Lace meets weaving on Brother Machines 1

Several years ago, this punchcard was shared on Ravelry as one that was problematic in execution on an electronic model using Ayabthe supposed related swatch pictured in the publication
At the time, I made a long, convoluted effort to produce the fabric. I am returning to the topic and comparing 2 cards in this post, the original 589, and a new-found cousin, 259. Looking to the published cards for clues, remember that markings for carriage movements related to the first design row at the bottom of the card begin on the left of the card, above the Brother line numbered 1 on the right. The start of both cards: Lace patterning is unique in punchcard use. The card does not begin with the reader locked. As the carriage moves to the right, the card will advance a row. The lace carriage will begin to move in the direction of the arrows, making transfers on preselected needles in the direction of those same arrows as it moves away from and returns to the opposite side.
A typical pattern for mixing weaving and lace, seen in 259, usually starts with a blank row, followed by 2 rows with lace transfer markings, and a single every other needle arrangement row intended for the weaving pattern, repeating in varied sequences for the height of the card. The source for the repeat is  Brother punchcard pattern book volume 5. Due to the added experience I have acquired in working with spreadsheets and converting lace punchcard repeats, it took literally minutes as opposed to hours to produce a working repeat for use on my now 930 and the desired proof of concept. It is interesting how our perspective and skill can evolve over time. This is the new, “quick” version,  beginning with flipping the card segment over horizontally, a requirement with Ayab or img2track on my 930. 259 shows the traditional approach combining the two techniques that take into account the fact that when the second selecting carriage starts to move from the opposite side, the punchcard does not advance, repeating the same preselection. Added discussion of the differences in repeats for both machine types may be found in the post: Doilies: Lace meets hold and goes round In this instance expanding the punchcard repeat with extra blank rows to allow for extra LC passes to maintain proper transfer direction is not necessary, but the repeated punchcard selections need to be taken into account. There are 2 options for starts: if beginning with lace rows, the first preselection row is from right to left with the LC, if beginning with weaving, the first preselection pass from left to right. End needle selection is in the KC is canceled. As knitting progresses, if an end needle is selected in the pattern push it back to B prior to making transfers in that row. The movements when working with two selecting carriages on the electronic are standard, the repeat advances a row in the design with each pass of the carriage. Here each carriage operates for 2 passes, to and from its original side after the first preselection row. I began my proof of concept with woven rows. The punchcard repeat has been reversed  The top swatch tests the repeat as given above, beginning with the weaving pattern. Mirroring the repeat also produced an interesting variation, as seen in the bottom test A review of 589, showed that it could be knit using each carriage for 2 passes as done above.  The same repeat as the one in the original punchcard, mirrored, produces the same fabric on the 930 as with using the more complicated separation methods described further below. The chart depicts the desired actions. My first row was knit with the KC set on KCII, preselecting while knitting a plain knit row from left to right, followed with the first lace transfer pass also from left to right the electronic repeat and its .png Analyzing the card, sorting out possible repeats follows since mylars or bitmaps for download often only require a single repeat of the pattern. If you are not used to doing this, sometimes beginning with recognizable vertical ones first is a bit easier. The first problem: matching the arrow markings beginning just above row 1 mark on the right, it appears the first set of transfers should be to the left, The pattern is simply not workable as given using both carriages selecting needles from opposite sides of a punchcard machine, each moving for 2 rows.
