch types: the heart is rescaled for use by 2 or 4 times in height. Again, the differences between Gimp’s incorrect scaling, A, and the Arah drawing in repeat, B The differences between the clear ground heart image dragged and dropped onto the new background or navigating between 2 windows and using the rectangle tool as described to copy and paste. Possible applications This begs the question of working on larger images. For use on a lace mesh, simpler designs apart from overall size are best, but if a mesh base is not your favorite fabric or goal, tuck, slip stitch, thread lace or even fair isle patterns may be created with more overall flexibility, using the same principles on backgrounds.
Thread lace, depending on the yarns and tension used, can provide the illusion of eyelets behind images of any size. The steps: image to alpha selected and pasted onto the ground, color reversed The final png is 129 stitches wide by 172 rows high This is the first attempt at a partial repeat test proof of concept. I have been telling people serger monofilament withstands ironing and light pressing, and periodically I test advice I have given formerly. To start with, the darn monofilament, which I even used in double bed garments, but nearly 2 decades ago, refused to feed properly or at all. Because it is nearly invisible, my knitting started with it pulling too tight, and I wiped out 12 needles out of 72 in different places on the needle bed in a single carriage pass. Determined, I sorted how to hand feed it, got the rhythm, complete a swatch. A marks an error I made in loading the second track in img2track, resulting in an added, wrong pattern row. The holes, B, C, and D were nonexistent until I tried flattening the fabric a bit with an iron, and the monofilament simply melted in various places. Other observations: there is some bubbling in the all knit areas. With ironing, that effect was lost and the areas with more mock holes widened as can be seen at the side edges. In thread lace, the end needle selection is canceled so as to have the paired yarns knit the end stitch, but pattern needles can still be selected, so if end needles are forward in pattern, it is best to push them back to B position by hand. One way to eliminate having to do that, which also reduces knitting time, is to create vertical all-white lines on either side, as in this version of the repeat now 144 X 200 pixels. I had interesting issues with having needle selection visually appear correct throughout, and the pattern itself appearing correct when checked at 1800 magnification. While the smaller sample was accurate until the filament began to melt, here I had 2 needles not knitting the yarns alternately but together, and an odd change in the center that looks as though yarn selection in those areas was reversed. The thicker yarn here is cotton, the thinner rayon. Troubleshooting is required. Unplanned tucking is a sign of damaged needles, but because the second yarn used herd is so thin, the effect was not obvious until the vertical pattern in the same area on the bed became apparent.
I am using a punchcard carriage on an orphaned 930 for the thread lace, and have not knit on more than 90 center needles in the past. Some days both operator and machine need a break. The cam buttons and undercarriage were oiled.  The first selection tests involved programming this as an all-over design. When only using part of the needle bed in a pattern, the center of the needle bed needs to be cleared by the knit carriage for the pattern selections to advance and knit properly. Doing so on part of each side of the center in thread lace and changing the culprit needles eliminated those single stitch issues. Before committing to a large width of fabric in thread lace, perhaps a practical, visible, and easy place to start for checking patterning and needle selection is to knit the ground in this pattern as a fair isle pattern before proceeding with the intended large-scale design. The finished test swatch: because of the disparity between the number of all knit stitches vs patterned ones where one of the colors is slipped on every pattern row for every other stitch, the fabric shrinks dramatically when off the machine. The knit areas pop out a bit, and a lengthwise tug makes enhances the effect  If the goal is a flat fabric panel, then blocking is a necessity. Here the piece is casually pressed, no pins, letters point out issues:
A: knit rows before any pattern selection
B: an attempt to knit stitches with a cast on comb, and no weights, lots of uneven float loops on the reverse
C: changing the amount of weight; if knitting in multiple tracks using img2track, remember to be outside the set mark with the knit carriages before selecting the next pattern row to avoid selection errors
D, E: there are occasional improperly formed tuck stitches
F: “My piece is almost finished, the weights are touching the floor but I have just a few rows left, too lazy to move the weight”, the price: some messy loops on the reverse again to match the start
G: all knit rows again, the latch tool bind off around single gate pegs was a bit snug The mesh effect was noticeable after resting, the piece measures 25 inches in width by 25 inches in height.
When moving weights up, using a ribber cast on comb carefully poked through the knit may cause less snagging and issues than using the single bed cast on comb.
This fabric evolved because of a discussion that began with a knitter who is working on sculptural shapes emerging from textured backgrounds.
I see thread lace as having potential for developing all sorts of blistered, 3D elements that have nothing to do with flowers or wearables and am planning follow-up posts using the technique for texture rather than mock lace. To be rendered usable, this piece would definitely need blocking, maybe even starching in order to be stable enough to hold its shape over time.
I have blocking wires, but over my decades of knitting have maybe used them twice, my blocking has been far more casual.

