Double bed embossed patterns

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

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

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

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

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

Origami inspired 2: more pleats and folds using ribber

WORK IN PROGRESS

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

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

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

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

A quick review of plaiting on Brother machines

Over time plying yarns and the resulting color distribution comes into question, and often that leads to discussions on plaiting. One of my ancient swatches shows some variations in using 2 different colored fibers in three ways. It was tagged for display with myriad other assorted swatches on corkboards in my classroom, which were usually covered with a variety of illustrations of stitches and techniques covered in weekly classes and in response to recent trends. As always, effects vary dramatically depending on the choice of color and yarn fiber, and thickness. Here the 2 yarns were fed through separate tension masts, and knit together plaiting with yarns swapped in feeders for reversible striped effect yarns wound together with yarn twister and used as a “single strand”A mock plaiting effect may also be obtained without a special feeder by locking the pattern on any all blank row, the standard yarn feeder with A and B yarn placement, and the fair isle setting. Results are not as consistent in color distribution.
True plaiting usually requires a special feeder unless the specific model km has a built-in option. Two yarns are used in the plaiting feeder. They pass by the needles in sequence. One yarn always passes first, the other follows. The standard feeder that normally carries the 2 colors when knitting fair isle is replaced, so this technique may be used in fabrics using cam button combinations other than fair isle and thread lace. Looking into the plaiting feeder from above you will see a central hole that traditionally carries the “main yarn”, and a crescent-shaped opening that carries the second yarn, which will trail behind as the carriage moves across the knitting bed. The second yarn appears on the purl side of the fabric.
In days when lurex combination scratchy yarns, and in any situation where the fiber used is unpleasant if touching the skin, a softer yarn may be used and brought to the interior side of the piece for comfort. I made a chenille sweater at one point with traditional cap sleeves that absolutely refused to knit to gauge. Adding matching wooly nylon and knitting it with the chenille solved the problem permanently and stabilized the knit. The contrasting color can provide a pleasant effect when fold-over collars, cuffs, etc. are part of the garment, and so on.
Brother plaiting feeders: Be aware if considering purchasing one that other parts appear on e-bay and other sale sites under this name, but are not the specific accessory. The following illustrations and directions for use are from Brother pubs easily found for download. For use on the main bed: Canceling end needle selection applies in any situation is used in a tuck or slip stitch settings if there are needles out of work on the main bed for any reason to maintain proper patterning in needles in work. Electronic knitters have the KCII option in the change knob.
For use on the ribber:
More random, ancient swatches: stocking stitch using equal weight yarns in a single bed tuck stitch double bed every needle rib tuck stitch using the same pattern repeat a racked sample When working on large pieces especially, the yarn in the front feeder especially may have a tendency to slip out. This is one option for helping to prevent that when the ribber is in use At one point I produce several circular sweaters using equal weight yarns to obtain the reversible 2 color look. I had more than one feeder, so I actually used a dab of glue in the slit below the yellow arrow The drawback to doing that is that the yarn cannot then be easily slid in and out of its position, but rather has to be dropped through the remaining hole using a double eye needle.

These illustrations are from a Brother manual for the 860 punchcard machine, an idea for working intarsia. I have not tested the method myself, am sharing it as a possibility for working the fabric without an accessory carriage

Racking on EON rib: some considerations

WORK IN PROGRESS 

Manuals can sometimes make my head hurt, and as a result, I often rely on previous experience which in turn can lead to assumptions that may require clarification, even in my own mind.
A question came up on Ravelry about racked ribs on every other needle. My instinctive answer was that racking would need to happen by 2 full numbers at a time for the proper swing to occur. Here is an attempt to explain some of what happens, and why that is not always true.
To start with, manuals usually have the knitter start with the carriages on the right-hand side of the machine, perhaps to prepare them for fabrics that will need to travel to and from the left if the color changer is in use (“Japanese” machines). If the latter is not, there is no reason not to begin knitting from whichever side you prefer. Then we get to 3 circular rows. The third row is not needed, it gives floats on one side of the rib that may or may not be noticeable depending on which side of the knit is the public side. If 2 circular rows or a racked cast on is used, that may set off the start of patterning in the wrong direction from that published.
The usual depiction of the zig-zag row with the cast-on-comb in place on the machine is this The intent when knitting ribbing is not to have needles point to point, smashing into each other as one travels from side to side. On every needle rib, the Pitch lever on P will set just that up, H for half-pitch will place needles so they move smoothly halfway between those on the opposite bed. On every other needle rib, the P position will set up needles in the center of the spot left empty by a needle out of work on the alternate knitting bed. In racking, as the ribber moves, its stitches will align (usually) to the right or left in turn of stitches on the main bed creating a sort of crossed texture. If the needle set up remains as above, and racking is performed one step to right or left followed by another in the opposite direction to the starting position, the stitches on the main bed remain in the same space, there may be movement between the purl columns, but not across them. For a single position racking to occur the needles on the ribber need to be brought closer to the stitches on the opposite bed. One way to achieve that is to set the ribber for half-pitch. That will bring its stitches off-center and more to one side than the other of the space on the opposite bed. The zig-zag will lean slightly to one side The next step is to ensure that as racking begins, you are not moving stitches back into the same empty space on the opposite bed, but rather crossing into an adjacent one If that is understood then one can make the choice of moving left or right and be off and running in the pattern, aside from the starting side or some of the other directions given in patterns or manuals. Cam buttons and patterning may be introduced as well. This is how a row of knitting might appear after racking. The difference between the top and bottom of my test swatch is that the bottom was knit in half-pitch, using 2 single alternating number positions (ie. 5,4,5,4),  the top was knit in P setting, racking by 2 number positions (ie. 5,7,5,7) in each direction. One row was knit between movements. Both carriages were set to simply knit.This page from the Ribber Techniques book shows fabrics knit on EON, adding tuck cam buttons into the mix and slightly different needle arrangements, varying the look of the finished knitting. Most Brother racking patterns are accompanied by diagrams such as the one included above. They are shorthand for what is happening on both beds. If the knit starting side is different than the one recommended, as long the necessary movement direction against the fixed stitches on the main bed is recognized, the starting point can be chosen to be on either side of the main bed needles (ie. starting on row 3 on left, above blue line of the chart as opposed to row 1).If multiple side-by-side stitches are in work on the ribber, the half-pitch setting applies as well. When tucking is added, for increased stretch, it may be necessary to compensate for the width of the resulting fabric by casting on on every needle and then transferring in the desired configuration between the beds. Transferring is easier done in full pitch with a return to half-pitch prior to continuing to knit. The bind off is likely to require considerations for added stretch as well. Slip stitch narrows the fabric. Such adjustments are usually worked out in test swatches.
Using the half-pitch in EON brings the needles on the ribber closer to those on the main bed, which in turn may have an effect on yarn weight use when building up loops in hooks ie in fisherman or half fisherman rib variations. Sequential racking ie. 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, etc will not produce crossed stitches with single position shifts on EON. This attempts to imagine where actual crossings would occur, every 2 position shifts in either direction. The starting point for cast on may also require a change in position, based on the number of positions available; for example, Brother has 10, Passap has 6.By the way, the racking position indicators are slightly different in the Brother standard vs. the Brother bulky machines