Reworking the repeat for use on the electronic in order to use the LC for four passes, beginning and returning to the left-hand side of the machine: the movements of the respective carriages on both models are plotted out, beginning with the theoretical punchcard one, mirrored horizontally, on the left, expanded in the center for the electronic, with the final repeat on the right. I now use different color cells to represent the direction of the transfers, here red for ones for those to the left, green for those to the right. The grey rows indicate blank ones that are required for the lace carriage to perform the necessary selections, transfers, and then to complete its return to the left side of the needle bed the smallest, single repeated in width X 2 for use on my 930its .png Extension rails must be used as both carriages engage the belt. The LC operates from the left-hand side for four passes throughout. The KC from the right for 2 passes each time. It advances the design by one row for each pass, preselecting needles or blank rows depending on the presence or absence of pixels as it would in any other fabric type. End needle selection is canceled. The weaving yarn is laid over the groups of every other needle in D position. A quick proof of concept swatch, the ground yarn may need tension adjustments for the best result an interesting variation with the above repeat flipped horizontally the mirrored repeat is used in the top swatch, any dropped stitches will result in floats. The repeat prior to mirroring was used to knit the bottom swatch. Dropped lace transfers may be missed behind the laid in thicker yarn. Transfers may need to be made manually if they continue to be a problem, especially if the ground yarn tension needs tightening in order to achieve the desired effect.  Starting the piece with 2 woven rows, rather than lace transfers: charting for working with the LC operating from the left for 4 passes, the KC from the right for 2 passes (worked on my 910, using mylar):
comparing the sequences for both starts, weaving on left, lace on the right Patterning issues are not always due to needle selection problems. Weaving and lace pattern combinations may be tested in lace first to establish eyelet selection accuracy. Here the weaving test failures were due to a problem with the sinker plate. The weaving lever was working properly in one direction only. Check that both brushes are turning freely. If they are not, remove the screw and any fluff caught under them before replacing them and continuing to knit. Occasionally the lever that moves the brushes up and down fails and a new part is called for. Here, the hand technique success followed a change of the sinker plate a sample using 2 different weight yarns; irregular weaving may require changing the yarn, or adjusting the tension used for the background yarn I like to test these repeats first in transfer lace, to sort out the best tension and yarn to use, errors in programming, Taking another look at the original punchcard and those arrows on the left-hand side, a detail I had originally missed, they all start from and return to the right, the line thickness changing marking the alternate carriage Both carriages operate from the right side, for 2 rows each, switching their place on the machine bed. Arrows for design row 1 begin above the red line. Transfers are all first to the left, then to the right. The card advances a single row for each carriage pass. With carriages operating from the same side, the punchcard advances one row for each carriage pass As I was trying to understand what was happening, I was also able to produce a swatch using the original #589 card, using a method that, however, produced all lace transfers to the right, and differed from the desired effect:
KC passes are indicated with green text, LC passes in blue
Pass 1: COL, KCII, N for a knit row which preselects the first weaving pattern row, knit to the right
Pass 2COR, KC, EON preselected, set the card to advance normally, lay in weaving yarn, KC moving  to the left will weave the first row, preselect the second weaving row
Pass 3: COL, KC weaves second-row EON, preselects the first row of lace on its way to the right
Pass 4: COL, LC transfers to right, repeats previous row’s selection, as it moves to the right 
Pass 5COR, LC no transfer happens on empty needle selected for the second time by the previous row, selects for the next row of transfers, moves to the left
Pass 6: COL, LC transfers pre-selected row to right, preselects first EON row for weaving, moves to the right, release it, return it to left
Pass 7COR, KC, EON, lay in weaving yarn, KC will move to the left and will weave the first row, preselect  second weaving row
Pass 8: COL, KC weaves the second row EON, preselects the first row of lace on its way to the right
Pass 9: COL, LC transfers to right, repeats previous row’s selection as it moves to the right
Pass 10COR, LC no transfer happens on empty needle selected for the second time by the previous row, selects for the next row of transfers, moves to the left
Pass 11: COL, LC transfers preselected row to right, preselects first EON row for weaving, moves to the right, release it, return it to left.  This row matches design row 1 and is starting the repeat sequence again
Passes 2-11: each group complete 10 rows of knitting the knit, produced at the time on both my punchcard machine and with my 910 also requiring an LC release on its third pass, reflect all the transfers occurring in a single direction