Friends lately have asked about skulls over thread lace mesh, this is an electronic repeat with room for resizing or border additions, keeping in mind that in thread lace the white areas knit both yarns, the dotted areas create the illusion of holes. The design was initially created working in black and white, with an alpha channel added a new file was opened, bucket-filled with the ground 2X2 pattern, the above was copied and pasted in the chosen position, resulting in this
The 100X92 png which in turn needs to be color reversed for use as a thread lace pattern

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. 

Revisiting large eyelet lace, hand transferred (or not)

My recent blog post on adapting lace edgings from published sources containing studio punchcards patterns led me back to reviewing a blog post from 2013 that included a hand technique and an automated pattern.
Since then I have moved beyond mylar sheets on the 910 or using punchcards. The present swatches are knit on a 930 using img2track. The pattern images and corresponding direction of transfers, in this case, occur on the purl side, therefore lace motifs need to be reversed either in the original image processing prior to download, or after download by remembering to use the mirror button to reverse the image horizontally, which is an episodic forgotten detail on my part. Adjustments in the horizontal repeats as charted here may need to be made depending on the other KM models as well.
Prior to my using Excel and now Numbers to produce my design charts, images such as this one were created using Intwined, a software program that became quickly unsupported, buggy, and then with no updates for use on Mac. It has long since been abandoned by me.
The first revisited repeat edited for automation on the 930 The lace carriage makes 4 passes, followed by 2 rows knit. The arrangement at the end of each transfer sequence will have pairs of double stitches moved onto the adjacent needles, leaving 2 empty needles in between them. Placement on the needle bed should be planned,  added “border” stitches can be moved away and toward the starting number of stitches to keep eyelets forming at the side edges for all over uniformity the end result will produce 2 pairs of doubled stitches achieved by the repeated transfers with 2 empty needles between each pair where loops and floats will form. Their locations alternate as each sequence is completed Blank rows between transfer segments are there to make certain the knit rows will happen in the proper locations at the top of each transfer sequence. The first design row transfers are to the left, the transfers to the left begin on design row 8.
LCOR ready for the first tow of transfers to the left LCOL ready to make transfers to the right after the transfers single needles are empty, with double stitches in adjacent ones, transfers to the left are repeated once more, this is the result, with transfer needles pushed out to show doubled up stitches After all the sequence transfers are completed, there will be adjacent pairs of doubled up stitches with 2 empty needles between each pair. As the following 2 rows are knit, the first row creates loops in the empty needles, the second pass skips those needles, forming a “float”. Looking a bit closer after the knit rows as the process repeats, the first transfer the second transfer The pairs of stitches that have been moved anchor the 2 side by side loops and result in the 3 strand stitch pairs, with every other remaining pair of needles empty between them.  The LC returns to the left with no needle selection  Knit 2 rows, continue in pattern.
Adjusting the tension will make for a tighter knit, I decreased it by a full number halfway up the swatch below. There is one “operator error” where I attempted to correct a dropped stitch. This fabric is composed of myriad double stitch transfers in both directions and definitely a challenge to produce in any significant size. Making those transfers by hand may wind up being the solution if yarns and automation refuse to work properly. Those short “floats” at the top and bottom of the eyelets can be reduced. This adds a hand technique to every opening, whether results are worth it becomes a personal decision. After the 2 knit rows use a tool to lift the float onto the needles holding the side by side loops Before the 2 knit rows, there will be the doubled up loops in each of those needles, and the 2 doubles up stitches made from the transfers are added to them as transfers continue. For all those strands to knit off properly, the whole row might best be brought out to E position before using the knit carriage. The differences in the hooked up float version of the pattern and the let it be one are shown in areas below the lines in the bottom corners and by arrows in the close-up Much easier and quicker to knit, though quite different, is large mesh combined with tuck stitches This chart was used in 2013 as a guide for hand technique using a 2/8 wool Knitting lace sequences in a single orientation produces a mesh that is biased. It could be the start for one more chevron shape but was not the intended fabric.
The adapted repeat: the odd number of passes between each repeating segment ensures that the following selections reverse the direction of the transfers the proper orientation for use on the 930Working out the actions in a spreadsheet, border stitches outside the fabric width may be added and subtracted to keep mesh formation along both side edges.
Needles preselected for transfer to the left during transfer, needles are preselected for transfer to the right. Doubled up stitches will now be moved during transfer, needles are preselected for transfer to the left. Doubled up stitches will now be moved during transfer, needles are preselected for transfer to the right. Doubled up stitches will now be moved during transfer, no needles are preselected. Doubled up stitches will now be moved, resulting in doubled up stitches on every other needle. Pairs of knit rows follow each of these sequences. A repeat that produces a smaller mesh with the swing right to left is found in other posts and references. Below part of a published punchcard is shown,  with the resulting swatch, and in turn, compared with the large scale version of the same mesh structure knit on the same number of stitches