Racking mechanical problem and possible repair saga

I enjoy the technical aspects and structures of knit fabric, learned to do simple, common minor repairs in a studio where there were not technicians during lab hours or even studio hours. That said, I had a broken knit carriage that was going to be my source for learning to work with its inner guts that never made it to any useful reassembly in spite of the passage of a couple of decades. I have a lot of hesitation in taking equipment apart, though out of necessity and with the help of online videos and information I have been able to go increasingly further with more confidence. Still saving carriages full of springs and “things” for someone else 😉

Over the years I have not used my KR850 ribber frequently. Last year at some point I produced a collection of racked, ribbed 3D effect scarves, giving it a major work out. I traditionally kept my ribber off my Brother machines, used my Passap for double bed and DBJ, and my line of accessories for sale was often knit single bed on my standard or bulky machines. As a result, I rarely needed to adjust the ribber bed position relative to pitch. I had purchased the ribber used.
As I have returned to knitting more frequently of late and wanted to expand posts that included racking I found suddenly the first movement upon reversing racking direction failed, requiring 2 full turns of the handle before advancing to the next position. Not too long after the pitch lever was not moving properly as well. The operation and service manuals for the ribber had not provided much advice, nor could I find any helpful information online. I highlighted pertinent areas with color in the images below. From the service manual: I asked on Ravelry for advice or shared experiences. A possible culprit was suggested to me, and I was pointed toward the parts manual, where I was faced with this, which at first seemed pretty daunting

When I tried to turn the screws marked in red I found they were loose. After I  took apart the racking handle, braving far more disassembly than turned out to be needed, housing little screws and washers in separate small plastic containers along with their comrade larger parts, I found perhaps I could have reduced the effort considerably. I did not take photos during the process, as I was not brimming with confidence in the result. Enlarging a portion of the above helped me understand how parts related to each other a bit better.

The rectangular piece (red) was loose inside the machine. Removing # 57 is a necessity in order to get at the location for reinsertion of #10 in the slot under #9, to be held in turn by the screws #11. I marked critical areas with colored arrows in sequential photos It really may not have been necessary to even remove the bracket lever. The #10 piece of metal was loose inside the machine, might simply have fallen out if I had turned the bed on its side and given it a mild shake after removing #57. This is with the piece in question in its housing where it belongs (white arrow), shown in relation to the needle retainer bar (black arrow) and screws marked with red arrows that hold it in place. The piece is obviously thinner than the space it lives in, so for screws to anchor it properly, a flathead screwdriver or other improvised tool needs to be inserted under it, lifting it into position and holding it in place with its holes lined up with outside of bed so screws can grip it and be tightened properly. My racking handle and pitch lever seem to be working properly once more. I had hours of intimacy with my ribber, it has now been thoroughly cleaned and oiled and has all its screws no longer off or loose, we are far better acquainted. No regrets, but the “repair” as illustrated above would have taken a matter of minutes.

A racking tale: Passap/Brother 3

While browsing through  E6 Passap model magazines I was intrigued by the pattern in this edition with models for children shown below on the right The instructions for the stitch pattern include a knitting technique to be programmed via a card reader. The results of entering it would be altering the pattern internally with the goal of providing racking directions on the console with each pass of the locks. The Duo has a 40 stitch wide punchcard capacity while the black and white squares repeat is 14 stitches wide, so not for use on it. DIY techniques for the E6 are a whole other topic, so let us analyze the Duo instructions. Keep in mind that in Passap the front bed moves when racking, it is the patterning bed. In Brother the “front bed” is actually the ribber, while patterning occurs on the top bed, so needle arrangements will be reversed. Brother has only needles, so pusher selection is not pertinent in diagrams. The out-of-work needle positions on the back bed need to be matched in the same arrangement and location on the Brother ribber. Transfers are made more easily be made to the knit bed after completing the cast on and the first KC preselection row is knit. Be sure to return any preselected needles to their original position. If the needle pitch on the ribber is changed to P to make the transfers easier, remember to change it back to H before proceeding, this is a fabric with every needle configuration on both beds. Translating Duo directions to black and white squares in order to develop a repeat for use on Brother: N/N is easy. The Duo is using buttons on the front bed and selection in response to their arrow setting to alter and progress through the pattern. The setup is with 7 needles up, 7 down, creating a 14 stitch repeat. BX on Duo (LX with patterning on front bed E6) is the equivalent of slip setting on Brother. No arrow keys, Passap on N, everything knits. Brother equivalent is a row of black squares (or punched holes if applicable) for each row on the N/N knit setting. BX <– will reverse the needle selection from whatever it was immediately before the previous rows of N/N, and remain there for the full racking sequence. After the first 32-row repeat is completed, at the end of the 12 racked rows, there will then be 4 all knit rows between racking sequences, two knit rows at the top would match 2 rows knit at the start. Once again, the BX<-for one row sets up the alternate blocks of racking. I chose to start my repeat with the 930 with a cast on in racking position 10. The chart shows racking positions on each row, reversing direction after having reached #4. E6 knitters may use the same repeat, matching the Duo racking starting on 3 left to 3 right and back

The repeat viewed tiled:  My samples actually produced a mirror image of the repeat, this is how that would have appeared flipped horizontally in the magazine
I first used a blue Italian import 2/14 wool, which knit well, but I had a hard time seeing the stitches being formed on each bed and missed a couple of dropped ones. The 2/24 acrylic to its right knit resulted in occasionally dropped stitches that were actually solved by swapping out the needle retaining bar. A sample in the yellow 2/13 wool used in previous posts simply would not stay on the ribber well for the number of rows in this pattern.
After swapping out the needle retainer bar,  knitting went smoothly. On the right in the photos below, the same racking sequences and needles out of work on the ribber are used, but the knit carriage was not set to slip, so essentially, every stitch on every row on the top bed was being knit. In addition to needle preselection, one should also check the type of stitches actually being formed. One of the disadvantages to knitting ribber fabrics is that several inches may be produced before one can actually evaluate the pattern being knit by peeking between the beds. I will have to revisit a previous post with some interesting racked textures that now appear to me to be related to this one,  beginning with this one, from a publication for the dubied machine this case the back bed knits every stitch, every row, a single function on all needles. If produced in the illustrated orientation, the racking bed (ribber) switches from knitting to slipping stitches. In Japanese machines, the ribber carriage cams must be switched manually from slip to knit to reproduce the pattern. To begin with, the repeat is rotated so it is the knit bed that will have the needle out of work selection was hesitant to rack four positions after only 3 rows of all knit, so I began with 4 rows knit, 4 rows slipped, with needles set up as shown above. The racking happens after every 8 rows by 4 positions, and the first all needle preselection row at the top of each repeat is an easy marker for moving the ribber. Pitch is in H, the top bed can be moved even though all needles are selected because the ribber needles are in B position, and there are no potential jams. I chose to start at 10 and move from that to 6 and back. Solid black and white lines can be used, since the needle selection on the top bed is fixed and altered by movements of the beds in relation to each other, not the programmed pattern itself. The repeat with main bed set to slip <– –>, the ribber set  to N/N, and the resulting swatch:

Using the same yarn, reducing the tension a bit, and knitting 3 rows, slipping 3 rows, racking 10 to 6, and back to 10. A partial view of my needle bed: All needles used in my swatch, I began the stitch transfers down onto the ribber needles on the far left, continuing across the knit bed. As end stitches knit on the ribber alone, a small edge weight may be required on that side. As stitches on the main bed are not worked in the slip stitch rows, they become elongated. Racking by 4 positions is not possible unless there is enough fabric so as not to pull so much that stitches will not knit off. If the yarn does not have some “give” that can make the changes in position harder, some yarns may break easily. The long stitches: After the needles are preselected for the next row of all knit, rack to the next position; the long stitches will then lean to one side or the other The resulting swatch, shown on both sides: The texture becomes more pronounced after the swatch rests. If acrylic is used, remember not to press the knit. An attempt to identify stitch actions: This is the swatch knit changing ribber settings to and from slip <– –> to N/N on appropriate rows.  I found the method above far simpler Coincidentally this morning a Duo pattern using a different setup was shown in Ravelry, and I was asked whether producing the same on Brother might have any advantages.  The Duo results, shown on a project page, are very similar to the above. The advantage in my opinion of using this method on Brother machines is that there is no need to change lock or carriage settings, and racking when the preselection for the next knit row first appears creates an easy marker for when to move from the previous racking position to the next. The Brother repeat (KCI on electronics is OK even though there are needles out of work on the knit bed) Racking is from position 10 to 6 and back just as in the previous blue swatch, after the first preselection row at the start of  the following repeat sequence. I began the stitch transfers down onto the ribber needles on the far left, continuing across the knit bed. The final look will vary with the choice of yarn and its color. Both swatch sides.If for some reason horizontal direction matters simply cast on with racking position on 6, and continue to and from there to 10 and back. Below is a horizontal flip of the same swatch image, a way to quickly decide whether doing so might be preferred.

Racked patterns 5: Passap/Brother 2

I have been asked whether this particular fabric discussed in the post could be produced on the Passap. The only way to find out is to try it. The lesson already learned: use a yarn that is crisp or capable of retaining memory for maximum effect. Here the swatch is knit in a 3/14 cotton. To start with, racking was from position 0 to 6 and back. Racking every 2 rows at the bottom of the sample, every row at its topNow adding needles out of work with the expectation of folds at approximate center of each foldThis was my set up, after planning the repeat and transferring a couple of stitches on each end to the back bed for better side edges Racking started in center position 0, then swung to 3 left, to 3 right, ending on 0. I long ago got frustrated with the Passap numbering, marked the racking positions with a permanent marker from 0 on the right to 6 on the left. The knit result is definitely a rolling fabric, though a bit less so than the Brother sample which was able to move across more racking positions Reviewing some racking facts: several posts previously written that include information for racking designs on both brands
2018/07/19/more-scales-and-chevrons-in-ribbed-racked-4-fabrics/
2016/01/13/racking-2-vertical-chevrons-herringbone/
2016/02/02/vertical-racking-3-automating-half-fisherman-in-pattern-2/
2016/01/09/ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/
2018/10/14/fisherman-english-tuck-stitch-rib-1-checks-patterns-brother-passap/
2015/11/22/racked-ribber-cast-on-and-rib-configuration-tips/

Brother racking controls: the handle, racking indicator, and pitch lever There are ample illustrations including from Brother Ribber Techniques Book in previous posts on procedural steps. Passap: racking handle is up for full pitch (point to point), down for half-pitch. It is turned one full rotation for each unit/ number change in ranking positions. Partial rotations may be suggested when some of its accessories ie their transfer carriage are used. As stated, Brother has 10 positions, Passap only 6. Passap E6 manual shows racking patterns possible with console built-in designs on pp. 118, 119, 120, 121, techniques used in racking patterns number 257-272. The console gives prompts for the direction in racking sequences. Self-programmed designs would need a separate knitting technique entered into the console as an additional “design”. This can be done with a card reader combined with a pattern download from a computer. Programs that automated the function to any degree are no longer on the market. Typically, in published patterns for either brand, if the starting point for the racking sequence is important, it will be given along with the frequency of movements such as in this design from the Duo 80 bookProgramming the front bed on Passap or main bed on Brother with tuck or slip selections begins to enter far greater common ground. Decades ago my advanced knitting curriculum included Passap weekend workshops in addition to Brother course classroom and studio hours. I spent a lot of time exploring techniques, often my manual includes scribbled notes. Manual guidelines for E6 patterning, beginning with advice for knitting them 

I have to admit I cannot always now decipher some of my note-taking or my own handwriting. The additional confusion that comes into work in cross-brand translations is the fact that some E6 techniques may only be used as programmed by the factory, others may be “combined with stitch patterns”. Getting it down to black and white squares when stitch patterns in E6 and are to be translated for other KM brands is a bit more complex, easier done from the Duo 80 instructions when an E 6 is not available for test knitting. The Duo manual is low on swatch and pattern assortment, but a small book, available online can provide inspiration for many textures, the Passap system’s particular strength. Some Duo symbols and their meaning
Many designs are based on one or both beds having needles out of work. Transferring stitches from one bed to the other can be done from needle diagrams on the Duo 80 and punchcard machines after the cast on row is closed. If the specific technique in the E6 offers a pusher selection after the first SX/GX row (262,264, 265, 269, 270, 282) transfer stitches then with locks on left, otherwise, transfer after the second SX/GX pass to the right (257,258,259). After the pattern is set up in E6 place all the pushers in rest position completely out of work.
Pushers corresponding to needles out of work on the back bed need to be in the back rail so as not to cause mispatterning if arrow keys are used. In Japanese electronics, transfers can be made after the first KC pass, making certain emptied needles are placed completely out of work. Set up the knit bed first, so alignment relationships are correct for out of work selections on both beds.
As in any ribber pattern, if the major part of the piece is being knit single bed, the tension will need to be adjusted to closer to that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn. Passap knitters have the added option of changing stripper in use to another color.
When designing your own patterns and starting the movements on either side of the machine, it will take some sorting out as to what arrangement of needles in work is best on the Passap back bed or Brother ribber is best for side edges as one bed moves beyond the last stitch in work on the knit bed. There should be no stitches on it without stitches behind them as the racked stitches travel from each side to the other if the goal is pieces that will be seamed ie. front and back of a sweater.
The E6 console may not always give the proper selection for needle set up for the front bed as seen in one of my swatches. There are never instructions for the back bed needle or pusher positions. Those need to be hand selected based on diagrams after the front bed is set up, and following the diagrams provided with each technique to produce the specific fabric illustrated. That can be disregarded in one’s experiments with needle arrangement and lock settings and how they relate to the movement in the racked stitches.
If one needs to stop the process at any point it is a good idea to devise a method of keeping track of where the stop occurred and whether a racking movement has taken place yet or not. Forming personal, consistent habits is also useful, ie. I find when racking with color changes I rack before I change the color consistently. Racking when using multiple colors often happens at the end of the color change sequence ie. 2 colors, rack after 4 rows. A bit more attention needs to happen when racking is for only a few positions. I tend to start mine on the far right at 0, so I can move the one or 2 steps and am stopped by the machine on my return, giving me an error margin on only one side.
A few Duo/Passap comparisons

Swatches: this E6 design introduces needles out of work. The E6 swatch in color below on the far left has a slightly different needle arrangement than the DUO one to its right. Technique #257 has a * beside it, which usually indicates the repeat must be altered to produce the fabric. 120 is the page on which the swatch photo appears Altered designs are listed on pp. 129-131of the E6 pattern book for all stitch types. 