Ribber trims/edgings 1

An example of a common ruffle/ frill is produced with variations using both beds: cast on for every needle rib, knit X rows at full fisherman rib, followed by X rows at half-fisherman, and then possibly by plain rib for X rows, EON rib or even following with transfer to the single bed for X rows, bind off. The yarn used in this swatch is a wool-rayon blend  Needle transition arrangements to produce a ruffled edge:
bring every needle into work, and cast on every needle rib.
Knit a minimum of 6 rows.
Transfer every other stitch from the ribber up to the main bed
adjust tensions on both beds, and continue in rib to the desired length. The yarn used in the swatch is a 2/8 wool on a Brother standard, which pushes the machine in every needle rib. The appearance of the ruffle will vary, as usual, depending on the yarn’s thickness, fiber content, and knitting tension adjustments on either or both beds.  Exaggerated frilled starts: no cast-on needed, working on every other needle patterning on both beds.  A few rows will produce a curly edge, and more rows a ruffle proportionate in depth to the number of rows.  Passap KM: AX/AX or AX/KX 4-10 rows, continue in plain rib N/N
AX/KX 4-10 rows, knit 1-row N/N, transfer to 1X1rib, continue to knit in plain rib
racking cast on
BX/KX 6-10 rows, continue in plain rib
Pushers in the upper work position (UWP) will make the needle knit while those in the lower nonworking position (NWP) will respond to lock patterning settings. E6000 either program the front bed for the pattern (1000) or bring every other pusher completely out of work to avoid having them return to work position after the first pass. The motif repeat for 8 stitches/rows usable on any machine

Working it on Brother becomes a bit fiddly. Whether working on a punchcard or electronic KM, it is possible to introduce patterning on either or both beds as seen below.  I preferred the look obtained with the racked cast on at the start. Setting up the Brother machine: program the repeat, half pitch for every needle rib, air knit to place the pattern on the bed so that the first needle on the left (or right if you prefer) is preselected forward and will produce a knit stitch on the first row knit.  The yarn used is a 2/24 acrylic Both beds are set to knit, and lili buttons will be in use. On the ribber bed, the second needle from each side will knit, so starting on the left side of the ribber the first needle to the right of the first needle in work on the main bed is brought into work. It will need to be the second needle in work when the carriage moves from left to right in pattern knitting now another needle on the ribber is brought in to work on the far left, it will tuck with lili selection when moving from left to right remember the ribber rule with lili buttons: an even number of needles must be in work, this shows the start and end of selection on the ribber on alternate needle tape markings, as required It is sufficient to continue with no circular rows after the first zigzag one. The start will be “loopy”, but will improve when the bottom row is stretched vigorously. In this Brother version, the first row of the pattern needs to be selected toward the carriage and yarn after the first pass by the paired carriages. Beginning COR, a row is knit to the left side. The knit carriage is removed from the bed and brought back to the right. COR: a “free pass” can be made with the machine set to tuck in both directions as well as to slip. Using tuck avoids errors in recalling to switch cam button functions.  Using KCI (or II) the carriage with no yarn makes the free pass preselection row to the left, where the carriages are coupled again. I used KCI for my swatch. Before continuing to knit make certain lili buttons are engaged, that both carriages are set to tuck in both directions, and continue in pattern for X rows. Switch both carriages to N/N and continue in every needle rib (or knit 1-row N/N, transfer, and continue in EON rib or single bed). If stitches are transferred for EON rib or stocking stitch knit on a single bed, the yarn tension will need to be adjusted.
To review: lili buttons on ribber, checking needle selections on both beds. Cast on with no circular rows, zigzag only, option 1: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> loops will build upon every other needle for single rows, so the frill can be continued for any desired height
option 2: tuck <– –>, tuck <– –> to desired # of rows, knit 1 row N/N, transfer for 1X1 rib
option 3: combination slip/tuck
With no circular rows after the zigzag note the edge, and the amount of stretch

Using a racking cast on followed by the same carriage settings as above
COR zigzag row right to left
COL rack 1 to left (increase 1 number on racking lever), KCI (pattern pre-select), program row 1 of pattern, knit one row to the right
COR rack to right (decreasing number) set both beds to tuck, and knit X rows (I chose 10).  After completing the desired number of rows continue in every needle rib or knit one row with carriages set to N/N, transfer for every other needle rib, and continue on the EON rib.  Both pieces compared for width and rippling

I was plagued with random dropped stitches after my transfer to EON rib, one seen above left.
I finally sorted out that I had been using a ribber arm from an older model punchcard machine. When I replaced it with the later model arm shown at the top in the photo below, etched by the factory with #2 (outlined in magenta), I no longer had any problem.

The latch opening plate use and installation

Here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 mark. The change in height is noticeable, and brings the unit closer to the needles when on the machine during knitting

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down

From the Brother Ribber Techniques book: frills and more:pp113-115An intro to scallops: p.120

A previous post on checking ribber alignment 

Tuck stitch/ combination fabrics

I am presently attempting to knit my samples using a 910 with an EMS kit Ayab interface. When possible I will provide punchcard, electronic, and Ayab repeats for each.