To mesh or not to mesh 7, lace knitting tips

Early versions of the Brother Lace Carriage (LC) for machines such as the 830 did not have the capacity to control end needle selection. If any needles were selected for transfer to an end needle not in use in the piece, the LC still will attempt to move that stitch, and if no needle hook is there to accept it, the stitch will drop. Where an and needle has been selected on either or both edges, the option that remains for folks with no automatic way to cancel end needle selection is to push those needles back to B position by hand. Since selection is likely to not happen every row, it may be an easy thing to forget as the length of the piece grows.
Later LC models include mechanisms like those seen in punchcard knit carriages that override the selection made by the patterning device on the end needles.There were also point cams, that help to change the spacing between vertical lengths of design repeats. For images of the Lace carriage and use of point cams please see posts 2017/10/05/lace-point-cams-…brother-machines ..
Electronic carriages are equipped with a magnet, and must always travel past the center needle 0 position center mark on the needle tape. Markings on factory punchcards give clues as to which carriage to use and for how many passes. They also may vary depending on the year the punchcards or mylars were issued. To review, here are some of the markings commonly found The graphic from the KH 860 punchcard model manual Illustration modified and adapted from multiple decades-old  Japanese magazines of fine lace
single complete transfers   Multiple transfers may be made either as a hand technique or expanded for use in electronics. Because single stitches are moved with each carriage pass, pattern repeats can become quite long, with few punched holes or black pixels Generally, it is best to use a yarn that is smooth, has some stretch, and does not break easily. Because the yarn will be transferred to and from or in addition also be shared between needles, some extra yarn may be needed for proper stitch formation. In overall meshes, it is best to start testing using a tension at least one whole number higher than when using the same yarn for stocking stitch.  Too loose a tension can result in dropped stitches or loops getting hung up on gate pegs, too tight and the stitches will not knit off properly or drop, or the yarn may even break. When eyelets are few in number, adjustments in tension may not be needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Changing the above repeat for a zigzag border: in my first experiment, I tried keeping the number of eyelets in the zigzags across rows constant, did not like the visual “extra” line away from the edge, was happier with my second try. This fabric would do better with a yarn that can be blocked to shape, the wool used here is a tad too thin. There will be some tendency on the part of the eyelets on the very edge to appear smaller as the edge stitches are stretched into shape. It appears I also have a needle that needs to be changed The transfers of the stitches by the LC while using the knit carriage set to slip in both directions to create the knit rows, will automatically create increases and decreases along the left edge. Due to this fact, there will be one less eyelet in each transferred row than the number of pixels/punched holes in its corresponding pattern row. The knit carriage in this instance preselects rows for the lace carriage, the lace carriage preselects all needles required on its way back to the left for the knit carriage to knit on its next pass. This chart attempts to show movements of the carriages and the location of stitches after they have been moved along with eyelet symbols in their locations after the transfers The pattern repeat on the left below is as I drew it and intended it, on the right, it is mirrored for use to knit it on my 930The first preselection row is from right to left, the knit is centered with 10 stitches on each side of 0. I canceled end needle selection on both carriages. The first row is knit, when the KC reaches the left side, set it to slip in both directions. As it returns to the right it will knit a second row on all needles in work, and preselect for the first LC pass. Extension rails must be used as both carriages will lock onto the belt for pattern selection. At the start of the piece, as the LC moves from left to right it will transfer preselected needles to the right. On its return to the left, it preselects needles that will knit as the KC returns to action from the right. Each carriage in this design makes alternating pairs of passes.
When the top half of the pattern repeat is reached, the LC makes its pass to the right on a blank design row. As it does it preselects for the next row of transfers, which are made to the left as the LC returns to its home there (A). Though the Brother LC does not knit and transfer on the same row as the Studio one can, it is able to transfer and preselect for the next row of knitting (B). The above fact allows for planning transfers in both directions while still keeping the routine at 2 passes for each carriage to and from their original home. Based on that, here is another trim with eyelets in alternating directions along the side opposite the zigzag shape. The repeat is now adjusted to 22 stitches X 48 rows to accommodate the reversing eyelets arrangement. It is shown here mirrored for download to my 930. There is a blank square at the top right corner, the corresponding stitch will be cast on by the knit carriage on its move to the left, and transferred automatically when there is a return to transfers at the bottom of the design repeat. The yarn used or the swatch is a 2/18 wool-silk. There will be 2 stitches on each needle (A) at the very edge where stitches are transferred for decreases and look different than where the edge stitch is simply moved one needle to its left (B), leaving behind an empty needle. A parallel, similar difference is also noted at the inner edge of the zigzag shape. The sample is pictured turned 90 degrees counter-clockwise, its bottom edge appears on the right Transfer lace on the Passap: the console will be used to select needles for hand transferring stitches. The technique will determine the number of plain rows between transfers. Use tech 137 for two rows between transfers. The pushers will set the corresponding black cells for transfers, they will stay in that position until the next set of transfers. Many tuck patterns may be used to make the selections, they are not designed to knit on adjacent needles, choose ones that have white columns for non selected pushers 2 rows in height. Stitches are worked on the front bed. The front lock is set to N, the back lock to GX. Move selected pushers up so that the corresponding needles are easily identified, used a tool to move stitches right or left. Move all stitches in the same direction, first across a row to the right, then across a row to the left to avoid biasing if the pattern is an all over one, for borders all transfers in the same direction may work as well. Leave the needles in work position, return pushers to rest, continue in pattern.