The original on the left is mirrored, the selection is fixed, the height is multiplied X 6. The lengthening does not influence the design, it tells the console how many swings in each direction are planned. The console, in turn, gives visual and sound prompts for each racking movement, in this instance,  by one full turn clockwise. The prompts often start the pattern in the center 0, and begin and end with half a sequence.  The front bed is set to slip stitch, so black squares knit. Both beds will knit every needle/pusher in work throughout. After first preselection row on either brand needles and pushers in non selected areas need to be put out of work, accomplished by transferring them to the opposite bed. The design process is the same as having a fixed row on a punchcard machine, with a single selection being repeated over and over. The racking position indicator on the duo shows the start of the pattern at 0 position, Brother equivalent = 10. In the duomatic the carriage is set for plain knitting, no patterning is required. The needle out of work selection is different than the E6 sample, but the racking sequence is the same. Brother options: fixed needle selection if the fabric is created fully as a hand technique does not require any programming. Electronics could be used with the repeat drawn X6 in height so that the racking direction is reversed after the first sequence is completed and the return to row 1 of the repeat is preselected. Machines that allow for it can have info added to memo windows or even on mylars to help accuracy in long pieces. Punchcard machines could punch a single row on #1 for accurate needle selection if it falls within the 24 stitch limits or hand-select them, mark racking numbers in repeat, and go on from there.  My sample was knit in a tightly twisted cotton, and when off the machine had an interesting and unexpected fold 3Dquality

The setup is essentially the same, with white squares representing needles and pushers that need to be out of work. Tech 258 uses LX (slip) on the front bed, back bed si set to N. The duomatic pattern has a different OOW needle arrangement, the front lock is also set to tuck =  FX (E6=KX), adding another layer of texture and complexity. Needles are also out of work on the back bed.

E6000 264* is used both as a pattern and a technique number uses the X6 as well for accompanying prompts. Needle/pusher selection is for 3 in work and 9 out of work for 2 rows, then reversing it for to 9 in work, 2 out of work for 2 rows, thus accommodating the alternating color change. The Duo on the front bed performs a similar selection with the BX <– arrow key, racking is every 4 rows in both. It takes 24 rows to reach the full racking position reversal. These were the pusher selections, each repeated X 2, creating the wrong fabricWhat is knitting in terms of black and white squares if one continues:this repeat is what is required to match the technique diagramAfter the first row of pusher selection transfer 3 stitches on either side of the center 3 in each group of 9 to the back bed. This shows the proper selection, each is repeated twiceI continued to knit with plain knitting on the back bed for proof of concept, every other needle selection, and slip (BX) stitch <– –> there would compress the “wave” since half as many rows would then be knit on that bed in each color. As always, forgetting to set the lock/carriage to slip will result in knit stripes as seen on the right of my sideways swatchBelow the pattern alternates blocks of 5 black squares, 5 white, color changing every 2 rows and reversing racking direction after every 24 rows. The full repeat is 48 rows. If rows knit in the zig-zag are counted, they amount to 12 because each color slips it is not knitting for 2 rows. Note that to achieve the color reversal at the halfway point of the repeat the same color (2) knits for 4 rows, at the top of the repeat color 1 does the same.

Below tuck patterning is introduced in both beds. The front bed is knitting tuck on every other needle for 2 rows each,  easy to reproduce on Brother AX<– on the back bed will knit when pushers are up for 2 rows, tuck on the same needles when they are selected down, also for 2 rows. Brother knitters could try to set the ribber carriage to tuck in one direction only, or simply set it to knit every row

Though tech 264 states it may not be combined with a stitch pattern, I programmed built-in # 1002 X 6 in height, back bed set to slip (BX<–) every 2 rows. Racking occurs every 4.  Full repeat is 48 rows. Back bed pushers should be in work so they stay inside the edge from knit stitches on the front bed. This was a quick test. The knit side is unremarkable, the mess on the left edge on the upper right of the top photo is because I began with 2 needles in work on the back bed like in the illustration above. As I racked counterclockwise the stitches on them kept pulling away from the side edge (back bed, left). The technique continues to give racking prompts as written by the factory, so none would exist for the rows with no racking in the pattern
Back to acrylic yarn, light color for more visibility creative yarn snag on the left midway, full swing movement is shown, each is 48 rows in height. As always it helps to check whether stitches are obliging by staying on the needle bed. The top half of the swatch is shown.
In turn, I programmed # 1000 X 6 in height but pusher selection was all up for one row, one down. I left it alone, and lastly, worked with pusher selection on the back bed, BX <–. Patterning advances a fixed repeat every row or every other, determined by original hand-selected up for selection and down above rail for out of selection. The front lock is left on N (disregard front for setting it to LX) there is a whole other world of possibilities, while the console racking sequences can be used from built-in techniques.  Any ribber needle selection on Brother other than the use of lili buttons would have to be done manually.

The range of fabrics with programming additional patterns in tuck, slip, or combinations thereof along with needles in and out of work on the either or both beds increases the possibilities for fabrics with texture and dimension exponentially. 

More dragon scales and chevrons in ribbed, racked (4) fabrics

Over the years a variety of fabrics have been named dragon scales or crocodile stitch. Here dragon scales have referred to shapes created using a lace technique and resulting in a pattern such as this

that was followed by hand knit samples and an investigation into possibly creating a ribber fabric with auto shaping resulting in similar protrusion

ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/

vertical chevrons/ herringbone which eventually led to this, where a reversal in racking periodically shifts the lean in opposite directionsautomating the pattern in half fisherman rib/ mylar repeat tracking shown. Any repeat in a factor of 24 may be used on punchcard machines as well. The start of a series in varied colors and fibers: sometimes I enjoy getting back to the simplicity and predictability of punchcard machines, though punching those cards can be slow and a bit tedious. I am presently curious about striping again, and creating a wider “scale”, with a crisper fold. The chart is for the working idea, the punchcard typical of what some of my cards begin to look like as my work evolves. When marking cards for any action, the fact that the eye is not on the same design row as the reader needs to be taken into consideration. Here racking numbers begin to get marked on what would normally be row one on a factory marked punchcard, 7 rows up for Brother KMs on any other brand punchcard, or card roll # position. Though the final repeat is an even number of rows in height (42) note that each half repeat is not (21). The color changer sits on the left, so the first preselection row is left to right, cam button on KCI to insure end stitches knit. Any color changes happen every even #X rows, so they will technically be in a slightly different spot on the alternate repeat. some of the trial and error, random yarns. The white is a 2/15 wool, the yellow a 2/12, the blue an unknown, also wool. The best fo the lot, but not “there ” yet, going back to one color knitting So then you go for a yummy alpaca and silk, make a racking error and manage to correct the pattern, and lo and behold the yarn breaks halfway across the row a repeat up from there! “They” do keep talking about how relaxing knitting is ;-). Yarn specsFiber Content: 80% Alpaca/20% Silk; Weight: Lace; Gauge: 8 sts = 1″, 1/2-lb cones/3472 YPP (1736 yards/cone)This yarn is an English import, 2675 yards per pound. It felts into a lovely fabric (not the goal here) and knit tolerably well. The fabric is quite stiff, however, and the surface change is minimal and nearly completely lost 2/18 Jaggerspun wool-silk: worth a shot at a scarf. Starting ribber cast on left, followed by 2 circular rows, one closing row right to left, and first KCI row from left to right will set up patterning in tuck so that the direction of the arrows on the left side of the card, lines up with the racking number appropriate for that row prior to knitting it. The fabrics below are as they came off the machine, not blocking of any sort