White squares in the first chart represent tuck stitches, the dark blue row, the pass that knits every stitch, the lighter blue the pass that knits and in turn drops every stitch. The main knitting is happening on the top bed. Loops and dropped stitches are formed on the ribber. This pattern is not suitable for use with color changer since patterning for each of the 2 repeat segments occurs over an odd number of rows (7 each, for a repeat total of 14). Punchcard knitters repeat X 3 in height, electronic knitters use only one of the 2 repeats, outlined in red.
Preselect the first row of the pattern from either side on a punchcard machine or an unaltered 910, from left if using ayab.
*With the KC set to tuck <– –>, the ribber set to slip <–  –> knit 6 rows. The last row will be all knit (darker blue).  Cancel slip on the ribber carriage, setting it to knit  <– –>
knit one row on both beds to the opposite side (lighter blue, preselection will happen for the first tuck row in the next sequence). Disengage the ribber carriage still set to knit from the KC, take it across the ribber bed to release the loops. Reset the ribber carriage to slip <—->
move the carriage back to reconnect with the KC. ** Tuck sequence begins again. Repeat  * to ** ayab repeat for 30 stitch swatch, requires color invert the same repeat, not requiring color invert after loading into software tuck fabrics are usually more interesting on their purl side  Tuck stitch combined with lace transfers
large scale mesh 
 large-diagonal-eyelets

Revisiting pleats on the knitting machine: single bed

A cumulative collection of links to pleat-related blog posts
Single bed
Origami folds inspired pleats 1
Shadow pleats with added FI patterning
Shadow pleats knitting 
Revisiting pleats on the knitting machine: single bed 
Pleats created with lace transfers
Ruching 2: more working with stitch groups
Ruching 1: fern “pretender” and more 

Pleats: automating “pleating”, single bed
Double bed
Pintucks 2, ripples in knits using the ribber
Pintucks 1 vs shadow pleats, Fair Isle pintucks 
Origami-inspired 2: more pleats and fold using ribber
Slip stitch patterns with hand-transferred stitches, double bed

Knit and purl blocks to create folding fabric_ “pleats”  
Pleats: ribbed, folding fabrics
On two needles  hand-knit and purl folds
Some authors and publications include hems in the category of pleats as “horizontal”. To my mind, they merit their own category.
HEMS
Machine knit hems 2 

Machine knit hems 1
Ruching/hooked-up stitches 
Any techniques may also be used on only parts of finished projects.
Presently, in fashion and knitwear, skirts and clothing with ruffled or folded fabric variations abound.
In 2013 I shared a post on automating single bed pleats including downloadable files of one of my early handouts and working notes.
This post contains some of the same information, repeated for convenience, along with additional info and images added in 2023.

Addition: transfer lace punchcard repeats for Brother machines can vary, from 6 stitch patterns to 8, 12, and 24. Two blank rows (grey cells) would be added above the transfer marks (black dots) below to complete a single transfer repeat. The red line marks the centerline of the 24 stitches.  Proof of concept swatches:
a slip stitch design repeat, punchcard-suitable, is redrawn with black dots representing knit stitches, and blank cells representing slipped/skipped ones. Empty circles along with red numbers mark the locations where stitches are transferred to the right or left, and empty needles are pushed back to A position, out of work/OOW, resulting in ladders. The appearance of the knit side,  and the purl Vertical lace transfers: When working in a stocking stitch, if a soft-looking pleat is desired, the knitted fabric is simply folded to form the pleat and joined to keep the fold. Crisper folds require the added techniques described above. In hand-knitting fold lines are created by slipping stitches on the fold line on the “public side”. Assuming the latter is the knit side of the fabric, this is often indicated by “sl1 with yarn in the back” for the front fold line (and as another slip stitch option, with yarn in front for the back fold line). A purl stitch is more commonly worked on the same side of the knit for the opposing, inner fold. Both the slipped stitch and the purl one are purled on the return purl row pass. It is also possible to work the former purl stitch as a purl, resulting in a garter stitch inner fold.
To review, parts of pleats:

knife pleats may be put next to each other and pointing to the right (S) or the left (Z)

Box pleats are composed of alternating right and left knife pleats, pointing away from each other. Inverted box pleats are composed of one left and one right knife pleat, pointing toward each other.