To mesh or not to mesh 6: chevrons

While creating the test swatches for a version of single bed 3D scales using the lace carriage I was intrigued by the chevron effect that became more obvious with color changes The fabric was capable of changing considerably in look and width that could be encouraged to remain more permanent with blocking. There is a visible asymmetry, with one side of the chevron actually containing an extra eyelet. Still trying to retain the 24 stitches in width design constraint, I began to work with simply counting eyelet transfers matching in number, guessing rather than planning. Tiling the repeats can help get a sense of how things line up horizontally and vertically. Electronic repeats can be minimal unless one is programming the pattern as a single motif that includes edge knit stitches etc when downloading via cable to an electronic or using the Ayab interface. A and B continue to produce uneven numbers of eyelets on each half of the resulting “V” shapes. The greater the number of row repeats of eyelets in a single direction, the more the resulting bias. If asymmetry is the goal, then this may meet the need. I knit most of the swatches on 48 stitches, with more needles added on the right if needed to ensure the edge stitch will be a knit one. Larger shapes require wider tests. The photo is rotated to reduce its length on the page This effort produced uneven sides of the Vs, and the eyelets along one of the vertical center columns were not properly formed, resulting in an added knit stitch The added eyelets in pattern C produce an interesting change from a sort of V shape to more of a W, but the fabric is still unbalanced Back to the drawing board: a different mesh, with eyelets in alternating numbers, resulting in a  more balanced fabric. Here the charted repeat is shown X2, side by side. Different day, same yarns, both were having none of it. When knitting progresses in this manner, it’s a good time for the machine and its operator to practice social distancing.  The quality of the lines produced by the mesh was different and heavier than the one I was seeking, though the number of eyelets remained constant on both sides of the center stitches, alternating on the alternate pairs of design rows. Back to charting things out in Numbers: though the LC, usually (but not always) starts located on the left, preselects on its first pass to the right, and begins to transfer to the left on its second pass back to the left, in order to visualize the direction,  the repeat is mirrored. Cyan cells indicate actual transfers to the left, and magenta transfers to the right. This 24 stitch repeat shows where 2 transfers wind up on a single needle while an extra knit stitch is also formed in the blank vertical column, seen in the swatch above. In programming an electronic KM the black pixels alone with 2 blank rows above the second set of transfers is enough. I like to program repeats that are a bit larger, and usually will tile them as well, looking for any errors my eye might notice before any actual knitting Using electronics one may expand or reduce the number of stitches in the repeat to reach an estimated equal number of eyelets With any mesh, the number of knit rows may be varied between each pair of transfers. My swatch was knit using a 26 stitch repeat width The cast on used is a temporary one. In final pieces, the quality of any bind off and cast on should be tested as well to accommodate the changes in width lace fabrics may have, increasing the number of total eyelets exponentially. The knitting this time went smoothly. The eyelet count was as planned. That said, I was 6 stitches away from completing the bind off when the yarn simply ran away from me, and chose not to make any effort at rehanging the piece. In the top blue stripe, the number of knit rows between transfers was increased from 2 to 4, while in the top white stripe I alternated between 4 and 2 rows of knitting. Playing with such intervals between rows of transfers can produce interesting differences and perhaps a more static quality in the fabric after blocking the completed item. The knit carriage is set to N, so it has no effect on the advancement of the programmed lace pattern. The white yarn used here is a tightly twisted cotton knit at tension 9, the green a softly spun, slightly thinner rayon On a lighter background behind the swatch, 2 areas at the center are marked: on the left, there are extra knit stitches, which happened because the yarn had gotten caught on a gate peg affecting selection, and that had been missed.
With lace as with any textured knits, running a finger behind the knit along where the stitches meet the top needle bed periodically helps to find and troubleshoot the problem early.
On the right, there is a small diamond shape beginning to appear which is absent from the much crisper transfers and eyelets created by the cotton.
With these patterns, the number of rows in the striped sequences may be varied throughout the piece A repeat in this family of stitch repeats was used as a border in some of my shawls Exploring a smaller repeat, also 24 stitches wide The lace carriage makes 4 passes followed by 2 rows knit throughout
The white yarn used is the same cotton as in the previous sample, knit at tension 9, the chenille is rayon, 1450 yards per pound, the eyelet patterns are stable and distinct, Here 2 thin yarns are used, and the spacing between color changing is varied in height Another variation Adding more rows of plain knitting between lace transfers stabilizes the width of the fabric and reduces the number of transfer rows.