I have some lovely cash wool in 3 colors, 2/48 weight. Using 3 separate strands fed through the yarn feeder separately resulted in uneven feeding, loops, and too many problems. Using 2 strands “worked” easily, but the fabric was nearly flatCautiously winding 3 strands onto a cone prior to knitting gave far more predictable results, and there now is a scarf in progress. The difference in color is due to the lighting at the moment My best advice to anyone attempting this is to knit slowly. The most likely spot for errors in my experience is at the point where 1: no action is taken for a row (or more in later swatches), so racking position remains at 10 for 2 rows, and 2: for racking position 9 the knit carriage position is reversed in each half of the repeat. One can get also reach a left-right rhythm, and without realizing it, begin racking between positions 9 and 8 as opposed to 9 and 10, throwing the pattern off. Another look at racking positions: the numbers reflect racking position before the carriage moves to the opposite side, the arrows the direction in which the carriage will be moving. Once the knit carriage moves the card advances, so glancing at the card after that move will show the action for the next row at eye level, which can be confusing at times. A finished piece, 9.5″ X 64″, in the coned 3 strands of merino. Occasional single strand caught on ribber gate pegs, no yarn feeding issues as such. The fabric has not been blocked in any way, but allowed to “relax”. I like the larger scale of the “scales”, would still like to introduce striping in a way that pleases my eye. The knitting is slow thanks to all the racking but is probably faster than using single-bed holding for similar shapes, with a very different finished look. Future of the fabric TBD. 8/16: interestingly enough when the fabric relaxed, it became quite a bit less 3Dand back to introducing stripes in contrasting color An act of faith after lots of trial and errors and a punchcard redesign, that this may have been worth the effort when done. I am choosing to cut the yarn and weave in ends for longer solid areas, and am giving myself permission to only knit while I feel focused on manual changes in color and racking. It may take a very long time to get to “scarf length” and here is the fabric in a completed piece, about 54 inches in length when off the machine. The top right photo shows reverse side of the piece, the bottom right is how it might appear when worn  Next up was a test on how to use 2 carriages or changing settings, allowing for the turning stripes to help the scale shape bend more outward into a “point”. I found to get the width I needed, along with striping it was simpler to change ribber settings to slip <– –> for all knit rows and retain use of the color changer on the left.

It is easy to share successes. There are also those days however when one should not be anywhere within range of a knitting machine and perseverance does not lead to anything positive. The above scarf was knit in charcoal, using 3 strands of the cash wool. Two strands of the blue created a nearly flat fabric, 3 strands did the job. So I now turn to true black and white. Knitting 3 strands of the black was impossible at any tension for any length. Then I noticed the ribber on the right was lower than it should be. It turned out the bolt used to adjust the height of the ribber was loose, and the slightest turn of it loosened it completely. So then it took way too long to get it back in place. Got things back together and set up, and with each movement of the racking handle the ribber dropped on the right. After a lot more fiddling that got me nowhere, I decided to use the ribber for another brother machine that had not been used for years. That was dry, the grease on it had turned black, and time flew cleaning and oiling and waiting. Back on the machine, the right ribber bracket of the alternate ribber will not allow it to drop on that side so it’s back to grease and patience and yes, I finally got up and running, only now the smell of the oil and lubricants makes me want to leave my apartment. Outdoors the temp is a dozen degrees warmer than inside it and grossly humid. I don’t want my knitting to smell like the solvents either, so the remainder of the day is called in as a period of rest and recreation mixed with a touch of, hopefully, amnesia.

Moving on to the next day: success in one color with no major problems or errors, have a black scarf, 64 inches long with lovely bumps, here as it appears immediately off the machine 8/16: 3D shapes held up very well So what would that true black in the thinner weight do with those stripes in a true white? I found myself forgetting completely to set the carriage to tuck for several tries, then messed up the color-changing sequence. Time for more R&R.

8/7 after several tests with minor variations in the pattern, sorting out yarn weights preferences, I decided to “go” for a version of the same stitch type as the charcoal and white in true black and white. Again, I am not able to use 3 strands of the black Got a third of the estimated desired length knit, and whoopee! about 10 stitches dropped off both beds on the color changer side. Oh, the joys of unraveling several rows of sewing thread weight black yarn, in racked tuck stitch, down to an all knit row in the white to make certain the proper number of stitches are in work on both beds. Got that far, and ready for more R&R.

And 8/8 this is the last in the series, at least for a while in true B&W. The 3D pattern is reduced by the weight of the piece as it is worn Just a reminder: the service manual http://machineknittingetc.com/brother-kr120-kr710-kr830-kr850-kr230-kr260-service-manual.html provides information on ribber adjustments. The part in question I believe, is #24, the “slide plate guide stud”. In the image below b= the bolt that became completely loose. I discovered after getting things back together that a, which secures the ribber bracket, is actually directional with a barely perceptible difference in shape, and if accidentally rotated 180, it will keep the ribber bracket from changing height positions and working properly. Rotating it restored expected actions, so now I have 2 well functioning ribbers to work with.  

Still at it, 8/16 I now have a lovely, equally bumpy fabric in all 3 colors using 2 strands each of the cash wool at the same tension. The single difference in my execution is that I am now using my alternate KR 850 ribber. The height and other adjustments appear identical to my eye. I am reminded of my teaching days in a Brother punchcard lab, where at times the same model machines might be side by side, and fabric would work perfectly on one machine while not on the other supposedly identical model. Students were not allowed to swap off machines, the one exception being if that was the only way to get the stitch types in their final projects completed after I attempted to work out other possible issues. “They” do keep talking about how relaxing knitting is, but with machine knitting, there are lots of opportunities to wonder about that suggested fact.8/17: complete a royal blue scarf in the smaller scale repeat, previously executed on my 910. The punchcard below it image may be used to achieve the same fabric. 8/18: trucking on, planning a couple of more pieces with the large scale repeat. It seems I have been having more drat it moments than one might ever want, resulting in having to discard hundreds of rows of knitting for any number of reasons including racking operator errors. I have also encountered another problem. In the past, I have used cello clear, or a variety of tapes to seal off holes accidentally punched in the wrong place. I very rarely produce multiples of any of my pieces, and my limited edition items were usually knit on an electronic due to its increased ease in adjusting the repeat width and height to suit. Transitioning from the solid repeat to the striped one, I decided to punch out holes on my original card to test my ideas, and when returning to the large scales I was too lazy to punch yet another card, and taped over sections I wanted to eliminate from the selection. Hundreds of rows into yet another piece I began to notice odd behavior in needle selection, which was fully remedied by investing time into punching a new card, and yes, starting over yet again. Note to self: do not do this sort of taping over in the future, no matter what the tape, and especially when knitting multiple pieces thousands of rows in length! 

8/21: I am working on a final series of the large scale, single color scarves. As has often been my experience in knitting long pieces of ribbed fabrics (most of my scarves are 1200 rows or more in length), I have a talent for developing problems after the ¾ point. Two factors that can have an effect on stitches not knitting off properly “suddenly” can be the result of 1: the slide lever setting being changed accidentally when moving ribber sinker plate ie to correct patterning errors and bring it to the opposite side, and the ribber alignment for needle positions relative to each other on opposite beds changing slightly from all the side to side motion in racking nearly every single row.