Accordion pleas are a series of knife pleats in which the back of one pleat forms the face of the next 

It is possible to knit folding pleats in a knitted stocking stitch with the pleats formed vertically rather than sideways. The two needles (highlighted in red) close together form the top hard outer ridge, and the two empty spaces where needles are out of work (red dots) form the under-fold.  The remaining black dots represent out-of-work needles as well Normally, EON knitting is reserved for tuck lace or heavier yarns on standard machines.  For my test swatch, I used a coarse 2/8 wool on tension 4

The fabric narrows considerably as it is stretched lengthwise to set the stitches. Several panels would be required for a garment such as a skirt. Such an item would need to be pulled into shape, pinned, and hot pressed. Fiber content will determine the crispness of the pleats after blocking, and their retention after cleaning. The swatch below is turned sideways for the sake of space. More variations with folds can be made by varying the “rules” commonly recognized for creases. Working sideways once more: on a punchcard machine, using card # 1 locked, cast on making certain every other needle as well as the first and last are selected.
In the swatch varies the number of all knit rows between creasing methods. Overlapping at fixed width at the top of the piece once the fabric is rotated lengthwise, creates a fair amount of bulk as pleats are fixed.
The all-knit sections could be combined with holding techniques to vary the width of pleats from one end to a different width than at the other.
The change knob remains set to KC throughout.
With no cam buttons selected, all stitches will knit.
After the desired number of rows, cam buttons are set to slip in both directions for at least 4 rows (commonly this is done for 2). Cancel the slip setting, complete the next knit section, and transfer every other needle to the adjacent one on either the right or left. The needles holding 2 stitches may be brought out to the hold position as each transfer is made, or pushed out to hold after the fact to insure the stitches have been transferred and will knit off properly. The number of needles in work remains constant.  Change the cam buttons to tuck in both directions. On the first carriage pass, the empty needles will pick up a loop, on the second pass a second loop will be formed on those same needles.  Cancel the tuck setting, and leave the needle selection on to form knit stitches once again, continue with the determined number of rows.
Repeat the process beginning with the slip stitch setting once more.
The yarn used is a 2/24 acrylic, seen here stretched flat.  The slipped stitches form the inside folds in the pressed swatch, while eyelets and tuck stitches fold a picot edge to the outside.  The placement of the holding sequences may be varied, with the eyelets allowed to form and considered a potential design feature.  The number of slip floats or tucked stitches may also be altered by widening the slip repeat or lengthening it, and tucking on alternate pairs of stitches for usually no more than two rows.  Extending the repeat to a punch card with slipped or tucked stitches flanked by a single knit stitch on either side. The outlined blocks of colored cells represent subsequent knit rows.
The folds to the purl side may also be created by simply doubling up the yarn for a single row. Both yarns in this case are 2/8 wool. The second color is used for illustration purposes but might be a design feature in some pieces, and is not clearly visible on the knit side.   Hand selection aided by some of the standard multiple-selection tools is easy enough to use for tests on small swatches to determine resulting effects and preferences prior to any programming.
In this swatch, such increases are combined with holding techniques for what might become anything from an extended ruffle to a full skirt.
The issue with sideways knits is that the number of needles available and the knit gauge may limit the possible length of any garment produced in a single piece.  Single bed pintucks may be made by knitting any number of rows on the top bed, followed by the use of every other needle selection to create slip-stitch floats on the machine to serve as markers. The short floats are picked up and hooked onto the corresponding needles in work after more knit rows.
Short-row shaping may be automated to include needle wrapping to diminish the size of the resulting eyelets.  This photo is of a multiple-decades-old skirt that has been stored folded for years, as taken out of the storage box.  It measures 26 inches in length, with a 97.5-inch bottom circumference. Single tuck and slipped stitches were used along with short rows to create intentionally soft folds.

Useful math calculators for planning wedges
A look at miters, spirals, and angles to create shapes 
Some notes on circular shawls 
Round yokes and more
Hems created using this technique are faster than those where every needle is rehung and may be stuffed or threaded with other materials ie suitable size plastic tubing, or upholstery cords for sculptural effects.