Here the first row after the planned number of transfers is knit using the white yarn, 4 rows in the contrast color follow it, and a single last row in white is knit before returning to transfers.
Dropped stitches do not run the way they might in other fabrics, and may not be noticed until after knit rows. Such errors here are marked with red dots.  As often can happen in machine knitting, on a different day, the same yarns, same tension, same operator, and stitches drop, get hung up on gatepegs, and perform other unwanted actions.
This test aimed for that “W” shape using the thinner yarns.
I downloaded an image that accounted for all needles in use for my swatch, so in the 930 using the isolation button on by default with img2track was OK.
Your machine may vary as to which side of the center the extra stitch will be placed when the total number of stitches in width is an odd one. If uncertain, plan the repeat for the next even number, in this case, 52, divide it evenly on each side, and either air knit to sort out selections before casting on or simply transfer that extra knit stitch over one as you begin to knit.
In a final piece, good notes will provide reminders for such small details The blue yarn refused to knit off properly, so the different added colors were tried to see if I fared any better using them.
My first swath was discarded, and the second one is shown.
The repeat is sound, the visible “errors” are the result of stitch formation issues. The swatch at first is shown stretched in length, its size could be set with blocking, and has a very different appearance when lightly touched with my now fiber burning iron On a different day, all other things being equal, the same needle locations resulted in easy success. I programmed for a 60 X 24 repeat, planning for different size V shapes. During knitting, these fabrics will appear to be producing straight color stripes It takes a while for the change to begin to be noticeable This was the result as the work came off the machine, relaxed, with no treatment of any sort the ribber is in place there are avid beliefs expressed by folks in terms of whether or not to bring the knitting to the front of the ribber, I am a between the beds’ advocate. Also, even with the ribber off my machines’ top beds have always been set up with ribber table clamps in place since having them flat simply never worked as well for me in any of my knit experiments. Taking the guesswork out of repeats, one may begin with or use published cards as they are, this is from a Japanese magazine,  from Brother punchcard volume 5, click on the images for larger views  Zig_zags are essentially chevrons rotated counterclockwise, I am including some here. The repeats for knitting them are quite different.
A one-color zig-zag from the Brother punchcard volume 5 book with a different approach could serve as trim or for knitting accessories, note the markings for the location of knit rows and varying numbers of LC carriage passes as typically seen in published lace cards There are limitations in producible width. The stretch of the cast on and bind off and the fact they need to match as closely as possible while allowing the mesh to stretch sideways in blocking must be taken into consideration, as is the fact that every end needle selection will occur regularly and those selected end needles must be pushed back consistently.
Not all lace carriages have the option of canceling end needle selection, found in later models. Point cams could provide another alternative, I personally do not like to use them.
In this attempt, the cast-on followed knit rows in pattern, the manual end needle canceling was inconsistent at the sides, and LTBO (latch tool bind off) around single gate pegs was simply not stretchy enough. Here the cast on and bind off match very closely. I used the looser cast-on method described by the “answer lady” in the video, but I bound off around 2 gate pegs instead rather than wrapping the needles as shown in the video, a method often used on the PassapSpacing transfers so zig zags are actually created in knit stitches and transfers are made with the LC passes alternating for 2 rows, and then followed by 4 rows, with each set followed by 2 rows knit.   2021 visualizing the punchcard in an added way, using Numbers: transfers to the left occur with LC making 2 passes, the transfers to the right occur with the LC making 4 passes, and both sets are followed by the KC knitting for two rows A new, 48 stitch test in the crisp, tightly twisted cotton knit at tension 9 produced a transfer texture that is more noticeable and clearly retaining the mesh grid.  A variation in the shape formation with a number of added knit rows in specific locations which are hard to decipher even in the original paper pub, where the suggestion is for 8 rows of knitting at punchcard rows marked 56 and 24. A personal choice can easily be made both as to the number of knit rows and their location(s). From a Brother magazine, a repeat moving toward a very different type of line, with an echo of the chevron movement  More information on striping options: a hand transfer lace variant 2014/03/27/striping-in-lace-fabrics-1/, and another using a stock punchcard 2013/07/26/from-lace-chart-to-punchcard-3-adding-stripes/A very different chevron in an advanced technique combining tuck stitches with lace and fine lace patterning