The slide lever has 3 positions. I have out of habit gotten used to simply leaving it in its center setting (lili) for my knitting, and used to teach students to keep that constant if possible. Sometimes when knitting ribbed cuffs, bands, or collars, I have seen the differences in length and width of them changed for separate pieces and not noticed until one was ready to join pieces.  

adjusting needle bed positions (for more see https://alessandrina.com/2015/01/13/a-bit-on-ribbers-japanese-kms_-alignment-and-symbols-1/)

The last piece produced by me was in a charcoal color, using the same yarn brand and weight as the black. All things being equal, using the same tension (required to avoid knitting problems), the charcoal version stitches were considerably looser, and longer, also due to changes in gauge. I think the charcoal scarf will put this fabric to rest for me for a very long time. This was my final, pre-punched card, and its markings

Some Passap patterns 2016/01/13/racking-2-vertical-chevrons-herringbone/
and 2016/01/09/ribber-pitch-a-bit-on-racking-1-chevrons-horizontal-herringbone/

Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles

There are a number of ribber fabrics that are produced by altering the settings on the ribber’s carriage to slip for an even number of rows in both directions. This requires manually changing the ribber setting from slip to knit and back for the length of the piece. In electronic machines, where the pattern advances with every pass of the carriage, there is another option. For example, to produce DBJ with the backing in one color, settings would be changed manually every 2 rows, using the color changer on the left

Some things to remember: when 2 carriages are selecting, each carriage needs to move far enough at the end of the needle bed so as not to be locked onto the belt. Extension rails are required. On the Brother ribber bed, there are stops that keep the combined carriages from going off the beds. There is one on each side (magenta arrow on left, the blue arrow on right), and to remove the ribber carriage off its bed, it, in turn, needs to be tilted forward prior to reaching the stops in order to clear them on either side.

Altering the KC sinker plates and arm: remove 6 small screws from the sinker plates, leaving only their arm

The carriage with the altered sinker plate in place, in turn, will then be used to replace rows that were to be knit with the ribber set to slip in both directions <– –>. In my sample, it operated from the right, with the combined carriages (KC2), from the left. 

For consistency, I am editing the original post and will continue to refer to the coupled carriages= KC2, the altered single bed one= KC1KC is the abbreviation commonly used in publications for Knit Carriage. The change knob, which affects end needle selection, is marked on the KC as for I (end needle selection, indicated by black arrow) and II (cancel end needle selection). Initials KR in publications are often used to refer to ribber carriage in setting discussions. My beginning swatches were knit using ayab software’s ribber setting, which matches the KRC (2-color double jacquard separation) function in the unaltered 910. With my first try, I made no effort to consider which color gets chosen first in the color separation (ayab = black, 910 = white). There is a limit as to how far the single carriage from the right (KC1) can travel on the needle bed to the left because the combined carriages on the left (KC2) are held in place by the pin.

It would be possible if needed to separate KC2 and push further out on the extension rail, but perhaps not practical, so there are some constraints on the fabric width able to be produced.

My first swatch has some manually created pintucks on the knit side (white only knitting extra rows, joined together by all knit rows with pink). The reverse, purl side, is knit by the ribber set to N/N, all in one color. The stitches held on the ribber while the white only knits on the top bed are visibly elongated (left swatch bottom). There is some color confusion on the knit side on the first couple of rows of DBJ, solved in the second swatch. My repeat for the planned width using Ayab:

Knitting on 910 a single repeat may be programmed, start knitting with color intended for white squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. For more similarities and differences between the original and the altered 910 see ayab diary post.

To knit using Ayab: begin the knitting with the color intended to be used for areas marked in black squares, which will also serve as the solid backing color. Preselect the first row from left to right with ribber set to knit (N/N), it will remain set that way for the remainder of the process. When on right, set coupled carriages (KC2) to slip <– –>, knit one row to left, both carriages stay on left. Knit the next 2 rows for DBJ using KC1 with altered sinker plate operating from the right, using color intended for areas marked with white squares. The main bed only will knit. Set change knob to end needle select (KC I) to ensure first and last needles in use knit. Return the KC1 to the right, on the extension rail, and knit the next two rows with KC2 operating from left. Repeat, changing carriages and consequently colors every 2 rows.

Blisters or pintucks are created when one bed knits more rows than the other, whether as simple knitting or in the pattern. Periodically the knitting is sealed by at least one-row knitting across all stitches on both beds. In this version, sealing rows must occur in pairs to allow for color change. The first chart shows a tentative repeat, planning for black squares to create the blister shapes, drawn in 2-row blocks to allow for color changes every X even number of rowsThe image color inverted, so white areas will create the blisters in slip stitch (col 2) while black squares will knit (col 1)Most published patterns for these fabrics will also include an all knit rows to seal the shapes knit on the main bed only

By using 2 carriages to select needles, one (KC1) may be set to slip <– –>in order to knit X number of rows on the top bed only, while the pairs of carriages (KC2) are set to normal knit on both beds, its cam button set to select needles, KCI. Selection will continue, but no patterning occurs as a result. A proof of concept swatch knit on only 24 stitches, the pink knits for 4 rows, the white for 2; the pink yarn is a cotton, the white an acrylic/wool blend:

An expanded pattern repeat is planned for a larger test swatch. Here there are 2 black squares added at each end of the repeat to ensure that those stitches on the top bed are knit on all slip stitch rows. The new color is wool, this time knit for 6 rows in slip stitch prior to sealing with 2 passes of the combined carriages with the contrasting color.

Single bed slip stitch rows appear on the knit side in color 2, the reverse, purl side is in a single color (1), and formed by the all knit rows. Its stitches are in turn elongated, since they are held and not knit while the opposite bed knits for multiple rows. In the sample, the first and last stitch on each side were on the ribber, creating a single white slip stitch edging. One can adjust such details to suit. The first preselection row was made after cast on with both carriages(KC 2)set to knit, moving from left to right with color 1, where they stay. KC 1 with altered sinker plate was threaded with color 2, and begins from and returns to the left-hand side.

A detailed shot of the edge: note the white, single, elongated stitch uppermost, and the pairs of contrast color ones in the “border” Designs with the deliberate placement of white blocks representing each blister can be created. It is a good idea to test tolerance for each of the yarns involved as a hand tech or repeat such above before planning significantly longer repeats. All black rows are required at intervals if the fabric is to be knit changing ribber settings for all knit rows. The same rows could be left blank if using carriages in the above manner, and lack of needle selection would be an indicator for switching to the double carriages for the 2 sealing rows, while not having to track the count for the slipped ones.