Planning is required for the best method as to how to join panels in items such as skirts.
Markers at regular counts added while the work is on the machine in areas that are to be folded or gathered into a waistband, yoke, or to other shaped pieces are useful.

Punch cards to electronics: book symbols and samples

A number of variables need to be considered when adapting punchcard patterns for use on electronic knitting machines. These images pertain to Brother use, but the principles are shared between KM brands. I will add more information as time goes on. Online free downloads for magazines, manuals, etc. may be found at
http://knittsings.com/knitting-machine-manuals/
http://toyotaknitting.blogspot.com/
machineknittingetc.com
https://www.knititnow.com/ManualAndDocuments/
some additions of late include designs in 12, 18, and 30 stitch repeats in addition to the familiar 24 and 40 ones, and to help with interpretations of symbols:  Japanese symbols for machine knitters 

Punchcard collections for all brands @ needles of steel 

For a later post including information on scanning and editing published designs electronically see https://alessandrina.com/2018/07/02/numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/
As the transition was made from manual machines to push-button, and then to punchcard selection systems, the early collections included diagrams of symbols familiar to hand knitters, and interestingly worded text that disappeared or was reduced in later punchcard books. I am presenting information in the order in which it appeared in this particular collection’s paper version, I have not found this volume in the above-mentioned sources for free download. Images are gathered from more than one source, so there is some repetition of information


LACE KNITTING

Punchcards may be used to guide one for hand techniques, here a version of e-wrap is used on selected needles for weaving effect, and the diagram on the upper left is for a different fabric. Punchcards may also be used to help track twisted stitches, cables, and racking This is a 2 carriages patterning operation, lace extension rails must be used, with each carriage disengaged from the belt while the other is moving across the knitting and back to its resting place. 

SYMBOLS IN PATTERN KNITTING

Below each punchcard, the repeat is identified in numbers for stitches and rows. The cards presented are the minimum length required for the card to roll smoothly within the reader when joined for continuous knitting (at least 36 rows). Electronic knitters may isolate the individual, smallest repeat, draw only the squares that appear as white in the cards, enter them via mylar or download, and use color reverse.

Skip is aka slip or part. These cards would work for tuck stitch as well, may even tolerate elongation, depending on yarn thickness.

Opposite cam buttons are in use, the fabric changes appearance depending on which of the 2 stitch types is forward, so if instructions with cards are to be followed, then the starting side for the attern in this instance should be COR. Both tuck buttons (or slip) may be used as well, for a different fabric. If the tuck or slip texture is created over an even number of rows (2, 4), changing colors for each paired row sequence can create some interesting color patterns with very short floats akin to planned mosaics and mazes. 

The fair isle patterns below are actually poor choices in terms of float control, pushing its limits. It is usually recommended that floats be no wider than 5 stitches, and even then, they may have to be controlled to make the finished garment easier to wear. 

Brother only produces a transfer lace (as opposed to studio simple lace, where the carriage transfers and knits with each pass of the carriage). The lace carriage is the one advancing the punch card. The knit carriage does not select needles, but rather, knits 2 (or more) plain knit rows

Lace card markings, including those for fine lace: in the latter, stitches are transferred and shared between pairs of needles, best knit in a light color, with smooth yarn so the surface texture becomes more noticeable.

Lace point cams may be used on the punchcard machine to create vertical bands of lace. This is also achievable on the electronic by programming for knit stitches between vertical (or horizontal bands).

Tuck (left) and weaving (right) may be combined with lace. In these fabrics both carriages are selecting needles, so extension rails must be used. The two-column on the left of the cards indicate movements for the lace carriage on left and the knit carriage on right. Straight arrows indicate single carriage passes, curved ones 2.

Yet another fabric using 2 carriages selecting needles for patterning

Here the “openness” is created by having the appropriate needles out of work, creating ladders in those spaces. Some interesting results can be obtained by transferring the recommended out of work needles’ stitches to the ribber. “air knitting” can help with verifying proper needle placement is in use

to match the location of the out of work needles to markings for punchcards, which are often given with lines delineating 0 needle position, the image will need to be mirrored horizontally

THREAD OR PUNCH LACE is possible only on machine models that have 2 buttons in mc position The thicker yarn knits along with the thinner one where there are unpunched areas or white squares, the thinner yarn knits alone where the punched holes or black squares occur, with the thicker yarn floating behind it more information on this fabric 

Suitable for tuck and possibly tolerant of elongation as well:

Punchcard machines mirror motifs when knit. This may not be noticed when copying small repeats, but it becomes more evident in larger ones. For knitting on the 910, the supplied motif would need to be mirrored when programmed to retain the intended direction. With other machine models, one needs to know whether the “image” on the card will appear on the purl side, matching punchcard pattern and needle selection, or the knit side, thus reversing it. 