A lace mesh series: GIMP, superimposing, Brother 910

I like placing motifs, grounds, and borders myself whenever possible, in any knitting technique, rather than relying on adding or combining them via the built-in KM software.  It is simply my strong personal preference in designing and gives me additional controls over patterning. However, the ability to superimpose is a convenient feature, available on multiple machines and worth mentioning. I have used it more frequently in operating my Passap, than my Brother 910. That said, it would appear to be an easy feature to use for programming shapes onto mesh grounds. For illustration purposes, I am using a 24 stitch repeat. Electronics width and height potential depend on the use of mylar or PC download. The “rose” is not a workable, resolved repeat. When electronics were first introduced, at one point Kathleen Kinder wrote a book on electronic knitting (? 1984), exploring the full potential of managing designs by combining settings and flipping buttons for both the Brother 910 and the Studio 560.

A bit of review on machine buttons and functions for the Brother pattern case for those unfamiliar with it.  M= Memory: each of the tiny red spots on the garment representations lights up, as specs on motif are entered or reviewed. CE= cancel entry: corrects programmed numbers or cancels the red error light when it flashes. CR= cancel row: press in a number, say 2 on the panel, and the card moves back 2 rows. If you press the button and no number is entered, the error light flashes and the card stops advancing. This is the same as locking the punchcard to repeat a pattern row. RR= row return brings the card back to the set line. This is routinely done before shutting off the machine when knitting is complete or to remove the mylar for editing.  CF= card forward. The mylar returns to programmed design row 1.  Numbers pressed in using CR or CF do not change those programmed using the M button.

When the pattern selector button on the 910 is down, the pattern is centered on green #1. A reminder: Brother has 2 needle #1 positions, one on each side of 0. When the pattern has an even number of stitches, it will be centered with half that number of stitches divided evenly on each side of 0. For 24 stitches, the pattern’s limits are yellow 12 and green 12. If the repeat is an odd number of units wide, the center stitch then will be placed on green #1 (right of 0). If the repeat is 25 stitches wide, then the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13. If using a 24 stitch repeat, the machine automatically knows that the first needle position (FNP) for the pattern is yellow 12. When the pattern selector is in the upper position (motif A) and the middle position (motifs A & B) we can choose the FNP and with A & B the number of stitches separating them. One way to produce filet lace is to program A & B motifs. The lace mesh is the A motif, the “rose” the stocking stitch motif. The A motif can be on the left or right of the mylar, but it is always the taller of the 2. In most cases, it is the dominant pattern. The starting row for the combined motif is shared.

In lace knitting transfers and resulting eyelets are programmed as black squares. Superimposed solid patterns in stocking stitch occur in unmarked areas of the mylar or downloaded image, so they need to be “white squares”. In order to get the 2 to meet, the mesh repeat in the height required (column A in the illustration), and a single width is drawn or programmed in reverse (column B), with the result being read as (column C) when it is programmed as the base for a complete overlap. The basic mesh becomes the A motif in programming the 910, the stocking stitch “shape” is the B motif.  If end needles are selected during knitting, they need to be pushed back to B manually or use the orange L cams. It is possible in addition to mark the “L window” on mylar, but the mesh repeat is so regular you may not find that necessary.The “rose’ would also need to be drawn in black, and positioned or programmed, with first placement resulting in the image seen below right. The color reverse is then used converting white squares to black, and lace knitting could proceed based on the black markings resulting in eyelets.  As is already noted, there is no guarantee the image placement on the mesh the will yield a precise shape or the best possible results for motif edges, its definition, and its segments’ outline In terms of placement: if the all-over mesh is programmed centered on G1, and the motif is positioned with FNP other than G1, any simple, extra rows of mesh prior to starting the all-over pattern (below green line), will need to be programmed separately with adjustments also in FNP to match the superimposed segment. The programmed repeat for the mesh “rose” below would begin immediately above the blue line, and the extra mesh rows at the top would provide the transition to the start of the rose once again. The height of the pattern seen in the B column in the first illustration may be adjusted accordingly. 

Color reverse (button #6) will provide “black squares” for the creation of transfers to create eyelets. The mesh and superimposed design need to share the same starting row. The image above reversed shows extra white at the bottom of the chart that needs to be eliminated. Brother lace starts on a selection row (black squares), ends with 2 blank rows at the top of the pattern (white squares). This is reversed in Studio knitting.

What happens when starting row placement is the same for both motifs, and the color reverse is used: the first-row lace carriage selection is good to go. The height of the mesh above the rose may be adjusted to suit. Trying to place multiple roses in different locations on the finished piece using this method is more than my brain wants to even consider. Punchcard knitters are not completely out of the superimpose loop. If you are so inclined, areas on mesh punchcard ground may be taped over to test the repeat. Again, this works best for simple shapes. Tape may be shifted or trimmed as needed. If intended for extended use, trace holes over a blank card, punch the final version, and proceed. Images on punchcard machines are reversed on the stockinette side. If direction matters, flip the card over horizontally, mark and punch, or if the card is already punched, work with lace carriage on right, knit carriage on left. No worries about multiple programs or a mix of starting points, etc. Know the rules for where to begin and end for lace knitting.