I am always interested in automating stitches to facilitate as many details as possible in creating fabrics that imitate hand techniques, without relying on row counts and a lot (in this instance) of “hooking” stitches up manually. The swatches below were part of a series of posts on ruching as a hand technique

The hand tech chart mirrored, as the springboard for my automated fabric Both led to my exploring the possibility of a cousin, working on the double bed, and using the 2 carriages. The process began with a proof of concept swatch. Two colors were used to highlight what the stitches knit with each of the 2 carriages are doing. Both KC1 and 2 were set to knit in both directions. I began with KC2 knitting the needle set up for the fabric in a dark color, on a small number of stitches

KC2 operated from left, KC1 from the right. With KC2 returned to left, KC1 knit 8 rows. It is best to work out the limit for how many rows will knit on the top bed without stitch problems prior to any automation of functions. *Two rows were knit with KC2 in the dark color, 8 rows with KC1, ribber racked to proper position**, * to** were repeated. The elongation of the stitches on the purl side results from the fact the ribber knits far fewer rows than the main bed, and in addition, the stitches on the row knit on its second pass in the pattern are pulled on across the bed at distances matching the racking positions. The plan is to automate the texture, knit it in one color, and find a way to track correct racking positions: cast on may be in any preferred method. With the pitch set to P, it is easier to transfer stitches between beds to the desired configuration. Every needle is in work on the top bed, for a multiple of 10+6ribber needles with stitches that will be moved with racking

placement of stitches on respective beds
change pitch after transfers, ribber moves slightly to right final configuration prior to patterning and racking sequence begins

The starting racking position is 5. Racking handle markings for Brother begin with 0 on left, 5 at the center, 10 on right. The ribber is set to half pitch since part of the needle bed will be knitting every needle rib. An often-overlooked clue as to what is happening or is about to is found in the arrows just below the racking position indicator. The red arrow indicates the direction in which the bed was racked on the last move. Since racking for my experiment will only be to 3 different positions, I began by choosing to use 5 pixels center, left, center, right for the full repeat sequence, but later amended the repeat to numbers of pixels equal to specific racking indicator number. The needles will be selected prior to the next row knit, a reminder of racking selection. Sequence will actually be 5, *0, 5, 10, 5,** 0, 5, etc. The racking indicator

My first Ayab repeat was planned for use with 2 carriages: KC1 (single carriage) is set to knit but to not select end needles (KCII), and will be producing the multiple rows gathered to create the blisters/ hems. KC2 (coupled carriages) are also set to select needles, both KC (knit carriage, cam button also on KCII) and KR (ribber carriage) are set for normal knit. They will create the sealed stitches joining up the blisters/ hems. The same color yarn is threaded in both. Blank squares will knit because a carriage set to knit overrides needle selection or lack of it in stitches on needles in the work position. My repeat is 46 stitches wide. Because the knitting is started with the ribber already in racking position 5, the first move in the pattern is turning the handle to the right, toward 0. The concept illustrated

set up and ready to go, racking position 5

4/19/18 As is true in any knitting, things can go quirky. I began to have a single needle on the main bed not knitting on rows knit with the combined carriages, then ran into dropped stitches in racked groups. The problem was initially not with the software but appeared to be a ribber issue, which after checking and balancing was resolved.

4/22/18 And today’s problem is the software, with persistent, intermittent selection errors. I did achieve a sample by manually pushing wrongly selected needles out to D by hand on problem rows, which tended to be 5 and 7 in all black areas. Some reminders and observations: ayab auto mirrors all images. If this repeat is entered (I added a single square as a marker for racking position 0), the software will actually be knitting this, the “image as it would appear on the knit side of the fabric”. What to program? anticipating the above getting mirrored by the software I entered this resulting in this

That said, remember that turning the racking handle to the left is toward increasing numbers on the indicator, to the right is toward decreasing numbers. For me that is counterintuitive. Mirroring the image again, and working with the repeat below can help with tracking racking movement even more. With the single dot on right, turn the handle toward it, to the right, and the movement will be towards 0. With the movement of marking row to left, turn racking handle to left, toward 5, and so on.

Next on the drawing board: a fabric using the same technique, but that I might like more. This image was a portion of a greyscale pin of a pattern book from a Russian pinI tested a concept for recreating it as a hand technique, trying to sort out how many rows I could knit before racking and the racking sequence. The best result was with a single sealing row, which in turn required changing the ribber slip setting for one row only,

so it’s back to the drawing board. I think any automation is best done using the ribber to do the all knit rows, the main bed to needle select racking positions. Results will be added to the post on combining KC patterning with racking

The present set up with 2 carriages may be used for solid color backed quilting. Using the altered KC1 operating from the right with no yarn in feeder should work to drop stitches in drop stitch lace where the repeat is altered to allow for the knit carriage with no yarn to do the stitch ditching while selecting needles as well. Related color separation and swatch may be found in the last segment of the post: revisiting-drop-release-stitch-lace/

 

Combining knit carriage needle selection with racking

4/23/18:  inspiration source is from a Russian pin, bottom left #198

The first swatch, produced with manual selection, varying the number of rows between racking to establish yarn tolerance

There are single rows knitting on both beds, so the option of using 2 knit carriages is out of the running. My test swatch had the main bed doing all the knitting, the ribber knitting the joining segments with manual changes in its buttons from slip to knit and back when appropriate. The staring needle arrangement, on “graph paper”, and the subsequent racking positions: the top illustration is for racking position 4, the bottom for racking position 0.A tentative plan of attack: the combined knit and ribber carriages are to be used throughout. The main bed KC is set to knit, but change knob is set to KCII. The blank squares will actually knit thanks to the setting, the selected needles will indicate the direction in which racking is due to take place prior to knitting the next row. 

This is the starting ayab repeat, with single repeat segments highlighted (one alone would be adequate for most other electronics). 

You will be working on the purl side of the knit. In what is an increasingly irksome feature to me, Ayab will automatically mirror horizontally any loaded image, so to get the above, you need to actually be either mirroring the image prior to loading it (my preference), or remember to do so through Ayab’s actions after.  Enter this, the ayab screen shows this 

This is what appears on the left side of the Brother ribber. I prefer to rely on other methods to track directions and numbers of positions in racking, but the ribber itself provides some clues. My pitch lever will not move all the way to H, but that is made up for in the ribber adjustments, so it is not a problem. A reminder: turning the racking handle to the left is toward increasing numbers on the indicator, to the right is toward decreasing numbers  The set up for my swatches, and the first row knit on racking position 0.  

The first preselection row in Ayab knits above needles on both beds. With carriage on the right, set the ribber to slip <–  –>, and knit up to the next row where needle pre-selection appears. *Change the ribber button on the side to match the direction in which you will be moving the carriage (left if knitting to left, right if knitting to right) to knit from the slip setting, knit to the opposite side (no more needle selection), change ribber lever back to slip again prior to any more knitting.** Repeat * to **. Position 4:

I began to run into issues with ribber stitches being too tight, this was knit with a tension adjustment, resulting in a less defined texture

Going a different route: another repeat, with each position, repeated once, repeat is pre mirrored  
a swatch with the racking happening only in the center of needles in work

Starting position can be variable. With more stitches cast on, while keeping the same ribber configuration, racking can happen further to the right or to the left. There need to be enough stitches on the main bed so ribber needles do not travel beyond them when racked. The knit bed uses tension close to that used for stocking stitch. The ribber stitch size may need to be adjusted to allow for a wider move toward either side. A looser ribber tension results in a less sculptural surface on the knit side. I have seldom been able to knit more than 6 rows on the main bed with ribber combination stitches on Brother, often maxing out at 4 depending on the yarn. Consistent habits help develop one’s own most meaningful reminders for taking action.