Here are 2 FI samples: the one on the left is fairly evenly distributed, so little if any difference is noticed, the one on the right sends the biker to a different forest

reversal of lettering


When you think that that is all sorted out in your head, there are these in slip stitch, the direction of stitches matches, because the purl side is used, images are reversed on the knit side.  

the mirrored punchcards the punchcard change knob has selections for single motif and pattern knitting (KC)

the 910 has settings KC I and II, KC II cancels end needle selection, while in punchcard machines this has to be done manually if the pattern stitch requires it. One such example is when any patterns are made with needles out of work. End needle selection would make the needles on each side of the empty space select forward and create a knit stitch. In tuck or slip, that would be an out-of-pattern knit stitch, in FI, a vertical line of the color in the B feeder would appear along on each side of the OOW needles.

Ribber settings and symbols for Brother machines 

Combining tuck stitches with lace 2 (automating them)

Working with 2 carriages when both are selecting needles brings up some interesting issues. Studio machines are able in most instances to select and knit in the same row. Brother preselects needles for the subsequent row, and on that row, while knitting the preselection, once again, the preselection is made for the next pattern row to be knit.

A couple of my earlier posts on the topic: knitting with 2 carriages and a lace round doily which combines lace with slip stitch selection to emulate holding for creating the needed spiral.

Following up on the previous post, now attempting to automate the stitch, some of the logic in needle selection needs to be explored. The chart as drawn below simply addresses functions that may create the desired fabric. It is incorrect in terms of accuracy in actual knitting it

theory

 symbols used

theory symbols

reworking the repeat for use with mylar

mylar selection

 the drawn mylar repeat, numbers reflect placement on my sheet

mylar repeat

mylar symbols2

When both carriages are in use for pattern selection, they will both engage the belt. While either carriage is in use, the alternate one needs to be off the needle bed, or the belt may actually break as one carriage holds it in a fixed position, while the other tugs at it toward the fixed spot from the opposite side of the machine. Lace extension rails are used on both sides. There were variations over the years, including a pair to fit the bulky 260 KM. They are not always exchangeable between models, need to sit properly on the machine for carriages to be stable while stored to the side, and also for moving them off and onto the machine easily.

Pre-punched standard Brother lace cards usually begin with the lace carriage selecting the first pattern row moving from the left side to the right. As with any lace or tuck fabric, knitting begins with waste yarn that is weighted evenly and any edge treatment of choice. On the 910, because of the preselection factor, and to keep the pattern continuous in proper order, the knit carriage is removed from the right side of the machine, and the lace carriage does a preselection row from right to left. That will be its start and return position for the remainder of the fabric. The knit carriage is returned in turn to its home on the right end of the machine, on the extension rail.

Two types of fabric are being created. The goal is to have the edge stitches knitting throughout. To accomplish this, if the LC is in use, eliminate any end needle selection by pushing needles back to B; when the KC is in use, if the end needle is not selected, to get it to knit, it needs to be pushed out to E. The pattern sequence is an easy one when up and running, with 2 passes of the LC, and 4 of the KC, as seen in the charts above.

The knit side is shown below, the arrow locating the larger eyelet points to operator error: I had a stitch caught on a gate peg, and was not aware of the problem for several rows. The extra loop of yarn can actually be seen. Tuck fabrics are often far more interesting on the purl than on the knit side

mylar_knit1

the purl side, with an arrow indicating the same problem spot

mylar_purl1

The question that follows is how to program the same design for use with a punchcard machine. Here things get a bit more confusing. The electronic machines advance the program or card a single row for each carriage pass, no matter their direction or sequence. When the punchcard carriage is at rest on either side and the alternate carriage moves toward it, the card does not advance, so the needle selection stays the same, is repeated for a second time. A bit more planning is required and the repeat needs to be shortened to accommodate for this fact.