Sharp single stitch points are not attainable. In the illustration below, the yellow indicates the “desired point”, red squares indicate the additional stitches knit, adding to the intended shape as the alternating directions transfers are completed. The one stitch start is actually converted to 3 stitches, 3 to 5, etc.Later model electronics included “stitch world” pattern books.  A usable mesh is # 103. Do not use 104, since it leaves 2 adjacent needles empty. If aspect ratio matters in the superimposed image, knit test swatches to determine gauge. Cell/ grid size may be set to knit proportions rather than square to make visualization of finished shape easier. The mesh created using 103 uses 6 pattern rows for each 4 knitted, so you must add those rows “ to the height of the overlay design. Similar adjustments are needed if other mesh repeats are used. Simply scaling the image may require some clean up as well before the motif can be placed on the ground design.

A lace mesh series: using GIMP

Eons ago I owned a BitKnitter for my Passap machine, and to this day I miss it and some of the other Cochenille software that is no longer available, especially when working with multiple colors for color separations of any sort. When using it for downloading the resulting motif, picking the same exact color for each “square” on the grid was a necessity for accuracy. If “only” black was involved, the same guide applied. Working in GIMP one can set the color mode to fewer colors to start with, reducing the palette. This can limit your editing ability sometimes, and switching between modes may be required. I tend to go autopilot when I work on color separations for any purpose and work with built-in colors rather than custom.

It is helpful to have previous experience with any program as well as with basic knitting before tackling and combining large scale designs and fabrics such as lace. This is not a step by step how to use GIMP (search for my other posts on the topic), merely an illustration of my experiment in working with superimposing an image onto a mesh grid.

To start with: a 1 X 1 grid is set up. “Black squares” become single pixels in downloads. For the single stitch 1 X 1 grid to be visible, I prefer to work in at least a 500X magnification. Because I do not own a hacked machine I am unable to provide a corresponding test swatch to the final chart.

The resulting image may be tiled to produce a large enough mesh ground, the grid needs to be turned off for this step

The tiled image will appear on a different part of the screen, shown in both versions below, I realized reviewing the above that the width was for more pixels than could be programmed on a 200 needle machine, I resized its width to 120 pixels

here the grid is removed for further processing 

the goal is to retain the black squares for the end bmp, so the ground is filled with a color that will later be removed gridded again if and when needed 

Today’s image is a letter (20 pixels by 24), produced in a new file with text from one of my built-in computer fonts. I happened to be working in RGB mode the same image as it would appear in indexed mode Here some edges “clean up” has been worked with the grid on, then removed for tripling the motif length (now 72 pixels) and pasting on the “mesh” ground 

Switching to indexed colors (6) if you have worked in RGB to this point, it may make cleaning up of edges easier.  I flood filled the A to insure only one red was in use. Below the A is selected (fuzzy selection tool) and copied for paste onto the “mesh”. Magnification reduction to 500X makes the whole file more easily viewed on my mac

the A pasted in placewhite color fill leaving only black squares of letter and ground

Superimposing may be used in some machines, but eliminates the choice of editing when one is “not happy with edges” until after sampling the knit, has several parameters and limitations. Above image gridded for editing:
feeling better, with the exception of the left side bottom of right leg of Aone last bit of clean up, switching between magnification  as needed happier grid removed, image magnification reduction to 100X for export as bmp and download to KM

When downloading a large image that constitutes the width of your piece, programming an extra square or 2 vertically for the height of the pattern in “white” on each side will insure that stitches in those areas are not selected for transfer by the lace carriage, and a knit border will be created.

Things become more complicated with more complex shapes. This is part of a filet crochet chart, and a rose now becomes my goal

use selection editor or fuzzy selectpaste and move to “best” spot not quite a rose

8/9/18. From the Brother electronic lace pattern book, worked out in a much larger repeat 

Back to the drawing board: the mesh and knitting method are altered. For a possible knitting method option see https://alessandrina.com/2017/07/28/unconventional-uses-for-punchcards-2-thread-lace-cards-for-filet-mesh/  The ground “mesh” is now composed of every other stitch, alternating every other row. The “rose is not lengthened. “Stitches” need to be “cleaned up” to approximate a more recognizable shape.

 When satisfied, export in format for download.