5/12/18 2 more samples. This time racking is done by 3 positions, the ribber set up is with 3 needles out of work, 5 in work. Set up is with racking handle on 3, move to and from positions 0 to 3. Knit 4 rows single bed. Rack to the next position. Use ribber set to knit for 2 rows for sample on left, for a single row for the sample on the right 

A printable “rib setup” to aid in charting  P and H needle configurations, with some space for notes and carriage settings

5/8/18 This is from the dubied knitting machine pattern book

I was not familiar with the machine, found 2 excellent quick start guides to aid in translating to Brother settings
Parsons making Center <http://resources.parsons.edu/labs/dubied-machine-knitting-studio/>
Dubied casting on and binding off, including levers/ cam notations <https://mycourses.aalto.fi/pluginfile.php/573146/mod_resource/content/1/casting%20on%20instructions.pdf
My step by step interpretation, which may be worked as a hand technique on any machine 
1. racking handle on 0, cast on for every needle rib
2. transfer stitches to the main bed to match needle arrangement above, knit 3 rounds
3. set the ribber to slip in both directions, knit 3 rounds
4. rack 4 to the left, set the ribber to knit, knit 3 rounds
5. set the ribber to slip in both directions, knit 3 rounds
6. rack 4 to the right, set the ribber to knit, knit 3 rounds*
repeat steps 3-6
The resulting swatch For a different method of knitting this same fabric, please see later post 12/20/17————————————————————————————————

The Brother Ribber Techniques book provides guidelines for variations on this stitch type,  the following among them. It is available for free download online from various sites and is an excellent resource

These images were shared on Facebook, they are from the Empisal ribber stitch book

I have worked with racking in the past but never attempted to have racked shapes interacting with single bed patterning across the width of the piece on the KM. My 910 is presently connected to a Mac via the EMS Ayab kit. Sampling is quick and easy, replacing the mylar. One critical difference is that the repeat used must match the pattern in width numbering the same as needles in use for the piece, so at least for testing my initial repeats were 30 stitches wide.

I find trying to chart things out before I actually knit helps me plan and understand what actions I need to take. Mac Numbers is my go-to for charts for the moment.  Here a random slip stitch pattern is put on a knit ground that takes into consideration possible racking positions, with the ideal position for reversing the bend at the center of the chevron pattern. With a bit of planning, punchcard markings or even mylar ones may be used to help with tracking racking numbers for accuracy, but that appears lost using Ayab software

When planning for racking within the width of a piece, the racked columns will extend beyond the vertical edges of the knit. Since this is not about having zigzag edges but keeping the design within the body of the knit, the starting point and spacing for your ribbed stitches matter. Brother racking handle is numbered from 0 to 10. The numbering and direction of movement vary between KM brands. If you begin at 0, you are only allowed to move the ribber to the left, if at 10 the ribber only moves to the right. So that said, the racking sequence in the above illustration should be reversed, traveling from 10 to 0, and back. The green squares represent the direction in which the ribber stitches are moving, the numbers in the column on the right represent racking handle positions. 

I found this slip stitch repeat produced too little detail in my swatches, but were it reduced for mylar use, it would remain 7 stitches high. It was taken from a punchcard book, so black squares/punched holes represent knit stitches. To match the fabric, in mylar use, the color reverse would do the job. The Ayab kit bypasses both the mylar reader and the programming capacity of the buttons on the left, so double height, double width, color reverse, etc. including the DBJ setting are planned for in the file import into the software. In some instances, Ayab settings (ribber for DBJ, and “circular”) do the work for you. I am using GIMP to create my BMPs. Paintbrush is a free program, still available for Mac, and functional including in High Sierra. It is the program used by some forum members to create their repeats, provides an easy alternative for people who not be used to working with image editing programs.

the slip stitch repeat in its original state: because slipped stitches create their texture on the purl side of the fabric, images do not need to be mirrored for the direction of the texture to be matched using electronic machines 
If the goal is to have the machine take care of keeping track of knit rows for you, without having to make changes in cam buttons, in the mylar a single repeat with blank squares programmed at the top and/or bottom of the repeat could then be knit using color reverse. Here the situation is similar to that of punchcard users who need to punch a hole for every knit stitch, but considerably faster. If the original pattern is satisfactory,  planning for all knit rows as automatic needle selection can be done by color reversing the pattern in the software and adding all black rows in the image for download.  
some other all over variations to try, individually, or even sequentially for slip stitch all over texture

the first tests, for the various slip stitches, nothing quite “there” yet  
this is getting closer to the goal

The above working repeat and all above swatches were knit with the first preselection row from right to left, not left to right. For these stitches, the starting side does not make a difference. If the pattern, however, was in blocks that were even-numbered in height (2, 4, 6, 8), and the color changer needs to come into play for striping using it, accommodations need to be made so that preselection for row 1 happens from the right side to the left, toward the changer. The programming needs to be set to begin on the very last row, so the repeat returns to row one for preselection from right to left, and knitting rows 1, 2, etc begin with the KC set to appropriate cam buttons, to and from the left side of the KM.

The racking sequence needs to be adjusted to have the points of the zigzag land in the center of both the slip stitch areas and those in plain knit if that is the goal.  I am encountering needle selection issues with my hack, so this fabric is getting put to bed for the moment. In principle, the black squares in the illustration represent knit rows, and their number is easily enough adjusted in height. Punchcard users would need to punch holes for each black square, mylar user can fill in the white squares for a single repeat, add blank rows at top or bottom, and color reverse when programming. In Ayab software, the repeat has to be drawn for the width of the piece but will repeat “infinitely” in length.

This is a possible punchcard template, with a shorter racking sequence. The Numbered column on left indicates the racking position. Pattern rows are preselected, so racking occurs prior to knitting across each row. I am also in need of purchasing more punchcards or another roll, so there is no test swatch at this moment. The top and bottom rows of punched holes on the colored ground are not part of the repeat, they overlap the first and last 2 rows of design in the punchcard, allowing the pattern to repeat in length. Ascending numbers swing to the left, descending to the right. Rows may be added at the level of #7 (7, 8, 9, 8, 7), so that the center of the swing may then occur on #9 positions in the racking handle, lengthen the card accordingly.5/14/20
Electronic machine models make experimenting easy and quick. Here an all-over tuck stitch is programmed for the base fabric, and racking variations are considered with the goal to cross the base fabric at various points in the patterned areas, or within the knit space alone. With increasing racking indicator numbers the ribber moves to the right, the shape its stitches create on the main bed moves to the left. With decreased racking indicator numbers the ribber moves to the left, the shape its stitches create on the main bed moves to the right. The repeat required mirroring for use in my electronic 930. Experimenting with racking intersecting tuck stitch on multiple repeat png, stitches were picked up on the ribber aside from the first tuck stitch on the right, A, on the center, B, and on the left, C, of the knit stitch groups.

 The tuck pattern tested, racking placed in the center position changing ribber needle positions
moving toward positioning the racked pattern further into the knit columns. Making the knit columns wider, placing repeats differently. The intended placement of the racked pattern is shown in yellow. Good notes and documentation of the final needle arrangement will make the technique easily reproducible. The needles involved on the top bed always need to be returned to the patterning position after any shares. At any point in the knitting, it is easy enough to transfer stitches on the ribber up to the main bed, drop the ribber down, and check on the placement of the racked pattern. If the place is satisfactory, the moved stitches can be returned to the ribber and the work is continued. If not, transferred stitches can be left on the main bed, other stitches can be shared with the ribber and patterning can continue with racking in the new location. One such adjustment is seen toward the bottom of this swatch.