The chart below shows the amended repeat for punching a card. The first selection row is made with the card locked, and the LC moving from left to right. The card is then released, LC moves to the left, transferring stitches selected from the previous row to the left while selecting those for the first row of tuck. The next row, using the alternate carriage, begins the ongoing sequence

punchcard chartA

the actions of the carriages with each pass

what carriages do

The actual punched holes are shown below. The writing on the card is a ghost from a previous experiment. The red line marks starting row 1 for Brother knitting, blue border outlines a single repeat. A minimum of 3 repeats are needed for continuous reading by the KM

punchcardFabrics with color change every 2 rows such as mazes and mosaics are easily knit on the electronic with 2 carriages. If worked on a punchcard machine, they would have to be executed using a yarn changer and only the knit carriage, unless the design motif is redrawn to factor in the issue discussed above. A previous post, part of a thread on mazes and mosaics, with a punchcard swatch photo.

The first preselection row in any patterning that involves color or carriage changes every 2 rows, is usually done toward the side of the machine that holds either the color changer or the carriage next in use. As seen above, there are exceptions to that “rule” as well.

Large scale mesh, breaking rules

The goal is to produce a large-scale mesh without hand techniques or extra steps.
In both slip and tuck, every punched hole, black square in mylar, or pixel in electronic downloads that bring a needle out to D position (for some unfathomable reason Brother needle positions go A, B, D, E, poor C got skipped) will result in a knit stitch. In the slip setting the non selected needles get skipped creating floats, while in the tuck setting, the non selected needles will hold a loop in the needle hook until that needle is returned to the D position. Side-by-side loops are troublesome in any stitch type. That said, tuck can be employed to sequentially lay down loops in some patterns where the lace carriage moves to produce side by side empty needles as part of the planned design.

The usual caution with such fabrics: extension rails must be used since both carriages engage the belt. The yarn needs to be “friendly” enough to not break easily. Since stitches travel across a wider gap than in single eyelet lace, the tension needs to be looser as well. Small changes can make a big difference, and so can patience. If end stitches are selected prior to the lace carriage making the next row of transfers, push them back to B manually so as not to produce decreases or dropped stitches.
Working the punchcard on a punchcard machine:

The lace carriage is set for normal lace, preselects the first row of knitting with the punchcard not locked on its first pass to the right. The KH carriage is set on KC I with both tuck buttons depressed. Each carriage works in sequences of 4 passes throughout.
Actions performed by the carriages as they make their next pass to the opposite side:
Lace carriage 

COL: moves to the right with no preselection
COR: no transfers, preselects for transfers to the right
COL: transfers to the right, preselects transfers to the left
COR: transfers to the left, preselects for the first tuck row. There will be 3 single needles with 3 stitches on each of them and two empty needles on each side
Knit carriage:
COR: knits first tuck row, makes the same preselection
COL: knits second tuck row, preselect the next tuck row, on a different needle position
COR: knits third tuck row, in the alternate location, preselects for all knit row
COL: knits all stitches, preselects blank row

Some observations: the top bind off as seen in the swatch below, was tight for the fabric. To maximize its width, the bind-off should be around at least 2 gate pegs, even 3 if needed. This allows for completing the task on the machine without adding more work and adding hand techniques. Tuck stitch produces a knit that tends to be short and wide, lace wants to open up with blocking as well, so this fabric definitely will want to spread. The top approximate 1/3 of the swatch below was kit using the same white yarn but in standard single needle mesh, making the size difference in “holes” created with the tuck method easy to see. The white is a 2/8 wool, the other a 16/2 mystery fiber I usually use as waste yarn.

For me this experiment will probably fall in the “now that I’ve done it, broken several rules, and have a good result I am over it” category.

 

The wonders of blocking

Blocking is one of those knitting preferences that can arouse strong pro/con arguments, and goes the range from casual to nearly compulsive with wires, pins, and assorted tools used to achieve desired results. My shawls continue to sell well: the photos below illustrate part of the process and 2 of the most recent in their family. All shaping and joining are achieved through the knitting process; the shawls are reversible, may be worn and draped in a  variety of ways.

before steaming and pressing

unblocked1

detail shot after steaming/pressing

blocked1

one way to wear, purl side facing out

shawl1