 

To mesh or not to mesh 5- design repeats

These patterns are suitable for punchcard machines. Individual repeats in excel illustrations are outlined in red. They in turn are the minimal repeat information for electronic machines. The lace carriage always begins on left, transfers are made during either 2 or 4 LC pass rows. In the first repeat below the LC operates for 4 rows, KC follows for 2 rows knit. For a fabric using it see post This repeat appears in my pre-punched factory basic packs as both #17 and #20. 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 make transfers to the left, the 4 make transfers to the right. See previous lace posts for further info on lace selection methods and accompanying charting. 

More variations and swatch photos: all patterns unless otherwise stated are knit with 4 passes of the lace carriage from left, followed by 2 rows of knitting.
In this instance there are several vertical spaces between punched holes, creating the knit vertical stripe. The spacing can be adjusted to suit, but if “mock crochet” is the goal, superimposing an image onto every other needle mesh gives better results. It is possible to have 2 punched holes side by side on alternate rows, but not in the same row for stitches to knit properly without intervention on the next pair of all knit rows. In patterns such as the first and third below, stitches are transferred onto the adjacent needle in one direction, then both stitches are transferred back onto the previously emptied needle. The transferred stitch then sits on the front of the work (duplicating the look in hand knitting), instead of remaining on the adjacent stitch on the purl side of the fabric. With transfers in the same direction, the swatch biased after relaxing a mylar marking error as drawn (3A)
the intended repeat (3B)The above swatch and the one below (4) are similar, transfers occur in the opposite direction, so vertical columns of stacked stitches occur in the alternate columns of the finished fabric. I had some transfer issues in similar spots in both fabrics, have not analyzed the possible direct cause. As seen below, the dropped stitches did not result in the frequent large holes often seen in lace knitting. Pins and the red dot indicate problem spots, which could be repaired with careful stitching at the end of knitting. The best prevention of the problem is to visually check after sets of transfers to make certain all stitches have indeed been moved properly.
LC is used alternately for 2, and then 4 passes between knit rows (5).  The transfers create a sort of “shape”, highlighted in the photo; the LC operates in sequences of 4 rows, followed by 2 rows, and repeat (6).
This one is a bit trickier, LC operates for 4 rows resulting in side by side transfers; in the first trial yarn caught up on gate pegs, dropped stitches, etc,
after reducing KC tension and adjusting the amount of weight Mylar repeats can be very small, it is easy to be one stitch off in entering data; here one blank row was added to the left (a possibility for intentional vertical stripes of knitting) and the program was one row short on the right of the single full repeat knit with the corrected program The “variations” and repeats in summary: Adding geometric forms to mesh: a working MK chart for a cousin to the fabric link provided at the top of this post, the underlying mesh repeat is the same as that for card 17The corresponding punched holes: 2 LC passes for transfers to left (purl side), 4 LC passes for transfers to the right (purl side) throughout on Brother KMchart flipped horizontally, suitable for hand knitting the swatch, MK, knit side Note: the appearance of the “straight line” edges is altered by the formation of the eyelets along the sides as well as the top of the shape. As more shapes are played with, some adjustments may need to be made in punched holes after knitting a test swatch.
Custom shapes become a bit more complex. So I like the circle in the previous experiment, but I want to accomplish it with traditional lace transfers. I previously discussed a possible approach to filet mesh. This is the swatch where there is one row knit for each row of eyelets, discussed more recently. Below is the result of working with a traditional mesh, where there are 2 rows of knitting to form each eyelet. The third row in the “design” on a punchcard is needed for the lace carriage to travel to its proper place for the alternating direction of transfers, which is not technically a knit row. The fabric is wider and longer than that above, and there is some elongation of the “circle”. Large patterns are mylar and punchcard real estate hogs. The swatch for slightly more than a single repeat with red dots indicating where one square in the mylar did not have a dark enough mark, resulting in a missing eyelet A: is my desired shape 17 units by 17, B: that shape elongated X 2 (17 X 34), to try to approximate elongation with knitting 2 rows for each set of eyelets. It is drawn on a square, not a rectangular or gauge-specific grid, however, so if that is a consideration in the design, it would have to be a case of “back to the drawing board”. C: the shape is elongated X 3 (17 X 51), for placement on the mesh, and D shows it in my desired spot. Lace gauge is harder to gauge because of stretch in the final fabric, and the changes are subject to pressing and blocking depending on yarn fiber content. Because transfers in this method occur on rows 1 and 2 to the left, 3 and 4 to the right, no pure straight edges along design borders can be achieved. If simple superimposing a large shape on the mesh is possible, there may be even more distortion along those edges. Ultimately a lot of this boils down to personal preference and patience.
For single vertical line(s) in mesh whether single, at regular intervals, or for use in pattern transitions place repeats as shown where eyelets are desired. Markings for Brother row 1 selection on the right of the chart. For directions on using lace mesh to create pleated skirts please see post-2017/08/16/pleats-created-with-lace-transfers/